Read my Plan!
I love this city, and everything I stand for in my plan is there to benefit the city and the people who live, work and play here. Have a look at it here, and send me your comments.
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Big News! Debate Time!
The Evergreen CityWorks and CivicAction debate, held Sunday September 14, was a breakthrough moment for our campaign. Ari was finally able to demonstrate to a large and involved audience, his plan and his no-nonsense leadership style. Check out the video on our news page here.
MyBetterLiving: Ari will be debating Olivia Chow and John Tory at the MyBetterLiving debate, Tuesday September 16. CANCELLED due to withdrawals of Ms. Chow and Mr. Tory.
TIFF: Monday September 29, at 12:00 noon 350 King St W, Toronto. More details coming soon.
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Our movement is growing and getting stronger. Every day more and more people are discovering that our plan for a sane and proactive City Hall makes sense and should be heard. We need you to come and walk with us, promote the cause and spread the word. Interested in making a difference? Then contact me here.
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Watch and Learn!
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Ari Goldkind releases “Peace of Mind” mental health platform
TORONTO – SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
Criminal lawyer Ari Goldkind has seen what happens when Toronto’s mental health system fails its residents. The shooting of Sammy Yatim, he says, serves as a wake-up call to the realities he sees every day, in which far too many people, especially young people with great potential, are forced down the rabbit hole of police confrontation and incarceration.
As a private citizen, he is particularly passionate about mental health and policing issues, and counts many experts in both fields as friends and associates. And as a mayoral candidate, he has a platform to improve the city’s mental health support systems, and reduce the ever growing criminalization of mental illness. That platform is called “Peace of Mind.”
“Dozens of times each and every day, the police are the first point of contact for residents with mental health issues who are at risk,” he says, “and this is unfair to both sides. There are too many instances where people who suffer from mental health disorders or issues are unnecessarily thrown into the corrections system, and the possibility of long-term solutions to get them healthy either become remote or lost entirely. At the same time, the police have been unfairly tasked to be social workers and medical providers, which is not their job, and is not something they have been trained for.”
Goldkind’s Peace of Mind plan seeks to dramatically reduce the instances of mental health-related public safety incidents, and significantly increase the ability of Torontonians with mental health or mood-disorder challenges to lead productive lives, by warranting a full council committee, and opening up dialogue with the provincial agencies that run Ontario’s hospitals.
The Goldkind Peace of Mind platform consists of:
- Creation of a Non-Police Mobile Mental Health Unit (MMHU), comprised of 50-60 on-call psychologists, psychiatrists/GPs, student-residents and other qualified people from related fields. This would require an investment of $15-20 million.
- Introduction of a circumstantial mandate that allows MMHU members to enter private residences, workplaces, schools and public spaces as first responders in mental health crises.
- Creation of a Mental Health City Council committee, which would work closely with Public Health, to provide municipal policy leadership, at no cost to the city.
- An audit of city mental health services, with a focus on narrowing the gap between the downtown core where services are compact and readily available and the suburbs where access is widely-dispersed and represents a systemic barrier to those in need.
- Widening the network of city-run community health centres that offer mental health-related services (Cost: $6-8 million).
- Expanding the number of front-line police trained with non-violent, mental health-focused intervention, to respond to emergency calls (no cost to the city).
- Investing $5-8 million to create a city-wide mental health task force and agency represented by Toronto Public Health, CAMH, the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Community Housing, and various community groups -- focused on reaching at-risk people, including youth, and connecting them to services, further reducing the incidence of mental health emergency interventions.
- An official city campaign, at a cost of $2-4 million, aimed at reducing the stigma around mental health disorders and encouraging citizens across the socioeconomic spectrum to speak out, seek help, and seek support; this would bolster existing efforts by organizations such as CAMH with real political capital.
Goldkind highlights his recent conversations with sports TV personality Michael Landsberg, who has been very open about his mental health struggles, and with Dr. Brett Belchetz, medical correspondent for Sun News and an emergency room physician, who has seen the issues first hand. “These conversations emphasized how broken our city’s mental health crisis response truly is,” he says. “I believe that the time for talk and for expensive reports is over. Improving Toronto’s mental health support systems and addressing the issue of unnecessary use-of-force and criminal justice system interventions has to start right at the top in the mayor’s office, and that I’m uniquely qualified among current candidates to fill that role.”
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Most Recent News Coverage:
Monday, September 15, 2014 Great review of Ari's Evergreen performance, plus status as a serious candidate, from Edward Keenan in the Toronto Star. click here to read or visit our news page for more info.
Monday, July 21: John Lorinc writes in SPACING TORONTO how Ari's police budget/lapel camera platform holds a unique and proactive place in city politics. Read the article here, or visit our news page for more info.
Friday July 11: Ari interviewed by Edward Keenan on CFRB 1010. Visit our news page for more info.
Friday July 4: Ari's proposal to generate revenue through congestion charges is covered by the Toronto Sun. interviewed by Edward Keenan on CFRB 1010. Visit our news page for more info.
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Ari's latest blog post (August 4, 2014): "Sweating the Small Stuff" Read here.
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