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Issues & Policies


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Traffic Signal Synchronization Approved at Council

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.

 

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Standing Up For Seniors in Toronto Community Housing

Dear Residents,

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

Josh

   

Bayview Buckets Adopt-A-Tree Program

Dear Residents,

 

Local residents and small businesses, along with LEAF, are working together to beautify Bayview Avenue with an inspiring tree adoption program called Bayview Buckets.

 

Urban life is hard on trees, and many of our street trees are replaced too often because they don't get enough water. LEAF is encouraging small businesses to "adopt" a local street tree by ensuring it gets regularly watered throughout the hot summer.

 

Healthier trees live longer which improves the look and feel of our communities while saving money on tree replacements.

 

Please let the following Bayview Avenue businesses know that you appreciate their contribution to the health of our street trees:

 

  • Alex Farm Products
  • Bagel House
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Bestway Cleaners
  • The Big Stretch Yoga Centre
  • BMO Bank of Montreal
  • Bonnie Byford Real Estate
  • California Roll
  • Cumbrae's
  • Epi Breads
  • Horticultural Design
  • Karmasutra Indian Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • L'Avenue Bistro
  • Lemongrass
  • LCBO
  • McSorleys's Wonderful Saloon & Grill
  • Originals
  • Rahier Patisserie
  • Dr. Stephen Simpson Dentistry
  • Teaopia
  • Tokyo Sushi
  • Tribute Communities
  • Valu-Mart
  • Verdi Restaurant
  • Vizio Eyewear & Sunglasses

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 - St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

   

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NOTICE OF MOTION: Mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife

Councillor Cesar Palacio

Chair, Licensing and Standards Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

May 23, 2013

 

Re: Mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife

 

Every year, over one hundred Toronto residents each receive a painful, precautionary rabies shot following a bite from a racoon or other animal. Many hundreds of homeowners and tenants personally know the home and property damage that raccoons, skunks, and opossums can cause.

 

As a first step toward mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife, I believe it would be helpful to request the City Manager to report on the extent to which the City monitors its urban wildlife populations; to report on initiatives in other jurisdictions to reduce the adverse effects of urban wildlife, including property damage and risks to public health; and to request recommendations to adapt those initiatives to the City of Toronto.

 

Recommendation:

 

1. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report to the Licensing and Standards Committee by [date TBD] on the following:

 

a. how the City of Toronto currently monitors its urban wildlife, including but not limited to raccoons;

 

b. initiatives and best practices used in other jurisdictions to address the adverse effects of urban wildlife, including but not limited to property damage and risks to public health; and

 

c. recommended actions to reduce the effects of urban wildlife in the City of Toronto and improve public health, reduce property damage, and increase everyone's enjoyment of both private and public outdoor spaces.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

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NOTICE OF MOTION: Funding Transit and Infrastructure Priorities in Canada's Largest City

NOTICE OF MOTION

 

Funding Transit and Infrastructure Priorities in Canada's Largest City

 

Moved by: Councillor Josh Matlow

 

Seconded by: Councillor Peter Milczyn

 

SUMMARY:

 

This motion requests that City Council consider the accompanying recommendation to explore reforms to municipal bonds that would reduce the cost of servicing the City of Toronto's debt and increase our ability to build and maintain City infrastructure.

 

Governments in other jurisdictions, including the United States, have reduced interest rates and the cost of carrying municipal debt by implementing various tax breaks or rebates. These measures can alleviate the burden on municipalities and make municipal bonds more attractive to private investors.

 

The City of Toronto will spend $400 million to service its debt in 2013. Toronto also has a $2 billion backlog on infrastructure projects including the crumbling Gardiner Expressway, leaky subway stations, and broken refrigeration systems at municipal ice rinks. We also need to build more transit infrastructure, parks, libraries, affordable housing, and other projects to accommodate our rapid growth.

 

The City of Toronto should study the opportunities for provincial and federal reforms to municipal bonds that would reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt and increase our ability to build and maintain infrastructure, and make recommendations to those governments.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee on the following:


a. initiatives and best practices used in other jurisdictions to reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt,  including but not limited to:

 

i. tax-free or exempt municipal bonds such as was used with "Ontario Opportunity Bonds"

 

ii. direct-pay municipal bonds such as "Build America Bonds" in the United States

 

b. recommended actions for City Council to request the federal and provincial governments can take to reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt and increase the City's capacity to invest in its infrastructure priorities.

May 29, 2013

   

Page 7 of 19


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