Toronto Council is gearing up to set its budget for the coming year. Last Monday we got a draft proposed budget from City Staff you can find the overview presentation and the background documents here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getAgendaReport&meetingId=15450
I have begun to work through the hundreds of pages of details to see what the impacts on all of us will be. So far a few things concern me.
As has happened in previous years revenues from property taxes will fall compared to inflation. On top of that revenues from the Land Transfer Tax fell last year and, I believe, will fall again next year. This means we are forced to tighten and reduce the services we provide. Anyone taking public transit (for example) knows why this is a problem.
The budget also contains $79 million in “holes” – assumptions of finding new savings and revenues which cannot be counted. This puts the services we depend on at risk.
Finally, to keep taxes low, the budget predicts falling further behind on our “state of good repair”. That means things like roads, bridges, and public buildings will not get the investments they should to keep them in good repair, creating risks and future costs.
Particularly alarming is a proposal that Toronto Community Housing will see its state of good repair backlog grow by 80% over the next ten years. This is unacceptable.
I will report more as I learn more. Find out how you can get involved here: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/budget-finances/city-budget/how-to-get-involved-in-the-budget/
Finally, I will host a budget town hall on February 28. I urge you to find time for this. It will help me learn what is important to you, and helps you better understand the choices we are considering at Council.
The City of Toronto’s Budget Committee will hear public presentations on the staff-recommended 2019 budget beginning next week. Members of the public can make a deputation at budget sub-committee meetings on February 7 and 11 at four locations across the city.
Torontonians who want to share their views on the budget are asked to register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 416-392-4666, indicating the location, date and time when they want to speak. Individuals may make only one presentation at any one of the consultation sessions.
Thursday, February 7:
Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.
3 to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
Monday, February 11:
Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall
3 to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St.
3 to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards
Residents who are not able to attend a presentation have the option of writing to the Budget Committee by email at email@example.com, fax at 416-392-2980 or mail at 100 Queen St. W., Toronto City Hall, 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, marked to “Attention: Budget Committee”.
More information about the 2019 budget and the budget process is available at http://www.toronto.ca/budget.
Notice: If you write or make a presentation to the Budget Committee, the City will collect and use personal information in accordance with applicable laws. Many Committee, Board, and Advisory Body meetings are broadcast live over the internet for the public to view. If you speak at the meeting you will appear in the video broadcast. Video broadcasts are archived and continue to be publicly available. More information about the collection and use of personal information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/privacy.htm.
Public consultation on Toronto sidewalk cafés and marketing displays
The City of Toronto is hosting a public consultation to obtain input on the Sidewalk Cafés and Marketing Displays Bylaw Review. The review aims to harmonize existing bylaws so that consistent standards are applied across the city.
The public is invited to attend the consultation on Thursday, January 31 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Committee Room 4 at Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St. W.).
At the consultation, participants will have the opportunity to provide their input on proposed regulations, including updated fees, accessibility issues and new standards for marketing displays and sidewalk cafés (for example, curbside and parklet cafés).
The proposed regulations have been informed by earlier, extensive consultations with the public and stakeholders. Since 2014, input has been collected from more than 30 consultations and public meetings, two online surveys, and an on-site survey that collected information at sidewalk cafés and marketing display locations.
Input obtained from this final consultation will be used to inform the harmonized bylaw that City Council will consider this spring.
More information about the Sidewalk Cafés and Marketing Displays Review is available at https://bit.ly/2WaQc8z.
I am running as candidate in the upcoming municipal election on October 22, 2018. As per the Office of Integrity Commissioner’s Code of Conduct, starting August 1st, 2018, I will not be able to send out councillor related newsletters or updates.
This is my last councillor e-newsletter.
As usual, my office is here to assist with any concerns or issues you may have. If you have any questions or concerns, please continue to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 416-392-7919. You can also visit my website at gordperks.ca
At the July 2018 Toronto City Council approved directing City Staff to settle the 6 Noble OMB appeal and accept the revised 8-storey building containing 101 units, ground floor non-residential space and two levels of below-grade parking on the lands located at 6 Noble Street.
Although I understand the significance of the Pia Bouman Dance Studio and the positive impact that it has on many lives, the 6 Noble Development revised application did not leave room for the dance studio.
I met with the developer and representatives of the dance school many times to encourage a space within this application for the dance school. Unfortunately no agreement was reached.
There are some community wins in this Staff Report. The applicant has decreased the height of the building from 51 m to 32 m by using 24 Noble as a guide. Additionally, there is a $350,000 financial contribution towards affordable housing within Ward 14.
The full report is available on-line at https://bit.ly/2N2nvq7 .
I am happy to announce that City Council supported my motion to make it possible for a non-profit housing provider to buy a rooming house in Parkdale. Here is a link to that motion http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2018.MM41.8 .
The motion directs the Director, Affordable Housing Office to report to the June 25th Affordable Housing Committee meeting on the due diligence process necessary to support the purchase, renovation and future operation of an existing rooming house in Ward 14, by an experienced non-profit organization through leveraging $1.5 million in available Ward 14 Section 37 funds and other federal and provincial funding sources, and to seek authority to undertake a pilot project through a competitive proposal call process in 2018.
This is great news.
I will be sending a further update as this important work makes its way through the Affordable Housing Committee.
Fair Pass Discount Program was approved by Toronto City Council in 2016 as a poverty reduction initiative to make transit more affordable for low income residents. Other initiatives include making transit free for children 12 years of age and under and implementing a universal two-hour transfer.
The Fair Pass Discount Program addresses this gap for the many low income residents who rely on public transit to carry out basic daily activities, attend necessary appointments and benefit from opportunities and resources available to them in this great city.
Details of this program are in the document below.fair pass launch qa council and dcm
January 31st & February 1st, 2018: Councillor Gord Perks at City Council on Toronto Hydro Inquiry, Affordable Housing & Shelter, and Car-Share Pilot.
Councillor Perks on Toronto Hydro Inquiry
Councillor Perks on Affordable Housing and Shelter
Councillor Perks on Car-Share Pilot
Meeting Minutes are available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewPublishedReport.do?function=getCouncilMinutesReport&meetingId=13088
Following Executive Committee’s approval of the Parkland Strategy’s Phase 1 Report on November 28, 2017, work has been underway on Phase 2 of the Parkland Strategy. This 20-year plan will guide decision-making and prioritization of investment of Toronto’s parks, including the acquisition of new parks, improvements and connections to existing parks.
Public engagement on Phase 2 of the Parkland Strategy is kicking off with a series of self-guided Civic Centre displays highlighting the findings and analysis from the Phase 1. This will include details on how parkland provision has been calculated using the latest mapping tools and maps of parkland provision for current and future populations across the city. The displays will be available as follows:
- City Hall – February 6 to 9, 2018
- Metro Hall – February 12 to 18, 2018
- Scarborough Civic Centre – February 19 to 23, 2018
- Etobicoke Civic Centre – February 26 to March 2, 2018
- North York Civic Centre – March 5 to 9, 2018
- City Hall – April 3 to 6, 2018
More information about the Parkland Strategy can be found on the project website at: toronto.ca/parklandstrategy and the Parkland Strategy Preliminary Report can be found here and the Parkland Strategy Primer can be found here.
Human Services Integration (HSI) – a partnership across Shelter Support and Housing Administration, Toronto Children’s Services and Toronto Employment and Social Services is focused on integrating access and intake for the core income support programs. Sixty seven client/resident facing phone numbers have been integrated into a single human services number – 416-338-8888.
Residents can call this number and hear a menu of options that will direct them to the range of human services including housing support, child care information and subsidy, Ontario Works and related financial supports, employment support, and medical and funeral benefits.
Calls to existing phone numbers will be seamlessly transferred to the new human services menu so that callers can hear the range of service options. While services and information will be accessed differently, existing call centres will continue to take the calls that come to them through the human services phone channel.
This is the first step to implementing a fully integrated contact centre for human services application, eligibility determination, waitlist management and service navigation, which will begin to launch by the end of 2018.