Revealing the first details of her platform, Karen Stintz is putting a focus on congestion.
The councillor and mayoral candidate gave a speech at a Toronto Region Board of Trade luncheon today.
Stintz was surrounded by sunflowers, her campaign symbol. Her logo, a flower with her first name written in the centre, could be found on every table and screen in the room. Her office also handed out bags of seeds with the slogan "grow a strong tomorrow."
In her speech, Stintz said the city has to start by fixing its transportation system.
"Is there really anything more frustrating than being stuck in traffic?" she asked.
Stintz says she wants to create a single administrative position to handle all transportation issues, including transit, roads, and cycling.
"The transportation czar. The king of the road," Stintz says. "One person who knows everything that's happening on our city streets."
She has already said she wants to build a downtown relief line (DRL). As for how to pay for it, she told a room of about 300 people that she wants to explore selling 10 per cent of, or leasing, Toronto Hydro.
"What we need to do is think about how we maximize the value of [Toronto Hydro]."
Stintz admits the revenue tool would not be enough to pay for the line.
"There's no question we need Ottawa at the table as a partner," she says, insisting that she believes a DRL could be built without going to the taxpayer.
Some of her mayoral competitors are skeptical of her funding plan.
"As a businessman, I'm very weary of asset fire sales and I would look at any proposals to sell Toronto Hydro in that context," says candidate John Tory.
Candidate David Soknacki says that proposals like Stintz's would not generate enough revenue to pay for a DRL. He has campaigned on building LRTs on Finch and Sheppard, as well as returning to an LRT in Scarborough. The money saved, he says, could be used to build a DRL.
The most recent Ipsos-Reid poll shows Stintz well behind her competitors, John Tory and Rob Ford. Tory came in at 39 per cent support, Ford at 33 per cent and Stintz at 15.
Asked about the poll after her speech, Stintz shrugged it off.
"I'm excited about the campaign ahead," she told reporters. "It's an eight-month campaign."