Wall-to-wall committee meetings this week! Following committee meetings is a great way to “preview” items before they go to City Council — and, if you want, voice your opinions. Also, petty drama is 100% guaranteed.
Public Works & Infrastructure
- The fate of the Bay-Bloor scramble is on the line. It’s decreased pedestrian waiting times — but cars are waiting about three times as long as they did before, and collisions are up. What do you think? Read the report and decide for yourself.
With that in mind: “Complete Streets” — roads designed not just for drivers but also pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users — are better for your health.
The Public Works committee has to decide on one of three plans to radically revamp that chunk of the waterfront between Yonge & Jarvis (study area pictured above). Of course, whatever they choose, there’s no money to pay for it — not within 10 years, at least.
Did you literally just get here and have no idea what City departments the Public Works committee deals with or what they do? This Powerpoint is for you.
Planning & Growth Management
- The 2014 Employment Survey is out! I may take a closer look at the full presentation. Some notable long-term trends: manufacturing has been eclipsed by offices; retail’s “jobless recovery” goes back to the early 90’s; a burst of jobs in South Etobicoke and Rexdale; and more.
Heritage Conservation Districts are part of the City’s long tug-of-war with developers. But we can’t get all the studies done at once, so which areas take priority, and how do we decide?
Parks & Environment
- The hot-ticket item this meeting: skating on Grenadier Pond! Without enough staff to monitor ice safety, the tradition has gone unregulated — and technically forbidden — since amalgamation.
Even though it feels like the bleakest coldest depths of winter right now, there’s a glimmer of hope: prescribed burn season is just around the corner. (And no, it has nothing to do with intra-council jabs.)
- This meeting, we’ll get to learn all about transit enforcement officers. Want to voice your concerns? Sign up to speak (details here). The deadline is noon on Tuesday.
Toronto’s youth unemployment rate is alarming — about 20%, but as high aas 25% for indigenous youth and 30% for Black youth and recent immigrants. In response, the City is expanding the Partnership for Youth Employment and maintaining the Toronto Youth Job Corps, two programs aimed at improving the situation.
There’ll also be presentations on the local and regional economic outlook for Toronto.
Back in 2011 some councillor shot their mouth off about what TCHC could be expected to save thanks to audit recommendations. Four years later, the Auditor General delivers an “I told you so”. (I’ll have to dig up who it was, unless someone remembers.)
The Fraud & Waste Hotline is too popular for its own good.
Is it worth bringing in external consultants like KPMG to evaluate the efficiency of city services? We just don’t know.