Councillor Pam McConnell

Document Sample
Councillor Pam McConnell Powered By Docstoc
					Councillor Pam McConnell
Ward 28, Toronto-Centre Rosedale
Seasons Greetings!


I would like to wish everyone a safe and joyful holidays and a Happy New Year. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at 416-392-7916. Pam

In this edition 1. City Council Highlights 2. Community Highlights 3. Upcoming Meetings & Events 4. Ongoing Events 5. Community Links 6. Contact Information ************************************************************** 1. CITY COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS ************************************************************** TORONTO’S 2009 CAPTIAL BUDGET INVESTS IN NEIGHBOURHOODS AND JOBS Toronto City Council approved a five-year, $11 billion Capital plan including the 2009 Capital Budget of $1.6 billion that will invest in neighbourhoods and create or protect tens of thousands of jobs. For the first time, the City also introduced a 10-year Capital Plan and Forecast. This 10-year Capital Plan and Forecast outlines the capital projects the City will undertake to develop, maintain and/or improve City assets such as transit, roads, bridges, community centers and libraries. The City’s 10-year Capital Plan and Forecast of $25.9 billion (including Toronto Water and Solid Waste) is expected to create or protect approximately 300,000 new jobs over 10 years. The budget includes new transit vehicles, fire stations, ambulances and the installation of new emergency equipment. It also includes the greening of City buildings and use of green technologies to reduce emissions, clean the air, and reduce our costs. The Capital Budget is funded through debt financing, user fees and indirectly through property taxes to pay for debt service costs. It is also supported with partnership funding from the provincial and federal governments. Last year, capital funding from all orders of government reached $452 million, which does not include the Spadina Subway Extension. The 10-year Capital program includes partnership funding from the federal government ($3 billion or 12 per cent) and provincial government ($3 billion or 12 per cent). For the first time, the entire Toronto Bike Plan is fully-funded within the 5-year Capital Plan, which will give residents better access to bike lanes in the near future. With this $70 million investment, the City will create 410 km of bike lanes, 122 km of shared roadways, and 83 km of off-road paths. To address the growing backlog of road repairs, Council has increased funding for state of good repair by $21 million in 2009. That amount will continue to increase every year, and a total of $830 million will be spent on roads and related infrastructure over the next five years.

The waterfront parks and civic spaces will see improvements with the completion of the Port Union and Mimico waterfront parks. Continued development of the West Don Lands and East Bayfront precincts, and Regent Park are also part of the 2009 Capital Budget. State-of-the-art signaling will be installed to improve capacity on the Yonge-University line, improved accessibility in subway stations and continued implementation of Transit City’s light rail network are also included in the 2009 budget. In addition to $937 million in state-of-good-repair projects, this budget includes some targeted investments in City programs, and ABCs, including the installation of automated check-out machines in 30 libraries over five years, the launch of the 3-1-1 call center in June 2009 taking calls 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week. It also includes the construction of six additional courtrooms, the creation of 206 new childcare spaces – including 32 spaces at Nelson Mandela in Regent Park – and construction of four community centres with planned openings in 2010 and 2011. The design and construction at Union Station ($462 million) will create a multi-modal transportation and retail destination, including the replacement of the pedestrian bridge along Front St., exterior façade repairs, the installation of Deep Lake Water Cooling, and improvements to transit. Finally, the Capital Budget and Plan includes ongoing and new funding for Council’s unanimouslyapproved Climate Change Plan, including continued implementation of our successful green fleet program, a $93 million investment over five years in sustainable energy conservation and retrofit programs like the Better Buildings Partnership, the Toronto Energy Conservation Fund, the City of Toronto Green Fund. Implementation of the Energy Retrofit Program, which will support lighting and energy retrofits in City buildings. These investments will pay for themselves over time, and create permanent savings for the City.

POLICIES TO REDUCE PACKAGING AND WASTE Council approved policies designed to reduce retail in-store packaging and to ensure that packaging materials are recyclable in the City's Blue Bin recycling program. Effective June 1, 2009, retailers will be required to charge a minimum of five cents for each single-use plastic retail shopping bag taken by a customer. Bags must be compatible with the City's recycling program by June 1, 2010. Council also voted to ban the sale of bottled water at the City's civic centres immediately and to impose a general ban (by 2011) on plastic take-out food containers that are not compatible with Toronto's blue bin program. Toronto’s Blue Bin Program now accepts plastic shopping bags and foam polystyrene Toronto’s Blue Bin Program has expanded to include plastic shopping bags and foam polystyrene packaging. As of December 9, these items will be collected in the Blue Bin. Receipts must be removed from plastic grocery and retail bags. Bags must be put in one plastic grocery or retail bag with the handles tied together. Plastic bags with drawstrings, metal detailing or hard plastic handles will not be accepted. The following bags are also not included: dry cleaning, milk (outer and inner), produce, bread, sandwich and plastic food wrap. Biodegradable or compostable plastic bags are not accepted in the City’s recycling program. While they look the same as other types of traditional plastic bags, they are made out of different material. Biodegradable plastic bags contaminate the material supplied to companies that produce goods from recycled material. Products made from recycled plastic bags, such as shelving, benches, chairs and tables, would be structurally weakened if they contained biodegradable content that is designed to break down over time. Foam polystyrene that can now be recycled includes foam protective packaging, foam meat trays, foam takeout food containers, foam plates, foam egg cartons and foam coffee cups. All food residue must be removed. Packing chips (e.g. “peanuts”) are not accepted in the Blue Bin Program.

More details about the Blue Bin Program are available at

GO TRANSIT TO INVEST IN UNION STATION REVITALIZATION Council adopted motions to sell and lease various portions of Union Station to GO Transit. The sale is to include existing office space in the west wing as well as new concourses that the City plans to build. With partial ownership and as a significant user of Union Station, GO Transit will contribute to the City's revitalization efforts, including the proposed construction of a northwest underground PATH system aligned with York Street. Management of Union Station Council authorized City officials to assume hands-on management of Union Station from Toronto Terminals Railway Company next spring. Among its initiatives, the City intends to upgrade security as well as engage with Enwave to provide deep lake water cooling for Union Station.

LOBBYIST REGISTRY Following up from a motion from Councillor Pam McConnell at June’s Executive Committee meeting, Council approved the exemption of not-for-profit community services from registering with the City's Lobbyist Registry. Under the Municipal Code, not-for-profit organizations are generally exempt from registration but were required to register when applying for City grants, awards or other financial benefits and wanting to lobby about their application. Much of the information that the Lobbyist Registry collects is already made available through the grants funding process, which is public. More information:

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS Council approved the appointment of Council members to City committees, agencies and advisory bodies for the second half of the current four-year term of Council. The appointments take effect January 1, 2009. Details are available on the City’s website via the November 14 Committee Report to City Council/Striking Committee: There are a few changes to Councillor Pam McConnell’s committee and board responsibilities. Councillor McConnell has moved from the Parks & Environment Committee to Government Management Committee, which focuses on the City’s assets and administration. Councillor McConnell has also been appointed Chair of the Toronto and East York Community Council. Councillor McConnell’s positions include:  Executive Committee  Government Management Committee  Toronto and East York Community Council (Chair)  Toronto Police Services Board (Vice-chair)  Affordable Housing Committee  Employee and Labour Relations Committee  Canadian Stage Company Board of Directors  Lorraine Kisma Young People’s Theatre Board of Directors  Toronto Arts Council  Young Ambassadors Selection Committee for Learnx Foundation  Town of York Historical Society  Task force to Bring Back the Don

BID TO HOST 2015 PAN AMERICAN GAMES Council endorsed the City of Toronto's role as host city and participant in a bid to host the 2015 Pan American/ParaPan Games in Toronto and in surrounding communities. Council authorized the city

manager to negotiate a Bid City Agreement on behalf of the City of Toronto with the federal and provincial governments, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Bid Corporation to define roles and responsibilities. A more detailed report in 2009 will present a venue strategy and financial implications.

TORONTO STREET FOOD PILOT PROJECT Council approved setting up a one-year pilot project with eligible street food vendors to expand their menu selections to include healthier food choices. In addition, Toronto Public Health received Council’s authorization to conduct a three-year “Toronto a la Cart” pilot project, starting with as many as 15 new street food vendors chosen for 2009. They will provide ethnically diverse foods to be sold from carts purchased from the City’s contracted manufacturer for the project.

EXTENSION OF OUTDOOR ICE RINK SEASON Council agreed to extend the ice skating season at 14 of the City’s 49 outdoor artificial ice rinks by two weeks beyond the standard 12-week season - remaining open until mid March if weather permits. The 14 artificial ice rinks selected to remain open into March are located across the entire city. Online information about artificial outdoor ice rinks:

ECO-ROOF INCENTIVE PROGRAM Council approved terms of reference for an Eco-Roof Incentive Program encouraging the installation of green and cool roofs. The City will provide incentive funding to eligible industrial, commercial and institutional property owners. The goal is to make Toronto’s building stock more sustainable and better adapted to climate change. Green roofs support vegetation and cool roofs reflect the sun’s thermal energy. This new program, an initiative of the City’s action plan on climate change, clean air and sustainable energy, builds on the Green Roof Strategy and supports the Toronto Green Standard.

Click HERE for other news from City Hall. ************************************************************** 2. COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS ************************************************************** HELPFUL HINTS AS TORONTO PREPARES FOR A SNOWY WEEKEND With Environment Canada predicting large volumes of snow this weekend, the City of Toronto is asking everyone to travel with care. Environment Canada has forecast as much as 20 cm of snow may fall on Toronto on Friday, with wind gusts approaching 60 km/h. A second storm is expected on Sunday. Here is helpful information to get you through a snowy weekend: • Let someone else do the driving and take public transit. • People who do choose to drive can view safety tips from the Toronto Police Service at, such as gassing up their vehicle and checking fluid levels before travelling, and charging up their cell phones in case they’re needed during an emergency. • Drivers and pedestrians will need to travel slower and be more observant of their surroundings. • Residents are expected to clear snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes, and in the spirit of giving can help clear the snow for elderly neighbours. • The public can help the City’s efforts in clearing snow by doing a few simple things such as not pushing snow back onto the road after clearing snow from their sidewalks and driveways. Avoid parking on city streets to help the snowplows do their work. • Residents can help ensure fire hydrants are clearly visible by clearing the snow around them. • People using salt to help melt snow or ice can use environmentally safe products. • Residents should make sure they shovel safely. Snow shovelling is a strenuous activity that can place considerable strain on the heart. Anyone with a history of heart attacks, heart disease, high blood

pressure or high cholesterol should avoid shovelling if at all possible and find a friend, neighbour or shovelling service to help them out. • People should dress appropriately for snow clearing, start slow, take frequent breaks, and when possible, push the snow instead of lifting it. Protect your back: bend at the knees, keep the shovel close to your body, keep your feet hip-width apart and avoid twisting. More tips and video about snow shovelling are available at • As nice as the ice on our waterways may look, people are reminded that it’s unsafe to skate or play on frozen open water. The City has posted signage to warn people of the dangers of frozen open bodies of water. The signage supports a new City policy that prohibits skating and other recreational activities on frozen open water, including storm water management ponds located on public parkland.

EXTREME COLD WEATHER SERVICES NOW IN EFFECT FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE The City of Toronto has activated additional support services to help get homeless people in from the cold by calling an extreme cold weather alert. The alert is in effect until further notice. While City services for homeless people are focused on permanent housing, when severe winter weather is forecast, the priority becomes one of immediate safety. Year-round, the City funds extensive services for people who are homeless, including emergency shelters, drop-in centres, Streets to Homes assistance to find and keep permanent housing, housing help and 24 hour street outreach services throughout the city. Throughout the winter, more services are available. During an Extreme Cold Weather Alert, street outreach workers continue to urge the homeless to go inside and provide transportation to shelters for overnight respite. In addition to ongoing outreach, during an alert: • street outreach is increased, focusing solely on warning clients of danger and transporting them to warm places • TTC tickets are available at a number of drop-ins so people have transportation to shelters. • more than 100 agencies are advised of the impending extreme weather and reminded of the danger this poses to vulnerable clients • 160 additional shelter spaces are added • shelters relax service restrictions. An alert is called when Environment Canada: • predicts a temperature of -15 degrees Celsius or lower, without wind chill, • issues a wind chill warning for outdoor activity for people in the Toronto area, and/or • predicts extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard, ice storm or sudden drops in temperature. How to get an emergency shelter bed: • adults and youth requiring a shelter bed should call 1-877-338-3398 (free from a pay phone), 24 hours a day. • families needing emergency shelter should call Central Family Intake 416-397-5637, 24 hours a day. For more information, visit

************************************************************** 3. UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS ************************************************************** CHRISTMAS CHORAL CONCERT AT CITY HALL The City of Toronto invites the public to celebrate the holiday season on December 24 with the annual Christmas choral celebration. All the King's Voices, the Toronto Beaches Children's Chorus and the Toronto Mass Choir will perform seasonal songs accompanied by the Tower Brass.

The concert will be about an hour long and it will conclude with a visit from Santa. Sign language interpretation will be provided. DATE: Wednesday, December 24 TIME: 11:30 a.m. LOCATION: Toronto City Hall, Rotunda, 100 Queen St. W. MAYOR’S NEW YEAR’S LEVEE Mayor David Miller and Toronto City Councillors will be on hand to meet Toronto residents and celebrate the beginning of 2009 in the rotunda of City Hall. This annual tradition in Canada dates back to the time of the fur traders of New France. DATE: Thursday, January 1, 2009 TIME: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. LOCATION: City Hall Rotunda, 100 Queen St. W.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION MEETINGS ON THE NEW TORONTO SIGN BY-LAW The first round of consultations has concluded and an Interim Report and Presentation containing issues and options for the new Sign By-law took place at a Special Meeting of Planning and Growth Management on December 8, 2008. Information about the Special Meeting, with Decisions and Minutes, is available at Four additional public consultation sessions will take place in January, all with identical content. For more information, visit DATE: Thursday, January 29, 2009 TIME: 7:00 pm LOCATION: Toronto City Hall (100 Queen Street West), Committee Room 2

************************************************************** 4. ONGOING EVENTS ************************************************************** EARLY TORONTO POSTAL HISTORY AT THE MARKET GALLERY The City of Toronto, through its Market Gallery program, presents Over Any Distance Imaginable: The Royal Mail from York from October 25, 2008 to February 28, 2009. This exhibition, courtesy of Toronto’s First Post Office, offers insight into a tumultuous period of our history, the 1830s, and one in which letters were the only form of long-distance communication. Over Any Distance Imaginable evokes a city undergoing exponential growth due to immigration from the old world, and a population experiencing both hope and doubt in the new world. It also chronicles an episode of armed revolution, when the new world rebelled against the old, that precipitated the formation of this country we call Canada. Toronto’s First Post Office is the custodian of an unparalleled collection of artefacts relating to early 19th century communication. Writing and post-office paraphernalia, as well as the letters that passed back and forth across the counter manned by Postmaster James Scott Howard, tell the stories of Toronto’s early citizens and of how their words were transported around the world - over rough water and even rougher roads - or lost along the way. Mr. Howard’s own rise and abrupt fall in the postal service during the 1837 rebellion is also examined. The Market Gallery is a program of Toronto Cultural Services and presents changing exhibitions dedicated to Toronto’s art, culture, history and offers educational programs for school groups and adults. Located in Toronto’s oldest neighbourhood, the main gallery occupies the 19th century city council

chamber, which is all that remains from the City Hall that stood on this site from 1845-1899. The gallery offers educational programs for school groups and adults. For more information about Toronto Cultural Services museums and art centres, visit For more information about the Town of York Historical Society, please visit LOCATION: The Market Gallery (second floor of the South St. Lawrence Market, 95 Front St. E.) DATES: October 25, 2008 to February 28, 2009 TIMES: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Sunday, Monday and holidays Admission is free. COMING TO THE MARKET GALLERY IN SPRING 2009 - ART FROM CITY’S COLLECTION EMBRACES TORONTO-INSPIRED LITERARY WORKS The works of Toronto artists Aba Bayefsky, Sybil Goldstein, Brian Kipping, Gerald Lazare, Doris McCarthy, Louis de Niverville and others will embrace the words of Toronto authors Margaret Atwood, George Elliott Clarke, Cory Doctorow, Ramibai Espinet, Joe Kertes, Antanas Sileika, Russell Smith and others in “Lit City: Toronto Through the Eyes of Authors and Artists.” A presentation of the City of Toronto through its Market Gallery program, “Lit City: Toronto Through the Eyes of Authors and Artists” will run from March 7 to June 13, 2009 as a feature presentation in celebration of Toronto's 175th birthday. The exhibition pairs passages from historic and contemporary literary works about Toronto with pieces from the City's extensive art collection. Citing poetry, novels, science fiction and mysteries, the exhibit explores diverse interpretations of Toronto and its landmarks. Various quotations from writings dating back to the 19th century, such as The City Tree by Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850-1885) to more contemporary works, such as Glenn Downie’s Loyalty Management, which won the 2008 Toronto Book Award, will be presented in conjunction with comparable works of art from the City’s collection to illustrate a scene from the book. Readings and panel discussions with well-known Toronto literary figures will also be presented during the run of the exhibit. Lit City, where Toronto stories meet Toronto settings, March to May, 2009, presents readings, literary walking tours and more, culminating on the 10th anniversary of Doors Open Toronto, May 23 and 24.

MUSHROOM STUDIO AT THE TORONTO SCULPTURE GARDEN Mushroom Studio is a 20-foot high model of an Amanita Pantherina mushroom that houses artist Katie Bethune-Leamen’s studio in its stem. Periodically, for the length of the installation, Bethune-Leamen will be in residence during the garden’s open hours, busy making new work and inviting visitors to stop by and chat; at other times the studio will be empty, allowing viewers to circle the structure and peer in through lit windows. Mushroom Studio evokes the magic of mushrooms as habitable spaces - a mainstay of fairy tales. Its form draws on many references, including the large-scale versions of objects such as giant eggs or apples that were built in North America in the early 1900s to attract tourists. Mushrooms are both adored and abhorred - delicious consumables that inspire charming imagery while tinged by the threat of the deadly organisms lurking in certain species. Bethune-Leamen has participated in exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including 31 group exhibitions since 2001. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Convenience Gallery in Toronto, and a group exhibition as part of a Residency/Exchange between Oberland, NL and YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Toronto. Bethune-Leamen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1996 from Concordia University in

Montreal, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph in 2003. She currently lives and works in Toronto. This is her first outdoor work. Mushroom Studio opens May 28 at 4:30 p.m. and continues through April 15, 2009. The Toronto Sculpture Garden, at 115 King St. E., is a City of Toronto park and is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free. The Toronto Sculpture Garden has featured more than 75 artists in over 55 exhibitions since it opened in 1981. The site is operated by the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division. The garden was developed through the sponsorship of the Louis L. Odette Family, the City of Toronto and the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. Exhibitions are funded by the non-profit L.L.O. Sculpture Garden foundation and administered by the Garden’s director, working with a volunteer Art Advisory Board.

************************************************************** 5. COMMUNITY LINKS ************************************************************** This feature is a collection of community links – helping you find more information about organizations and events in our community. The Bulletin: Cabbagetown South: Community AIR: Corktown Residents and Business Association: Don Vale Cabbagetown Residents Association: The Distillery District: Friends of Riverdale Farm: Old Cabbagetown BIA: Old Town Toronto: Regent Park (TCHC website): Riverdale Farm: smartliving St. Lawrence: St. James Town Information: St. Lawrence Market: St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association: St. Lawrence BIA: Toronto Island Community:

York Quay Neighbourhood Association (YQNA): ************************************************************** 6. CONTACT INFORMATION ************************************************************** Mailing Address: 100 Queen Street West, Suite A7 Toronto ON M5H 2N2 Phone: 416-392-7916 Fax:416-392-7296 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ UNSUBSCRIBE If you received this message in error, or if you no longer wish to receive e-Newsletters from Councillor Pam McConnell, simply reply to this message with “Unsubscribe” in the subject header. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Shared By: