Councillor Shelley Carroll

Find out the latest news and upcoming events in your neighborhood. Politics, news, views, and links from Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Second entry in One Day

Second entry today as the Council Highlights just arrived from the Clerks Office . After my near perfect attendance record being reported in the Sun last month, I caught a terrible cold and missed two days of Council in April. Didn't speak once on the Tuesday because my voice was already going! The highlights are copied and pasted below.

Keep scrolling down after the highlights to the entry I emailed about re Subway Service interruptions and Upcoming meetings.

Council Highlights - Toronto City Council meeting of April 12, 13 and 14, 2005

(2015 World Expo)
Council approved a plan to help the City determine whether Toronto should make a bid to host the 2015 World's Fair, also known as World Expo. The pre-bid work is expected to outline key findings, present recommendations and provide a business plan. Council's decision was informed by the preliminary study of a steering committee that was formed last summer. The next steps include public consultation and further investigation of three potential sites. Subsequently, Council will review a master plan and determine whether to proceed with a formal bid.

(Senior staff appointments)
Council appointed three people to the new positions of Deputy City Manager and Deputy City Manager/Chief Financial Officer in a restructured City administration. Fareed Amin and Sue Corke, the two Deputy City Managers, leave positions as Deputy Ministers in the Ontario government in order to join the City. Joseph Pennachetti, the Deputy City Manager/Chief Financial Officer, was already with the City of Toronto in the former position of Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. Shirley Hoy stays on with the new title of City Manager.
New inter-city bus terminal

Council decided to establish a committee to work with City Planning staff for public consultation on the feasibility of relocating Toronto's main bus terminal. The committee, chaired by Councillor Gerry Altobello and including broad representation, will consider issues such as whether a relocated terminal should be publicly owned or possibly involve a public-private partnership. Council prefers that the location be in the vicinity of Union Station.
Telecommunications review

Council decided that the City will undertake a comprehensive review of its use of telecommunications services and technology such as cellular phones, pagers, land lines and Internet connectivity. The review, which will identify any opportunities for cost savings, is tied in with an effort to improve the City's management of telecommunications contracts.
Dispute resolution for bylaw enforcement

Council endorsed a Bylaw Compliance Program that will introduce a process to resolve disputes in the City's enforcement of bylaws, particularly those involving property standards. The new process is expected to streamline the resolution of such conflicts as neighbour to neighbour disputes and staff to resident compliance disputes.

(Cross-border transport of waste)
At the invitation of Environment Canada, Council agreed to Toronto's participation in a pilot project on the cross-border shipment of municipal solid waste. Environment Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency initiated the project, which focuses on the notification process around the import and export of municipal solid waste. Toronto is a significant exporter of solid waste for disposal in the United States.
New name for trade centre

Council approved a recommendation that the City enter into a legal agreement resulting in the renaming of the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place to the Direct Energy Centre -- Exhibition and Convention Facility.

Council's 2005 budget meetings of February 21 to March 1, 2005

Council adopted a 2005 budget for the City of Toronto on March 1, concluding a full week of meetings devoted to the budget. Highlights include funding for 100 additional buses for suburban routes and almost $12 million in new money for Clean and Beautiful City programs. Increased investment in Clean and Beautiful City programs will enable Toronto to introduce new beautification initiatives, increase litter picking and improve the city's urban forest. The budget requires a three per cent increase in residential property taxes and a 1.5 per cent increase in business property taxes. A detailed summary of the budget is available on the City's Web site at

Sheppard Subway Repairs

You will be seeing some media announcements about the Sheppard Subway shortly. Signal Testing will require the closure of the Sheppard Line four hours earlier on the following dates:

Sunday, May 1st to Wednesday, May 4th
Sunday, May 8th to Wednesday, May 11th
Sunday, May 29th to Wednesday, June 1st
Sunday, June 5th to Wednesday, June 8th

Sheppard Subway service will end at approximately 10:p.m. on the above dates in order to commission a revised version of signal software. On these dates, extra #85 Sheppard Ave buses will stop at all bus stops along the Sheppard line and enter the Sheppard Subway station bus bay and the Don mills station bus bay only. The first extra bus will start at 10:10 p.m. on the above dates and the last bus will leave at 2:25 a.m.

Meeting Reminders:
Wednesday, April 27th: Tenant Meeting, Forest Manor P.S. at 7:00 p.m.

We will be updating tenants from 110 Parkway Forest and 65 Forest Manor Rd. on building and balcony improvements as well as City understanding of building improvement notice requirements. At this time we will also give a brief update on ongoing development.

Monday, May 2nd: "Official Plan 101" , Shaughnessy P.S. 7:00 p.m.

The Ward 33 Advisory Committee will be having a brief meeting at 6:30 and then a general meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. to present an overview of the City of Toronto Official Plan.
While the OP was approved by Council in the last term of office it was not widely discussed in Ward 33 as the Sheppard Subway building boom had not yet extended into our neighbourhood. But since I've taken office, resident groups have requested a meeting to gain a better understanding of what the plan says and how it will guide staff and influence planning in our Ward and the surrounding community in which we travel. As well, some new resident groups have been formed or resurrected since my term began and need to be updated.

We are honoured to have former Chief Planner during design of the OP, Paul Bedford, to make a special presentation. All Ward 33 residents are welcome.

Friday, April 22, 2005

April 22/05 Surplus Fuss

A few of you have emailed or called about the ‘Surplus Story’ on the CBC on Thursday. Here is the way it works:

Staff develop for each department a budget of how they should spend their share of the City’s cash. This cash is a combination of property taxes, revenue generated from user fees development charges, etc. and last but not least Provincial Funding. Councillors set priorities, Budget Committee checks the work of Finance staff, fine tunes the Budget to direct funds to best use and delivers the final document to Council.

At the end of every year, departments indicate whether they have spent the whole amount designated in the Budget. There is ALWAYS a variance, plus or minus. The total variance should be a surplus if you are doing things right. By private sector standards you hope it will be at least 1% which would be $72 million in the case of the Toronto budget. Then, as a corporation you deposit your surplus in a reserve account to be used to retire debt, replenish reserve accounts that you have drawn from in emergencies or use it to cover any shortfall in the following year’s budget.

This is a very simplistic explanation to be sure. There are many complexities in an Operating Budget of $7.2 billion. The key thing to understand about this little tempest in a teapot on the City of Toronto’s surplus is as follows:

Out of all of the plus and minus variances for 2004, $30 million was left. All departments, including the TTC are required to report their variance to the Budget Committee. They may not go over budget and treat the variance as a windfall. Last year’s $30 million was deposited in a reserve account. In order to balance the budget for 2005, $86 million was then drawn out of reserves.
This may seem like a budgeting plan that is not viable in the long run, $30 million in, $86 million out. It most certainly is not. It is the best explanation I can think of for why we need to sit down and draw up the New Deal for Cities. If a Federal election is on its way, I will be listening every day for some indication of real commitment to Sustainable Major Cities.

April 21/05 Earth Day Quiz

There is a lot going on around town for Earth Day. Friday is the 20 minute makeover. We have asked the newest landlords on the block to join us in Parkway Forest. "Prove to the community that you are here to stay and that you care," we said. Both said yes!

Verdiroc, who are building the new building at 121 Parkway Forest and El Ad, the new owners of the buildings managed by Met Cap will join my Ward 33 team and Staff Inspector White and her Officers from Division 33 to pick up in the Park. Marius will be donating water and refreshments from the Parkway forest IGA Supermarket.

Here is a little fun for you. All staff have been asked to answer an Earth Day quiz. Justin, Collette, Jenny and our summer students Jesse, Collette and Janey need help with the answers. They have to turn in their answers by April 29th so take a look below and see if you can give them a hand....

1) Yogurt tubs and plastic ice-cream containers can now be added to the blue box.
True or False?
2) The number of trucks carrying Toronto’s trash to Michigan has decreased from 140 a day to
a) 100
b) 120
c) 130
3) What percentage of Ontario’s garbage is from Toronto?
a) 60%
b) 38%
c) 24%
4) Compared to producing a ton of paper from virgin wood pulp, how much less water is used to produce a ton of recycled paper?
a) 70%
b) 60%
c) 50%
5) How many tonnes of newspapers were recycled through the City’s grey box program in 2003?
a) 130,000 tonnes
b) 100,000 tonnes
c) 95,000 tonnes
6) How much of the world’s aluminum production is generated from recycled aluminium?
a) one-quarter
b) one-third
c) one-fifth
7) A 15-watt compact fluorescent bulb emits the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
True or False?
8) How much money is saved in one year when you turn off your monitor when not in use?
a) $35
b) $45
c) $60
9) You can report a water leak at work by phoning the number 338-FRED.
True or False?
10) Average residential water use in Toronto is approximately how many litres per person a day?
a) 189 litres/person/day
b) 253 litres/person/day
c) 300 litres/person/day

Thursday, April 21, 2005

City Establishes Rat Hotline 416-338-RATS

If you have a problem with rats in your neighbourhood, help is now a phone call away.

A call to 416-338-RATS (416-338-7287) puts Toronto residents in contact with Toronto Public Health staff who will provide advice about rodent control, and direct calls to the appropriate City department for action.

Responsibility for rodent control resides with various departments, depending on where the problem occurs:

Municipal Licensing and Standards - handles complaints related to private property.
Public Health - responsible for rats found on food premises or institutions, and
Parks and Recreation - responds to infestations in public parks and other municipal properties.

For more information about controlling rats and other rodents on private property, visit the City's Public Health website at
The 416-338-RATS phone line officially opens on April 21, 2005.

Friday, April 08, 2005

April 8 - Meetings Coming Up

Yes, the TTC picture is looking grim. This will be a difficult weekend for Toronto. I have been at City Hall all day and want to assure you the Mayor and TTC Chair, Howard Moscoe are ready to talk all weekend. I know that TTC Management and Transit Union Leadership badly need sleep but the Mayor has made his position clear, "Get a short rest and get back to the table."

As a family of two careers, one car and two teenagers who TTC to school I am as anxious as all of you. Tomorrow morning there will be all sorts of instructions in the newspapers including parking changes on main streets and designated free parking lots in the suburbs for car-pooling. Be sure to buy a paper. Keep in mind that the Leslie/Oriole Go Station will be up and running as usual. Check their website for schedules.

And let us all cross our fingers that after a short rest and with clear heads, both sides will want to find a solution for Toronto in Toronto; without resorting to Provincial back-to-work legislation.

Meanwhile community meetings are coming up:

Wednesday, April 27th: Forest Manor P.S.
Parkway Forest Residents discuss building improvements, tenant issues, and development issues in the area. All are welcome.

Monday, May 2nd: Shaughnessy P.S.
All Ward 33 residents invited. A general information session on the basics of the Toronto Official Plan. It's current influence on the City will be explored.

Saturday, June 4th: Peanut Town Festival
Lots of fun in and around Oriole Community Centre. Refreshments. Get in touch with us to get involved.

Most important of all: Join us for 20 minutes at 2:00 p.m. April 22nd for the Mayor's
. We will be at the centre field in Parkway Forest Community. Step outside and spruce up your own front step or join us to pick up litter with the students of Forest Manor P.S.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Welcome aboard New Police Chief

I am pleased to welcome Bill Blair to the position of Police Chief. Mike Boyd has served well as our Interim Chief and I want to join my colleagues on Council in thanking him for coming back from retirement to serve our community.

Mr. Blair has served the Toronto Police Department in various capacities and I am confident that the Board has made a great choice. Mr. Blair certainly faces some difficult issues as he assumes the reigns, but I know that as a resident of Toronto he brings an understanding of these issues.

I look forward to meeting and working with Chief Bill Blair on issues facing our City and our community, particularly youth and minority groups. I am encouraged by Mr. Blair's early statements regarding issues of racism and harm reduction initiatives.

Meanwhile, our own area will enjoy the same consistent community policing service under the excellent leadership of our own Staff Inspector White.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Toronto Drug Strategy Initiative

Asked to submit an "Ideas and Issues" column to the Bayview Post today; the following is what I submitted concerning the launch of our new Toronto Drug Strategy Initiative, beginning consultation the first week of May:

Why a Toronto Drug Strategy initiative? Why Now?
Demographically we must get ahead of what could be our most difficult generation of young adults or our most triumphant.

Our youth population, our Echo Boom, have been exposed to more than any other generation before them. Most have seen a drug culture that includes a wider variety of dangerous and addictive substance use or have used. Many have witnessed or joined an ever-increasing practice of dangerous binge drinking. Use of ‘designer club drugs’ such as ecstasy and crystal-meth have spread such that one cannot assume that because their child hasn’t joined the Rave scene that they haven’t been offered these substances.

Add to this the rise on Toronto streets of crack cocaine, a drug whose draw is so strong that it is almost always accompanied by weapons trade, sex trade and other abhorrent behaviours in the all powerful quest to feed the habit. No youngster should witness all of this on the short walk to school and yet many do. Some are even drawn into the Crack scene when a zero-tolerance approach deposits them on the street for days at a time.

Now is the time to set aside any and all blame for how we reached this point. Blaming means never having to act. We need to create an atmosphere where all of these issues can proceed to be dealt with openly and effectively from prevention to harm reduction to treatment to law enforcement. Restoring order and calming the drug scene so prevalent on our streets would reduce the societal harms these young people have already witnessed. They could transcend all they have seen and be the next great generation. For those who succumb to addiction under the added pressure of adulthood, we would be ready, FOR ONCE, to help.

(Drug Strategy Consultation evenings across the City will begin the first week of May. Call Collette and Jenny at 416-392-4038 to find the location nearest you.)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Recycling Update

Up in North York, we are the last neighborhood still waiting to come online with the Green Bin program in September. There will be lots of info on this exciting form of waste diversion at our next environment day and in the summer months leading up to the strat date. Our Environment Day up at the McNicholl Transfer Station is on June 11th. Come with containers and pick up some free composted soil.

In the meantime, new items for the Blue Box:

News Release
April 1, 2005

Blue Box program expands...
Plastic jars, tubs and lids are now in. Effective today, April 1, residents can now kick their recycling efforts up a notch by including all plastic food jars, tubs and lids in their blue boxes.
Items include plastic peanut butter jars, margarine, cottage cheese and yogurt tubs and plastic ice cream containers and lids, to name a few.

"Expanding the Blue Box program is an important step toward our goal of diverting 60 per cent of Toronto’s waste from landfill by the year 2006," said Angelos Bacopoulos, general manager of Toronto’s Solid Waste Management Services. "It’s also key to developing a ‘made-in-Toronto’ solution for managing the City’s waste."

The addition of the new recyclables is expected to divert some 2,000 tonnes of plastic annually from single-family and multi-family residences. That means 58 fewer garbage trailer trucks are headed to landfill each year.

Recent market developments show that a viable market for plastic food jars, tubs and lids is evolving. These plastics will be recycled into a variety of products such as pallets, irrigation pipes, trashcans, plastic lumber, flower pots and even items for automotive applications.
The Blue Box program was last expanded in 2001 with the addition of milk cartons, juice boxes, empty paint cans and empty aerosol cans.