Pam McConnell’s community newsletter Feb. 12

In this edition

  • City Council Highlights
  • Community Highlights
  • Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • Contact Information

City Council Highlights

Lobbyist Registry

Council has appointed Marilyn Abraham as the new Lobbyist Registrar, and she will implement a lobbyist registry, develop and enforce a lobbyist code of conduct. Toronto is Canada’s first city to create a Lobbyist Registry.

The Lobbyist Registrar is one component of the City’s five distinct accountability mechanisms, which also include the Auditor General (who focuses on accountability measures), the Integrity Commissioner (who ensures that codes of behaviour are communicated and applied), the Councillor’s Code of Conduct (guidelines for behaviour), the Lobbying Control Framework (guidelines and enforcement of behaviour for lobbyists), and the Ombudsman (to be appointed in 2007, to investigate citizens‚ complaints).

Visit http://www.toronto.ca/lobbying/index.htm for more information about the Lobbyist Registry.

2007 Capital Budget

The Toronto Government’s capital budget will be introduced at City Hall on Thursday, February 8, 2007, providing an opportunity for Torontonians to learn about the 2007 capital budget and what infrastructure it will fund.

The City’s capital budget pays for the construction and maintenance of roads, purchase of transit vehicles, building of major facilities, and the purchase of major equipment. The Toronto Government has priorities for capital spending budget that includes addressing health and safety issues, maintaining the City’s assets in a state-of-good-repair, and responding to the infrastructure needs caused by growth and change in the city.

As the economic engine of Canada, Toronto creates considerable growth but does not receive a share of those revenues that go to the federal and provincial governments as a result of Toronto’s growth.  As a result of the funding shortfall, Toronto is unable to fund capital projects required to fully maintain its infrastructure, or develop the necessary solutions to major environmental or service issues which results in a continued backlog of capital funding requirements.

Capital Budget Schedule

Thursday, February 8
Budget Committee introduces the 2007 Capital Budget, City Hall, Committee Room 1, 9:30 a.m.

Monday, February 12
Toronto Capital Budget Information Session: Torontonians can learn more about the City‚s 2007 capital programs, talk to staff, and have their questions answered. No registration is required. Toronto City Hall Rotunda, 2 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14
Capital Budget Committee Hearings for General Public, City Hall, Council Chamber, 2 p.m.

Friday, February 16
Budget Committee‚s Capital Budget Wrap-up, City Hall, Committee Room 2, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 7
Toronto City Council considers the Capital Budget, City Hall, Council Chamber, 9:30 a.m.

Visit http://www.toronto.ca/city_budget/index.htm for more information about the City Budget.

To make a presentation to the Budget Committee, please call 416-392-6662 or send an e-mail to clerk@toronto.ca.

Water Rates

Toronto City Council has approved a water and wastewater rate increase equal to nine percent (9%) on an annualized basis effective on March 1, 2007 for metered customers and July 1, 2007 for flat rate customers..

The average Toronto household will pay an additional $40 per year, increasing the annual cost from $429 to $469 or about $1.25 per day for all the water and wastewater services. Toronto’s water rates are still lower than most neighbouring municipalities and are in the bottom range for major cities in Canada.

The 2007 Water budget of $648 million includes the replacement of aging infrastructure (sewer and water pipes), as well as:

  • $21 million towards Source Water Protection initiatives (Wet Weather Flow Master Plan)
  • $7 million for the Water Efficiency Plan
  • $4 million for Universal Water Metering and Automated Meter Reading programs
  • $9 million for Energy Efficiency Measures
  • $9 million for enhanced Basement Flooding protection

Window On Council

Window on Council is a new page on the City of Toronto website, to provide insight and access to the decision-making process at City Hall.  It offers useful links to staff reports, agendas, and schedules for council and committees. Visit http://www.toronto.ca/city_council/window.htm to explore the features on this exciting new resource.

Visit http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/thismonth?OpenView&Count=100 for other news from City Hall.

Community Highlights

West Don Lands

The competition for the redesign of the West Don Lands has begun.  This area of Ward 28 is about 40 hectares, located in former industrial land near the Gardiner Expressway and the Don River.

Four renowned international design groups will be offering competing visions and designs of this portion of our waterfront.  The designs will be made public in April, and the winner will be announced in May.

Snow Clearing For Seniors And Disabled Residents

If you are a senior or disabled resident of Toronto, the City of Toronto will clear snow from the sidewalk in front of your home in those areas where the service is not provided by machine.

The City of Toronto provides sidewalk snow clearing in most areas; however, there are a few streets where equipment is unable to clear sidewalks due to insufficient sidewalk width for the ploughs and the lack of boulevard space for snow storage. Most of these areas are in the older, central parts of the city.

Visit http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/snow/sidewalks.htm for a map showing the areas where the City provides sidewalk snow clearing

For seniors and the disabled living in areas where the City does not clear sidewalks, contact the City of Toronto at 416-392-7768. Please note that the service applies to the sidewalk in front of your home only and does not include driveways or walkways leading to homes.

Seniors and the disabled can call 2-1-1 for information about service providers in the Toronto area that can assist them with snow removal on private property.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

West Don Lands Public Meeting
Location: Tbd
Date: Wednesday March 21
Time: Tba

Environment Day
Location: Lower Sherbourne Community Park (171 The Esplanade)
Date: Saturday April 28
Time:  10:00 am-2:00 pm

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
100 Queen Street West, Suite A7
Toronto  ON   M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-392-7916
Fax:416-392-7296
councillor_mcconnell@toronto.ca
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