A Lack of Accountability and Transparency on the Costs of the Scarborough Subway Extension
In today's Toronto Star, Jennifer Pagliaro wrote an important story revealing how many tax dollars will be wasted on sunk costs if the Scarborough LRT is cancelled (there may be more). The article also quotes City Manager, Joe Pennachetti, suggesting that the full amount is hidden within this year's City budget. Moveover, the City Manager has not reported back to City Council on Metrolinx sunk costs, as directed by Council. To read the full 2013 agenda item, please click here.
Along with the unacceptable waste of tens of millions of tax dollars, this lack of accountability and transparency is deeply concerning.
In addition, I have yet to receive an adequate reply to my letter to Staff regarding the unexplained and sudden increase in the ridership projection used to justify the Scarborough subway extension.
Working to Expand Community Access to our New and Improved Hodgson Skating Rink
I am very happy we were able to ensure Ward 22's Hodgson Ice Rink was open and fully staffed today (Friday, January 23rd) between 9am-10pm to allow community access for families during a PD Day.
Today's success was a small step toward expanding community hours on a daily basis. At present, the school has exclusive access until 4:30 pm every weekday, even though it is not fully utilized. I am working very closely with Trustee Laskin, the TDSB and City Staff on expanding community access to hours currently reserved by the TDSB. This is our community rink and I believe it should be accessible to both students and community as much as possible.
I will keep you updated on our progress.
Another Season of the Skinnamarink at June Rowlands Park
I am very proud to be supporting a remarkable team of local parents and volunteers who have created a natural ice rink, the Skinnamarink (near Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground), for a second skating season at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. On behalf of our Ward 22 community, I'd like to thank the volunteers for all of their hard work, spending evenings flooding the rink so that our kids can enjoy more ice time!
Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Town Hall on the 2015 City of Toronto Budget
On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7pm, I will be hosting my 2015 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. The meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).
If you would like more information on the proposed 2015 City of Toronto budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please visit the City of Toronto website.
SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day
On Thursday, June 4 from 4 pm to 8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd). Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.
Glebe Manor Parks East and West Public Meeting
On Wednesday, February 4 at 7 pm, I will be hosting a public meeting to provide an update and discuss the next steps for improvements to the Glebe Manor Parks (located just east and west of Mount Pleasant Road, along Belsize Drive). Please join me at Greenwood College School in Room 103 to make your voice heard!
Please note there is no parking available at Greenwood for the meeting.
I have been working closely with parents and schools, such as at Davisville PS, to try and improve the process in which Crossing Guards are assigned by the Toronto Police Service.
The existing policy did not provide an opportunity for parents, schools or the City to provide input into the decision-making process when locations were reviewed. Instead, the Police Service made these decisions based on pure traffic counts, and the number of unaccompanied children the police counted when surveying the location. They gave no consideration for the unique circumstances that may be present with each request. If the objective measures were not met, the request would be denied.
Last February, I attended the Toronto Police Services Board meeting and, with the support of Councillor Michael Thompson (who was on the board at that time), brought forward a motion for the Chief of Police to review and amend the relevant policy, with the aim of allowing greater flexibility to address the specific needs of each community.
As a result of this review, the Chief of Police announced at the past Police Services Board meeting that they have amended their policy. Now, when the objective criteria are not met, a School Crossing Guard Advisory Committee will be formed that will include representatives from the school, students and the City of Toronto to review the extenuating circumstances with the ability to overturn the decision of the survey team.
This review would also include having a public meeting to allow full community input. I look forward to working with concerned parents to advocate for our kids' safety on streets that merit more adult supervision.
Toronto-St. Paul’s Annual Skating Party
Our local MP, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, will be co-hosting a community skating party with me at the new Hodgson Rink. Please join us from 12 pm to 2 pm on Saturday, February 7 for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate. I look forward to seeing you there!
Casa Loma Community Open House for Wards 22 and 21
Nick Di Donato, Councillor Mihevc and I will be co-hosting a community open house at the gardens at Casa Loma. Please join us from 5 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, February 12 for a spectacular Winter Wonderland light display, live ice carving and wood carving presentations. Hot chocolate and s'mores will be available for purchase.
Laneway Naming in Forest Hill Village
A local resident has approached me about a proposal to name laneways in the Forest Hill Village, including two laneways each in Wards 22 and 21.
The first is located just East of Spadina Road, running south from Lonsdale Road. The new name proposed is Lallie Haye Lane after Lallie Haye, a beloved fixture in the Village for over four decades. Lallie came from Jamaica in 1966 and began working at Bilton's Fine Foods in 1968. After Bilton's closed, Lallie worked at Kitchen Table, serving her community until her retirement in 2012. Lallie’s strong personality, infectious good humour, ready welcome for every customer, and obvious courage in the face of physical difficulties during the last years of her employment, endeared her to Village residents for more than 40 years.
The second laneway is located east of Spadina Road and runs north from Lonsdale Road to Thelma Avenue. It is proposed to be named after Andrew Hazlet who, among many contributions to Forest Hill Village, was a popular Councillor, Reeve, and the man who put the ‘forest’ back in Forest Hill. At a time when the land in Forest Hill was cleared of trees for farming, Hazlett decided to have a tree planted in front of every house — at Village expense. The wisdom of this decision is now abundantly clear and deserves to be widely acknowledged and honoured.