2019 Candidate: Chris Tolley

Chris Tolley

Chris Tolley, Toronto-Danforth candidate, 2019 election

Four years ago I stood on stage during an all-candidates debate as Julie Dabrusin, the Liberal candidate for Toronto-Danforth, promised the audience, “If the Liberals win this election, it will be the last first-past-the-post election in Canadian history!”

They won. And what happened?

Nothing.

She also declared, “A Liberal government will be the most environmentally responsible government in the history of our country.”

And then what did they do? They bought a pipeline.

And on and on…

We are in the middle of a crisis: A climate crisis. A democratic crisis. And a crisis of leadership.

The situation is urgent.

But the Green Party of Canada has never been in a better position to put a stop to this crisis and fix the mess we are in. We have experienced victory after victory and momentum is on our side.

In Toronto-Danforth we are polling at record numbers – the highest by far in the GTA and surrounding area –  and we are poised for a breakthrough.

But to do this I’m asking for your help – to give my team a chance to continue the work we have been doing to build on this momentum.

My name is Chris Tolley and I been an active member of the Green Party of Canada for close to ten years. I have been a member of the Toronto-Danforth Executive since 2011, and have been the President of the Toronto-Danforth Greens for the past 4 years.

I have been on the campaign team for three elections, and I was the Candidate for the Toronto-Danforth Greens in the 2015 federal election.

I am tremendously proud of our 2015 campaign. It garnered national media attention and was considered by many to be one of the strongest campaigns in the region.

As the candidate in the 2015 general election, I had the opportunity to debate the likes of Bill Morneau, the current Finance Minister, and MPs Adam Vaughan, Craig Scott and Julie Dabrusin – all valuable experience I take into this next election.

Later I was also active in the fight for democratic reform, having spoken before the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform, as well as organizing local community ERRE committee submissions.

Outside of politics, I am an award-winning writer, director and broadcaster. I am the co-host and producer of CBC’s PlayME, Canada’s national audio drama program.

With a strong focus on social justice issues, my work has gained national recognition and has garnered an international audience. I am also the Co-Artistic Director of EXPECT, a theatre company that has twice been recognized as finalists for the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards for bringing the arts to Toronto’s marginalized neighbourhoods.

I am a long time resident of Toronto-Danforth, having lived here since 1999. I’ve been very active in supporting our east end community, from sponsoring local youth soccer teams to holding town hall meetings and supporting the fight against the Toronto Island airport expansion.

Raising a family in Toronto-Danforth has brought me even closer to my neighbourhood and community. I live in Leslieville with my wife, Dharini, and our two young children.

My team and I have worked hard over the past many years to build the tremendous support we see today in Toronto-Danforth. I hope you will give me a chance to continue to build on this momentum, and vote for me as the Green Candidate for our riding.

I believe in:

  • A smart, modern economy that serves Canadians, and not the other way around. An economy that promotes growth through international trade that is fair to all, creates thousands of jobs through investment in green industries and is based on a revenue-neutral carbon pricing system that reflects the true cost of products.
  • Bringing in aggressive measures to avoid catastrophic climate impact by:
    • Setting stringent new targets (60% GHG reductions against 2005 levels by 2030, and zero emissions by 2050)
    • Maintaining revenue-neutral carbon pricing
    • Banning fracking
    • Removing all fossil fuel generation from our electricity grid by 2030
    • Ensuring all new cars are electric by 2030, and replacing all internal combustion engines by 2040
  • Reforming the voting system by implementing proportional representation (MMP) and taking steps that move us away from the party system.  Doing so will promote true local representation that is free from external pressures that do not necessarily serve local constituents.
  • Decentralizing the PMO, allowing MPs holding power to vote with their hearts, and not vote as they are whipped.
  • Promoting the arts and culture as an essential element to our Canadian identity.
  • Recognizing the injustice done to our First Nation’s peoples, and moving towards implementing the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Please visit www.vote2019.ca for more information on my platform, beliefs and background.

I can be reached at chris.tolley@greenparty.ca.

Warmly, Chris

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