Monday, January 31, 2011

City Council Staffing Constituent Ratios


* Population from 2006 Census, source city website here

Mayor Rob Ford = Total City Population =  2,503,280
(Grew +0.9% since 2001)  ??? staff unknown, not listed on city site ?

* Update: Inside Rob Ford's Brain Trust  An example of lack of transparency: I had asked through city channels who the Mayor's staff were, and never got an answer. Now (April 18, 2011) we know why ... "For months after Rob Ford became mayor, the full list of his office hierarchy was guarded like a state secret, refused even to his closest council allies."----------
Median ward populations according to  this article  should be about 58,776. "Legislation requires changes to federal riding boundaries after each decennial (10-year) census. No such law exists for Toronto’s municipal boundaries. But according to court and OMB precedents, the report says, each of the 44 wards should have a population no more than 25 per cent different from the median...Because wards now exceed that 25 per cent threshold, says the staff report, the city could get hit with a resident petition. Under the rules, if council didn’t pass a bylaw rectifying the situation within 90 days of receiving a petition with 500 or more signatures, the petitioners could appeal to the OMB, which would be able to alter the boundaries itself." *


Ainslie = 53,480 pop. Ward 43 Scarborough East, 3 staff

Augimeri = 44,920  Ward 9 York Centre, 3 staff

Bailao = 45,620 Ward 18 Davenport5 staff - One of smallest wards yet larger staff Info here

Berardinetti = 56,750  Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest, 2 staff

Caroll =  57,350 Ward 33 Don Valley East, 3 staff

* Cho = 74,075 Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River, 1 staff  ***

Colle = 60,545 Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence, 3 staff

Crawford = 51,390 Scarborough Southwest,  no staff listed on city site, has 1 staff ***

Crisanti =  59,830 Ward 1 Etobicoke North, 3 staff

Davis = 52,430  Ward 31 Beaches-East York, 3 staff

De Baermaeker = 63,310  Ward 38 Scarborough Centre, 2 staff

del Grande = 54,545  Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt, 4 staff

Di Giorgio = 53,755  Ward 12 York South-Weston, 3 staff

Doucette = 50,640 Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park, 3 staff

* Filion =  79,435 Ward 23 Willowdale (LARGEST WARD BY POP.),
5 staff  "Councillor John Filion’s Willowdale ward has the biggest population: 88,840, according to city estimates based on 2009 building figures. Filion puts the present figure at about 100,000. He said he expects council to take action, and if it doesn’t he’ll organize a petition himself." The Star

Fletcher = 51,235 Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth, 4 staff

Ford, Doug = 53,660 Ward 2 Etobicoke North, 3 staff (Doug Ford)

Fragedakis =  44,420 Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth (SMALLEST WARD BY POP.), 4 staff

Grimes =  56,620 Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, 3 staff

Holyday =  50,415 Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre, 3 staff

Kelly =  61,140 Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt, 4 staff

Layton = 49,845 Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina, 4 staff Info here

Lee = 67,325 Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River, 3 staff

Lindsay Luby = 53,275 Ward 4 Etobicoke Centre, 3 staff

Mammoliti =  49,165 Ward 7 York West, 3 staff

Matlow =  59,905 Ward 22 St. Paul's, 4 staff info here

McConnell = 58,920 Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale, 4 staff

McMahon = 55,410 Ward 32 Beaches East York, ? no staff listed on city site
* Update: Email query I sent Jan31 replied to Feb 9 says she has 3 full time staff

Mihevc = 47,085 Ward 21 St. Paul's, 4 staff

Milczyn = 57,620 Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, 3 staff

Minnan-Wong = 56,895 Ward 34 Don Valley East, 3 staff

Moeser = 58,235 Ward 44 Scarborough East, 3 staff

Nunziata = 59,870 Ward 11 York South-Weston, 2 staff

Palacio50,830 Ward 17 Davenport, 6 staff *** largest staff?

Parker = 60,585 Ward 26 Don Valley West, 2 staff

Pasternak = 61,580 Ward 10 York Centre, 3 staff
* Update: An interview from BlogTO

Perks = 50,640 Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park, 3 staff

Perruzza = 47,895  Ward 8 York West, 3 staff

Robinson = 55,420 Ward 25 Don Valley West, 3 staff

Shiner = 58,805 Ward 24 Willowdale, 3 staff

Stintz = 51,790 Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence, 3 staff

Thompson = 62,325 Ward 37 Scarborough Centre, 4 staff

Vaughan = 59,545 Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina, 5 staff info here

* Wong-Tam67,840  Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale, 4 staff ...this is one of the larger wards that could be subject to appeal to OMB for ward boundary redrawing. Link to Inside Toronto article that presents staff bios. Kevin Beaulieu, former EA to Adam Giambrone in ward 18. Kevin lost convincingly to Ana Bailao for ward18 council seat and is an experienced City Hall insider.


Note: Staffing levels likely not all full-timers and this is a bit of apples and oranges comparison, since some wards are more complex than others; ie. some more multi-lingual, multi-cultural; some have unique challenges compared to others, eg. densities versus geographic separations.

However, this gives a little ball-park comparison of who has higher staffing levels than others.

Ana Bailao No Adam Giambrone and TTC Service Cuts

Let's Hope .... Ana Bailao is No Adam Giambrone

Forget about the Gravy Train.  The Toronto Sun January 31, 2011

You might say one retired councillor enjoyed the Gravy Plane before he rode off into the sunset last November.  During his last four months in office, ex-TTC chairman Adam Giambrone spent an obscene $9,307.08 jetting around the world attending seemingly obscure transit conferences.

The Giambrone Farewell Tour took him to Rio de Janeiro in late August; to Vienna, Austria in September and Madrid, Spain in mid-October. Finally he landed in Milan, Italy in mid-November — a mere two weeks before his term ended.

According to information provided by the city’s Council Services section, the former TTC chairman — also considered mayor David Miller’s protege — barely had time to unpack when he arrived back from Rio on Sept. 5 before flying off, once again, on Sept. 8 for Vienna.

In at least two cases — his trips to Vienna and Madrid — Giambrone either arrived three to four days before the conference started or stayed three to four days after the proceedings ended. Based on the claims he submitted, it does not appear he charged taxpayers for the extra days’ stay.

All claims have been paid, council services director Winnie Li confirmed by e-mail Wednesday.

Giambrone, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, was one of the international keynote speakers at the three-day Urban Transport World Brazil conference held from Sept. 1-3.

According to the program, he was booked to speak both on a panel about single-card fare systems and to give a talk about how successful Toronto has been integrating subways, buses, light rail, streetcars and transit for the disabled.

His conference bio boasted the chairman had overseen “a renaissance in public transit” and Transit City has been “eagerly supported” by the public.

Although the conference organizers were supposed to cover any costs beyond his airfare of $1,273.55 — or so I was told by a TTC spokesperson last July — the city ended up picking up his entire $2,054.26 tab.

In September, Giambrone attended a two-day conference of the International Institute for Information Design (IIID) in Vienna on Traffic, Transport and Social Media — that is, how transport providers can use social media to better communicate with their customers.

His six-day trip to Madrid from Oct. 14-20 was to be present at the 10th annual Light Rail conference and study tour of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

The departing chairman capped off The Giambrone Farewell Tour with a jaunt to Milan on Nov. 15 to attend the 9th Annual ID (identification) World International Congress. According to the conference literature, Smart Cards was one identification technology on the agenda.

While he attended that conference, his City Hall office — piled high with packed boxes — was essentially closed for business.

TTC general secretary Vince Rodo confirmed by e-mail Thursday the Commission did not cover any costs over and above what Giambrone claimed for the four conferences.

Nevertheless, Giambrone — who has come under fire already in recent weeks for charging one-on-one French lessons and farewell Christmas cards to his office budget — also had access to a special $125,000 fund as TTC chairman. How he spent that fund won’t be available for weeks, said Rodo.

Deputy mayor Doug Holyday, who is in the midst of a complete overhaul of council’s expense policy, said it’s clear Giambrone was someone who “just didn’t give a damn” what taxpayers thought of him before he left office.

“It’s absolutely mindboggling that someone would have the gall to take four trips on the way out the door,” he said.

Holyday said he fully intends to put in new rules that will stop these kinds of abuses from happening — even though common sense should dictate that councillors not do this kind of thing.

New TTC Chairman Karen Stintz said she has already indicated to Chief General Manager Gary Webster that she has no intention of travelling to two transit conferences coming up in San Francisco and Dubai in the next few months — and he should remove any kind of travel stipend for her from the TTC budget.

So far, Ana has played a coy game of 'sort of''  being on the inside with the 'right' faction at City Hall - likely in the hope it gives her more power and influence to help constituents - rather than being recruited by the 'left wing kooks' faction (Thanks for the polarizing label, Don Cherry). She sits between Fordite inner circle councillors Michael Thompson and Denzil Minnan-Wong when council is in session, and can often be seen being coached by them (some might say 'seduced by the dark side', but its too early to tell).

She has carried out campaign promises of holding town hall consultations so far and is definitely more accessible than the previous ward councillor.

She hasn't hit on any really tough issue yet that might pit ward18 against wider Ford-city interests, which would tell us more about her political capital 'fighting prowess' ...

The only thing close to that is this letter she sent to TTC Chair Karen Stintz mildly pleading for no route cuts in the ward for Downsview and Dupont buses:

Link to Ana's website is HERE

* Update: Toronto Star article Toronto Eases Up On Cuts to Bus Routes says "The 101 Downsview Park bus that served members of a roller derby has also been reinstated. It will now run Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m".

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet Ana Bailao's Staff - Bios and More

New councillor Bailao assembles youthful team

by ERIN HATFIELD   Jan 28, 2011 - 3:43 PM
  Inside Toronto article

The staff working for Ward 18 Councillor Ana Bailao are young, enthusiastic and looking to help their boss give constituents a voice. From left Justin Van Dette, Diane Maria, Deyan Kostovski, Braden Root-McCaig and Michael Vieira.

Through the door of the Ward 18 office at City Hall, one will find a team of young, fresh faced employees all looking to live up to the new councillor, Ana Bailao's campaign promise of customer service and community consultation.

Bailao was just elected to her first term as the councillor for the Davenport area. Her staff, all five of whom are in their early 30s or younger, have been on the job for just a few months, but say they are settling in and working on helping their boss to keep her promise to ensure that Davenport residents have a voice at City Hall.

Braden Root-McCaig,  Executive Assistant  (Former Special Assistant to federal Liberal MP Mario Silva)

A native of Peterborough, 23-year-old Braden Root-McCaig, cut his teeth in politics while at the University of Ottawa where he studied philosophy. "I became interested in politics there because there you are either into the bureaucracy or you are into politics," he said.  Root-McCaig, who lives just outside of Ward 18 (Davenport), volunteered during the last election and was subsequently hired as one of Bailão's two executive assistants.

"My favourite part of it is the policy writing," he said. "There are a lot of issues that came out during the election that we are following up on, so the biggest issue we heard about was community consultation...It's about creating a policy that allows the constituents to feel involved and feel a part of it."

Root-McCaig's least favourite part so far is some seemingly simple things, like naming a street, which require a lot of meetings and consultation. "You have a goal and oftentimes there is no non-circuitous root to get there," he said.
(Other Info, not from Inside Toronto article: His Twitter account is @BrootMcCaig. Another obscure Link tells me "Braden Root-McCaig. Special Assistant, Office of Mario Silva, MP Davenport"... Braden has recently been working with Jutta Mason about a compressor problem at Wallace outdoor rink. Braden is also a member of the Canadian Association of Magicians ... Another link tells us  "Braden Root-McCaig demonstrated Pinnacle, relating a story from his job at Canadian Tire, while he linked a finger ring on and off an elastic band" )...Interestingly, Mario Silva supported Gerard Kennedy at the Liberal Party Leadership 2006)

  Justin Van Dette, Executive Assistant (former EA to Bill Saundercook, Ward13 Parkdale-High Park) Justin is a true-blue Conservative.

Van Dette, 31, is the veteran city employee in the office. He grew up in East York and has worked at city hall for a number of councillors over the past eight years. He had no previous relationship with Bailao before being hired as her executive assistant. "I had expressed an interest in continuing my service here at the City of Toronto and I was fortunate enough to have Ana call me one day and talk to me about my interest and abilities," he said. Van Dette, an avid volunteer, works for his local community association, Toronto East General hospital and the Toronto Police Service 54 Division Community Police Liaison Committee. Van Dette said he really enjoys working with the different groups, residents and business owners that make up Ward 18. "This is what drives me in public service, the amount of good will that people have," Van Dette said. On the flip side, "government and politics as a whole, sometimes there is a perception that there is a lot of negativity happening," he said.
(Other info, not from Inside Toronto article but The Star : "He also serves as a regional vice-president of the Ontario PC Party." Also, March 29,2010 he blogged in The Star about the need to keep bike lanes off of busy city streets... "Given the financial state of the city, I say we can’t afford this now". In another blog, same link, "I would rather see those funds allocated for the city’s bicycle plan directed to the backlog of road and sewer repairs that we have in our city" Another link source about Justin being part of Frank Klees, MPP for Newmarket-Aurora and candidate for the leadership of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party April, 2009: “Justin has served our Party as a Campaign Manager, Riding President and Volunteer Chair, not to mention his many executive positions. He has participated in candidate recruitment, organized training sessions for Party members, has been an active member at the grassroots level and brings a wealth of enthusiasm and experience to our team,” said Klees. (Here is a Youtube video )  In February 2008 Van Dette was re-elected as the Ontario PC Party Regional Vice President responsible for Toronto. He is a former Ontario PC Campus Association Fundraising Director and an avid community activist who has dedicated his time to advocating for public education reforms and raising funds for the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation. Van Dette’s involvement in the PC Party dates back to 1995 when he helped secure the victory for his local candidate Dave Johnson in the riding of Don Valley East... Another Link tells us Justin was part of the Better Ballots working group under Dave Meslin.... Another Link mentions Justin was assistant to Councillor Michael Tziretas who was elected to Toronto City Council in a by-election held in Ward 31, Beaches-East York on December 3, 2001 and served until November 30, 2003.... Justin and Tziretas worked on former Toronto City Councillor Tom Cliffords's federal campaign when he lost to Bob Rae in 1978 in riding of Broadview.... Justin was prior to Ana's election, the executive assistant to Bill Saundercook (who lost to Sarah Doucette ) in Ward 13 Pardlae-High Park Link  Wikepedia says Saundercook lost because ".His reputation for indecisiveness on major development and community issues led to widespread dissatisfaction." ... Another blogger said  "By definition, a bicycle lane must be SAFE for cyclists, but our bike lanes don´t even look safe. Would you feel safe with cars whizzing past you on the Bloor Viaduct? Out-of-touch conservatives like Justin Van Dette consistently miss the point when they suggest that bike lanes should be relegated to Toronto's ravines"... Another Link  tells us Justin was a fan of former police chief Julian Fantino: A lot of the public applauds his approach. "Fantino and the Biker Enforcement Unit have done a very effective job on this," said police policy watcher Justin Van Dette. "What was needed in this fight, was the kind of tactics they brought to this." ... Yet another Link   The headline: “Backing Smitherman was mistake for Ontario Tories”. The Red Tories outed themselves. TEA Party, anyone? signed by several including Isabel Bassett, Justin Van Dette...

Michael Vieira  ,Constituency Assistant

Vieira was born and raised in the ward and ended up Bailao's constituency assistant after volunteering for her campaign. Vieira, 28, just finished his masters degree in political science from the University of Waterloo and was drawn to the position because he said he loves to help people. "In order to be successful with constituency work you need to have some pretty great customer service skills," Vieira said, adding that having worked for many years in retail, he brings that to the office.

Thus far he said he has really enjoyed the rewarding feeling that comes with helping constituents with their issues. "When they call me and tell me that the issue is resolved and that they are happy, it really makes me feel great," Vieira said. "It just makes me want to do more and more."

However, a challenge has been staying organized and efficient, "to make sure everyone gets called back and making sure we are on top of things because there is a lot of stuff going on," he said.

Diane Maria,  Administrative Assistant

Diane Maria, 33, lives in the ward and grew up in Etobicoke. She also helped during Bailão's campaign for councillor.  Maria has a background in administration, so filling that role for the Ward 18 office was a natural step. Even though there can be a lot thrown your way as an administrative assistant, she said she really enjoys helping her co-workers take care of constituents' needs for immediate issues like snow removal or garbage pickup.

"Usually I am the first one to speak to the constituents," she said, adding she wants Bailão's office to be known as one where the staff do good work, answer calls and help the constituents. However, she said it has been challenging thus far in navigating who to go to in the city to get an answer she may need, but she is already learning how best to deal with that.

Deyan Kostovski,  Special Assistant (Liberal party supporter of Michael Ignatieff)

Deyan Kostovski, 34, lives in Ward 19 and said he has known Bailão for years through community activities. "Her story and her involvement in the Portuguese community is very similar to my involvement in the Macedonian community so we had many things in common," he said. He served as her campaign manager and then was hired as the special assistant. Kostovski studied political science at University of Toronto and then did a masters in European and international studies in France and Germany. After his studies he worked overseas in Bosnia for the United Nations doing democratization work.

"A lot of the work I did in Bosnia was support to local governments, because the war was unfortunately so local, it was in towns and villages, so rebuilding the infrastructure was key and that was one of the projects I worked on," Kostovski said. The skills he learned in that work, such as dealing with diverse people, have been helpful in his role as special assistant, he said.

(Other info, not from Inside Toronto articleLink tells us he is Owner at twentyfourten communications and consulting, and was previously Deputy Executive Director at Liberal Party of Canada - Ontario 2003-2006 and a supporter of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games.... Another Link says he is a member of the "Hooligans of Toronto Football Club" ...Another Link is Macedonia 2025 "Macedonia 2025 is headquartered in Toronto, Canada in the heart of the city’s financial district. From this location our office conducts all of the analytical work and coordinates our outreach and field activities. The office is headed by Deyan Kostovski. Prior to joining Macedonia 2025, Deyan worked as a key advisor to several cabinet ministers in the Government of Canada and worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Bosnia Herzegovina."...Another Link "Deyan Kostovski, Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada"... Deyan as Bailao's campaign manager had to deal with the early election sign fiasco reported in The Star and caught by fellow candidate Kirk Russell.... Possibly is a partner with Mediacraft and has attended leader's series gala with Dalton McGuinty..At .Liberal Party Leadership Election 2006 Deyan was ex-officio delegate supporting Michael Ignatieff.
Amazing what patience and a lot of Google internet searches can tell us these days, isn't it?

And what an interesting mix of political partisan alligiances!

* A Mario Silva/Gerard Kennedy flavoured Liberal
* A Fantino flavoured Tory (who does seem anti-bike, despite his protestations)
* A Dalton McGuinty/Michael Ignatieff flavoured Liberal
* Plus Diane and Michael, whose exact political allegiances I am uncertain of (probably at least Liberal)

Interesting choice with Justin, who seems to have strong connections with the Rob Ford-Mike Harris-Tim Hudak brand of right wingers....Probably will help him open doors that others cannot.

Thursday, January 27, 2011



June 26-27, 2010

"In its previous investigation, the SIU interviewed eight police officers who witnessed the incident. The officer accused of breaking the man's nose exercised his right and declined to speak to investigators.  The SIU ruled in November that there wasn't enough evidence to lay a charge. "

"The SIU, an arms-length provincial body that probes incidents of death and serious injury involving police, previously re-opened investigations into the case of Adam Nobody and Dorian Barton, two other men who were injured at the G20. "

Police seem to be a band of brothers that hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil - as long as it involves one of their own.

Chief Bill Blair

By the way, if you're looking for evidence, a simple Google image search on "G20 Toronto" will give you About 502,000 results.... Not counting YouTube videos, where the same search parameters yield   
About 5,370 results. ( Check out This Ain't Canada right now )

Add to this the 77 police surveillance cameras installed specifically for the G20 (link) and the multitude of private businesses and traffic cameras throughout the city. There is also a Facebook page with about 60,000 members and links to reams of information.

And the SIU couldn't find enough evidence?  Really?

The civil and charter rights abuses that occurred last June, 2010 were horrendous.
Will Toronto City Council do anything about it to ensure it never happens again?

* Update: In a related matter that media seems to have missed,  the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on January 26, 2011 has delegated authority to regulate parades and issue permits to Toronto Police Services Board. Imagine wanting to protest against the police and having to get police permission to do so....

* Update: G20 Hangover Lingers  "Instead of a lingering ache, it’s become an open, oozing wound....Public mistrust of our police is now a major issue for the police services board and Chief Bill Blair...We’re told the officer who headed up the Integrated Security Unit, RCMP Chief Supt. Alphonse McNeil, has been recommended for the Governor General’s Officer of the Order of Merit award, specifically for his work on the G20. Now, that’s a farce." Police need to earn back the trust of this city.

Equal Representation ?

Rejigging Municipal Election Boundaries

Ward 23, Willowdale: 88,840 people  Under Represented?

Ward 18, Davenport: 45,940 people    Over Represented ?

Uneven Growth Leaves Some Wards Just Too Big
OpenFile article

"Some of Toronto’s electoral wards now contain so many more people than others that the city’s ward map could be redrawn by the Ontario Municipal Board if council does not make its own changes, a report from senior city staff warns."

City Staff Report warns that:

Some City ward boundaries exceed or are approaching the plus or minus 25 percent population variance benchmark for acceptable differences in electoral boundaries. This leaves the City vulnerable to an elector petition for a ward boundary review and a possible appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Should this occur the decision on ward boundaries would be in the hands of the Board, not Council."

  • It exposes the City to the risk that electors will submit a petition requesting Council to adjust the ward boundaries. Under the
  • City of Toronto Act, 2006, a petition must be signed by 500 electors. If Council fails to pass a bylaw within 90 days of receiving the petition, any of the electors who signed the petition may appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. The Board may make an order to redivide the City’s wards. This would leave the decision in the hands of the Board, not Council.
Seems like pretty basic unfairness for a democratic system that should be challenged. A basic precept should be that wards have equal representation at Toronto City Council. (we're not talking office budgets here, just voting power).

Or will Mayor Ford use this opportunity to (foolishly) cut council size in half, as he said during his election campaign?

Interesting times...... So who will be the first 500 to sign a petition? And where?

* Update: A Jan 29 Toronto Star article "Current boundaries date from 2000 and are based on 1996 census data. No wonder they’re out of whack. Toronto’s adminsitrators should be directed to review ward boundaries and recommend change. Beyond that, we need to update boundaries regularly, perhaps after each 10-year census."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is a Public Consultation?

Given a number of 'tweets' by people who were unhappy with both the public budget consultations and the TTC "consultations" over service cuts, I wondered what Mayor Ford and his brother Doug actually think is meant by the term.
 TTC Consultation Frustrates Riders (Torontoist)
Hiding in the Back of the Bus (The Star)

So I researched some definitions for "Public Consultation":

* Public consultation, or simply consultation, is a regulatory process by which the public's input on matters affecting them is sought.
* Indicates that stakeholders (such as relevant industry and/or consumer groups) were involved in developing the label or its associated performance standards.

* A process involving the public which is very strong and formalised, therefore obliging the competent authority to take the results into consideration
* This is the process of engaging affected people and other interested parties in open dialogue through which a range of views and concerns can be expressed in order to inform decision-making and help build consensus.
(I really like that last definition - building consensus, rather than division)

It seems that the only commitment the powers that be at city hall is to 'consider' the public's input, meaning that if they don't like it they can just ignore it, legally. This is the same with any administration, lefty pinkos or right wing nuts. Same goes for the whole budget process. Budget Chief Mike del Grande told me it goes through several 'filters', the last of which is the public consultation. Low on the priority list, isn't it?
Other tidbits I found:
Did you know that there is a Facebook page called City of Toronto Public Consultation Unit ?
Or that there is a city website page with Get Involved News ?

Given the rumblings of deep, serious cuts for 2012, I wonder how much public consultation and notices will be given any monies. Maybe they'll just do away with the farce of 'public consultation'?

So much for democracy. It costs too much compared to other forms of  tyrannies

Tuning Out in York South Weston Now story: "Whether the Budget Committee and sub-committee members really listened to locals’ concerns is anyone’s guess. Scarborough Southwest Councillor Michelle Berardinetti seemed engaged. The same cannot be said for others."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

West Toronto C.I., For Sale $21.5 million?

Vive le West Toronto CI   by TIM FORAN  Inside Toronto

French public board to buy high school for $21.5 million

A west end high school closed since last summer will likely be sold to the French public school board for more than $20 million, if trustees at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) give the go ahead to the sale at their next board meeting.

TDSB staff are recommending the board declare the 38-year-old West Toronto Collegiate Institute and the 8.5-acre property it sits on surplus for sale. The Brockton-area school, located on Landsdowne Avenue just north of College Street, closed in August after years of declining enrolment.

According to provincial regulation, the TDSB's French counterpart, the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, has first right to buy the property for fair market value and it has stated its intention to do so. A third-party to the two school boards has assessed the value of the school site at $21.4 million, according to a memo from the Toronto Lands Corporation, the TDSB's realty arm.

Following the sale, the TDSB intends to lease back a large chunk of the third floor of the high school to use for continuing education programs, a proposal for which the French board has expressed support, according to a staff report. Adult ESL programs will run weekdays and other community programs, yet to be determined, will be offered to seniors two days a week and to the community one evening a week. The continuing education space will be dedicated to the TDSB and there will be a designated entrance to ensure safety and security of the French school's students.

The use of West Toronto for continuing education programs is intended to be a short term solution however. TDSB staff are recommending the board explore the creation of a long-term location as part of its redevelopment of its schools at Bloor Street and Dufferin Avenue. The TDSB owns three schools in that area - Kent Senior Public School, Bloor Collegiate Institute, and the former Brockton High School and Stadium - though the board has already approved the closure of Kent. The TDSB intends to generate cash by redeveloping the property, leaving one high school of 1,200 students on the property, perhaps on the site of Brockton H.S.

The French school board has also indicated it will allow the community access in non-school hours to the West Toronto building and playfield through its permit system.

The TDSB staff report is scheduled to go before the board's planning and priorities committee Wednesday, Jan. 26 and to the full board for a final decision February 9. Visit for more information.
Now my only question: Why didn't we hear about this from either Councillor Ana Bailao or School Trustee Maria Rodrigues? As usual, no notice to residents like me who live right across the street. sigh.

* Update: Tweet from Ana 10 am Jan27: "@Ward18AnaBailao Sorry to hear of West Toronto Collegiate sale. Significant loss to our area. Space must continue to serve local groups link

My response tweet was to point out that Ana should lease constituency space there, since it has excellent disabled access, is centrally located within the ward, and has community buses and great TTC access from a number of directions. It also has great facilities to hold town halls!

Where's That Gravy?


Just You Wait Until 2012! says (Councillor brother) Doug Ford, we'll find it then!

"Smarting from headlines about Mayor Rob Ford bulking up the civic workforce, Ford’s councillor brother Doug says the city should “outsource everything we can,” in 2012. The budget committee vice-chair made the comments Tuesday after the committee gave its blessing to a 2011 operating budget totalling almost $9.4 billion — with a $7 million hole still to be filled.

If passed by council in late February, after a second look by the executive committee, it would freeze property taxes by siphoning a surplus and reserves while raising a host of user fees. The operating and capital budgets together would also add 448 jobs to the payroll."

Meanwhile, the collated results of the 4 geographic areas of the GTA that had budget public consultations - the last step after everybody else has set the stage - are now official. You can view the results HERE

198 deputations over the 4 meetings....some of the more common topics raised were:

1) Proposed reductions to TTC bus routes
2) Proposed reductions to the tenant defence budget
3) Continued City support for arts and cultural organizations
4) Priority Centre proposed reductions
5) Park's User Fee Increases
6) Bed Bugs
7) False Alarm Fees
8) The size of the City's structural deficit and sustainability of Recommended Budget
Most telling was that: "Many deputants expressed a willingness to pay a small property tax increase to maintain service levels while others expressed satisfaction with holding the line on spending and taxes."
Surely it seems that the Ford administration is missing the point made: no cuts to service levels, small property tax increase is okay.
Will Ford's entire term be one of saying "Just wait until next year! Then we'll find that gravy" ?

* Update:  Fordites don't get it. Government is NOT just a business like the private sector. Government is a societal enterprise, not a commercial one!
“I’ve only been here a couple months, but I can assure everyone in this room that there is more gravy here than at Thanksgiving. Have we got to it yet, no we haven’t got to it yet. We’re hitting the low hanging fruit… People have been down here too long, they don’t know what’s going on in the real world. The real world is making things run efficiently. Customers call me up and ask me for a 10% reduction or I’ll go somewhere else. The problem is the government has a monopoly. We have to break that monopoly. They have to be competitive with the private sector. Yes we should outsource everything we can. Let the unions compete, because they haven’t had to compete in their lives.”
— Councillor Doug Ford, the Mayor’s brother, during budget deliberations Tuesday National Post

So, Doug. How does one break a government monopoly in a democracy? Can I really pick which government I obey if I don't like the one voted in?

Why I Hate Politics

... At Least Today's Brand of Politics...


Up until about the 1990's, politics at all levels consisted of partisan political parties (or left-right alignments at city levels) where there was a clear platform and philosophy. When voting, we knew what the party stood for and what it's vision was for the next 5 years. The leaders were by and large, charismatic and had strong leadership qualities, able to articulate the vision of their party. Personal attacks and gutter level fights were the exception, and usually were attributed to the individual personality who went off track.

Now - we see politicians whose only allegiance is to themselves, and parties who will do absolutely anything to stay in power. Philosophies and political positions have become blurred. Are you a red tory or a blue liberal or a conservative ndper? The news and polls of the day dictate the vision. Politics of division has become an art and the marketing of fear-based politics is everywhere. Scary Harper. Incompentent Ignatieff. Scheming Layton

Attack ads, long popular in the divisive USA. have become a Canadian institution.

Here is a recent story and ideo on this: scary attack ads

Public apathy has grown, "politicians are all the same" and we've come to see the goings on in Ottawa as some kind of foreign country where poltical pundits talk a strange language while supposedly critiquing the politicians in power. In reality, they are all of the same stock, like some sort of lost tribe with its own culture of politi-speak.

How many really see Ottawa as a reflection of average Canada?

A sad, sad, sad state of affairs.

The only salvation for Canadians would be to vote out the incumbents, no matter what po0litical stripe, in their ridings. We need fresh blood, not career politicians.

Maybe then we'll get the leadership and vision Canada so desperately needs.

Friday, January 21, 2011

City Councillor Websites

Curious to See Who Has a Website?
(All Official City Councillor Contacts can be found HERE

Mayor Rob Ford = no
Ainslie =  Ward 43 Scarborough East
Augimeri =  Ward 9 York Centre
Bailao = no  Ward 18 Davenport (but she's working on one)
Berardinetti = no  Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest
Caroll =  Ward 33 Don Valley East
Cho =  Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River
Colle = no  Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence
Davis =  Ward 31 Beaches-East York
De Baermaeker = no  Ward 38 Scarborough Centre
del Grande =  Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt
Di Giorgio =  Ward 12 York South-Weston
Doucette = no  Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park
Filion =  Ward 23 Willowdale
Fletcher = no Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth
Ford, Doug = no  Ward 2 Etobicoke North
Fragedakis =  Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth
Grimes =  Ward 6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Holyday = no Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre
Kelly =  Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt
Layton = no  Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina
Lee = no  Ward 41 Scarborough-Rouge River
Lindsay Luby = no Ward 4 Etobicoke Centre
Mammoliti =  Ward 7 York West
Matlow =  Ward 22 St. Paul's
McConnell =  Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale
McMahon = no Ward 32 Beaches -East York weblink BlogTO 
Mihevc =  Ward 21 St. Paul's
Milczyn =  Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Minnan-Wong =  Ward 34 Don Valley East
Moeser =  Ward 44 Scarborough East
Nunziata = no  Ward 11 York South-Weston
Palacio =  Ward 17 Davenport
Parker = no  Ward 26 Don Valley West
Pasternak = no  Ward 10 York Centre
Perks =  Ward 14 Parkdale-High Park
Perruzza = no  Ward 8 York West
Robinson = no Ward 25 Don Valley West
Shiner = no  Ward 24 Willowdale
Stintz =  Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence
Thompson = no Ward 37 Scarborough Centre
Vaughan =  Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina
Wong-Tam = no  Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale

About HALF of our representatives have no constituency website listed on main city site, although several still have their election campaign websites active. Shouldn't there be a 'past due' date on those?

... and, of course, negligent and disrespectful Adam Giambrone still has a website active saying he is still councillor for ward 18... here  sigh.

* Update: Here is an excellent video about social media, its use and misuse during the past city elections and comments about the usefulness of Twitter: Yorkville Media Centre 02/09/11, intelligent discussions by people like Dave Meslin, Jonathon Goldsbie, Kelly Grant, etc
Tweet: Jonathan Goldsbie In which @kellygrant1, @meslin, @sbaranski, @heybrettbell (aka @toelectionews), and I finally had a #voteTO debrief:.

In summary - social media was not a 'magic bullet' for anyone to get elected, although it might be the place to re-energize and involve young voters. The majority of voters who actually show up to vote are over 45 and not that connected.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Night 2 of Public Consultations

Budget Tweet-fest #2 YorkCC and ScarbCC

* Now coming to you live from the York Civic Centre. It's Night Two of Michael Del Grande's Douche-a-thon '11. (a tweet from goldsbie)
* Thirty-eight people on the list to speak. Who will be berated? Who will be merely ignored? Let's find out!
* Sonny Yeung reminds Mayor Ford, that he didn't run on a tax freeze, "half the rate of inflation would address ur cuts." ScarbCC 150 Borough Drive, Toronto
* Jordan Froese:Sooner or later we need to pay taxes for services ScarbCC
* Arts Eto.:"When you give kids a paint brush, they can't hold a gun. When you give kids a dance beat, they're not doing the gangsta shuffle."
*  Scarb. budget mtg. NYAD childcare prez says we need to take care of each other. Can't freeze taxes and have   (Janet Davis tweet)
* Barbara Hurd of Housing Action Now is speaking ScarbCC
* (Looks like a LOT of Councillors at ScarbCC mtg): Debaeremaker, Crawford, Parker, Mylczyn, Moeser, Carroll, Kelly, Cho, Mayor Ford, Fletcher, Ainslie, diGiorgio, Vaughan ... This room is about to explode, so many people.
* Neethan Shan speaks to shelter Motel alternative. No support ScarbCC
*  Wow. 76,000 folks on waiting list for affordable housing: Neethan Shan
* Back in YorkCC? - The ED of the Terry Tan Child Centre explains that kids often get on the wait list as infants and then "time out" before they obtain a spot.
* TOBI recommends for 2012: "Residents' opportunity to question staff on Budgets (Toronto Open Budget Initiative, Karen Sun) I totally agree! (at ScarbCC) CCNC ED and Food Forward advisor @ recommends more open & engaging budget process, before budget release
* New Chair, Doug Ford, "Boss is gone. Let's have fun." ScarbCC
* Elderly woman explains how rising property values are driving up her taxes. Perks gets her to agree the LTT helps relieve property taxes. (at YorkCC I think).
* Deputant asks, "Finally, what is going on with the Kodak lands?" I wonder if he would accept Extermination Music Night as an answer? (Yorkcc)
* Colle explains that he learned from Perks that he can make statements by phrasing questions in a "Would you not agree...?" form. YorkCC
* Asked if the demise of Transit City disappoints him, a deputant says, "I've been disappointed in the past. I've been married for 20 years."
* AGO youth council want $25 per capita for the arts. This youth lives in Scarborough.
* Del Grande scolds a deputant for possibly libeling staff: "I don't want to go to court, & I'm sure you don't want to go to court, either."
* Amazing deputation Tyler! (PT Youth Coordinator)
* Susan Gapka Now @ York Civic Centre #TOBudget Consultation. I'm only one here in Pink Suit
* Effie: FMTA has increased caseload. Can't absorb tenant advocacy demand (Federation of Metro Tenants)
* O'Reilly says the library with the crossbow murder had its children's librarian cut; there was no one to evacuate children from 2nd floor. YorkCC
* Now it's the guy who got into the fight w/ Fletcher. I want to shout at him, too. His attitude is "Why didn't you think of THIS, fuckheads?" YorkCC
* Del Grande asks him, "Are you still the councillor's baby?" It takes everyone a moment to get the joke.
* Former TDSB trustee Scott Harrison deputing at Scarborough hearings re: protecting hockey rinks
* Before informing deputants that their time is up, Del Grande lets the alarm clock keep beeping in the hope that the speaker gets the point.
* I like this deputant. He opens by chewing out the mayor for drinking bottled water. Then goes on to advocate for property tax increase.
* Holyday tries to out him as a member of a City union. Except he's not. Deputant then asks Holyday if he was ever a union member.
* Ford Supporter asking if we ever have any kind of Audit.
* Adam Vaughn responds to #TOBudget deputant's contention that less waste needed "like e-health." Problem was outside consultants, no?: Vaughn
* Deputant draws gasps - and insults about half the room - at Scarborough #TOBudget hearings when complains about services for "homosexuals." Asian lady went way over time
* Deputant: "Cut funding to the pride parade because we don't want to encourage those homosexuals
* Economic conspiracy theorist: "Miller said he would forward my letter on to his councillors. I DON'T THINK HE DID."
* Winnie Ng reminds #TOBudget hearings equity must be more important than a balanced budget or else cuts hit vulnerable disproportionately.
* York duputant rants about Bank of Canada & Goldman Sacs. Clearly Out of Order yet Chair let's continue till time expires
* Sharon Younger told us 3 yrs ago to spend money on BedBugs. True! God help me, I was there.TOBudget Shelley Carroll
* Applause from audience at deputant calls for Bed Bug strategy and added funds. Asked same 3 years ago (and) Lady just said that bedbugs may lead to suicide
* Councillor Michael Thompson is here (YorkCC)
* Vaughan and Davis are using their questions only to jab the budget. That's sorta gross
* Oh god, the smelly looking guy who shows up to all the meetings is here handing stuff out
* Procedure Question: Should #TOBudget Chair listen to Out of Order deputations (Not #TOBudget related) or direct deputant to stay on topic?
* Doug Holyday is lost in his examination of the old city council portraits lining the walls. I am reminded of the final shot of The Shining. (it is 9:12pm right now)
* Unlike Ford and Del Grande, Berardinetti and Lee seem genuinely interested in this lumber dealer's deputuation on Transit City.
* 1st question for ACORN deputant from Cnllor Ford: "Are you affiliated with the Amer. ACORN?" Davis follows w/ ? on defence fund
* Councillor Ford concludes with suggestion to ACORN to change their name. "You guys are doing a great job."
* John Kiru of TABIA thinks BIAs should get a chunk of the Billboard Tax, because, he believes, most billboards are located within BIAs.
* There are always a few deputants who earnestly believe councillors will react, "My GOD! That idea is genius! Why did we never think of it??"
* Gripping deputation from woman recently thrust into poverty by a layoff. Libraries, community centres, and community groups have saved her.
* Woodgreen Comm Services Vice Chair adds to Bedbug plea
* Retiree Jack says you can see the effects of the cut of the Vehicle Tax in all these deputations from people pleading for their services.
* Man asks Budget Committee members: "Will you keep the promise not to cut services over the next four years? .... Your silence is deafening."
* WoodGreen, my WoodGreen, taking a turn at the #TOBudget bat: Bed bugs, Community grants, User fees. Swing! Lots of good questions. Hit!
* Silvena Toronto Community Housing Tenant Representative @ York
* List of community grants per ward was prepared & circulated to Councillors: @shelleycarroll to #TOBudget. Response: Wards vary. Acct'y there (Now about 10pm)
* Meanwhile Mike Layton just posted his ward19 budget consultation for Jan27 at Ossington-Dundas
* You could hear a pin drop as a man explains how his librarian wife assisted an abused woman and her child find a shelter.(YorkCC) In addition to everything else, the library is "a place where people know they can go to get help."
* Cllr Ford "there are no outdoor rinks in Scarborough? I'm shocked!" Meanwhile outside..People are skating.
* Our Board member was asked if she was a union head by one Councillor. Umm, no, she's not "Are you a member or have you ever been a member..." Sound familiar?
- This from the Globe: "Mayor Rob Ford’s campaign debt after the election was a whopping $800,000 and he's rasied conly $400,000 so far"  News Story
* Pre-pubescent roller derby Jr League member gets turn at #TOBudget, explains she's a little groggy. It's late. Bus cuts "big, big trouble" She's 12!
* Great cross section of Scarborough area deputing on proposed City of Toronto budget (Cnclr Ainslie)
* There is a maybe 12 or 13 deputing for the toronto junior roller derby league. This is the cutest thing ever
* Cutest accidental threat from the 12 yo derby girl: there will be "big big trouble" & girls doing "upsetting things"
* Now about 10:30pm ...
* "We don't need less transit; we need more," @ has talked to commuters. Warns people will be furious if cuts happen
* People who can will take the car if buses cuts. Transit standard is 500 metres. Few on bus ok if loop into 'hood. Hits 3000/night
* Vaughn: "It's impossible to tax & spend like Buffalo without ending up looking like Buffalo."
* Peter Milczyn - Interesting dep recommending driverless trains on Scarb RT and eliminating subway ticket booth collectors for savings rather than bus cuts
* Scarborough #TOBudget deputations wrapping up. First procedural motions to receive & report.
* Sarah Doucette - It took four hours for 49 residents to address the Budget Sub-Committee at York Civic Centre this evening.
* Topics included No user fees at priority community centres, need more funds for welcome package, put more money..
* The deps became stronger as the evening progressed. The cumulative effect was stirring. And Del Grande turned in a satisfactory performance
* .Oh if @cllrainslie would of offered me a ride back home, I am on my 63 min ride home using 38/116 and walking. I take #ttc unlike him.
* Josh Colle - Passionate group of deputants at the York Civic Centre tonight. Toronto's most vulnerable citizens top of mind
* forgot to mention the last deputant claimed to be TOs bodybuilding champion of champions, went on about being evicted

Scarborough CC Meeting (Shelley Carroll's photo, Jordan Froese speaks)


Mister Crankypants

"Mister Crankypants" is how the 4pm CFRB1010 news characterizes Councillor and Budget Chief Mike del Grande today, based on this story.

Proof that people with strong political bias can only hear that which agrees with their own world view.

Viewing Public Consultation From a Distance

Budget Sub-Committee for Etobicoke York, and Toronto and East York Consultation (2010-2014)

Ran from 6pm to near-after midnight, as far as I could tell watching twitter from home (I had a slip and fall accident and was not mobile enough to make my deputation)
 Downtown Toronto meeting located rather far away at the East York Civic Centre at 850 Coxwell. Simultaneous meeting in the another area, North York.

More meetings scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2011:
* Budget Sub-Committee for Etobicoke York, and Toronto and East York Consultation (2010-2014) at York Civic Centre  2700 Eglinton Avenue West at Keele
* Budget Sub-Committee for Scarborough and North York Consultation (2010-2014) at Scarborough Civic Centre

Tweets from others tell a story:
(more or less in time order from 2 meetings)

*  These #TOBudget consultations good news. Bad news they are less than a weeks notice. I am already booked every night next week
* .Deputants at Toronto Budget consultations all required to sign in on "pink" paper
* A packed-to-overflowing East York Civic Centre, where residents are sharing their views on the city budget.
* At East York Civic Centre for public budget deputations. There are 63 deputants, AV system is pants. People can't hear
* budget mtng in East York. great speeches, mostly re: cuts to TTC & tenants' services. Cafeteria is open late for big crowd!
* Up first. The Arts. Solid economic argument for funding. Cllr. Parker wants details on NYC funding (North York)
* Cllr. (Doug) Ford asks where the 100 K jobs the arts create are located. Downtown? Need to measure where artists live
* Cllr. (Doug) Ford assures young deputator that the PanAm games will solve all our amateur sports needs
* Up now Heritage. Budget Committee members drift back to sleep
* Ken Wood, 2010council candidate best known for once chaining himself to tree to save it, was on speaker list but wasn't present when called.
* Real estate board prez speaks for elim. of land-transfer tax. Adam Vaughan asks if the real estate market is slumping because of the tax
* Del Grande gets mad people are slow coming to mic. Someone says people can't hear him. Annoyed, he says they can. People shout that they cannot. He again says he was told they can. People again yell that they can't. Derisive laughter from the bleachers
*  Coun. Vaughan just told crowd that councillors have not had opportunity to review full police and TTC budgets. Zing! * More arts. From Scarborough. So there's at least 1 artist living there, Cllr. Ford
* Bill Johnson from Real Estate Board supports cutting land transfer tax, says finding $ to replace it not his business. Many jeers
* Slowly members of the Budget Committee disappear
* No one at East York Civic Centre knows how to work the sound system so half the ppl at this public meeting can't hear
* Montreal spends almost double per capita on the arts as Toronto (33:18), says Pleiades Theatre director John Van Burek
* Board of Trade agrees we shldn't cut 4 sake of cutting. "Council shld develop accompanying vision 4 the City's future." NYCC
* 7:08 pm. Mayor Ford leaves budget consultation @ East York Civic Centre. Mtg scheduled to go 'til midnight
* Watson sternly rebukes Doug Ford's suggestion of privatization: "We voted for you people. We didn't vote for WalMart." Mass applause.
* I think Doug Ford just suggested selling naming rights to women's shelters. And now WalMart opening their own community centre.
* Canadian Pensioners' Concern speaker Margaret Watson says Council erred in scrapping Transit City. She erred in thinking Council got a say
* Doug Ford mistakes the Canadian Pensioners' Concern for the "Canadian Prisoners' Concern."
* Doug welcoming Rob: "I only messed up a few times. Called the pensioners 'prisoners.' And don't mention WalMart, by the way."
* Pensioner taking proposed budget to task for service cuts, abandoning Transit City, user fees and tax cuts/freezes.Margaret Watson
* Nick Kouvalis just appeared. Temperature drops noticeably in the room
* Budget Committee members over in East York may be acting crazy but I'm not sure the ones here in North York are even awake
* Di Giorgio is going on a ridiculous tangent about how the environmental movement is destroying communities via recycling processing plants.
* Toronto Roller Derby speaking up for bus service to Downsview Park. Women, children and youth losing access to recreation.
* The North York meeting may have the celebs, but East York has Toronto Roller Derby!
* Maureen O'Reilly reps library workers. "Half of all workers are part timers."NYCC Maureen O'Reilly: the Library "is your only success story since amalgamation. Why would you dismantle it?" Doug: "Any questions?"
* CFIB's deputation. VRT repealed. Land Transfer Tax next. City has spending problem not revenue problem. BudComm snaps awake (Petkov?)
* Wow. CFIB doesn't depute so much as genuflect in the glow of Mayor Ford and the Budget Committee
* Oh, look. John Tory. Bet no one's Tweeted that yet Whatever is going on in East York, it is not more awkward than Nick Kouvalis's effort to literally cuddle up to John Tory.
* 155 ap't bldgs face illegal rent increases. Tenants may lose advocacy services if budget not amended
* Councillor Perks, after several deputants: "would U rather a .05 per cent tax increase or have funding cut?"
* What's the point of holding consultations when you're not going to listen to your constituents (and ur snippy w them)?
* Del Grande could be less welcoming to deputants if he had both middle fingers constantly in the air, but that's about it
* To the guy who suggests outsourcing water testing, Doug Ford says, "Great ideas." Let's hope he was just being polite
* Thought it might be fun to watch Cllr. Di Giorgio ask anti-fluoride dude a rambling, nonsensical question.
* A deputant is calling for a $200,000 salary ceiling incl bonuses for city employees.
* Taxpayer Coalition speaks Fordesque. Bang for your buck. Respect For The Taxpayer. Yaddie, yaddie
* Yep. Now up. A PanAm games canceller
* Brave young people speaking up for vital youth programs bullied by Chair Del Grande
* Young speaker can't answer councillor question, so woman with him tries to help him; Mike Del Grande refuses to allow it.
* Five hours later, Mike Del Grande still calmly scolding people. It now being 11:35 p.m., lots of giggles this time around.
* Perks moving motions that Sub-Comm must report that a tax increase was requested several times @ East York Hearing. EYCC
* Budget Chief just dismissed whole evening saying"Heard lots of numbers but @ end of the day, I'm not sure it's reflective." EYCC
* Only 1 of 65 deputations in East York / TO accepted ANY service cut, even to avoid tax hike. The people have spoken.

Some pictures from others:
North York Public Consultation

Tweet of the Day says it all:
What's the point of holding consultations when you're not going to listen to your constituents (and ur snippy w them)?
followed closely by...
Budget Chief just dismissed whole evening saying"Heard lots of numbers but @ end of the day, I'm not sure it's reflective." EYCC

Media Stories:

A Litany of Beefs and Pleas
Citizens Give Ford an Earful
Deputation Disregards

So what did Mayor Rob Ford hear out of all this?

" Upon his early departure from one meeting—to get to the other one—Ford told reporters the script he'd been playing in his head while representatives from community groups, arts organizations, and Transit City fans told him what was bugging them about the budget: “Obviously people want a zero-percent tax increase. I’ve heard it from all over." He'd heard that from one guy at the meeting"  - Torontoist

* Update: Thursday about noon Shelley Carroll tweets: "Del Grande now in media scrum intimating that the only salient point raised @ East York Budget Hearing was Ashbridges Car Barn."  and "Budget Committee chats while still in session about the "Validity" of sixty presenters to Budget Hearings"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is New Toronto City Council Anti-Animal?

Is New Council Anti-Animal, Anti-Pet?

I sent emails requesting Reply from Mayor Rob Ford and City Councillor Ana Bailao
About:  Licensing and Standards Committee: Meeting Jan 21,2011

Committee Members:
Councillor Cesar Palacio (Chair). Councillor Glen De Baeremaeker, Councillor Chin Lee, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, Councillor Frances Nunziata, Councillor Anthony Perruzza.
 Email Contacts

This committee has responsibility for Toronto Animal Services and animal/pet issues.

Official City Minutes here
1 - Motion to Refer Item moved by Councillor Mike Feldman (Carried) August 13, 2010

That the Committee not hear deputations and refer all the communications regarding the proposal to ban the sale of dogs and cats in Toronto pet shops and retail market places, to staff for a report to the Committee at the next meeting in the new year and requested to hear deputations in the order in which they were received.

....  This was promised as you can see by the exact motion passed. There were 30+ people who came down in person, having properly registered, and were told to 'come back later' by the powers that be.

* What I have discovered is that the staff report requested last August 13, 2010 will NOT be ready for the committee until sometime in October of this year, unless the committee ups the priority of the issue.

15 months to do a report ???

Perhaps this is an (in)efficiency that the city needs to look at?

I hope everyone who owns a pet or knows someone who does will flood the city with emails and letters.

I pointedly remember Mayor (then Councillor) Rob Ford at that August meeting standing up for the people to be allowed to make deputations, claiming it was disrespectful not to.

What is going on here?

It seems the City does not have its act together, since I sent a remninder email about the promise January 4, 2011 and got no reply. Respect for Taxpayers?  Really?

* Update: I spoke in person to our ward 18 City Councillor Ana Bailao on Feb 5,2011 and she promised a followup. Also heard from Dean Maher that Lic&Stds Committee may consider this in May now...
All depends on whether people write in or email to get the priority upped.

Again - PLEASE make your concerns known. Get involved.

Ana Bailao, Budgets, TTC and THE Funeral

Ana Bailao: Promise Made, Promise Kept

Motion Passes to Bring Back Parking on Dundas West
“My motion to bring back parking on Dundas passed unanimously at 8:47pm,” Bailao announced on Twitter on Tuesday night. (referring to her first meeting of Toronto and East6 York Community Council. Seems room was packed with civic engagement! Great!
Recommendation will go to full council for approval soon and should be a slam dunk. Thanks Ana.


Public Consultation on Budget TONIGHT !!!
Budget Sub-Committee for Etobicoke York, and Toronto and East York Consultation will be meeting Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at the EAST YORK CIVIC CENTRE Council Chamber at 6:00pm
* Note the location * 850 Coxwell Avenue ·  North-west corner of Coxwell Avenue and Mortimer Avenue Toronto ON M4C 5R1

Councillor Mike Del Grande (Chair), Councillor Michelle Berardinetti, Councillor Chin Lee hosting.
Contact (you would have had to9 register to make 5 minute in person deputation)
Merle MacDonald   10th floor, West Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email:   phone: 416-392-7340 fax: 416-392-1879

This will be pretty well the ONLY chance for the public in ward 18 to have any impact on the budget, although you could still send suggestions, ideas, concerns to our City Councillor Ana Bailao
(but she is but 1 of 45 votes on Council)

* Side Note: I had registered to make deputation in person, but had a slip and fall inhjury so I am hobbling about. Not surte if I will be able to make it.

The TTC - Planned Service Cuts
Do any of these proposed cuts affect YOU? If so, speak up, here's your chance:

TTC Public Meetings on Proposed Route Changes

Proposed route changes being considered for implementation in May 2011 would reallocate service, during some times of the week, from bus routes which have low ridership. These changes are required to free up resources to increase service on routes where it is needed most due to record-level ridership.

Four public meetings will be held to provide information on the routes which are proposed for reallocation and alternatives to those routes, and to obtain feedback from customers (these venues have barrier-free access):

Toronto area meetingMonday, January 24, 2011, 7:00pm to 9:00pm - Metro Hall, Room 308/309, 55 John Street at King Street; direct access from St Andrew Station.

For those unable to attend any of these meetings, but wish to provide comment, go to TTC Service Complaint/Suggestion Form. Weblink click here

The public can also call the TTC at 416-393-3030, Monday-Friday, 8am to 5pm, or can contact their City Councillor.

Proposed Route Changes

5 AVENUE RD – No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
61 AVENUE RD NORTH – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
6 BAY – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
9 BELLAMY – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
8 BROADVIEW – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
120 CALVINGTON – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday. No service on Sundays and holidays.
20 CLIFFSIDE – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
42 CUMMER – No service east of Kennedy Road after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service east of Kennedy Road on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
127 DAVENPORT – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
105 DUFFERIN NORTH – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
26 DUPONT – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
32 EGLINTON WEST – No 32D (Eglinton West Stn-Jane & Emmett) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No 32D (Eglinton West Stn-Jane & Emmett) service after 7:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. No 32A (Eglinton Stn-Renforth & Skymark) service west of Renforth on Saturdays.
15 EVANS – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
33 FOREST HILL – No service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
135 GERRARD – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
14 GLENCAIRN – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
122 GRAYDON HALL – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
169 HUNTINGWOOD – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays. No service on Sundays and holidays.
110 ISLINGTON SOUTH – No service on Horner Avenue or Browns Line to Long Branch Loop after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
43 KENNEDY – No 43B (Kennedy Stn-Scarborough Centre Stn via Progress) service after 7:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No 43B (Kennedy Stn-Scarborough Centre Stn via Progress) service on Sundays and holidays.
30 LAMBTON – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
162 LAWRENCE-DONWAY – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
56 LEASIDE – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. No service west of Laird Drive to Eglinton Station Sunday/holiday daytime.
51 LESLIE – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
59 MAPLE LEAF – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
130 MIDDLEFIELD – No service after 10:00 p.m., every day.
132 MILNER – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
116 MORNINGSIDE – No 116A/E (Kennedy Stn-UofT Scarborough Express/Conlins) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No 116A/E (Kennedy Stn-UofT Scarborough Express/Conlins)service on Saturday, Sundays, and holidays.
62 MORTIMER – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
74 MT PLEASANT – No service after 7:00 p.m., every day.
103 MT PLEASANT NORTH – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
72 PAPE – No 72A service south of Eastern Avenue to Commissioners and Union Station after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday, September-May. No 72A service south of Eastern Avenue to Commissioners and Union Station after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays, September-May.
101 PARC DOWNSVIEW PARK – No service, September-May.
167 PHARMACY NORTH – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
80 QUEENSWAY – No off peak service east of Humber Loop, every day. No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
48 RATHBURN – No service after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
73 ROYAL YORK – No 73B (Royal York Stn-Eglinton & La Rose) service after 7:00 p.m., every day.
76 ROYAL YORK SOUTH – No 76B (Royal York Stn-Queensway & Grand Ave) service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. No 76B (Royal York Stn-Queensway & Grand Ave) service on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
78 ST ANDREWS – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
86 SCARBOROUGH – No off peak 86D (Kennedy Stn-Beechgrove via Lawrence) service. Service on 86D (Kennedy Stn-Beechgrove via Lawrence) to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
115 SILVER HILLS – No off peak service. Service to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
60 STEELES WEST – No off peak service west of Martin Grove to Highway 27. Service west of Martin Grove to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.
124 SUNNYBROOK – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
55 WARREN PARK – No service after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
94 WELLESLEY – No service west of Wellesley Station after 10:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
112 WEST MALL – No 112C (Kipling Stn-Disco Rd) service north of Eglinton Avenue after 10:00 p.m., Saturdays. No 112C (Kipling Stn-Disco Rd) service north of Eglinton Avenue after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays.
98 WILLOWDALE-SENLAC – No service after 10:00 p.m., Monday-Saturday. No service after 7:00 p.m., Sundays and holidays. No service east of Sheppard-Yonge Station, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
96 WILSON – No 96C/F off peak service to Tandridge Crescent or Thistle Down Boulevard. Service on 96C (York Mills Stn-Tandridge & Thistle Down via Albion) to Tandridge Crescent or Thistle Down Boulevard to operate Monday-Friday morning and afternoon peak only.

SGT. RYAN RUSSELL, Toronto Police Services Funeral

Sights from the Funeral Procession
Why Police Mourn en masse for Slain Cops
A City in Mourning
Now magazine article

It is indeed tragic that someone doing service to keep the city safe loses his life in the line of duty.

However, some reading between the lines of some reports, particularly the last one listed above, have dire overtones. Witness this from midway through the story:

"Having weathered the fallout from the G20 arrests last June, some welcomed the funeral as a chance to show loyalty to the Toronto Police Service. “There’s an element of society armed with body piercings, video phones and lawyers with no moral compass who made it their business to go on a vendetta against the police, especially since the G20,” Mr. Opher told me. “The silver lining of this tragedy is that it gives me and the other 98% the opportunity to express our feelings and show the police that we respect, honour and love them.”

I certainly hope no one thinks this puts an end to the terrible G20 civil rights violations by some police last summer.

In my opinion, these two events are totally unrelated.

* Update: Protestor at a Funeral? Yes it was tasteless, but not illegal. His being arrested is proof of police state mentality it seems. They probably set him up for a good civil suit against the police/city. sigh
* Update2: Torontoist John Lorinc has a well thought out article about the en masse funeral phenomenon here
* Update3: Video reminnder of the culture of G20 is here