Council Highlights – City Council Meeting: December 16, 2010

City Council meeting of December 16, 2010

Designating Toronto's public transit an essential service
Council decided to formally request that the Ontario government designate public transit in Toronto an essential service. If the government passes that legislation, labour strikes will no longer be legal for Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) workers. Council also agreed to ask the provincial government to review the designation of the Toronto Transit Commission as an essential service after five years of operating as an essential service.

Elimination of Personal Vehicle Tax
Council approved the termination of the City's Personal Vehicle Tax (PVT) effective January 1, 2011. Holders of vehicle plate validations who live in Toronto and have scheduled renewal dates (coinciding with their birthdays) on or after January 1, 2011 will not have to pay the PVT. Those with scheduled renewal dates before January 1, 2011 are still required to pay the PVT. Vehicle owners who purchased a two-year renewal in 2010 will receive a refund for the 2011 portion of their plate renewal.

Reduction of councillor office budgets
Council decided to reduce the annual councillor office expenses budget from $50,445 to $30,000 for each of the City's 44 councillors effective January 1, 2011. That reduction will reduce the 2011 operating budget for City Council by a total of $899,580. Council also requested a review of the Councillor Expense Policy in consultation with Members of Council for recommendations.

2011 budget schedule
Council approved an accelerated budget process and schedule designed to allow Council to adopt the City's 2011 operating and capital budgets by the end of February.

Residential driveway parking
Council directed that a statutory public meeting be held to consider an amendment to the new Zoning Bylaw as it applies to residential parking. The amendment clarifies that vehicles may be parked anywhere on the private portion of a driveway associated with a single detached or semi-detached house, a duplex or an individual townhouse. The statutory meeting is scheduled to be held as part of the Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting on January 27.

Apology requested from Maclean's Magazine
Council supported a motion calling for Toronto City Council to disassociate itself from the views expressed by Maclean's Magazine in its article entitled "Too Asian?" and to request that Maclean's "apologize unreservedly" for the negative stereotyping of the Asian-Canadian community. Council directed the City Clerk to advise Maclean's Magazine of this decision in writing.

Proposed Highway of Heroes coin
Council voted to endorse and support the Municipality of Trent Hills in its efforts to have the Royal Canadian Mint produce a coin designed to honour Canada's fallen soldiers.

Future of Hearn Generating Station property
Council agreed to reaffirm the City's interest in preserving the Hearn Generating Station building on Unwin Avenue. The City wants to be consulted as part of the review process for addressing the conservation of provincial heritage properties. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is considering demolishing the former electrical power station on Toronto's Port Lands.

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