Council Highlights – City Council meeting of July 16, 17, 18 and 19, 2007

Council defers vote on two new taxes

Council voted 23-22 to defer a decision on implementation of two new taxes until the October 22 Council meeting. The City is facing a $575 million funding shortfall for 2008, having exhausted its reserves and one-time fixes to meet a balanced budget as required by provincial law. The ability for the City to raise new revenue was granted through the City of Toronto Act, and two new taxes were introduced for consideration at this meeting: a land transfer tax, and vehicle registration fee.

I will be meeting with all Residents’ Assocations this fall to further discuss the City of Toronto’s financial situation

Climate Change plan passes unanimously

The climate change and sustainability plan was passed by a unanimous vote of Council. Under the plan the City commits to meeting Kyoto emissions target reductions of 6% by 2012, stepping that up to 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Council endorsed the creation of the $42 million Toronto Energy Conservation Fund, which will promote energy savings initiatives in city buildings, as well as schools and hospitals. The City will obtain 25% of its electricity from green energy sources starting in 2008, and establish the Live Green Toronto program that will help community and residents’ groups green their neighbourhoods through a series of initiatives, including green roof projects, community gardens, and water conservation programs.

City to expand dog off-leash areas, and increase enforcement of dog bylaws

Implementation of the People, Dogs and Parks — Off-leash Policy will begin this fall, and will expand the number of off-leash areas in City parks.