Kalsang Dolma will bring a progressive voice to Council -- one that is grounded in the needs and values of the people of Parkdale-High Park.

Kalsang's commitments include:

1. Smart and responsible development
2. Connected and safe streets
3. Vibrant public and green spaces
4. 21st century schools
5. Affordable housing for all

If you want to see how your values match with Dolma and other local candidates, fill out the CBC Vote Compass survey. It will compare your views with those of all the candidates running in your ward.

Below is a summary of Dolma’s views on key issues facing the people of Toronto and our neighbourhoods. These are her responses to the questions covered in the Vote Compass survey.

Should more families in Toronto receive the city's child care subsidy?

Toronto is consistently rated as the child poverty capital in Canada. This is simply unacceptable, and we must take every step possible to help children and young families live with dignity and financial security in the city.

How much should the City of Toronto do to address climate change?

Cities around the world are at the forefront of fighting against the global risks brought upon by climate change. As population density in Toronto increases each year, we must commit more resources to not only building infrastructure to respond to extreme weather incidents caused by climate change, but also take proactive measures to mitigate and reverse climate change. This will require a truly collective approach from the cities, the provinces, the countries and the world. But we need to lead the way. The responsibility lies on us to ensure that our younger generations have a safer future in front of them.

Should new condo towers in Toronto have to include affordable units for low income Torontonians?

We have a housing crisis, both in available units and their affordability. Many new condo towers have replaced older buildings (redevelopment) or are being built in low-income neighbourhoods causing displacements of the people living in existing affordable units. When a new condo tower comes to a neighbourhood, the landlords of the existing rental apartments try and match the secondary rental market rents, mostly the rents paid for the rented condominiums. To make up for the displacement of low-income families and to substitute loss of affordable units, every condo tower in Toronto should be mandated to include a percentage of affordable units in perpetuity.

How much should the City do to help new immigrants adapt to life in Toronto?

Supporting the integration and inclusion of new immigrants in Toronto will be the key to making us succeed economically and culturally.

Should Toronto build more bike lanes?

We must take an innovative, inclusive approach in negotiating the roadways for both cyclists and drivers. Historically and presently, Toronto's streets have been designed and built with only drivers in mind. If we understand and accept that less single-use cars on our roads lead to less congestion, safer streets, healthier environments and less economic strain on the city, then we need to rethink our approach to street design.

Should Toronto use city-owned land to create new housing units?

The City of Toronto can and must build new housing units on city-owned land. This is the best and surest way to meet the affordable housing needs in our city. According to the CMHC, Toronto has a 1.1 per cent rental vacancy rate, well below the 3–4 per cent considered ideal for a healthy housing market.The city also faces a crisis in social housing with almost 100,000 applicants in waiting. Over the last few decades, only about 15% of development has been towards purpose built rental units. An average of about 18,000 residential units get built a year in Toronto, most of which are not affordable. The city must take leadership in providing housing to the growing population and to help ease rising rents.

How much should the City of Toronto do to further reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples?

It is incredibly important for us to build on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of Toronto. As a refugee and immigrant myself, I appreciate and acknowledge the fact that I am a guest on their traditional territories. I pledge to honour, in whatever capacity I can, the treaties that were signed with the First Nations here. I intend to support reconciliation not just by reciting the territorial acknowledgements at events, but also through concrete, inclusive investments in programs and resources to support the Indigenous residents of Toronto.

Should Toronto install more surveillance systems in public spaces?

Instead of accelerating the socio-economic divide of the city, and criminalizing our youth and marginalized neighbours further, we should build and support programs and resources that reduce the factors that lead to people engaging in criminal and self-destructive activities. Robust afterschool programs; a holistic, non-violent approach to addiction and mental health care; investing in music, arts and culture; multifaceted newcomer integration; employment support; and so on. These are the things we should be prioritizing instead of surveillance.

Will City Council function more effectively now that it has fewer councillors?

The work of city councillors are highly local and neighbourhood-based. It is simply untenable for one single councillor to represent over 100,000 residents effectively in a city as large and complex as Toronto.

Should Toronto reduce speed limits on residential streets?

Calming street measures such as speed bumps or having speed tracking devices (that are visible) are key in creating safer streets for everyone. No matter where the schools are, every neighbourhood streets have children, seniors and vulnerable users, whose safety should be our topmost priority. Designing more inclusive public spaces or transit means making sure our neighbourhoods streets are truly safe and usable for all.

Should permanent residents who do not have Canadian citizenship be eligible to vote in Toronto elections?

Permanent residents who have lived in the city for at least 3 years (or any amount that we determine establishes that they are not transient in Toronto) should have a say in who represents them at city hall. They pay taxes, support our businesses, use our public services, and add all kinds of other cultural, economic and community vitality to our neighbourhoods.

Should carding by police be allowed?

Carding and any form of illegal or extralegal investigative methods disproportionately target Black and racialized peoples. This kind of racial profiling is unacceptable in Toronto, and only leads to more discord between our communities and the police. All previously collected data from these carding practices must be removed from the police database.

Should there be more mid-rise apartments in Toronto neighbourhoods that are currently made up of single-family homes?

Balanced neighbourhood is important where density in the neighbourhood is spread out more evenly. This can also ease burden on neighbourhood resources and surrounding infrastructure. Toronto housing shortage and affordability issue is also related to the “missing middle” where we have much higher percentage of either high rise or single-family homes. A recent study by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis showed that 45 percent of residents of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area live in detached homes and 35 per cent in apartment buildings, leaving just 20 per cent in the missing middle. This clearly shows that we need to approve and build more mid-rise apartments, that would both increase housing stock, create more balanced neighbourhoods, and provide diverse housing options in the city.

Should City Hall cut public services to reduce spending?

This kind of thinking is anathema to a world-class city like Toronto. Without investment in public services, Toronto will not be as vibrant and vital as it is right now. Cutting public services will make our city more unlivable and unaffordable.

Should police officers be allowed to take part in pride in uniform?

Pride Parade started as a response to the violent assaults that the LGBTQ+ community have endured from the heteronormative society, including the police force. The gross mishandling of the Bruce McArthur serial killer case is just the latest reminder of how the police force needs to focus on how to better protect and serve the LGBTQ+ community, rather than feeling excluded about not being allowed to wear their uniforms at the Pride Parade.

How many supervised injection sites should Toronto have?

Clinically supervised injection sites are a much-needed service to prevent overdose-related fatalities. It is also a healthy, systematic way for keeping our communities safe and clean.

How much should the City of Toronto spend to accommodate people with disabilities?

The strength of Toronto as a welcoming and livable city must be judged on how well we accommodate and include our most vulnerable and disabled neighbours.

Should the east side of the gardiner be replaced with a boulevard?

Let's open up Toronto to the many possibilities of expanding our world-class lakeshore and attracting more civic and economic opportunities.


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