Update from April 12th & 13th City Council meetings

Posted on April 14, 2011

Dear Friends,

The theme this week has been public inclusion in decision-making. At City Council we narrowly prevented Mayor Ford from greatly curtailing the inclusion of members of the public in various City agencies, boards, and commissions.

We also succeeded in expanding the amount of public consultation for the upcoming Service Plan review. I still think the process is too compressed and relies too heavily on outside consultants, but we have better opportunities to shape the outcomes than were originally proposed. As I wrote before (http://www.gordperks.ca/2011/03/25/city-programs/) this plan is troubling in that it sets the stage for big cuts to important public services.

I do believe that a review of our public services can be valuable. But, it must begin with a public conversation about the kind of City we want. None of us has the private resources to make great neighbourhoods, but together we can make the investments that achieve that vision. Now that Council has pushed the Mayor into some improvements in public consultation, it will be up to all of you to make the most of it. I will be posting information on how to get involved soon.

For details of the Council decisions you can read: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&meetingId=4416#Meeting-2011.CC7

Wednesday also saw the release of the Mayor’s plan to eliminate 21 Citizen Advisory Committees. This includes the Aboriginal Affairs, Cycling, and Pedestrian Committees. Also, the Drug Strategy Implementation Task Force, which I chaired is at risk. As I am a member of the Board of Health I will work to find an alternate arrangement to keep this important work going.

In broader terms I think we all need to speak up in defence of Toronto’s long and proud history of extending decision-making into the broader community. No group of elected officials and public servants can find the best way forward for a complex City unless they actively seek out and include thoughtful Torontonians.

For the list of proposed cuts see: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-37389.pdf. This item comes to the Executive Committee. If you want to submit a written comment or appear in person you can email exc@toronto.ca or call 416-392-6627.

Another important decision taken at Council was with respect to Toronto’s Harmonized Zoning By-law. Because a great many appeals have been launched against the by-law many people are experiencing complications and delays with minor changes to their property. Council decided to make some key amendments, and further, to hold a statutory hearing on whether to repeal part or all of the by-law. I will let you know when and how to participate in this meeting soon.

Gord

 

Update from April 12th & 13th City Council meetings

Posted on April 14, 2011

Dear Friends,

The theme this week has been public inclusion in decision-making. At City Council we narrowly prevented Mayor Ford from greatly curtailing the inclusion of members of the public in various City agencies, boards, and commissions.

We also succeeded in expanding the amount of public consultation for the upcoming Service Plan review. I still think the process is too compressed and relies too heavily on outside consultants, but we have better opportunities to shape the outcomes than were originally proposed. As I wrote before (http://gordperks.ca/2011/03/25/city-programs/) this plan is troubling in that it sets the stage for big cuts to important public services.

I do believe that a review of our public services can be valuable. But, it must begin with a public conversation about the kind of City we want. None of us has the private resources to make great neighbourhoods, but together we can make the investments that achieve that vision. Now that Council has pushed the Mayor into some improvements in public consultation, it will be up to all of you to make the most of it. I will be posting information on how to get involved soon.

For details of the Council decisions you can read: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&meetingId=4416#Meeting-2011.CC7

Wednesday also saw the release of the Mayor’s plan to eliminate 21 Citizen Advisory Committees. This includes the Aboriginal Affairs, Cycling, and Pedestrian Committees. Also, the Drug Strategy Implementation Task Force, which I chaired is at risk. As I am a member of the Board of Health I will work to find an alternate arrangement to keep this important work going.

In broader terms I think we all need to speak up in defence of Toronto’s long and proud history of extending decision-making into the broader community. No group of elected officials and public servants can find the best way forward for a complex City unless they actively seek out and include thoughtful Torontonians.

For the list of proposed cuts see: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-37389.pdf. This item comes to the Executive Committee. If you want to submit a written comment or appear in person you can email exc@toronto.ca or call 416-392-6627.

Another important decision taken at Council was with respect to Toronto’s Harmonized Zoning By-law. Because a great many appeals have been launched against the by-law many people are experiencing complications and delays with minor changes to their property. Council decided to make some key amendments, and further, to hold a statutory hearing on whether to repeal part or all of the by-law. I will let you know when and how to participate in this meeting soon.

Gord

 

Items of Interest

Posted on April 14, 2011

2011 Green Toronto Awards winners to be announced April 15

The City of Toronto and Green Living Enterprises invite Toronto residents to attend the 2011 Green Toronto Awards at the Direct Energy Centre on April 15. The City’s environmental awards of excellence recognize the individuals, organizations and companies helping to lead the way to a cleaner, greener Toronto.

Ten winners will be announced at the seventh annual Green Toronto Awards ceremony on Friday, April 15 at 7 p.m. on the Main Stage at the Green Living Show, Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. Entry to the Green Toronto Awards is free to the public. Singing sensation Alyssa Reid will perform.

Each winner will receive an award and $5,000 to further their work on the environment or to donate to an environmental charity of their choice, courtesy of the award sponsors. New award categories this year are Green Home and Green Business.

More information about the Green Toronto Awards is available at:  http://www.toronto.ca/greentorontoawards.

http://www.greenlivingonline.com/torontoshow.

 

City of Toronto introduces new parking ticket dispute process
April 11th, 2011: The City of Toronto has introduced a new parking ticket dispute process that will make it easier for those who have received tickets for pay-and-display or parking meter violations to dispute tickets by using either e-mail or fax.

Motorists who have been issued tickets for parking meter/pay-and-display offences and who meet the cancellation criteria set out in the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines may submit their ticket by fax or e-mail, together with any supporting documentation (such as a valid pay-and-display receipt), to request that their ticket be cancelled.

This process only applies to tickets that have been issued for violations that result from a broken or out of service pay-and-display machine or parking meter, pay-and-display receipts that have not been displayed properly, or pay-and-display receipts that were printed incorrectly. It does not include parking tickets that occur during rush-hour periods.

The new dispute process is a service enhancement that will impact approximately 40,000 ticket holders a year. It will provide a timely and effective way of disputing tickets that can be dealt with by the City of Toronto instead of the provincial courts, as well as providing a greater convenience to motorists.

Currently, the parking ticket dispute process requires individuals to attend one of four First Appearance Facilities (parking ticket payment counters) in person to dispute any type of parking violation. Motorists can now dispute tickets issued for parking meter or pay-and-display violations by either fax or e-mail, or in-person at a First Appearance Facility. For disputes that have been faxed or e-mailed, the vehicle owner will be advised in writing confirming either that the ticket has been cancelled, or that it does not meet the criteria for cancellation.

Those who do not meet the criteria for cancellations can then opt to pay the fine or request a trial in person at one of the City’s First Appearance Facilities. As legislated in the Provincial Offences Act, a request for trial must be made in person by the individual who received the ticket, or by their designated agent.

More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/pay-toronto-tickets/disputes.htm.

 

Reminder: Ward 14 Community Compost Days

Posted on April 14, 2011

Spring is in the air! To help you prepare, I will be hosting the Ward 14  Community Compost Day. Come pick-up FREE COMPOST:

Thursday, April 28th from 3:30 pm until 8:00 p.m.  (or until supplies last) at the Masaryk Cowan Community Centre (220 Cowan Avenue).

Community Compost Day Masaryk Cowan

Thursday May 5th from 3:30 pm until 8:00 p.m.  (or until supplies last) at Baird Park (275 Keele St. southeast corner).

Community Compost Day Baird Park

Please remember to bring a shovel and container to collect your compost!

Mark your calendar: Community Environment Day for ward 14 has been scheduled for Saturday, July 16 along Wabash Ave at Sorauren Park.
The hours of operation will be 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

 

 

321 Roncesvalles AGCO Hearing Update

Posted on April 14, 2011

April 14th, 2011 AGCO Hearing re: 321 Roncesvalles Avenue (Pizzeria Defina)

The AGCO board accepted the conditions and ordered that the applicant be issued a liquor licence subject to the Conditions.

 

POSTPONED: Queen Street West Closure

Posted on April 14, 2011

Please be advised that this scheduled closure has now been postponed.

Queen St. W. will be closed between Dufferin Street and Gladstone Avenue from Friday April 15th at 9:00 p.m. to Monday April 18th at 5:00 a.m.

This closure is necessary to install one of two new track spans for the Queen St. W. bridge.

This work is part of the Georgetown South Project transit expansion.

Construction Update

 

Parkdale Solidarity march

Posted on April 14, 2011

There is an upcoming solidarity march in Parkdale on Saturday April 16th at 3:00 p.m. starting at the corner of Queen St W. and Dowling Ave. The focus of this event is to show solidarity and support for local residents and to emphasize Parkdale’s strengths and resilience.

Anyone with information regarding the recent attacks is asked to contact Toronto Police Homicide Squad project room at 416-808-1906, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.

The public is reminded to report any unusual occurrences to police, remain vigilant of their surroundings at all times, and take extra safety precautions.

Working Together Poster

Parkdale Solidarity Rally March (map handout)

 

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