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TORONTO, June 23, 2023 /CNW/ – With 102 candidates vying to become the next mayor of Toronto, Molly the dog made international headlines as part of a human-dog duo that was the final entrant into the race.
Molly’s campaign companion, Toby Heaps, made some waves with a controversial video rollerblading down the Gardiner Expressway during rush hour to illustrate how the city is stuck in traffic on infrastructure, housing affordability and mental health supports.
With Toby being late to the race, pollsters did not include him as an option, so the campaign commissioned Oraclepoll Research and found that when prompted, 15% of Torontonians were willing to consider voting for Toby as human mayor and Molly as honorary dog mayor – showing public affinity for the duo.
Toby garnered endorsements from international icons like David Suzuki and Ralph Nader, as well as Senator Rosa Galvez and some of Toronto’s key city-builders, including affordable-housing pioneer Mike Labbé.
What is most surprising is that Toby and Molly’s small campaign team and budget came up with some of the bigger fully costed ideas of the entire campaign:
- Doubling the budget for parks and community centres from 3% to 6%.
- Making Toronto the green-tech and sustainable finance capital of the Western world.
- Creating a climate plan that David Suzuki says “sets the bar for all other mayoral candidates and is a model for every city council in the country.”
- Ending excessive use of salt on roads that costs Torontonians $1 billion per year.
- Scaling up from 250 to 25,000 new affordable homes built per year (by 2025) by prioritizing public land for co-op home ownership models.
- Replacing 9,000 shelter beds with 9,000 dignified supportive housing units over the next three years by converting hotels and other fit-for-purpose structures.
Perhaps Toby’s biggest idea was a creative and realistic proposal to generate an additional $1.2 billion for the city each year, which would pay for the above and create surplus funds. He would do this by making adjustments in property taxes, which would have the effect of increasing annual rates on luxury homes (by 0.5%) and doubling the rate for billion-dollar businesses.
“We put out some big ideas for all the underdogs out there, and regardless of the result on June 26, we are committed to seeing them through,” Heaps says.
SOURCE Toby Heaps for Toronto Mayor