Willowdale is a thriving district of Toronto, and as such, it is seeing great change. Businesses are growing, more residents are moving into the ward, and more opportunities are available every day. Willowdale’s next councillor needs to understand how these changes are affecting the ward and the city of Toronto as a whole in order to effect the best legislative changes to support continued growth.

Because Willowdale is growing so much, one of the top issues the ward faces is transportation. Traffic is congested, and the public transportation system is struggling to keep up with demand. Some of the most congested places in Toronto are in Willowdale. The next councillor representing Willowdale will need to have solutions for the transportation problems, such as completing additional lines on the subway, creating new traffic routes, and improving infrastructure like the roads and the traffic light system.

Reforms that improve transportation will help to reduce commute times, promote travel within the city, and increase sales at local businesses. Transportation improvements can also help to attract more talent to the city, which can help businesses to stay competitive.

Willowdale is a very diverse place, as well, so councillors must develop policies that protect and promote this diversity. That means not only protecting cultural diversity, but also diversity in age, income, marital status and more. The youth and the elderly are especially in need of support. Youth need more opportunities for work and education (both of which will promote the local economy as a whole), and seniors need quality health care and community support. Councillors need to consider the whole community when creating policy.

Of course, none of this can be possible without competent and ethical leadership. With past scandals, Toronto residents want accountability measures in place for their leaders. Councillors should be committed to stamping out corruption, especially in elections and in financial issues. By working together on these issues, councillors have the power to effect positive change for politics and their communities.

Residents of Willowdale will have the opportunity to vote in a new councillor on Oct. 27. Make sure you carefully research all the candidates to get a good idea of what kind of change you can expect them to bring if elected. The future depends on choosing the right leader too much to leave it to chance. Make sure you vote for the person you believe will bring the best changes to Willowdale.