In the lead up to the Toronto municipal election, CJRU is reaching out to all candidates in the downtown wards.
Caroline Murphy said she remembers immigrating to Toronto from Ireland more than 20 years ago: the community and its residents welcomed her, and she said it gave her the opportunity to grow as a person.
As a longtime resident of Toronto Centre, she said her decision to run to be the new Ward 13 city councillor is to “give back” to this community. Murphy believes her experience as a community member and her professional work both nationally and internationally have prepared her for this campaign.
“I want to be part of a positive change that makes sense,” Murphy said. “I’m worried the opportunities I received as a new immigrant are no longer there.”
Since immigrating, she said she sees more divisiveness, and said the ward’s issues and concerns can be “solutioned locally by working together.”
For affordable housing in the ward, Murphy said she will be help find a solution at the root cause, ensuring new developments are not just “for the sake of development.”
With more tent encampments and the strain on the shelter system in the ward continuing, Murphy said it is about “creating housing that makes sense.” Examples include expanding the city’s plans for inclusionary zoning for new developments and providing the right care for the unhoused and vulnerable populations.
On the climate action front, Murphy said it is about sustainability. She cites her campaign, which is being run as an environmentally conscious one, as an example of her commitment to battling climate change. Further, Murphy mentions her past experience working with the city’s current climate action plans through Transform TO. She is part of its initiative, the Climate action neighbourhood change champions.
Other climate-focused plans include increasing affordable public transit and protecting the green spaces across the ward.
As voters continue to learn more about the ward’s candidates prior to election day, Murphy said along wtih sustainabilty, she wants her campaign to be about giving back.
“I want my campaign to matter,” she said. “For every donor who wants to donate to my campaign, I would ask them to consider reducing the amount by 25 per cent and taking that giving it to a local charity of their choosing.”
Toronto’s election is scheduled for Oct. 24.
Listen to Caroline Murphy’s full interview: