Brad Bradford reiterates plans to gain public support in Toronto mayor’s race

May 25, 2023 | Canadian News, News

Mayoral candidate Brad Bradford detailed his plans on open tendering for Toronto construction in the Toronto City Hall on May 25, 2023.

Bradford proposed his plans on opening competition for the construction industry as a part of his less talk, more action plan on May 16, 2023. He clarified his plan after the heated mayoral debate in Scarborough yesterday.

Bradford said Toronto was the only municipality which remained a closed shop in construction bids, where people paid more, with fewer workers working.

But with open tendering, Toronto can save “at least $200 million every year,” he said.

He said this was a “conservative budget” with “prudent budgeting.”

Bradford cited the newly released report from Cardus that said open tendering will save Toronto $347 million, if responsibly managed. The city restricts tendering based on union affiliation.

The money can then be allocated to housing, transit, services, parks and recreation, Bradford said.

He said Hamilton saved 21 per cent after opening the construction market proved how this is workable.

“I want more firms competing and working to build better deals for this city for taxpayers, I want more opportunities for workers,” he said. “I want more people to build the infrastructure that our city needs.”

“I want to make sure you don’t have to move to Hamilton,” he said. “You can stay and live right here in Toronto.”

In the debate on May 24, 2023, his rival Josh Matlow said Bradford was not increasing the construction density in his ward, Beaches-East York.

Bradford said in his announcement today that there were “no backroom deals.”

Stephanie Smyth, spokesperson from Bradford’s media team, said in a media release that “those with entrenched interests are going to lie to voters to keep their special deals in place.”

Bradford said open tendering was important to help Toronto who was suffering from post-pandemic financial repercussions to save money.

“I am also someone who can work with the province,” he said.

In projects like infrastructures and transit, all three levels of government have a stake, and cooperation was needed, Bradford said.

He said front-runner Olivia Chow who spent her career opposing and fighting with the province and federal government will not get better deals for the city.

A recent poll from Mainstreet Research showed Bradford ranked second last among the top six candidates with three per cent support.

Chow, Ana Bailao, and Matlow were the three leading candidates with 22 per cent, 15 per cent, and 10 per cent support respectively, the survey showed.

The survey of 1,125 Toronto adults was conducted on May 16 and May 17, 2023, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 per cent.

“There are some who may think talking about open tendering process in the city hall is boring, I understand that,” he said. “But the lack of leadership today, are the nuts and bolts in the city government is why Toronto is at a breaking point.”