Early November Update

Dear Ward 43 residents,

I am very happy to say that on Monday November 6th, 2017 at 8am our cheerfully awaited Christmas tree arrived at Nathan Philipps Square. Weller Tree Services is the company that has been in charge of supplying the perfect tree to the City of Toronto since the 1960s.

Also eagerly awaited is the 51st annual Cavalcade of Lights which will launch the holiday season on November 25th at 7 pm at Nathan Philips Square. This event will include a skating party, live musical mainstage performances, special pop-up performances, a fireworks display and of course the lighting of Toronto’s official tree. For a full program of the Cavalcade of Lights please visit this website: https://goo.gl/uLx4eh

I am proud to let you know that the City of Toronto has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the second year in a row. This national competition is organized by MediaCorp Canada Inc. and is now in its 18th year.

The competition evaluates different organizations and identifies those who offer the most progressive and innovative programs and exceptional workplaces for their employees. The areas of evaluation include physical workplace, the workplace atmosphere and social, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement.

You can find a full list of Canada’s Top Employers for 2018 and the reason for their selection as well as a schedule of other award announcements posted at https://goo.gl/GCeH

On November 8th, 2017 Toronto Public Health (TPH) officially opened its doors to the city’s first permanent supervised injection service. This service is located inside The Works at 277 Victoria St.

Research has shown that supervised injection services reduce drug overdoses, save lives and limit the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C related to unsafe injection practices. Aside from supervised injection services those who use these health services will also be provided with sterile injection supplies, education on overdose prevention and intervention, health counselling services and referrals to drug treatment, housing, income support and other services.

I hope you found this brief news recap informative. If you have any questions or comments related or non-related to this post please flip me an email at councilor_ainslie@toronto.ca

 

Best,

Paul

 

Recap on September and what’s to come in October

Dear Neighbours,

As we begin a new fall season I would like to wish each and every one a Happy Thanksgiving! With Halloween and my Annual Halloween Haunt just around the corner I would like to remind all households to keep warm, safe and to keep in mind food allergies when handing our treats. Speaking of Halloween, don’t miss out on my Annual Halloween Haunt on October 28, 2017 at the Guild Theatre in the Guild Park and Gardens from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you’ve missed anything during our quick month of September there’s no reason to worry because here is what you’ve missed so far.

The new arts facility which will be located at the Guild Park and Gardens, in 2020, has been named the “Clark Centre for the Arts” in honour of Rosa and Spencer Clark, the founders of the Guild of All Arts in 1932.

A successful Community Environment Day was held on Saturday September 9th, 2017 at the Morningside Work Yard from 10am to 2pm. Where we welcomed residents and informed them of many environmental tips when it came to proper disposal of household electronic items. We also welcomed donations of school supplies and old electronic appliances for schools.

The Toronto International Film Festival was scheduled for September 7th to the 17th. The lineup of films and starts that graced Toronto with their presence was not a disappointment. This festival definitely turned on the lights in our city leaving portions of King Street closed due to the annual TIFF street festival. Nonetheless the annual festival is a staple for saying goodbye to summer and welcoming fall to our city.

On the late morning of September 14, 2017 news of the passing of MP Arnold Chan of Scarborough-Agincourt spread throughout the country. He had endured a two year long battle with cancer. He was a great man and friend and he will be missed.

The application process for the City of Toronto’s sixth cycle of Protégée Program is now live. This program pairs young female Torontonians with female City Councillors for six months. Learn about the opportunities for women in local government, gain hands-on experience and understand the multi-faced rose of a City Councillor and City Staff. The application deadline is October 15, 2017 for more details visit https://goo.gl/bSb81x

There will be a public transit information session with Metrolinx and the City of Toronto regarding New SmartTrack/GO stations on Tuesday October 10, 2017 at the Scarborough Civic Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

There will also be a public information meeting on the Guild Park and Gardens Trail Master Plan on Monday October 16, 2017 at the Guild Inn Estate from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

I hope many of you can make it out and give us your input on these two matters.

Looking forward to a crisp and eventful October!

Best,

Paul

Summer 2017

Dear Residents of Ward 43,

 

As summer 2017 is coming to an end I hope all the students of Ward 43 are enjoying the start of a new school year. This summer has been full many events. I hope everyone had a chance to catch up with neighbours at one of our many community BBQ’s, and of course at the annual Guild Alive with Culture Festival which was held on the beautiful grounds of the Guild Park and Gardens!

 

To kick off the summer we had our annual Seven Oaks BBQ on June 6th, 2017. Although we did have a wet start, the Seven Oaks community still showed their bright faces to celebrate. I sure enjoyed myself…

 

Our Elizabeth Simcoe BBQ on June 20th, 2017 was timed perfectly with school just being let out for the summer, so kids and their families had lots of time to enjoy our BBQ after a long day of school, for an early taste of summer vacation.

 

The Guild Alive with Culture Festival took place on July 29th and 30th, 2017. This year we celebrated the Festival’s 10th anniversary! We had well over 5000 attendees to celebrate with us. We had many returning artists and community groups and also many new participants for our 2017 line up. For photos and the list of our booth line up and performers please visit www.guildalivewithculture.ca

 

The Heather Heights Woods Community BBQ and Playground Grand Opening was originally scheduled for June 26th but due to harsh weather conditions (no surprise this summer!) we had to cancel the event. Our office eventually rescheduled the BBQ and Playground Grand Opening for August 10th, where we received nothing but good weather and happy attendees.

 

Our Cornell Park BBQ and Movie Night had an amazing turn out. We had a large number of attendees for the BBQ and later stay for the movie. Thank you to CUP 416 in particular for capping off the evening with popcorn and a well attended showing of “Finding Dory”!

 

Last but not least was our Mornelle Court BBQ brought to you by Mornelle All-Stars, Toronto Community Housing, Second Chance and my office.

 

I hope you all were able to make it out to and enjoyed at least one of these events in our home of Scarborough East.

Thank you to everyone for an amazing summer and here’s to the school year 2017-2018!

 

All my Best,

Paul

Job Skills Training Centre Needed

July 6, 2017

Dear Ward43 Residents,

I am reaching out to residents to contact Mitzie Hunter M.P.P. to ask for immediate action be taken for a Scarborough East Job Skills Training Centre/Community Hub.  With the school closure of Robert L. Borden BTI at 200 Poplar Road an excellent opportunity to open a Job Skills Training Centre/Community Hub is long overdue.  The province government needs to act now to ensure the site is not sold to a developer.  We need youth employment not 200 – 300 townhouses.

The unemployment rate in Scarborough East stands at 12.7%, in sharp contrast to the City of Toronto’s current unemployment rate of 7.5%.  The Province needs to act now to help Scarborough residents, especially our youth meet their potential by ensuring they have training to find sustainable full-time jobs.

Please contact the Honourable Mitzie Hunter M.P.P. to voice your support and tell her to halt any sale of this property. The priority is to build a Scarborough Job Skills Training Centre/Community Hub. Please Email M.P.P. Hunter at: mhunter.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org or call Tel: (416) 281-2787.  Please copy me on your correspondence Councillor_Ainslie@toronto.ca.

The 2011 Census Canada statistics reports that 50% of residents in eastern Scarborough only have a post-secondary education. This further indicates access to better job opportunities are badly needed.  A Job Skills Training Centre/Community Hub would help residents have the services required to see the Neighbourhood Improvement Area designations removed once and for all

All My Best,

Paul W. Ainslie

Military Trail Valley Road Closure Update

July 7, 2017

Dear Neighbours,
I submitted an Administrative Inquiry to seek information regarding the Military Trail Road Closure from Ellesmere Road to Highcastle Road for Emergency Road and Watermain Repair, Contract 16TW-OS-27CWD.

Please review the answers from Toronto Water and Transportation Services:

 

  1. Why is Military Trail not a priority to repair as is being done with other roads in downtown Toronto?

The watermain break discovered on April 3, 2017 had been running for a period of time before it was identified, and as a result significant damage to the road occurred. This damage includes:

  • numerous locations where the roadway has broken up (severe cracking and potholes);
  • large deviations and distortions of the pavement surface;
  • grade depressions and water ponding on the travelled portion caused by the water runoff from the watermain break; and
  • pavement edge surface loss with broken edges of pavement at many locations that extend more than a metre inward from the edge of the surface asphalt.

Given the extent of the damage, a geotechnical review of the pavement structure and a permanent repair needs to be completed before the road can safely be reopened to the public.

2. Why did it take several weeks for Toronto Water to advise Transportation Services Scarborough District that a section of the road on Military Trail had collapsed making it unsafe to reopen causing undo delay for repair?
Toronto Water staff have been in frequent communication with Transportation Services staff throughout the initial project and during the subsequent emergency repair without delay.

Staff from several Divisions (i.e. Toronto Water, Transportation Services, Engineering & Construction Services and Strategic Communications) have been working collaboratively to resolve problems as they have presented themselves. A summary of communication with Transportation Services staff is follows:

  • Toronto Water and Transportation Services staff meet during January and February to discuss the initial project and information from the Work Zone Traffic Coordinator in Transportation Services regarding the requirements for traffic restrictions is issued in early February. Worked on the initial project commenced later that month.
  • On March 31, 2017, Toronto Water staff were called to investigate a watermain break outside the project limits and turned off the watermain to allow for repairs.
  • On April 3, 2017, Toronto Water issues a road disruption notification indicating that repair work will commence and last for a week. As repair work proceeded, staff became aware of extensive damage to the road structure beyond originally contemplated. Toronto Water and Transportation Services staff are in frequent communication during the first two weeks of April assessing the road damage and extending the closure due to safety concerns.
  • By the middle of April, Transportation Services staff determine the damage is too extensive and the road is unsafe to reopen. This information is conveyed to the Councillor’s office.
  • During the last two weeks of April, Toronto Water, Strategic Communications and Transportation Services staff consult on a public notification strategy.
  • During the first week in May, staff from Toronto Water, Transportations Services and Engineering & Construction Services met to develop a strategy on how to proceed with the rehabilitation of the road.
  • May 13, 2017 Toronto Water staff issued a Construction Update to area residents and on May 18, 2017 Strategic Communications issued a News Release and an update on Twitter.
  1. Why was this road repair not deemed an emergency for repair immediately instead of being pushed to Fall 2017?

Transportation Services and Toronto Water are working as expeditiously as possible to reopen Military Trail. However, there has been significant damage to the roadway surface and sub-surface. As the scope of damage to the roadway has not yet been fully determined, and the watermain rehabilitation is ongoing, it has not been possible to undertake emergency repairs. Furthermore, any interim repairs that could be undertaken might have to be re-done as part of the permanent rehabilitation which would result in an inefficient use of funds.
The full scope of the damage to Military Trail cannot be determined until the geotechnical survey is complete, which in turn cannot be completed until the watermain replacement is finished.
Once the survey has been completed, a repair and rehabilitation plan will be developed collaboratively between Transportation Services, Toronto Water and Engineering & Construction Services. Preliminary timelines suggest that if the road repairs are minor and there are no significant delays to the rehabilitation work, the road may be reopened in late 2017. However, if a major road reconstruction is required, or there are other unforeseen delays, reopening may not occur until 2018

 4. Residents are reporting that no work is currently being done onsite, please advise if this is the case?
This site is essentially now divided into two phases: Phase I being the “original” scope section between Highland Creek and Neilson Road, and Phase II being the “extension” section west of Highland Creek.
Work on Phase I commenced in February 2017 for the segment between Highland Creek and Highcastle Road. With that section now completed, the Contractor is working on the segment between Highcastle Road and Neilson Road. This section has water services which require placement on temporary water bypass. The bypass has been placed and the Contractor is attempting to achieve successful disinfection results so he can turn on the bypass and isolate the watermain. Water quality testing began on April 21, and since then has been unsuccessful on several occasions. Until the bypass is activated, lining activity cannot commence. Therefore, apart from the occasional disinfection and flushing work there will not be much site activity while water samples are undergoing testing. It is reasonable, therefore, for the typical resident to perceive there to be little to no construction activity in this section.
Work on Phase II extension is active since a bypass pipe is not required here. This activity is confined to the section of road that is closed to the public so it may not be obvious that construction is occurring.

5. Why is the road and watermain work in this community not being harmonized to ensure that residents can safely and efficiently travel to and from their homes and are notices in place at the locations?
Given that the required road rehabilitation work was not planned as part of the City’s capital works program, it is difficult to fully coordinate the project as the work will need to be completed under different contracts (one contract is already active and the other has yet to be tendered). Staff from Toronto Water, Transportation Services and Engineering & Construction Services have been working to develop a strategy that is appropriate for the conditions that have occurred.
As a result, the scope of the original watermain cleaning and re-lining project was extended to include the portion from Highland Creek to Ellesmere Road in order to minimize further damage to the road and to rehabilitate the watermain as quickly as possible. A geotechnical investigation of the road structure must be completed to properly assess the road damage and develop an appropriate rehabilitation strategy. Once this is completed, a road rehabilitation contract can be prepared and tendered and further information about the timing of the road work can be communicated.
Regarding notices, on May 13, 2017 Toronto Water staff issued a Construction Update to area residents and on May 18, 2017 Strategic Communications issued a News Release and an update on Twitter. Construction site signage is in place to help motorists detour around the construction area. Further Construction updates will be issued as information becomes available.

  1. Advise if the road repairs on Military Trail can be addressed immediately for vehicle access

It is not possible at this time to provide safe vehicular access via Military Trail. Providing this access will be subject to the determination of the full scope of roadway damage and the completion of repairs or reconstruction accordingly.

 Background

What was the original scope of work to be performed?

The scope of work included the cleaning and structural re-lining of the watermain on Military Trail from Neilson Road to Highland Creek as part of the Council-approved Capital Works Program. It also included the replacement of the City-owned portion of any substandard water service pipes. See attached February 6, 2017 Construction Notice.

Why is the road closed?

During construction, and unrelated to the project, a section of the watermain (west of the original work location) broke which caused significant damage to a section of the road. For this reason the road closure was extended on April 3, 2017 because it was no longer safe for vehicular traffic.

What work must be done before the road can be open for vehicles?

The scope of the original watermain cleaning and re-lining project was extended to include the portion from Highland Creek to Ellesmere Road in order to minimize further damage to the road and to rehabilitate the watermain as quickly as possible. This work is currently underway and expected to be completed this fall. See attached May 3, 2017 Construction Update.

In addition, while the watermain is being rehabilitated, a geotechnical investigation of the road structure must be completed to assess damage and develop an appropriate road rehabilitation strategy. Once this is completed, a road rehabilitation contract will be prepared and tendered and further information about the timing of the road work can be established and communicated to the public.

All my Best,

Paul Ainslie

City of Toronto Councillor

Scarborough East – Ward 43

Canada 150 Fever

Happy Canada Days Ward 43-ers,

There will be a number of events to attend this weekend in the City of Toronto to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday!

Left and right you’ll see signs of Canada 150 celebrations. The addition of a maple leaf to the famous Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square is probably the most obvious of Canada 150 fever.

On a smaller scale, take a look at those famous red coffee cups you’ve been carrying around, Canada 150 fever that’s right. Tim Horton’s Canada 150 coffee cups have been gracing our presence since mid-April as a part of an earlier wave of Canada 150 celebrations.

Across the city there will a handful or events where you, your family and friends can come out a show off you red and white pride. In the eastern end of our city, our home, Scarborough’s annual Canada Day celebration in Thomson Memorial Park will run from 10 am to 4 pm. From 4 pm to 5:30 pm a parade will start west of the Scarborough Civic Centre on Brimley Rd and will end at Lawrence Ave E.

The Scarborough Museum on 1007 Brimley Rd. will be celebrating how Canada has created such a diverse community. Featured programs include traditional and contemporary local crafters, interactive printmaking of Canadian symbols, a pie-eating contest, blacksmith demonstrations, leather working, traditional fiddler-and-caller square dancing and more.

For those longing to submerge themselves in this Canada 150 Fever there will be a four-day festival in Nathan Phillips Square. The festivities will begin this Friday at 5 pm, this four-day music festival will feature the Barenaked Ladies, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ron Sexsmith, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, dvsn and Belly, for more details on show times please visit http://bit.ly/2qBtvxb

Canada Days Celebrations at the Scarborough Civic Centre will take place from 2 pm to 11 pm, with a fireworks finale at 10:55 pm, visit http://bit.ly/2seKlyW and for more Canada Days celebrations across the City of Toronto check out www.toronto.ca/canadadays

I’ll be wearing my read and white pride participating in the parade this Saturday July 1, 2017, west of the Scarborough Civic Centre on Brimley Rd. Hope to see you there!

How will you wear your red and white pride?

 

Best,

Paul

Crime Statistics & Open Data – 43 Division in Eastern Toronto

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I would like to touch on a very interesting set of statistics in eastern Toronto which don’t get bragged about, or even pointed out in the media too often.

Toronto Police Services – 43 Division, located in southeastern Scarborough has one of the lowest crime rates not  only in Toronto.  A few years ago a police officer who worked out of 43 Division told me he would put crime stats for 43 Division up against any major city in North America and come out ahead.

The boundaries of 43 Division? The western boundary is Brimley Rd.The northern side is Highway 401. To the east its the Rouge River, and to the south its Lake Ontario

There is good news and bad news when it comes to this announcement…..The good news? If you want to learn about the crime statistics for 43 Division to back this up, you can go to the “Crime Statistics” section of the Toronto Poilce Services website: http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/statistics/  Click the “I have read and agree to the qualifiers ” box and away you go.

The bad news… Unfortunately the information provided in charts and graphs.  There is no useable format by what is commonly referred to as “Open Data”

If you go the City of Toronto “Open Data” Portal you will not find any crime statistics either.  Under the “P” you will find links to datasets describing the different police station addresses and their boundaries.  http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=1a66e03bb8d1e310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD#P

If you have the time and the inclination you can attend the 43 Division Community Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) which meets on a monthly basis.  Here you can listen and watch a presentation by a police officer who will go over the monthly crime statistics.  (I understand this happens in every Division every month)  Just don’t ask the Toronto Police Service to post them publicly…not in an individual chart or graph….and definitely not in any “open data’ format

You can contrast this to the City of Montreal which launched a crime statitics website using “open data” in September 2016. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/police-open-data-site-lets-citizens-track-crime

Here is a taste of the crime statistics from the 43 Division June 8, 2017 CPLC meeting:

– There is a new Public Safety Response Team, they started May 1st and their office is at 330 Progress.

– They do community engagement that is positive and proactive, working on what is going on in local communities and addressing their concerns.

Crime Stats

1- Collisions and Enforcement

-Hot spots from May have already seen a reduction due to increased enforcement, again mostly in the area of Scarborough Town Centre and Morningside and Kingston/Lawrence intersections

-It was noted that Distracted Driving is slowly overtaking Drunk Driving as the #1 killer in  motor vehicle accidents, and includes eating, drinking, applying make-up, and just touching the phone.

2- Break and Enters

-May stats are down 8% from last year.

-Residential b&e’s are down a lot, non in June so far

3- Robberies

-Up slightly from this time last year

-There were a few incidents around Morningside and Lawrence but have been reduced now due to increased enforcement

4- Auto Thefts

-Up considerably this year compared to last year, but already in May numbers are down significantly

5- 7 Major Crime indicators

-All down since last year.

Community Concerns:

1- A resident complained that motorists are still speeding on Guildwood Parkway, particularly from Guild Inn to Morningside.  He was informed that 43 Division have the Watch Your Speed Trailer is ready and can be installed.  Then the police will analyze the data collected and use it to know when they should be having enforcement go out.

In conclusion, I can’t thank the men and women of the Toronto Police Service stationed in 43 Division for their dedication to keeping my community safe!!

All my Best,

Paul

Lets Get The Job Assessment Tool Toronto Needs!!

Hey Torontonians!

It was a pleasant watch of the Noon news today to see our municipal government being one step of the provincial government!

During the Government Management Committee held yesterday (which I also happen to be the Chair of) we dealt with an update report on the creation of a “job assessment tool”.

The link to the report is here:

http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2017.GM21.13

The text of the important amendment to this report put forward by myself & supported unanimously by the Committee ( I also want to give credit to my Councillor colleague Anna Bailão  from Ward 18 –Davenport for her input, and a great discussion on this report last week in City Council!) is here.

  1. The Chief Corporate Officer and the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration report to the Government Management Committee in the fourth quarter of 2017 on options for requiring the following standards in City contracts:
  2. Paid Sick Days – workers can accrue at least 7 paid sick days a year.
  3. Fair Scheduling – workers are provided their schedules at least two weeks in advance of their shift, with penalties and premiums applied for last minute changes or on-call work.
  4. Equal Pay for Equal Full-time Work – part-time, casual, contract, temporary, and seasonal employees have a right to the same pay and level of benefits (pro-rated) of comparable full-time workers.
  5. A Living Wage – workers are paid at a rate which provides sufficient income to predictably meet their needs based on the Toronto cost of living.
  6. Getting Paid on Time – workers, whatever their status (permanent, temporary, contract etc.), get paid within 30 days of doing the work.
  7. A plan and required resources for monitoring and enforcing these new standards in City contracts, including a penalty system.
  8. Plans, programs or policies needed to ensure fair and equitable hiring practices are being employed by contractors, as well as the City, to provide equity-seeking communities and historically disadvantaged groups access to decent jobs.

Many of the components of this motion have been discussed at various times in the 11 years I have been a Toronto City Councillor.

In particular they are important to myself and the community I represent.  While we often refer to Toronto as a ‘world class city”, we cannot escape the fact we have a lot of poverty in our City.

If you compare the demographics of our city the gap between the well off and those considered living on the poverty line is increasing….do diminishing.  This is very evident if you take the time to read the 2016 Vital Signs Report.  The link is here to help you out!

http://torontosvitalsigns.ca/main-sections/gap-between-rich-and-poor/

In eastern Toronto< below Highway 401 we are faced with seven…..yes seven….Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.  Four of those are either in my Ward, or residents who live in my Ward go to work in them.

The biggest complaints I hear?  People not only having to work not one, but two part-time jobs.  Youth who are forced to drop out of school to support their families and work an endless cycle of short-term contract.  Benefits?…..Forget it.  Come to work and do your thing or don’t bother punching the time clock at all.

Nobody can raise a family in the City of Toronto on minimum wage.  If you don’t believe me I will refer you back to the Vital Signs Report which is linked above. Don’t even get me started on the concept of “equal pay for equal work”.  I can’t believe in 21st Century Toronto this is even an issue for people to worry about, but it is.

I could go on more….and I probably will at a later date.  I have been told by many to not make my blog postings too long…..

So I was happy to put the above motion forward at Yesterday’s Government Management Committee and see it get passed on a unanimous vote.

In a 21st Century Toronto….we should be leading by example and not following others!

Even happier today to see on a number of the points in this motion, the government of Premier Kathleen Wynne moving forward this motion. Let’s all work to see it become a reality!

All my Best,

Paul

 

 

 

 

Latest Update On Negotiations Between the Toronto Zoo and CUPE Local 1600:

Here is the latest update on negotiations between the Toronto Zoo and CUPE Local 1600:
 
Negotiations Update – May 20, 2017
 
CUPE Local 1600 Rejects Zoo’s Recent Proposal Including Job Security Provisions
 
The Toronto Zoo’s negotiation team regrets to report that, despite its efforts to end the current disruption, the Union has, once again, rejected a reasonable compromise which was reached with the assistance of the provincially appointed mediator. As a result, the Union walked away from the bargaining table earlier today.
While the Union may claim its job action is intended to preserve the job security that its members enjoy, today it rejected a p‎roposed compromise that would have preserved the current collective agreement’s job security language for all existing employees, and resulted in the return of the ‘150 clause’ until the end of the renewal term. This clause guarantees the Zoo will maintain a work force of not less than 150 employees during the course of the next agreement. This is a clause unique to the Zoo and does not exist in other City of Toronto collective agreements. In addition, the Zoo proposed the following:
 
All current employees in the bargaining unit continue to be protected from contracting out. After 11 years of service, new employees will be protected from contracting out.
Duration of the proposed contract is until March 31, 2021
No change to employer paid pension plan
No change to multiple weeks of vacation time annually
The continuation of a generous health and dental benefits plan including access to more than 100 sick days each year
 
The Zoo operates with the benefit of what, in 2016, was a $12 million annual operating subsidy from the City of Toronto. Given that level of financial subsidy and the job security language that is provided to the City of Toronto’s own employees (CUPE Locals 416 and 79), and those of the Toronto Public Library, Zoo management believes that its proposals related to job security, are entirely fair and reasonable. The union appears intent on continuing this job action despite the City’s proposal to continue the present level of job security for all existing employees. In addition, the current dispute does not relate to wages and the union has indicated that the only outstanding issue is job security.
Toronto Zoo employees, including our valued employees represented by CUPE 1600, are well paid, receive an employer paid pension plan, multiple weeks of vacation each year, and are covered by excellent health and dental benefits which includes access to more than 100 sick days per year. We value the work of our unionized staff which is why the Zoo is committed to reaching a fair and reasonable deal with our employees. At a special meeting of the Toronto Zoo Board of Management on Friday, May 19, 2017 the board confirmed its instructions to the negotiating team. On the morning of Saturday, May 20th, the Zoo presented its offer, with the assistance of the provincially appointed mediator, to the union’s bargaining team which the union quickly rejected and again walked away from the table.
 
The Toronto Zoo has a proud history of saving and protecting species since it first opened in 1974. We are more committed than ever to continue our efforts against extinction for some of the world’s most vulnerable species, particularly Canadian species. Everyone who works at the Zoo has embraced our mission to be a living centre for education and science, committed to providing compelling guest experiences and inspiring passion to protect wildlife and habitats.
 
The Toronto Zoo remains committed to providing our valued unionized staff with a fair and reasonable agreement and we remain ready to return to the bargaining table in order to finalize an agreement. On Friday, the Union suggested that we were 95% of the way to a settlement. Today’s proposal, which maintains the current level of job security for all existing employees, should have provided that last 5% and allowed striking employees to return to work.
 
The Toronto Zoo will remain closed during the strike by CUPE Local 1600 members.
 
Jennifer Tracey, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Partnerships
416.669.7074
The key job security elements of the proposal that the Zoo’s bargaining team gave to the Union, today, are:
• Appendix D to the prior collective agreement, which guaranteed the Zoo’s continued employment of at least 150 permanent employees, would be extended with a new expiry date of March 31, 2021. The parties had previously agreed, in 2013, that Appendix D expired on March 31, 2017;
• Current employees would continue to enjoy the same level of job security, in the event of contracting out, that they received under the prior collective agreement. Employees who are hired, following ratification of the renewal collective agreement, would be provided with job security, in the event of contracting out, after they have acquired eleven (11) years’ service with the Zoo; and
• The level of job security that the Zoo is offering new employees is equivalent to the job security that is presently enjoyed by permanent employees of other City agencies, including the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
 
It is more favourable job security than the level that is provided to the City’s own permanent employees.

Spring and Summer Updates

Dear Residents of Ward 43,

Despite the expected heavy wet conditions better weather is on its way, here are a few updates on events in our city and ward that you might like to check out!

An exhibit on the Impact of immigration on Toronto from the 1700’s is open until mid-July, “Settling in Toronto: The Quest for Freedom, Opportunity and Identity” at the City of Toronto’s Market Gallery to July 15. The exhibit is a part of the 150th anniversary of the province of Ontario along with TO Canada with Love and in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Guild Alive is back this year and we are celebrating its 10th anniversary. As per usual the festival will be leaded by my office and The Guild Renaissance Group. This July 29th to 30th we will return to The Guild Park and Gardens with its newly renovated space.

Look out for your favorite returning artist but also give a warm welcome to those who have finally decided to join us this year. You can keep posted on this year’s line up at www.guildalivewithculture.ca or follow our twitter and like our Facebook page @Guild_Alive

Renovations of The Guild Park and Gardens took place last year, 2016, which is the reason why The Guild Alive with Culture Festival did not happen out last year. Luckily renovations have now been completed and the festival will go on. With that being said, we look forward to seeing you all this summer!

Sincerely,

Paul