There is no excuse for depriving any human being of their right to be housed. The dividends of human gain must be shared equitably with all who inherit it. For anyone born in the 21st century, that inheritance is a birthright. It is for them to enjoy during their life, and to bequeath back to the human race upon their passing.

To shirk on the responsibility of providing this right, the ruling class – along with their political shills – should be ashamed. Poetic justice would require them to live in conditions equal to that of their least privileged constituents.

In our communities, the housing crisis is severe. Skyrocketing rents drive

  • working class families,
  • low-income communities,
  • seniors, and
  • students

out of the Greater Toronto Area, and into

  • debt,
  • unsafe or deplorable living situations,
  • the shelter system, or
  • the streets.

Those who cannot pay inflated rents face exploitation. An example of this is the criminal practice of renovictions. All the protections available to renters by law are only theoretical, not practical nor accessible due to the large degree of time, mental capacity, and positive cash flows required to take advantage of them – something the least privileged amongst us do not have.

The housing market is dominated by real estate and development speculators. The status quo is not willing to fight for the solutions we need. We needed to build rent-geared-to-income, publicly-owned and cooperatively-run accessible housing decades ago. Having said that, it must be understood that it is not simply an issue of demand-and-supply – it is a choice by our politicians to allow this to happen.

To address this crisis immediately, we must:

  • Impose a moratorium on all evictions.
  • Repeal Code 608 (the no-camping bylaw).
  • Spare no expense housing those in dire need.
  • Guarantee indefinite and dignified accommodation in a large selection of well-maintained hotels to people experiencing homelessness until a permanent residential unit becomes available to them.
  • Ensure continuity of room occupancy, if so desired, to ensure clients do not have to repeatedly move belongings.
  • Extend offer of aforementioned accommodation plan (indefinite hotel stay until permanent residential unit is secured) to those already in the shelter system and those who have previously refused shelter.
  • Provide for moving of all personal belongings, including furniture, to and from storage facilities – including storage costs.
  • Declare an emergency of houeslessness and poverty.
  • Declare that safe, dignified, and indefinite housing is a human right.


Intermediate RESPONSE


To avoid worsening this crisis, we must:

  • Eliminate blind bidding on property sales.
  • Introduce real rent control/freeze, including in buildings built during and after 2018.
  • Freeze property tax on personal residences.
  • Establish a public property ownership registry, which shall include the designation of primary/personal residences and secondary/investment properties.
    • Individuals would be limited to two primary residences for personal use (e.g. first for self, second for elderly parents).
    • Determine which units are occupied or vacant at any given time, by whom, and from when to when.
  • Make an extremely confidential master list of all people experiencing homelessness.
  • Expropriate vacant units in large multi-unit buildings.
  • Assign such units to people in dire need of housing.
  • Strengthen the vacancy tax rules.
    • Tax to kick in after three months of vacancy.
    • Doubles every month, up to 30% of property value annually.
    • Expropriation after two years of vacancy.
    • Excludes primary residences.
      • Residences that are determined to be non-primary and vacant for over a year may be transferred into a trust
  • Any and all housing units expropriated by the City will be rented to tenants as non-profit housing.
    • Rent shall only cover utilities and maintenance.
  • 30% annual tax on rental income from investment properties.
    • Excludes application to individuals renting out portions of their primary/personal residence.
  • Require landlord licensing to ensure landlords keep units in good repair and meet basic standards.
  • Convert rental properties into cooperatives if the property’s landlord fails to meet basic standards.
  • Enforce orders and judgements against landlords.
  • Establish a mechanism by which the City can take over properties from landlords with tenants in default, arrears, or at-risk of such, at fair market value.
    • City would then treat the property as a rent-to-own unit or a rent-geared-to-income unit in consultation with the tenant.




To come to a solution on this crisis, we must:

  • Build mass social housing.
  • Require aggressive inclusionary zoning – 50% of newly-constructed condo units to be rented at affordable market rates.
  • Create a public and accessible system for reporting landlord abuses by building on the 311 system.
  • Hire more housing inspectors, and empower them to speak with tenants and inspect units.
  • Introduce mechanisms to transfer property from landlords to public ownership via the City.
    • Endow City with right-of-first-refusal if landlord sells property.
    • City takes over for bad landlords (i.e. code red).
  • Index the shelter allowance to median-market rent.





One of the arguments for capitalism is that the more competition there is, the lower the prices will be because competitors will work to find efficiencies, reduce costs, and cut profit margins to make their goods and services cheaper than the competition. They do this to get more customers to buy their things, which will drive revenue and overall profit despite smaller margins.

Where is this competition? Nowhere to be found. Big retailers and grocers seem to be colluding to keep profit margins high. There is no real competition. Wali will introduce measures to end that, and will force big retailers to compete with each other for our hard earned dollars.


  • Facilitate development of an open-source app to compare prices of goods and services (of equivalent qualities) across big retailers and grocers across Toronto.
    • This will be largely maintained by the City of Toronto.
    • Will allow for community contributions – city staff will serve to confirm and correct community-contributed data.
    • Will be free to use and available as a phone app, a web app on the City of Toronto website, or as a TTY service.
    • Grocers will be allowed to lower prices to engage in real-time competition, but may not increase prices for a certain period of time after reduction (to disallow bait-and-switch).
    • Protections to be instituted to protect small businesses from direct competition with big retailers.
  • Require cost and profit transparencies for large retailers and businesses, and reduce protection of “trade secret” rules for large corporations – not small businesses.




Essential services should not be a profit-taking opportunity. Everyday people are squeezed for every last penny by corporations holding the keys to critical services and legally-required goods. For example, internet services and insurance.

Canadians deserve better – in terms of service and cost. Cost-saving greed by “evergreen” corporations block innovation and investment in better technology and methods. That’s why we are fighting for Toronto to take the lead for the rest of Ontario and Canada by taking this matter into its own hands.


  • Facilitate development of municipally-owned cellular and internet service.
    • Primary focus will be ensuring access to internet and cellular service to the most marginalized and under-served.
    • Will be low-cost and low- or not-for-profit.
  • Facilitate development of municipal insurance services.
    • For vehicles, businesses, and home/tenant insurances.
    • Competitive insurance rates and coverage.
    • Fair determination of premiums that do not discriminate by any legally-protected statuses or postal codes.
    • Full refund of any profits to policyholders at the end of the year.
  • Mandate that employees have right-of-first-refusal on decisions concerning closing or selling business operations.
    • Facilitate formation of worker-owned co-ops by this method.
    • City will provide low- or zero-interest loans to employees to make this takeover possible.
    • Co-ops must be democratic and adhere to best practices.
  • Encourage development and starting of low-profit and not-for-profit businesses
    • Provide consultative literature to the public.
    • Provide one-on-one consultations to interested members of the public.
    • Offer start-up seed capital in the form of grants, forgivable loans, low- or zero-interest loans.
    • Require transparency and consultation with City to ensure money and resources are not lost to fraud and to ensure proper development/growth/operations.




No one should go hungry anywhere in the world, or have to decide between a meal and a different essential purchase (like medicine, or rent). We owe it to each other simply on the basis of humanity. It is not charity, it is a right. There is enough food to feed everyone around the world multiple times over. That’s true at a Canadian scale, and true at a Toronto-wide scale as well.

While we need to think globally, let’s take the opportunity to start by taking care of our community in these elections. Food banks are not a solution, they are a symptom of policy failure – a culmination of all the steps taken to get us to the point which we find ourselves in today. We cannot keep doing more of the same and expect the situation to change or improve. In fact, it will only get worse. We need a full system change. These measures will help reduce the harms immediately, and help accomplishing such a system change:


  • Using above-mentioned measures to increase competition amongst the big retailers, especially for basic foods.
    • Additionally, employ public education measures and regulation to control prices, if required.
  • Empower communities to grow and prepare their own food via establishing more community gardens and kitchens.
    • Ensure proper education, training, and maintenance to ensure sustainability and to prevent introduction of invasive species.
    • Ensure dignified and collaborative atmosphere.
    • Allow for creative freedom to combat stigmas by making it a fun and festive experience.
    • Allow for own food preparation in community kitchens.
  • Establish regulations and practices governing food waste, including:
    • a spoiled food tax/penalty,
    • the seizure and distribution of unspoiled food which would otherwise have been discarded for any reason,
    • building a pipeline from private grocery stores to community kitchens.
  • Explore the possibility of expropriating private, corporate-owned grocery stores to be run in the public interest within a not-for-profit framework.
  • Transition the city to a food system based primarily in local and sustainable agricultural practices.
    • Proactively reach out to restaurants and small grocers to offer them competitive rates on local and sustainable ingredients, thus lending access to the City’s economies-of-scale to small businesses and restaurants.




The state of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works (OW) is a disgrace. Despite scores of reputable organizations, and even more experts, urging the Province to at least double ODSP and OW rates, the Province has refused to act. In the June 2022 provincial elections, Doug Ford and the PCs were shamed into taking a position on increasing social assistance rates due to pressure from other political parties – all of whom acknowledged the need, and eventually committed to, doubling (or nearly doubling) ODSP/OW rates. So what did the Ford PCs offer? To increase just ODSP by a paltry 5%.

That is an insult. A disgusting affront. A spit in the face of ODSP and OW clients across this province. They are living in legislated poverty.

Single OW clients receive a MAXIMUM of $733 per month – which consists of $390 as a housing allowance, and $343 as a basic needs allowance.
Single ODSP clients (after the 5% increase) receive a MAXIMUM of $1228 per month – which consists of $522 as a housing allowance, and $706 as a basic needs allowance.

With average rents in Toronto hitting $2100 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment (or $1710 for a small studio apartment), how is anyone expected to make rent payments using a $343 or $522 housing allowance? Just in the past YEAR from 2021 to 2022, average rents increased by $300 – that’s almost equal to the entire shelter allowance for OW.

Even if recipients were to take all the money from their basic needs allowance to pay for rent, they would still be short ~$1000 and not have any money left for BASIC NEEDS. That is APPALLING.

  • The City must top-up ODSP and OW for Toronto-based clients to ensure they are not driven out of their homes and the city.
  • The City must expeditiously formulate a plan for instant relief to ODSP and OW clients, especially those who have accrued large debts to pay for rent and basic needs, those facing possible evictions, and those who have been rendered underhoused – and must support them until the Province acts.
  • The City should apply as much pressure as possible on the Province to immediately double and, in some cases, even triple ODSP and OW allowance rates. After increasing rates, the new rates should be indexed to inflation.


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