Questions and Answers From My Recent Town Hall

Dear Residents,

Here are some Questions and Answers from my recent Town Hall Meeting in Curran Hall.  Many can be applied right across Ward 43 so I thought I would publish them here….

Questions: Does the City consider increased traffic & congestion when developers submit a plan for new condos/other developments?

Answer:  There is a process in place to consider all impacts that new developments will have on the community.  Increased motor vehicle traffic is why there is a push for better/increased public transit and in order to have improvements with public transit the City requires additional funding from the Provincial and Federal governments

Question: Where do you stand on the privatization of Garbage Collection?
Answer: I originally voted for the Privatization in the west as it would be good to have both systems in place to ensure better quality of service.

The reports that have come out do not show that there is going to be much savings to privatize east of Yonge Street.
Privatizing east of Yonge would leave the City with an excess of new equipment, an increase in calls to 311 for quality of service and there will need to be re-deployment of unionized workers, which may result in some requiring to be retrained or laid off.

Question: Why are not all the items in our Green Bin not being collected?
Answer:The City does not have enough trucks presently with the forks to pick up the bins but the workers should be taking everything that is in the bin. If this doesn’t happen you should contact my Constituency Office at 416-396-7222.

Question: Why is there gradual Increases of my Property Tax?  This is very difficult for seniors who are on a fixed income.
Answer: The City’s portion of your Property Tax is not going up but it is MPAC, a Provincial body that sets the rate.

Question: What do we do if we feel it is not feasible to disconnect our downspouts?
Answer: You can still apply for an exemption, see this link for the application and more information:<http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=d490ba32db7ce310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD>

If it is feasible to disconnect your downspout you can do it yourself or hire a reputable contractor.  If you have any questions that are not answered on the City website please call my Constituency Office for assistance at 416-396-7222.

Question: Is there is a By-Law that requires people to pick up after dogs on public property?
Answer: Yes. Call 311 to report an incident. Residents are required to clean up after their dogs on Public Property.  If excrement is not removed on private property you can may also call 311 to report as a property standards issue.  Or call my Constituency Office for assistance at 416-396-7222.

Question: What can we do about the 3 hour Street parking by-law in Scarborough?
Answer:This issue has been addressed at Council many times and is always rejected. There has not been a high demand for permit parking in Scarborough.  In other parts of Toronto permit parking is practiced as they have limited parking space on their private property. One of the issues raised is that as no time limit is placed on permit parking that it could encourage illegal rooming houses.

Question: What can be done about a School Bus at Orton Park Drive that is not setting the flashing lights or the stop sign when operating?

Answer: I have reported this matter and have requested that the Bus driver follow the proper protocol.  If you should encounter this situation again please contact my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca<mailto:councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca> with the bus company name, bus number, time and location of incident.

Question:Can we have the speed limit reduced on Orton Park Drive in front of GB Little Public School?
Answer:My office has put in a request to have the speed limit reduced on Orton Park Drive.  We are waiting for the report from Transportation Services.

Question: Can the Crossing Time at cross walks and intersections be increased?
Answer: A request to review will have to be made.  Please call my office with the intersection and time of day reflected for an increase in crossing time.

Question:When will the lights at Heather Heights Playground be working?
Answer:The lights have now been electrified by Toronto Hydro.

Question: What can be done about damage to my front lawn by the sidewalk snowplow?

Answer:  Please contact my office and provide your residential address.  all reported damage will be repaired by the contractor in the Spring.

 

I hope you found these qquestions and the associated answers helpful?

 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns>

 

All my Best<

 

Paul

City’s Emergency Shelter System & Winter Services For People Who Are Experiencing Homelessness.

Here are some important updates regarding the use of the City’s emergency shelter system and winter services for people who are experiencing homelessness.

Extending cold weather drop-in services to April 15
The City’s two 24-hour cold weather drop-in services have been available on a continuous basis for most of the winter. February 28 was the original date by which these were to have reverted to availability only during an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. In January, we extended continuous service to March 15. Given the cold weather we are experiencing, and out of an abundance of caution, we have extended continuous 24/7 cold weather drop-in service until April 15, the end of the cold weather alert season.

· Margaret’s Toronto East Drop-in Centre (323 Dundas St. East) remains open 24/7 until April 15
· The overnight program at St. Lawrence CC is available by referral from March 18 through to April 15
· Services at St. Felix Centre (25 Augusta Ave) are open 24/7 until March 18. After that the site returns to its regular day-time drop-in programming–unless there is an Extreme Cold Weather Alert in effect, in which case it becomes a 24/7 service starting by 3 pm on the day an alert is called and ending by noon on the day the alert is terminated

As a reminder, there are two 24-hour services for women year round, and the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is open 24/7 for anyone looking for street respite or a shelter referral. An additional 85 sleeping spaces continue to be available Friday, Saturday and Sundays. As well, cold weather beds are available and are put on line as needed.

While not part of the permanent shelter system, most of the Out of the Cold programs also remain open until late March and six operate into April.

SSHA is conducting a thorough review of the cold weather drop-in programs and other winter services in preparation for planning for winter 2017-2018. Early indications are good that the deployment of Streets to Homes outreach staff to work with clients in the cold weather drop-ins is effective. Over this past winter, staff connected with 55 clients and worked with 18 to complete housing plans. To date, four of those clients have found permanent new homes and have the ongoing supports that will help them to maintain their tenancies. Our staff continues to work with these clients.

City and community staff are housing long-term shelter stayers
A coordinated effort to house those staying for long periods in the City’s emergency shelter system is paying off. Since the beginning of January, an estimated 275 people experiencing homelessness and staying in shelter or sleeping rough have moved into homes of their own through the combined efforts of workers in City and community operated shelters and outreach workers.

City response to tighter shelter occupancy
Despite the steady move of people out of shelters and into homes of their own, demand for emergency shelter spaces continues to be high. The nightly average use in February was close to 10% higher than a year previously.

The number of clients citing refugee status as the reason for needing service has grown to almost 20% of all shelter service users. This group is the main reason for continued increase in system pressure.

The City’s response to rising demand for shelter is to make more beds available and to put in place housing allowances and follow up services that can assist housing workers within the shelter system to help service users leave the shelter and find permanent homes of their own. Since just before Christmas, almost 400 beds have been added to the system:
· 174 additional motel beds have been offered since mid-December, providing relief mainly in the family sector.
· Shelter demand from families continues to be high, in part because of a significant increase in intakes from families seeking refugee status. We are seeing continued growth in this demand across all sectors but it remains highest among families. We continue to think that providing refugees with motel rooms and support services is the best way to provide services, and we are working to identify more motel beds that could be used as needed.
· A 60-bed women’s program opened in Scarborough before Christmas and operates at near capacity.
· The new 30-bed men’s program on Bloor Street West opened January 11 and has been full most nights since January 13.
· Red Door’s 96-bed temporary program for families is mostly open now. Red Door will return to its permanent home on Queen Street East once construction is complete on its new facility.
· Sojourn House is operating a 36-bed winter program for single male refugees.

Paul Raftis
General Manager (I)
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

The Road to Ensuring City Hall Is Fully AODA Accessible

On March 8, 2017 I had the Executive Committee adopt a recommendation to implement Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance measures for Committee Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Toronto City Hall. This was done to ensure all residents have the same opportunities when addressing our municipal government. Embarassingly someone I know personally lodged their wheelchair under a presentation desk so badly….they flipped the desk over trying to free themselves

“Updating the City’s Multi-year Accessibility Plan” was adopted by the Executive Committee yesterday. The plan directs City staff to proactively remove barriers to access in City services. The civil service-wide implementation, training, accountability and compliance with a completion date of 2025. The plan however does not include addressing immediate and long overdue needs for everyone in accessing not only the City Hall Council Chamber, but committee meeting rooms where residents attend to speak throughout the month.

“All residents have the right to address Standing Committees. I had noted for some time residents who require additional support to accommodate physical disabilities are not being given the support they need to make their comments to City Councillors”, I stated yesterday . “An immediate change is necessary to provide all speakers the ability to address Committees confidently.”

Residents will now see interim measures instituted to achieve access for Committee Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 at City Hall.

The updated multi-year plan spans from 2017 -2025 to include full compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Compliance measures into all City operations; along with strategic identification, prevention with removal of barriers by 2025 will be done. The plan will also include collecting data from employees to ensure all barriers are addressed.

I will also be requesting the Scarborough Civic Centre along with all Civic Centre meeting rooms implement similar interim measures to achieve AODA compliance.

All my Best,

Paul .

Happenings in The Curran Hall Community

 

Curran Hall Community Centre
Curran Hall Community Centre

 

Dear Curran Hall Neighbours,

Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone and their families my Best Wishes for a successful 2017!

This past year has been very eventful for our community and City Hall. For example, City Council did a Toronto Ward Boundary Review. This recommended increasing the number of Wards from 44 to 47, altering several of the downtown ward boundaries significantly. The new boundaries are to be in place for the 2018 election, contingent on any appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board. The Vacant & Derelict Buildings Rebate was canceled. I have been working on this since 2012. The rebate provided building owners with a rebate if their storefronts properties were empty. This has a negative effect on every neighbourhood.

Curran Hall Ravine Park: Barriers will be placed at the Mossbank entrance to the Curran Hall Ravine Park between Mossbank Drive and Northfield Road. Cars are driving into the area.

Pedestrian Crosswalk: I have requested a crosswalk be installed at Orton Park Drive and Slan Avenue to facilitate a safer crossing for residents. Transportation Services are conducting a study to establish if the request is needed.

Community Bus: I along with many residents have been fighting for a TTC Community Bus. I have been told by TTC General Manager Andy Byford due to a lack of financial support, a community bus cannot be introduced as this time. I am very disappointed with this development.Community bus

This project is important to our community. The TTC will keep our request under active review.

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Facility for Scarborough East: Scarborough has a lack of job skills training for youth who want to work in a skilled trade. This past Spring, the Toronto District School Board has closed Sir Robert L. Borden Business and Technical Institute on Poplar Road. I been in discussions with many potential partners to build a Job Skills Training Centre.

sir robedrt l. borden

Ideally, this will serve the purpose of converting the school to provide pre-apprenticeship training programs. Trades are an immense economic driver, which help steer our economy to success. I want to ensure Scarborough residents, especially our youth, who can be trained for stable, good paying jobs, which lead to a career.

Please contact me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca Tel: 416-396-7222 or visit my Constituency Office located in the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Boulevard 2nd Floor.

Sincerely,

Paul W. Ainslie City Councillor
Ward 43, Scarborough East

Council Defers Privatizing Our Garbage Collection in Scarborough

Dear Neighbour,

This past week Toronto City Council debated the concept of contracting out our garbage collection in Scarborough.

The result of the debate had Mayor Tory moving a motion for the entire process to be reviewed by senior City of Toronto management, in consultation with CUPE Local416, who represent the City’s outside workers. The report will be brought back to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. This report has to include information on “options to continue to improve public sector waste collection service performance across the City”.

I supported Mayor Tory’s motion which will give the matter greater consultation with residents, and gives direction to focus on service deliver which works best for all of us. . .

Our unified voices to not support the privatization were heard loud and clear resulting in the matter being deferred to collect more information. In the past week I have heard from well over 1, 500 residents from across Ward 43. The vast majority do not support the privatization of waste collection in Scarborough.

The next steps include additional consultation with CUPE representatives on service performance, an overview of both currently contracted waste services and public sector service delivery, review of options for future waste collection service; an analysis of the Waste-Free Ontario Act and how that relates to curbside collection, a review of contract lengths private waste collection providers in other municipalities; of diversion rates and updated performance data and financial metrics, including cost per stop and cost per tonne. I would like to thank you for contacting me and providing your feedback. Your communication was instrumental in my decision to not support contracting out.

The complete Motion moved by Mayor Tory is to be found here:

1. City Council refer the Item to the General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services and direct the
General Manager, in consultation with the Executive Director of Human Resources and the Director, Employee and Labour Relations, to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, having regard to the term of the current Collective Agreement with CUPE Local 416 regarding:

– The results of additional consultation with CUPE representatives with respect to options to continue to improve public sector waste collection service performance across the City;
– an overview of a comprehensive management program to be implemented in the Solid Waste Management Services Division as it relates to oversight of all currently contracted waste services as well as public sector service delivery;
– A review of options for future waste collection service, having regard to the current collective agreement with CUPE Local 416;
– An analysis of the Waste-Free Ontario Act and potential implications on future curbside waste collection service provision in the City;
– A review of contract lengths with private waste collection providers in other municipalities;
– An analysis of the long-term cost implications of diversion rates and the comparison within each district;
– Updated performance data and financial metrics, including cost/stop and cost/tonne within each district; and
– include funds in the 2017 Capital Budget and provide authority for the immediate purchase of vehicles as required and assessed by the General Manager, Solid Waste Management Services.

If you have any questions or concerns about this, or any other matter. Please contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Paul W. Ainslie
City Councillor, Ward 43
Scarborough East

IS PRIVATIZING OUR GARBAGE COLLECTION THE ANSWER? LET ME KNOW!

January 27, 2017

Dear Ward 43 Neighbour,
I am writing to you asking for your input on the potential to contract out our household waste collection which includes garbage, blue bin, as well as your green bin to a private company.
By now many of you have either received a knock on your door or a card in your mailbox. (Boy was the union rep surprised when I opened my front door!) Either the person or the card would be from Toronto Civic Employee Union Local 416. This union represents all unionized outside working people employed by the City of Toronto municipal government.
Why is Toronto City Council looking at privatizing the collection of your household waste? The short answer: This was one of the campaign pledges made by Mayor John Tory when he was running for the office of Mayor in 2014.
Before this, the former City of Etobicoke contracted out their waste collection in 1995 prior to amalgamation. When Rob Ford was Mayor of Toronto, City Council voted to contract out all waste collection west of Yonge Street:
Here is the report from 2015: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-83720.pdf
The City of Toronto is divided into four Districts. Scarborough is designated as District 4. District 1 & 2 have been contracted out already . If District 4 is contracted out…..District 3 will be looked at next.
There are a number of issues which are going to be looked at by City Council. All will have financial impacts on us as taxpayers:

Cost: If the is approved at City Council next week staff will have the approval to be spending a minimum of $500,000 to create a “managed competition process” in place.

Redeployment: The current contract allows for the redeployment of workers with over 15 years’ seniority (If they can’t be redeployed, they would be laid off) The scale of change for contracting out the Scarborough’s waste collection is massive….it will impact about 500 workers (50% of the Department’s remaining labour force). “Redeployment means retraining and disruption which can cause significant challenges. Redeployed workers who end up in another job are guaranteed their current wages for a certain amount of time.

Equipment: As taxpayers, we will no longer need to set aside about $10m annually for waste collection truck replacement, (They wear out quick, even with regular repairs) This is great, but on the other hand, selling all the trucks we do use now will be at rock bottom prices. The public’s investment in waste collection trucks will be almost worthless.

Competition: Local 416 will be allowed to bid on the waste collection contract through the same City of Toronto management who wrote the contracting out report. (There will be communication barriers between different levels of staff) They would be doing so assuming they can buy the right equipment. If available? (see above paragraph) Waste collection across North America is a very competitive industry with well financed companies. The union will more than likely be out-managed and outbid. Private companies will bring their own equipment and management teams.

Taxes: While I can not share all of the financials we are going to discuss. The cost per household for door to door pick up in Scarborough is lower than in other areas of the City. In a 2015 staff report the cost per home in Etobicoke was $142.86, compared to $126.89 in Scarborough. Scarborough also had the highest usage rate for blue bin and green bin by residents. In just over a year, it would seem the difference couldn’t have changed much? I will find out in the confidential document I am provided. Unfortunately I am not allowed to divulge the numbers publicly.
Here is the link to the Ernst and Young Report from 2015: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-83723.pdf

I will be honest….the last time I voted to privatize waste collection west of Yonge Street. In all the research, I had done on the topic I was comfortable with half the City waste collection being privatized and the other half picked up by unionized employees. Under this scenario both parties must be on top of their game to control costs. There are comparative benchmarks established to see which model works better…. residents would see any significant and potentially costly risks reduced. Complaints about waste collection in Scarborough decreased quite a bit. When I was first elected in 2006 there were probably the number one complaint I received from residents. They are now received much less frequently.
As an example, I will point to this quote from 2014 by Jim Harnum, the former General Manager of the City’s Solid Waste Management Division, “We see that staff are responding. They realize that ‘Hey, we’re going to lose our jobs if we don’t be part of this team …. There’s value in having in-house as well as contracted out. That gives us the ability to keep contractors honest.”
Jim McKay the current General Manager of Solid Waste acknowledges last week in the meeting of the Public Works’ Committee that on the basis of cost per household, waste collection in Scarborough is still cheaper than Etobicoke.
I am now asking for your feedback. Outlined above are many if not all of the issues I will be looking at as we review this in Toronto City Council this month. Just like you and your family, I pay property taxes and want to make sure I get the best value for my hard-earned dollars I give to the City of Toronto as taxes.
If you could please email any comments, to councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca I would greatly appreciate it! All comments will be kept strictly confidential and not shared with anyone. I welcome feedback to me on this issue and all others at any time.

Sincerely,

Paul Ainslie, City Councillor
Ward 43 Scarborough East

PS. Garbage Bin Fee Increase: And I also will provide you with something else to think about. The City’s Budget Advisory Committee is looking at moving away from the current model of a flat rebate regardless of the size of bin. There would be an increasing sliding scale upwards towards 2023 for full cost recovery. For example, a small garbage which bin which cost a homeowner $18 annually now, will gradually increase each year to $328 annually by 2023.
The link to this report can be found here: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/bu/bgrd/backgroundfile-99908.pdf

Toronto Public Health Launches Homeless Death Data Program

Dear Residents of Ward 43,

 

As of January 1, 2017 I am proud to say that the Toronto Public Health’s program to track all homeless deaths that occurs within the city began on January 1, 2017. The program will collect data on all homeless deaths in Toronto within and outside of the shelter system, and will be led by Toronto Public Health in collaboration with 200 health and social agencies that support the homeless and with assistance from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

 

The program provides a secure, web-based form to all participating agencies to be completed in the occurrence of a death of a homeless individual. Data that will be collected on this form includes age, gender, date, location and the unofficial cause of death. This form will be downloaded by Toronto Public Health and reviewed by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario.

 

In previous years homeless deaths were counted under the condition that the death occurred in a city-administered shelter or shortly having been in one. The homeless who died on the streets of Toronto were not counted.

 

I presented this initiative to City Council in early April 2016 and am very pleased with its implementation. The collection of this data is important.  It is the tool needed for us to begin influencing decision making at all levels of government;  to bring purposeful policies and legislation to help the homeless and sick who live on the streets of Toronto.

 

The inspiration to go forward with this motion came from an investigative article from the star, “Ontario’s uncounted homeless dead”. This piece presents the uncounted case of a homeless man John Doe, where a week before his death was found by a police officer unconscious on our City streets.

 

The individual was rushed to Toronto General Hospital where he was stabilized in critical condition and remained a John Doe. Within days a hospital spiritual counsellor was able to identify John Doe as Brad Chapman. Chapman later passed in the presence of his family.

 

In passing in a hospital and not a city-administered shelter the data on his death was not collected nor placed on an official homeless dead list.

 

I found it necessary that our City start collecting data on the number of individuals who perish outside the physical boundaries of the shelter system immediately, as without data without real statistics how were we to frame legislation and prepare preventative measures.

 

Sincerely,

Paul Ainslie

 

On Tuesday January 10, 2017 a launch was held to announce the Homeless Death Data Program.  Following is the speech I delivered at the event.

 

Speech delivered by Councillor Paul Ainslie

January 10, 2017 

Launch of Homeless Death Data Program

 

Good morning everyone.  My name is Councillor Paul Ainslie.  I would like to thank you for joining us here today for this important event.

 

Before we begin, I would like I would like to thank the Church of the Holy Trinity for opening their doors and sharing their space for our announcement before the monthly Homeless Memorial service they host to acknowledge the many lives lost due to homelessness in our city.

 

One of my great privileges as Councillor is to be able to raise awareness of the challenges we face across our city and to help bring them to the attention of those who can help address them most effectively. The plight of the homeless and marginally housed in our city is one that requires more work and attention and I am very encouraged to see so many of you here today who share in that belief.

 

Last March City Council adopted recommendations for the Board of Health to begin collecting all relevant data related to deaths of homeless individuals within and outside homeless shelters. The collection of this data is important.  It is the tool needed for us to begin influencing decision making at all levels of government;  to bring purposeful policies and legislation to help the homeless and sick who live on the streets of Toronto.

 

The collection of data is significant in affecting how governments could work cohesively to address the issues and provide the supports required to prevent the unfortunate circumstances of our homeless dying on Toronto streets.

 

I found it necessary that our City start collecting data on the number of individuals who perish outside the physical boundaries of the shelter system immediately, as without data without real statistics how were we to frame legislation and prepare preventative measures.

 

Toronto Public Health is well-equipped to lead this initiative as they are committed to protecting and promoting the health of all Toronto residents, including those who are often not represented fully in, and by, the system.

 

I’m very honoured that I can be here with you to share what I believe will be only one of many strides we’ll continue to make in this area and I look forward to marking this progress with you in the months and years ahead.

 

Before I hand it over to our next speaker, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank Cathy Crowe for her long standing work with the homeless along with her selfless efforts as a nurse to those in need. I would also like to thank Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Acting Medical Health Officer and her team.

 

I would now like to invite and welcome Toronto’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, up to say a few words.

Updates for the Guild Park and Gardens

Dear Residents of Ward 43,

On November 29th a meeting on Arts Programming at the Guild Park and Gardens took place. The meeting was very well attended and it was evident that the community were all excited for the renovations of the programming buildings. View presentations here http://bit.ly/2gbpxqR

The arts community being the most probable group to use the new facilities has a common theme found within their input. Most of the community would like to see rental work space, gallery showing space, and possible lecture times. Others have indicated what would be useful to have within the given space, such as ventilation, running water, good lighting and flexible spaces.

The youth are quite excited as well. There are not many art focused schools in Scarborough therefore a cultural and arts centre like this will be a great addition for those hoping to pursue a career in the arts. “Scarborough has many talented artists but no real hub.”

The centre currently known as “building 191” needs a proper name! 154 submissions have been submitted and will be reviewed. The arts program vision is to create a dynamic public place activated by arts and culture for programs with space for residents and artists.

The Guild Park and Gardens covers over 88 acres on the Scarborough Bluffs. Originally the home of the Bickford Residence built in 1917, the property is a cultural and artistic central zone of great significance to the City. The Park and Gardens hosts many weddings, photography and annual events such as the Guild Alive with Culture Festival, historical walks, live theatre and many community run events.

The restoration of the Bickford Residents including the restaurant along with the new banquet facility are earmarked to be complete in the spring of 2017.

Sincerely,
Paul Ainslie

Winter Is Coming!

Dear Residents of Ward 43,

December is here! This year has flown by extremely fast and the Holiday Season is just around the corner. I know there a few of you who have already checked off every single item on their to-dos and wish lists. I also know that there are those out there who have not even taken a peak at their lists. All lists aside, for a moment I would ask you to think about what your Holiday Season is going to be like this year. Throwing a small party or inviting the entire family? Will it be another filled with traditions or an attempt to mix it up this year?

To add onto your traditional holiday activities the City offers winter season programming that include skating programs, swimming programs and March Break camps. Registration for Scarborough Districts begin this Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 7 a.m. Before attending registration individuals should visit http://toronto.ca/torontofun for more information. Participants can register using the website http://efun.toronto.ca/is as it is the easiest way to register for programs. There are plenty of free programs http://toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation and there is also and an older adult (60+ years) discount who receive a 50 per cent discount.

Winter is coming! Visit http://toronto.ca/winter for more information on winter activities and events. #WelcomeTOwinter

The cold weather is fast approaching! Despite the expected indecisiveness from our City weather remember to bundle and stay warm. Always have the essentials on you; a warm coat, scarf, a hat, mask, mittens or gloves, warm and safe footwear! Keep in mind of the weather, remember what black ice is and avoid it, drive safe and travel safe.

The City of Toronto 2016 Holiday Wish List http://www.toronto.ca/housing is open to your help in donations or volunteer time. The Holiday Wish List is a guide for residents to help the homeless and vulnerable people of this City during this holiday season. Aside from winter dress essentials the organizations participating on this Wish List, they are also looking for toiletries, children’s toys and gift cards for food or groceries. On the website there is an alphabetical list with the organization’s name and address along with the organization’s needs, as well as contact info for volunteer opportunities and more details.

Again I encourage all of you to keep warm and stay safe. Maybe extend a favour to the others in need.

Sincerely,

Paul Ainslie

Savings for the City

Dear Ward 43 Residents,

 

A number of announcements have been made recently aimed at government efficiencies, On Tuesday, November 22, 2016 Mayor John Tory, Budget Chair Gary Crawford and myself as Chair of the Government Management Committee made the announcement for Government Modernization for a savings of $15 million annually.

 

The idea lies in modernizing how services are delivered at the City as well as the creation of and move to hire a Chief Transformation Officer. A measure I have supported since 2012 when the Government Management Committee adopted measures to support the creation of an Infrastructure Office to co-ordinate standards across all divisions including information technology, purchasing and standard services.

 

I am focused on modern methods to save money and time to ensure effective and responsible delivery of services to address the needs of Torontonians. Tuesday’s announcement demonstrates that the work done at the City’s standing committees and citizen participation has motivated the modernization of our City.

 

The City projects to save $8 million annually from City of Toronto website, on-line services and service counter reduction. As well as a $7 million annual saving for office modernization and a real estate review.

 

I am also pleased to announce that on Thursday, November 24, 2016 the Vacant Building Rebate program is being considered for review for the purposes of repealing the practice.  Mayor John Tory during his address at the Toronto Board of Trade noted that it costs the City millions of dollars.

 

In 2012 I requested through the Licensing and Standard Committee that the tax be repealed for vacant and derelict buildings. http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-45999.pdf

 

Putting a stop to the practice has projected an annual savings of $22 million for the City. Vacant buildings across the City are resulting in the dilapidation of neighbourhoods have a negative effect on businesses and the economy.  

 

Having the vacancy tax rebate practice repealed would benefit everyone as the incentive to keep the buildings empty would be lifted with the push to rejuvenate them.

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2012.LS12.5

 

 

Sincerely,

 Paul Ainslie