Karen Stintz wants Toronto to make it easier for the public to access sports fields, whether they are school-owned or city-owned.
Stintz is proposing a series of initiatives that she would implement if elected mayor, in a bid to give the public — and in particular, some of the youngest residents of Toronto — more places to play.
"Whether it’s to throw a Frisbee, walk a dog, play soccer, play field hockey, play with their friends, have a picnic, they need places where they can play. And they need places where their families can come and gather," Stintz said.
Some of Stintz’s proposed initiatives include reaching out to the private sector to obtain funds needed to repair and improve fields.
Stintz also wants to "consolidate" the operations of school- and city-owned fields, while also limiting school boards from selling lands in communities where fields are scarce.
"The reality is, our community doesn’t care whether the TDSB owns them, whether the Catholic District School Board owns them, whether the city owns them, whether the French school owns them,” she said. “It doesn’t matter. They’re our fields."
Stintz said the TDSB is under the gun to sell off land because it is "cash-strapped," something she said the school board must also do if it wants the province to change its funding formula.
"I’m here to say that that’s not OK," Stintz said.
Stintz said she wants the city and the school boards "to work together to figure this problem out" and she would seek to "make it easier" for the public to access all of these fields, if she is elected mayor.
The three-term councillor is one of more than 50 people seeking to be elected mayor on Oct. 27.