It's the Little Things for Eric Plant

Published: August 18th 2010
in News » Local

Eric Plant

Ward 10 candidate Eric Plant has built his platform based on what people from the ward have been telling him.


“The number one thing I’m focusing on is service,” he tells Shalom Life. “A lot of people are frustrated with how little service the city provides. So to help that, I’m going around creating a list of all the little things that people need fixed - anything from tree clippings to lawn mowing in city-owned areas. It’s all those things, the very small things, that make the neighbourhood a better place.”


“It’s not fair when a change is being made in your neighbourhood and you’re not involved in that,” he continues.


As well, a lot of people have been complaining about G Ross Lord Park, located near Dufferin and Finch. “It’s been dirty and not the safest place to be at night,” explains Plant. “So what I want to do is install low intensity lighting and gazebos there, to make it a little more family-friendly. These are all really cheap fixes. Most of my platform is based on things that can get done without running into political opposition. These are all fairly easy to get moving politically.”


Another issue, not surprisingly, is that most people find taxes to be far too high. “Ideally what I’m looking to do is scrap the land transfer tax altogether,” says Plant. “But more realistically, I’d like to at least lower the fee for people over 60 who are looking to downsize.” In a similar vein, he is looking to get vehicle registration fees switched so that they apply to owners of luxury vehicles only.


Regarding the ward’s sprawling Jewish community, Plant says it’s all about staying united, and creating a space that we can thrive in both socially and economically. “As a community we employ a lot of people in the city, so it’s the city’s job to make sure they keep our community here,” he says. “In terms of economic space, it would be about things like lowering corporate taxes, to make the climate right for the community to do its own thing and thrive.”


As well, some people are worried about security around the area’s synagogues, so Plant suggests a greater police presence, on bike or on foot, to settle these concerns.


One thing that perhaps sets Plant apart from his fellow ward 10 candidates is his recent travel experience, having taught English in Japan not too long ago. “I lived just outside of Tokyo,” he says, “and if the equivalent was true in Toronto, I would not have had the same experience, transit-wise. It was an hour and a half to get to Ueno station [central Tokyo], and then from there we could get absolutely everywhere. That really helped the experience.”


“Tokyo’s city planning,” he continues, “is just so different from Toronto’s, specifically regarding public transit. They’ve done a really great job there.”


 He also took a recent trip to Eastern Europe, which he says further influenced his views on city planning “I didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was,” he explains. “They’ve got transit systems, beaches with shops and restaurants, etc. We’re Toronto, the biggest city in one of the best countries in the world, and we barely have a transit system. Croatia has better transit than Toronto, it’s obscene.”


“A lot of people want to connect the Sheppard line to Downsview,” he continues, “and it can be expensive to tunnel, but what people don’t know is that tunneling doesn’t have to be so expensive.”


Related articles: (Eric Plant, ward 10, toronto, elections, candidates)

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