City action against Bill 5

At Monday's City Council meeting, Council voted to pursue all legal avenues possible against the province, as we fight bill 5 and the province's  meddling in our electoral system half way through the race. This undemocratic action from the provincial government is effecting our City's future without consulting us, the residents, on how we want to be governed. I am proud to have voted for our City to stand up and take action.

Premier Ford's cuts to Toronto Council and other updates

Friends,

I know many of you are angry, like I am, at Premier Ford's announcement that he plans to reduce the size of Council from 47 to 25. This undemocratic action from the provincial government is effecting our City's future without consulting us, the residents, on how we want to be governed. I can assure you, Council is moving forward with every means available to reverse this proposal.

Residents of our City deserve a say in how their municipal government is organized. For over two years the ward boundary consultation process "Draw the Lines" held community consultations, meetings with stakeholders, and forums with community groups. Toronto residents shared their desire to have a City Council that more effectively represented our growing population. The resulting 47-ward recommendation was endorsed by City Council and upheld at the Ontario Municipal Board and the Ontario Superior Court. Now, the Premier is erasing years of work and consultation to push through his own agenda.  No matter your view on the number of Councillors, unilaterally altering an election mid-campaign is simply undemocratic and wrong.

At Council on July 30th we voted to send City legal to fight this proposal in court. We also put forward a request to the province that a binding referendum is held. There will also be an emergency City Council meeting on August 20 to update the City on the legal proceedings. Unfortunately, until then, a lot is still up in the air. Our City Clerk directly stated at Council she does not have the ability to hold an election on October 22nd if nominations close on September 14th, as the advance polls open on October 6th.

While July 31st was supposed to be the last date I can send out a newsletter, that rule was also changed to allow communications to continue until the end of August, if nominations for the new ward boundaries are reopened. Please note also that I can no longer send out mass emails or hold town hall meetings. We are living in confusing times, and I will try my utmost to keep you informed on how we are moving forward.  We are allowed to continue to update our websites, so visit ward13.ca for more information as it becomes available.

Danforth Shooting
This past week has been a tough one for our city as we share our grief at the loss of life from last Sunday's shocking attack on the Danforth.  My heart is with the survivors, including those who were injured, those who witnessed the event, and those who continue to live and work in Greektown.  My sympathies also lie with the family of the gunman, who have had and will continue to face a difficult path.

Graphic Images
As mentioned in my last newsletter, I put forward a Member's Motion at City Council on July 23, 2018 requesting Transportation Services review the sidewalk bylaws and consider enforcement options available. I am thrilled to share the motion passed without debate. The motion can be viewed here. Thank you to the hundreds of residents that have sent their support, shared a link on Facebook, and have worked diligently to remove these harmful images from our streets.

South Kingsway and Bloor Traffic Safety Community Meeting
Last night, Tuesday, July 30th, I hosted a Community Traffic Safety Meeting about the intersection of South Kingsway and Bloor. City Transportation Staff as well as Toronto Police's 11 Division were represented at the meeting. The meeting was very well attended by residents even though it was a lovely July evening! Given the immediate attention that this intersection is due, I thought it was best to have the meeting as soon as possible rather than waiting for the school year to start in September. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to come out and share their insightful comments and observations. As was mentioned last night, City Transportation Staff will be bringing on a Consultant who will study the intersection as well as the surrounding area, taking into account residents' comments and concerns. Transportation Staff will then report back to City Council as early as January 2019 on recommendations.

Kind regards,

Sarah Doucette
City Councillor, Ward 13

Display of Graphic Images

I have been receiving a lot of communication from residents about groups and individuals displaying posters with graphic depictions of fetuses, as well as distributing flyers to mailboxes. I passed a motion in fall 2017 to request City Legal look into options to curb the display of these images. As it is a legally complex issue, I anticipate a response from City Staff as early as 2019. More recently, I put forward a Member's Motion at City Council on July 23, 2018, which passed, requesting Transportation Services review the sidewalk bylaws and consider enforcement options available. The motion can be viewed here.

If residents see banners affixed to city infrastructure or signs on sticks in the ground along the side of the road, my office can contact the City Transportation department to request they be immediately removed. We do ask that if residents witness these signs that they phone my office as the City's usual route for complaints, 311, is too slow for addressing this issue.

Regarding the distribution of the flyers in mailboxes, there is no recourse to individuals placing the flyers. These were originally being mailed through Canada Post, but they agreed to cease their distribution. I worked with our MPP, Bhutila Karpoche, and her colleague MPP Peter Tabuns, on a letter to the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform about the literature they are distributing, informing them that we are working with constituents who may provide warnings that trespassing is not authorized on their private property for purpose of delivery their flyers. You can view instructions on how to complete a letter to the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform warning about trespassing on your property, should you wish to do so.

If individuals are gathered and holding signs, you may call the police to intervene if the group is engaged in harassing behaviour, blocking traffic, or blocking the sidewalk.

If you could please copy my office at Councillor_Doucette@Toronto.ca and Peter Tabuns at tabunsp-co@ndp.on.ca when you send in your letter. Please keep a copy of your signed letter for your record.

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Open House Meeting for 2978 Dundas St W (W of Pacific) - June 20th

The developer of 2978 Dundas Street West is hosting an Open House to show the updated plans they submitted to the City back in January.  (This is the development proposal on the west side of Dundas and Pacific, not the location that includes the Junction Train Platform). This will be an opportunity for residents to review the latest revisions for the proposed development, and to discuss the proposal with the developers.  Please note this is not a City organized meeting, and is solely an Open House provided by the developers.  Stop by anytime, as there is no sit down presentation.

Wednesday June 20, 2018
6:30 pm to 8 pm
West Toronto Baptist Church, 3049 Dundas St W

Junction Area TTC Transit Network Plan

TTC Service Planning staff will be out at subway stations and transit loops in the Junction area, to share with the public their transit network plan for the neighbourhood.

This plan addresses prevalent concerns from the community that they have heard in the past, including:

  • Continuous service on Dundas West from Dundas West Station to Kipling Station·       
  • Continuous service on St. Clair West from Gunn’s Loop to Scarlett Road
  • All day everyday service on Parkside Drive, by extending 80 Queensway to Keele Station during all service periods.

Learn more about the plan: http://www.ttc.ca/TTC_Surveys/Junction_Area_Survey.jsp

There is also an opportunity for you to provide feedback at planning@ttc.ca

Community Council Boundaries

Following the changes to the ward boundaries, and the addition of three new wards, the Community Council boundaries need to be realigned.  The City is now asking for resident feedback to hear what you think.

Community Councils are where local issues are heard, debated, and voted on.  For some, the final decision falls to Community Council, while others go to City Council for a final vote. If you have ever deputed regarding a development, a street safety issue, or a local concern in our ward, it would have been at our Etobicoke York Community Council (EYCC).  While it does not get the media attention that other committees do, decisions made here have some of the greatest effects on what is happening directly in our community.

For a long time I, as well as some of our resident associations, have expressed concerns about our location in the EYCC.  While we have wonderful staff, the issues that face the communities in Etobicoke can be very different from our ward.  Our neighbourhoods have much more in common with communities to our east, like Wallace Emmerson, Roncesvalles, and Dovercourt. Being separated from these communities has drawn an artificial boundary which has created a division in regards to traffic and parking rules, cycling infrastructure, speed limits, and how we handle the developments on our major streets.

One proposal, "Option B" creates two Community Council's out of the former Toronto East York Community Council. One would consist of all the wards that primarily were part of the west side of the Old City of Toronto, including our newly expanded ward. I feel this option would be best for our communities going forward, and I will be informing staff of my views.

That being said, this is not my decision. It is up to the residents of our City to be heard. I encourage you to read through the information provided by the City, and submit your views.  This is an important change for our ward, so please make sure your voice is heard!

City of TorontoCommunity Council Boundaries

Prescribed Burn for High Park - Monday April, 23rd

It is expected that the prescribed burn will occur on Monday, April 23, 2018 from approximately 2pm -5pm in High Park. During the implementation of the burn, park users will be restricted from accessing the burn areas and adjacent trails. Park users should expect temporary road closures and reduced parking.

Community Clean Up Days - April 21st and 22nd!

Clean Together Toronto - Community Park Cleanups taking place around Ward 13

Rennie Park (1 Rennie Terr)
Saturday, April 21, 2018
1pm - 3 pm
More information
here

Lithuania Park (155 Oakmount Rd)
Sunday, April 22, 2018
10 am - 12 pm

Sir Casimir Gzowski Park (1751 Lake Shore Blvd W), meet at Lake Shore Blvd W and Windermere Ave
Sunday, April 22, 2018
1 pm - 3 pm

Pre-Application Meeting for 2946-2968 Dundas St W - Thursday, April 5

On Thursday, April 5, 2018, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at the West Toronto Baptist Church (3049 Dundas St W), the proponents, Oldstonehenge Development Corp, for 2946-2986 Dundas St W (the property including Junction Train Platform), will be hosting a development pre-application meeting for a proposal that has not yet been submitted to the City. Doors open at 6:30 pm, presentation at 7 pm. The proposed mixed-use development seeks to redevelop the site with commercial and residential uses. I will be attending this meeting.