Expand Public Services. Defer or reduce Taxes and Fees for Small Businesses and Primary Residence Homeowners. Provide Free Wi-Fi for Low Income Neighbourhoods. Tax big business and banks!
IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOUSELESSNESS
The housing crisis is severe. Skyrocketing rents are driving working class families, communities of color, seniors, and students out of the GTA, into debt, into unsafe or deplorable living situations, into the shelter system or on to the streets. Those who can’t pay inflated rents are exploited. The housing market is dominated by real estate and development speculators. The establishment is completely unwilling to fight for the solutions we need. It’s time to build rent-geared-to-income, publicly-owned and cooperatively run accessible housing. Landlord licensing is needed so that landlords who fail to keep units in good repair and meet basic standards would have their rental properties turned into cooperatives. Orders and judgments against landlords must be enforced.
FREE PUBLIC TRANSIT! Public transit is an essential service for many residents and front-line workers. Toronto should deploy more buses to allow for social distancing, use back door boarding to protect transit operators, and abolish fare enforcement.
De-fund, Disarm and Disband the Police! End Racial Profiling! Globally, millions of people demand de-funding the cops. In Toronto, the response by City Council, even of the ‘progressive’ members of Council, was underwhelming. The bloated police budget should be cut by at least 50%. Money saved should fund community programs, mental health supports, affordable housing, youth programs, and restorative justice. We need to replace our current system of law enforcement with democratic, community-controlled policing. Shift away from jails and prisons – towards restorative justice programs. This can be done by demilitarizing and substantially disarming the police, in combination with a reduction in patrol vehicles and security camera systems. At a minimum, there should bean Elected Community Oversight Board with full powers over police!
For Free, Quality, 24-hour CHILD CARE
IMPROVE TRAFFIC AND ROAD SAFETY ISSUES. Make streets safer for cyclists. Bike lanes and rush-hour bus lanes should be expanded across the GTA.
Expand bus service along major transit routes during peak hours. Fines and fees should be geared to income.
REPAIR OUR OVERCROWDED SCHOOLS AND REDUCE CLASS SIZES. The province must make real investments in schools. Stop the phony re-announcements of money already committed. We need immediate repairs to reverse years of neglect. Schools need improvements to their air-filtration systems and an immediate reduction in class sizes to 15 students per class. Cities should strive to bridge gaps in the public school system left by the province, strive for a unified, secular school system, and put a hefty tax on private schools.
ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE A municipal Green New Deal, based on a rapid transition to sustainable energy systems, is urgently needed. Regulations should require new construction projects to incorporate some type of life sustaining green roof. We must consult communities and severely restrict any environmental damage before the development begins. Parts of the GTA are fortunate to have beautiful parks and green spaces that are home to many animals and plants. Empowered, democratically elected community boards should review proposed developments. Our notion of a Municipal Green New Deal puts the interests of the working class first. Enact public control over resources, fully respecting Indigenous peoples. Before Reconciliation there must be Restitution, in harmony with nature.
COVID-19 is a Capitalist Disease
The global pandemic comes from capitalism, from its need to exploit nature for profit. It has nothing to do with ethnic origins. Challenge attempts to blame, harass or cause violence against our Asian community. Confront hatred and all forms of discrimination. Anti-pandemic measures, including mandatory vaccination, are urgently needed. Follow the advice of medical professionals about wearing masks, social distancing and hand hygiene. We need to insist that allworkers, especially those in front line health care, are provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Ensure that private profit is never put ahead of health and safety concerns. Nationalize private for-profit Long Term Care companies.
Join our Campaign for a Labour City Hall, for a Workers’ Government at the municipal level. Let’s form a Coalition of socialists, labour unionists, community organizations and social justice activists to present a team of candidates to fight for the interests of workers, tenants, women, LGBTQI folks, racialized people, seniors and all who seek a city and world without exploitation and oppression. Join us!
Contact Socialist Action www.socialistaction.ca