City Council meetings of June 14 and 15, 2011
Toronto Community Housing – sale of houses
Council authorized the sale by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) of 22 of its houses on the open market and directed TCHC to invest the proceeds into the renovation of some of its other social housing units in Toronto. TCHC will honour commitments made to tenants who live in the 22 houses and will relocate households affected to other suitable units in the TCHC portfolio.
New board for TCHC
Council appointed a new board of directors for the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. The board is made up of City Councillors Norm Kelly, Frances Nunziata, Cesar Palacio and John Parker (who is the Mayor's designate), along with seven community members and two tenant-elected representatives of TCHC. The board serves for a two-year term that began June 15.
Toronto's ash tree infestation
Council approved a plan for informing residents — and agreed to request financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments — with regard to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation and the resulting loss of the tree canopy in Toronto. The City will use various means to inform the public about the problem and will expedite property owners' removal of infested ash trees from their properties.
Council adopted recommendations made by the Auditor General with the intention of reducing the City's annual expenditures on paid-duty policing for works projects and special events. City divisions, agencies, boards, commissions and corporations spend millions of dollars annually for paid-duty services. Among its actions, Council directed Transportation Services to develop a new policy for traffic control at City construction sites and called for changes to the paid-duty requirements that are tied to special event permits.
Toronto bid for 2017 Police and Fire Games
Council authorized a City bid for Toronto to host the 2017 World Police and Fire Games, conditional upon the Province of Ontario confirming it will contribute $6 million if the bid is successful. The games are typically a 10-day event attracting about 12,000 competitors in more than 50 sports.
Review of winter transportation services
Council directed staff to review the City's cost of providing winter maintenance services, which include clearing snow from residential windrows, bike lanes, trail paths and transit lanes. Another focus is updating the City's long-term strategy for snow disposal operations.
Support for hospitality initiative
Council agreed to encourage City divisions and agencies to support a hospitality promotion program called We've Been Expecting You, which involves participation by the public and the private sectors alike. The three main streams of activity consist of training for front-line staff, more help for visitors seeking information about the city, and resident participation in this welcome-to-Toronto initiative.
Competitive kite flying in parks
Council supported a recommendation to prohibit from City parks any kites with strings made of hazardous materials, and to prohibit competitive kite flying in parks that have significant bird activity. Council also agreed to encourage the federal government to ban the importation of kite string that is chemically treated or contains glass fragments. The City will allow competitive kite flying activities that are arranged through the Parks, Forestry and Recreation permit process.
Whistle blower protection
Council adopted a Whistle Blower Protection Policy that clarifies the protection from reprisal that is provided to City employees who report fraud or other wrongdoing. The policy complements mechanisms already in place for reporting fraud to the Auditor General for investigation. The new policy protects City of Toronto employees from reprisal when they report fraudulent activity or wasteful work practices.
Management of Casa Loma
Council confirmed the termination of an agreement between the City of Toronto and the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma for the management of Casa Loma. The City will set up a corporation to operate Casa Loma until the City establishes a long-term strategy for the castle. Current staff at Casa Loma will be transitioned to the new corporation. The City owns Casa Loma, which the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma managed for the past 74 years.
Sale of shark fin products
Council referred to the Licensing and Standards Committee a motion from a Council member concerning the sale of shark fin products in Toronto. The motion requests the introduction of a bylaw that would prohibit the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin products in this city.
Council referred to Executive Committee a motion from a Council member about the practice of collecting or "hoarding" a large number of animals/pets, usually cats — generally by people who are unable to care for them properly. The motion calls for City inspections staff to report properties that show signs of animal hoarding to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Toronto's Animal Services for investigation.
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