Marzia Hoque, a Toronto Council candidate in the Scarborough Southwest byelection on Nov. 30, answers four questions from Beach Metro Community News.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Candidates were instructed to keep their answers to approximately 200 words, and some of the responses have been edited to keep them as close as possible to the agreed word count.)
QUESTION 1: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and why you decided to run in this byelection?
I earned a Bachelor’s in Social Science in 2007 and a Police Foundations degree from Canadian Law Enforcement Training College with an ‘Outstanding Effort Award’ in 2008. I volunteered at organizations like Salvation Army, Toronto Police Service and George P. Mackie Junior Public School where I focused on student safety and building a positive learning environment. While working with COSTI Immigration, I supported new immigrants and refugees.
As a Scarborough Southwest resident and a mother, I witnessed the challenges many residents face, from housing costs to high inflation. I am fed up with politicians who don’t uphold their promises.
I’m running to be a genuine advocate, addressing issues that matter to families in Scarborough Southwest, especially tenants and homeowners.
QUESTION 2: If elected councillor, how will you address concerns regarding increasing density along Kingston Road through the Birch Cliff and Cliffside areas that is seeing affordable, low-rise rental apartment buildings being replaced by condominiums of nine storeys and more?
As a potential councilor, I am committed to addressing the concerns surrounding increased construction along Kingston Road. My approach includes:
Community Consultation: I will actively engage with residents, seeking their input on the new developments or replacing smaller buildings with larger ones.
I will focus on Preservation of Affordable Housing; Zoning Regulations; Transparency and Accountability; Infrastructure Improvement; Affordable Housing Strategies.
By prioritizing community input, preserving affordability, maintaining sensible regulations, being transparent, enhancing infrastructure, and promoting affordable housing, I aim to create a thriving neighborhood along Kingston Road that caters to everyone’s needs.
QUESTION 3: How do you view potential measures, including but not limited to property tax increases, to address Toronto’s budget deficit, and what alternative strategies would you propose for the city to navigate its financial crisis?
Addressing Toronto’s budget deficit requires careful consideration of various measures. It’s crucial to balance fiscal responsibility with the impact on residents.
Here’s what I suggest:
Check for Wasteful Spending; Economic Growth Initiatives; Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs); Use Technology; Community Engagement; Get Help from Other Government Levels.
While property tax increases might be a consideration, it should be a last resort after exhausting alternative avenues.
QUESTION 4: What is the most important issue that you think you will be able to have an influence on if elected as the new councillor for Scarborough Southwest?
One of the most crucial issues I can have a significant influence on is affordable housing.
Here’s how I plan to address this issue:
Advocacy for Affordable Housing: I will lobby for policies promoting the development of affordable housing units, working with developers, local organizations, and government agencies to make housing more accessible for residents.
Community Engagement: I will ensure the specific housing needs and concerns of Scarborough Southwest residents are heard and addressed in any housing initiatives.
Collaboration with Stakeholders: I will collaborate with stakeholders, including non-profits, businesses, and government agencies, to create a comprehensive approach.
Policy Innovation: I will work towards innovative policies that encourage the construction of affordable housing units without compromising the overall development and growth of the community.
Support for Renters: Advocate for renters’ rights and work towards solutions that protect tenants from unfair practices, ensuring a stable and secure living environment for all residents.
For more candidate answers, please see