Council Highlights – City Council Meeting: April 12 and 13, 2011

City Council meetings of April 12 and 13, 2011

Review of City services and user fees
In connection with the City's current review of its core services, Council directed the City Manager to review user fees and establish a policy that will ensure consistency in the City's user fee program. In addition, Council authorized the inclusion of the City's agencies in the core service and user fee reviews, and instructed the agencies to participate in the reviews. Following the reviews this summer, the Executive Committee is scheduled to consider standing committees' recommendations in September.

Changes to Council and committee schedules
Council approved changes to the schedule of Council and committee meetings for the remainder of 2011, based on the recommended timelines for the Service Review Program and the approval process for the 2012 capital and operating budgets.

Governance of City agencies
Council directed the City Manager to continue reviewing the governance structures of City agencies with the intention of achieving specified goals. The goals that Council agreed upon include, for example, ensuring that agencies eliminate overlaps with City programs and services, and, for revenue-generating boards, take steps to be self-sustainable. Council also directed the City Manager to establish a policy framework for ensuring that City principles, policies and accountabilities are applied to each agency while respecting an appropriate degree of independence for each agency.

Public appointments
Council made changes to the City's public appointments policy. The amendments include the addition of a clause stating that board members and staff of boards may encourage qualified candidates to apply but may not provide references for candidates, nor endorse or recommend through the recruitment process candidates for consideration by the Civic Appointments Committee. The current nomination-by-invitation method of recruitment is to be replaced by an open, advertised recruitment process.

Community consultation on recreation services
Council approved a strategy for conducting public and stakeholder consultations this spring to help the City create a Recreation Service Plan. The strategy includes outreach to groups such as newcomers who may not have participated in previous consultation by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation division.

A strategic plan for Toronto's seniors
Council directed staff to prepare a strategic plan for seniors, including broad consultation during preparation of the plan – which is to be comprehensive, adequately funded and financially feasible. Council specified that the strategic plan is to include measures to help seniors remain in their own homes longer. Toronto is anticipating a significant increase in seniors as a component of its overall population in the coming years.

David Pecaut Square
Council approved the renaming of Metro Square to David Pecaut Square to commemorate community leader David Pecaut, who devoted his life to civic entrepreneurship and volunteering. He died in 2009 at age 54. Metro Square was selected as the location for honouring David Pecaut because of its high-profile location in the heart of Toronto's entertainment district. Canada's Walk of Fame is on the periphery of the square.

Strategy to manage ash tree infestations
Council authorized the City's implementation of a plan to manage theEmerald Ash Borer insect in Toronto. The plan for this year includes monitoring infestations, applying pesticides, removing and replacing City-owned dead ash trees and planting new trees in areas heavily populated by ash species. The plan also includes efforts to inform the public and help residents identify the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer on private property.

Rail link connecting downtown with Pearson Airport
Council directed staff to negotiate a construction protocol that will clarify how Metrolinx, the provincial transportation authority, intends to protect, relocate and reconstruct Toronto infrastructure and utilities while minimizing disruption to City services during construction of the Georgetown South Air-Rail Link project. That project is a rail line that will connect Union Station and Pearson International Airport.

Responsibility for G20 costs in Toronto
Council agreed to ask the Government of Canada to clarify the rules for compensation and to advocate for an appeal process that will help Toronto businesses obtain fair compensation for their revenue losses and property damages associated with the G20 Summit that the federal government hosted in downtown Toronto last June 26 and 27.

For inquiries about the official documentation of Council decisions, contact the City Clerk by e-mail,

Council Highlights, produced for your convenience, is a summary of Council's recent decisions. Council Highlights is not intended to serve as an official record of the meeting. If you have questions about this summary, please e-mail Strategic Communications