Tom Jakobek has been in Toronto’s political scene for the past 20 years as City Councillor in the Beaches, (the neighbourhood where Tom grew up and still calls home) where countless community, recreational and environmental projects were created and nurtured by him. For ten of those years he was highly effective as Toronto’s Budget Chief and used his municipal financing expertise to deliver nine balanced budgets with nine consecutive ZERO tax increases, and even during the difficult times he made sure that our essential services received more funding, not less. In 2000, Tom took a break from politics to fulfill yet another dream and graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters in Health Sciences.
But Tom Jakobek is back in the forum. “I have published and constructed a specific budget to eliminate Toronto’s 2 billion dollar debt, that costs Torontonians $823,000 per day just to service the principal and interest.” said Tom in a recent interview outside city hall where almost every City Hall employee that walked by called him by his first name. “Just by selling off city parking lots, city golf courses and unused City Halls, we could generate 2.6 billion dollars and wipe out Toronto’s debt. Then we can start programs like taking libraries into the new millennium by turning them into resource centers.”
Mr. Jakobek’s father emigrated from Poland and Tom understands ethnic and cultural needs. He’s very concerned that by the year 2030, one out of every four Canadians will be over the age of 65, and the health and care of this generation is a priority. “I’ve noticed that the trend for most Ukrainians and other ethnic groups is to keep and care for the elderly in their homes, not in nursing homes unless absolutely necessary. These families should be compensated at least $300 - $400 per month so they can adequately provide for them”.
Another concern of Jakobek’s is the cost of post secondary education and the need to clean up the city. He has created a Summer Works Plan for teenagers that will teach them to work, and help them pay for their education while cleaning up the city. Tom plans to hire 5,000 students between the ages of 14 –17 (that are not relatives of city hall staff) the first year (increased to 10,000 students the second year) for $10 per hour to clean up neighbourhoods, and restore parks, the waterfront and watercourses. “They should earn anywhere from $2,500 – $3,000, half they would take home and half would be invested in a “Registered School Savings Plan”, an investment account that for every $1,000 deposited, the Federal Government contributes $400. That should net the students anywhere from $8,000 - $9,000 for future education as well as teach them work ethics, how to save money and secure their future.”
During the interview, Mr. Jakobek recalled a car wash employee that he discovered was actually a Physician who had immigrated to Canada from Europe. The man had been trying to qualify to practice in Canada, but it apparently takes 2 years and money. The doctor felt hopeless because he worked for minimal wages to provide food and shelter for his family, and little time or money was left. Tom wants a Financial Aid Pilot Program addressing 70 immigrants with qualifications in health care at a cost of $2,000,000. Each applicant would receive $30,000 each per year for 2 years to focus completely on their education “And here’s the clincher, monitor what amount of taxes they generate after they’ve become doctors, and shame every level of government when they realize how much comes back by way of taxes.” View his website @ www.jakobek.ca
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Originally Composed: Thursday October 30th 2003.
Date last modified: Thursday October 30th 2003.