Ford Government Makes Major Changes to Planning Rules

Posted on May 6, 2019

Friends,

Late last week the Government of Ontario announced major changes to planning law in Ontario. These changes reinstate the old Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rules and put more power in the hands of developers and their lobbyists. This enables developers to go around local government and communities and put proposals which we haven’t even seen in front of the OMB.

The changes also remove some development charges, and change the rules for other community benefits which keep our communities liveable, sustainable, and safe. The funds gathered through these mechanisms build our streets and community centres, put trees in the ground, and put parks in our neighbourhoods. Funding for these services will now fall onto the city’s back, instead of the developers.

Additionally, the plan removes rent control on new housing, eliminating the safety of knowing how much your next rent cheque will cost each month if you live in a new building. No one should live with that uncertainty.

The proposed changes impact 13 different laws and runs 90 pages in length. They will also require extensive new regulations. We can be sure there will be more surprises.

We cannot allow an unaccountable and unelected body to determine local planning decisions. We need to visit, call, and write to the Premier and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and tell them to stop this legislation. Your voice is critical in taking a stand against Premier Ford and these unwanted changes.

Gord

Tell the Premier and his Minister that this is not the future you want for your neighbourhood:

Premier Doug Ford
premier@ontario.ca
Constituency office: 823 Albion Rd., Etobicoke, ON M9V 1A3
Tel: 416-745-2859

Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
steve.clark@pc.ola.org
Constituency office: Suite 101 – 100 Strowger Blvd., Brockville, ON K6V 5J9
Toll Free: 1-800-267-4408
Tel: 613-342-9522

Tell your MPP that you support the fight against this attack on our communities:

Bhutila Karpoche
BKarpoche-CO@ndp.on.ca
Constituency office: 2849 Dundas St. W, Toronto
Tel: 416-763-5630

Reminder about the Cherry Blossoms in High Park this weekend

Posted on May 1, 2019

The cherry blossoms at High Park are blooming!

Starting Saturday May 4 at 7am, the park will be closed to all vehicles during the peak bloom days. Please plan your trip to the park accordingly.

Please click here for more information on the Traffic Plan: http://gordperks.ca/high-park-cherry-blossom-festival-traffic-plan/

Basement Flooding Prevention Information

Posted on April 29, 2019

Basements can flood for many reasons. While the City of Toronto is working to improve its complex system of underground sewers, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding. With increasingly severe weather events, it is essential that homeowners take steps to help protect their home from basement flooding. For more information on basement flooding prevention tips, programs and services from the City of Toronto, please visit toronto.ca/basementflooding .

Trash Talk – 2019 Garbage Rate and Rebate Changes

Posted on April 25, 2019

The rate that you pay for Solid Waste Management Services, such as recycling, organics and garbage collection, is based on the size of your Garbage Bin. Residents with the largest Garbage Bins pay the most and those with the smallest pay the least. This volume-based structure is designed to encourage people to reduce their garbage and divert as much away from landfill as possible through the City’s Blue Bin Recycling and Green Bin Organics Programs.

On March 7, 2019 as part of the 2019 Budget process, the City approved a rate increase of 2 per cent for single-family homes as well as the phasing out of the single-family rebates over three years. The phasing out of the rebates support Solid Waste Management Services’ transition to a self-sufficient and sustainable utility where operating expenses are fully covered by rate revenues.  Current solid waste bills will include an adjustment back to January 1, 2019 to reflect these changes.

To minimize the impact of rebate reductions on low-income ratepayers, a Single-Family Residential Low-Income Relief Program has been created. In 2019, the program will offer assistance to seniors or persons living with a disability who have a household income of $50,000 or less and either a small, medium or large Garbage Bin.

Based on audits done by the City, less than half of what is found in the garbage is actually garbage. The rest is items such as organics or recycling that could have been kept out of landfill. You can reduce your solid waste bill and environmental footprint by downsizing your Garbage Bin and properly sorting your waste.

To change your Bin size, call 311 or submit a request at toronto.ca/311.

For more information on solid waste single-family rates and fees, visit toronto.ca/ garbage-bin-sizes-fees.

Changing Lanes – Community Consultation Meetings on the Expansion of By-law Permissions for Laneway Suites

Posted on April 23, 2019

Do you have thoughts on laneway suites? The City wants to hear from you.

The City is hosting a series of drop-in consultation meetings where you can learn more, ask questions, talk to City staff and share your comments about laneway suites.

May 1, 2019 in Room 308/309, 3rd Floor of Metro Hall (55 John Street)
May 6, 2019 in Council Chamber of Etobicoke Civic Centre (399 The West Mall)
May 16, 2019 in Council Chamber of Scarborough Civic Centre (150 Borough Drive)
May 27, 2019 in Council Chamber of North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge Street)

All four meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 pm.

For more information please visit: www.toronto.ca/changinglanes

Laneway Suites CCM May Meetings

Take Steps to #TransformTO – May 6 – 20, 2019

Posted on April 12, 2019

Spring is here Toronto, so let’s step outside to #TransformTO! From May 6 – 20, challenge yourself to walk more to support a healthier and greener Toronto.

Walking is a clean, green, and healthy way to get around Toronto and a great way to support the City’s TransformTO Climate Action Strategy. To reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions, 75% of all trips under 5 km will need to be walked or cycled by the year 2050.

Download the free Carrot Rewards app to participate. Check the leader board here: https://bit.ly/2F9UbvU

2 TransformTO-Walking-Challenge_Poster_FINAL

Public invited to the City of Toronto’s Special Committee on Governance – April 12, 2019

Posted on April 3, 2019

The City of Toronto’s Special Committee on Governance will hold its second meeting at 9:30 a.m. on April 12, in Committee Room 1 at City Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend.

At this meeting, Professor Gabriel Eidelman, Director of the Urban Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, will present findings from the University of Toronto’s 2017 City Hall Task Force, which made recommendations to improve City Council’s core decision-making processes and procedures.

A staff report will recommend a work plan for the committee and a public engagement strategy for the coming year. The report also includes a summary of the public input the committee received on the City’s governance structure, and preliminary research at its first meeting on February 21.

The Special Committee on Governance was established by City Council with a mandate to consider the impacts on the City’s governance structure and processes arising from the reduced size of Council and to make recommendations to City Council on any further changes to its governance structure.

More information about the Special Committee on Governance and how to register to speak or make a submission to the next meeting is available at:

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyProfile.do?function=doPrepare&meetingId=16029#Meeting-2019.GV2.

Anishinaabe Inaakonigewin: Indigenous Governance, Laws and Lifeways – April 8, 2019

Posted on April 2, 2019

How might Indigenous governance systems contribute to changing our relationships with each other and to the land and waters?

Join us for an evening of learning and conversations featuring Indigenous knowledge keepers on Indigenous Law and knowledge systems, including Lee Maracle, Dawnis Kennedy, Sylvia Plain, Valarie Waboose, and others, on Indigenous governance in the city, and our shared responsibility to care for the land and waters.

Date: April 8, 2019

Time: 4:30 – 8 pm

Location: Toronto City Hall (Council Chamber) – 100 Queen St. West

This FREE event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Apply now to use the City’s Home Energy Loan Program

Posted on March 14, 2019

Thinking about renovating? HELP is here!

The City’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers competitive fixed rate loans of up to $75,000 to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. The funds can be used to upgrade your furnace and insulation, install high-efficiency water heaters, windows, doors, and even install solar panels on your roof!

On average, HELP participants are saving $560 per year and using 25-30% less energy, while at the same time significantly improving household comfort. We want to help people put away the space heaters and enjoy their home without having to worry about expensive heating bills or chilly drafts.

Homeowners can decide which energy efficient renovations to complete and choose their own contractors. When the work is complete, homeowners can repay the loan over time in instalments on their property tax bill while enjoying the benefits of a newly renovated and more comfortable home. With repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years and fixed interest rates as low as 3.70% the program offers flexibility as well as security.

The HELP team is also available to help homeowners in understanding the process, accessing certified energy assessments, utility rebates and incentives as well as information on related city programs.

Learn more about HELP and apply at http://www.livegreentoronto.ca/ or

https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmental-grants-incentives-2/home-energy-loan-program-help/

Act now: Tell Mayor Tory to stand up for our subway!

Posted on March 13, 2019

Doug Ford’s subway takeover plan is the biggest threat to affordable, quality public transit that we’ve ever seen. His plan opens the TTC up to privatization, higher fares, and a loss of democratic control. So why have negotiations over our transit system been happening behind closed doors?

This week, Mayor John Tory has the chance to stand up for residents and riders. He can either leave decisions over the future of our subway behind closed doors, or open up the process by holding public consultations and launching a needed information campaign to tell the public about the risks.

Call Tory now!

On Thursday morning, Tory’s Executive Committee will vote on whether to launch announcements in subway stations, ads on buses, streetcars, and subways, and public consultations across the city. It is urgent that they inform us about the risks and take the conversations about the future of our subway system out of the backrooms.

There is no time to lose. Act now to demand that Mayor Tory stand up for our public transit system: http://www.ttcriders.ca/call-mayor-tory-stand-up-for-our-subway/

Call Tory now!

We’ll be at the Thursday morning meeting to show the Executive Committee that we demand transparency and a strong stance against Ford’s subway takeover. Before the meeting, we plan to spell out a giant “S-O-S” (for “Save Our Subway”) in Nathan Philips Square at 9am. Will you join us?

RSVP to join us this Thursday March 21: https://act.ttcriders.ca/exec_cmttee_our_subway

Share the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1987851924842004/

Thank you for taking action with us to keep transit public and affordable.

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, TTCriders

P.S. Please sign this important petition from our friends at Progress Toronto, which gets sent to the Executive Committee, Mayor, and your Councillor. Progress Toronto is also holding phone banks tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday to call Councillors and make sure they stand strong against Ford.

P.P.S. Another city-wide Day of Action is around the corner! Sign up here to adopt a station near you on the morning of March 27th.

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