Transit needs a fix, hopeful says

[attach]2054[/attach]After years spent fixing other people’s problems, Stephan Stewart wants to take a stab at city hall.

The Ward 34 hopeful says she’s spent years finding solutions to problems, ones that often arose out of poor decisions.

“You realize that you’re fixing the outcome, but you’re not really fixing the stem of the problem,” said Stewart, who has worked as a counsellor and a teacher.

The desire to be part of the solution made Stewart run for city councillor, she said.

Work and volunteer experience with literacy programs, at-risk youth, assaulted women, not to mention work with private companies such as IBM and Procter and Gamble, has given Stewart the right background to be an effective rep at city hall, she said.

One of her first priorities if elected would be to fix the city’s transportation problems.

“It’s going to take a number of small things working together,” she said.

For example, Stewart said she would like to see the introduction of Smartcards for public transit.

For Victoria Park Avenue, Stewart said wants to see technology that allows traffic lights to switch depending on the amount of cars on the road.

Also on her radar is the large dependence on property taxes for the city’s budget.

Stewart said she wants to find other sources of revenue, like putting a tax on services non-Torontonians may be using but not paying for, with financial sector being one of the possible sources to be examined.

In terms of housing, Stewart said she wants to ensure that Toronto Community Housing properties are kept in good order. This would start with the tenant, she said, and should be followed by protocol to ensure tenants are kept up to speed on any work orders they file.

“I think we can be better landlords,” she said.

Stewart said she would want to establish a youth association in her ward to get 18- to 25-year-olds more involved in municipal

Overall engagement of every person is also very important to her, she said.

“Each individual is placed on this earth for a specific reason and we all have talent and contribution that needs to be acknowledged in society,” she said.

“And if one person’s talent and contribution isn’t actualized, the loss is to society.”

At press time, the other candidates running in the ward are Peter Youngren and incumbent Denzil Minnan-Wong.