The City of Toronto is bankrupt, and would like you to help figure out what to do: cut spending or increase revenue (or both).
An online questionnaire asks residents (or anyone with an internet connection) to rank services that the city provides, such as environment, transit, culture, and water. It also asks respondents to say whether the service should be provided by the city or contracted out.
The survey is quite detailed and interesting—if you’re into, you know, surveys and city government. Your humble correspondent was surprised, given the ideology of the current administration at City Hall, that raising taxes and user fees was an option the survey provided.
The consultation period ends June 17. You can complete the survey here.
Laura Albanese, our MPP, will be running for the Liberals in the election this fall.
In her press release, she says, “I am honoured to accept the Liberal nomination for the riding of York South-Weston. Since being elected in 2007, I have worked hard with vigor and passion to deliver the best possible results for the people of York South-Weston. I want to champion the causes that are important to the residents of my riding, with a focus on continuing to improve our quality of life.”
The election should be a good one. Albanese will be running against Paul Ferreira, the NDP candidate who defeated her in a by-election in 2007. Albanese defeated Ferreira later that year in the regular election. The NDP has been resurgent in York South–Weston, with the recent election of Mike Sullivan. Ferreira worked on Sullivan’s campaign.
Two streets in Weston will be made a little slower over the next few months.
Residents of King St voted to approve speed humps along their road. A survey was taken last month by city staff and, unusually, enough residents voted, and voted in favour, to have the humps built between the tracks and Jane St. Traffic along the easternmost section of King sometimes goes quite fast; a speed survey caught some cars going faster than 65 km.h.
Cross St, just north of Church near Weston Rd, will also have its traffic better controlled. Residents had complained that cars sometimes go the wrong way down the one-way street. The street, which is the width of a two-way street, will have a planter installed at its northern-most end to deter cars from turning south off Coulter Ave. Community Council voted to approve the planter on Cross St yesterday.
Although plans are in place to continue the Humber Trail beyond its current abrupt ending in Cruickshank Park, it’s unlikely we’ll see any progress on the ‘Weston Gap’ this year. According to Transportation Planner Jennifer Hyland, City Transportation Services are involved with negotiations on property transfers with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This would take the trail to Mallaby Park. In addition, there are plans to incorporate a 4m wide path on the west side of the railway bridge by 2014.
Ms Hyland also says that progress has been slow because of the ‘varying property interests’.
Let’s hope that planners and politicians can redouble their efforts on this important project so that cyclists and trail walkers can appreciate the stunning beauty of the Weston section of the Humber Valley. This will also allow Weston to capitalize on its bicycle connection.
The Toronto Police are inviting the public to meet with Chief Blair about the TAVIS program that will be run this summer and the change in boundaries for the officers who patrol Weston.
The meeting will be Wednesday, June 1st, from 7 to 9 pm at the Weston Collegiate Auditorium at 100 Pine Street.
TAVIS is “an intensive, violence reduction and community mobilization strategy intended to reduce crime and increase safety in our neighbourhoods”. It rolls out every summer to neighbourhoods experiencing a disproportionate amount of violent crime
The boundary changes to 12 and 31 Division will also be discussed. 12 Division, headquartered at Trethewey and Black Creek, will be taking over supervision of Weston from 31 Division, which is located around Jane and Finch.
The annual Weston Memorial Fun Fair will be held on Thursday, June 2, from 6–8 pm.
Every year, Weston Memorial public school has a party to raise money for school equipment and supplies. Last year’s fair raised about $5000 for school computers, despite the rain.
This year, the theme of the fair is “Go Wild”. There will be snakes and spiders for the kids to look at and touch. There will also be a bouncy castle, a bake sale, games and events.
The raffle and silent auction look particularly good; there is a package to the Weston Golf Course up for grabs, and tickets to many events around town, including zoos, a climbing centre, and the theatre.
A reader has sent in an interesting, sad, and bitter letter to the Toronto Star by Alan Tonks’ son, Matthew Tonks. Alan Tonks was, of course, defeated in the recent election by the NDP candidate, Mike Sullivan. In the letter, Matthew Tonks says,
… First off, I am baffled at the way the federal “orange wave” was able to triumph over strong experienced leadership. I have worked hard every single day throughout this campaign and so has my father to outline that he is the best candidate to represent York South-Weston amidst the chaos that gripped our country for the past six years. I am baffled at how our electorate has chosen a candidate in York South-Weston that would use such a negative campaign to win. Even when his back was against the wall, our Liberal candidate would never use that kind of politics because, to him, it has no place in politics. Simply put, the electorate got what it wanted tonight and it defeated an individual that wanted to continue to contribute to his community. … We will give the NDP the next four years to demonstrate its ability to contribute to this community. In four years, I will still be here … to take them to account. That is our democratic process … I just hope the people understand what they have voted for.
That Tonks is doubly baffled reflects quite poorly on him; it shows that Tonks and his campaign were out of touch with the people of his riding. That alone was a good reason to not re-elect him.
It is more disappointing, though, that Tonks maligns the electorate, insinuating that they are stupid by saying the people do not ‘understand’ what they have voted for. Those very same people, after all, voted for Tonks in the last elections. Were they as stupid then?