Syed Jaffery, 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 a scientist and a long term resident of Toronto. I have been involved in the community for the past 20 years.
I started my community service and political career as a student leader. Acquiring experience through several campaigns and volunteering with different political parties and community candidates during their run for the office has given me vast experience of community activism. I am passionate about policies for safety and security, a stronger economy and community housing.
My volunteer work with different organizations including Dixon Hall Food Bank and senior homes shows my involvement in the community. I am a well-known personality throughout Scarborough and contribute my vast knowledge of science, medicine and community activism to the public at large.
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?
I will call a meeting to meet the local, residents and listen to what they have to say about it.
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?
The tax increase is a natural process of any government entity to fix their deficit and pay for the increasing number of services for the constituents. One cannot decrease the tax amount.
Yes, one can come up with smart planning to conserve resources and use them efficiently.
There are programs and strategies in place. If we simply follow them, we could be ahead of our game.
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?
Scarborough Southwest is a very diverse area. I would have influence on our unique culture in terms of bringing in festivals and cultural programs.
For more candidate answers, please go to https://beachmetro.com/