Join me at the Curran Hall Community Town Hall meeting:
December 3rd, 7:00 PM at Curran Hall Community Centre.
December 2, 2013
The City of Toronto’s 2014 operating and capital budget review process has begun. I encourage everyone to visit the City Budget site and make your comments known to me on issues or concerns which you would like to have addressed. There is also a section in this eNews letter the proposed budget.
I will be hosting a budget consultation meeting on Thursday January 16, 2014, 7:00 p.m., a notice will be sent to all residents. This will also allow Ward 43 residents to have an opportunity to speak to me and City Staff directly on items in the budget. I encourage you to attend and look forward to seeing you.
After all of the public consultations have taken place the City's budget will be presented to the Executive Committee on January 22, 2014 and proceed to City Council on January 29 and 30, 2014.
A report which deals with an expansion of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will be heard at the next Executive Committee Meeting on Thursday December 5, 2013. The staff report which is on the agenda is recommending any expansion plans be put on hold until at least March 2015 to complete further study. This agenda item may be viewed here, item no. EX36.7 - Request to Amend the Tripartite Agreement for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Ward All).
I have started to hear from many constituents who have expressed both opposition and support for the expansion request. Some residents have advised me they are content with the accessibility of the airport for their business and personal travel, while others do not want to see any further expansion because they are concerned about noise and fuel pollution. For myself, in particular I feel there has been a lack of official City of Toronto consultation for our area, and eastern part of the City which includes the flight path to the Island Airport. The only public meetings which have taken place have all been near the central waterfront. I have brought this concern to the Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly to address during the Executive Committee meeting. I would like you to continue to email or call my office with your position and questions as I will bring them to the December 5, 2013 Executive Committee meeting.
I am very happy to share the news about the Social Services Benefits Card which I had approved by City council last year which replaced paper welfare cheques for a number of people with a reloadable debit card is saving an estimated $6.2 million annually and growing for City of Toronto taxpayers. It will be expanded to include other division for further savings. The card is a success for everyone by cutting red tape and service fees. The Social Services Benefit Card was named the recipient for the Excellence in Public Service Delivery Award handed out in October of this year by GTEC, Canada's Government Technology Event.
Last month City Council supported my further recommendations to have the card produce further tax savings by expanding it for a Drug Benefit Card, Shelter Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) and Toronto Public Health. The Card is the first of its kind in Canada a success for administrative efficiencies and cost savings. It was estimated these further implementations would save taxpayers another $700,000 annually.
October 28, 2013
Dear Ward 43 Residents,
I will start by telling you I have always been a big fan of subways .... I always have, and I always will like subways.
In July I voted for a subway to replace the Scarborough SRT. My decision was based on the fact the province had made financial commitments to fully fund a subway, up to $1.89 billion dollars. Council also requested the Federal government to support a subway. If we didn't get funding, from both levels of government, we would be building an LRT.
Flash forward to this month's City Council meeting. The province made a partial commitment, and the Federal government pledged $660 million with a long list of conditions the City of Toronto must meet, including creating public private-partnerships. (Which did not work for Sheppard)
The vote as a result became a choice between:
1) LRT - fully financially supported by the province with no need for property tax increases
2) Subway - with a never ending financial increase to all taxpayers through property taxes:
- $910 million property taxes/development charges
- $450 million Automatic Train Control
- $250 - 300 million in construction cost over runs
- $30 - 40 million dollars annually for maintenance
- a 1.6% dedicated transit property tax increase on top of the usual property tax requirements.
The decision was between:
LRT - fully financed
Subway - $1.8 billion dollars and growing every year, payable by us the tax-payers of the City of Toronto.
As a result, all of us will be paying a dedicated property tax of 3 - 5% annually for a very long time to cover the subway costs.
Voting for the subway was not the fiscally responsible action for me to take. I was elected to make sure we get the best value for our tax dollars. I pay taxes too. And I support subways. But I need to be practical and I can't vote for something purely on emotional attachment, which would subject taxpayers to years of tax increases, and increasing costs to the City.
The City of Toronto faces a huge backlog of repairs which have to be made right across the City. It is already difficult to fund the necessary repairs to our aging infrastructure. Our existing roads are badly in need of repair. We have community centres, libraries and playgrounds which desperately need to be updated. My concern is the added financial pressures will jeopardize our ability to pay for these improvements.
My priority needs to be to serve the residents of Ward 43. Neither LRT or subway route goes anywhere near our Ward. The reality is buses are still the main transit option available to families living in Ward 43. Borrowing today, to build a subway tomorrow, will cost us more and could impact the quality of TTC bus service our area will receive.
Instead of talking about subways, the City needs to be investing in rapid transit to meet today's transit needs as well as the future needs of our growing community. Simply put, we need to find better, faster ways to move more people to where they need to be. We need a reliable system that is safe, clean and affordable. We need a system people from across Toronto can rely on.
In short, as a result of Council's vote to move forward with subways, my constituents will pay higher taxes, the City will have an enormous debt to manage, fewer people will benefit from the investment, and the City will not be in a financial position to move forward with other desperately needed transit and infrastructure projects.
Please continue to stay in touch, I look forward to hearing from you on this or any other matter.
As Chair of the Government Management Committee we have approved
$373 million in Tax Savings since 2010
- Services Benefit Cards annual savings of $6.2 million (62 million over 10 yrs)
- Sole Source contracts reduced at a savings of $22.5 million
- Core Service Review implementations for service delivery $25 million in savings
- New Collective Agreement, full and part-time workers $150 million in savings over next 4yrs.
- Eliminated paper news clippings, switched to electronic $170,000 saved
- Eliminated paper pay stubs savings of $300 to be fully implemented by December 2014
- Online posting of all Purchasing Card (PCard) transactions. Adopted by CC in April 2011, Transactions for all City Divisions on the cities open data page.
- Open Government Committee has been formed of all the ABC's to focus on how all the divisions can move forward to strive for Open Government to best serve the residents.
- Pod Casts have been in place for over one year. Social Media has been enabled to reach the residents of Toronto on meetings, important Issues, committee & volunteer opportunities. This tool is keeping our residents up to date on the goings on at City Hall.
- Idea Market launched in 2011. Front-line employees participate advancing City Divisions to reach the City's priorities.
- Civic Engagement, Council votes and attendance records, along with City agendas, now recorded and online, More public consultations in 2011/2012 budget process
Toronto Public Library’s What's On
Councillor Ainslie's Mobile Office
Coming to You
3 pm - 4 pm
Dates and Locations:
December 06 - 4110 Lawrence Avenue East
December 13 - 3847 Lawrence Avenue East
Emerald Ash Borer(EAB)
Proposed Wind Turbines Project
Our Kingston Galloway / Orton Park community
Restoration of Highland Creek
Pan Am 2015
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
saveONenergy Home Assistance Program (HAP)
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