March City Council Recap

We discussed issues ranging from the World Cup and building more affordable housing, to vehicle noise and dangerous dogs. 

It was a busy City Council this week, where we considered several important items.

FIFA World Cup

The publication of the city's agreement with FIFA this week through a Freedom of Information request has raised more questions about the deal to host the World Cup. The agreement signed in 2022 by the then City Manager includes a number of elements not brought before Council for approval.

This comes after the city's letter of intent with MLSE was only brought before Council through an administrative inquiry I submitted in 2023.

This raises concern about the amount of information not reported to Council by staff under the previous Mayor. 

In response, Mayor Chow moved a motion to ensure all agreements related to contracting, purchasing and commercial matters are reported to City Council.

Additionally, she's set up a governance structure consisting of current Councillors and former budget chief David Socknacki to provide oversight on the financials, commercial agreements, community benefits and other elements of this event.

This will be a once in a lifetime event. We need to make sure it's handled responsibly, benefits our city and leaves a positive legacy. The key to achieving these goals will be the transparency and openness we are beginning to establish.

Building Affordable Housing

As part of Mayor Chow's ground breaking housing plan, we discussed how to best use city land to create new affordable units. Parking lots and transit stations were the focus of our discussion at Council this week.

I moved a motion to include affordable housing in every development on a Toronto Parking Authority lot. The city is approving and supporting the building of more market rate units than ever before - but if we're using city land, we should ensure affordable housing is always included.

Dangerous Dogs

After a serious dog attack in East York last summer, I asked Animal Services to review how they deal with dangerous dogs. There have since been other serious incidents in Ward 14, as well as in Rexdale.

Going forward staff will be maintaining a public record of all dangerous dogs. I moved a motion to make this list more accessible by including a map and making the information more searchable.

A standard, city-issued sign will also be required for all dangerous dogs. I moved a motion to ensure that staff ensure that the locations of the most dangerous dogs have the signage as soon as possible, as part of a new proactive focus.

Additional animal control officers were already approved through he 2024 Budget, and staff will bring forward a plan to increase the amount of proactive enforcement they conduct to ensure we're focusing on the dogs that pose the biggest threat to residents and other pets.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in about this issue. Staff will be updating the Economic and Community Development Committee in October

Vehicle Noise

Council also approved Toronto's first ever decibel limit on vehicle noise this week. We also asked staff to monitor and report back on the enforcement they've done in conjunction with the Toronto Police.

This is the last element of the Noise By-law review that was approved earlier this year.

We heard from residents who were concerned about the staff proposed limit, which is why at a recent Economic and Community Development Committee meeting we asked for staff to review the decibel limit. You can see their presentation here.

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