City Council meeting of May 21, 2002
Council made its appointments to committees and special positions for the second half of its three-year term. Mel Lastman chairs Policy and Finance Committee. Councillors chairing committees are Doug Holyday (Administration), Olivia Chow (Community Services), Denzil Minnan-Wong (Economic Development and Parks), Gerry Altobello (Planning and Transportation), Brad Duguid (Works), David Shiner (Budget Advisory), Bas Balkissoon (Audit), and mayor's designate Gloria Lindsay Luby (Nominating).
Councillors appointed to special positions: Case Ootes, Deputy Mayor; Olivia Chow, Children and Youth Advocate; Joe Mihevc, Disability Advocate; Sherene Shaw, Diversity Advocate; Anne Johnston, Seniors Advocate; Jack Layton, Sustainability Advocate; Joe Pantalone, Tree Advocate; and Irene Jones, Water Advocate.
Community Council chairs: Peter Milczyn, Etobicoke; Frank Di Giorgio, Humber York; Joanne Flint, Midtown; George Mammoliti, North York; Ron Moeser, Scarborough; and Kyle Rae, Toronto East York.
Auditor General for Toronto
Council agreed to establish the position of Auditor General for the City of Toronto, appointing former City Auditor Jeffrey Griffiths to the new position. The Auditor General will report to Council through the Audit Committee rather than through the City administration. The Office of the Auditor General will carry out financial and performance audits of City programs. Council also approved the position and office of Internal Auditor, reporting to the Chief Administrative Officer.
Appointment of commissioner
Council endorsed the appointment of Eric Gam as Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services, effective June 3. Eric, who has served as Acting Commissioner for the past year, previously headed the department's Social Development and Administration division as its executive director.
Creation of Intergovernmental Affairs Committee
Council established an Intergovernmental Affairs Committee to guide and co-ordinate the City's intergovernmental and international activities. Membership consists of the mayor and six other members of Council, with policy and secretariat support provided by the Chief Administrator's Office and the City Clerk's Division.
Facilities for emergency shelter
Council voted to ask the federal government to allow the City to use Fort York Armoury as an emergency shelter on a full-time basis. The lakeshore area facility is still used as a training and band practice facility. Council also directed staff to investigate the potential use of Denison Armoury, in the northern part of the city, as a shelter.
Support for youth programs
Council approved the allocation of $5.1 million in one-time funding from the Ontario Works incentive program to 55 local projects helping high risk youth populations during 2002-03. Another $5.1 million that Toronto received from the provincial Ontario Works program is funding a scholarship program called Kids@Computers. In addition, $250,000 in the City's 2002 operating budget is being reallocated to projects aimed at preventing youth violence.
City's 2003 budget
Council revised the schedule for reviewing and approving the City's 2003 budget, with final approval now scheduled for February 2003 instead of December 2002.
City-wide noise bylaw
Council approved a harmonized (city-wide) bylaw to govern noise disturbances in Toronto. The bylaw defines limitations on general noise levels (such as air conditioning equipment) as well as municipal response to specific disturbances such as loud parties. After discussion, Council decided against including in the bylaw any reference to the use of leaf blowers.
Access and equity grants program
Council approved grants to 64 community groups for projects designed to help strengthen the race relations climate and Toronto's multicultural character. About half of the groups will be conducting public programs such as educational workshops or conferences intended to further participants' understanding of human rights and values in Canadian society, while others will be engaged in youth programs and in addressing racism and hate activities.
Travel protocol for Council members
Council endorsed a protocol to ensure that all travel requests by members of Council and payment of related costs are co-ordinated and handled consistently, in accordance with City policies and procedures. The protocol includes procedures for administering and reporting councillors' travel expenses when paid from the budget of a City department or agency.
Charter for pedestrians
Toronto now has a Pedestrian Charter identifying principles, rights and actions to help make Toronto a city in which people can enjoy walking. Council adopted the charter, which is in keeping with the City's broad goal of improving the quality of urban life. Councillors also decided that the City will ask the police to vigorously enforce restrictions on riding bicycles on sidewalks.
Operating hours at civic centres
Differences in the operating hours at the City's various civic centres will soon be a thing of the past. Council approved standard hours of 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. for public access to the facilities Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekends and holidays. City Hall will remain open until 10:30 every night. In most cases the uniform hours - taking effect this summer - are not a major change except for longer hours on weekends and holidays than in the past. The evening and weekend hours do not refer to departments' full services in the facilities, but rather to the availability of the buildings for activities such as public meetings.
Truck route to Michigan landfills
Responding to concerns about truck traffic in Windsor, Council reaffirmed a commitment to ensure that garbage trucks carrying Toronto garbage do not use downtown Windsor roads to cross into Michigan instead of the designated truck route from Highway 401 to the Ambassador Bridge.
Previous Council Highlights
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