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.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Council Highlights of July 2005

City Council meeting of July 19 to 21 and July 26, 2005

Action in support of affordable housing
Council agreed to establish a new committee to speed up the approvals process for affordable housing projects in Toronto. The committee, which will consist of seven members of City Council, will streamline the review and approvals process for new affordable housing developments. Planning issues will still be considered by the relevant community council as well as by the Planning and Transportation Committee. The City will staff a new Affordable Housing Office responsible for research, advocacy and co-ordination.

Holistic health and body rubs
In an effort to crack down on licensed holistic health centres that may be providing illegal sexual services, Council passed bylaw amendments that include requiring holistic clinics to be members of a health association that enforces professional standards and ethics. In addition, the July 26 decision restricts holistic centres’ hours of business.

Labour settlement with Local 416
Council approved a four-year collective agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416. Terms of the contract, which covers about 6,000 outside workers including paramedics, garbage collectors, parks workers and transportation employees, provides pay increases of 2.75 per cent effective January 1, 2005; 3 per cent effective January 1, 2006; 3.25 per cent effective January 1, 2007; and 3.25 per cent effective April 1, 2008.

Recycling in apartment and condominium buildings
Multi-unit residential buildings in Toronto will be required to establish effective recycling programs for their waste or they will soon face a financial levy for excess garbage. Council approved the strategy, which is based on the proven effectiveness of financial incentives to increase waste diversion. The City, which intends to begin applying the levy in 2006, will help building owners or managers set up the required recycling programs in their apartment, condominium and co-op buildings.

3-1-1 call centre
The operations centre for the City’s new 3-1-1 service will be located in the council chamber at Metro Hall. Council approved plans to retrofit the council chamber as a telephone call centre, scheduled to be operational by 2007. The 3-1-1 strategy is designed to improve public access to City services and improve the overall service experience on the telephone and the Web.

Review of the City’s fleet operations
Council adopted a series of recommendations resulting from the second phase of the City of Toronto Auditor General’s review of City fleet operations. As a result, staff will undertake a study into the feasibility of centralizing ownership of the City’s vehicle fleet and integrating fleet operations within the Fleet Services Division. At present, several City divisions own and operate major fleets of vehicles. The Auditor General’s study asserts that the current decentralized approach is not cost effective for the City.

Strategy for special events
Council adopted a strategy for the City to support and sustain the festivals and event industry, primarily through the work of the City’s Toronto Special Events unit. The City will also help to establish a network of special event organizers and streamline the City’s process for issuing permits to event organizers.

Free parking for war veterans
Council unanimously approved a motion that will offer free municipal parking in Toronto for the rest of this year to war veterans who drive a vehicle with a veterans’ licence plate. The gesture coincides with the federal Year of the Veteran, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War - Victory in Europe (VE) Day - on May 8, 1945. The parking arrangement covers on-street parking meters and City-operated parking lots.

Street furniture program
Council supported the establishment of a co-ordinated street furniture program to help support the Clean and Beautiful City initiative. Street furniture includes items such as roadside benches, newspaper vending boxes, litter/recycling bins and transit shelters. The goal is a range of street furniture designed appropriately for different locations in the city.

Expansion of defibrillation program
Council approved measures intended to expand the City’s Public Access Defibrillation program for the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest at City workplaces and public facilities. All City divisions will be encouraged to include funding for defibrillators and related employee training in their proposed 2006 operating budgets. Toronto EMS will assist with phasing in public access defibrillation across City divisions as part of the Cardiac Safe City program.

Identification of archeological sites
Council approved criteria and procedures to screen properties for archeological resources before new development proceeds on the properties. The screening mechanism is an interim measure to prevent the possible loss of archeological sites between now and 2007, when Toronto’s archeological master plan is expected to be completed. About 75 per cent of the city’s area has potential for archeological sites, some of them dating back more than 10,000 years.

Assisting homeowners with termite problems
The City plans to establish a program to educate people about termite infestation and treatment for eradication. Council approved the proposal, subject to the provision of funding in the City’s 2006 operating budget. Earlier municipal programs assisting Toronto homeowners with termite infestations ended a few years ago.

Questions about this document: Corporate Communications, 416-392-1165 or 416-392-8937