To the Roncesvalles community,
My office has been contacted by many residents of the Roncesvalles community about 175 Roncesvalles Avenue, formerly Granowska’s, at the southeast corner of Roncesvalles and Fern Avenue.
I have confirmed with Tim Horton’s that they are in the process of opening a Tim Horton’s business at this site.
The City’s zoning allows for a coffee shop at this location. The city has no authority as to the independent or franchise operator.
I’ve reached out to Tim Hortons to have a community meeting with the purpose of alleviating some of the concerns raised by residents around hours of operation, traffic concerns, etc.
Tim Horton’s representatives have agreed to meet with the community to address concerns and start what will be a positive conversation. My office will provide details once available.
Second the petition explicitly committed Council to excusing the Mayor’s absence and spoke to a temporary leave. Implied here is that the Mayor’s problems are strictly medical. While substance dependance is a medical condition, many other of the Mayor’s problems – racism, homophobia, sexism, bullying, abuse of office – are not. No leave for medical treatment will solve those problems.
Finally, while I as an office holder must not take action to remove him, I do believe he needs to listen carefully to the calls from every corner of the City that he resign, and consider the good of the City as he decides what to do. If you as a member of this community want the Mayor to resign, you must make your voice heard.
Next, Council considered a motion with several parts regarding the Mayor’s behaviour.
I moved a motion that we not consider the motion until we had a report from the Integrity Commissioner. One of our jobs as a Council in this awful period is to restore faith in the legal framework that underpins our democratic processes. We have an Integrity Commissioner who has expertise and authority in overseeing Toronto Council’s Code of Conduct. I felt that if we were to take some disciplinary action we should follow the process and have the best advice on appropriate action. My motion narrowly lost.
Then Council turned to immediate consideration of the Mayors behaviour. There were several parts to it. I voted yes to the requests that the Mayor apologize for certain actions. I abstained from voting yes on a motion urging the Mayor to cooperate with a police investigation. Obviously, we all want the investigation into criminal possible wrongdoing to proceed. However, it is every citizen’s right to choose not to be interviewed by the Police. I do not think any government should ever urge anybody to waive their civil rights. Further I don’t think governments should intervene in any way in a police matter. For those reasons I abstained.
Finally, the last piece was a recommendation that the mayor take a leave, get well and return to office. For the reasons above I could not support that.
Here is the full text of the motion we were considering:
On Friday Council met in special sessions to remove certain powers from the Mayor. With virtually unanimous votes we: removed the ability of the Mayor to appoint the Deputy Mayor, and Committee Chairs; limited his authorities during emergencies; and, took away his ability to establish nominating panels to nominate our Integrity Commissioner, Lobbyist Registrar, and Ombudsman. Those duties are passed to the Deputy Mayor.
http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.CC43.1On Monday we will consider a much bigger step we will debating: passing all the special responsibilities that City Council grants the Mayor to the Deputy Mayor; and, reduce his staff and office budgets to the size a regular Councillor. The difference would be given to the Deputy Mayor so that he can carry out his new responsibilities.On this issue it is important to remember the Mayor will retain the exact powers that the law gave him when he was elected. We will simply be taking away the extra powers Council gives him. This I think is a fair and balanced way to both respect the election results and the need to restore respect for our civic institutions and ensure effective decision making.For a broader view of how I’m looking at all of this, I have attached a link to a post I wrote a week or so ago.
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/gord-perks/rob-ford-gord-perks_b_4241169.htmlThis has been tough on our City, but I want to assure you, our government is riding this crisis out, and Councillors from everywhere on the spectrum and all parts of the City are working together to make things work.
All the best,
Ward 14, Parkdale-High ParkToronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
2nd Floor, Suite A14
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
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We must change how we live, or the climate will change it for us.