This is an example of a HTML caption with a link.





General Issues

Take Action: Support Toronto's Youth Equity Strategy

Dear residents,

 

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.

 

The committee will very likely consider these initiatives later in the day, sometime after the lunch break that ends at 1:30 pm. Please contact my office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416 392 7906 for assistance with speaking or writing to the committee, or contacting your local councillor.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow

 
   
   

My letter to the Licensing and Standards Committee regarding nuisance lighting

Chair and Members

Licensing and Standards Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

 

June 10, 2013

 

Re: Enforcing Chapter 629-17 of the Municipal Code relating to nuisance lighting

 

 

Licensing and Standards staff have adopted a narrow interpretation of Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code relating to nuisance lighting, specifically the definition of "direct lighting." As a result, residents who are affected by nuisance lighting originating off their property have been dissatisfied by City enforcement of its own by-laws.

 

I am writing to request that staff clarify their interpretation of Chapter 629-17A and report on options to revise it and any other City by-laws or policies as necessary to take into account the actual, lived experience of residents affected by nuisance lighting.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1. The Licensing and Standards Committee request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report back by December 2013 on the following:

 

a. how the City of Toronto currently enforces Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code, including how this practice was adopted;

 

b. options to revise Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code and any other City by-laws or policies as necessary to take into account the actual, lived experience of residents affected by nuisance lighting.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

City of Toronto and School Boards Task Force Approved

Council approved my motion to create a task force made up of city councillors and school trustees from all four boards in the Toronto area. We serve the same communities, and share many priorities, yet are different levels of government. Now there will finally be a formal table for us to work together on common priorities such as community hubs, school pools, childcare, recreation and learning opportunities for all ages.

   

Thank You for Supporting Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence at City Hall!

Dear friends,

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

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

   

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

   

NOTICE OF MOTION: A Picture Tells Too Many Storeys: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments

NOTICE OF MOTION


A Picture Tells Too Many Storeys: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments


Moved by: Councillor Matlow


Seconded by: Councillor Wong-Tam


SUMMARY:

 

Toronto is becoming an increasingly dense city with an additional 134,000 new residents added between 2001 and 2011. The majority of those new inhabitants are living in condominiums. It is anticipated that this trend will continue as Toronto's population is expected to grow by 160,000 over the next 10 years with just as many new condo or apartment units added.

 

Residents in high-growth areas are being asked to live with an increasing amount of density, construction and traffic. It is only fair that they are provided every opportunity to voice their concerns and offer their feedback. While Toronto's planning process provides forums for resident participation, many community members are under the impression that a development has already been approved due to misleading advertising.

 

At the beginning of the application review process, local residents are generally confronted with on-site, billboard, print and other advertising depicting a building that will be "coming soon" with no mention of a municipal approval process, opportunity for citizen input or that the rendering can be altered. In addition to the confusion created in the community, this misleading advertising suppresses local engagement by giving the impression that the application is a "done deal".

 

Misleading condominium advertising can also negatively affects purchasers. Individuals have purchased units that have later been removed from the project through the City's planning process, leaving buyers scrambling to find alternative living arrangements.

 

This motion requests that the City Manager request the provincial government to require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  1. City Council request the City Manager to formally submit a recommendation to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services that would require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications until a Building Permit has been issued

  2. The required language, "application is subject to approval by the City of Toronto", must occupy no less than 25% of the advertisement

  3. "Advertising" referred to in recommendation (1) includes, but is not limited to: on-site, billboard, print, radio and television

April 3, 2013

   

Page 1 of 3

March 2014 April 2014 May 2014
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Josh On Twitter

Josh On Facebook