A Winning Platform: Mayoral and Council Candidates are Pledging to Take Bold Action Against Poverty

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Three candidates for Mayor — incumbent John Tory, challenger Jennifer Keesmaat, and newcomer Sarah Climenhaga — are among more than 50 candidates for Council who have signed a “prosperity pledge,” committing to fully fund and implement TO Prosperity, the City’s poverty reduction strategy unanimously adopted in 2015.

Launched on August 9, the “Prosperity Platform” campaign seeks signed pledges from more than 200 candidates currently registered for election to Toronto’s next City Council. And it plans to name and shame those who do not sign. “Voters want to know which candidates will follow through on City commitments to improve access to affordable housing and transit, services like childcare and recreation, and good jobs,” said Adina Lebo, Co-Chair of Commitment TO Community.

As the election approaches, community organizers — led by coalitions Commitment to Community and Faith in the City — will continue to press candidates to pledge that, if elected, they will work with community, business, and faith leaders to reduce poverty and inequality in Toronto.

Toronto remains “the child poverty of Canada,” with the highest level of child poverty among large Canadian cities. It also has the largest gap in income between the rich and the poor. TO Prosperity committed to ensuring that all Toronto residents have access to good jobs, income, housing, transit and other services by 2025, but it has never been fully funded, and implementation has lagged.

The Prosperity Platform campaign demands that the new City Council fund and implement already approved poverty reduction commitments, including:

  • 7,200 new supportive housing units, at least 8,000 new deeply affordable rental units, and 1,000 new shelter spaces,
  • a 30% reduction in TTC fares for an additional 157,000 lower-income adults,
  • 11,500 new childcare spaces, including 5,000 subsidized spaces, and
  • 40,000 new recreation program spaces.

“We want voters to know which candidates are going to work over the next four years for a more equitable and prosperous city,” said Faith in the City Co-Chair Reverend Cameron Watts. For updates on candidate pledges, voters can visit the Prosperity Platform website at prosperityplatform.ca.

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Commitment to Community is a coalition of residents, faith communities, non-profit groups and community organizations working to build a better, fairer and more inclusive Toronto through active engagement at City Hall.

Faith in the City is a network of faith leaders from across the religious spectrum in Toronto who are concerned about the wellbeing of our neighbourhoods and our city.


Lisa Ferguson
Communications Officer, Social Planning Toronto
[email protected]
416 351 0095 ext. 227

Adina Lebo
Co-Chair, Commitment TO Community
905 691 3462

Cameron Watts
Co-Chair, Faith in the City
647 823 2366


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