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April 2017 Ward Report

Dear Constituents:

Spring is a time for renewal and growth. Many residents will be participating in special activities to prepare for the growing season. Meanwhile, residents continue to be involved in projects to help further strengthen our community and make it safer.

In our office’s continuing efforts to keep you up-to-date on issues that matter – you will find important ward news and information on City initiatives in this Ward Report.

Click here to read more….Ward Report – April 2017 (3)

 

April 12, 2016 – Councillor urges Premier and Mayors to consider imposing land transfer tax on Foreign home buyers

Toronto, ON – The Hon. Jim Karygiannis, Toronto City Councillor for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, is requesting that Premier Kathleen Wynne and Greater Toronto Area mayors recognize the urgency on imposing a foreign home buyers tax. As government leaders meet today to discuss housing affordability, a foreign home buyers tax must be put on the table as an immediate solution to cool the housing market. 

Rising concern over nightclub safety after 6 suspected overdoses in 1 night

Overdose deaths in Toronto have gone up by 73 per cent over the past decade

Apr 09, 2017 CBC News Lauren Pelley

Six suspected overdoses. Two nightclubs. One 24-year-old woman dead.

A deadly weekend night in Toronto’s club scene led police to urge public caution — and now, city councillors are calling for more action to protect clubgoers amid rising overdose deaths throughout the city.

April 2017 2nd- E-Newsletter

Dear Constituents,

I would like to take extend my warmest wishes to all who are celebrating Easter next week. Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar and a time of new beginnings. As you gather with your families, let us celebrate the promise and hope of Easter.

I want to take this opportunity to share information on news and events happening in Scarborough-Agincourt and across the city. Particularly:

  • REMINDER: Stormwater Charge consultation on Tuesday, April 11th
  • VIDEO: Defending the Scarborough Subway at Toronto City Council
  • VIDEO: Calling for a Foreign Home Buyers’ Tax on CTV News
  • PHOTO: Refugee Rights Month Launch at Toronto City Hall
  • Jane’s Walk in Scarborough-Agincourt on Sunday, May 7th
  • April is Volunteer Appreciation Month
  • Call for vendors from the Scarborough Museum
  • Community effort to save the Monarch Butterflies
  • Eastbound ramp from Gardiner Expressway to York/Bay/Yonge Streets closed as of April 17

For any questions, I can be reached by phone at 416-392-1374 or by e-mail at jim@karygiannis.net.

Please take a minute and pass this email to your neighbors, family and friends.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Jim Karygiannis

 

STORMWATER CHARGE CONSULTATION – APRIL 11

I am not supporting the proposal to create a new stormwater charge (tax) to fund the costs of Toronto’s stormwater management program. The program is currently funded entirely from the water rate which already increases far above the pace of inflation each year. This is simply a way for the City to recover more revenue instead of managing our taxpayer dollars wisely. I encourage you to write the City or call in to voice your concerns. Please see the details below:

In December 2015, Toronto City Council directed staff to develop an implementation plan for a stormwater charge (SWC) as a cost recover model to fund the costs of Toronto’s stormwater management program, which is currently funded entirely from the water rate.

In October 2016, City staff engaged interested stakeholders on the refined the geographic analysis required for the stormwater charge, various rate options, potential impacts on different types of water customers, and a preliminary incentive program.

Based on your feedback and other considerations, staff have further refined the stormwater charge proposal, and we would again like to seek your valuable feedback. As a member of an interested stakeholder group, we invite you to attend the following stakeholder consultation meeting on the proposed stormwater charge:

Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Committee Room 4, 2nd floor

We also encourage you to make a written submission on this matter. Please note that in order to be considered during the preparation of the final report for May 2017, your written submission must be provided to Kurtis Elton (Metro Hall, 18th floor, 55 John St, Toronto ON M5V 3C6 or by email to kurtis.elton@toronto.ca) no later than April 21, 2017.

 

VIDEO: DEFENDING THE SCARBOROUGH SUBWAY AT TORONTO CITY COUNCIL

I am proud to have spoken in support of the Scarborough Subway Extension at the March meeting of Toronto City Council. The vote to support the subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre passed with a clear majority of councillor support.

Scarborough is one-third of the land mass of the City of Toronto and has one-quarter of the City’s population. It’s time to stop treating Scarborough and its residents as second-class citizens. My transit vision for Scarborough not only includes the Scarborough subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre but a subway extension from Don Mills subway station along Sheppard Avenue East. The subway lines must be connected.

Please watch the video below for my remarks on the Scarborough Subway (your comments will be greatly appreciated):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jfZfwoEdxI

 

VIDEO: CALLING FOR A FOREIGN HOME BUYERS TAX ON CTV NEWS

I was interviewed by CTV News Toronto on my support and call to action for a Foreign Home Buyers’ Tax.

I am asking you today to write a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne stating your support for a tax on foreign home buyers in Toronto. These are buyers who are not residents or workers in Canada. Toronto City Council has already approved my motion for this tax. The province needs to approve it, so I am urging the provincial government to act now.

Toronto home prices set a record high in 2016. House prices increased 33% in March 2017 compared to March of last year. Foreign home buyers account for at least 5% of these sales and they are not contributing to our economy or communities. They are only making home ownership more unaffordable for young families.

I commissioned a city-wide poll that showed that 71 percent of decided respondents support this tax. I ask you to join the great number of people who support this campaign. You can write a letter to the Premier by going to my website at http://karygiannis.net/wp/local-engagement-page/.Please ask your family and friends to also write a letter.

See my interview on CTV News Toronto: http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.3347693

 

REFUGEE RIGHTS MONTH AT TORONTO CITY HALL

Jim Speaking at the Refugee Month event at City Hall

Jim Speaking at the Refugee Month event at City Hall

I was honoured to attend the launch of Refugee Rights Month at Toronto City Hall on April 3, 2017. As Toronto Newcomer’s Advocate I want to emphasize the importance of welcoming refugees and all newcomers leaving their homelands for a new life in Toronto. We must Respect, Accept, Celebrate, and Embrace our newcomer communities because we are all part of the human race.

Toronto Newcomer Day will be celebrated this year on May 15, 2017 at Nathan Philips Square outside Toronto City Hall. I will be participating in this event and I look forward to sharing more information with you shortly.

 

JANE’S WALK IN SCARBOROUGH-AGINCOURT ON SUNDAY, MAY 7

We invite residents to “Save The Date” of Sunday, May 7th for our community Jane’s Walk.

“Jane’s Walks” are free, community-led walking tours of local neighbourhoods. The walks get people to tell stories about their communities, explore their cities, and connect with neighbours.

On Sunday, May 7th at 1:30pm we invite residents to come together for a walk that will start at 85 Silver Springs Boulevard followed by a barbecue for walk participants at L’Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre. If you are interested in participating contact our office and we will keep you updated. You may RSVP directly at slna.slam4change@gmail.com

 

APRIL IS VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION MONTH

April is the National Volunteer Appreciation Month. I will be helping to honour our community volunteers on Friday, April 28th at the Scarborough Civic Centre. If you know of a volunteer or volunteer organization that you feel should be recognized for their service, please e-mail me at jim@karygiannis.net with a short paragraph on why they should be honoured.

We look forward to sharing more details about this great event in the near future.

 

CALL FOR VENDORS FROM THE SCARBOROUGH MUSEUM

 

Celebrate Canada 150!!
Scarborough Museum
Saturday July 1, 2017
10am – 5pm

 

Join Scarborough Museum’s Canada Day Celebrations! Inviting all interested vendors who create one-of-a-kind artisan items!

Scarborough Museum brings the past and present together with local artisans, square dancing, activities take place in the park, making this a fun, high traffic, family-friendly celebration.

Tables are free! This outdoor event runs rain or shine.

Interested vendors may contact:

Elaine Kemp
Museum Coordinator
Scarborough Museum
Elaine.Kemp@toronto.ca
416-397-7632

 

The museum is located in Thomson Memorial Park, 1007 Brimley Road

(just north of Lawrence Avenue, on the east side of Brimley)
 
COMMUNITY EFFORT TO SAVE THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES

A ward 39 resident informed me of something simple we can do to save the monarch butterfly population in our area.
According to research by the University of Guelph, the iconic monarch butterfly is at a high risk of disappearing forever. Local residents can help save this extraordinary species by planting milkweed plants in their gardens. This is a simple action we can take at the city-wide level.

Please follow this link for more information on the disappearing monarch butterfly species:

http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/vanishing-monarch-butterflies.html

 

EASTBOUND RAMP FROM GARDINER EXPRESSWAY TO YORK/BAY/YONGE STREETS CLOSED AS OF APRIL 17th

The ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay and Yonge Streets will be closed permanently as of Monday, April 17 at 5 a.m. The ramp will be replaced with a shorter ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to Lower Simcoe Street that will open in January 2018.

As part of the project, Harbour Street will be widened to four lanes from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street to accommodate traffic and improve pedestrian and cycling access to the waterfront.

During the construction work, motorists will still have full access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps. In addition, motorists will be able to access eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp at Spadina Avenue beginning Monday, April 10.

Harbour Street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic through the construction area. From May 1 to June 15, there will be periodic daytime (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) closures of the centre lane of Harbour Street from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street. These daytime closures will prevent the need for extensive overnight demolition work.

To maintain traffic flow in the area, traffic signal timing on alternative routes will be adjusted to minimize congestion and enhanced signage will be installed to advise motorists of the ongoing work. Motorists should expect delays and plan routes accordingly.

The westbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway will not be affected by this construction.

Work on the project will take place Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Overnight work on weekends will take place to demolish portions of the structure over Lower Simcoe Street and York Street. Additional overnight work will be required over the course of the project.

This work is taking place following an environmental assessment in 2013 that recommended the reconfiguration of the ramps in the area.

More information about the ramp closure and construction plans are available in a backgrounder on the City’s website at http://bit.ly/2oCtR2U.ext

April 9, 2017 – 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge

I would like to join all Canadians in commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, marked the beginning of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, with all four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time. The Commander of the 28th Battalion at Vimy, Brigadier-General Alexander Ross, said of the battle at the unveiling of the new Vimy Memorial in 1936, “It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then…that in those minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation”.