City Council meeting of October 1, 2 and 3, 2001
Emergency response plan
Council endorsed a recommendation calling for the mayor and other senior City officials on the Emergency Planning Committee to meet with the prime minister and the Ontario premier to discuss finances required to support Toronto's emergency response plan. Council also requested a report on the possibility of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police assuming responsibility for airport security. In addition, members of Council supported measures to further improve security at Toronto City Hall.
EMS ambulance response times
Council gave its approval in principle to a strategy for improving the average response time by the City's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances. The plan is contingent on anticipated provincial funding and on Council's approval of municipal funding ($675,000 in 2001). EMS proposes increasing the number of emergency response ambulances that supplement the regular fleet and hiring 30 additional paramedics, with the intention of reversing the deterioration of the average response time in recent years and meeting the standard legislated by the Ambulance Act of Ontario.
Waste diversion plan
Council approved a new plan for recycling and composting Toronto's household waste. Residents will be asked to place their organic garbage in plastic bins provided by the City for weekly curb-side pickup. The program will begin with 70,000 households in the Etobicoke area next July, with the rest phased in by 2005. The combination of recycling and composting is intended to bring the City closer to its target of diverting 60 per cent of waste from landfill dumping by 2006, while also yielding other environmental and economic benefits for the City of Toronto.
By-election for Ward 31
Plans for a December 3 by-election received Council's approval. The by-election in Ward 31, Beaches-East York, is necessary to fill the vacancy left by former councillor Michael Prue, who was elected to the Ontario Legislature on September 20. Nominations close at 5 p.m. on November 2.
Metro Hall to be sold
City Council decided to put Metro Hall on the real estate market this fall. The terms of sale will enable the City to lease 210,000 square feet of space in Metro Hall for two-and-a-half years, giving the City time to acquire or build a Class B office space downtown to replace Metro Hall, a Class A building, as the south district's service centre. One option would involve constructing an annex office building on City-owned land adjacent to City Hall.
Budget-setting process for 2002
Council approved a detailed plan for the 2002 budget process, with an emphasis on completing the review process earlier than in previous years. The schedule calls for Council to discuss and approve the 2002 budget during the week of March 4 to 8. The budget process will include decisions about the levels of municipal services and a review of spending on capital programs.
Memorial honouring Pierre Trudeau
Council decided that the City of Toronto will honour the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, with a memorial such as a prominent monument or other major work of public art. The Economic Development and Parks Committee will consider sites and work out the details of a design competition for the memorial, which was given a budget of $200,000. Council also decided to ask the federal government to rename the Trans Canada Trail the "Pierre Elliott Trudeau Trans Canada Trail."
Toronto First Partnership
Council approved a mandate for the Toronto First Partnership, a new community mobilization initiative in support of Toronto's economic development. The partnership will bring together a wide variety of groups to advocate on behalf of the City and to strengthen relationships among its diverse communities. The Toronto First Partnership is one in a variety of efforts the City is undertaking to implement the Economic Development Strategy that Council adopted last year.
Beds for homeless people
Council endorsed a goal of ensuring that everyone in Toronto who requires a shelter bed has access to one. The City is in the process of drafting a municipal shelter bylaw as part of the overall effort to address homelessness.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation
Council approved a detailed set of management guidelines in the form of a Shareholder Direction for the board of directors of the new Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). The Shareholder Direction document also describes how the board, as shareholder, will be held accountable to the City. The new corporation, which was created under the Social Housing Reform Act, will take on relevant responsibilities currently administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing effective May 2002.
City-wide sign bylaw
Council gave its support to a project that will establish a single, city-wide sign bylaw governing the display of signs on private property. Development of the bylaw will be a complex process because of its linkages to the zoning, land use, roads and streets bylaws in each of the former municipalities. Once adopted, the comprehensive sign bylaw is expected to significantly reduce the time and costs spent on signage issues.
Previous Council Highlights
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