Dear residents and friends,
I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.
I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.
My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at email@example.com.
Councillor Matlow spoke on options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.
Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.
UPDATE: Unanimously passed by City Council on April 12, 2011
Thank you to my colleagues on Council, CARP, SPRINT and everyone who's been so supportive of ensuring our city is prepared for a demographic shift and advocating for an age-friendly Toronto!
A Strategic Plan for Toronto's Seniors- March 25th, 2011 Community Development and Recreation Committee
(March 11, 2011) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow, Ward 22 St. Paul's
1. That Council request that the City Manager report back on recommended actions to be taken in the development of a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Seniors, for consideration at the May 27, 2011 Community Development and Recreation Committee Meeting.
2. That this strategic plan be created in consultation with other levels of government, school boards, relevant community organizations and individuals, businesses and academia to ensure that it is truly comprehensive, adequately funded, financially feasible and able to be implemented.
Globally, seniors are the fastest growing population. It has been projected that by 2050, there will be more older people than children for the first time in the world's history. Toronto is anticipating a 38 percent increase in seniors by 2031.
The City's Ombudsman's report, "A Duty to Care" identified 38,000 Torontonians currently living with dementia and this number is projected to grow to 42,000 by 2015. We know the acuity needs of our seniors are growing and service providers, families and government need to work together to find appropriate solutions for their well-being.
This backdrop for Toronto should be a catalyst for action. That action for change is grounded within the World Health Organization's Age-Friendly Cities initiative. The WHO initiative identifies eight critical features for cities to consider as they affect its senior citizens: outdoor space and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, education, communication and information, community and health services.
Many of the City's services touch upon these critical areas, as do the services provided by other orders of government, broader institutions and the community-based sector. There is a collective responsibility for us to meet the needs of our residents and nowhere is that more evident than with our seniors.
It is time to revisit who our seniors are, what their changing needs are and what government, along with its partner sectors impacted by seniors issues, need to do to ensure our residents are given the best advantage to succeed in their older years.
It is important that Toronto prepares for an impending demographic shift. We need to ensure that Toronto is a safe, navigable, affordable, accessible and enjoyable city for its older residents.
(March 11, 2011) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow on a Strategic Plan for Toronto's Seniors
Ever wondered what a Toronto city councillor's day is like? AM680 All News Radio is taking you behind the scenes of one day in the life of Councillor Josh Matlow, Monday, March 21, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can follow Matlow as he heads to work at City Hall, attends various meetings, meets with constituents and tackles the daily issues. Click here!
This week, council will be asked to vote on a motion to consider whether or not city councillors should accept a 2.5 percent cost of living increase to their annual salaries.
Some will argue that councilllors should take a symbolic measure to freeze their salaries in order to send a message to the bureaucracy and unions- we're asking them to make concessions this year. Others will say that Toronto councillors make far less than their counterparts in neighbouring municipalities, work long hours, sacrifice time with family and a reasonable salary is needed to attract the best and brightest into politics.
Along with how politically charged this debate seems to be, there's something about the principle of city councillors voting on their own salaries that disturbs me.
Councillors must declare an interest on votes regarding salaries of union members if they have a sibling or spouse in that union. Also, if a member of council has a stake in a company that has answered a City tender, that too would most likely create a conflict of interest. Therefore, why wouldn't a member of council have a natural interest in their own salary? Is that not the most direct pecuniary interest one could have?
Every four years on election day, the public delegates authority to council to make civic policy decisions for them. However, I submit that the question of what is appropriate remuneration for councillors should be one that is asked of the people who hire them. In good conscience, I don't believe most people, including councillors, can be fully objective when it comes to decisions affecting their own livelihood and that of their families.
Therefore, at the next council meeting, I'll be moving a motion to explore delegating this decision to an objective group of citizens who do not have the same vested financial and political interests as a member of council has regarding councillor remuneration.
Please review the motion below I've submitted for the March 2011 council meeting.
Independent body to set councillor remuneration motion
That Council request a report from the City Manager in consultation with the City Solicitor and City Clerk addressing options for appointing an independent body to set councillor remuneration including;
• the composition and mandate of such a body and how these options compare to the status quo.
• whether the City of Toronto Act, 2006 prohibits Council from delegating the power to set councillor remuneration to a body established by it
• a review of other relevant policies
• practices implemented by other jurisdictions
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Dear TTC Chair and Commissioners,
The Toronto Transit Commission has proposed a number of service cuts that will deeply impact numerous residents in Ward 22 and across the city. While I applaud the Commission's recent decision to cancel some of the proposed reductions on several bus routes, my community is still very concerned about the elimination of service after 7pm on the Mt. Pleasant 74 bus.
According to the TTC's estimates, 43 riders use this route between 7pm and 10 pm on an average weekday - 2 boardings shy of the 15 passenger per hour threshold the TTC has set for continuing bus service. After receiving numerous emails and telephone calls from constituents advocating to retain this service, I decided to personally ride this bus during the hours proposed for reduction to speak with riders and learn more about how they use this service. I was also well aware that there are at least four large seniors' residences on Mt. Pleasant between Merton and Eglinton.
Toronto's Ombudsman, Fiona Crean, is a non-partisan advocate and accountability officer for every Toronto resident. Due to inadequate funding, Ms. Crean's office is unable to conduct the kind of investigations Torontonians need to keep our municipal government accountable, save tax dollars and ensure every resident's complaint is heard and their concerns are resolved.
Why is the Ombudman requesting adequate funding for her office in the 2011 City of Toronto budget?
Dear public transit riders,
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has proposed service reductions to 48 bus routes across the city that they have determined are underutilized. The following bus routes that travel through a significant portion of Ward 22 include:
- 5 AVENUE RD - No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
- 14 GLENCAIRN - No service after 10:00 p.m., every day
- 33 FOREST HILL - No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays
- 74 MT PLEASANT - No service after 7:00 p.m., every day
As a City Councillor I recognize the importance of being responsible with your tax dollars. However, the TTC is a public service. These local bus routes are the only transportation option for many seniors, students and workers in Ward 22. Many residents in our community, and across the city, rely on public transit to go grocery shopping, travel home from work, visit family or attend religious services on the weekend. Also, I am concerned about the safety of individuals, including seniors and women, traveling after dark that cannot afford a taxi and are left with long walks to their home without the threatened bus routes.
As your advocate, I will work to find solutions to this year's budget challenges that retain services Torontonians rely on.
Please feel welcome to contact my office if you have any comments or questions.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 - St. Paul's
Proposed route changes being considered for implementation in May 2011 would reallocate service, during some times of the week, from bus routes which have low ridership. The TTC suggests that these changes are required to free up resources to increase service on routes where it is needed most due to record-level ridership.
Four public meetings will be held to provide information on the routes which are proposed for reallocation and alternatives to those routes, and to obtain feedback from residents (these venues have barrier-free access):
Monday, January 24, 2011, 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Metro Hall, Room 308/309, 55 John Street at King Street;
direct access from St Andrew Station.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 7:00pm to 9:00pm - North York Central Library, Memorial Hall, 5120 Yonge Street;
direct access from North York Centre Station.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011, 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Scarborough Civic Centre, Rotunda, 150 Borough Drive;
direct access from Scarborough Centre Station.
Thursday, January 27, 2011, 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Elmbank Community Centre, lower level, 10 Rampart Road (south east corner of Finch Avenue and Martin Grove Road); access from 36 Finch West, 46 Martin Grove, and 191 Highway 27 Rocket bus routes.
For those unable to attend any of these meetings, but wish to provide comment, go to TTC Service Complaint/Suggestion Form.
The public can also call the TTC at 416-393-3030, Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm, or can contact their City Councillor.
For more information on the proposed 2011 City of Toronto budget, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca
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