Issues & Policies
It is time for the City of Toronto to take thoughtful and proactive measures to deal with youth violence no matter what neighbourhood it is found in. We cannot wait for another tragedy to spur more calls for blue ribbon panels and simplistic reactions. There have been many good reports that have already provided us with recommendations on how to move forward including The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence by Dr. Alvin Curling and The Honourable Roy McMurtry. Genuine, evidence-based action is needed now and without delay.
In February, 2013, with City Council's unanimous support, I asked City staff to develop a plan to take immediate action. I am very happy to share with you a letter from Dr. Curling commending Toronto City Council for tackling this urgent priority.
Since then, I have been working closely with City staff on a Youth Equity Strategy to support the most marginalized youth in Toronto – those who are at the highest risk to be involved in or victimized by violence. As the Youth Equity Strategy won’t be finished until this winter, which is too late for the 2014 City of Toronto budget, I pushed for a list of “quick wins” from City staff to move the Strategy forward in 2014 and also to test some promising pilot projects. You can click here to read a briefing note from City staff outlining these strategies including pilot partnerships with Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Public Library, and Toronto Police Services.
I will be clear: there is an up-front cost to these initiatives of about $600,000. You and I know that investing in our youth is a cost-effective way to build a stronger economy and healthier society, but I need your help convincing my colleagues on City Council of this fact.
Please come to City Hall on Wednesday, December 4, to make a deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee in support of Toronto’s most marginalized youth. If you are not able to make it to City Hall, please write to your local Councillor and the committee members to let them know that making the investments necessary to address the roots of youth violence is an important priority for you.
Thank you for your support.
It is my pleasure to report that the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee agreed, this afternoon, to begin the process of returning common sense to scooter and moped parking in Toronto. Due to the motion that Councillor Berardinetti and I brought to City Council, staff have been directed to report back to the Committee with realistic options so that we can move on to finally legalize boulevard parking for scooters and mopeds. This is a necessary step on the path to achieving concrete change.
Thank you so much for contacting your local councillor, writing to the Committee, and even coming down to City Hall for the meeting today. Your engagement was very important to our success.
Our job now is to emphasize the urgency of this work to City staff. They need to come back quickly so that people will no longer have to fear receiving unreasonable $50 tickets for simply parking their scooter or moped. I'll share an additional update with you once I know when we can expect the final report to be released and voted on at the Committee.
Since I was elected to City Council in 2010, I have been working closely with our communities, experts and City staff to develop the new City of Toronto Seniors Strategy, a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly accessibly, respectful and age-friendly Toronto.
In this spirit, I am delighted to share Toronto's first age-friendly grocery guide with you. This has been created specifically for Ward 22 residents. I've prepared this guide to help connect older adults with local businesses that provide age-friendly services in our community including deliveries, discounts and many other accommodations.
Special thanks to New York City Council Member Gale Brewer for inspiring this project.
You can download the guide as a PDF file and print it from your home computer or the library. You can also view it in your web browser as an image by clicking here. And please feel very welcome to call me at 416 392 7906 if you are unable to print the guide and I will send one to you in the mail.
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