In the lead up to the 2022 Toronto municipal election, CJRU is reaching out to all candidates in the downtown wards.
Longtime Toronto Centre resident Miguel Avila said he will continue to fight for the representation of the Indigenous voice on city council.
He is running for Ward 13 because he said he understands the priorities of the people and what goals have yet to be reached for Truth and Reconciliation in Toronto.
Avila has been a political activist since 2010, which was started when he said he was “unjustly” terminated by the Toronto Zoo.
Since then, he said he gained skills as a regular deputant at Toronto city council and the Toronto police services board.
To address affordable housing, he said more substantial actions are required to reverse the “neglect by the mayor and city council” to maintain rent control and allocate enough housing units for residents.
“It’s [housing] unaffordable, it’s unlivable” he said. As a resident of Toronto Community Housing, Avila said the downtown core is pricing out low income residents and new immigrants, especially as units exceed more than $2000 in rent per month.
Avila said he has advocated for years that city council introduce mandatory inclusionary zoning for all new housing developments. If elected, he said he will introduce a 10 per cent allocation of affordable housing in each new complex.
On community safety, Avila said more policing is not the solution.
“For the longest time, I have been telling [Mayor] John Tory and the police services board that addressing gun violence is not more policing.”
He said Toronto police services need to be defunded, and that these resources should be used for other social services in the ward. This includes addressing the mental health and addiction crises, poverty, trauma and lack of housing, according to Avila.
“Whatever we want to accomplish at city council won’t be easy,” he said. “Please trust that I’ll care for your concerns, safety, buildings, clean buildings, safe streets, food insecurity – I care about all those matters and I will do my best to fight for you.”
Avila initially ran for the former Ward 27 in the 2014 election.
Toronto’s election is scheduled for Oct. 24.
More information on Miguel Avila’s platform can be found here.
Listen to Miguel Avila’s full interview: