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Ford’s plan to cut back number of Toronto councillors draws both their anger and praise

Some city councillors were quick to denounce idea, but others welcomed it

CBC News July 2, 2018 John Rieti

Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government is redrawing the City of Toronto’s ward boundaries and cutting the number of councillors from 47 to 25 ahead of the Oct. 22 election — drawing both anger and praise from various councillors.


Coun. Jim Karygiannis, who has previously called for municipal boundaries to be aligned with federal ones, was ecstatic about the move by Premier Ford. (Tina Mackenzie/CBC News)

Toronto accidentally turned over citizens’ private info 16 times in 2 years

Unreported theft of kids’ daycare photos among breaches

A daycare in this north Etobicoke school was broken into last year, and photos of 12 of the children were stolen. It’s one of 16 privacy breaches reported by the city in two years. (Mike Smee/CBC News)

Photos of children at a city-run daycare were stolen during a break-in last year, but neither the police nor the children’s parents were ever notified of the theft.

詹嘉禮私訪搜證「捉」分租屋 地庫外遇黑人男子似往召妓 初步核實投訴資料 再向市府舉報跟查

詹嘉禮私訪搜證「捉」分租屋 地庫外遇黑人男子似往召妓 初步核實投訴資料 再向市府舉報跟查

2018.06.26] 發表




記者和詹在堅尼地路夾Passmore Ave.一處停車場會合。然後出發在附近鄰里巡訪。

Doug Ford pledges Sheppard Subway extension, if elected

PC leader unearths long standing fight over Scarborough transit

Scarborough-Mirror May 28, 2018 Mike Adler
Protesting Streetcars

Local residents including Maureen Coram (left), James Alcock, Denis Lanoue and Karl Haab protest a planned light rail transit line along Sheppard Avenue in September 2010. Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford is pledging to replace the LRT with a Sheppard Subway extension to Scarborough Town Centre. – Metroland file photo

The expensive dream of a Sheppard subway extension looping through north Scarborough was all but dead by 2010.

Work on a light-rail-transit line, the Sheppard East, was starting. Toronto transit planners thought extending the little-used subway down to Scarborough Town Centre was a horrible idea.

“The train, so to speak, has left the station,” Adam Giambrone, TTC chair of the day, declared.

But a Sheppard extension remained a cause for a small number of Scarborough activists — some of them connected to the Liberal party — who kept fighting the LRT and demanding a subway.

Municipal and provincial politicians, including former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, listened then. A stalemate ensued.

The Sheppard loop isn’t officially a project the city wants to build, but Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, brother of the late mayor, is pledging to build it anyway.

And while a PC victory on June 7 is far from assured — thanks to a New Democratic surge — Ford’s promise seems calculated to win seats in Liberal Scarborough.

Scarborough-Agincourt has stayed Liberal since its creation in 1987, but the riding is shifting in an “amazingly unexpected” way, and “the subway issue is playing a major role,” said PC candidate Aris Babikian.

Babikian has made a Sheppard extension “my first priority,” and said he’s met community association leaders who support it, adding, “some of them are very strong Liberals.”

Jim Karygiannis, a former Liberal MP for Agincourt, thinks if the riding turns blue the promised Sheppard subway “will have a lot to do with it.”

Toronto apartment buildings should provide relief from extreme heat, report recommends

Toronto apartment buildings should provide relief from extreme heat, report recommends

City TV May 3, 2018  Faiza Amin

Following the winter storm in April, it’s evident Toronto faces unseasonable weather now and then. Because of this, there’s heat being put on the city to make changes to a bylaw, some say is confusing.

“Our bylaw isn’t good enough. It’s confusing. It doesn’t do the job well,” city councillor Josh Matlow said.

“If it was doing the job, we wouldn’t have this crisis every single season.”

Back in September 2017, the City of Toronto experienced a heatwave that brought on unbearable temperatures just days before the start of fall.

Yet some landlords reportedly cut the air conditioning and turned on the heat, as a city heat bylaw took effect mandating landlords to maintain temps at 21 C in units.

Several city councillors made public pleas, asking landlords to turn the heat off during the soaring temperatures.

On Friday, the city’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee will be accepting a report on extreme heat in apartment buildings.

According to the document, it is reported that only six per cent of the city’s apartment buildings in the city have air conditioning.

There are five recommendations set out by the committee that will be reviewed. Among them, that a working group is established strategies that would address indoor temperatures.

That committee will also review whether it it’s ‘feasible’ to require apartment buildings to take additional steps in either providing air-conditioned spaces or undergo renovations to accommodate tenants during extreme weather conditions.

There are also recommendations to make amendments to the heating bylaw that would communicate to landlords to use judgement when turning the heat on and off, as the Sept. 15 to June 1 dates aren’t set in stone.

“We have to make sure that the rental buildings are able to step up and provide either heating or cooling for their tenants. We also have to make sure we assist them in retrofitting themselves and allow them to retrofit,” Jim Karygiannis, councillor for Scarborough-Agincourt, explained.

“That also needs a conversation with the provincial and federal government.”

Coun. Karygiannis said many of these rental buildings are 50 to 60 years olds and may require a lot of work, and to avoid passing the bill on to tenants, governments at all levels need to be involved.

Coun.Matlow calls the report timid and that staff needs to be more aggressive in responding to this growing need.

“Every time I’ve gone to the city of Toronto asking them for support to revise the bylaw, candidly, I’ve seen feet drag and that’s not good enough,” Matlow said.

“My hopes is that the City of Toronto will take more aggressive action on providing a better bylaw.”

Just last week, Coun. Matlow introduce a separate emergency motion that is before council for debate.

Among the recommendations — heat alert days be established, meaning landlords would be directed to either turn the heat off or turn the air conditioning on to ensure the temperature in the units are reasonable encourage buildings to allow for safe window openings, and to make revisions to the heat bylaw.

“What I really believe we should do is make sure there’s a standard where we don’t allow apartment buildings to go over a certain temperature, and if they do, landlords need to do something about it,” Matlow explained.

“Whether it be getting the heat off, or providing air conditioning, allow for a certain portion of a window to open.”

In a statement to CityNews, Mayor John Tory’s Office said he’s confident staff’s recommendations would help to improve the bylaw.

“(The mayor) understands the frustration many tenants experience when it comes to the temperature of their unit,” a spokesperson said in an email.

“The recommendations, if approved by committee and council, would also ensure tougher penalties for landlords who are caught breaking the existing rules.”

The committee’s report recommends that the maximum fine be increased from $5,000 to $100,000.

Sex trafficking is rampant in Toronto’s city-licensed spas, massage parlours, activists say

City’s licensing and standards department conducting review of issues, regulation

‘I remember thinking, ‘These people know about what’s going on, because they’re licensing this,'” says Casandra Diamond, who survived sex trafficking for a decade within licensed Toronto massage parlours. (Paul Borkwood/CBC News)