City Council votes to waive the sports field fees

Over the past six weeks I and other Councillors have been working with sports field users to solve the problem of the unexpected new sports fees. Working together we were able to hit the ball out of the park and get a unanimous backing by City Council to waive the sports field fees for 2012.

All Councillors sincerely appreciate the thousands of volunteers hours community members put in to make sure that Toronto's children and youth have great sports programs.  Many of us have learned the intricacies of the operation of recreational sports leagues in our city and other key issues that concern the leagues and clubs. Thank you!

Along with waiving 2012 fees, City Council also unanimously supported my motion which sets out areas to be discussed with you in relation to 2013 fees. The General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, is to consult with the Toronto Sport Council (TSC) and permit holders, and report to July 11, 2012 meeting of City Council on the following:

  1. the classification of the Toronto fields, a comparison with surrounding municipalities, level of maintenance and infrastructure and proposed fee structure in relation to the classifications;
  2. appropriate fee structure for box lacrosse and ball hockey;
  3. previous and ongoing value of contributions and improvements to fields by leagues and clubs;
  4. a process for offering relief to those having financial difficulty paying for sports field permits;
  5. finalized protocol for notifying groups in advance of fee changes in the future;
  6. how to ensure fields in priority neighbourhoods remain affordable after improvements by donations through the partnership office(s); and
  7. policy for rain outs and block bookings.
I want to thank local sports organizers and the Toronto Sports Council for your commitment to our young people and to our communities. Your efforts helped us find a solution that supports the vital work that you and hundreds of other volunteers do to make recreational sports accessible to all young people across the City.

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