David Soknacki talks transit, island airport on Metro Morning
Former Scarborough councillor says he supports revenue tools to pay for downtown relief line
David Soknacki said Tuesday on Metro Morning that he's running to be Toronto's next mayor as someone out "to make changes and not make excuses."
Soknacki, a former Scarborough councillor who spent the last seven years in the private sector running his food flavourings company, also told host Matt Galloway that he'd cancel the Scarborough subway extension in favour of cheaper light rail and divert the difference toward the downtown relief line (DRL).
Without going deeply into specifics, Soknacki said he would not be opposed to adding new revenue tools to cover the cost of the DRL, which is currently underfunded.
"I'm not afraid to talk about taxes because transit is not free," he said. "Everything needs to be on the table, otherwise we will not be able to build transit."
Soknacki, who served as budget chief under former mayor David Miller, mentioned borrowing, development charges and a sales tax as possible revenue tools to pay for the DRL, which would take the pressure off the overcrowded Yonge-University-Spadina line.
Soknacki also said he does not support a proposal put forward by one of his opponents, Coun. Karen Stintz, who suggested the city sell some of its stake in Toronto Hydro to help pay for transit.
Police EMS budgets 'unsustainable' says Soknacki
Soknacki also said the city needs to review budgets for Toronto police and Emergency Services, which he said are "unsustainable."
"They've not been reviewed for generation," he said.
Galloway asked Soknacki his position on Porter Airlines' controversial proposal to expand the runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to allow jets to operate there.
Soknacki said Porter's proposal "has a long way to go" before it's ready for council consideration and talked about the need to achieve a "balance of uses" at the airport.
Galloway asked Soknacki how he would inspire the city if he is elected mayor in the Oct. 27 vote.
"I want to take my experience as someone who has built a company and created jobs," he said. "I want to reform city hall where we're making decisions based on consensus and fact."
A full video of Soknacki's interview is posted above.
The series of interviews with candidates will continue this week on Metro Morning. Each interview will air on 99.1 FM at 7:40 a.m. ET, and will be streamed in live video on CBC.ca/Toronto. You can also watch a full version of each interview posted shortly after they conclude.
The schedule is as follows:
- Monday: Olivia Chow.
- Tuesday David Soknacki.
- Wednesday: John Tory.
- Thursday: Karen Stintz.
- Friday: Rob Ford.