Council Highlights - April 10-11, 2012

I would like to share with you news from City Hall and the most recent City Council meeting. Here are some key developments:

  • Permit fees for sports fields: Working with Councillors Davis, Doucette, and Fragedakis we organized a town hall meeting to give Torontonians a chance to speak before Council about the impact of the new fees for this sporting season.  Council listened, and decided to waive the fees introduced earlier this year, and will discuss the subject of fees in general after receiving more input from local sports teams and leagues.
  • Cleaning contracts and lower wage jobs: Council examined the external contracts for cleaning services in City of Toronto police station facilities, including the importance of well-trained, stable staff to serve local divisions.  I voted with Council to adopt a motion requiring the renewal of this contract be considered by Council.
  • Toronto's street furniture: Council adopted a series of recommendations from the Auditor General designed to more effectively manage the City's contract with Astral Media for the installation and maintenance of street furniture across Toronto.
  • New waterfront islands under consideration: Council authorized Toronto Water to undertake a study to assess the possible creation of islands in Humber Bay to improve water quality at Sunnyside Beach and help protect the shore from erosion.  The study will also look into the possibility of establishing a similar landform in Ashbridges Bay, south of the sewage treatment plant.
  • Funding the fight against bed bugs: I have been very concerned about the possibility of losing provincial funding for the bed bug team, and was please to have Council's support for my motion from the Licensing & Standards Committee to urge the Provincial government to continue providing $5 million to support the bed bug team.  The team uses the funds to inspect thousands of residences in order to identify and fight bed bug infestations.
  • My Motions

    • Unfinished Business: Many of you have been in touch to share your concern over construction projects that stay  unfinsihed for years on end.  I put forward a motion at Council to address this problem and have City staff provide a report on options for compelling developers to complete their work.  You can read the motion, which has been referred to the Planning and Growth Committee, here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.MM22.10
    • Gone Fishin': Fishing on the public waterfront is a pleasure and right that many Torontonians enjoy.  Increasingly, public access to the waterfront is being restricted and fishers are being denied their right to share in recreational activities at the waterfront.  I put forward a motion, now referred to the Executive Committee, to develop a "Gone Fishing" zone on as much of the waterfront as possible to protect public access: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.MM22.11
    • Exploring Rapid Transit Expansion with I-METRO-E: Overcrowding on the Yonge subway line is a major problem facing the TTC.  The creation of a relief line to allow riders from the suburbs a direct route to the city centre will alleviate this overcrowding and improve our tranist corridor.  The I-METRO-E proposal would use existing rail lines to connect a rapid transit line across the GTA and merits exploration. http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.MM22.19
    • Preventing and Addressing Human Trafficking: Human trafficking is a terrible tragedy, and a problem that cannot be ignored.  Toronto has served as a hub for traffickers, and we need to understand how this is possible in order to fight human trafficking in our City.  I have requested the City Manager report to Council on this problem and ways we can protect women and girls from falling victim to human trafficking, as well as rescuing those who are already being trafficked.  This motion was referred to the Executive Committee: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.MM22.9
    You can read in detail all the Council highlights here: http://www.toronto.ca/council_highlights/

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