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 Josh Matlow spoke regarding future options for Casa Loma and a City of Toronto Museum at Toronto City Council, October 3, 2012.
Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding Metrolinx's The Big Move transit plan at Toronto City Council, July 12, 2012.
Please see below some important new updates and meeting notices.
Melissa, Molly and I, along with my wonderful office staff, wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day.
Sincerely (and with love),
Discussing the Seniors Strategy TONIGHT on The Agenda with Steve Paikin
This evening, at 8 pm and again at 11 pm, part three of The Agenda with Steve Paikin's Aging in Ontario series will air on TVO. I will be discussing the City's Seniors Strategy on tonight's episode with fellow age-friendly advocates. If you're unable to view the episode this evening, it will also be posted on The Agenda's YouTube channel or you can download the podcast.
In order to prepare our city to serve our aging population, as Chair of the Seniors Strategy SubCommittee, I look forward to presenting the Toronto Seniors Strategy to Council this March.
Community Meeting Notice for Development Proposal at 281-289 Avenue Road
I have been working closely with our Cottingham and Rathnelly neighbourhoods for the past two years regarding a proposed condo development on Avenue Rd. Along with addressing several concerns we have about this proposal, I have invited City staff to discuss the applicant's proposal to cut down trees along their lot line in Robertson Davies Park in order to build the driveway into their development. I find it highly inappropriate that trees would be cut down in a City park to facilitate a new condo. I am inviting local residents to share their views on the proposal. Please join me on Wednesday, February 27th from 7 pm to 9 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto's Sunderland Hall, 175 St. Clair Avenue West.
Proposed City-wide Zoning By-law: Revised Dates for Statutory Open House and Public Meeting
The Statutory Open House and public meeting for the proposed City-wide Zoning By-law have been rescheduled.
The Open House is now scheduled for February 27th, 2013, from 4 pm to 8 pm in the Rotunda of Metro Hall, 55 John Street. The Statutory Public Meeting will begin at 9:30 am in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, on March 6th.
Designing the Future of Eglinton - Public Workshops
This month, EglintonCONNECTS will be holding workshops for residents and small businesses to hear what you think about Eglinton Avenue's future with the coming Metrolinx investment in transit infrastructure. The location of the central workshop for residents on Thursday, February 28th is Forest Hill Collegiate Institute at 730 Eglinton Avenue West. Please feel free to drop in any time between 5:30 and 9:30 pm. The presentation and workshop start at 6:30 pm.
The workshop for local businesses will be held on February 28th from 9 am to 11 am at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, 200 Eglinton Avenue West. At the workshop, discussion will include different methods of creating vibrant work spaces for the employees and shoppers, how to interact with the new LRT stops and stations, and how to encourage mixed-use development through well-designed, appropriately sized mid-rise buildings.
There is no doubt that the City needs to improve its level of service for snow removal, and I will be meeting the General Manager of Transportation along with some of my Council colleagues to discuss every concern I received and work on making necessary improvements.
I'm not suggesting we send in the army every time there's a major snow storm. But I do believe we can use the tools we have better and more effectively. Thank you to each of you who did your part to clear your walk and help our neighbours.
Roots of Youth Violence
Each tragic spike in youth violence is followed by task forces and reports with hundreds of ideas on how to respond. Many of these reports have contained recommendations which, if acted upon, would support Toronto's youth. In 2008, the Province of Ontario published a comprehensive report by The Honourable Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling. The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence identified a significant role for municipal partners in addressing the roots of youth violence, including poverty, racism, poor neighbourhood design, health issues, lack of youth engagement, and lack of economic opportunities. Unfortunately, the recommendations in the report have only been partly implemented. It is time for serious, meaningful action, not more study.
That's why I have submitted a motion to this month's Council requesting the City of Toronto to take substantive action on measures we can implement now to address the roots of youth violence. Please let Councillors know that you want genuine action on this important matter.
Youth violence is not isolated to any one neighbourhood or any one community in our city. We need to treat this issue like it’s happening on the street that we live on because it will affect us eventually in some way in some form. These are our kids and we’ve got to address it.
Northern Secondary School Green Space Improvement Beautification Lakes
I am pleased to be bringing forward a motion to transfer $75,000, that I was able to secure through developer's fees, for the Northern Lakes Landscape Design Project. The new outdoor meeting and learning area in front of Northern Secondary School seeks to recreate the once vibrant ecosystem of Walmsley Brook. The project will suggest a dry river bed with trees, rock seating areas, plantings and flagstone paths.
This project will provide an enhanced seating and strolling area for the wider community providing a peaceful public space in a busy area. The Northern Lakes project will be of particular interest to the residents of several nearby seniors' homes who will benefit from nearby green space along Mount Pleasant Road.
Supporting the Central Eglinton Community Centre
I am also bringing forward a motion to transfer $25,000.00, also secured through developer's fees, to ensure that the Central Eglinton Community Centre's (CECC) expansion is fully accessible.
The CECC provides a variety of programs and services for people of all ages including parent/child activities and a range of social, recreational and leisure programs for older adults and seniors. The Centre also provides after school programs, food bank box, income tax clinics, legal advice, financial planning and employment & training information and opportunities.
This funding will help ensure that the CECC, and its important programs and services, will be fully accessible for people of all abilities.
Short-Term Lane Closures along Eglinton Avenue West
Work crews will be installing monitoring equipment along Eglinton Avenue West, from Black Creek Drive to Yonge Street, for the Eglinton Crosstown transit project. Construction will begin this winter and will continue through this summer. The construction will cause some short-term lane closures, with each monitoring point installation taking a few days to complete. During the day, traffic will be reduced to one lane within the work area. The Eglinton Crosstown transit project will provide rapid and reliable service across Eglinton Avenue. It will include an underground section from Keele Street to Don Mills Road and will be up to 60% faster than bus service today. For more information, please visit http://www.thecrosstown.ca/sites/default/files/pdf/updates/MonitoringEquipmentWinterSpring2013.pdf.
My little Valentine, Molly - she's just over a month old now. Thanks again to every one of you who sent such warm wishes on her arrival. Melissa and I were deeply touched.
For ongoing council and community information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.
Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence
Moved by: Councillor Matlow
Seconded by: Councillor Thompson
Each tragic spike in youth violence is followed by task forces and reports with hundreds of ideas on how to respond. Many of these reports have contained recommendations which, if acted upon, would support Toronto's youth. In 2008, the Province of Ontario published a comprehensive report authored by The Honourable Roy McMurtry and Dr. Alvin Curling. The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence identified a significant role for municipal partners in addressing the roots of youth violence, including poverty, racism, poor neighbourhood design, health issues, lack of youth engagement, and lack of economic opportunities. Unfortunately, the recommendations in the report have only been partly implemented. It is time for serious, meaningful action, not more study.
This motion requests that the City Manager report on the status of joint Provincial-Municipal actions recommended in The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence and Ontario's Youth Action Plan which followed in 2012. It also requests the City Manager recommend initiatives that the City of Toronto can implement now to address the roots of youth violence.
1. City Council request the City Manager to report to the Community Development and Recreation Committee by June 2013 on the status of joint Provincial-Municipal actions recommended in the reports The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence and Ontario's Youth Action Plan
2. That the City Manager recommend initiatives that the City of Toronto can implement now to address the identified roots of youth violence including, but not limited to;
i) Establishing a body with the mandate to develop a corporate agenda to develop and publish a specific youth violence strategy with measurable objectives and timelines, and to monitor and report regularly to the public on indicators of progress.
ii) Developing a youth anti-racism plan
iii) Creating community hubs to provide space for meetings, recreation, the arts, and service providers;
iv) Establishing local coordinating bodies to help improve access to services offered in each neighbourhood and to improve coordination amongst them;
v) Implementing programs to familiarize families, including new settlers, with community structures and supports;
vi) Reducing barriers to youth recreation programs;
vii) Increasing resources to tower neighbourhood renewal initiatives;
I believe that improving and expanding our public transit system and fighting traffic gridlock must be top priorities for City Council. Every day, drivers find themselves waiting in traffic, cyclists try to navigate our busy streets and subway riders find themselves packed like sardines if they are even able to fit onto an overcrowded train.
We can only achieve the change we want if we make our voices heard. I encourage you to participate in Metrolinx's conversation on funding The Big Move, which the planned Eglinton Crosstown LRT and a downtown relief subway line are a part of. Please see this meeting notice below, including other items of interest to those of you who are condo owners and tenants, environmental stewards, community advocates, and seniors.
Reminder: Metrolinx Public Roundtable Meetings
This month, Metrolinx will be hosting public roundtable meetings regarding The Big Move, a plan to rebuild transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. For more information on the Toronto meeting dates, please visithttp://www.bigmove.ca/roundtable. Improving our city and region's transportation network is an issue I have actively worked on for a long time and I support the direction Metrolinx is taking with The Big Move. To read more about my advocacy for improved and expanded transportation, please click here. I plan to attend the roundtable at Metro Hall this Saturday, February 9th from 1 to 3 pm and I hope to see you there!
Public Consultation With Condominium Occupants
I am delighted to announce that the City of Toronto's Planning department is starting a consultation process with condo owners to find out about issues and problems with the way people are living in condos. Some of the issues that will be discussed during the consultation will include:
- Access to parks and dog parks
- Recreational and community amenities
- Parking , bike parking and visitor parking
The consultation will focus on identifying the issues that condo residents are currently experiencing and developing a set of ideas to help the City of Toronto address these issues. You are welcome to attend any of these meetings, which will be from 7 to 9 pm.
February 12th, 2013
Bram & Bluma Appel Salon
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (at Yonge and Bloor)
February 27th, 2013
Congregation Darchei Noam
864 Sheppard Avenue W
(At Allen and Sheppard Ave W)
2013 Live Green Toronto Awards
Nominations are open for the City's Live Green Toronto Awards. With video entries and public voting, the Live Green Toronto Awards offer everyone an opportunity to participate in the City's search for Toronto's greenest people, groups and businesses. Entrants must submit a short video, up to 90 seconds in length, and tell their green story in 500 words or less.
You can view the videos and vote for your favourites; votes cast in the first round (January 21st to March 3rd) will help the judges determine the finalists. Votes cast in the second round (March 15th to April 19th) will determine the winners.
Winners will receive a Live Green Toronto Award, $2,500 courtesy of award sponsors and a chance to share their story on CP24.
Enter, view and vote begins January 21st. The final entry deadline is March 3rd.
For more information, please visit www.livegreentoronto.ca.
2013 Community Investment Funding Programs - Call for Applications
Applications are now open for the following four Community Investment Funding Programs, which are delivered by the City. I would like to share the following information on the application procedure, funding deadlines and project goals. You can apply online through the Corporate Grants Information System, and instruction on how to apply can be found at www.toronto.ca/grants.
- Access, Equity & Human Rights Investment Program (application due February 27st).For more information please visit http://www.toronto.ca/grants/aehr/index.htm.
- Community Festivals & Special Events Investment program (application due March 7th). For more information please visit http://www.toronto.ca/grants/cfse/index.htm.
- Community Safety (application due February 21st). For more information please visit http://www.toronto.ca/grants/csi/index.htm.
- Community Safety (application due February 21st). For more information please visit http://www.toronto.ca/grants/csi/index.htm.
Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests' 2013 Programs
I would like to share this information about Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests' 2013 programs with you:
LEAF's subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program helps residents of Toronto and York Region plant native shade trees and shrubs in their yards. Orders can be placed now for spring delivery of Native Garden Kits (birds, butterflies, or shade options) as well as native edible and heritage fruit trees, including the rare pawpaw tree (quantities are limited).
LEAF's Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program sessions. This spring this course will be offered in Richmond Hill (June 8,12, and 15) for the first time, as well as in Toronto (April/May). This multi-day course offers a combination of indoor and outdoor arboricultural training, giving citizens the tools to improve the urban forest in their neighbourhood. You can sign up now to get an early opportunity to register.
New Access Point for Seniors' Resources
A one-step access point for all seniors' resources in Ontario has been established. Residents may call 1-888-910-1999 or visit www.ontario.ca/seniors in order to access information on various programs throughout the province.
Mayor Rob Ford has won his appeal and will keep his seat on Council.
I very much appreciate your feedback on the question of how you believe Council should proceed in the event that the mayor is removed from office. Obviously, this is not a question that needs to be answered at this time.
I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the priorities of Toronto residents, including fighting gridlock, improving and expanding public transit, poverty and housing, our natural environment, building a beautifully designed and age-friendly city, and ensuring that we manage our city's finances in a thoughtful and responsible way.
I hope to see you in our community soon.
On Friday, January 25th at 10:30am, we will find out the court’s ruling on Mayor Rob Ford’s appeal.
To be clear, no matter what happens with this case, I can assure you that garbage and recycling will still be collected, the city’s lights will remain on and the City of Toronto will continue to function as imperfectly as it always has. In other words, the sky will not fall and life will go on.
However, the course we take moving forward is important and there has been much confusion about what the process of choosing a new mayor is if, indeed, Mayor Ford’s appeal is unsuccessful.
Therefore, I am providing a summary to you of the next steps in the event that the Mayor's seat becomes vacant.
If the Mayor's seat becomes vacant for any reason:
1. the Deputy Mayor automatically assumes the powers and duties of the Mayor until Council fills the vacancy. There is no gap and no risk that City business will be interrupted by the vacancy.
2. City Council has 60 days to (a) fill the vacancy by appointing any person qualified to hold office, or (b) pass by-laws to hold a by election. The relevant sections of the City of Toronto Act is section 208 found here:
3 If Council chooses to hold a by-election, the Clerk must fix nomination date (i.e., close of nominations) no longer than 60 days from the time Council passes a by-law. Voting day will be 45 days following that. I expect the by-election would end up being sometime in May of this year.
The relevant sections of the Municipal Elections Act governing the by-election can be found here:
In the event the Mayor's seat becomes vacant, City Council will need to decide these matters. The Deputy Mayor, having the powers of the Mayor (during this interim period), can call a special meeting to consider this matter. The City Clerk will submit a report to Council with all of the rules and steps required to fill the vacancy.
If you have an opinion on whether Council should hold a by-election or appoint an interim mayor until 2014, please let me know. And, what arguments you believe are important for me to consider.
I do hope you find this information helpful.
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