Subway expansion now: Ward 10 hopeful

[attach]2348[/attach]Ward 10 council candidate Konstantin Toubis says it was his drive to help people that finally led to him to seek a seat on city council.

While he is very active in the community, including bringing 20 children affected by the school bombing in Beslan, Russia in 2005 to Toronto, he still feels there’s more to be done.

“I have lots of experience working in this community and now I want to be working closer with people,” he said.

“This is what I’ve been doing for more than 11 years. My platform is built on my experience and my knowledge of this particular community.”

If he is elected councillor, Toubis says his first move will be opening up the constituency office to public input.

“I’d like to create a community advisory council, including representatives from each area of ward 10,” he said.

“I would like to speak to the active people … of the whole community in order for us to make a proper decision.”

He says there are many issues facing Ward 10, and he has plans to address each one, including having a stronger police presence on the roads at night and in public spaces, as well as increasing subsidized housing by working with the private sector. But one of Toubis’ main priorities is his bread and butter — building more social programs.

“In our ward we have a lot of new immigrants and a lot of low-income families and people working day and night to make a living,” he said.

“We have built so many programs for children, youth, teenagers, seniors, new immigrants – for lots of people, and I know their needs.”

Transit issues have been hotly debated across the city during this election, and whether they’re commuter- or public transit-related, Toubis has a plan to specific to Ward 10.

“I know from driving in Ward 10 that (traffic congestion) is horrible, horrible, horrible,” he said.

“We can do something. For example, we can widen Dufferin Street between Finch and Steeles.”

“It’s absolutely stupid to have three lanes, two for cars and one for buses, when the bus only comes every 30 minutes or so, and there’s an empty lane during rush hour that people can’t drive on,” he added.

He says for Toronto to have 2.5 million people, but just three subway lines is ridiculous and wants to see more emphasis on subway expansion, and not streetcars.

He also says it would be a great benefit to the community to add a stop to the Sheppard line at Bathurst Street, thus connecting Sheppard/Yonge and Downsview stations.

But Toubis also knows that talk is cheap, and he’s promising that he can follow up all of his promises with actions.

“I can promise to send you to the moon, but who cares?” he said.

“I don’t want to make promises that will never happen. I know what I’m doing, and now I want the chance to make sure we can do more for (the community).”