City Council Wants to Regulate Firearms and Ammunition

Dear Ward 24 Residents

In July 2018, Toronto City Council heard and adopted a motion I put forward for the seizure and destruction of illegal guns. It was found that seized illegal weapons often make way back onto city streets, which should not be occurring.

As a result, requests to the Toronto Police Service (TPS) Board, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Province of Ontario were made to adopt and implement the necessary measures for an elimination procedure of illegal guns and ammunition confiscated by law enforcement agencies.

It was also adopted that the City Manager would report back to City Council during the first quarter of 2019 on the implementation of this seize and destroy procedure. More on this motion can be found here.

At this week’s Executive Committee meeting, the motion for City Powers to Regulate Firearms and Ammunition and Update on Related Initiatives was adopted without amendments.

This item recommends a number of requests to the Government of Canada to:

  • Ban the sale of handguns in the City of Toronto
  • Implement a tougher screening for mental health and intimate partner violence issues for licensed gun owners and those seeking to acquire firearms permits
  • Control handguns coming into Canada along the American and Canadian border
  • Include tougher penalties including mandatory-minimum sentences for gun traffickers

With requests made to the Government of Ontario to:

  • Ban the sale of handgun ammunition in the City of Toronto
  • Legislate a suspension of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission liquor license for establishments where the TPS has evidence of multiple gun-related offences on the premises

More information on this motion can be accessed here.

I feel strongly on the matter of protecting Toronto’s communities and find that this is a good vehicle to stronger voice that guns are not welcome in the City of Toronto.

This item is to be heard for final approval at the June 18th, 2019 meeting of City Council.

All my Best

Paul

Toronto Zoo’s Washed Ashore Exhibit and the Evolution of 311

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours

On Tuesday May 21, 2019 the fifth meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee started with a presentation on the Evolution on 311 and Toronto At Your Services presented by Director of 311, Gary Yorke.

The presentation highlights the service’s collaborations, partnership and accomplishments along with planned projects for the future. The presentation can be found here.

On Thursday May 26, 2019 I had the pleasure to attend the opening of the Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea exhibit at the Toronto Zoo.

Washed Ashore is a non-profit organization whose mission is to use the arts to educate a global audience about plastic population in oceans and waterways and to spark positive changes in consumer habits. This project began in 2010 to create artwork made completely from garbage collected from beaches.

It was a pleasure to attend the exhibit opening with Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, Jo-Anne St. Godard, Hon. Rod Philips, Angela Hasteltine, Dolf DeJong, and Hon. Elizabeth Dowsdell.

A large marlin sculpture at the exhibit was displayed, made of plastic waste that has washed up on the shore.

Each year, sea birds, whales, seals, sea turtles and other marine life die from ingesting or becoming entangled by plastic debris. Approximately 300 million points of plastic is produce globally each year and less than 10 percent of that is recycled.

This exhibit educates the public about the negative and devastating effects of plastic pollution and to spark positive changes in consumer habits. This exhibit is a first for Canada and the City of Toronto is committed to promoting environmental and climate change policies.

If you’re interested in how YOU can make a difference in your day-to-day life check out the Washed Ashore-Art To Save The Sea exhibit at the Toronto Zoo from May 2019 to November 2019. Visit the 10 larger-than-life sculptures including an 8 foot tall penguin and a 12 foot high jelly fish and Washed Ashore’s newest, an 800 lb shark.

The Exhibit is free with Toronto Zoo admission. Find more information here.

All my best,

Paul

Digital Literacy Week 2019

Dear Ward 24 Residents

This week, May 27 to June 1, the City of Toronto celebrated Digital Literacy (DL) Week. Digital Literacy Week celebrates the way technology has changed the way we work, play, learn and teach.

The week kicked-off at the North York Central library where I was able to speak alongside City Librarian, Vickery Bowles, Chief Information Officer-ETEE at BMO, Claudette McGowan, TCDSB Superintendent, Lori DiMarco and TDSB Executive Officer, Peter Singh.

Happy to kick off DL week with (From Left-Right) Vickery Bowles, City Librarian, Claudette McGowan, Chief Information Officer-ETEE at BMO, Lori DiMarco, TCDSB Superintendent, and Peter Singh, TDSC Executive Officer.

The City of Toronto offered more than 250 free events and workshops for all ages created to showcase the digital and technology programs and services across Toronto. Digital Literacy Week collaborated with City of Toronto, Toronto Public Library, TCDSB, TDSB, CIBC, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and more.

The Digital Literacy Week is built on the success of the “Digital Literacy Day,” that was celebrated in May 2018. Digital literacy can be defined as a new literacy that creates lifelong opportunities and challenges for people of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels.

Nowadays, to be digitally literate is fundamental to succeed in everyday life and that is what Digital Literacy Week is promoting and helping people understand what digital literacy means and how it impacts our lives and how to succeed.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to participate in any DL week events and share your support towards the advancement and impact that technology has on your everyday life. Find more details here.

All my best

Paul

Get Involved this May with the City of Toronto!

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours

During the month of  May there are a number of meaningful celebrations. From Asian Heritage Month, Museum Month and Building Safety Month to Youth Week, Emergency Preparedness Week and Mental Health Week, the City of Toronto has honoured and focused on a great deal of City-wide issues.

You can find a list of this term’s proclamations at this link.

Last week the City of Toronto celebrated Emergency Preparedness Week, May 5-11. This year’s theme is “Are You Ready”—emphasizing the importance for preparing for emergencies. The City’s Office of Emergency Management is launching the first in a series of videos supporting Torontonians in preparing for emergencies. Videos can be found here.

Did you know? By 2050, 75% of all trips under 5 kilometres will be walked or cycled. That is one of the goals of the City’s TransformTO climate Action Strategy. From May 6 to 20, support the city’s TransformTO Climate Action Strategy by participating in the Walking Challenge. Walking is a clean, green and healthy way to get around Toronto, invite your friends and neighbours to join you.

You can participate by downloading the free Carrot Rewards app, found in the App store or on Google Play. All participants will be entered into the Walking Challenge and grouped into the ward that they live in.

The ward with the highest average goal completion rate will win the challenge. Your community could even win a street party hosted by Live Green Toronto and earn double points on the Carrot Rewards app towards a rewards program of your choice. So, Ward 24 let’s join the challenge and take steps to TransformTO!

All my best,

Paul

Latest News For Curran Hall

March 30, 2019

Dear Curran Hall Neighbours,

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy Easter!

Spring brings community clean-ups as well as readying our yards for gardening. I will be joining volunteers across Scarborough-Guildwood to participate in the Clean Toronto Together Community Cleanup Day. I encourage everyone to join the Curran Hall community clean up at Botany Hill Park on April 27, 2019 -9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

Looking ahead to Father’s Day weekend you will have an opportunity to attend two events at the Curran Hall Community Centre and Botany Hill Park. I will be hosting my Annual Curran Hall Compost Day on Saturday, June 15, while City of Toronto Urban Forestry staff will be hosting a Community Tree Planting on Sunday, June 16, with a focus on increasing the urban forest canopy cover, creating a habitat and reducing storm water flow.

A staff report coming to Scarborough Community Council

U-Turn at the May 2019, Scarborough

Community Council will prohibit u-turn on Orton Park Road by Henry Hudson Sr. P.S. as well as the area fronting

Botany Hill Park and the off leash dog park. It was observed motorists were making u-turns in these areas causing unsafe condition in a School Safety Zone and vehicular conflicts on the road.

Please contact my office for details or if you would like to speak or send in comments to the committee as I will ensure you receive the instructions to file with the Committee Clerk.

Curran Hall Community Centre (Located at 277 Orton Park Road)

Join local programs offered for all ages: Yoga, Pilates, dance, cooking classes, marital arts, visual arts, adventure camps, youth leadership programs and much more. Drop in programs for youth 9yrs-12yrs – Saturdays: 1:30 PM – 3:30PM.

Contact the Centre for details: 416 396-5156.

Community Events:

– Councillor Ainslie’s Annual Curran Hall Compost Day

Curran Hall Community Centre, 277 Orton Park Road (Parking Lot)

Saturday June 15, 2019 – 10:30 AM

– Botany Hill Park Tree Planting – Celebrate Father’s Day by planting trees and shrubs.

Urban Forestry invites you to join in for a morning of planting native trees and shrubs in

Botany Hill Park! The details of the public planting event are as follows.

Location: Botany Hill Park.

The event site is located next to the parking lot by Curran Hall Community Centre

Sunday June 16, 2019 – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

– Councillor Ainslie’s Annual Curran Hall Community Picnic

Botany Hill Park, 277 Orton Park Road

Wednesday July 10, 2019 – 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM

All my Best,

Paul

Startup in Residence Initiative for the City of Toronto

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours

At the General Government and Licensing Committee meeting, on April 1, 2019, I will be requesting of my fellow committee members to consider the creation of a Startup in Residence (STIR) pilot project for the City of Toronto dealing with procurement and e-procurement.

Startup in Residence is a program that connects governments with startups to solve government-led civic challenges. The STIR program aims to bridge public-sector agencies directly with technology entrepreneurs to seed product development in the public sector.

The Startup in Residence pilot project hopes to serves the following purposes:

  • To act as a lead for procurement reform
  • To introduce City agencies, departments, commissions and boards to new innovation and technologies
  • To serve as an incubator to introduce the necessary procurement reforms needed to allow increased innovation to continue for the long term
  • To enhance government productivity, efficiencies, and help improve the resident experience with municipal government

The STIR program solicits proposals from startups for technology-based solutions to address procurement and e-procurement challenges facing City agencies, departments, commissions and boards.

The STIR program includes educational component during the residence period for the selected participants and corresponding City agencies consisting of in-person and web sessions with leaders in business, legal, finance, investment and consulting sectors as well as government executives, innovators, academics and researchers.

I am requesting the Deputy City Manager, Corporate Services, the Chief Information officer, and the Chief Purchasing Officer, in consultation with the Chief Transformation Officer, and the Director, Civic Innovation Office, to consider adopting a Startup in Residence (STIR) program, similar to those implemented by the City of Guelph and the Municipal Innovation Exchange, and whether the City of Toronto should:

  • Join an existing STIR network, such as the Municipal Innovation Exchange which was founded recently by Guelph, London, and Barrie;
  • Operate its own STIR program, as seen in some US cities; or
  • Operate its own STIR program, in alliance with other cities and/or government agencies in the Greater Toronto Area.

Stay tuned for the Monday’s, April 1, meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee. The meeting can be watched live here.

All my best,

Paul

Delivering Digital Government

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

At the March 5th General Government and Licensing Committee meeting the Chief of Information Officer, Rob Meikle, gave a presentation on “Delivering Digital Government to Toronto”.

What is Digital Government?

A Digital Government has core capabilities supported by organizational enablers. Capabilities are customer and business facing innovations such as:

  • Services that digitize touchpoints and consolidate online access platforms
  • The automation of transactional processes
  • More accurate and intelligent decisions through advanced predictive analytics
  • Data Sharing for greater transparency and strengthening public trust

While enablers are innovations across government systems such as:

  • Strategy focus and attention on the needs of populations
  • Government and Organization funding mechanism for collaboration, innovation and efficiency
  • Leadership and Talent commitment and awareness of trends and opportunities
  • Technology and analytic platforms that support efforts in big data and open data

What does Digital Government Deliver?

Digital Government delivers City business modernization and innovation to enhance City Services delivery to the citizens of Toronto.

Digital Government enhances the city’s business process and systems with a focus on opportunities to streamline and integrate.

Moreover, Digital Government also drives improvements with a focus on social and economic benefits through the following examples: 

Open Data

By empowering citizens with access to city information at their fingertips

Vision Zero

Enhancing road safety through technology: enabling motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to make safe routing choices based on reliable road safety instruction

Wellbeing Toronto

Fostering neighbourhood development: empowering citizens to access neighbourhood information through self-serve windows of engagement using the Wellbeing Toronto web application

Equity Lens

Advanced local outcomes: embedding access, equity, diversity and human rights practices into all aspects of the City’s business will lead to greater equitable outcomes for staff and residents

In 2018, the City of Toronto has delivered enhanced City Services through technological innovation through the following examples: 

  • 2018 Municipal election results delivered to the public within 15 minutes of closing
  • Improve Commuter Safety with the decline in public injuries with quicker reporting and resolution of sidewalk repairs with Vision Zero
  • Advancing Social Outcomes through Equity Lens online tool to identify and address equity barriers
  • Enhanced Online Self-Service licensing system that enables online application of business licenses and permits

Digital Government drives City business modernization and innovation, focus on opportunities to streamline and integrate the City’s business systems and ensures secure, reliable technology environment.

Please let me know your thoughts and concerns!

All my best,

Paul

Get Involved Toronto!

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

During the January 14th General Government and Licensing Committee meeting a comprehensive review of business licences was adopted across the City of Toronto. This review is due to the changing nature and number of existing businesses and licence categories.

This review includes the review of Vehicles-for-Hire bylaw, Payday lending, licensing requirements for Bars, Restaurants and Nightclubs, Body Rub Parlours (BRP) and Holistic Centres bylaw.

At this moment the City of Toronto would like to hear from its residents regarding the Vehicles-for-Hire Bylaw and Body Rub Parlours and Holistic Centres Bylaw.

Vehicles-for-Hire

The Current Licensing of Vehicles-for-Hire Bylaw provides regulations for taxicabs, limousines and private transportation companies (PTCs), such as Facedrive, Lyft and Uber.

There are a number of ways you can be involved and help shape policy:

Attend public consultations

There will be nine public consultations held between March 4 and March 19. Each meeting will focus on a particular area of the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw. See the Public Consultation Schedule here. Each meeting will focus on a different area of the Vehicle-for-Hire Bylaw, such as the following:

  • Accessibility
  • Vehicle equipment
  • Public safety

Submit feedback by email

Contact vehicleforhirereview@toronto.ca by April 30, 2019.

Subscribe to receive email updates

Visit E-updates to sign up. Click open the Get Involved in Your Community Section, type in your email address and scroll down to select Vehicle-for-Hire Review.

Body Rube Parlours (BRP) and Holistic Centres

The Body Rub Parlours (BRP) and Holistic Centres Bylaw Review is to update the licensing bylaw, to promote public health and safety. Provide the City with your feedback and help shape policy by:

Attend Public Consultations

There will be four public consultations held between March 5 and March 19. The first will be held for the general public, second for Etobicoke, third for Scarborough-Agincourt and fourth for University Rosedale. Find the Public Consultation Schedule here.

Witten Consultations

Submit feedback to mlsconsultations@toronto.ca by March 20, 2019

Stakeholder Meetings

There will also be five stakeholder meetings held between March 4 and March 14 to consult different stakeholders governed by the bylaw. The stakeholders include:

  • Body Rub Parlours
  • Body Rubbers
  • Holistic Centres
  • Professional Holistic Associations
  • Holistic Practitioners

Find the Stakeholder Meeting schedule here.

Your feedback will be used to recommend updates in a report to be discussed at the General Government and Licensing Committee in June 2019.

Watch the General Government and Licensing Committee and other committees online here.

Follow @GetInvolvedTO for more opportunities to have your say and shape policy in the City of Toronto. Visit the Get Involved page for more public consultations, volunteer opportunities, community initiatives, public appointments and more.

All my best,

Paul

Housing Now in the City of Toronto

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

At the January 30th City Council Meeting, Mayor John Tory’s first item of business of implementing the “Housing Now” initiative was approved increasing the supply of new affordable rental housing within mixed-income communities by making municipally-owned properties available to non-profit and private organizations.

The Housing Now Initiative represents a new city-building approach to the disposition of City-owned lands. In December 2018, City Council approved this initiative to activate 11 City-owned sites (the 11 Properties) for the development of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities.

The first phase of this initiative included the following:

  • Activating the 11 Properties for the potential to create approximately 10,000 new residential units.
  • A proposed minimum of 2/3 of all residential units created on the 11 Properties will be purpose-built rental housing with at least 50 % of the rental units as affordable rental housing.

This phase is in addition to provide affordable rental homes in partnership between non-City sites with non-profit and private housing organizations through the 2019 Open Door Call for Affordable Rental Housing Applications.

Moreover, the next phase provides:

  • City staff and CreateTO will undertake more detailed due diligence for each of the 11 Properties.
  • Report to the CreateTO Board of Directors on directions and impacts prior to marketing.

In the absence of this Housing Now Initiative, the 11 Properties would be sold at market prices mainly resulting in the development of market condominiums.

In recognition of the urgency to provide affordable rental housing in our city, this initiative sets action to create much needed affordable rental housing in mixed-income communities.

See these links for complete meeting agenda and news release.

City Council and other City of Toronto Committees can be watched live here at this link.

All my best,

Paul

It’s Family Day – Time For Some Fun!!!

Sunday February 17, 2019

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours-

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day and Happy Early Family Day! I hope everyone had the chance to spread some love this past week and are looking forward to some much needed Family Day fun.

The City of Toronto holds a number of activities and events for Family Day, February 18, 2019!

Right in our backyard, the Toronto Zoo will be open from 9:30 am to 4:30pm daily, including Family Day. Visitors can participate in Keeper Talks and Carnivore Feedings and take part in the National Hippo Day celebrations, enjoy the winter Orchid Oasis and sign up for the family Owl Prowl. More information is available at the Toronto Zoo website.

There are 52 outdoor skating rinks across the city that will be open for use, weather permitting. Along with these outdoor skating rinks are a number of indoor arenas that will be open for use as well. There is no fee for public skating at any City indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. Please remember that CSA-approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under the age of six.

Make sure to check out the Nathan Philips Square skating party, sponsored by Tim Hortons from 1pm to 4pm on Family Day for fun-filled skating and hot beverages at the Tim’s House lounge.

Skiing and Snowboarding will be open at Earl Bales and Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centres on Family Day.

From 12 Noon to 4pm on Family Day, visitors can post for selfies, play family board games, warm up by a bonfire and roast some marshmallows at the Scarborough Museum, 1007 Brimley Rd.

More details on City of Toronto Family Day activities here.

Friendly reminder that the Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival is returning this July at the Guild Park and Gardens. Be sure to check out their website for details on artists, performers and more. If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a vendor or volunteer, contact the festival committee at guildalive@guildalivewithculture.ca

Have a fun and safe Family Day!