Issues & Policies
I am pleased to share with you the news that the Toronto Youth Equity Framework was approved unanimously by Toronto's Community Development and Recreation Committee this afternoon. It will now go to City Council's July 16 meeting for final approval.
Thank you so much to each of you who invested time and effort to support this important initiative. Your contribution was invaluable whether you visited City Hall and spoke to the committee members today, wrote a letter to your local councillor, or spoke with your friends and colleagues about the importance of taking action to address the roots of youth violence. I also deeply appreciate all the thoughtful insights and advice I received from engaged community members like you.
But this is only the first step and it will take continued, collaborative work to make real progress on this important priority for our City. Please write to the Mayor and your local councillor and urge them to support the Toronto Youth Equity Framework at City Council.
As I mentioned to you in my previous update, my motion to return some common sense to the rules regulating moped and scooter parking was sent to the chair and members of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee and Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, a member of that committee, was prepared to move it on my behalf at their meeting today. However, the committee chair, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, decided that he was not interested in considering the item today and adjourned the meeting before Councillor Berardinetti had an opportunity to present it.
I will not allow petty politics to prevent us from doing the right thing. Therefore, I intend to bring my motion to the July meeting of City Council to direct the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee to consider this item. Unfortunately, because the summer is upon us and due to Councillor Minnan-Wong's actions, our motion will not be able to be debated by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee until their next meeting in September.
No matter where you live in Toronto, I encourage you to contact your local Councillor and the mayor in support of this initiative. As we get closer to the July meeting of City Council, I will follow up with you to ensure that you continue to be informed.
June 12, 2013
Toronto City Council voted recently to spend upwards of eleven million dollars on traffic light synchronization in the city.
Wait a minute...
When I went to university - yes, there were cars then - we ('we' because we carpooled, dontcha know...) knew instantly when the traffic light computer was down because it took way longer to get to U of T from the Bathurst-Lawrence area where I and my fellow carpoolers lived.
I also once met the computer salesperson who had just had his territory changed so he missed out on the huge commission from the sale of new traffic computer equipment to the city.
So, we had traffic light synchronization computers way back then.
OK, so Toronto grew a little.
Earlier this week, my colleagues passed a motion to improve traffic signal synchronization at City Council. I am pleased that the Mayor and the Chair of Public Works made this a priority in response to my letter of September 2011.
Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. This congestion costs the region's economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. The long-term solution to this problem is building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system.
In the meantime, we can take significant steps such as this to improve traffic flow in the short-term.
I was very saddened to learn from the Toronto Ombudsman's recent report that a senior tenant of Toronto Community Housing died shortly after being improperly evicted in 2012. This alone would be unacceptable and inexcusable but it follows a lack of progress made on reforms that were recommended after an inquiry into another death in 2010. Seniors who live in public housing are among our most vulnerable community members and they deserve our care and support.
The new CEO of Toronto Community Housing has agreed to implement all the recommendations in the Ombudsman's report by next year. To ensure that no more tenants fall through the cracks, City Council supported my motion to have the Ombudsman oversee all situations when a senior is facing eviction until new rules and practices are in place at Toronto Community Housing.
You can learn more about the Ombudsman's report and my motion in this article from the Toronto Star.
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