Mayoral candidate Khalil Ramal pledges to provide full bus transit service in London, Ontario. – London

Mayoral candidate Khalil Ramal promises to provide London, Ont., with a comprehensive bus rapid transit plan if he is chosen for the city council’s lead role in the next municipal election.

The former MP for London-Fanshawe unveiled his platform on Tuesday morning in front of dozens of supporters inside the Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn and Conference Center in south London.

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Other promises include free public transit for seniors 65 and older, a program to protect renters from negligent landlords and hundreds of new affordable homes in Ramal’s first month in office.

An online version of the platform is available on Ramal’s campaign website.

Homelessness, affordable housing, safety, employment, environment and transportation are the central pillars of Ramal’s platform.

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On the homelessness front, Ramal seeks to present ideas first presented by local advocacy group The Forgotten 519, which made headlines when one of its members went on strike. hunger to call on the city to respond to the group’s demands.

These ideas include two “homelessness centres”, one in the east and one in the city centre, to provide round-the-clock support, as well as to stop the removal of camps, tents, campsites or squats in parks along the Thames. Valley Parkway, and in empty city lots.

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Ramal also wants to partner with frontline agencies to address issues of poverty and dependency in the city and expand London Food Bank’s greenhouse program to provide fresh, healthy food to those in need. need.

affordable housing

Ramal wants to see 6,000 new affordable units over the next four years and has set an ambitious goal of creating “hundreds of truly affordable new homes” in his first month in office.

“I’ve been working on this for over a year and a half,” Ramal told reporters when asked how he plans to get these houses built, adding that he was working with consultancy firm Devonshire Financial to draw up a proposal.

Another pledge includes a localized version of the RentSafeTO scheme “to protect London tenants from absent and negligent landlords”.

The Toronto version of the program includes building appraisals at least once every three years, a telephone system to track and respond to tenant service requests, and registration fees to be paid by landlords.

The idea was rejected by current councilors in July, but local tenant advocacy group London ACORN wants the next council to reconsider.

“Someone last week mentioned building 50,000 units, 10,000 in the center and 40,000 outside – where are the 40,000? In farmland? Ramal added a reference to the unveiling of his competitor Josh Morgan’s platform.

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“I am interested in stepping up downtown construction, revitalizing downtown and building community.


Much of the focus on security is tied to increased resources for the London Police Service.

This includes hiring “50 new frontline staff to work directly with police to respond to homelessness and substance abuse emergencies.”

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Ramal also wants to increase police foot patrols in the city center by 75% and task the London Abused Women’s Center and ANOVA with training officers on how to work with ‘women who have been physically or sexually assaulted “.

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Increased capacity is also being sought for organizations such as the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Ark Aid Street Mission.

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Ramal told reporters that many of his ideas would lead to better retention of current London workers, while attracting new workers.

“Direct and accessible incentives” are promised to small businesses and Ramal wants to create a “Small Business Development Office” to provide grants and incentives to small businesses “that are committed to providing a living wage”.


Ramal is seeking to complete the previously scrapped northern and western sections of London’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme, which is currently only due to serve city centre, east London and south London.

BRT presented one of the most contentious issues for the city council in recent memory. Construction of the multi-year project began in 2021.

“If we’re talking about bringing more students to London, if we’re thinking about creating more jobs, we have to think about efficient public transit,” Ramal said.

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Ramal wants to offer people aged 65 and over free public transport and continue Mayor Ed Holder’s call to fully electrify London Transit’s fleet.

A ‘safe and efficient city-wide walking and cycling system’ is promised, along with more protected cycle lanes across London.

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The latest element of Ramal’s platform promises a fully implemented green bin scheme in the first two years of London council’s next term, as well as finding a way to stop sewage from draining away. be discharged into the River Thames.

Ramal is also looking to work with city officials, ReForest London and senior governments to “restore our urban forests to a 40% canopy”.

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Mayoral candidate Josh Morgan promises 50,000 new homes for London, Ontario.

London’s next mayor will have just one vote on the city council, meaning Ramal’s pledges will require a majority of his colleagues on board, which he is confident he can deliver.

“I’m a good salesman, I’ve spent my whole life selling my ideas and convincing people to work with me,” Ramal said.

As for how he will pay for his ideas, Ramal says there will be “no tax increases”, adding that he will instead seek private donors, private partnerships and senior government funding.

“I will work day and night to find the money for these projects. I already have commitments from many philanthropists to fund some of these projects,” Ramal said.

“Londonians are generous people…they will donate if they see change and a better future for everyone in our city.”

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Ramal’s competitors in the race to become London’s next mayor include Brandon Ellis, Daniel Jeffery, Dan Lenart, Norman Robert Miles, Josh Morgan, Carlos Murray, Joanne Nichols, Sean O’Connell and Sandie Thomas.

Municipal elections in the city are scheduled for October 24.

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