What separates you from the other candidates in your riding?
I think it is my approach, combining my life experience with business issues and my concern for other people. I am passionately progressive and believe that our society is only as strong as our weakest link. I am not driven by ideology, I try to get practical results that make a difference for people in real time. I aim high, but realize that what is important are the results you can get in the meantime. In the childcare debate, the NDP wanted it one way or they'd take the doorway. You can't reach for utopia overnight; you have to keep building the blocks steadily, steadily, and steadily. And that way we'll continue to build a much stronger Canada. But we can only do this with added investment, and a strong economy to pay for the programs we need.
What is the defining issue in your riding this election?
I don't want this to be about strategic voting, but it really does come down to what is the best way to ensure we are voting for a better government and a change in the direction of the country. People bristle at strategic voting, that's why my materials in my campaign are focusing on the things Liberals want to achieve. It's about voting for something, and not against something.
Do you believe the relationship between municipalities and the federal government needs to be redefined, and if so, how?
When the Liberals and Michael Ignatieff addressed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities we talked about working more as equal partners, and creating a much better relationship with our cities and towns. As a federal government, we have a responsibility to better support our cities. And this is more than just words. After all, we are the government that brought in A New Deal for Cities.
Which of your party's policies would make the biggest impact on Torontonians' lives?
I think it's a combination of our Transit Infrastructure Strategy, which will see investments in local and regional rapid transit and commuter rail, and the Canadian Learning Strategy. The Canadian Learning Strategy is going to help the riding's young people. There are a huge number of young people in Trinity-Spadina, both students and young people who have graduated and are looking for their first job. Our Canadian Learning Program will give high school students $1,000 a year for four years that they can use when they go to college. Students from low income families will get $1,500 a year. For graduates looking for jobs, a Liberal government will implement a Youth Hiring Incentive, giving companies a 100% rebate on EI premiums for every new young Canadian they hire.
Tell us something flattering about your main rival in this campaign.
Olivia Chow has great name recognition.