Community consultation on emergency shelters
I am pleased to share that Council adopted a new community engagement process that sets out how the City will engage with the public concerning new or relocated municipal shelters to serve homeless people. As our community saw through the Runnymede shelter process, the current system is not working. This new approach should help local residents and shelter users have more understanding of the proposals, and the role they can play in the process. As part of the same agenda item, Council also authorized staff to introduce a new service model to apply at four new shelter programs operating on a pilot-project basis. Together these changes should help modernize our shelter system.
Protection of heritage buildings
Council adopted motions requesting reports on protecting heritage buildings, including creating a "heritage survey" of all the buildings/structures across the city that have potential heritage value. Heritage buildings or areas identified as being under threat of demolition for development would be afforded some protection under the Ontario Heritage Act and through the City's process for demolition permits. This has been an issue not just in Ward 13, but throughout the City, and I am happy to see these important steps move forward.
Support for refugees and other newcomers
Council voted in favour of several recommendations tied to the City's role related to refugees, refugee claimants and undocumented Torontonians. Among the actions adopted is a request for the Canadian and Ontario governments to provide more funding to the City, including for the Toronto Newcomer Office and various municipally delivered social services that face increased demand for their services.