Candidate to watch: Robb Johannes, mayoral hopeful
Where you might have seen him: In The Grid, where we talked about his strong performance at February’s mayoral debate; singing in the band Paint; coordinating a conflict-resolution program inside prisons; serving as the executive director of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users; plugging a platform that discusses sex work, homelessness, and underemployment
Political affiliation: Independent
Top priority: Surprise! It’s transit. Johannes backs a downtown relief line, and would support reverting to the lightrail plan in Scarborough. But both lines are several years off, and Johannes believes expanded bus service is a more immediate—if temporary—solution to Toronto’s transit woes. This expansion, Johannes said, should include more frequent late-night buses. “We don’t live in a nine-to-five world anymore,” he said.
On taxation: Johannes concedes that he’s not an expert on taxation. But he’d support reintroducing a vehicle registration tax and directing the additional revenue to transit and housing. Speaking of housing, Johannes also wants new developments to include between 20 and 25 per cent social housing.
…and cycling: Johannes thinks that a summertime pilot project would be the best way to show residents that bike lanes on Bloor Street won’t lead to traffic chaos. He wants to reinstall the lanes on Jarvis, too.
…and not being invited to debates: By the end of the election, Johannes will have probably participated in fewer debates than our drunk-driving, crack-smoking mayor. Johannesacknowledged that he and other long-shot candidates have to prove they’re worthy of a spot at debates, and thinks he’s succeeded so far. “I know I need to earn my stripes,” Johannessaid. “It’s just a matter of making the best of what space…you are being given.”
Read the original article at The Grid.