City Council meeting of June 26, 2001
Community and health grants
Council approved almost $8 million in grants to Toronto organizations and programs for 2001. About $3.2 million of the total is allocated among six major cultural organizations (Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Opera Company, Caribbean Cultural Committee/Caribana, National Ballet of Canada, National Ballet School and Toronto Symphony Orchestra). The City will provide $2.1 million in health grants, consisting of $1.4 million in support of 62 AIDS prevention projects and $657,000 for 89 community projects focusing on the prevention of drug abuse. Recreation grants totalling $1.2 million will support 144 community organizations. In addition, $1.3 million is allocated among the following categories:
- support for access and equity groups such as immigrant settlement agencies
- economic development and sponsorship initiatives
- local arts and culture programs
- community festivals and special events
- commercial research
Changes in senior management
Council appointed Shirley Hoy the City's Acting Chief Administrative Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer to fill the vacancy in those positions resulting from Michael Garrett's departure. Hoy's regular position is Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services. Council appointed Eric Gam (regular position Executive Director of Social Development and Administration) the Acting Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services, and Al Schultz (Director of Accounting Services) the Acting Treasurer. Council established a selection panel to take the lead in filling the permanent position of Chief Administrative Officer.
Integration of social housing portfolio
Council debated at length about integrating the Toronto Housing Corporation and the former provincial Metro Toronto Housing Authority, ultimately deciding to create an integrated organization called the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. It will inherit responsibility for managing housing for 164,000 tenants in 60,500 rental units. A 13-member board of directors, including two tenant members selected by tenants, will head the corporation.
Restoration of Union Station
Council authorized issuing to three pre-qualified groups a request for detailed proposals to restore, develop and operate Union Station. The three groups earlier presented their expressions of interest in undertaking the project. The City of Toronto purchased Union Station last year with the objective of promoting it as a Toronto transportation hub while undertaking heritage preservation and revitalization of the historical railway station.
Waste diversion strategy
Council gave its approval in principle to a plan to divert 100 per cent of its residential waste to recycling and composting programs by 2010. Members of Council will have an opportunity to study the financial implications of the ambitious plan before deciding in the fall whether to fully implement the waste diversion plan.
Location of emergency shelters
Council authorized staff to advertise a statutory public meeting (as part of the Planning and Transportation Committee's regular meeting) in September to consider amendments to City zoning bylaws. By removing current zoning impediments that hinder the selection of new shelter sites, the amendments will permit the operation of emergency shelters by or for the City in any part of Toronto. The need for shelters, especially those serving youth and families, is not limited to the downtown area.
Use of departmental purchase orders
Council approved recommendations for more consistent application of City purchasing procedures
to ensure that the City is receiving the best possible value in its purchases of goods and services. An audit found that often, competitive quotations required by corporate policy have not been obtained for purchases made using departmental purchase orders.
Harmonized work management system
Council approved the purchase of a computer-based work management system for the field work and assets of the Water and Wastewater Division, Works and Emergency Services. The division will acquire the Hansen system, which has been used successfully for several years in District 2 (Etobicoke). The other districts have been using paper, rather than electronic, systems.
Monitoring car advertising
Council supported an initiative of the Toronto Pedestrian Committee to watch for and report on false and misleading advertisements that promote the sale and use of cars and light trucks. The messages in question may include images that portray illegal, irresponsible or unsafe driving practices as part of the sales pitch.
Tree planting along Toronto's streets
Council agreed that all City road reconstruction projects should include capital funding for tree planting when the city forester considers trees feasible for the sites involved. The report under consideration informed Council of a need for more financial support if the City intends to maintain and expand the Toronto's street tree infrastructure.
Previous Council Highlights
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