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Issues & Policies


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Town Hall Meeting Presentation Slides

Here are the presentation slides from my 2013 Budget Town Hall Meeting that was held on December 13. Please click on the image to open them as a pdf file.

 

City of Toronto - Town Hall Meetings - 2013 Operating Budget and 2013 - 2022 Capital Budget and Plan

 

The future of the Gardiner Expressway

I believe City Council must not play a political blame game, delay or risk residents' safety. This discussion should  be completely focused on making a prudent decision about the reality of a crumbling Gardiner Expressway while responsibly considering safety, costs, our waterfront and commuters' needs. Here are a few ideas for your consideration: Ten things we could do with the Gardiner Expressway. As always, I'd appreciate your feedback.

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

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Tenants' Frequently Asked Questions

What is the law that governs the relationship between tenants and landlords?

A: The provincial Residential Tenancies Act (2007). This legislation also governs the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board located right around the corner at Yonge and St. Clair.

 

Why can my landlord raise my rent every year? Who decides what the amount is?

A: The provincial government has permitted landlords to raise rents on an annual basis by a "Guideline" amount that is tied to the Consumer Price Index. In 2011 that amount was .7% so many tenants didn't notice if landlords even bothered to raise it. Unfortunately, for 2012 the amount was 3.1%. The provincial government realized this amount was too hard of a burden on tenants and is moving forward with new legislation that would cap the Guideline increase at 2.5%.

 

What is an Above the Guideline Rent Increase (AGI)? Can I appeal it?

A: An AGI is a rent increase above the "Guideline" that a landlord can apply for through the Landlord and Tenant Board to cover the cost of capital repairs such as replacing elevators or balconies. As a tenant, you have the ability to appeal this amount at a hearing before the Landlord and Tenant board. The City has a tenants' Defence fund that is setup to help tenants with legal costs associated with AGI hearings.

 

Is my landlord responsible for providing a certain amount of heat in my apartment?

A: A landlord shall provide heat to a dwelling unit that is rented or leased and that is normally heated at the landlord's expense so that a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius is maintained in all areas of the dwelling unit from the 15th day of September in each year to the 1st day of June in the following year. Please phone 311 if the minimum heat standard is not being met. MLS will come to your place and take readings and enforce the by-law if warranted.

 

Is my landlord responsible for keeping my apartment in a state of good repair?

A: A landlord is responsible for providing tenants with a clean, pest-free living environment with working appliances. Common areas must be well-lit and provide functioning elevators, hand rails, etc. Please phone 311 to have MLS investigate any of these issues in your building.

 

My landlord has put a lot of stipulations in my lease that prevent me from having children, a pet or guests over. Is that legitimate?

A: No. The Residential Tenancies Act super cedes anything written in a lease. If you think you have been discriminated against, you can call the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) at 416-944-0087. CERA also has a website at www.equalityrights.org/cera.

 

Can my landlord or Superintendent enter my unit at any time?

A: No. A property owner is also allowed to enter your apartment to:

  • do a maintenance inspection;
  • to allow a potential purchaser to view the unit;
  • or if you have indicated a reason for entry (like cleaning services) in your

The property owner must give you 24 hours written notice before entering and they may only enter between 8 am and 8 pm.

 

My apartment building does not have green bins? Is it possible for our building to get one?

A: The City of Toronto is in the process of phasing in the Green Bin Program for multi-unit dwellings. If your building is not using the Green Bin program, you could contact your building manager regarding the matter.

   

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2013 City of Torotno Budget Resources- Keeping you informed

The following resources and more are available on the City of Toronto's 2013 Budget website. I will also be keeping our Ward 22 community up-to-date with budget developments on this page and via my e-newsletter which you can sign up for on the right-hand side of this page.

 

Presentation: City of Toronto Staff Recommended Tax Supported Capital Budget and Plan

 

Presentation: City of Toronto Staff Recommended Tax Supported Operating Budget

 

Table: 2013 to 2022 Staff Recommended Capital Budget and Plan by Ward

 

Qs & As: Staff Recommended 2013 City Budget

 

Fact Sheet: 2013 City Budget Process for Tax Supported Budgets

 

Fact Sheet: How the Staff Recommended 2013 Operating Budget was Balanced

 

Chart: "Where the Money Comes From" Sources of Financing for 2013-2022 Staff Recommended Capital Budget & Plan

 

Chart: "Where the Money Comes From" Revenues for 2013 Staff Recommended Operating Budget

 

Chart: "Where the Money Goes"  2013-2022 Staff Recommended Capital Budget & Plan

 

Chart: "Where the Money Goes" 2013 Staff Recommended Operating Budget

   

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Achieving $25 Per Capita Arts and Culture Funding

Click here to view our letter as a pdf document.

 

November 30th, 2012

 

Budget Chief & Budget Committee Members

City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON

M5H 2N2

 

Dear Budget Chief and Committee Members,

 

Re:  Achieving the $25 per capita arts and culture funding in the 2013 Operating Budget

 

Background:

For ten years, various Toronto City Councils have periodically affirmed and re-affirmed our commitment to increase the per capita arts and culture funding to twenty-five dollars ($25).

 

Unfortunately, previous political commitments remain unfulfilled.  The effects have been significant. The City of Toronto has now fallen drastically behind other major North American cities in its funding for the arts, with an investment of only $18 per resident.  Our major and direct competitors, including Chicago ($26), Montreal ($32), New York ($74) and San Francisco ($87) all invest significantly more in their cultural activities.

 

As recently as August 2010, City Council once again reaffirmed the importance of arts and culture with a commitment to increase the funding from $18 to $25 per capita in the 2013 budget by approving the Strategies for Arts and Culture Funding by a 40-1 vote.

 

Toronto’s own Culture Plan already recognizes the importance that the arts play in building the strong economic and social environment necessary for Toronto to compete and prosper as a creative city in North America.

 

Large cultural amenities such as the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario along with vibrant galleries, live music venues, and local theatres help draw tourists from across the country and beyond into Toronto.  Creating opportunities for residents to be active in the arts through a painting class, dance lesson or immersive participatory events like Nuit Blanche provides a recreational activity beyond sport but also fosters innovation, a shared sense of identity and social cohesion.

 

According to the University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute, there are 83,000 people directly employed in the cultural sector, representing 6 per cent of our total workforce. Creative industries grew at a rate of 2.9 per cent between 1991 and 2009, exceeding growth in other key sectors such as financial services (2.4%), medical and biotechnology (1.7%), and the food and beverage industry (1.4%).

 

In November 2012, the Supreme Court decision to deny the sign industry any further appeal on the City's billboard tax will potentially raise an estimated $10.4 million toward the $17.5 million annual investment needed to reach the relatively modest $25 per capita funding goal.

 

The business case is clear.  The revenue source is available.  We can delay no longer.  Toronto’s economic competitiveness must include the strategic fulfillment of our decade-long pledge to increase the per capita arts and culture investment to $25.

 

Recommendation:


Budget Committee request that appropriate staff along with the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture produce a Briefing Note for the wrap-up budget meeting outlining the social and economic benefits of increasing to $25 per capita funding for arts and culture.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Josh Matlow                                                                    Kristyn Wong-Tam

Toronto City Councillor                                                     Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's                                                        Ward 27 – Toronto Centre Rosedale

www.joshmatlow.ca                                                          http://ward27news.ca/

   

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Subscribe to my City Hall and Community Updates

Here are my previous e-newsletters.

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