Questions and answers - general
Questions and answers - Works and Emergency Services
Questions and answers - water supply
Q. What is the City of Toronto doing to get ready for the Year 2000 challenge?
The City of Toronto's Year 2000 readiness program is extremely comprehensive, covering all city services and coordinating closely with agencies such as the police, Toronto Hydro and the TTC. We're confirming the Year 2000 readiness of all city suppliers. We're training staff. We're looking at both information systems and embedded chips in non-IT systems. If an application involves dates, it's in our plan.
We have identified 84 City of Toronto "priority one" business functions. These are functions that affect the health and safety of city residents, significantly affect the City's finances, or have legal implications for the city. We are preparing for the date change by fixing, testing and implementing solutions for all systems that support those functions. Priority one business functions include services such as water supply, sewage treatment, power, traffic lights, fire suppression, social assistance and public transit.
Q. What should we expect on January 1st, 2000?
We expect it will be "business as usual" for the city and those who use its many services. The Year 2000 challenge may cause some minor inconveniences, but it's very unlikely that there will be any major service disruptions as a result of the date change. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the city and its key agencies will have expanded staff available to assist residents in any way necessary.
Q. Are the city's Year 2000 plans on track?
Yes. All priority systems were identified in 1998, and many have already been addressed. We are remedying and testing other systems, and look forward to full implementation this fall. Some examples of the city services include:
- water supply and sewage treatment
- traffic lights
- fire suppression (more than 152,000 emergency response calls a year)
- parking tags ($50 million in revenue collected from issued violations)
- property tax ($4.6 billion in revenue collections and protection).
During the coming months, we invite you to visit this site to monitor our progress as we address this important challenge.
Q. What are you doing to inform the public?
We believe that all governments have a responsibility to communicate with and educate the public on this important issue. We already have a dedicated telephone hotline (416) 397-0222 to handle public inquiries. In the months ahead, we will communicate with all residents and businesses to ensure broad public awareness of our plans for business continuity in the City of Toronto on January 1st, 2000.
Q. What could go wrong?
The Year 2000 challenge may cause some minor inconveniences, but it's very unlikely that there will be any major service disruptions as a result of the date change. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, the city and key agencies will have expanded staff available to assist residents in any way necessary.
Q. What should I do to prepare myself?
Experts recommend taking inventory of computers and other date-sensitive technology in your home or office, conducting tests, and seeking advice from manufacturers or retailers. There are many sources of information on how to test equipment. Click here for links to some of these sources, including a "home check" guide published by Industry Canada.
Q. How do Toronto's Year 2000 efforts compare with those of other governments?
City staff have met with representatives of other municipalities and governments in the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere to identify shared solutions. Because the City of Toronto has unique challenges resulting from its size and complexity, City Council approved a budget of $150 million for the Year 2000 project. As a point of reference, the government of Ontario expects to spend $400 million.
Q. Who is in charge of the project?
The city has a full-time Year 2000 team, led by Lana Viinamae, a leading expert in information systems. The team reports directly to the Mayor's Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee, and Mayor Mel Lastman has appointed Councillor Dick O'Brien as his representative in overseeing the project. All city commissioners have direct responsibility for implementing the program within their sectors.