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Toronto City Council Update – June 2015

At the June 2015 meeting of Toronto City Council, Councillors supported my bid to have tunneling of the East Gardiner Expressway studied.

The tunneling option had not been on the table for discussion by this Toronto City Council until the full Council began its deliberations on the future of the East Gardiner Expressway.  Council is now asking staff to analyze this option, including cost implementation and technical capabilities and report back.

Examination of the tunneling option was included in the $919-million hybrid option for the aging Gardiner Expressway which passed Council by a vote of 24-21.  Council also approved several other motions, including one asking staff to study implementing tolls on the expressway and one to upload the highway to the province.

Also at the June meeting of Toronto City Council, I put forward Motion MM7.6 recommending that –

“City Council direct the City Manager to report to the September 30, October 1, 2015 City Council meeting on the issues raised in the attached report, entitled “Toronto Paramedic Services Crisis in the Workplace Identifying the Issues and Resolutions of Poor Morale”.

I am pleased that the Motion passed unanimously.

According to the April 2015 report, “Toronto Paramedic Services Crisis in the Workplace – Identifying the Issues and Resolutions of Poor Morale” issues related to poor morale have been developing for more than a decade. The report includes discussion on:

  • Paramedics’ continuing frustration with management, increasing workload and other job related stresses that have resulted in a ‘toxic’ atmosphere;
  • The costs of poor workplace morale include, not only monetary cost but human costs, both mental and physical; and,
  • The critical importance of all parties to recognize the problems and the need to work collaboratively to correct them with a view to improving morale.

The report includes a survey of over 800 paramedics and support staff. The survey reveals the serious impact on employee well-being. These impacts can range from impatience, insomnia and isolation to divorce, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, in some severe cases, suicide.