Saturday, October 18, 2014

MICHAEL LAXER, COUNCILLOR CANDIDATE WARD 6 - ANSWERS TO FOSS QUESTIONNAIRE


What concrete steps would you take to ensure the preservation of Sam Smith Park?

I am a strong supporter of the preservation of Toronto and Etobicoke's green spaces and I would oppose any future development in or building within the park. 

Do you believe it is appropriate to allow a single group such as the Aussie Rules Football Club to have exclusive use of a portion of a tax-payer funded park? What are your views regarding further expansion of this club’s “footprint” in the park?

While I am not specifically aware of the terms of the agreement with this sport club, as a general rule I am opposed to the idea of exclusive use permits in parks like Sam Smith.

Would you support a comprehensive system of greenways and trails connecting parks, particularly those along the waterfront, as outlined in the city’s Official Plan? How would you accomplish this?   

Yes, I do support this plan and would help achieve it by advocating for it on council. On a related note I am also a supporter of the Toronto Environmental Alliance's Building a City that Moves plan. 

What do you envision as the future for public accessibility to the Power House at Sam Smith Park?

A fundamental part of my program and vision for an inclusive Toronto is the expansion of access to and the accessibility and affordability of recreation centres and city facilities for all members of the community and for community organizations. The Power House would, of course, be no exception to this.

How will you vote regarding any future attempt to expand commercial air service at Billy Bishop Airport? Will your decision take into consideration the preservation of Sam Smith Park as an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA)?

I am 100% opposed to the expansion of the Island airport. As I stated in my No Jets TO endorsement: "After many years of positive developments and steps forward in reintegrating Toronto with its waterfront, Porter’s plans to expand the Island Airport for jets will represent a terrible step back should they come to pass. Toronto’s Harbourfront  should be a place of arts and culture, festivals, parks, tourism and a vibrant community to visit, live and do business in, not the site of a constant stream of jet aircraft flying in for the benefit of Porter’s profits."

How would you deal with the “dogs off leash” problem in Sam Smith Park?
As a resident of Long Branch with three younger children who we take to Sam Smith all year round, I take the "dog-off-leash" issue very seriously. I believe that outside of the designated areas the by-laws around this need to be strictly enforced. "Dogs-off-leash" are both an environmental issue for park wildlife and a safety issue for other park visitors and children. 

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