Jane Farrow believes change is the future for her ward and for her city.
Following a tumultuous four years at City Hall, the Ward 30 candidate says Torontonians are fed up with gridlock on the streets and gridlock in the council chamber.
“We spent months talking about transit without actually having a meaningful conversation talking about the funding tools,” she says, and adds “We still didn’t find leaders down at City Hall who were actually willing to have the robust conversation on it.”
Farrow says dealing with gridlock on Toronto’s streets wouldn’t be very hard. She proposes reworking the streetcar system to prevent them from bunching up, and having timed transfer system for riding the TTC. She also believes the plan for the Scarborough subway should be reverted back to an LRT with the savings being used for other transit endeavours.
“You have to dis-incentivize driving,” she says, “Tolls, parking, congestion levies – it’s been done in other cities. If that’s what gets you unelected…I’ll go down with the ship.”
Transit was a major issue through the most recent council term, which featured the cancellation and subsequent revival of former mayor David Miller’s Transit City plan, the expensive removal of bike lanes from Jarvis St., and the cancellation of the Scarborough LRT in favour of a subway.
Paula Fletcher, incumbent since 2003, is a supporter of an LRT rather than a subway in Scarborough, and was vocal in her opposition to the change. The most recent council term featured many ugly partisan battles in the chamber. Fletcher was a visible presence through these fights and she believes her experience should earn her another term.
“It’s been a really hard four years with Ford,” Fletcher told the Globe and Mail in September, “We’ve seen what a difficult term that was for really new councillors, they had a hard time finding their footing.”
In 2010, Fletcher won her council seat by just 259 votes over challenger, Liz West. At the time it was a political left versus political right battle for in the ward. West is also running again. In May, NOW Magazine’s Michael Hollett called Farrow, a progressive, “selfish” for running against Fletcher because of a potential vote split.
Farrow says she is a listener and stresses the need for councillors to put ‘left’ and ‘right’ allegiances behind them and meet in the middle.
“I get along with people. I love people. My mother said ‘go find friends’ on rainy days – it turns out to be a good skill.”