Kingston mayoral candidate Ivan Stoiljkovic is committed to ending homelessness in Kingston.
Stoiljkovic is one of four candidates running for mayor this municipal election. In an interview with The Journal, he stressed his platform points of housing, social services, and transit.
He said “the big difference” between him and other mayoral candidates is his take on Kingston’s housing crisis.
“[My] first priority is not housing in general… It is eliminating homelessness. In particular, eliminating homelessness by providing socially and publicly owned, rent-geared-to-income housing.”
Stoiljkovic acknowledged housing as an issue affecting students. He believes Queen’s should be doing more to provide affordable housing for their students without relying on the City.
“[Queen’s is] putting pressure on the City by admitting more and more students from more and more places in the world… and then they’re throwing them on the street to fend for themselves.”
He’s concerned by Kingston’s property standards department and would like to see it organized by tenants to ensure high-quality housing.
Stoiljkovic’s platform also emphasizes change through improving social services. To do this, Stoiljkovic hopes to secure municipal funding by “demilitarizing” the police.
“The police needs to be changed. The police force and some of its money should be going to things like municipal daycares, to things like public transit,” he said.
Having worked as a Kingston Transit Bus Operator, Stoiljkovic said he understands the importance of investing in Kingston’s public transit system for transportation and for the climate.
“I think public transit will save our planet. It will save people a lot of money.”
Stoiljkovic is the only mayoral candidate to pledge to reduce Kingston’s greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent by 2030.
Stoiljkovic came to Kingston in 2000 from Serbia, formerly Yugoslavia, and has long been involved in community advocacy work. While achieving his master’s degree in economic history at Queen’s, he said he fought tuition increases and helped organize teaching assistants into a labour union.
“I am someone who never held any positions of power,” Stoiljkovic said. “The mayor and the counselors who are running against [me] do not have good experience… I have experience helping people.”
Stoiljkovic wants to perpetuate change beyond the upcoming municipal election.
“I’m not going to stop fighting for people’s rights. I’m not going to stop being housing advocate.”
The Kingston municipal election is happening on Oct. 24. More information can be found here.
city council, City Councillor, Elections 2022, Mayor profile
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