Reginald Tull, 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 am the father of three intelligent, ambitious, and kind teenagers. I served as Public Relations Director and Student VP at Oakwood University. I was the Founder/CEO of United Youth of Canada for 10 years until the pandemic. We provided hundreds of kids in Toronto with after school programs, summer day camps, drug awareness programs, and international poverty relief projects. Because of the pandemic we had to close UYC, but due to my resilient nature and undying love for the youth, last year I cofounded The Deserving Student Foundation.
I am also an entrepreneur and know the challenges business owners face. I had to close Reina Women’s Fashion on the Danforth because of the shut downs, mandates, and lack of government support. I will get businesses thriving again.
I am a motivational speaker, author, and former Toronto mayoral candidate. I have worked with and will continue to support seniors and those with disabilities. I will fight against crime, and hold those in positions of authority accountable. I will represent the entire community from the homeless to the working class and wealthy. You can bet on it.
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?
While I am in favour of building condominiums along Kingston Road, I will oppose condominiums of over nine storeys. I believe condominiums would be extremely beneficial for the Scarborough Southwest community for the very reason that the property value in that direct area will go up. In addition, it will save Kingston Road. Small businesses on Kingston Road are dwindling and the area needs to be rejuvenated.
I have heard several complaints from residents in the community that there is no where to shop or buy groceries within walking distance of their homes. With condominiums come businesses and businesses bring employment. The businesses created on the main floor of the condominiums will be beneficial to the community because residents will have access to salons, flower boutiques, grocery stores, retail stores, day cares, medical and dental offices, and much more.
I know that there is a huge concern for parking around the Scarborough Bluffs area, which is the reason I would push for each condominium to be required to provide underground and upper indoor parking for both residents and visitors.
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?
Property owners should not be held responsible to deal with City Hall’s wasteful spending. Homeowners are the ones being hardest hit when it comes to solving the city’s financial problems. Homeowners and business owners are the ones who contribute the most in taxes and neither should be penalized.
I will not support raising property taxes as a Band-Aid solution to Toronto’s budget deficit.
I will push to better evaluate future projects to cut wasteful spending from these long and drawn out construction projects. For example the Eglinton Avenue Metrolinx LRT project. It’s been over 12 years in the making and it’s still not complete. It’s over budget by $330 million, and the construction has caused over 150 small businesses to permanently shut down. There are similar projects throughout the city that are draining our economy and adding to the deficit.
I will save tax dollars by pushing to bid on projects and sticking to a time and budget contract to ensure that each project is completed on time and on budget so we won’t have to place the burden on property owners to cover the extra costs.
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?
As a former mayoral candidate I’ve participated in debates and public forums which allowed me to meet and become friends with several city councillors with whom I’ve developed a good relationship and am eager to work with. I am confident I will have the influence in City Hall to tackle all of the major issues that we face in Scarborough Southwest and get things accomplished in an expeditious manner.
Ward 20 has over 41,000 homes with a population of over 110,000 with unique issues.
Some of the concerns I’m hearing are that in the VP and St. Clair area residents are worried about crime, safety and major hikes in rent.
In the Bluffs, residents are concerned with parked cars on streets, and a lack of access to businesses on Kingston Road. Residents on side streets connecting major streets are worried about children’s safety due to speeding vehicles taking short cuts. I will address these issues and make Scarborough Southwest a safer and better place to live.
For more candidate answers, please go to https://beachmetro.com/