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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
by Ward 22 artists (Forest Hill PS students) Maya Abramson & Hannah Bernstein
This morning, Premier McGuinty and Mayor Rob Ford announced a new plan for rapid transit expansion in Toronto. The mayor’s plan replaces the previous Transit City initiative which would have seen Light Rapid Transit (LRT) lines on Eglinton, Sheppard, Finch and through Scarborough with some portions built underground.
Mayor Ford has put forward a transit plan that will put the entirety of the Eglinton LRT line underground and a replace the Scarborough Rapid Transit line with an LRT. The Mayor has also proposed to construct a $4 billion subway on Sheppard Ave using private financing.
The original Metrolinx plan for the Eglinton LRT, funded by the provincial government, called for the line to be underground from Black Creek to Laird. The difference between the plans is that an 8km portion of the Eglinton line from Laird east to Kennedy will now also be underground at an additional cost of $2 billion. To bury this portion of the line, Toronto will have to reallocate funds away from the proposed Finch West LRT, as the City would no longer have the capital dollars to construct a rapid transit line there. However, there is some discussion about enhancing bus service along that route.
It is important to note that there is no additional money from the Province towards today's announcement. The City will be required to fund the Sheppard subway on its own. The Mayor has mused about various private financing schemes but has yet to provide formal details. While I strongly support transit expansion for Toronto, without ensuring that the revenue needed for the ongoing operating costs can be found, I am concerned that constructing subways through suburban areas of Toronto with low densities will become a long-term liability for taxpayers. The current stretch of the Sheppard subway is already subsidised by our property taxes due to low ridership.
I applaud the provincial government’s commitment to fund rapid transit expansion for our city and am delighted that work will begin on the Eglinton line this year- something we’ve been waiting for far too long. In addition, when funding is made available, I'd like to see the Eglinton line extend to Pearson airport and beyond as part of a regional transit strategy.
I am concerned, however, about the process in which this plan has been delivered as Toronto residents have not been consulted and there is no surety that this plan, nor its finances, will be debated at Council. It is also prudent to consider the estimated $49 million that Toronto will have to pay to cancel the Transit City plan at a time when there is a projected $784 million gap in the 2012 City operating budget.
Public transportation is the primary mode of travel for many of us and affects the planning of our neighbourhoods. Toronto residents deserve an opportunity to provide their input regarding the future of transit as it is an integral part of our lives.
Ultimately, I believe we need to have a thoughtful, evidence-based debate at Council to achieve a financially feasible transit plan with a detailed, transparent budget that will be accessible to as many Torontonians as possible.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22, St. Paul’s
Photo- Richard MacFarlane
Councillor Matlow meeting with the Oriole Park Association to discuss community priorities and city-wide issues
If you live in Ward 22's Chaplin Estates neighbourhood and would like to get involved with or learn more about your local ratepayer's association, please click here.
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.
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