Toronto City Council Update – May 2016
Council Highlights important to Ward 39
Toronto City Council meeting of May 3, 4 and 5, 2016
Recognition of the Greek Pontian Genocide
City Council recognized the Pontian Genocide, to honour the memory of the men, women and children who died. The Pontian Genocide, together with the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides, took place between 1913 and 1922. The Pontian Genocide, which took place during and after World War I, was the systematic extermination, by the Ottoman Empire, of its minority Greek subjects. Pontians were sent by death marches to concentration camps in Anatolia, where most were subjected to forced labour. Thousands were subjected to forced labour, deportation and execution.
Regulation of ground transportation
Council approved details for the City’s regulation of ground transportation, which covers traditional taxi cabs as well as ridesharing services offered by private transportation companies. The new rules establish regulations for private transportation companies (such as Uber) and modify existing regulations for taxi brokers, owners and drivers, with the intention of giving the taxi industry greater organizational flexibility. Toronto’s new ground transportation bylaw is intended to serve the public’s interests and provide fairness to the providers of ground transportation/vehicles for hire.
Assistance for Equador
Council adopted a motion concerning the recent earthquake that devastated Ecuador, killing and injuring thousands of people and destroying or damaging buildings and infrastructure. In addition to urging the Canadian government to expand its relief effort, Council approved direct involvement by the City of Toronto, including support for local fundraising and an offer of technical expertise from City divisions such as Toronto Water.
Investment in local child care
Council voted in support of funding the creation of 464 new child care spaces in 10 locations, consistent with Children’s Services’ capital strategy for 2015-19. Since the implementation of full-day kindergarten in Ontario began in 2010, the Children’s Services division has been working with the province, families, school boards and service providers to realize the vision of an integrated early-years system in Toronto schools for children four to 12 years of age.
Highland Creek wastewater treatment plant
Subject to the completion of the provincial environmental assessment process this spring, Council authorized Toronto Water to proceed with design and construction of new incinerators to replace two old ones for processing biosolids at the Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in south Scarborough. Several related motions were adopted, including one calling for the use of enhanced emission-scrubbing technologies and one addressing the matter of greenhouse gas emissions at the treatment plant.
Council voted to ask the Province of Ontario to immediately ban the practice of door-to-door sales involving the sale or lease of water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, water filtration systems and other services/products sold by the home-services sector. Many Torontonians have reported experiencing aggressive door-to-door sales tactics, sometimes by people who misrepresent themselves as government officials or utility inspectors to gain entry to the home.