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TABLE OF CONTENTS

REPORTS OF THE STANDING COMMITTEES

AND OTHER COMMITTEES

As Considered by

The Council of the City of Toronto

on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998

STRATEGIC POLICIES AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE

REPORT No. 14



1Process for Disbursing Grants to Property Owners for Termite Control

2Recreation Grants Program - 1998 Allocations and Appeals

3Legislation Respecting Canadian Financial Institutions



City of Toronto

REPORT No. 14

OF THE STRATEGIC POLICIES AND PRIORITIES COMMITTEE

(from its meeting on June 30, 1998,

submitted by Mayor Mel Lastman , Chair)

As Considered by

The Council of the City of Toronto

on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998

1

Process for Disbursing Grants to Property Owners for

Termite Control

(City Council on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998, amended this Clause by adding thereto the following:

"It is further recommended that the Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services and the Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services be requested to report to the Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee with respect to the establishment of a blended 1998 program for termite control across all the former municipalities in the City of Toronto.")

(City Council on July 8, 9 and 10, 1998, deferred consideration of this Clause to the next regular meeting of City Council to be held on July 29, 1998.)

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(Clause No. 15 of Report No. 10 of the Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee)

The Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee recommends the adoption of the recommendation in the following transmittal letter (June 11, 1998) from the Municipal Grants Review Committee:

Recommendation:

The Municipal Grants Review Committee on June 11, 1998, recommended to the Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee, and Council, the adoption of the attached report (June 5, 1998) from the Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services respecting the process for disbursing grants to property owners for termite control.

--------

(Report dated June 5, 1998, addressed to the

Municipal Grants Review Committee from the

Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services)

Purpose:

This report sets out a process for disbursing grants to property owners under the Termite Control Program.

Funding Sources, Financial Implications:

Funds in the amount of $24,000.00 are available in the approved 1998 Consolidated Grants Program Budget for termite control grants, which is the same level that was provided in 1997.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that:

(1)the Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services be authorized to process grants for termite control, to a maximum of $500.00 per property owner, upon the terms set out in this report. Funds in the amount of $24,000.00 for this purpose are available in the approved 1998 Consolidated Grants Program Budget; and

(2)the appropriate City Officials be authorized and directed to do what is necessary to give effect to Recommendation No. (1).

Council Reference/Background History:

This report describes the Termite Control Program, carried forward from the former City of Toronto, including criteria currently applied by staff in administering the program. As funds for the program are included in the Consolidated Grants Program Budget, the Municipal Grants Review Committee must approve the process by which these funds will be disbursed in 1998. At this point 25applications are waiting to be processed under this program.

Under the Termite Control Program, individual grants of up to $500.00 are available to property owners for termite treatment where housing program staff have observed active termite infestation. Consistent with the transitional policy for grant programs in 1998, these grants are available only within the boundaries of the former City of Toronto. Staff will report back on whether the program should be expanded to the entire City area in 1999, as part of a broader review of termite control and housing programs being undertaken.

Comments and/or Discussion and/or Justification:

Property damage due to termite infestation has been a serious problem in Toronto for many years. It is estimated that 18 percent of city blocks in the former City of Toronto have had properties treated for termites. We are also aware of termite activity in other parts of the new City. Termites affect mostly older and more affordable housing, making termite control an important conservation issue, and an important aspect of housing rehabilitation.

The Termite Control Program was created by the former City of Toronto to protect properties from the structural damage associated with termite infestations. Under the program, Housing staff and Building Inspection staff work collaboratively to encourage and, where necessary, require owners to control termites. Housing staff are pro-active in providing advice to property owners, and termite control grants where appropriate. Building Inspection staff are responsible for enforcing termite by-laws to require treatment where necessary.

Termite control can include chemical treatment of the soil and elimination of wood-soil contact around a property. The current technology for termite control focuses on the use of a termiticide in conjunction with wood-soil separation to protect individual properties from underground termite colonies. As an incentive to undertake the treatment and wood-soil separation, which can cost $2,000.00 or more for a property owner, City Housing staff can issue grants of up to $500.00.

The current process for approving grants under this program is described in Appendix 1.

For the last several years, the Urban Entomology Program of the University of Toronto has been pioneering a new method of termite control. This method, called "Trap-Treat-Release" relies on small amounts of chemical and the social behaviour of termites to attack underground colonies, thereby suppressing or eliminating them. Traditional control methods use significant amounts of chemical to protect properties, but do not attack the source of infestation. Under funding agreements with some of the former municipalities, the University of Toronto has been testing this method across most of the new City area. While the results to date are very encouraging, the method must undergo regulatory review and product development before it will be commercially available. Staff will report back to Council on the progress of this research and the implications for the City's termite control program.

Conclusions:

In the transition year of 1998, we propose to continue processing grants for termite control under the procedures outlined in the Appendix, and request confirmation of the Commissioner's Authority to approve and disburse grants from the Consolidated Grants program Budget, based on the recommendations of Housing Program staff.

Contact Name:

Joanne Campbell, Tel: 392-6135/Fax: 392-3037.

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Appendix 1

The termite control grant is administered as a first-come, first-served, one-time grant available to property owners in the former City of Toronto, under the following criteria:

Program Criteria:

(1)Maximum Grant - 50 percent of actual costs of termiticide treatment and breaking wood-to-soil contact to $500.00.

(2)Application must be supported by two competitive bids from qualified pest control operators for termiticide treatment and two competitive bids from contractors on breaking wood-soil contact as required.

(3)Only chemicals toxic to termites and registered for use by Federal and Provincial authorities are eligible for reimbursement, currently Dursban TC (chlorpyrifos), Dragnet (permethrin), Purge System 22R (propoxur) and Timbor (disodium octoborate tetrahydrate).

Application Process:

(1)Property owner requests termite inspection.

(2)Housing Program staff inspect and determine evidence of termite activity and risk of termite infestation.

(3)Application received, reviewed and recommended by Housing Program staff.

(4)Grant is approved by Commissioner of Community and Neighbourhood Services, or designate.

(5)Applicant arranges for soil treatment (and wood soil work where applicable).

(6)Applicant requests payment by submitting final invoice and completion certificate issued by the pest control operator.

(7)Funds disbursed after Housing Program staff inspect and accept completed work.

2

Recreation Grants Program - 1998 Allocations and Appeals

(City Council on July 29, 30and 31, 1998, adopted the following recommendations:

"It is recommended that:

(1)a grant of $6,000.00 be approved for the Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre, and that such funds be provided from the Grants Contingency Fund; and

(2)the recommendation of the Municipal Grants Review Committee be amended to provide that the appeal from the Weston Minor Hockey League be deferred until September and until staff from the Parks and Recreation Division can report on the success of the fund raising measures that have been taken over the summer.")

City Council on July 8, 9 and 10, 1998, deferred consideration of the recommendations of the Municipal Grants Committee embodied in the following transmittal letter dated July 9, 1998, from the City Clerk, to its next regular meeting to be held on July 29, 1998:

--------

(Additional Communication considered with

Clause No. 28 of Report No. 10 of the

Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee)

Recommendation:

The Municipal Grants Review Committee recommends the adoption of the attached report (July6,1998) from Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, Chair, Municipal Grants Review Committee, respecting the grant appeal from the Weston Minor Hockey League (Grant No. 89), subject to adding the words "and any other cost saving measures" to Item No. (3) under the actions suggested in the body of the report of the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism, so that such item reads as follows:

"(3)Parks and Recreation Division staff will assist Weston Minor Hockey League with the development of a fund raising plan and any other cost saving measures;";

and reports having taken no action with respect to the recommendation contained in the report dated July 6, 1998, from the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism regarding the grant appeal of Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre (Grant No. 16), viz.:

"That Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre be funded up to $6,000.00 from the grants contingency, if appropriate.",

having regard that the adoption of such recommendation lost on a tie vote.

The Municipal Grants Review Committee further reports, for the information of Council, having requested the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism to submit a status report to the Municipal Grants Review Committee in September or October, 1998, on the issues related to the Weston Minor Hockey League's appeal.

Background:

The Municipal Grants Review Committee on July 9, 1998, had before it the following reports and communications:

-(July 6, 1998) from Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby, Chair, Municipal Grants Review Committee, responding to the request to report on the outcome of the meeting held with the Management Board of the Weston Lions Arena, and on other issues related to the appeal of the grant for the Weston Minor Hockey League (Grant No. 89);

-(June 30, 1998) from the Interim Secretary, Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee, advising that the Committee on June 30, 1998, submitted to Council, without recommendation, the recommendation of the Municipal Grants Review Committee respecting the Recreation Grants Program - 1998 Allocations and Appeals; and further requested the Municipal Grants Review Committee to reconsider a grant of $6,000.00 to the Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre (Grant No. 16) and to clarify where "duplication of services" exists in that neighbourhood and report to Council on July 8, 1998, at the time the Recreation Grants Program is considered; and

-(July 6, 1998) from the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism respecting the grant appeal from the Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre.

The following persons appeared before the Municipal Grants Review Committee in connection with the foregoing matters:

-Councillor Frances Nunziata, York - Humber, regarding the grant appeal of the Weston Minor Hockey League, and requested one-time additional funding in the amount of $10,000.00 for the League; and

-Ms. Lynn Daly, Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre.

(Report dated July 6, 1998, addressed to the

Municipal Grants Review Committee

from Councillor Lindsay Luby, Chair.)

Purpose of Report:

To report on the outcome of meetings with the Management Board of the Weston Lions Arena and other issues related to the appeal of the grant for the Weston Hockey League.

Funding Implications:

There are no financial implications of this report.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that:

(1)the appeal from the Weston Minor Hockey League be denied;

(2)the staff from the Parks and Recreation Division continue to work with the Weston Minor Hockey League on funding alternatives, revenue generation, and ice allocation;

(3)the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism report to the Economic Development Committee with an update on the status of the City's relationship with the Arenas that are operated by Boards of Management, and related community minor sport issues; and

(4)the appropriate City officials be authorized to give effect thereto.

Comments:

As directed by the Municipal Grants Review Committee, I met with the Board of the Weston Lions Arena along with several staff from the Parks and Recreation Division on June 23, 1998, to discuss the issue of the rental rates for the Weston Minor Hockey League for use of the Weston Lions Arena.

This issue is quite complex. The Board of Management of the Lions Arena is fulfilling its mandate of operating this facility on a cost-recovery basis and is charging what they feel to be an appropriate rental fee. This rental fee of $168.00 per hour is the highest rate for a community based league of any Board or City operated facility in Toronto, but is still less than the private sector rinks in Toronto. The City-operated rinks have a $92.00 per hour rate for community based leagues, and this is part of the complexity of this issue.

At the meeting, the following actions were suggested and have been acted upon:

(1)that the Parks and Recreation Division Staff meet with the Weston Minor Hockey League to discuss possible solutions;

(2)Weston Minor Hockey League should request a grant from the Lions Club and the Arena Board of Management (this had been granted up until three years ago but application has not been made in the last three years);

(3)Parks and Recreation Division staff will assist Weston Minor Hockey League with the development of a fund-raising plan; and

(4)Weston Minor Hockey League should examine its fees and consider raising them to be more in line with other clubs in the area.

Subsequent to the initial meeting, a number of other possibilities have been initiated. These include:

(1)Alternate ice times for practices and games will be investigated at City-operated rinks outside of York, but within the catchment area of the League. This may reduce ice time costs for the league.

(2)Weston Minor Hockey League will be provided with the details on how to apply for subsides from the Ian (Scotty) Thomson Children's Fund to offset the cost of participation for individuals who may face financial barriers.

(3)The Parks and Recreation Division will be providing a presentation to the Board of the Weston Minor Hockey Association on fund-raising alternatives.

It should be noted that the $168.00 per hour rate has not changed in the last several years and it is paid by other minor sports leagues using this facility including the Weston Skating Club.

Although these measures will assist the Weston Minor Hockey Association in improving their financial position, they will not address the wider issue of the governance of the Boards of Management Operated Facilities and the resulting financial inequities to the minor sports groups of the City. I am suggesting that the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism report on this more complicated issue this fall.

Conclusion:

This issue is clearly not appropriate to be addressed through the Municipal Grants Process. The flat line approach to the $10,000.00 grant to the Weston Minor Hockey League is appropriate since nothing has changed in the way of rental rates or fees over 1997, and, more importantly, an increase in a grant to this organization would create a parade of grant appeals from other community sports leagues who may find themselves in a similar situation.

The interim list of actions proposed at the meetings is appropriate and already in motion. I am suggesting that the longer term implications of this overall ice rate/arena governance issue be the subject of a more complete report from the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism this fall.

(Report dated July 6, 1998, addressed to the

Municipal Grants Review Committee, from

the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism.)

Purpose:

To provide further detail and clarification with respect to appeal for funding.

Source of Funds:

Grant Review Committee.

Recommendation:

That Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre be funded up to $6,000.00 from the grants contingency, if appropriate.

Background:

Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre was not recommended for funding primarily because of the direction given to staff that minor grant recreation recipients in 1997 were a priority. Since Christie-Ossington was a new application, recommending funding was difficult in view of the fact that all of the funds were already allocated to community groups that were previously funded. Further, Christie-Ossington has been recommended for a total of $59,832.00 from other grants programs for specific initiatives.

The request for the recreation grant was to operate a day camp called "The Nook" which has previously operated at the Essex Public School, but will move to Christie Pits this summer. There are other service providers in this area including several Parks and Recreation Department Providers. The Staff from the Parks and Recreation Division continues to work successfully in partnership with Christie-Ossington on a number of projects.

Comments:

In the Minor Recreation Grants Report to the Grant Review Committee, reference was made to duplication as part of the rationale for not recommending funding. In terms of clarification, the current involvement of four different recreation centres with Christie-Ossington in a variety of projects meant that a minor recreation grant would be another addition to the existing partnerships.

The recreation centres of Bob Abate, Joseph J. Piccininni, McCormick and Wallace Emerson work in partnership with and provide staff resources that we provide to support this and other community groups. This is a full partnership community developmental program that is unique in many ways.

Conclusions:

It is important to note that Christie-Ossington runs an excellent program that is needed by the community it serves. However, our guidelines are to provide funding for groups that we normally fund, and they have assumed over 90 percent of the allocated budget. If funding can be found from the contingency fund, then this community group should be supported up to the $6,000.00 level.

Contact Name:

Ken Jeffers, Community Services Administrator - 392-7019.

3

Legislation Respecting Canadian Financial Institutions

(City Council on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998, struck out and referred this Clause to the Economic Development Committee for consideration, with a request that the Commissioner of Economic Development, Culture and Tourism report thereon to the Economic Development Committee at the same time as the report is brought forward regarding the banking industry, which was previously requested by Councillor Moscoe.)

(City Council on July 8, 9 and 10, 1998, deferred consideration of this Clause to the next regular meeting of City Council to be held on July 29, 1998.)

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(Clause No. 30 of Report No. 10 of the Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee)

The Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee recommends that the following motion of Councillor Mihevc be received and a copy forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration:

City Council, at its meeting held on June 3, 4 and 5, 1998, referred the following Motion to the Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee:

Moved by:Councillor Mihevc

Seconded by:Councillor Walker

"WHEREAS national polls have shown that most Canadians oppose the proposed Royal Bank-Bank of Montreal and CIBC-TD Bank mergers; and

WHEREAS the two mergers would eliminate up to 65,000 jobs, many of them in Toronto; and

WHEREAS access to capital is a major problem for Canadian small business owners and a concern for all Canadians, since small businesses create 80 percent of all new jobs in Canada; and

WHEREAS Canadian Bankers Association figures reveal that loans to Metro Toronto small businesses (those with business credit under $250,000.00), dropped from $4.11 billion in 1995 to $2.86 billion in 1996 (latest available figures); and

WHEREAS these problems reflect a lack of accountability by banks to local communities; and

WHEREAS U.S. laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) have worked well for 20years to ensure that U.S. financial institutions lend to small businesses and help meet other local needs, while remaining profitable; and

WHEREAS Toronto's housing shortage could be alleviated with funding through CRA-style legislation, just as agreements between U.S. community organizations and financial institutions under the CRA have financed housing in U.S. communities; and

WHEREAS a federal Task Force on the Future of the Canadian Financial Services Sector is reviewing financial institution legislation, with a report due in September; and

WHEREAS there is growing support for information disclosure and public accountability requirements for financial institutions as expressed in the 1997 election platforms of the federal Liberal, Progressive Conservative, NDP and Bloc Quebecois parties, and by a national coalition of over 70 groups, including the Toronto Small Business Support Organization, the Fort York Small Business Association, and the Social Planning Council;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Toronto City Council urges the federal government to enact legislation to ensure that Canadian financial institutions remain accountable to consumer, small business and community interests, for example:

(1)require banks to disclose the number of loan applications, as well as approvals and rejections, categorized by size of loan, size, type and location of business and gender of the business owner, to track the demand for capital and whether banks are meeting the demand;

(2)require banks to disclose reasons for rejections, loan defaults, loan losses and the number of called loans, to track the risk of lending to different sectors, communities and regions; and

(3)require other deposit-taking financial institutions to collect and disclose similar statistics to ensure a level playing field;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Toronto City Council urges the federal government to also enact requirements to determine how well financial institutions are serving consumers by requiring each institution to disclose:

(1)the number of complaints received each year, and the rate of resolving complaints;

(2)the number of lawsuits initiated by customers against the institution, and the number won, lost or settled;

(3)whether the banks are providing access to basic banking services for all residents of Canada (based on an independent audit); and

(4)the location of branches opened or closed;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Toronto City Council urge the Federal government to require the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to evaluate the above data annually and grade each financial institution's performance. The institution would receive a poor grade if the evaluation reveals, for example, that the institution arbitrarily rejects certain types of loan applicants, maintains excessive barriers to access to basic banking services, or has a high rate of complaints or successful lawsuits against the institution;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Toronto City Council support establishment of incentives for financial institutions to encourage them to improve their performance, including:

(1)as Ontario has done, federal and provincial governments should consider imposing a surtax on financial institutions, combined with a tax credit that could be applied to the surtax based on the institution's performance in meeting community needs;

(2)as Ontario has done, governments should not contract out business to financial institutions that fail to serve community needs;

(3)as in the U.S., the federal government should deny applications to expand or merge by financial institutions with a failing grade;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Toronto City Council urges the federal government to require banks and other financial institutions to:

(1)fund a truly independent ombudsman with the power to make binding rulings;

(2)guarantee everyone living in Canada an account with a deposit-taking financial institution, including the option or a low-cost, no-frills account, and protection from arbitrary and excessive holding of cheques; and

(3)facilitate the startup of a Financial Consumer Organization (FCO) by enclosing the FCO's flyer periodically in their customer mailings."

Respectfully submitted,

MEL LASTMAN,

Chair

Toronto, June 30, 1998

(Report No. 14 of The Strategic Policies and Priorities Committee was adopted, as amended, by City Council on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998.)

 

   
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