Executive Committee – January 24, 2018 – Part 2 of 2

Executive Committee – January 24, 2018 – Part 2 of 2

we have quorum present and we’ll resume the Proceedings of the committee and
where we left off was we were I think we’d finish questions of staff I know we
had we had two more that I guess it signed up isn’t that right I think it
was account three actually councillor Ainsley councillor DiGiorgio and
councillor shiner to ask questions of staff so councilor Aames you were first
on that do that is there anything I have a nice bar there yes if there’s any
quick releases or items that people could that’s fine this good idea
councillor Shawn or anything that anybody has to release having satisfied
at you as soon as I can find it I think you were the only one that held anything
so besides me oh that’s not fair I was not saying that you’re very sensitive
today I just work harder I am looking for the one that deals with the school
boards 26 and 32 the clerk is suggesting maybe the ones you’re looking for 26
Thank You mayor Tory so I can release and with thanks to our staff for their
hard work on this and the work of mr. Giuliani and our East office
the request to amend site plan approval protocol for school I think it’s a great
project that’s gone forward so the staff recommendations then have been moved on
item X 30 point 26 all those in favor oh is carried okay thank you is that it
for now oh no but you just said you might have
more but that’s 5 mm I have I think that that was a good start though good start
keep up the good work yes copter Thompson mr. mayor I can release e^x
3018 although I still have the same reservations I had when we dealt with
this particular matter I just simply think that we need to do a better job
the province is getting paid we’re not getting paid or being asked to wait 17
years for interest and for the loans to be paid back it seems so consistent that
we tend to fall into this particular predicament while at the same time we
have a problem we have a challenge we need to house people and so on we
recognize that their benefits to us and so on I just figured hope that there was
a better way for us to deal with this particular issue I’m just gonna release
it given the fact that the end of that we
do own the property but I’m just very concerned in terms of how we do these
deals I think you’ll remember councillor Thompson I joined you in thinking this
was entirely unsatisfactory but the province said no it is regret regretable
but I think we’re left in a position where as you say the buildings there the
financing is what it is and we just have to I think do what we’re doing here I
regret it but it’s right uh if if people think that that statement being on the
record from the both of us is adequate to kind of encompass what they would
have said we can call the question our and just move forward or did you want to
hold it counsel honor mera Torre did all the remarks of my colleague beginning
yourself because we’ve spoken together and you know it’s not right
the biggest issue with this is the millions of dollars that can’t be used
for other affordable housing projects and the fact that a recommendation came
to us the first time that put us in a much lower position and the ability to
maintain the funding for our city taxpayers and I hope we don’t see that
again if we’re not equal to other lenders then we shouldn’t be asked to
lend because this is what can happen and then we have this tremendous shortfall
and our ability to use this money for other projects by no fault of our own
and because the why thought it would work and it didn’t and now other
are paying for the fault of that error in judgment it gets good point we’re
ready for the question on this then I’d me yes yep
staff recommendation all those in favor opposed to carry it okay counselor show
we’re doing a recorded vote or you just want to mark down there was huh all
right done thank you anything else before we move
back to the development charges all right well we’ll go back then to item 30
X 30 point three and we’ll pick up with the questions and final questions of
staff which I have the list of counselors Ainsley the Georgia and China
so kind of seriously Thank You Mara Tori through you I just had a quick question
about for mr. Frye just one of the slide decks he said one of the exemptions was
colleges and universities and I know that a number of colleges or
universities have concerns I think all of us have received a letter from one of
them about how the development charge exemption will apply to university
residences for example is that something that’s going to be further discussed
through the chair yes it is currently the universities are afforded tax
exemptions by through their legislation to the extent that they use the lands
for university purposes and to the extent that the lands are owned by the
university they’re exempted from taxation as well as in many cases
development charges and we will look at that and review it and report back okay
so when we’re talking about most university residences I understand are
on University property so that would still be tax exempt or you’ll be looking
at the different scenarios around that yes I mean our concern is that we don’t
want to see a situation where there’s a joint venture between the university and
a private developer and the city affords the development and exemption that would
otherwise benefit the developer so we just have to be really careful to look
at this situation that’s presented and ensure that you know the relief is
provided really to to the University welcome all right Thank You Myra Tory
Thank You councillor Ainsley councillor DiGiorgio Thank You mr. Mehra I just
have sort of a broad general question as it relates to the proportion of the
infrastructure costs that are being passed along whether the development
charges act to the new residents let’s say coming into the municipality so in
general terms if we have an expenditure of let’s say 200 million for new
infrastructure costs what proportion of that will be generated through well no
two hundred millions low compared to their development charges coming in
whatever the number is what percentage is being passed along through
development charges and is that percentage reasonably constant or has it
been growing over the last 15-20 years since the inception of the development
charges act so councillor thank you for the question the the financial impact
statement provides that we estimate about 800 million dollars will be growth
related costs in our capital program and our revenue projections from the DC as
calculated today would give us about roughly 500 million dollars so we would
in effect be recovering 500 million / 800 million about 60% percent would be
passed along to the new residents that is correct if if the present charges are
adopted by council okay and so going back in time when we when we had the
development charges act put in place was that the kind of percentage that was
being recovered through development charges back then as well I would
suggest to you that in fact the percentage has been constant over time
it’s constant a little bit it might have been proved a little bit because the
province amended the legislation as I pointed out in my presentation to allow
us to recover a greater share so you know incrementally we may be doing
better now than we were in the past alright
thank you I’m Sir George Rowe councillor of shiner
so three you bear Tory councillor bi-lo had asked about whether there was an
issue with the open door programme ending before this development charge by
life my question to you is if that happens can we not come back at that
time and look at changes then to exempt the required affordable housing units
from the bylaws or do we have to do that now and tell you in advance that’s a
great question I think we have the flexibility to open up the bylaw at any
time to amend the policies so it’s conceivable that we could do so and when
the open door program ceases to exist so I guess I don’t stop here from a housing
office if that ended I’ll just three amira to the city manager if that ended
would it not be a time when you would Amelia or report back to us at the end
of that program and the need to make adjustments to be able to fill our of
our requests that is correct yes okay I look at the costs in here for apartments
one-bedroom and bachelor or two-bedroom plus and see the big discrepancy the
same thing in multiples is there a reason why we don’t have or provide one
unblended rate for them both as one of the goals that we’re trying to achieve
is multi bedroom homes we’ve force every developer to do that and everyone comes
back and says the cost we’re adding substantially to that cost through this
so councillor fun I’m gonna ask our consultant to respond to that because it
is a fairly technical question can you give it to me in simple English yes
through through the chair the the differentiation of the residential
charges the difference between a small and a large part menteur smaller larger
multiple unit is based upon occupancy patterns the number of
in the unit there’s a critical test under the development charge legislation
about making a relationship between the demand for services and that’s done
through the population side there was some consideration given to collapsing
some of those down into one category for apartments there was an OMB decision out
of Halton Region that ruled against the region from trying to do that and so
there’s likely some difficulty in trying to simplify the structure of the rates
at this time so we’re stuck with it because we have to show it based on
population not on size I’ll keep into the unit that’s through the chair it’s
it’s differentiated by size in terms of two-bedroom or larger and then there’s
there is a relationship through stats Canada data about the occupancy the
number of perfect persons between those different sizes of units it’s the last
question thank you very much
the question of affordability has come back in here the increase in these rates
goes against everything that we’ve said and be able to a provide affordable
house when you have a 2-bedroom apartment with a fifty two thousand
dollar DC or a semi-detached home with an 88 thousand dollar development charge
on it so how do we balance those so the the development charge bylaw is intended
to recover the cost of growth and what we’ve laid out to you is the cost of the
these types of development to the City of Toronto if we elect to charge
anything less than that then the shortfall will have to fall on existing
taxpayers in the form of higher taxes that said through the chart to the
councillor we do have targeted programs to deal with affordable housing through
the open door program and we’ve invested considerable resources financial
resources to ensure that there is an affordable component across the city
sorry but that’s only up to a particular income level it doesn’t hit so many how
many what’s the population that actually affects in the city by those programs
percentage of it lower ten or fifteen percent I don’t have that statistic
okay how are we all down there then
sorry meritorious that due respect to my friend and colleague Joe that’s not an
answer because affordability it’s the lower
income level people and it’s the middle income people they’re getting caught
caught now with the inability to afford a house in the city of Toronto because
they’re well over a million dollars and can’t afford it
and I wanted to know how many we actually have programs to help as a
percentage and who’s struggling with the rest we can certainly provide you that
information I don’t have it before me counselor
all right I go to be useful to see that that is the end of the list of people
asking questions of staff so we would now move to speakers and start with
those who are visiting the committee today from City Council other council D
Channel Thank You mr. mayor I would I would ask
that this committee take a good look at this report today the finance staff are
a hundred percent correct in their recommendations and this is the best way
of bringing five to six hundred million dollars each year moving forward for
badly needed infrastructure we all know how badly that money is needed the
argument and I have to respectfully disagree with some of my colleagues the
the housing affordability argument is just crap that’s all it is it’s just
it’s it’s the the explanation that developers give to their lobbyists that
come too and tell us that if you increase
development charges you’re going to increase the price of homes think about
it if they could increase the price of homes they would they don’t just give it
thirty thousand dollar discount today because they feel good
they’re not capable of giving or adding that so the only thing they can do is
make sure that the variable cost when they go and put their performance makes
sense and that means they can’t pay the amount that they’re paying right now for
land so if a gas station today is worth ten million dollars and we double
development charges that gas station is gonna be worth seven point five million
dollars that’s what’s gonna happen they’re still gonna build they’re still
gonna make money they’re just not gonna pay ten million dollars for the gas
station that’s how it works it’s it’s the market sets the price for homes
it’s it’s the law of supply and demand and that the basic principle in a market
economy so there’s no need to defer anything okay make no mistake we need
the money to build the infrastructure because the city’s growing like
gangbusters and we have to get it from development charges of course transition
is very important and that’s what this report is about we’re gonna make sure
that those who are in the development phase right now we’re gonna transition
for them because they’ve already made their performance happen but for those
that buy land tomorrow to defer for what reason the Apartment Association I mean
to come in here today and say that they’re only building 1,200 units when
the facts are just in the fourth quarter of 2017 they applied for 27,000 new
rental units 27,000 that means it’s highly profitable ok who is gonna pay
for this infrastructure if we start giving discounts to everybody case in
point let’s look at Mississauga which if you look at the finances presentation
today we’re finally getting to where Mississauga has their development
charges now you see mayor cromby and Mississauga she recently announced I
think it was with Rogers 10 new or 15 new condo buildings third development
charge has been double of ours construction costs are the same labor
costs are the same concrete cost is the same they’re building condos like
gangbusters and their development charges are double but guess what in
Toronto developers are making 200-300 dollars
more per square foot so this notion that we can’t raise development charges or
else we’re going to kill the Golden Goose it’s ludicrous we need this money
to build the infrastructure required to maintain a healthy City that’s all I
have to say today thank you okay thank you mr. mayor so I
do have a motion and mr. mayor the mayor is agreed to take carriage of this
motion party it is your mic on there yes it is oh there you are now I hear you
better now thank you yes I’m so short that I can’t reach it have to have a
special chair made for me so that yeah when I was mayor they had a special
chair for me high chair so my time’s going okay so do we do have up we do
have a motion I don’t know if you want mr. mayor you’ve agreed to put it on the
screen okay so what I’m asking for is
that the executive committee request that the interim chief financial officer
review the possibility of a pilot pilot project amount dentists to provide
development charge relief or other incentives to private investment in
neighborhood improvement areas and to report back to the executive committee
in conjunction with the final report on development churches now mr. mayor I
moved to motion and was taken by councillor Thompson in 2011 on that some
priority neighborhoods and unfortunately we didn’t receive a report back on that
but I just want to talk in particular smile Dennis and and I did show some
pictures of but mont dennis is an area where we’ve been we’ve been suffering
for a number of years and mr. mayor you came out to meet the bia last year and
you took a walkabout in the area and as you could see that south of Eglinton
that all the buildings are all vacant we have curtains people living in the
store fronts the buildings the bricks are
falling apart on the buildings and just at the corner beg latina Western Road we
have a mobility hub where Eglinton the Eglinton line that’s where it ends at
Eglinton Mount Denis we have a go stop that’s being proposed and enough express
stuff to be a proposed so there’s transit improvements being being done in
that area I took Greg Glen turn and Mike Williams
there for a walk about as well last week and they were actually very surprised
what what is very frustrating as well as sauce of Eglinton well I’ve asked for an
avenue study a few years ago but that hasn’t started yet so hopefully that
will start soon – but south of Eglinton all the retail the whole retail strip is
zoned residential and so it which is it was an old it was owned years ago with
City of York we don’t know why but all these little retailers that if they want
to open up a hair salon they have to go with committee of adjustment so the
planning staff we don’t know why it was previously in City of York we don’t know
why it’s so impressive tential so I’m asking I need support I need help in
that area because we need to promote development and the Eglinton line mopin
in 2021 we unless we get development in the area in incentives to developers to
come in and redevelop that area and and now’s the opportunity to do it with the
transit improvements that I don’t think well we’ll get growth at all in that
area and as councillor D channel mentioned we need money yes we do need
money absolutely correct the city is growing it’s going downtown it’s not
growing in Mount Denis nothing is happening and isn’t it better to get
some revenue than no revenue at all because right now nothing’s happening in
that area there’s absolutely no money coming into the city so if we want to
collect the revenue we need to help and we need to provide incentives for
redevelopment in that air and I’m asking that you support this
motion so we could not least start the process thank you thank you I gave you
an extra minute cuz you’re the speaker and but thank you for those remarks
other visiting members of council who wish to there we are state councillor
Carol thank you yes I just wanted to touch back quickly on
some of the questions that I asked one of the deputies was a builder infill
purpose-built rental I’m very happy to hear counselor DG annos remarks because
he’s right today is really because this is really going to more public
consultation today is really the launching of a campaign many of the
deputations we’re about launching the campaign we’re
Torontonians are convinced that if development charges go up suddenly they
as the market will loose control of the price of houses they are the market and
they will decide what they’re gonna pay for a house if they’re not gonna pay it
they don’t buy the house that’s how real estate works and so there will be a
campaign to tell you that you will fit the bill for any increase and in fact
that’s your decision the decision that we’re taking away right now is the
decision for the developer of how much profit he will make that’s what that’s
that’s what this will change so in making your decision in listening to the
community I mean we’re gonna have to be careful to sure you’re gonna listen to
your heart when you’re listening to deputies in the community but I think
it’s very important to to really understand the the real estate market as
we all should but to look at it as it affects the future there’s no question
that we’re growing gangbusters good use to work good word to use but why not
everyone is getting off a plane to come here a lot of the people in need homes
and will need homes between now and 2030 I often say to my residents you’re not
getting off planes they’re in your basement I say to people in the room
anyone here with a child 18 years or older who is currently living in their
house and really shouldn’t be a or raise your hands and generally
speaking about 75% of the people in the room raise their hands
we do have a lot of growing to do but you can’t just grow these people homes
we have to grow them the community infrastructure because those people
those Millennials from 20 to 35 are making children right now and so we have
got to be ready with the infrastructure we’re not gonna get a windfall we’re not
gonna be able to magically balance our operating budget as a result of doing
this what we’re going to be able to do as a company every building we build
with the growth infrastructure that had better be there for the new homeowners
and all of their children that are being born right now up the street so I hope
that people will sort of frame what they hear in the in the future consultations
in that way thank you mr. mayor thanks councilor Carol other members visiting
with us who wish to speak on this okay seeing none I will then move to members
of the committee who wish to speak counter violence deputy mayor Councillor
George oh I see there that’s the Pasternak okay mr. may I have a motion
that like to place and I’d like to start by saying that I think nobody here is
going to say that development shouldn’t pay development charges and that we need
I’ve said I had a motion to be placed so I think the staff is just about to do it
so we all agree that the development charges have to be increased we have one
of the lowest ones in the region we have we are in dire need of infrastructure
and you know we need this to pay for our capital budget and we will need the
property taxes that come out of this development to pay for our operating
costs of running the city and servicing the new residents that are coming into
our city I think the question is how do we tied tied this policy in a
progressive way that actually ties with the policies that were built that we’re
building so for example the pilot project that councillor knows God is
talking about I mean DC’s that doesn’t have to be this one model fits all
everything for exactly for non profits or profits our student housing
an arts student housing we as a city have priorities and our fiscal policy
should be reflective of those priorities and that’s why I’m putting this motion
for us to take into consideration some of those priorities we know that student
housing is a concern they’ve expressed concerns in here we want to make sure
that that student housing is it is built and so I think that the conversation
needs to continue as we develop this policy we need to acknowledge that this
could have a big impact and not building that that student housing we heard from
the rental the rental market and and I agreed that they have to pay the
development charges but some maybe there is a conversation to be had on the
timing that that is paid maybe it’s not at the permit stage maybe we can have a
program that is you know two three years I’m not gonna do policy on-the-fly I’m
just asking staff to have these conversations with the sector and report
back to us I have also requested as many of you
know I’ve been doing a lot of work on laneway housing and I’m just asking
staff to have that work coordinating with this bylaw and I’m asking that the
hope program which is the program that has been working with the nonprofit
sector on affordable ownership is reviewed to reflect the the the the new
and increased development charges I also ask that we do not take the provision of
exempt nonprofit housing and in this case its rental because we exempt
nonprofit housing rental and supportive housing and so on from this by law the
open door program will end in 2021 this by law is going until 2023 I there’s
nothing we’re not double dipping there’s nothing that we are losing by having the
the nonprofit housing included in the bylaw the exemption to the included and
the bylaw so why having it at risk why taking the risk of having not coming
through not passing through I am sorry I think that with the situation that we
have in the city just leave it it’s not harmful is not doing anything we have
the program but in 2021 if by any chance the the open door
is not renewed at least we have it already in the bylaw there hadn’t done
does not need to have a discussion and I don’t think honestly this is the time
for us to take a chance of something like that I would feel much more
comfortable going home today knowing that we did not touch that so I ask for
your support again I think that that we need to further consultations on what
what our areas that are priority for this city which is you know making sure
that we we are increasing and motivating the rental construction and the
affordable housing both on ownership and in in the rental and to work with our
partners in the nonprofit sector and in in this case as well the the student
housing which is an important component and had a special work that needed to be
done in relation to student housing so I hope to get your support on this motion
thanks deputy mayor Barlow any questions of the mover alright if I see none then
we’ll move on to councilor DiGiorgio Thank You mr. mayor
first of all i will be supporting councilor bylaws or deputy mayor of i
allows motions i think that there some exemptions are necessary to incentivize
the kind of city that we all anticipate that we would want to live in and that
accommodates affordable housing in whatever form and also to take a look at
how we can provide incentives for building rental housing that is in the
medium range there are other ways of generating rental housing that may not
require some relief against development charges i fundamentally have a problem
to be brutally honest with the notion that growth should be growth should pay
for growth 100% growth should pay for growth for me is not something that I
find comprehensible simply because everyone benefits from growth everyone
benefits from growth if I’m going in on a street and I’m living in a house and
all of a sudden I decide to build two houses in place of one I have to pay
development charge the infrastructure is already in place
infrastructure is already in place to accommodate maybe two families instead
of one or the incremental cost of providing services is nowhere near the
kinds of monies that need to be expended to look at the expense the reality is
the reality is that property taxes are there for a reason all infrastructure
that’s required should be funded through property taxes once upon a time it was
funded through property taxes development condominium sorry the
subdivision agreements were plate were entered into by developers well they
front ended the costs of all the infrastructure and then they’ve
recovered it over time but the reality is if you go with the premise that
property taxes should pay for any infrastructure and all growth related
expenses and all service related expenses then what are we really doing
here we’re saying you know what we’re going to impose development charges on
just new residents that come into the city that buy for the first time are
coming in from elsewhere we’re gonna pass along development charge to recover
over 60% of the growth related infrastructure where everybody benefits
from the growth rate a different structure existing restaurants nearby
where some new building is being built what are the windfall gains what I’m
trying to say is there are benefits that accrue to everyone that exists in the
city they haven’t been quantified properly
they’ve been quantified in very general terms by saying you know what maybe we
should only pass along about 60% of growth related expenditures to new
incoming residents there’s a whole bunch of reasons why we should do that and we
shouldn’t exceed that number so I’m gonna leave it at that mr. chair mr.
mayor because there are you know when you dig deeper I think the development
charges are at a at a reasonable rate I think to go beyond that rate I think is
tracking in the dangerous territory it certainly puts building in my area out
of the question forget forget about it people aren’t gonna be able to build in
my area they can’t pay development charges and they can’t get the income on
the revenue end to be able to build so you have to
understand what you’re really generating by doing these kinds of things so I’ll
leave it at that for now Thank You Catherine Georgia counselor Pasternak
thank you a mr. Mara have a minor amendment friendly amendment for
councilor by Lowe’s emotion as we’re exploring these various opportunities to
encourage a purpose-built rental we should also look at the options
available through a new development charge category as I said I’ve spoken to
councillor Barlow about it she’s a favor and right in acting a chief financial
officer when you kind of drill down to what today’s discussion can be as far as
a policy direction and something to drive policy we must talk about rental
affordability and today housing homelessness rental affordability as
perhaps the biggest social issue facing us these days these mid-level employees
frontline employees who can no longer afford to live in the city are now
fleeing they are the people who keep our food beverage industry going the
hospitality industry going retail service and these are also seniors and
our our responsibility here is to encourage the private sector to come
forward and build purpose-built rental and we can also attach various
conditions to to these applications such as affordability and rent reduction over
a period of time it’s important to remember that the the agreements that
we’re signing today for affordable rental expire in 2025 years and if you
look back 20 25 years ago and the decisions that were made in the city
whether it was transit or land use or or or downloading or bylaws the
consequences of those decisions would are good or bad affect the city
governance 25 years down Road so it’s very important that we have
a twin-track approach we have not only these the affordability the rental
affordability agreements of which I’ve worked closely with councillor shiner on
in in in Ward 10 we’ve got dozens of them perhaps hundreds of them in place
affordable rental affordable ownership the ownership stays but the rental comes
off in 20 25 years and we need another track and the track is bricks and mortar
and building these units these high-rises mostly landfill because
what’s happening now is the parcels of land that towers were built in the 50s
and 60s now have the room to build another tower and I realize there’s
normal enormous pushback in our local you know local communities it’s also
important to remember that many of the buildings that go up in our city often
have various recreational assets they often have pools you have exercise rooms
the multi-purpose space sometimes they have Park cats so in those cases they
are not putting a lot of strain on the local local resources in recreation or
parks and so forth they are a community with within a community so it is true
that that development charges are our vital source of revenue or
responsibility the private sector but at the same time we must encourage the
building of affordable rental Thank You councillor Pasternak other members of
the committee wishing to speak councillors honor mayor Tory and
unfortunately my esteemed colleague councillor Giorgio said if you take up
one house and put in two there’s no impact if there was no impact there is a
tremendous impact because if you take out a hundred houses and put in two
hundred houses you have the impact on your public transportation on your parks
and your community centres and your roadways on your fire on everything so
impacts are huge from intensification and it goes everywhere the issue about
exempting DC’s in one area I actually asked the city manager over lunchtime
and he said but every development has these impacts because these are
citywide impacts so now we’re looking at well it’s gonna hurt this area or that
area or this area with these developments but in fact it’s gonna hurt
every area that’s really where it’s coming down to and the issue about as my
other colleague said oh it’s just gonna lower the land cost it doesn’t lower the
land cost councilor did she a no that’s for you mr. Chu’s listen I know because
my colleagues that want to talk to us don’t listen after um as a dis chiana
and all due respect what I see the fact of increased charges being is not
lowering the land cost cuz I haven’t seen it go down any way through you
Amira Tory I’ve seen the push to get more density on a site get greater and
greater and greater to try and recover the cost that a developer has to make
because a developer doesn’t pay for anything and those that think he’s a
developer pays is not true every cost is passed on to the purchaser if there
isn’t a proper return on investment to develop in a Wankel forward and in this
case we’re talking about affordability in the city and at the same time we’re
making it unaffordable when you’ve got development charges going as much as on
a semi eighty eight thousand dollars on a mortgage that’s fifty two hundred
dollars a year fifty two hundred dollars in payments if you go back to a
two-bedroom apartment which were dying to have developers build that’s three
thousand dollars a year in additional cost they have to pay to fund the
development charges so we have a huge impact here where we’re cross purposes
we’re cross purposes because we say we want the development charges to increase
our ability to pay for the infrastructure that’s needed for
intensification and the intensification pressure gets greater to pay for the
development charges and at the end of the day the issue is not affordability
those kids are living in the basements not because they want to be there when
you’re 23 24 25 you want to get out of your house from your parents and they
want you to leave they want you to go but
they still love you but go and come back to visit don’t live here but you can’t
you can’t because you can’t afford a million dollars plus to get a house in
the city so you’re in a stacked unit downtown or summer which is five or six
hundred thousand dollars and you can’t move up to a two-bedroom unit because
you can’t afford the cost so this is a vicious cycle that we have here that I
don’t know how to resolve we need the money for the infrastructure but we also
have to allow people to get into a house and afford it and these development
charges are gonna cry create a huge pressure on new people moving into the
city on young people trying to buy a place on anyone that’s trying to have a
home in the city eighty eight thousand dollars my father will tell me he paid a
lot less than that for his house when he bought it and that’s just the
development charges so I think we have to look at more than just the lowest on
there when we talk about affordability I think we have to look through the
spectrum how we can help people move through those houses maybe there is a
middle income as was suggested with those dealing with rental income and
maybe there’s other ways to help but we have to allow those that need the help
to get the help and I’m not sure how to do it merit or II but this impact is
huge it’s a hundred more than a hundred percent increase is huge and I don’t
know how we’re gonna deal with it and how young families and those that want
to get their own places are really gonna be able to afford them anymore Thank You
councillor shiner other members of the committee wishing to speak well I will
speak I’m not gonna speak long I do have two motions to put though and just say
and we’ll put those up right at the beginning first is in discussion with
our own officials and some extent with those they’re going to be talking to in
response to the study and so on the development industry and other
stakeholders it was felt that it was more realistic and reasonable to have
this report come back instead of in March to the April meeting of the
executive committee and so I’m to have the report come back in April
which our staff are supportive of and I think it will allow for a better
discussion and hopefully a better resultant and I guess in particularly in
light of all the other emotions that have been moved to give them work to do
before that time the second is effectively council INSEAD as motion I
said I would put it forward at Porter and I’ll support it
and my only comments would be these first I am mindful of all the comments
that I’ll say councillor shiner me because he was the last one to express
some concern about the level of these development charges however I’m also
mindful of the fact when you look back at the history and I wasn’t here at the
time of when the last increase was put through at 71 percent increase the
result today is the chart that was at the first of the presentation which is
that we have the highest number of high rise being the buildings being built
anywhere in North America and so that doesn’t mean you have carte blanche to
continue to kind of have gigantic increases either with obviously not
without foundation or just without consideration for the impact that it has
but I think you have to sort of take all these things in a certain with a certain
degree of objectivity and see what the situation is today in light of what
happened before I’m sure there is some point you know that is a kind of a
breaking point and I think was said and what was said in one of the first
deputations that we don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg
obviously has to be a concern at all times however I think we also have to
pay for the infrastructure we’re building and you know the infrastructure
we’re building now is more extensive than ever and that’s deliberately so
we’ve decided we’re going to address transit and not have a situation like
Humber Bay shores or like Liberty Village where we built a lot of
development allowed it to be built and allowed it to be bought and sold and
never made the investment ourselves in the transit that we have to make so
we’re making up for lost time today and that’s not what these people are paying
for they’re paying for future projects but it’s in respect of making sure we
keep up on the sort of sugar Wharf type projects keep up with that as opposed to
waiting years and years till we have a crisis on our hands so you know what I’m
pleased about it with this process is that I think it happens in quite an
orderly way you have the study you have the proposal brought forward by our
staff you mandatory period now in which there will
be consultation take place and report back to us and we’ll have another chance
to consider this after all of that in in a couple of months and I think that’s
that’s good so on that note unless there’s anybody else that has anything
else to say that hasn’t yet spoken I think we’re ready to deal with the
question starting with the amendments are they’re just gonna be dealt with in
order so do we have the other ones any copies or you just put them up on the
screen I just don’t remember what they all work I think
first would be motion to which is from deputy mayor by Lao and I’ll just I’m
ready to call the question if you are that motion to moved by Councillor file
all those in favor opposed carry next sorry did you want to be registered as
opposed to the amendment – I’m sorry it just was not put up in that order I
should have it’s my it’s my fault I just put I just moved what was put up I’m
happy to reopen that and and do it in the proper order which is just what I
saw in front of me why don’t we do that good because I have your concurrence to
reopen that as simply to put the amendment first all those in favor
opposed carried all right we’ll move first then the amendment to motion to
recommendation to be from councilor Pasternak all those in favor opposed
carry and now we’ll revote on item 2 as amended motion 2 as amended all those in
favor opposed carried sorry about that – counselor all right next up madam clerk
we have motion 1 a which is the emotion
that changes the date that’s my emotion all those in favor opposed carry motion
1b is the motion that I’m placing on behalf of councilman C at all those in
favor opposed carry next well it’s just the item as a minute
that’s it okay then the item has amended all those in favor opposed Carrie okay
thank you very much does that bring us now then to item two yes because do
that’s right because we had two yes we did item IX 30.1 waterfront network
network network transit and so we’d revert back then to item IX 30.2
implementing tenets first and we have on that a number of decadence and the first
one is Marcel Pereira good afternoon sir
you have three minutes welcome thank you for your patience that’s upside down so
you may want to just flip that around I think I mean I think I met upside down
the other way it wasn’t upside down that’s know now you just have to flip it
around so that’s it that’s what we’re perfect there we go okay over to you sir
thank you Thank You mr. mayor for receiving my
deputation and the members of the executive committee and all interested
members of count interested councillors my name is Marcel Pereira was on the
tenant advisory charter committee and I represent said save improved Toronto
Community Housing and this is our response to these item regarding
selecting tenants to the TCC board of directors the City of Toronto report for
action proposes a selection panel composed of two city staff and one TCH
seed tenant appointed by the deputy city manager our response to that is at the
interim selection panel and deciding on tenant positions on TCH the board of
directors goes against a fully democratic process
and the mayor’s task force’s mandated tenant charter the tenant Charter states
unequivocably that all tenants will have the opportunity to vote for positions in
Toronto Community Housing z– tenant engagement system there’s nothing that
says that any positions in the engagement system is restricted to like
say ten of Representatives or something else it’s all positions the solution so
please support TCH see tenants and amending the implementing the tenants
first report by replacing the interim selection panel with the permanent
process of all tenants being able to vote for the tenant positions in on th
C’s board of directors at the same time as tenant representative positions every
three years instead of two so we’re saving money and having the election for
the board of directors by all tenants at the same time as ten of Representatives
and we’re extending and we’re the proposed extending the position from two
to three years because that would be more cost-effective as well the new
amended model is up there I just want to make sure that everyone can see that I
don’t know whether have time to go to explain it but it is under
communications in the link if anyone wants to ask questions about it after I
finished my deputation be glad to go into it conclusion conclusion as the
largest stakeholders in T V at C all tenants should be able to vote at the
same time as a tenant representative elections to save money for the tenant
positions on th C’s board of directors not just a select group this is
consistent with the tenant charters directive we don’t want to see any
built-in biases occurring in favor of any minority for the most important
tenant elected tenant positions and the THC engagement process this is the most
transparent an accountable process possible I have
to ask you to conclude just a sentence or two if you want them and I just want
to just quickly go into my comment about the transfer plan of the agency’s
rooming houses when trans transferred all applicable tennis as the largest
stakeholders must have specified transparency and accountability
mechanisms in place within their new nonprofit providers like tenant
positions a non-profit board of directors British we’re budgeting and I
almost have a comment Chandi I have to leave that one because we’ve run out of
time okay see if someone asks a question but – thank you very much for your
representation are there any questions of mr. Pereira all right well there
aren’t any but I do thank you very much for for the submissions you made
appreciate that now am i right and understanding here that the next group
there’s gonna be a group that’ll appear together they’re listed separately here
Ingrid Palmer tenants first panel Doris Power and Carlene spear tenants first
good afternoon ladies and what I’ll do is you’re all appearing together which
hopefully can save us some time but certainly I’m not going to enforce the
three minutes all we’ll see if we you know get to being able to do this in
less than nine but more than three how’s that work great okay and so over to you
okay thank you my name is Ingrid Palmer and I’d like to introduce my colleagues
to my left is Doris power and to my right darlings theorem we are three of
the tenants chosen to serve on the tenants first advisory panel which we
believe this panel is a genuine representation of the diversity of
people living in Toronto Community Housing we range in age from 18 to 80 we
have a wide variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds we come from Etobicoke to
Scarborough and North York to downtown we reflect the reflective of the general
population some of us have disabilities we live in apartments townhomes and
single dwelling family homes we are students
parents singles and seniors who are actively engaged throughout our
communities in many ways a number of us are attendant reps for belong to the
citywide tenants for social housing and some are active in disability
organizations one is with seniors voice one is the civilian co-chair for her
local community police liaison committee three work on children and youth
programming when is the chair of the inner city Advisory Committee at the
Toronto District School Board and a member of the Child Welfare political
action committee and two belong to the City of Toronto seniors forum and this
is just a few of the examples of our activities and I highlight this to
illustrate our strong commitment and desire to serve and lift the voices of
the traditionally unheard and marginalized voices in our communities
and also to negate the perception that we are tokens or puppets to be
manipulated we strongly support the recommendation for the interim board
appointment process it is vital that tenant representatives remain
uninterrupted on the board of direction of directors in order to ensure that our
voices continue to be heard the perspective of Toronto Community Housing
tenants is vital on any issue that concerns us among us on the panel we
have collectively over 200 years of lived experience in social housing
historically governments have led Toronto down and the tenants have been
disappointed over and over and over again it is no secret to you that we
have experienced decades of problems and our landlord it has has had the benefit
of a revolving door housing has fallen into disrepair and the many tenants
consequently into depression and apathy as their homes become uninhabitable and
people are forced to either live at risk or relocate we were very happy merit or
even you for the task force and we’re very grateful
deputy minister by Lao for the tremendous effort and also very thankful
to the councillors and city staff who have continued to help support these
efforts tenants have willingly participated in consultations with the
task force across the city and three years later we still continuously engage
with a large number of tenants who continue to display their willingness
their desire and their need to be a part of this process and understand those
three years are only with the tenant first process but before this I would
say more than a decade has been spent by tenant activists recommending many of
the same things that you now find in the tenants first report five of us on the
tenants first panel also spent a year working with TCH see staff and other
tenants to create a tenants charter the corporation’s new motto is moving
forward and the new promise is to be tenant centric actually listening and
accepting the credibility of tenants lived experiences and pleas for
accountability we believe in the tenants first
recommendations now it’s up to you to vote for this for the creative solutions
being brought forward here the hopes of thousands of tenants across this city
rest on you the citizens of Toronto are tired of the bungling mistakes that
brought us to this place where we have had to destroy what was allowed to
become rundown slums while we have thousands of people out there
desperately needing affordable and accessible housing we believe future
Torontonians may look back on your decision now to support this report as
part of a welcome new era of enlightened leadership that will provide affordable
homes in a cost-efficient and sustainable manner and regain trust
welcomed diversity encourage positive partnerships and participation
community and instill hope for safe healthy and secure futures and this will
be your legacy thank you thank you complete deputation itself well thank
you to all of you for that and now are there questions of these
deputies councillor Barlow deputy mayor Thank You Doris you are a
tenant in a scattered house correct a TCH C yes
you’ve been although or anybody that wants to do to answer you’ve been any
but you know that there are there are social housing providers that operate
scattered homes do they do good job yes they do
so are you in support of the recommendation that is in front of us to
have a real tenant from a scatter home that we have spoken to is more than
happy thank you so just one more question sorry so
you’ve been engaged in the process you’ve been consulted this process has
actually been developed with the 2,000 residents that live in the scattered
houses right now we haven’t been able to meet all of those tenants but those that
we have met so far yes and and I can tell you certainly that first of all I
don’t know if council is even aware that the people in the scatter homes had
never been involved from the time that TC HC took over has got her homes there
was a time and I’ve said it before in front of council that when City home had
the homes they were the most cost efficient segment of the housing
portfolio in this city and that was said by William Clark in the head of city
home from the time that TC HC took over we live in a parallel universe we have
never been allowed representatives we don’t have a vote on anything we’re not
part of any tenant engagement whatsoever and what we’ve heard from the tenants
that we have spoken to who live in scattered homes is that they do want
representation they want to be a part of the process they want to have their
voices heard and they desire that and thank you Thank You deputy mayor I had
councillor Fletcher I sorry I didn’t hear and wasn’t up in time but
councillor Fletcher and I’ll ask other whether there’s other members from not
on the committee that want to go ahead but councillor Fletcher already I’m just
going to mm-hmm ask a few short questions number one you
said you support the process for the tenant reps offer the board you’re okay
with this what’s in the report establishing the tenant representatives
yes we support the interim interim sometimes understood the interim process
is one thing and once we have that which we strongly support that we could move
towards any kinds of other concerns and towards a permanent thank you so I
wanted to be clear we support the interim process and then having heard
that there and I know this quite well that there’s never been any
representation or tenant representatives despite attempts if I were to ask today
to have staff kind of review the tenant elections for buildings and
single-family that’s gone on in order to have a great process for that going
forward would you think that’s a good idea
I think that’s something that’s going to be happening anyway over the next few
years but during this interim process it’s very important to to remember that
the tenants that were on the board there their time limit yes up it’s not the
interim it’s the fact it’s the people that there’s I don’t know if you’ve
noticed I’ve noticed that the tenant representative
process for buildings that say 1275 Danforth and other buildings that
there’s been less and less interest by tenants in assuming that role of tenant
rep where they live yes and should we make sure that we reengage with all the
fantastic tenants in their buildings to be tenant representative hopefully
hopefully but you know tenants have have gotten to a place and you know this
where they’re just so they’re at a place where
you know you but you bet your head on the wall so many times and after a while
you just say well what’s the use good tenant reps and there are other people
that are not representing you know I will be very honest about that but we
want to see some sort of process come out and and it’s important to get that
from the tenants themselves not from us you just add that I do in response to
your question I do believe that what you’re saying is correct it is important
to reengage with tenants to encourage them to participate on in this process
but it’s also important to investigate why the interest has declined thank you
what has brought that about that’s what I intend to do and lastly was this a
great process for you being on this panel and being engaged in shaping
policy would you recommend this as a good model for these big issues that
since facing the city or anything we have to do it’s the only should exists
on whether you’re talking about Toronto Community Housing or any other program
the people who are affected by the program should always be included in the
process whoever has to live out the decisions made need to be an important
part in deciding what needs to be done great intentions are wonderful but they
don’t always see what is best the people who are going to be affected need to be
a part of developing the process in order to have the best possible outcome
I think the groundbreaking announcement that you made the other day as an
example of that the people in those shelters we’re a part of that process I
believe yes there were and and the embedding of the services and that’s the
way it has to be have to have people there with lived experience because
otherwise you don’t know what’s going on thank you Thank You councillor Fletcher
councillor Davis thank you very much for awkward sitting here when I can’t see
you over here thank you for coming and sharing your
experiences one of the things that I’ve experienced is when there is contracted
management you have an additional layer in between that complicates the
accountability for actually getting things done and I’m wondering if you
have any comments about that and secondly are there ways that you think
accountability from the corporation to the tenant reps could be improved
because as you point out you feel often like you’re knocking your head against
the wall with people coming to you with problems trying to get things fixed and
you know just not getting the kind of responsiveness you feel you need if
you’re going to be accountable to the tenants you represent so that question
of accountability from the corporation to the tenant reps is there anything
that you’ve thought about that might improve that councillor Davis what was
the first part of that again I’m sorry yeah that was a long question well the
first part was about contracted management how its I will respond to
another layer of in between tenants and TCH I will respond to that every tenant
that you’re ever going to speak to is is saying they want the contract management
out phase it out at the end of the contracts because it’s just another
layer that these people have to go through everybody passes the buck and
and going back decades the contract management was not working properly as
far as tenant represent even respond to that because we’d never had a tenant in
my experience in response to that I believe the second part of your question
which had to do with accountability and I think with the relationship between
tenants in Toronto Community Housing dot needs a lot of work even though we have
certain rights embedded within the tenant charter they’re not enforced or
respected tenants continue to feel maligned disrespected and disregarded by
Toronto Community Housing staff whether it’s in regards to repairs or anything
else that has to do with housing when you call and have interactions whether
it’s through the call center or even sometimes directly with staff its you’re
kind of made to feel like as if I’m guilty and then you have to prove your
innocence you’re constantly treated as if you’re
lying that your concerns are either overlooked or dismissed and that is a
huge part of accountability and with the consultations that we’ve had with
tenants we’ve heard time and time and time again about how they feel in
regards to the staff and that their concerns are often dismissed the long
time that it takes to get repairs done that with no accountability of contract
workers who come out to do repairs no one is following up to make sure that
they do do a good job and then when you as a tenant try to inform the staff that
you know what this contractor didn’t do a good job they didn’t fix this right
you’re being told that you are a liar and you’re automatically put into the
position of being the wrong person who has to prove that you’re right and so
the relationship between the Toronto Community Housing and the tenants needs
to be greatly improved and the beginning of that can be with just a basic layer
of respect and not to be treated as if you are a slime on the heel of
somebody’s boots who doesn’t deserve to be heard who is considered to be a liar
and a retro bait and so just having a common courtesy and dignity can be the
real great foundation to a new relationship and accountability between
tenants regarding things like repairs that whole
accountability situation you’re paying for that you’re paying for that over and
over I guess what I was trying to get out are there okay coming as well ma’am
for the mayor task force because I thank you for that because since that at least
you see a little improvement but we need more and and one more thing as they were
talking about the contractor and stuff like that and and Wynton and expecting
is done and it’s not done what I would expect from this from the city is like
having a decorated line that tenant could call so you guys would look into
it to have proof to see what’s really going on we didn t see it see okay after
there was quite quite a long answer there at councillor Davis and the time
had expired at that time so that’s where we left off now whether other visiting
members of council visiting to the committee today that wanted to ask any
questions of these deputies because otherwise I would see if there are
members of the committee councillor DiGiorgio did just a very quick question
Thank You mr. mayor so can you just expand on what it is that we can do for
you in terms of getting better representation on the TCH seaboard there
are two tenant reps I don’t think that we contemplate increasing the number of
tenant reps so are you suggesting that so that people in scattered homes could
could have some representation are you suggesting that we should have a better
selection process for the two people that are on the board that’s actually to
me separate from the board we don’t have any representation at all we don’t have
a tenant rep at all well yeah currently your ever we haven’t ever had right now
we’re just concerned with the interim because we’ve been with you know
catherine has been the only tenant on the board for the past what is it seven
months okay but I’m familiar I’m familiar with Catherine’s I’m familiar
with Catherine and I can tell you that she does have the interests of the
scattered they’re constantly but but no for they what’s being proposed here is
that it go through you know every board in the city goes through the ten at the
appointments process the city process and the and what’s being suggested here
is that it be a city process to establish the interim board well while
we go ahead with the next phase the tenants first recommendation we just
want to ensure that the representation goes uninterrupted and once we have the
interim process in place then we can look ahead towards a more permanent
process and how we want that to be done for how it stands right now is that the
the tenant wraps vote for who goes on the board but the scattered houses don’t
even have a tenant if if you were to have some faith in the process that’s
being encouraged or at least being promoted and if I were to say to you
that process it followed properly will generate representatives on the PHC
board that are the equivalent in terms of quality and and and abilities and
whatnot as Catherine let’s say you have a problem with that
Thank You councillor George Oh did I have anyone else on the committee
wishing to ask questions of these deputies otherwise may I say thank you
for coming today but also a bigger thanks I’m sure I voted on behalf of all
the members of the committee and members of council for your continued service it
really helps us a lot to do better work thank you very much
Catherine Wilkinson aforementioned Catherine Wilkinson director of the
Toronto Community Housing Corporation Oh miss Wilkinson you have three minutes
and I’m sure there’ll be some questions thank you for coming thank you and good
afternoon it was me I did it my name is Catherine Wilkinson I’m a tenant living
in Toronto Kuni housing and currently a sitting tenant director of Detroit
Housing Board and I might add for the past eight years so thank you for the
opportunity to provide feedback and for making this item number two although and
from terms of times that didn’t turn out to be as early as I thought it might be
first and foremost I really want to commend the work and and the team the
tenants first team and its partners who worked with them including trying to
panting stop for such a well thought out in thorough review we’ve considered the
financial risks and benefits we’re not quite there yet the state of our
properties and ensuring the inclusion of tenants who live within our properties
every step of the way because that’s key nothing about us without us and for
identifying their criteria in terms of transferring the agency in the rooming
houses to nonprofits the single-family houses looking at land trusts and coops
ensuring that those organizations will actually have the expertise that they’re
qualified to engage with our tenants and most certainly for keeping these
properties as affordable housing in perpetuity and continuing to ensure a
tenant voice in the governance of tronic Rooney Housing as the longest standing
tenant director having been reelected by tenants three consecutive terms I am
humbled and eternally grateful to the tenants for their unwavering support it
has been a privilege and an honor to serve and to work alongside
distinguished citizen members and city councillors
the original shareholder direction actually provided for a tenant
consultation process in developing the tenant director selection process which
we’re talking about here and although in the revised shareholders direction in
2013 that language was not there but you should know that tenants have not been
consulted on that process since 2007 there were some challenges and the staff
develop process I’ve listed them all I won’t read them all corrupt electronic
application form which arbitrarily changed your answers answers potentially
disqualifying you as a candidate requiring applicants to show proof of
rent it’s not something we would ask our citizen members and I don’t know why it
was a new requirement for tenants mass mailing of a postcard openly promoting
one of the candidates that was currently running and the difficulties for for
voters who had to travel quite a length to cast a ballot and that resulted in in
a undue hardship for seniors and tenants with disabilities lower voter turnout of
350 reps 154 voted for these reasons I believe that the proposal before us of
having tenants apply through the Public Appointments policy will allow for
transparency and fairness to all applicants and for some perhaps even a
better chance given some of the issues I’ve identified I would ask the
executive committee to consider a friendly amendment 2.5 a in one of the
attachments and that is that TCH End city staff work on the preparation of
promotional materials the kinds of things that have happened should not
happen a hundred and ten thousand tenants deserve to have the very best
tenant representatives on a board that makes decisions affecting their lives
thank you for truly putting tenants first thank you miss Wilkinson are there
questions of the deputy councillor Fletcher just in your letting us know
all of the different things that have gone on with tenant elections you
believe that they need to be run again in a far more democratic or open or
professional we say professional weight and there hasn’t been actual continuity
that keep changing the way the elections are run and how people are being asked
and has there ever been a real continuity of an election process or a
selection process for the board or for reps and buildings absolutely not and in
the piece that’s missing here is is removing the rate for tenants to be a
part of developing the process taking that language out left us hanging in the
wind in 2011 when I ran I said you know the shareholders agreement says the
tenants will have a right to be consulted on the process the staff
response was we consulted you in 2007 for the most recent 10 a director
election process it wasn’t even discussed in public it was an in-camera
conversation a decision was made we’re just gonna do what we did last time and
we’ll do a survey later this isn’t serving anybody well and the tenants
should be a part of that process so for such a large housing corporation with so
many citizens and the city as a shareholder you think that this product
it doesn’t look good on the city either it doesn’t it’s not serving anybody well
not to tenants not the corporation and not the shareholder so if we were to
have a review kind of an overall review of what maybe was done well and what
maybe shouldn’t be done again and looked for a comprehensive process that would
be much clearly along the lines of an election would that be something you
would support yes and perhaps bringing someone with the expertise and doing
these types of projects to work with tenants and empowering the tenants okay
sit down the table what do you think would be the best process the fair’s
process so maybe the county plan bringing it back to the city see if the
city supports it so in that bigger one I started the interim one and then looking
at the next elections the actual elections and buildings and what’s going
on there engaging the tenant panel in that would also be important or current
tenant panel yeah yes but I want to just clear up some confusion here when we
talk about tenants on the board in its first panel I understand that I support
them being a part of everything going forward because as I said earlier not
about me without me we lived there please consider the decisions are making
that affect our lives but what I want to say is ten of Representatives in the
communities their terms are also up at the end of this March there’s no longer
gonna be ten of reps we’ve been hearing that but we don’t know what the next
steps are but we’ll find out so there were no longer be 10 reps in our
communities at the same time they’ll no longer be tenant directors as well I
want to be careful about on the language using for tenant directors we tend to
call them tenant reps on the board we help you called them tenant directors
because tenant reps are typically elected to represent a community and
there’s this myth that you have to be a tenant rep to run to be on the board
which is also not true was it called Trinette director in our report please I
think you call us representatives but really it is a tenant director because
you’re a member of the board of directors yeah others are tenant
representatives of a community I guess I want you be happy I’m sorry I don’t
question yeah know that this issue around what’s happening with the
representatives not the directors is something that we need to look into and
the tenants first committee should be part of looking at the best way to have
a best reps every tenant who would be interested in it should be at the table
should be given the opportunity thank you Thanks councillor Fletcher counselor
Troi’s E thanks mr. Muir hi Catherine hi and it
sounds like you have a lot of experience as a tenant director and I’m just trying
to think about ways in which we encourage other people to be applying
for these positions I’d like to know what kind of supports you received to be
on the board as a director or what types of supports or any training orientation
anything we could start yeah ookay ting with others my initial experience our
joining this board wasn’t perhaps such a pleasant one or I’ve found my way over
the years so I think much could be done to improve the way a tenants are
oriented to the board and how we’re recruiting those tenants and you know
perhaps considering peer to peer mentorship it’s often advertised as a
have your same moment on this board this is not speaker’s
corner hmm multi-million dollar corporation we have things to do and we
need two people at the table who have the skill sets so I don’t want to
recruit people for the wrong reasons just to think it’s a fun moment to have
you say but peer to peer mentorship would be helpful I do know when when I
came on at that time we had separate orientation sessions so the tenants got
an orientation the citizens stakeholders got something separate and I guess the
counselors God said I think we have to stop doing that
that accept it we’re at that table we’re equals regardless of where you come from
or what your income is you’re representing a stakeholder group and
your vote matters the same at that table so that and I think the tools I think in
this process well-intended let’s throw some tenants on that board after all
they live there but we never considered the disadvantages of these low-income
residents going on to a board that may not actually have the tools and as that
technology has changed they may not have a cell phone so they can’t be contacted
now we’re talking about going paperless well they may not have a tablet they may
not have access to email these citizen members quite often have these tools
provided for their employers so making sure that they have the right tools to
be successful and accessible and an equal participant and that’s what I was
getting at thank you I will say to you I know there’d be somebody who would
suggest it was a scandal in the public sector but most corporations give people
a tablet if they don’t have one to make sure they can be part of the paper of us
I mean you can’t achieve these things oh I just mentioned that in passage
actually to your credit that the board is trying to not spend the corporation’s
money on themselves I understand but if you want people to
go paperless which has a huge saving you more than pay for the tablets and just
it would be the kind of thing we’d get written up for but in fact most private
sector corporations do that just because they want their people to be paperless
anyway I had a different response I said well that being a decision when you’re
ready to provide me with the tablet I’ll stop asking for a paper coffee that’s
there Davis oh hi counselor Davis you some great counselors
I figured EastEnders yep stick together I just wanted to I just I just wanted to
ask you mentioned that after March you have heard somewhere that there will not
be tenant reps yeah the turns are up one part in their
terms are ending but we don’t know what the next steps are okay so has there
been some discussion somewhere about eliminating tenant reps well we don’t
know what the new engagement model for the corporation is going to look like
all this talk about engagement nobody knows what the model is nobody knows
what the funding is I’m gonna find out very short order what that future looks
like because I think our tenants who are serving our communities deserve one to
be acknowledged and thanked and recognized for all their years of
support and they have the right to know what are the next steps to continue
being engaged in your community or do you not want tenants to be engaged yeah
and to hear from their experiences what works what doesn’t what needs to be
addressed absolutely it’s a challenge there’s a lot of barriers to engagement
a lot of funding has been clawed back tenants have independent ideas and sunny
there’s a there might be a liability with that and we can’t let you access
your rec room there’s a difference risk so at some point in time tenants say you
know what I’ve done great things in this community but apparently there’s too
many barriers and so I’m gonna stop trying you know we need to encourage
empower and support them and give them the tools if we want them to be engaged
in their communities there are other people who just want to live in their
home and don’t want to be engaged I’m gonna be my rent too gonna live my life
and gonna mind my business but you know there are people were trying to get out
of isolation and you interact so and for the people who step up yes and take on
the issues of their fellow tenants they have to be able to deliver to be support
have credibility with with the rest of their colleagues or residents and that
sometimes it’s hard and we’ve been told for years that the there was some sort
of a scan done of the Stoddard Homes portfolio and there was little to no
interest in them being a part of the engagement process just saying
okay thank you thanks counselor Davis counselor ain’t any other members of
council that are here not on the committee that want to ask questions if
not we have councilor agency I think did I help you down – no oh no ok that was
captain counselor troi see anybody else then that wants to ask this champion had
a question ok well I’m at all that note then I’ll say thanks and miss wilkinson
and thank you again for your continued service as well it’s very helpful to you
to to really transform to Ronnie Feeny housing 110,000 tenants are watching
I’ll be there thank you very much Robert Fredrickson good afternoon sir good
afternoon thank you for being here and you have three minutes
mr. mayor and committee members thank you for this
opportunity to speak on this important issue
lieutenant leader I have actively being involved and involved advocate for
change in Toronto Community Housing for the past five years I fully support
all the recommendations in this report the tide lines are attached to each
recommendation and would like to suggest the following recommendations take all
the necessary actions to ensure that the agency and roaming house providers that
are going to take over these properties have every opportunity to succeed by
keeping adequate funding helping improve keep and improve the conditions of the
buildings without being entitled with the backlog of repairs that expenses
consider forming a body that will monitor these transfers and to resolve
any problems that may arise the condition the consideration we given
your pastor outgoing tenor board members you know pointed to the penalty
resistance review of the interim section for the board members thank you for
thanks to the tenant first panel and all the stuff that was involved in creating
another excellent report and I look forward to working with those involved
continues it work much mr. Fredricksen are there any questions for mr.
Fredricksen have you been involved and actively engaged tenant oh thank you
thank you for that involvement and thank you your patience today we appreciate
that Miguel Avila Velarde welcome to go
upside down there we go hello everybody I’m not a tenant director and never
being a tenant rep I’m a teen a leader so this is a new one for you guys for
your library in VO that you guys are opening opportunities to apply through
the public acidophilus I made my application mail online successfully was
accepted by the public appeals committee hopefully they will have a look at my
resume and give me a call for you’re interested in joining the the new
interim process and I come with an iPad so it’s okay I don’t need to return my
iPad so I’m gonna give you what happened last December 11 at the TCC board I
attended and I noticed that one of the tenant directors was missing for almost
seven months you see this is the one of the all policies of the shareholder
agreement with with the TCC and they came up with this much amazing
alternative look if someone gets sick or is unable to continue there should be a
process where someone can jump in and this didn’t happened the shareholder has
been signed in 2013 and hasn’t been any new changes to the
shareholder how we want to manage our new portfolio with the tenant directors
that we are trying to incorporate C C or the yellow pilot 2013 the only calls for
210 and reps to ten and directors this is this is absurd that no one will
represent people with mental illnesses or addictions or have a disabilities at
the board we have been always pushing for a diversity diversity is what makes
this city stronger so I will continue volcanium for more opportunities for
people with disabilities mental illness or addictions here it says here’s one of
the off of qualifications and eligibility you can you don’t have to be
unemployed as utoronto or or bill or TCS sheep but somehow what happen is that
city employees they take a leave of absence used to take a leave of absence
and and we drop on their services and employee the city and run for the TCC
board of directors which complicated things more so I’m in support of the
changes brought before by the tenant first project but I want to see I want
well it’s one conditions three conditions I’m going to see happening we
need to revamp our tenant charter which I was part of it in Marcel
already spoke on this matter I want to see some changes that reflects the
correct proposals that will happened in the coming months I want to support that
the agencies that we are looking forward to undertake these properties have
strong desires to maintain the properties and keep the unit’s not to be
sold unless of course the properties beyond repair so if anybody wants to
inspect the properties this agency mean to make sure that they meet their needs
I think you said you had two more a three points
make the last two if you could quickly because we’ve got ensure that supporting
services are provided in the new model and the tenant participation is in
utmost importance and that’s all I had to say to y’all thank you are there
questions of the decadent thank you very much as always fear sue gap casts Susan
gap kay welcome Susan Leon thank you here you are on and you have your three
minutes what a day three minutes I forgot about that so I just want to
commend kow executive for earlier and I’m looking at councilor bi-lo over
there I saw it on the webcam I was a resident of 389 Church and I wouldn’t
come to the board meeting for TCH see when that proposal in forward but just
looking at the process now and how that went forward and looking at the process
that morning when I came while that NIDA when I came home found out there was
going to be an event the next morning and my building so I’m down there and
t-shirt and jeans and slippers drinking my coffee to find out the one man board
without notice to any of the residents was having a media event to sell off our
building now let’s just compare those two incidents fully a partnership trying
to work with tenants now I want to say one thing that I wasn’t able to say had
that been an agenda item was that a number of tenants have been displaced
from that and are unhappy so we want to get people displaced as little as
possible when we’re moving them around but just to say that we came up out of
that we organized we created tenants for social housing we put tenants into the
conversation we had putting people first the mayor’s task force in attendance
first so that’s this is taking the political football
Our Lives vulnerable tenants mental health addictions disabilities
everything and everything and we need your support so I’m going to be
supporting the recommendations of this proposal and moving forward because the
scattered homes have always been at risk there’s the clock okay great
when we talk that communication meeting I’m on the communication working group
with the CEO Kathy Milson you know there’s still a lot of bumps but I want
to say we’re making a lot of improvement I’ve been here annoyed in the past but I
think we’re we’re doing better and I don’t want to jinx it
but around the by I want to mention there’s a tenant refresh that was
approved at committee a co-chair on what the tenant engagement system should look
like and that hasn’t come back to the tenants and those are a there’s a series
of recommendations on how to improve tenant engagement at TC HC so I’d like
to know what staff is doing with that and when tenants will be engaged but on
the board representatives and I’m running at a time I’m going to support
the process increase tenants on the board by at least to increase
opportunities for tenants to be on committees of the board and increase and
get the tenant engagement system going I’m looking on that time if you have a
question I’d be delighted to speak more about it but thank you for moving
forward in a more stable governance movement forward and keeping tenants
engaged along the way thank you miss Kathy are there questions of the deputy
councillor Carol you said you want to know what the process is gonna be for
410 engagement I’m wondering if you wanted to comment on the the last step
you didn’t said why aren’t tenants a part of designing that process rather
than wait to have the process announced why aren’t they helping you design one
that we know we will be able to respond to you mean the tenant engagement for
tenant reps yeah we’re looking at a new way of designing
the tenant rep system yes you designing it well we put forward about a hundred
recommendations in a report that was adopted unanimously at committee
in July and so that report needs to come back and be worked with and moving it
forward staff we’re going to work out some timelines it was supposed to come
back in September so yes where is that report it’s online and I wish I had time
to bring it today Thank You councillor Carroll are there questions maybe I
could just ask you a question if I could there are instances and I realized that
it may be seen as a second choice but you know nowadays both in the private
and the public sector there is you know quite a bit of quite a strong collective
view that you shouldn’t get boards too big because they just don’t function
very well so what’s happened in some instances mostly not in the private
sector is that they have had the concept of having representatives of
stakeholders sometimes on committees but not on the board so that you don’t get
the board to be too big and I realize you might say well make it four but
besides the board the same and you know that that sort of presumes that none of
the citizen appointees are ever going to represent anybody that has to do with
tenets which isn’t necessarily a fair assumption but would that be a step
forward in your view if you had some people that’s had on the committees that
were you know in effect I’ll call them ex officio members of the committee but
they’re there and they’re perfectly at you know entitled to take part in all
the deliberations and get all the material they’re not excluded for
anything but they’re there they’re in that capacity and and and on the
committee is that an idea that is that’s I believe what I recommended but I was
trying to zip through it in three minutes but not only increasing
independence on the board because yes you have to be careful but also having
voting membership while all the standing committees and all other mechanisms yes
we could do better at that and so we’re if that’s your recommendation I’m in
agreement with that at least we can sit on committee so it could be like board
and training committees too and that’s a governance process that’s worked well
for me and I think would work well for TC HC thank you very much are there any
other further questions otherwise well thank you
thank youing here as always and we move forward thank you very much let’s say
you had six months and Wilbur from the founding director of Matthew house is
here there you are thank you very much welcome as always
and you have three minutes thank you so much I also just want to thank people
for their support of this whole process my name is Anne Woolgar and I’m the
founder of Matthews Toronto we currently operate four homes in Toronto that
shelter and assist newly arrived refugee claimants who would otherwise be
homeless in the city since opening up our first home which is owned by tc8 –
scattered homes in 1998 we have welcomed over 1500 refugees from 99 different
nations we have provided expert care and support for the unique needs of
vulnerable refugee claimants including many unaccompanied refugee teens as a
nonprofit charity that does not receive any direct government support to date in
our 1 TCH owned home we have saved the city close to 2 million dollars in
homeless shelter fees with respect to the recommendation Riva scattered
portfolio plan I would like to state that as an agency home we are thrilled
by this opportunity to finally take ownership of our home for over ten years
we have wanted to own it in order to complete renovations and bring it up to
the high standards we hold until now however while officials at TC 8 always
agreed that a transfer of ownership was desirable in our case there was no
simple mechanism by which to make such a transfer and we were stuck hence the
current proposal provides such a solution and we applauded secondly we
also are pleased that there are provisions being proposed for agencies
like ours to acquire more homes to serve more vulnerable people such as
traumatized refugees whom I know from experience would really benefit from
small supportive family especially teens and those they’re
highly motivated but they just need that first start solid start
Matthew house is also part of a coalition of small refugee homes that
have the knowledge and expertise to provide such homes and we along with our
colleagues would welcome the opportunity to create more supportive housing
solutions for homeless refugees my only regret is a proposed timeframes for the
transition process for this phase in light of the dire need for emergency
transitional housing for homeless people such as refugees now and in light of the
fact that I believe there are a number of homes currently vacant I would urge
that this process be expedited however possible so that these homes could be
brought to a state of good repair as soon as possible in order to address
this vital need and finally I would like to express my full support of the
concept of transferring the remaining homes to an entity such as a land trust
a nonprofit corporation mandated to protect these houses and keep them
affordable forever by doing so it would create a platform
for agencies like our own who may not have the capacity to take over all of
the homes but would like to explore creative partnerships and models without
the hindrances of the current TCH ownership parameters and in order to
provide effective and compassionate housing solutions for the most
vulnerable among us thank you thank you very much and thank you for your ongoing
work as well through Matthew house and may I just say on your point about speed
I think you might have seen in the report it’s a vague reference but the
part of the complication that takes time is you have to pull these properties out
of our current financing arrangements for example and that involves squads of
lawyers and the people who are the finance ears and so on and so it’s not a
simple process but I think our objective is the same as yours which is to get
this done as soon as possible are there questions of the deputy from people
they’re on the committee or not accounts the deputy mayor viola question one of
the objectives of this initiative is also to strengthen our nonprofit sector
do you believe that this will help you in your mandate that you can make use
the asset to expand your services and oh absolutely I think this would be an
incredibly wonderful opportunity and I think the greatest winners would be the
the vulnerable people who need housing such as refugees absolutely thank you
other questions of the different component well otherwise we’ll say thank
you Miss Walker and thanks again for your ongoing work and for your vision in
setting up Matthieu house okay so that’s the end of the deputations and that
would bring us two speakers on this on this no I’m sorry I’m wrong questions of
staff questions of staff on this report there any members of council Council of
Troyes EIC so you go ahead Thank You mr. mayor I
was going to ask the question on why we wouldn’t increase the tenant
representation on the board of directors and if we cannot I do support the mayor
with developing some standing committees to increase participation and
representation of tenants my question as well is the duration of the board I
believe it’s a two-year duration and I’m just wondering how we got to two years
and maybe not three four or five through the chair the the term is actually set
by council so for corporate boards such as the
Toronto Community Housing Company board it’s a council direction that they be
two-year terms we could certainly work with Clerk staff to to look at options
in that respect on the broader issue of the number of tenants on the board that
question was not one that we explored for this report the purpose of the
recommendations before you were intended to address the immediate need to replace
the two current tenant directors as we continue
the work of reviewing TC HC and determining advice on what the new TC HC
should look like governance will be a major part of that review and we would
be coming back to Council with further advice in that regard we’ve certainly
heard the comments by the deputies and would be taking that into consideration
in that review thanks Chris and would you have consultation with some of the
tenants on that process always great all Diamond concert Rosie
thanks very much constant watcher I’m just just on these elections and I’m
glad the tenants brought that up in developing the next steps and a broader
approach would you consider using your panel that’s been so successful or a
model such as the panel that’s been so successful in getting us to this
juncture today through the work of the tenants first team we have not looked
deeply into the engagement processes within TCH C we simply haven’t gotten
there in terms of the work plan based on the discussion this afternoon yes we
would engage with TC HC staff and understand where they’re headed with
their engagement review and I’m also speaking about our fantastic panel our
tenants first panel is there a thought that they would remain in place again
through the mirror I concur with your view of our tenants panel and absolutely
we would continue to work with them through this and any issue with respect
to TCH C so as far as the tenant directors and I’m very glad miss
Wilkinson corrected us they are directors the tenant directors are
concerned were you aware of the myriad of ways that tenant directors had been
elected or somehow selected in the past that there was no standard format by our
corporation we we were certainly aware of some of the challenges in the past
and that was a major consideration in the advice before a committee today that
working with our colleagues in clerk’s and the city manager’s office as well as
the tenant advisory panel this is the best
interim solution to the appointment for the two tenant board members we will
continue the work to figure out what the best system is in the long term and open
to looking at the best system again commenting on the actual tenant
elections or building representatives compared to the directors and overall
tenant engagement perhaps it would be a good idea to have a review of that
nature of the tenant engagement at Toronto Community Housing what’s been
successful not successful and also the tenant elections which have varied
greatly in terms of numbers who have been engaged elected acclaimed over many
years and have a very robust City endorsed process direction and that
regard would be helpful thank you very much ex-con sir Fletcher any other
members of visiting with us today if counsel otherwise can I just see if a
show of hands from the members of the committee who wish to speak just kinda
I’m gonna make a little list here for the deputy mayor will sit in the chair
while I make a phone call any members of the committee councillor Barlow deputy
mayor okay anybody else councils there councillor Fletcher okay let’s make a
note but you’re also wanting to ask questions counselor viola of staff or
not now any questions of staff from any members of the committee okay we’re done
with that then we would move to speakers at councillor Fletcher from the council
City Council who else anybody on tcac and then members of the committee okay
well well councillor violet deputy Bev I’ll I will okay so councillor Fletcher
your turn again to speak thank you I’m just going to
say what a fantastic job that has been done here and like the tenants thank the
mayor I also want to thank you mr. mayor for putting the insisting that we have a
tenants first process to the deputy city manager mr. Brill enger’ and all of the
staff that worked to help make this happen
and to the fantastic tenant panel that this work rested on their expertise and
I think today we really saw how great that expertise was and I’d also just
like to thank miss Wilkinson for her work at the board many time as a tenant
director many times bringing up issues and asking support and at times
hardly anybody to second emulsion although I know that’s not the case now
so she has worked very hard on behalf of tenants I think this part of this
process and I know we have more is very important the issue of the single-family
homes that was addressed here at times and having a it operated in a way that
is smooth and good and that sometimes it hasn’t operated in that way but the
importance of four and five bedrooms for big large families that we actually have
in the city and we need to be able to house them and I think recognizing what
the tenants told us today the engagement part their expertise was really brought
to the fore in this process that we had today and hasn’t necessarily been
brought to the fore in an organized way before I remember years ago when these
be I’m not going to go into the past I’m just sorry I’m not going there I’m just
going to say this is a great model I think we should continue it I want to
make sure that we have good tenant directors and I also want to make sure
that we have good tenant representatives in the buildings and are very supportive
by the corporation and I will move a motion at Council actually to do that
because they don’t have the right one here today based on what I heard from
the tenant and what I know about tenant elections
so I just want to thank everybody and I also want to thank councillor bylaw who
has quarterbacked a lot of this as a champion and there are many champions in
this story and it’s a great good news story that I hope we’ll move forward
from today any other members who are not on the committee see seeing none I’ll
take it in the committee members of the committee yes I would like to just place
a motion that I usually place every time the this report comes in here and that
is to the same way that we have the conversations with the tenants and it’s
really important that we continue to have conversations with labor as well I
know that staff has been involving them in the process that we have all the
stakeholders involved engaged this is a transformational work that is being done
we’re transforming the largest landlord in the city the the landlord that
involves a hundred and ten thousand residents of our city so I think it is
it is important I would like to focus a little bit on the work that is being
done with the the scattered houses we have three groups of scattered houses in
here one is the agencies and we’ve we’ve had somebody making a deputation on the
impact that this action can actually have on many of the agencies that use
our homes and by them having access to this asset the the opportunity to expand
their services to use that ax asset actually to expand the services on the
rooming houses the importance to maintain rooming houses in our city is
crucial more than ever we have to do it not only with our own stock but across
the city but that’s another issue we’ll defend another time but we know the good
work that we can do with some of these rooming houses by what the example that
we have right here in front of us with 389 Church Street so it is important
that we continue to make that kind of investment and the third group it’s all
the scattered homes we’re where according to when we put we did put
people first report there’s about two thousand people that live in those homes
and and those those homes are about you know 800 800 houses close to a thousand
units that that we have in there and part of the tenants first wanted to get
a few things done service better our tenants we know that having a more
dedicated service to the scattered homes will result in better services for these
tenants as well we know that with this process we wanted to strengthen our
nonprofit sector we know that right now in the City of Toronto you have TC HC
that owns and operates 15,000 units and then you have another 200 housing
providers which the largest one has about 800 units we need to strengthen
our sector we need to grow our nonprofit sector and we’re hoping that this can
also help with that as well we know that we need to tackle the
backlog of of these of these units and we know that by having this segregated
again making use of the asset can be a great opportunity to do that so I think
this is a win-win-win situation we guarantee that this stock will be
maintained in the affordable housing sector we have the opportunity to
strengthen our sectors through a land trust and through actually bring these
new tools into the nonprofit housing sector we have the opportunity to
provide better service to the tenants of those homes as well so I hope that that
the executive supports this this work that is being presented here today
there’s a lot more work that needs to be done I’m really looking forward to get
to the second part of the report in April and a wrap-up I’ll wrap up with
that that I’m continued to looking forward to to to the report and hope to
have your support for the report here today and thank staff thank the tenants
who have been with the involved in this process all along and have been
consultant and so thank for everybody that does put their efforts in this as
well any questions on the mover I have a question does your motion essentially
say that any any housing stock that we make
to a third party they’d have to assume the the obligations and collective
agreements that we currently have sorry does this mean there’s this assume that
any if we were to assign any housing to another organization or corporate entity
no they would be obliged to assume no this just is just to continue be to have
labor involved right just as long as we’re clear on that I’m happy to support
it all right anyone else all right councillor bylaws motion all those in
favor opposed that’s carried I think that’s the only motion so motion as
amended all those in favor opposed that’s carried number four
implementation of municipal accommodation tax hotel and short-term
rental all right we have we have eight speakers right now the first three
speakers in order are Joseph Montano Ben Davern ass and Elias alley
so Joseph Montana Montana welcome good afternoon mr. deputy mayor and
members of the executive committee my name is Joseph Montano and I’m speaking
here today on behalf of the Expedia family of brands which includes vacation
rental leaders such as home away and vacation rental by owner thank you so
much for your time when I last appeared before this committee
HomeAway expressed strong concerns that the principal residents restriction
sorry can I have some order in the room please I think this gentleman has been
waiting all afternoon morning and afternoon is he entitled to a certain
level of that we pay attention to or at least be quiet Thank You mr. deputy
mayor so as I mentioned when I last appeared before this committee HomeAway
expressed strong concerns that the principal residents restriction included
in the proposal or the proposed short-term rental regulations was not
sound policy and said we remain in indeed we remain concerned that the
regulations passed by council in December would have a negative impact on
family tourism with that being said we believe that when it comes to the
collection and remittance of the short-term rental tax which is before
the committee today city staff have recommended a balanced solution and we
urge the committee to approve approve this recommendation as you know during
the development of their report city staff initially considered requiring
licensed short-term rental companies to collect attacks on behalf of their hosts
and remit those tax revenues to the city the theory was that having licensed
companies collect and remit the tax would be the most administrate ability
efficient and practical method in September we appreciated the opportunity
to meet with city staff to tell them that a recommendation for mandatory
collecting and remitting of taxes would be neither efficient nor practical as
background it’s important to note that there are a variety of different
short-term rental platforms in the marketplace today and they don’t operate
in the same way as one would expect there’s been specialization within the
industry and differences extend to payment models home away for example
charges of subscription fee to many homeowners and is otherwise uninvolved
in the transaction between homeowners and travelers in other words payment is
made directly from the traveler to the homeowner and as a result it would have
been in practical to require companies with
various different business models to subscribe to a one-size-fits-all
approach now by permitting licensed companies to choose the option more
appropriate to their business city staff are accounting for the
various business models that are out there in the marketplace accordingly
through the use of volunteer agreements the city will not inadvertently be
preferring one business model over another nor will it reduce its own
revenue or increase its own administrative burden this is why other
jurisdictions have adopted similar balanced recommendations and we urge
this committee to do the same thank you very much and I look forward to your
questions Thank You councillor DiGiorgio hope you understand you talked about a
balanced approach yes sir so what would be your preferred approach for your
company so this one where it states that short term rental platforms may enter
into a voluntary agreement a collection or mid agreeing with the city is a
balanced approach and that’s what we supported historically with respect to
your company what might be your preferred approach this would be our
preferred approach yours would be that you would collect so our preferred
approach would be that we have the utility supports his approach is what’s
in the report no I understand that but but the the recommendations and the
report is very it’s on a voluntary basis and I’m asking him what would his
company what his company volunteer to collect Oh so you’re asking if our
platform will be volunteered to collect well unfortunately that’s the devil’s
into details as you know so it would depend on what the agreement look like
it depend on what you know our business model is if we’re able to do such a
thing ultimately we want the city to receive
its fair share of tax revenues and I think that the homeowner should
ultimately have the responsibility of paying that forward now if a platform
because there are many out there that can’t collect and remit that they just
simply don’t collect and remit the taxes but if a platform is willing to come to
the city and have that agreement I think that’s fair to open that door but what
I’m asking you is what size platform would be would be electing to have to
collect on behalf of the city so that it would basically absorb some of the city
costs my point is there might be one or two platforms willing to do that
but to read the rest of them you’re basically saying the city should absorb
the costs in no situations I think we’d have to have a fiscal impact study on
that I’m not sure if the city would absorb the cost because other places we
collect them then well that’s a great question councilor what happened in
berkshire colorado and what’s currently happened in the boston city council
proposal from boston massachusetts does just this it allows companies to enter
into voluntarily enter into a collector amid agreement the reason why it works
is because an education campaign was launched in let’s say Brookshire
colorado very nice ski town ski resort they audited themselves after they had
this voluntary collect under MIT and they essentially said the responsibility
is mainly on the homeowner they audited themselves after a year I believe of
doing that and they found that 98 to 99 percent of the short term metals that
were there that were registered were compliant with paying their taxes are
you involved in other cities we’re we’re involved in various different countries
and cities all across the way in any of those countries are you collecting yes
sir okay so what countries I’m not sure about but cities are what incentive is
there for companies to collect on behalf of the city since it’s a voluntary thing
because I’m looking at it from the city’s great question I want to have as
many of them as possible collect on our behalf that’s a great question I think
it makes it easier for the consumer I mean if you have two different companies
and ones willing to do that and we should look at this as a service to the
consumer if you tap two different companies who are operating the
short-term rental market one is saving you the headache of having to analyze
how much tax goes back to the city and the other is it that’s a competitive
edge that that city had that that a platform has my last question can you
give us some idea as to what the city should do with respect to allowing
people to not collect ie when should the city say you know what we’re not gonna
we’re not gonna ask you to collect on our behalf what kind of a company would
we not bother to enter into an agreement with I think that’s best left for the
city cap for the seat unfortunately it’s very loose ended thank you thank you sir
thank you just just very quickly are we in essence
[Music] funding the advertising and marketing
budgets of multinational corporations I’m sorry are we in essence by my I
guess generating a hospitality tax or an accommodation tax and then giving it
back to the industry we’re subsidizing multinational corporations I’m not
entirely sure that’s what this proposal does so I can’t speak to that I’m sorry
are we promoting the tourist industry yeah aren’t we’re not this isn’t to be
used to promote the tourist industry well I’m sorry I don’t understand the
question sir my question is your I don’t know why you’re confused are we talking
about the hospitality tax here the tour the accommodation tax the short-term
rental tax yes sir yes okay we’re on the same planet
I guess now so the question is are we not collecting a tax and then reverting
back to hotels controlled by multinational corporations and
subsidizing their marketing and sales budgets so the proposal in front of us
today speaks to short-term rentals not that I’ve read anything to do with
hotels sir my understanding yeah I’m I’m sorry apologies are you are we on the
same item mr. chair I can get to the point
he’s just wondering whether there’s this agenda where we’re collecting tax money
so hotels can take that tax money that they would otherwise take out of their
own pocket for advertising so therefore these big multinationals like
yeah Mary we’re giving them money to do things that they should be doing
themselves is that that’s a great question sorry I wasn’t able to
understand so I would I believe in what we believe where we stand is traveling
and travel and catering to tourists it’s an ecosystem there isn’t so much of a
loss what we do is we provide for instance home away let’s think about
short-term rentals for a second home boy it provides a very unique service to a
very unique group of travelers who want to use whole home accommodations to
travel that cities like Toronto and if they weren’t to have that option they
wouldn’t be here and if they weren’t if the taxes were a little bit too
burdensome they may not travel here so I think it is an ecosystem in that it’s a
symbiotic relationship between the government hotels corporations I think
we all help each other out because we ultimately advertise Toronto as a place
to be and that’s why tourists pickax Beauty to travel all right that was your
last question counselor that was my only question stick we stated many times
thank you very much thank you sir Thank You councillor benda Vernis it’s been
here no yes great thanks for coming host here in
Toronto in Leslie Ville we’re in our third year of operation right now and
it’s been a good experience with all the guests from all across the country in
North America around the world and it’s been a good source of income to help
with the usual cost of life as well now I guess the issue that’s on the table
right now is this tax that’s being proposed for the short term industry and
set at 4% seems like a reasonable rate because apparently it’s the same as the
hotels they’re paying so that seems to be a fair
proposal for essentially the accommodation industry all around no
matter how big and small you are so I would certainly recommend that the
executive and ultimately City Council leave it at that and not get the
temptation to maybe increase it for whatever reason or let any how shall I
say interested parties try and push to do that because the prime directive here
that should be remember the prime the big picture should be remembered is that
short term rental has increased the tours business in Toronto I mean one can
argue about the number is it’s this much of that much but I think everyone
anywhere can agree that it’s been good for the tourism industry and good for
the city overall so I think as I said four percent is I think a good rate the
city gets their tax money to do whatever and essentially everyone’s happy on that
so great well thank you very much any questions of the deputy thank you sir
good words I don’t know if there’s ever been a tax that has been introduced that
hasn’t been increased but I I like your you know I like your direction thank you
remember in income tax was only supposed to be temporary
Alice Ali mr. ali thank you very much for coming thanks for having me my name
is alia Sallie I’ll keep this very brief I’m a host in the Trinity Spadina ward
it’s my primary property as part of Toronto startup community I rely on the
income to kind of help me stay above water I suppose I think the tax is fair
personally I’m happy to pay this I think the system only works if we all put back
into it and I think a four percent rate is more than reasonable also I’m happy
to put this into contributing to building out this great city of ours I
appreciate the work that the city is doing and as part of Toronto sharing
economy I do think it’s important to put back into the system so that you know
the city is able to benefit from these taxes and that’s pretty much it thank
you very much any questions to the DEP Unit
thank you sir short and sweet great thank you Alex dag Airbnb
thank you for your time today I’ve had the opportunity to speak before many of
you over the past year and I’d like to continue to recognize City of Toronto
staff for their hard work and for their careful consideration and extensive
consultation in developing Toronto’s regulations for short-term rentals the
rules that were passed in December are tough but they embrace responsible Home
Sharing by permitting hosts to share their principal residents no matter
where they live in the city Airbnb also supports municipal finance
staffs recommendation for a new hotel and short term accommodation tax it will
levy a consistent rate on all types of accommodations in the City of Toronto
whether it is a hotel a bed-and-breakfast or a host in her
primary residence who shares all or part of her home a consistent tax rate
demonstrates that the city is embracing the contribution of Home Sharing
and its impact on Toronto’s tourism sector without discriminating against
guests who choose to stay in someone’s home in 2016 Airbnb gas alone spent four
hundred and seventeen million dollars in local neighborhoods across Toronto and
last year in 2017 there were over 700,000 inbound guest
arrivals to drawn on our platform with an average length of stay of four nights
I think David Ryder said it well in today’s toronto star there’s no end in
sight for tourist love affair with toronto guests on our platform have
stayed with passionate responsible house in every corner of this city the
introduction of a consistent and reasonable municipal accommodation tax
provides the balance necessary to ensure that Toronto continues to see the
impressive growth and visitors our hosts want to follow the rules and pay their
fair share and that’s why we are proud to lead the way in this regard we
currently collect and remit occupancy and tourist taxes and 374 jurisdictions
around the world by far the most of any platforms and why we proactively send
annual tax notices to our 80,000 house across the country we have worked at the
Canada Revenue Agency to share information and recommendations related
to their personal income tax obligations we are open to entering into a voluntary
collection of agreement the City of Toronto so that we can step
into the shoes of our host and automatically and collect and remit this
new talks we would also like to urge you to consider how tourism Toronto can
ensure there is governance structure that receives input from short-term
rental operators that are collecting this talks we have an active host club
in Toronto of residents that are passionate about contributing to local
tourism and we think their voices should be heard at this table we strongly urge
you to support staffs recommendation for a consistent four percent tax rate for
all forms a municipal accommodation and ensure that homes sharing and short-term
rentals in Toronto are and continue to be embraced in a balanced way thank you
again for the opportunity to speak today Thank You mr. Agee I appreciate that are
there questions of the deputy constituted Georgio the report alludes
to the fact that you and you’ve stated in your deputation that you are your
company is willing to enter into a voluntary agreement to become the
collection agent how do you feel about the fact that what’s being proposed is
voluntary that is to say there are a number of I anticipate the reveal number
of companies that elect not to collect you have many jurisdictions call it
voluntary agreements because the internet platforms are not actually the
accommodation providers so that it needs to be a voluntary agreement we would
definitely like to see the other platforms come forward also with the
City of Toronto to also collect and remit these taxes and that way you know
Toronto is more you know more likely to get every single dollar of that four
percent we are happy to lead the way here but we’d like to see the other
platforms do the same here in the city so your understanding is that if in fact
someone doesn’t elect to enter into a voluntary agreement that they may not
necessarily remit all the fun or the taxes at that point then it’s actually
the host or the accommodators who are providing the accommodation in their
home you are then obligated to to remit that so with our agreement to do a
voluntary collection agreement we’ll build that into the engine
our system so it’s seamless the tax just goes onto the checkout line and then we
collect and remit to the city on bulk for for our share of the tax
contribution does that give you a competitive advantage your willingness
to do that again I mean we think we should lead the way in this we believe
that we should pay our fair share of accommodation taxes we would like to not
be the only internet platform doing that here in the City of Toronto but we’ll
we’ll try to be the first to do an agreement here thank you Thank You
councillor George Oh are there other questions of his tag only once going
twice okay thanks very much appreciate your deputation say sue Kali
it’s Kali yeah how are you you have three minutes
thank you very much for coming the city of Toronto and I think the first thing I
would like to talk about is the need for the city to have a very clear conception
of what they think about short-term rentals and I think from that conception
flows the the consideration of the right things to do about regulation about
taxation and about our ongoing structures now that the city has in my
view dispensed with the negative aspects of short-term rentals by banning those
who have acquired apartments to rent only for the sole purposes of renting
them on a short-term basis I think we’re left with those like
myself who own homes and who choose to rent either partially or wholly from
time to time I believe it’s now time for the city to change this negative
attitude that I’ve experienced over the last year at least I felt degraded and a
bit dirty about being a host actually and I think it’s now time for the city
to change this attitude and even embrace the positive aspects of this kind of
short-term rentals as a legitimate option for visitors to Toronto and I
know that you’ve heard from many deputies over the last year about the
positive attributes of their Airbnb experiences and I could add to these in
spades but I don’t really have much time here I would just say that I’m the owner
of a beautiful large house in Little Italy and then after working in marginal
occupations for 50 years I am now in trying to enjoy travel in my retirement
and to do that because I didn’t get a pension through these marginal nonprofit
jobs I am now I’m now using air B&B short-term rentals as a source for my
pension my daughter acts as a wonderful co-host and looks after all our guests
with great attention she’s really an ambassador in this city for our
wonderful city and should be recognized and appreciated as such not not
denigrated as I think has happened to many of us accolades are entirely due to
her for the great reviews that commend her kindness friendliness helpfulness
attention to detail and above all for making their experience in Toronto so
fantastic that is what guests take away and communicate to their friends around
the world and that’s what brings them to Toronto
amongst other things of course once we what’s that we have really adopted and
embraced a positive perspective then the actions necessary become much clearer I
am a person that agrees with paying taxes and I think the proposal for a 4%
tax is definitely reasonable and and I’m happy to participate in paying it ask
you to reach the conclusion and then there may be a question but I’ll have to
ask you to wrap up sure okay I think it’s I think that one of the aspects of
Airbnb that’s where our short-term rentals it’s really important is the
economic drivers and it creates in so that in my neighborhood I mean there
are restaurants cafes sports facilities massage parlors all of these small
businesses that are definitely deriving benefit from our short-term rentals and
finally I think that the city is lucky to have a platform like Airbnb who’s
willing to actually participate in cooperating on the with all aspects
whether it’s regulation tax collection and and and and even policing Airbnb I
think but it is really lucky to that rabbit and I support this proposal and
hope that we will definitely keep within this sensible tax framework because I
think what we don’t want to see is the emergence of an underground platform
that actually all right completely I will thank you are there
any questions at the deputy I see Don may I just say to you as I thank you for
your deputation that I think the attitude here has been just to create a
sort of fair and reasonable arrangement that everybody participates in with and
I don’t think anybody sees it the way that you perhaps perceived that it was
seen not here I think it’s one of those things are many issues that come in
front of us and we have to find fair and balanced ways to deal with them but I
think that’s the way we look at it as opposed to anything else so I but I do
appreciate your comments today thank you thank you very much Paul Nez was it go I
may have pronounced that incorrectly but Nadeau citko palmetto citko if I
pronounced it very badly I apologize but maybe not here okay turban wheat wheat
it’s sorry if I mispronounced that sir you’re our youth urban white as I’m
sorry there are I’m a spokesperson for Phil which is an
advocacy group that represents tenants workers in the hospitality industry and
we’ve been involved in this process since early 2016 and I want to thank
staff and counselors that have been active on this file and over the course
of the one and a half years I think we arrived at a fair set of rules and
regulations for short and rental companies in the city as fair B&B we
have never taken a position on the tax piece we said you know if the city goes
ahead and taxes hotels you know that’s fine but if the city does that we want
to include short term rental companies and operators and looking at the
proposal I think it’s a fair proposal four percent for motels and shorten
rental rental providers so I just want to thank everyone for their time and
don’t keep you here very long one minute thank you very much thank you sir are
there any questions for this deputy well thank you very much appreciate your
patience today John Carew I saw John earlier honor there is
welcome John always nice to have you here thank you
sir you have three minutes seeing we’re gonna be on the next agenda item I
figured I’d take the opportunity to speak to them thank you very much I am
NOT a host as you well know tabia has weighed in on the discussions around the
the accommodations etc on a number of occasions as the process moved forward
and at that time consistently we talked about a need for contribution
contribution being a tax or a levy or whatever form there is so really what
I’m here is to to support the report we truly believe it’s an opportunity never
thought nor any of you have heard me talk about supporting a tax especially
when it goes on to our members we’re not supporters of tax but nonetheless our
model our tabia model or the BIA model is actually a self-imposed levy that we
use to improve the genomic and social well-being of our
neighborhoods where many of these accommodations allow our BIA s to take
advantage of areas where they’re traditionally wasn’t tourism all of a
sudden we get to play in that in that sphere
just today eight point eight billion dollars of tourism dollars was spent in
the local economy we’re looking forward to if you will take an advantage some of
that bringing that to our local neighborhoods so effectively what we’re
saying is a consistent tax that everybody contributes to in the in the
tourism market is important we see that money being spent by the likes of
tourism Toronto to attract more individuals and to promote ourselves not
necessarily for international corporations to benefit with the rising
tide in tourism that we’ve seen all boats rise and we’ve seen that across
our neighborhoods so really a the proposed 4% tax is moderate equitable
way to support enhancing the visitor experience marketing activities across
the city and ultimately it is truly a tax that is going to be paid by the
visitor to help promote additional visitors so good work the staff on on
the report happy to see this move forward and we can all get out there and
participate in tourism thank you worship thank you thank you very much John are
there questions of this deputy we’ll see him again today okay that brings us to
the end of the decadence on this matter and this would bring us next then two
speakers are there any members of council that are attending with us today
who wish to speak oh I’m sorry questions of staff yes questions of staff my
apologies who has questions of staff any members visiting with us that have a
question of staff okay I don’t see any other any members of the
committee that have questions of staff did you have one councillor George oh
please just very quick question mr. John Mayer I’m not even sure who I’m asking
this question of but because the the report contemplates attacks and the
collection being being done on a on a voluntary basis is there any concern
staffs point of view that in fact there might be some leakage or some loss of
revenue simply because we don’t have a consistent collection system counselor
through the chair we through our discussions with the with the platforms
we believe we will get captured the vast majority of transactions initially and
seek to improve that record as we go okay thank you Ariane’s of staff
councillor Davis yeah Thank You mr. mayor to the staff I’m just curious
about the decision to ask the hotel in disorder hotel Association to actually
do the collections it seems to me there’s almost an inherent conflict
there why would we not simply collect this tax as we would collect any other
tags through the chair the the staff team that reviewed this certainly
considered all options in terms of collection it was considered appropriate
and and our best option at least through the transition period to use the
experience and knowledge of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association which has been
collecting the destination marketing program fee for the past number of years
and to use that to ease the transition and frankly be more nimble in terms of
implementation dates and this is not unprecedented we we’ve used external
parties for tax collection for vehicle tax and land transfer tax and of course
proposed to do the same for the short-term rental tax those were public
entities and I guess I’m wondering whether at least initially Tara net I
understand was initially a public agency so it’s unusual to have a private agency
collecting at for a public agency but you talked about
it affecting the implementation timelines are you suggesting what what
would be the implementation timeline differences if it was done by our own
in-house staff through the chairing in the report we indicate it might be up to
a few months longer implementation if we were to do it in-house how many hotels
are we collecting from the tax would apply to approximately 200 motels and
about 1,600 condo hotel units I’m not talking about the short-term rentals I’m
talking about hotels that that that’s what I was referring to so motels hotels
about 200 plus condo hotel units it’s a class under the assessment so that could
be done in-house is then that is the work of the people in that unit of the
revenue services unit I’m just it’s strange to me that we wouldn’t consider
that as the first option and secondly have you looked at have you audited
looked at how well the hotel Association is currently collecting its volunteer
assessment whatever you call it what is it called now the destination marketing
program and have you looked at their methodology of you audited their return
rates have you actually assessed whether or not and how how well they’re doing it
staff have had numerous meetings with the GTHA that administers the DMP and I
think we’re confident that they are well positioned to administer this have you
seen records I think as we work towards concluding a contract assuming we get
that authority we will be able to do that due diligence
counselor so we haven’t not to my knowledge no thank you
councillor Davis that was the last question so I didn’t have other speakers
as yet off the committee if there aren’t any we will go to councillor Pasternak
who is on the committee and that’s question all right counselor Pasternak
yes thank you mr. mayor I’m actually going to follow up on councillor Davis’s
questions we’ve never done a forensic audit or any kind of success model
measurement with the destination marketing program and tour isn’t wrong
that’s that’s correct now in your comments you said well we’re gonna sign
an agreement and then we’re gonna be able to look at it more closely don’t
you think it’s better to look at it more closely before we sign an agreement
through that through the chair councillor it would it would be part of
the process before an agreement is signed now back to an earlier point on
page eight you’re collecting 40 million dollars annually why would we give half
of it to the destination marketing program
wouldn’t it be their responsibility to market their hotels and their resorts
and their Toronto as a destination I mean these are multinational
corporations they’re on multiple booking platforms for for tourists sorry yes yes
through the chair one of the things we have been waiting for through 2017 was
the the regulation and proclamation of the authority for us to do this tax and
that regulation specified how the regional tourism organization would be
funded from the tax currently it’s funded through a combination of the DMP
collections administered by the GTHA and contributions from the provincial
government in the future with with a hotel tax the city’s tax revenue would
replace the DMP portion of that funding so that was that was a condition of
getting these approvals that we were replaced in the revenue neutral yes
Council and the province continues to give ten million dollars annual grant to
the regional tourism organizations that are we assured that that’s gonna
continue or it’s that part of this we we believe that will continue yes okay
thank you that’s a very interesting point though because we are mandated to
give the eighteen and they’re not mandated to give the damn interesting
point other people that wish to ask questions of staff I’m sorry ma’am there
was a time for deputations is over and so I’m sorry so yeah if you want to
speak on the next item if you’re registered but we closed off the
speaker’s list at 10:30 this morning so so yeah and we’re delighted to have you
here but the speaker’s time is over on this item it’s just over no you can’t
ask questions out there I’m sorry we have a time for that and it’s passed now
unfortunately I’m sorry okay so any other questions of staff by anybody on
this okay then we could move to speakers and I’m happy to take a speaker’s list
are there people from the City Council wishing to speak councillor Davis you
want to speak well just briefly I I’m just not convinced we aren’t taking on
risk and I’m not convinced that we shouldn’t be taking on full
responsibility for the administration and collection of the hotel tax it’s a
mandatory tax now presumably there will be some issues around those collections
and we will need to be able to have the I think the structure and authority
to be able to ensure those are collected the second concern I have is that while
we may have a high degree of trust and a good working relationship with the GTHA
we have not done our due diligence I believe to determine how effectively
they have done their collections of the voluntary feed to date and whether or
not they have the actual capacity to deliver it I’m not saying necessarily
they don’t but I think that work has to be done first and if all of that is in
order to save two months of implementation time then you know I
think we really have to question whether or not that is sufficient or strong
enough reason to contribute to outsourcing what is essentially a public
a work that is traditionally the work of government and the work of our Revenue
Services Department so we’re introducing a brand new tax I think we should have
full authority and control over its implementation and it I just think we
haven’t necessarily thought through or defended adequately why we would give it
to an organization which frankly has dual roles they’re an advocacy
organization they are a lobby group they often come down and Lobby us on lots of
things and I think collecting our tax as well as lobbying us seems like an odd
suite of roles and I’m just not convinced this is the appropriate way to
do this tax collection mr. mayor I don’t know whether between now and Council I
can get a better understanding but I will be following up with staff
get more information thank you thanks cobster Davis are there other members
wishing to speak other members visiting today how their members the committee
wishing to speak I wanted to say a word about my exec deputy mayor I’m I’m
supporting this I don’t think there’s any sinister plot for multinationals to
make money off the City of Toronto God knows we don’t have any they’ve been
hearing that we’ve been hearing this for quite some time that they need money to
market and one one hotel or ten hotels if you get all this money together can
have a lot more bandwidth advertising for the City of Toronto than just one
hotel make sense to me seems pretty obvious the industry has been asking for
this and so I think it’s a reasonable thing to to do we’re doing quite well in
tourism right now doesn’t mean we’ll do very well next year and you know just
because we’re doing well it doesn’t mean we can’t do even better seems to be a
reasonable thing to do and it’s a tax on the people that use these hotel rooms
that seems appropriate so I think it’s a positive step thanks deputy mayor are
there other pack councillor Pasternak I’ll just I’ll just be very brief I I
don’t often agree with a councillor Davis I don’t exactly agree with
everything she said but I consider this a bit bizarre
here we are implementing a new revenue tool a tax based on our traffic I guess
our tourism traffic either in short term or hotel rentals and we have to revert
half of it to an association that I am sure they’re doing fine work we’ve never
audited we we trust them to spend our money wisely but they’re also run by
multinational corporations do we do we take the taxes off our our beer and
alcohol revenue and revert half of it to the foreign owned monopolies that run
the beer store or or who sell to the LCBO of course we
don’t so this this strikes me is just a very odd situation and I’m not going to
move in emotions now because it’s coming to Council but but clearly we need a
better roadmap and better accountability to make to make this work I see all
kinds of problems are going forward for collection implementation accountability
governance I just think it’s a mess unless we can really stay on top of it
in the prudent way Thank You councillor Pasternak councillor George oh very
quickly mr. mayor I I will be supporting the recommendations I share the
sentiments of our deputy mayor I think within that hotel industry there’s a lot
of self-regulation that is to say all the the participants are interested in
making sure that the amount of money that is collected by each of the players
are each of the hotels is maximized because at the end of the day they get
some of that money so whatever revenue is being generated
through this four percent sales tax the accommodation tax they all get some
money to the extent that there’s some funny business going on within the
industry that just means less revenue for them at the end of the day so I
don’t think it’ll happen thank you thanks counselor – George Oh any other
speakers councillor Thompson Thank You mr. mayor we just talking with staff
about I just presented to them a motion and they’re dropping it up I’m actually
not comfortable with this I wasn’t comfortable with it when I read it and
it’s really about the idea that we are not really controlling this particular
process of collecting the proceeds I have nothing against the Hotel
Association and I think they’re a great organization but quite frankly I was not
comfortable with respect to having a third party in this
fashion collecting these these revenues for us and so I think that there has to
be another option and so my motion that I’ve just presented to staff which they
were working on right now is that basically we ask that and the
alternative model that would be available to us a staff to report
through to Council what that particular model would be and for us to make a
determination at Council as to whether or not we accept the alternative model
or whether or not we accept the model that staff is presenting I’m not sure
who was involved as part of the process obviously its staff but I don’t think
any members of council were consulted I know that when we first talked about
this particular issue there were concerns from the hotel Association
about even being taxed and they were concern about you know the the new
platforms are being taxed and so on there was concerns about that now
there’s an opportunity here for us as a city to generate some revenues to
utilize as part of our process I’m uncomfortable with respect to what is
contained in the reports and I’ve gone through them I’ve highlighted areas of
my uncomfortableness I had not chatted with staff but I was still trying to
sort of just just come to terms with this notion that another party was going
to be providing this engagement of collecting revenues for us in this
particular fashion I wouldn’t want to do it in any other way and I’m not sure why
would we would accept it this way so there has to be a plan B I’d like to see
what the plan B is from staff in terms of how we would collect these particular
revenues and I’d like to see that before I actually vote to vote on this
particular matter so I think it’s appropriate for it to come to Council
and at that time we can actually make a decision whether or not we accept what
is here being proposed or whether or not the other option it provides us with a
better sense of utility and a level of satisfaction that I and perhaps others
would be very comfortable with thanks counselor Thompson and there’s
the motion there so we’ll see that come back if that passes are there other
people wishing to speak any questions of the mover by the way we didn’t have to
worry okay well maybe I’ll just say word if I could first of all III support and
and it was me I guess that initiated the contact with the premier to ask the
provincial government to give us permission to do this and that’s because
I believed it was it was actually important as a point of principle as
much as anything else that all hotels all hosts all visitors all guests should
all in an equitable manner make a modest contribution a very modest contribution
towards the cost of maintaining the very viable lively dynamic livable city that
they visit and I think those visitor numbers this morning we’re spectacular
and we want to keep that obviously we want to keep that going I just like to
remind members of the history of this and I wasn’t here for the history but
the history as I understand it in a very simplified form was that we used to and
this really addresses the points that councillor Pasternak was making we used
to write a check to tourism Toronto and tourism Toronto was not some association
that sort of was you know created in a mysterious meeting at night of the hotel
people it’s an organization that’s existed for a long time I think it’s had
various names over time the Convention and Visitors Bureau and whatnot but they
have been entrusted by us I suppose even more in a more close relationship at the
time we were direct funders of them and they then came up with the idea with the
hotel Association which are I guess their driving force to have this
voluntary charge and and the good news for the city at the time was that it
took the responsibility for this funding check off our shoulders and instead had
them funded to the tune of about eighteen million dollars and I think
what happened to be frank was in the process of all the discussions that I
had on our behalf after we got council approval for the the idea of attacks
like this was that they went and said well we’re very worried the city will
take in the money and shortchange us and we’ll not be able to do the work we have
to do and by the way they do work not just for the City of Toronto but also
for the region and they get some money from the city of Mississauga and so
forth and so this this requirement was placed on us of saying
had to give the first 18 million as it were out of an anticipated proceeds of
40 million to tourism Toronto to carry on with their work and you know I’ve
never I’ve often wondered sometimes exactly all the things they do with the
money and I’ve never sort of seen and I don’t know that we have I don’t think we
have a season maybe mr. Williams I think sits on the board he does know we have
no seat on the board which I’ve raised before I was a bit curious but having
said all that there’s a relationship I think of trust and experience there with
them on their money the hotel Association I only say this I’m quite
happy to see the alternative put in front of the council so we can see what
that was I’m willing to wager that whatever model is put in front of us
will first of all be a lot more expensive in terms of the additional
staff that may be required in the revenue services department to handle
this and that I think through and we’ll have a chance to discuss this at Council
but I think through a combination of audits that we could have done to make
sure that everybody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing this will
be a relatively inexpensive way based on the numbers in the report that say I
think we’re paying them is this $300,000 or something to do this and and that I
think will be well short of what it’s gonna cost us on the alternate model but
we’ll see when that comes back I think the notion out there of it being sort of
some kind of an incredibly unheard-of no idea that the private sector whether
it’s convenience stores or people would collect the government tax is it’s not
so unusual I mean it happens all over the place they collect it and put it
together and remit it and I think so that happens all the time you know it
happens with all the HST for that matter that’s collected by private people and
remitted to the government and there’s ways to check on that to make sure
people are emitting as they should so I think the real bottom line for me though
is we’ll see what comes back I’m not averse to having that information put in
front of us it should be I guess there is due diligence and I think our staff
said before they sign an agreement there would be due diligence done but I think
the real bottom line here is I think this is a big step forward in terms of
having a more equitable kind of charge than the previous voluntary levy
everybody will be involved and I think it will net up the Tourism Toronto
charge represents something that will give us some help that we need in
funding the needs of the city in terms the net exile caught the excess revenue
over the tourism toronto charge that will receive assuming things continue to
go well so I think on that note if you just have the one motion none besides
the item itself okay so we’ll call first then for for the question on the motion
moved by Councillor Thompson everybody’s had a chance to have a look at that all
in favor opposed carried so that’ll be a report back to the council meeting that
we’re having next week and then we’d have the motion as a minute
item as amended and and I’ll ask all those in favor opposed carried thank you
very much so 30.5 yeah so now we go to thirty
point five which was tax policy tools to support businesses and again we have one
two three four five six deputies on that and so we’ll proceed right to that if we
can and the first deputy listed here is Linda Malone miss Malone here great thank you for being here it’s IIE thank
you for your patience it’s difficult for us to know how what time these items are
gonna come on because it depends on how long other people ask questions and
whatnot so we thank you for your patience so over to you ma’am
three minutes all business owner in Toronto I have opened my business in
2000 and I’m here today just to talk about the personal and professional
impact of the taxation increase that’s been proposed and approved earlier this
year I’d like to make it very clear today that increasing property tax is
that the rates initially approved this year will put my ten-year-old small
business out of business as a small business owner and UFT graduate I put my
savings blood sweat tears energy and a lot of calculated and strategic thought
into successfully growing a business that contributes to both the municipal
economy in the cultural fabric of my community I’d like to note that since
2008 I’ve opened two more locations with two more locations are scheduled to open
this year I employ over 50 Torontonians and this will double in the next two
years so I represent healthy hardworking small businesses with the potential to
grow if my business was forced to incur the sharp increase in fixed costs due to
these taxation rates that are in fact based on speculation and not actual
density in actual market size in conjunction with the increase these next
years we incur to our payroll costs the financial incentive to remain in
business would be eliminated and we would likely go out of business and
closed I love this city and I speak for all small business owners who would
agree that we get to live and do business in the best city and country in
the world I think it’s fair to say that all small business owners feel very
positively about continuing to contribute on all levels and also
specifically regarding taxation rates in order to support increased growth in
municipal infrastructure but in a fair and reasonable way that is
proportionately relative to increases in a revenue correlated to increases in
market size and density as a small business owner I’m excited to see this
economic growth and I want to know that my government and the officials that I
elect to office are there to support the growth of the
business I have built and that they respect and appreciate the economic
contribution I have made over the years and will continue to make if I am
allowed the chance to grow my business rather than be forced out of business by
the best interest of developers if taxation rates are not established a
longer term that support and sustain small business you know what happens
while we’re seeing it already landlords increase rent tenants can’t
afford a three to literally $10,000 increase you know to our fixed costs we
close declare bankruptcy or incur a massive amount of additional debt to
support a relocation where if these policies aren’t permanently addressed
and established we seem the Fayette same fate as we do we face the same fate as
we do today landlords are then forced to sell the properties that they’ve
nurtured and supported possibly for generations two massive developers in a
few years the only tenants who can afford to rent space are Tim Hortons
Starbucks Taco Bell and H&M we collectively lose the unique innovative
Canadian local benefits of small business that support the local
community increase our national and global exposure attract and improve
trade and immigration and stimulate our municipal economy okay and that’s not to
say that you know Joe’s dry-cleaning should always have a place on Yonge
Street as the city grows not all small business will prosper on streets like
young some lack the margins the experience and the product ultimately to
succeed on a major metropolitan street what I ask and I speak on behalf of many
other small business owners I’m just finishing up from just closing with a
couple of stats what I ask and I speak on behalf of many other small business
owners is that we are allowed the chance okay to grow with the city and be
allowed the chance to support our city’s growth with fair and reasonable rates of
Taxation and just a really a couple of statistics on small business from the
Government of Canada website 1.17 million employer businesses were totaled
in Canada as of 2016 this is a report 1.14 million were small businesses his
small business employs over 8.2 million people that’s 70% of the total Canadian
private labor force 30% we contribute to gross domestic product between the post
recession years of 2010 and 2015 small businesses created more than half a
million net new jobs that’s 45 percent of national payroll gains okay and then
small business is often lacking commercial credit history and the
collateral needed to apply for loans or use
over 80% of the time their own personal financing to generate and support you
know our municipal economy I’ll have to stop you there miss long because we’re
over the time but there may be a question and so I thank you very much
for your deputation is there a question of miss Vaughn did you didn’t really
comment directly on the oh but councillor Thompson that’s go ahead yeah
no thank you through you mr. mayor I’m just going to ask you on the report
itself the tax tools yes just supports businesses and particularly small
business you’re in support of that we’re in support of reasonable rates of
increase we’re not saying we don’t want to pay tax I’m happy it proportionately
well this isn’t really about an increase as such it’s about looking at a way to
provide tools so in essence a cap so as to ensure that if the rate or increase
were to be obviously scaling up yeah we’d want to minimize that in a way to
help your business so we we don’t have a lot of tools now to provide the
assistance that small businesses need the report is seeking to address that
yes you’re in support of it yes we are okay thank you for actually what you do
because what you do you’re right you do help the economy and there are more
small businesses in the economy than there are large businesses so thank you
thank you thank you councillor Thompson did I see
another hand up to ask miss Mullins a question
I counsel Thompson covered the one I was starting to ask just to vote your
comments on the report itself and I want to just add his to his words of thanks a
cuz it is people like you and there’s lots obviously as you said hundreds of
thousands in Toronto that you know are the backbone of what keeps the city
prosperous and also a vibrant place to visit and to live so thank you very much
for that and you know we’ve taken a take and do note of your comments much
appreciate yeah thank you and just to comment on your comment as I step away
here I mean we’re reasonable we want to like to find a way together to develop a
strategy that helps the city and helps small business owners and helps
customers of those businesses and the communities themselves that benefit from
them thanks again thank you very much thanks for your patience as well next we
have Lionel Michigan tronto Association of business improvement
areas I saw him earlier and oh there he is
still here okay good Michigan welcome and I am chair of its
property tax committee we’re dealing with a problem which the province has
created through the assessment act but the province has dumped the burden of
solving the problem on the municipalities through what it calls
tools I think that we all recognize that these tools have so far proved to be
totally inadequate as illustrated by the immediately preceding speaker and as
indicated by councillor Thompson accordingly tabia has concluded that the
only way this problem can be solved is by attacking it at its root after a
great deal of thought Tavia has arrived at what we think could be an effective
permanent solution in the absence of any political wealth to throw out the
current statute and start again chavier proposes what we consider the next best
thing namely limiting assessments or if you will capping assessments but would
this achieve it would protect taxpayers against huge jumps in assessment on any
given property it would restore an element of certainty and predictability
for owners it would be administrative lease much simpler than capping tax
increases applied to all property it would avoid the necessity of creating a
special class and obviate the extreme difficulty of defining small business it
would not impair the city’s tax revenues which would be determined in the usual
way through its tax rate setting ability it would partially protect Toronto
business from the punitive discriminatory tax rates which the
province imposes through its property tax which it calls the business
education texts it would avoid the shifting of any
tax burden between property classes owners who are whose assessments were
reduced would get the full benefit on a reduced tax bill that is no clawbacks
would be required impact would continue to assess on the basis of current value
without alteration to its methods or procedures and the tax bills would
simply show the full CVA together with that portion of it which would be
subject to taxation if any given property were to be sold at arm’s length
the property would immediately revert to its full assessed value which would
constitute the base for future capping applied to all property including
industrial residential and rural can’t assessment capping would bring many of
these benefits to all property owners tabia suggests that the base for capped
assessments should be the 2012 assessments hopefully all appeals from
that assessment are complete and any owners who have managed to cope with the
2012 assessments will probably be able to manage under the new chapter sassman
we urge this committee to put this on councils agenda to put it forward at the
provincial level for the necessary legislative changes but I think it’s
really clear that the province is not going to do anything hasn’t done
anything in 20 years to get at the root of the problem and unless it gets a big
push from municipalities and other organisations I don’t think we’re gonna
see any change and we’re just going to go year-to-year with this continuing
renewed problem thank you Thank You mr. Michigan I’m sorry I
didn’t reset the clock but I think just looking at it I think we had three
people speak for three minutes each so I think you had about the time and you do
conclude it anyway so I thank you for that are there questions of mr.
Miskimmin councillor Thompson thank you very much mr. mayor through you to
Lionel mr. Mishkin I don’t think I disagree with you with respect to your
recommendation I’m just wondering and John Kruse with you
Natalia I’m just wondering what have you done either tabia or as a member of you
were part of the financial team at abia yes what have you done with respect to
raising this issue with the the provincial government and/or provincial
politicians have you had a chance to speak to them I know what you’ve asked
of us in your recommendation but what have you done have you spoken with them
at all at this point no because this is a project projects not the right word
this is a plan which really we only developed very recently within the last
few weeks we have initiated attempts to get to speak to key people in the
finance department at the province but so far we’ve not been able to do I had
asked the question because I know you you have been doing a lot of work in
this area for some time yes you just pointed out you’re now just developing
this particular proposal as such and you’re asking us to work to help you and
obviously to advance this on behalf of small businesses well I think I think it
solves a lot of problems for a lot of people I think it’s it if saved will
save a huge number of small businesses the lady that you spoke before me is at
risk as you as she explained this kind of proposal if implemented would protect
her from that and and the problems of the city goes through the political
hassle every year and especially in the new assessment year that everybody has
to put up with coming forward with a kind of proposal that’s we’re dealing
with now thirteen point five all of this would be totally avoidable with this
kind of a implementation right and so you’ve chosen a base year of 2012
why did you as the with respect to the assessment for that period why did you
select 2012 I just like a 2012 we first do you have to have some base sure if
you’re gonna cap you have to some base so where’s it gonna come from so it’s
got to come from the existing assessment system somehow or other 2016 it seems to
me is is not good because you probably still
got appeals going from that to probably still be going for some period of time
right and we don’t know how a lot of businesses are going to be affected by
the 2016 assessment welcome II just disappeared right if any any of the
businesses that are still here after 2012 are probably survivors I’m gonna be
able to continue okay and that base is probably firm now after all these years
I would show that thank you thank you thanks councillor Thompson any
other questions of this deputy mr. risk and may I just say as we thank you and
excuse you I have I think as you know written to the Finance Minister of
Ontario and notwithstanding your comments of frustration about how long
this has been discussed I have asked him in particular to address this issue
which is the issue of the impact the assessment system as presently
constituted has on small business you know in terms of all the things that
you’ve discussed and he has in repeated conversations we’ve had about seemingly
in good faith said he was gonna die and I say it is a good faith saying it
saying he will take a look at it so I just wanted to report that to you I knew
that and I appreciate that I saw his reply and it’s kind of a stock sort of
reply that you get from that quarter I that’s why I think you need continued
pressure and not merely from this municipality but for other
municipalities and terrorists are also badly affected by the system so I think
it’s gonna take a lot more pushing to get them to wake up to it I used to say
when I was the opposition leader up there that we just blow up and pack and
then start over but I I that bad would be provocative anyway thank you for
being here both of you appreciate that Dominic Cramer
hi folks Kramer that’s me thank you for being here a broken record that’s three
minutes thank you for your patience if you’ll indulge me thank you my name is
dawn Kramer and I’m the owner operator of businesses with three leased
locations on Yonge Street between blue and Wellesley for the last 24 years I’ve
spent my life working on my own little version of city building on the central
Yonge Street strip my companies currently occupy retail space at 624 665
and 667 Yonge Street I’m also part of a part owner of my family’s retail
business started in the 70s there currently has store locations in the
Annex the beach and in Greektown I’m here to share how desperately important
these proposed tax policy tools to support businesses are from my Toronto
based small business perspective the situation facing my Yonge Street
operations Shirley will also apply quite considerably to the other areas that I
mentioned among other important neighbourhoods in our great city and
beyond this is as much about the health and survival of many of Toronto’s
traditionally most beloved and visited neighborhoods as it is about people like
myself and my staff and our survival huge uncontrolled property tax increases
caused by rampant real estate speculation threatened to at least
temporarily destroy these areas and cause them to be virtual ghost towns
while the condominiums develop all around us when I say temporarily though
I’m talking about over decades if you walk Drive or bike down Yonge
Street even now you’ll notice an excessive amount of empty buildings as a
result of even businesses like Starbucks deciding to close due to outrageously
high rents it may be fine to envision the core of our city is eventually being
a sea of massive condominium projects finally finished and functioning and
with retail space within only available to high-end multinational chains but in
the meantime to get there we may be ripping out the very heart of Toronto’s
business districts my companies have stuck it out through around ten years of
Yonge and Bloor condo construction completely disrupt disrupting pedestrian
and other traffic and there’s our desires of people to come shopping on
Yonge Street only to have yet another project just begin at the very same
crucial corner plus others up and down Yonge in our area progress yes but we’ve
stuck it out through disruption and chaos only to be confronted with more
disruption and now massive taxation and rent increases for our troubles my
companies now have three properties at which we pay rent along Yonge Street and
employ almost 30 people the rents at these three locations add up to
$50,000 monthly our landlords recently showed me some impact assessments and a
letter reading increased property taxes will be required to be paid by you at
the first location his value tripled from around two million to over six at
the other two locations which share a landlord it was quite a bit more
substantial even than that their buildings that were valued at 3 million
in 2012 had apparently increased in value to almost 17 million as of 2016
5.5 7 times increase I highly appreciate the reassessments already performed but
even after those the assessed values of the properties for which I’m on the hook
to pay the landlord’s taxes have still in some cases tripled there is so much
more that needs to be done to basically save our vital Toronto neighborhoods the
bottom line is this being in business in Toronto is difficult and uncertain
enough as it is small business owners like myself have
to kill ourselves to make ends meet and to hopefully keep those in our employ
being paid as much as I love the freedom of being my own boss there’s a huge
price to pay in uncertainty hard work and stress from my rent to increase
enormously and exponentially due to unreasonable taxation because some rich
speculators are causing property values to balloon in our areas and are building
condos all around us it’s actually a real game changer it removes the option
for folks wanting to try to make a goal of renting a space on Yonge Street for
an interesting new business and it truly threatens to destroy vital parts of our
city I’ll have to ask you I just gave you 30 seconds there 30 extra seconds
there oh I’m sorry it’s already happening all around us and without
these proposed tools being adopted and without pushing the province it will
only get much worse thank you thank you guys there may be a question for either
any questions may I just you addressed it at the very very very end your last
sentence you you you know we the two of the tools that are in the report are
meant to helpful at some of those extraordinary assessments you made
reference to and I hope they will be of help and it’s expressed very much I
think in the report as an interim step to other changes that we could see made
and explorations that our staff are going to make of other tools to use yeah
I look forward to them thank you thanks very much
Sanjoy can do I’m sorry George Joris northbound leather limited and
Yonge Street small business association good afternoon you worship counts
afternoon sir welcome thank you thank you for your
patience you know hearing us ineffective yeah Sanjoy and a couple of others in
our group have had to attend to other businesses so a lot of patience we
appreciate you hanging in there not a problem
[Music] Linda and have said quite a bit of what
has been on all our minds what I’d like to provide for you is a little bit of an
impact statement we’ve been on Yonge Street our family my
family my father before me since the late 60s doing business up and down
Yonge Street as tenants eventually we did buy our own building I’d like to
report that it’s been business as usual however it’s not massive change has
occurred bringing tall towers construction to our human scale low-rise
neighborhoods just on my block to the north of us there have been the tower
that went up at five st. Joseph basically created seven years of
hoardings on the north half of the block that took its toll because it caused a
lot of the pedestrian traffic to cross the street because there was nothing on
our side of the street so they basically avoided us walk in sales plummeted
during that time I renewed mortgages twice pulling money out of the building
and my family home to make ends meet in effect I subsidized 24 employees and the
bottom line by about 20k a month until just this year 2017 was the first time
that I’ve not seen red on my bottom line in nine years
this was due in part because we downsized and we vacated about 60% of
the space we occupied offering that space up for rent at market values at
the time however market rents nobody no takers because of all the construction
people saw that it was not something that they wanted a part of so we
basically discounted the rent after having sat six months empty we
negotiated below market rents the good long-term tenants and leases and
passing the increase that is proposed the 50% tax increases that we’ve been
given via the TMI will cause those tenants to not renew further shouting
shuttering unique businesses independent businesses that give our neighborhood
and other neighborhoods like ours their flavor
now what happens on Yonge Street reflects on the image of the city we get
those tour buses going up and down everybody has to walk the longest street
in the world we’re Canada’s Main Street and close
shops do not look good they invite homeless to sleep in the doorways and
build cardboard shooting galleries in our doorways we’ve constantly every
morning are picking up used needles and broken glass pipes that are appearing I
have a lot more to say on that but I’m not going to it’s happening we’ve been
approached by media many times since October and when we put up little signs
in our window in protests to the tax but we have not escalated our sign campaign
these last four months we are attempting to resolve our issue through proper
channels placing our trust in this process a 50% increase year-over-year
for the next two years will finish Yonge Street as we have known it we need your
cooperation to remain healthy viable employers in our neighborhoods and we
appreciate the tools that you can put into effect to help us survive all the
construction and the minds of war more doors that have opened up around us as
open pits every other block I mean we’ve been there for a long time we’d like to
be there to welcome the people that have bought into our neighborhoods hoping to
enjoy these neighborhoods as they saw them when they put their deposits down
on these condos we just want to be there when those condos are built on that note
I’ll have to ask you to conclude the farm of deputation I’m sure there may be
some questions may I just say to you I trust you acknowledge that in the report
here is meant to be a first step in actually providing some practical help
with what you described they turn and then with an examination of other
tools to follow that that is going to be conducted by the staff for
implementation in 2019 but the cap would be put in place that this gets approved
right away so anyway thank you sir and III appreciate and support your and I
think we had did we have a question from councillor Wong town yes please yes
thank you very much mr. Merritt I wanted to ask the the effects that have taken
place through impacts and the surging assessments are not just relegated to
Yonge Street you speak to other small business owners other business property
owners is this something that you are aware of that’s happening across the
city it is I mean right behind me there are a few others for instance some of
the businesses on King Street are facing massive property value assessments and
you know with what’s happening we’re getting hit by as small employers we’re
getting hit by the province telling us that minimum wages have to go up great
we’ll pay that but we can’t it’s it’s kind of like a perfect storm between
transit right-of-ways LRT buildings on Eglinton you know that sort of thing all
of it comes together to affect trying to do business at sidewalk street level is
difficult these days you know reporting from the trenches so to speak reporting
from the street we are not getting the traffic to even sustain the numbers that
we saw ten years ago and it’s there’s no increase and it’s where we’re surviving
through attrition basically the the staff recommendations are that the the
year-over-year assessment is capped at 10% at this point in time and to further
explore the expletive further explore and review the option of a new small
business classification what happens if we don’t if we’re not successful let’s
say the there is consultation they come back to Council and they recommend it’s
a little bit too complicated we think that it should probably should not
proceed what happens then what happens is if these tax increases
as proposed go through you’ll find that many more businesses will be shattered
including my own okay thank you very much thank you
Thanks accounts the wrong time other people we should ask this deputy
question okay well again I’ll thank you very much sir and now
oh I’m sorry counselor Burnside thank you just a quick question with that 10%
if it were capped at 10% how would that affect you I believe we could bite that
bullet every year well yes sir then a 50% year-over-year yeah it’s it’s
something that we’re I mean I’d rather have that then rather 10% in the 50%
increase and we can try and make a go of it if we can’t we can’t we go down
fighting but my tenants have expressed to me that they’re having a difficult
time there are probably about 55 to 60 people working in my building these
people would likely end up who knows going on the dole moving I don’t know
what they would do but you’re good with it you think you’d be okay with the temp
I think I think we could probably manage the 10% yes over that period of time
right thanks thank you thank you thanks counselor Burnside now sir can I just
check with you are you and and bill is there bill okay separate people same
name that’s some no problem last names on to check if it was just huge twice
here but under different names I would know no problem thank you very much next
was mark citron are you mark I’m basically here my family’s had a
business on Yonge Street since 1919 my grandfather started our shop there it
was my father’s home I’m here to speak right now on behalf of Andre and
Christine Baxter and if I have a few seconds I’ll speak on my own behalf as
well Andre and Christine Meixner we’re supposed to be sneaking right now and
I’m reading from their notes we are the owners of 588 Yonge Street we are here
to ask you to please support the tax change capping property taxes to 10%
does the current taxation rate is having disastrous consequences for us the
current business occupying property and its employees
along with all the other businesses and landlords affected by this reasonable
tax increased currently the property is occupied by two businesses a hair salon
and Korean restaurant both businesses which I’ve numerous employees are
struggling to survive given the current level of property taxes imposed on them
since last year they’ve told us that they will have to close their doors and
go bankrupt if you cannot get some sort of reprieve from the current level of
Taxation causing owners and their employees to lose their livelihood with
these schedule increases the businesses our tenants have indicated that they
will no longer be able to keep their doors open and will have to go bankrupt
leaving their employees without jobs and we ask that you vote for the 10% tax
change or cap okay that’s them but for me my business is closing it’s been in
my family for 98 years and it was a very popular very successful business on
Yonge Street call cat’s cradle it’s been known by many people it started as cat’s
cradle 1972 my grandfather started the actual business in 1919 we’ve been
paying property taxes obviously since 1919 I couldn’t tell you how many how
much money that is but I’d like some of it back thank you very much the last ten
years all the property tax has been paid by savings there’s been no income no
profit being made here as George said for the last seven or eight years or so
with the hoarding we lost complete walk-in traffic when this first was CVA
was first announced I think mayor mellow Osman was the mayor and they wanted a
400% increase from us they proposed it but you guys actually implemented it
without actually proposing it I know it’s the cover the Ontario but it’s to
me it’s a killer and just saying that you know you’re gonna be happy with 10%
I’ve no I my business is going out of business we have to rent the space to
somebody else who couldn’t have at least some ability to pay the the taxes and
and somehow get get back the money that I’ve been paying for the last ten years
don’t understand how how this has even come to be and I wish you guys were more
in harmony with small business because really if
you back small business you’re gonna really be helping Toronto that’s all I
know and we need the help and it’s it’s crossed the board and it’s just just
this tax increase is just wrong and I’m not even happy with this 10% thing I
think it should be tied to inflation for heaven’s sakes I mean the the the
properties represent small business all these small little properties on Yonge
Street there that’s small business it doesn’t matter if the buildings were ten
million or 1 million the property could only pay the taxes that the business can
support that’s all I have to say thank you sir I’ll see if there’s some
questions for you I don’t see any but thank you very much thank you for your
representation then we had mr. bill G Oris thank you for your patience sir
thank you or should I appreciate the opportunity to speak for yourself and
counsel good afternoon my name is Bill chose my cousin George spoke earlier we
represent King Street West specifically 555 King Street West my family business
that’s been operating for 49 years this year has been in the same location for
just over 20 years we were at Spadina and Queen Street unfortunately the lack
of traffic once the street turned into a streetcar main route forced us down to
King Street which was derelict at the time that we moved in were happy to say
with the neighbors that we’ve come to neighborhood we’ve come to belong to
we’ve done a great job we take a significant amount of our extra profit
and we support shelters we support communities not just the Greek community
that we belong to but all communities we give back to sports teams and this year
we’ve had to curb that significantly while still maintaining a social
presence we’ve employed families for decades we were the hub of the fashion
district and we remain the last vestige of
fashion district everyone has moved many of them outside of our city outside the
GTA into surrounding communities where they found it more profitable do
business my father’s 80 years old this past
Christmas he comes into work every other day that he can we’ve held on to the
property but we are the staggering increase we went from a to odd million
assessment to 14 million so for the four year period that’s coming up we’re going
up over five hundred percent it’s killing us the issue is that the people
that impact and we’ve dealt with impact for many years we’re landlords we deal
with things impact didn’t realize that our entire area not just a few blocks
our entire area has been designated a heritage district so our nondescript
square building that has no historic value whatsoever was stables before the
people that built our building there anything that had to do with the
historic quality we can’t build to optimum value of our land because we’re
surrounded by other buildings we’ve tamed the eight or nine condos that have
built in our area and we’re actually quite happy that we didn’t affect them
and thankfully because of the nature of our business they didn’t really affect
us but with the King Street pilot project that has erased the parking that
we actually physically need and we have our own parking lot the problem is
people that do business with us they can’t come by streetcar or blocking
because they tend to take bundles of leather and they can’t put them anywhere
other than a car we’ve been crushed I only have a few more minutes so I’d like
to see the reason why I give you a little bit of a piece of my life so that
if you’re thinking of putting that 10% cap it wouldn’t help not just my
business but the 18 or 19 other businesses immediately around me
significantly and that’s what they’ve asked me to convey to you thank you
thank you very much for that very candid representation counts the wrong Tama
this question for you thank you very much I was able to work with the the
young street business owners within the Yonge Street Heritage Conservation
District to have 80 properties be reassessed through MPAC did you file for
a request for reconsideration to reassess your building yes we did
and what I did because it’s the proper thing to do I hired an outside law firm
outside the city so that there wouldn’t be any conflicts with our neighbors so
that we can appeal that it’s an ongoing process we’re not one of the first ones
to be reached yet and they still consider the value that they’re gonna
place on our building hi they weren’t aware they didn’t speak to other arms of
the government with respect to being named heritage and the inability of our
building once they actually revisited it that maybe we can we can’t turn and use
into optimum use let me just understand when you hired an outside consultant to
help you through the the request for reconsideration through impact the Jay
charge you a fee and what was the outcome did you get a reduced assessment
we haven’t received any reduction they and the immediately offers the 1 million
dollar reduction which is great we want to negotiate further but they actually
put a pause on that because we’re going through the appeal process we actually
put down and it’s been liquidated a three and a half thousand dollar
retainer we’ve actually engaged the law firm as well for the streetcar project
not for the secret project I apologize for the not for the King Street pilot
project but for the heritage designation because at first we weren’t actually
enumerated as a building because we have no heritage qualities whatsoever to our
box but what happened was despite that and without any consultation we got
labeled a heritage building so whatever somebody would ever try to build out of
us they’d be subject to whatever conditions any other building would be
so then to just break it down so we understand the Yonge Street property
owners that got reassessed and their original deposits around taxes went to
went to the city but then they have now received a rebate back some of them have
received checks back for the overpayment after the reassessment you have not
received your reassessment the money that was owed through the city for taxes
have still been paid it’s out and paid in full and now you’re
fighting at hoping that you can get some of it back is that correct yeah sure yes
we paid a hundred and twenty five percent increase just for for the first
year and it’s that multiplied each year so we’re going over five hundred percent
and we haven’t heard anything and I’m extremely diligent I contact the lawyer
not enough to increase our fees with her but enough that I do not want to miss
any deadlines or I do not want to be an absentee or thank you very much thank
you thank you thank you accounts to walk to him any other questions of history
counsel shiner so sorry you’re in a heritage conservation
district now we are yes sir how’s your building been designated a
heritage building no the entire area is at Heritage Conservation District so to
reach we’re we’re gonna be taxed on land value and it’s on optimal use but with
optimal use that will place a restriction on us the building to over
from us is a significant property it was owned by a gentleman who had amassed it
over decades I know all the properties in the area I worked for decades across
the road where the keg is now yes it used to be a warehouse building where we
cut leather in it and I operated a leather cutting machine in there so I do
know the area well and I know your property but I’m asking and if I have to
clarify with Stanley my your your building itself there’s an a Heritage
Conservation District but I don’t notice on Google Maps or anything that’s
specific about your building that would not allow that building to be demolished
the building across the road where the keg is was a heritage building that was
saved and the buildings behind it we’re all demolished that’s how the fashion
district got built so as your property not similar to that it’s the opposite
that we do not have the designation our building will be able to be demolished
and I think that’s the hope the way that they’ve tax us is because we’re only one
floor to be able to generate the revenue from
one floor we’d have to be a tenant like The Keg and more to sustain that
increase that they’ve given so the heritage district isn’t impacting you
the issue is the valuation of the property for you to be able to continue
your current use without selling the property at its market value exactly
sorry and its market value is how long ago did you purchase it we’ve had this
since I was in high school I’d say that’s over 20 odd years we bought this
building in the in the 90s about it a good time back then nobody wanted to
move there I know okay so your issue is the taxing and not the heritage district
and not the conservation district simply the increase in the property taxes that
you have because you’re in a development area the specific assessment is is
damaging to a significant yes thank you Thank You councillor shiner any other
questions of the deputy all right well sir thank you very much it was very very
helpful to us for sure so that’s the end of the list of deputies on this item e^x
30.5 that would then bring us to questions of staff are there members
City Council visiting the committee that would like to ask questions of staff
Council on cam very much mr. mayor a question of staff I think there is in
the in the recommendations here there is no consultation with the community it
looks like you were going to go in house and do some work and further
investigation to report back would you be open to having broader consultations
with the community yes of course we were directed by Council and it’s
meeting in December to report out on these particular mitigating measures so
we had to move relatively quickly to implement what’s before you and we’re
recommending that these measures be introduced on an interim basis pending a
more comprehensive reform package that we would bring back
in q1 or q2 of 2019 and in so doing I think we would definitely benefit from
broader consultations okay and just to fully understand the recommended cap is
10 points analyzed a year over a year until another resolution comes forward
to replace it is that correct it’s adopted each year and so we’re moving
we’re recommending that it be adopted for the 2018 taxation year and so that
means that we would have to if if we did not come up with a new strategy to
address the concerns of small business owners and and property owners who are
feeling the crush of the assessments and their growth areas then if we didn’t do
that we would have to re-adopt this every year make another commitment
through the chair that is correct okay and that’s only if we don’t have a
longer-term strategy the report back period says that we want to be able to
have a strategy in place before 2019 do we are you coming back to report at the
end of 2018 or are you reporting at the beginning of 2019 and the question is
important is that I want to make sure that we get into the 2019 assessment
period the taxation period certainly our objective is to report out for
implementation in 2019 potential implementation in 2019 that means that
you would have to report back in 2018 that would be the case however as you
correct you know that this is an election year and we have very limited
meetings towards the end of 2018 when we have you reporting back because we’re
only in January by the time you do consultation can you come back the third
I guess maybe the second or third quarter of 2018 what’s the earliest you
can come back we want to make sure we see it before beforehand anything
a counselor Thompson thinks you can get done before April but I’ll let you
answer that question through the chair I think you know art consultations will be
comprehensive and we really need to engage the Ministry of Finance the
Ontario Ministry of Finance to see what legislative changes could be could be
made and so it would be a very ambitious timeline to report by July of 2018 but
we will certainly do our best okay July sounds good okay thank you all
right I had two counts of shiner for a question
so through you Mara Tori I know the financial impact says there is none
however that’s due to a clawback so the intention here is properties that
are subject to an increase because of valuation will be limited to ten percent
or an amount that council sets where is the clawback coming from so this is a
revenue neutral measure and so the clawback would come from those taxpayers
who would have been entitled to a decrease we would have to clawback that
decrease to fund the caps so businesses where their properties did not increase
in value the same as businesses where properties did increase in value
am I correct through the chart that’s correct yes so your manufacturing sector
in parts of the city that are not in demand in your employment areas would
they be funding this there would be a modest clawback rate applied to those
who would have otherwise and experienced decreases that means yes Joe yes it does
thank you so what we have is those that are in areas as the property is on King
Street which I understand the concern of the part of the property owner for
running a business that the property taxes may be excessive for his operation
however his property has gone up substantially more than the industrial
properties which would have gone up less and they’re not getting their tax
reduction is that right through the chair in the vast majority of the cases
those properties would be getting a tax reduction the question is the magnitude
of the reduction would be a little bit less to fund those who would be
increasing substantial or facing increases substantially in their taxes
so do you have an estimate as to dollars that we would if we cap at 10% what
would be the balance of the revenue that we’re not collecting that we’d have to
offset by limiting the reductions is it a million five million 25 million so
that assessment has not been completely finalized and I can certainly report out
directly to Council on that and then if the property has been purchased and held
for development purposes it will be the property owner that’s suffering the
additional increase in property taxes and it would be up to his agreement with
a tenant whether they pay that full amount am i right yes these would be
governed by private agreements between the landlord and the tenant so it’s only
passed on when it’s full taxes that I required on the agreement in other words
I could rent a property with agreeing that I’m not gonna pay for the increases
based on assessment and even cap the amount of property taxes that I have
could I not so the purchase the person who’s taking it as an investment to
capitalize on the value of the increase in the property for development purposes
that’s also a person who’s getting a benefit final question so through the
chair yes of course and that it really is a private arrangement between you
know part the parties okay thank you counsel Burton
thank you through you just to follow up when counselors Shriner’s questioning
we’ve had various meetings though this reassessments and people’s tax is
actually going down that’s not a linear it’s not a one-for-one if you’re if
someone’s taxes go up by a dollar as a result to reassessment that doesn’t
necessarily mean your neighbors if someone else is going down by one is
that correct with respect to cv8 as within the class there will be those
that experience tax increases and those that experience tax decreases and on
average on balance its net zero but I know when we were talking about
residential I got the answer that is not actually people for a variety of reasons
education being part of it that the actual decrease isn’t always isn’t
always the same yes and that really relates to tax shifts between classes so
often we see a shift in the tax burden on to residential to accommodate the
gradual tax racial decrease that councils adopted back in 2006 so then
based on that is it fair to say that that it’s not necessarily industrial
users that with industrial properties that have gone down and value that are
actually shouldering everything I would suggest through the chair that it’s
really non-residential properties could be industrial as well as commercial and
office okay thanks thanks I’m sorry I missed you councillor crusty on the way
by the councillor Burnside but you were on the list so please go ahead
thank you and I’ll direct this to our our acting CFO so the cap as you’ve
described it will kick in in 2018 on the basis of their 2017 taxes paid is that
correct through the chart that is correct yes
so in terms of using this model to counteract the CVA that’s being used so
that wasn’t and we had a reassessment done in four
20:17 so for 2017 through to 2020 for businesses so for like I’m just some of
my businesses experienced just last year doubling or tripling or quadrupling of
their tax assessment and now we’re capping it at 10% annually on that
assessment is there any way that we could put the cap in place on the basis
of their 2016 taxes paid as opposed to a CVA assessment model for 2017 through
the church so we’ve had internal discussions about that and we did not
believe that we have the legislative authority to do that retro actively
right we can only move to implement these tax changes these capping
mechanisms for the 2018 taxation year okay we cannot we have no legislative
ability to go retro actively to reduce the impacts in 2017 so but we assess the
tax rate I mean we do the tax rate whereas they do the assessment so what
is the legislative hurdle hurdle there that wouldn’t allow us to determine what
the rate is that they’re being charged to go back and say on the basis of the
pre-assessment 2016 rate so this is a very technical question
I’d love a technical answer so council has adopted actual rates for the last
year’s tax taxation year and they’ve also adopted clawback rates yeah and in
order to confirm benefits for the previous tax year we would have to
revisit all of the clawback rates that were adopted for the past year in which
case you know we would have to be withholding taxes from those who are
entitled to decreases last year to fund last year’s cap so difficult I would
suggest it’s it’s legally challenging okay know that that’s helpful thank you
Thank You councillor Cressy others I had cancer NZ thank you three O’Meara Tory
mr. Frank I wanted to ask about the very last page of the report age 11
I guess where it says the 2000 recommended measures are viewed as an
interim strategy and then it says pending further analysis of additional
options or a combination of various measures can you elaborate on that or
certainly the only ability for the City of Toronto and other municipalities in
Ontario to mitigate impacts is through the use of capping what we’d like to be
able to explore for 2019 is a more surgical approach to provide relief to
those properties that we see fit and so we would be looking at potentially
looking at creating different tax classes tabia introduced something today
at today’s deputation that caps assessment and I think that’s something
that warrants a further look so we want to be able to explore other mechanisms
to provide targeted protection if you will the the capping mechanisms that we
currently have are really very blunt and they’re not terribly effective but we’re
trying to do with the best with what we have and so what we’d like to do is
again engage Ministry of Finance officials and in seeing if something
more preferential could be could be developed right is there some type of is
there some type of grant system we could users so what I’m asking about so the
area that I represent the majority of businesses are small businesses they
can’t afford to start a business Improvement Association they’re tried
business associations there’s some type of mechanism to support business
associations as opposed to formal bi is like the same manner of financial
support from the city through the chair I think the only mechanism that I could
think of just offhand as potentially a local improvement
type of of a mechanism where we identify areas that that requires some form of
targeted relief but one would have to establish a budget with with you know
resources to provide that relief and it would sorry Community Improvement Plan I
said a local improvement plan and a community improvement plan would have to
be adopted and council would have to adopt a budget for it I think that’s
also something that doesn’t really help with their property taxes either that’s
correct yes okay all right thank you Mary Tori X can see other questions of
staff could I just confirm one I think I know the answer because I and it was but
it was alluded to earlier on and a question that counts the wrong time ask
this proposal to put the cap on applies only because it can only apply or
because the report is only recommending it apply for 2018 annualized taxes and
the calculations done off the 2017 bill and that’s while you study these other
options and you didn’t want to commit yourself or otherwise or we’re not
allowed to commit yourself to do it beyond that no that’s the only tool
that’s available for us about one year and percent yes and if so too I think
this is the cap question counsel long time ask which is that if you wanted to
do it again 19 because you hadn’t found another mechanism or he wanted to do
this anyway that you’d have to do it again we have to prove this again that’s
correctness right okay and yes that’s right okay that’s fine no problem thank
you then we move to speakers on this speakers from the City Council we have
counselors long time and Cressy for the first two so it counts a long time
please go ahead thank you very much mr. mayor I want to thank the residents for
coming out further or sorry the the property owners and residents of course
the city Toronto for coming out to share with us your particular challenges which
I believe also are the city’s particulars for months now I’ve been
working with the Yonge Street business owners and small business owners largely
trying to make sense of a system that I think has largely caused a lot of heart
ship and heartbreak and I want to thanks to these staff who’ve come to the table
with us quite willingly to help us explore what can we do to create some
tax relief and and I know that the Minister of Finance has sent staff to
our working group as well as the Minister small business they have been
hearing from us but I don’t think that we have been able to amplify our voices
as loud as we can and the one thing that was really clear is that the Minister of
Finance SAFF team said you know what are you looking for and so they seem to be
very clear that you know they’re up there at the table but they also said
whatever happens is gonna happen across Ontario so you either use the City of
Toronto act and do something special for yourself or we’re gonna have to figure
out what the impacts are across the city or across the province and they’ve got
hundreds of municipalities to consider so it’s really clear to me that this is
not as a problem simply for the City of Toronto but certainly it is a major
problem for those businesses who are located in the growth areas where there
is a lot of land speculation where we see a wild assessment growth that growth
200 300 400 percent no one could possibly withstand that type of tax
assessment and then subsequent rate that comes along with it it just so happens
we were fortunate enough to move fast enough along Yonge Street where we had a
group reassessment of 80 properties on Yonge Street that gave us a new
reassessment because we’ve made enough noise and the planning staff were able
to help us put more contextualization to what the local planning concerns and
restrictions are and that was very helpful because it gave us a first
relief of reducing a number of the assessments but that was not the the
final solution that was step number two step number one step number two is
trying to find a way to sort of mitigate the year-over-year growth which is now
capped at ten percent so although it’s not a perfect resolution it gets us to
another step closer to hopefully a better resolution and the better
resolution is either we change the the assessment process so we don’t pursue
the optimal youth strategy of highest and best use
and that that particular evaluation strategy is tests tested to be true when
we compare that with comparable replacement value as well as income
value and I don’t think it actually is comparable so there is definitely a flaw
in the way impact is assessing those properties but but really even if impact
doesn’t do the work and I don’t think we should let them off the hook but impact
is going to be guided by the Ministry of Finance and if we don’t get to the
Ministry of Finance to express the concerns as loudly as possible we’re
going to be stuck here again so I want to thank staff because I know that you
are trying really hard to find a way to help the business owners that are buried
before a be appearing before you today but I am also very mindful that the the
Yonge Street business owners are just a small group of small business owners
across the city that now I have heard from including King Street property
owners Wellington property owners Queen Street and everywhere else who’s just
saying don’t forget about us because we didn’t get that first step relief this
10% cap gives them some tiny relief but certainly they are knocking we would be
able to withstand the 2020 assessment it’s just not going to happen so I want
to thank staff for all their hard work and I know that they’re storm’ll still
more work to do and I look forward to working with you on the consultation and
so I have to ask you to pass the three minutes we go I just want to say thank
you and Main streets are very important and character Main streets are very
important thank you thank you we’ll take that time off councillor crises time
just councillor Cressy is next well thank you
listen it it’s the only item I’m here to speak on today and I just wanted to
start by recognizing that I do believe that we have a flawed provincial
assessment model and it is fundamentally a cookie-cutter approach model whereby
current value assessment is looked at across the board it is an assessment
issue and it’s an assessment issue in my ward where you have 401 Richmond and
arts hub being valued on a commercial basis as it is if it was a gap in a
Starbucks it’s an assessment model whereby list select bistro a two-story
French restaurant on Wellington is being assessed as if it was a 12-story condo
and it’s a model whereas 49 Spadina a three-story brick heritage building on
Spadina is being assessed as if it was a 30-story condom this is a flawed model
and staff I want to thank in particular I want to recognize Jo frag and Casey
and a dear and Mike Williams as well in EDC we’ve done a lot of work at the city
on this to counteract what is a provincially flawed assessment model we
were building a creative hubs special sub class the city’s done that work
where we’ve implement we’re putting in place a cap and a clawback
the city’s doing that work and I think that’s a tremendous step and I want to
thank our staff and I hope our our businesses out there recognize how hard
and how much time our staff are putting into this I think the only shame of this
is that for legislative reasons as I see if I was outlined the capping and claw
back is being done on the basis of the 2017 assessment the 2017 assessment we
were one year off having a more accurate reflection of what the current uses of
these buildings not the highest and best use and that’s going to be really hard
for a number of businesses and so I think the fact that we can’t adjust that
legislatively or legally gives me concern which leads us back to the
solution as we seek to dip around the edges which is to replace the assessment
model at the province but as we continue to fight for that I want to thank our
staff for all their hard work in finance and an ADC thank you very much so no
counts long term used my time yes we’re a team
on this one Thank You mr. mayor I just want to refresh those who are in
oh I guess I’m not saying anything today I just want to refresh people’s murdered
we had exactly this struggle yesterday in the budget committee wrap up but for
the opposite reason we’re we’re really sort of contorting into a strange shape
here to try and accommodate and to assistant to help businesses that that
are struggling under the CVA model at the same time we have businesses that
are not struggling and never will mainly the big five financial institutions
yesterday well well wrapping up budget we were talking about the fact that we
started out having a goal of getting to a business to residential ratio of 2.5
to one but in fact provincial policy requires us to get to two to one
I understand CVA and what it eradicated because there were there were abuses in
the tax system that it was designed to eradicate and no one can deny that it
has I also know that enhancing Toronto’s business climate was important because
for DES one was entirely unworkable the the ratio of two to one is very
important to a place like st. Thomas Ontario that has a dead main street
that’s why you want to get down to that that low ratio and be responsible about
residents should pay to keep their community afloat but but we’re now here
again struggling because no impact issue could be discussed in the City of
Toronto Act discussions and I think really it’s time now that act is now a
decade plus old I think it’s time to look at at in your long term fiscal plan
which is coming up in a couple of months or in the very next review date whatever
that is to make the case that we need to make some modifications to how we use
the CBA tool that our city of Toronto acts Pacific
because we now at 20 years past converting to CBA I think you really can
make a case that there are unique negative impacts to CBA and unique
robbing us of flexibilities that come from not allowing us to be addressed in
in a Toronto specific way when in every other aspect we can take that
conversation to the City of Toronto Act table twenty years on I would submit
that we ought to be able to go to the big five and say yeah there’s this
provincial rule that it’s two to one but your five billion dollar asset tower
it’s not going to fluctuate we need to have you at two point five to one ratio
and that is your investment in this city in which you have placed such an
important role to the smaller businesses that are really hurt by CBA if we were
to remove caps we need to run a specific way to address it that doesn’t doesn’t
give us something that’s impossible to explain and impossible to react flexibly
I would submit that that if that’s not a request in your long term fiscal plan
that we asked the province to be able to address some impact issues in our city
of Toronto Act review then then we’re missing a big opportunity I shouldn’t
say this but it’s a non-partisan coming because it applies to both sides of
those we do a little further work we have enough people up there that we
could get whatever we want touchwood that’s really matter who
definitely mayor is paying no attention to that comment yes I’m sure I’m talking
about a collective I’m talking about a collective of Toronto representatives
who would vote for some motion in the legislature that was the last speaker
from City Council visiting that I had that I had on the list so I’m happy to
turn now to members of the committee who wish to speak and I see councillor
Thompson’s and up I mr. mayor thank you in the interest of time I’m not going to
repeat all the things that other members have said about CBA I just wanted to to
to to basically say that the business folks have come in here today we’re
hearing you there is a greater problem that is obviously affecting the broader
community and I have had businesses for a long time
complaining about this particular issue we saw what happened that at Bathurst in
front a number of years ago or that whole area was just basically
disseminated because of impacts assessment and so on we saw what happen
overnight the business is basically left and then the condos and everything came
in but those business owners who take risk who are challenged you have to do
paperwork who have to do so many different things to operate their
business are burdened with this additional element with is the increases
in terms of assessment and valuation off the property that they’re located in
which then causes that additional stress because of the taxes being increased in
such a way that isn’t always keeping pace with respect to revenues and the
efforts that you have to take in order to make a dollar if we all agree and we
do that small businesses are the backbone of this country and clearly
this city why are we creating this stressful condition and I say we in the
sense because we also have an obligation to do some work to help them I realize
where this is coming from and in terms of the province and the assessments that
are being made and for some time now we’ve been talking but we’ve been
talking around this and we get what I speak to provincial politicians they say
well you know it’s not really assets impact but you are impact impact as an
agency of the provincial government and so when I speak to ministers and they
say to me well you know there’s nothing we can do about it so and why you know I
say well if you’ve created an entity and the entity has no rapport and
responsibility and no one has any control then this is an out-of-control
entity that is actually not serving its interests because it isn’t supposed to
be one-sided because it is fairly one-sided even when you appeal you’re
never certain with respect to the reaction and so on and I realize that
this is a huge problem and it’s very stressful what we are trying to do is is
I think is a small step in terms the right direction but there has to be
more pressure and I clearly know that the mayor is going to provide leadership
on this and working with tabia and the other businesses and so on we certainly
will attempt to do more but I do want to simply say as a former small business
owner I realize what the risk I realize the challenges and so on because it’s
not the government that’s putting up the money that you invest it’s a government
that’s collecting actually their share it doesn’t matter what you have left at
the end of the day because that’s know their concern it is our concern in terms
of what happens to you Thank You mr. mayor Thank You councillor Thompson
other chance to shine run list Oh mayor Tory I’m acutely aware of the impact of
business paying property taxes and I understand all the concerns and support
the comments that my colleague councillor Thompson has made so there’s
no need I don’t think to repeat that because you have a property in an area
with a substantially increased value it’s a development area you’re being
penalised with an increase in taxes so we’re trying to find a fix to the system
but I ask my questions because I wanted to remember the fix to the system cost
somebody and the somebody in this regard is the other industrial users or people
within that tax rate that are going to have to subsidize the reduction the
reduction in the increase that we have councillor I don’t jump in on you and it
is an impact because I look to see how the manufacturing base in the city and
the manufacturing land as well can be left out there and stable for that
purpose and then this inch this issue is not dissimilar to the issue on
residential houses where if you’re in a hot area of the city your taxes go up
and if you’re in a less desirable area it’s not as hot your taxes might go down
happens over there it’s the system and the methodology of assessment that is
broken and does it reflect this in while I’m
sympathetic to our friend in the leather business because I happen to know the
area very well that’s an 8,000 square foot property getting 10 stories across
that area there cuz that’s what was across the road you could get yourself
90,000 square feet of development that puts the property worth 12 million
dollars and back when was purchased 20 years ago it was less than half of that
so there’s a huge capital gains that’s made when you go to sell it so by not
taxing for it somebody’s holding on to that property at a substantially greater
value and I want to see the businesses succeed but I’m concerned when they’re
now taken for development purposes and purchase for that because then those
that are holding it and have paid the higher value won’t pay the higher taxes
because we’ve capped the increase so even if that property was sold for
development at that higher rate we’d have been capping the taxes at a lower
rate while it’s held for speculative purposes and that’s a problem in the
system that I don’t know how to fix it’s the system that’s not working right so I
don’t want to see small business owners get pushed out of the buildings I’m
extremely sympathetic to what happened on Yonge Street in other areas but it is
a disproportionate one because it can also be those businesses that are
working in less desirable areas that won’t get their tax reductions in other
areas of the city out in Weston or in Etobicoke or in Scarborough or parts of
North York that won’t get their reduction because we’re subsidizing
others and those businesses well can be struggling and that reduction might be
helpful to them if their small business owners with small businesses facing the
increase that they have in wages now because the minimum wage has gone up and
other increases that they have so it’s not easy I mean we don’t have another
fix I’ll support what’s in front of us now but there’s a much greater problem
that we have to look at it we do have to understand that others are paying for
this and we’re not those in business in areas of the city are paying for it to
help these and it’s kind of a sharing of a cost but we’re not paying for it
because the city doesn’t lose anything thanks counselor shiner others wishing
to speak well if I may I’ll just say a word on this first of all I don’t mean
to make light of this in any way but and I my intention if I’m fortunate enough
to be here cuz it’s gonna be I think a long term struggle it’s not gonna happen
in the short term and I would point out two counts of shine respectfully and I
think he knows that you know anything that brings about I don’t even want to
call it an ill-effect a postponed benefit to those who might otherwise
have seen a decrease is is and that’s why I ask the question to confirm what
counsel mr. Frank told us which is that it’s for the one year and so this would
have to come back to us so the cap does extract the price I guess from most
people that you refer to who might have been seeing a decrease in the in the one
year but you know I hope that we’ll come up with something better you know that
doesn’t do that in a subsequent year but that is going to be in part dependent
upon how successful we are and I say we in the collective sense in bringing
about some reform to provincial policy because I think we’ve heard you know
everybody around the room talk about the ills that really beset the entire
assessment system and impact and everything associated with it and as
some one of the deputies told us I mean you know they’ve been working at this
for years and I think members of this council before I got here have been
doing the same but IIIi intend to take up that cause I already have in speaking
to the minister and writing to the minister but I realized those letters
and words it’s gonna take a lot more than that and I think it’s joined
together with other issues like the business education tax which they’ve
steadfastly sort of basically ignored dealing with and governments before them
I mean it’s a long time back and it may be time for them to sort of take a
really much broader look and and this is the part I don’t want to be seen to be
making fun of this but I just will commit to people here right now
including my colleagues that if I’m here and to the business people that are here
and not here I intend to take this up seriously because it’s a serious problem
for a lot of people impact has been broken for a long time this is just one
example of how broken it is and and I will offer this is the part that’s a bit
tongue-in-cheek I never became premier but I do have a set of plans that were
one of those controlled demolitions of impact because I really did feel at the
time it was so broken that it just needed to be blown up he’d asked the
people to leave the building first and then just blow it up but you know I just
think we have to make the point that seriously to the problems that this
thing is badly broken it’s hurting a lot of people here and elsewhere and I think
we could be in common cause quite frankly with some of the other
municipalities in the province and people elsewhere in business and other
places where they may have slightly different problems but the bottom line
is that impact and the assessment system are not working for them either and and
so I certainly think that’s the real I don’t want to call it a game that’s the
real cause here that I think we have to commit ourselves to is meaningful tax
reform meaningful assessment reform that tries to eliminate some of these
problems that do put some people in a position where they’re immensely hurt
while others benefit and and and are quite unrealistic or unrelated to
reality in many cases so I will support strongly support the measures here but
see it very much for the way it’s described in the report which is
something that’s meant to help for 2018 but we need to do other things and
better things and different things for 2019 so did we have madam Clerk I don’t
think we had any motions am i right there are no motions so we’re really
just ready to put the question on the item and so I will call the question on
accepting the staff recommendations recorded vote we certainly Cancer
Council brow constant Burnside councillor Crawford councillor DiGiorgio
councillor McMahon councillor Minnie Wang meritorious Reiner councillor
Thompson all those opposed item carries thank you very much and thank you to all
the deputies of people who came here today we were trying to help in any way
that we can and we’ll continue to do so all right
so as you know I I had to remind myself of the practice here because you forget
these things there is no break taken here we just carry on through and we
have to have a motion to extend after six o’clock well and we’ll just improve
as well deal with that now cuz we’re at item six may I have a motion to extend
to complete the agenda and we’ll take the time we need to do that and that
would bring us to item IX 30.6 the emmitt review and we have four deputies
oh yes I had promised I think we can release an item and there’s I would also
allow some of our representatives of the police service and others it’s item IX
30 point 11 and I think the okay there’s questions on that it’s not ready okay
it’s not sorry I thought it was but we’ll come back to it item 30.6 Emmitt
first speaker Darrell Chong no maybe mr. Chong he heard me he mentioned his
comments when he was here so I think he’s not gonna be here for a second time
and then we have next after that Susan McMurray executive assistant Toronto and
region Charro New York Region labor council Thank You labor council as the
collective voice of labor for over two hundred and five thousand union members
in the Toronto area notes that by 2036 the imit artiguez program will cost the
city an estimated five hundred and thirty-eight million most of it in
foregone tax revenue much of that is already promised at big developers for
offices that they’re building downtown and this is at a time when key approved
initiatives like transform tío are climate change action plan do prosperity
are poverty reduction strategy and equity and inclusion activities struggle
to get funding sometimes squeezed in at the very end of the budget process like
birds looking for leftover crumbs to make up for the missing money
the burden of funding these and other important Toronto programs will rest on
residential property taxes paid by Toronto homeowners I remind you and our
friend from the Greater Toronto Apartment Association this morning that
the driver for the Teague’s program was job growth through development in key
sectors of industrial and commercial workspaces that otherwise would not have
been built in Toronto in 2012 there was a big expansion of Teague’s to include
other sectors that need no help to develop in Toronto as councillors you
should understand that under the current rules the bar is set very low for proof
that the development would otherwise have gone elsewhere and likewise little
attention is paid to the jobs that are promised we’re giving millions of
dollars away to reward development for instance to office construction in the
downtown core that most likely would have occurred anyway and which results
in vague job outcomes example first Gulf one of whose anchor tenants at 351 King
Street East is The Globe and Mail will receive a total of more than 12 million
dollars in grants for development there initially you may remember this the
globe was going to build its own Tower at the front west of Spadina labour
councils basic recommendation is to return to the original focus of the
Teague’s program and reduce the level of grants that are paid out as part of that
we call on you to enhance the recommendations that have been given to
you in six ways we recommend that no offices be eligible for Teague’s to
align with goals in the transform tío initiative we recommend adding green
enterprise as a key sector we recommend that the grant rates paid out be reduced
to align more with Toronto’s nearby comparators and then the ceiling
proposed of 30 million should be lowered further we would like to see the floor
adjusted lower to allow for smaller manufacturing either through an
exemption or by dropping the floor to a slightly lower level and we recommend a
more robust but or justification be required of smaller
projects as well as for transformative projects and we recommend that the city
consult broadly to improve the employment requirements including
consultations with Toronto community benefits Network unions and employment
specialists in order to make good jobs part of the focus of that improvement in
summary Toronto New York Region labor Council recommends that the City of
Toronto return to the original intent of the Teague’s program otherwise
Torontonians will no the big developers are getting richer while homeowners make
up for the missing money through their residential property taxes there’s a lot
more to be said about jobs about but for about democracy transparency and
accountability but I’ve reached the end of my time thank you thanks for your
respect for the clock appreciate that now councillor perks wasn’t a question
of the definite you had so I’m sorry Susan you mentioned that you were
concerned that we aren’t getting enough jobs for the money spent can you tell me
a little bit more about your thinking there so this is um this is a chart
that’s in the Hampson report first of all we there is a lot that we don’t know
about the jobs that have been created what this suggests is that there there’s
been an estimated employment of forty seven thousand four hundred about
three-quarters of that retained employment twenty to twenty-five percent
new employment we don’t know is that value for money we don’t know what kinds
of jobs those are we don’t know whether those are like Tim Hortons jobs in the
food courts at some of the big office developments downtown but the other
thing and and I have no idea whether this matters or not but I did a little
bit of arithmetic last night and if you look at the handwritten numbers there
what that says is that in these sort of IT and data sector if you do it on a
grant for job basis it’s been ninety one hundred dollars paid in in that sector
per job compared to 679 I think in the film sector and that may not be
the appropriate away appropriate way to assess the the job creation but I don’t
know how jobs are being evaluated so so you’re saying that if if our interest is
to do this to create jobs the way the current program has been operating we
haven’t been getting useful information or useful tests of whether or not this
program delivers that outcome and I guess the old and I’ve been in long
times half a billion dollars in public expenditure so funny the does so I
so you’ve raised this issue about whether we’re getting good information
do you think broadly the council and the public have been getting good
information on the how the decisions are made around this and and what the
outcomes are nothing comes before council until the development has
construction value of 150 million dollars the the Teague’s that are paid
out vary but they’re there at least in the hundreds of thousands of dollars
compared to small culture grants I’m involved with some community
organizations and we know that some of the grants that we get that are you know
or eligible for of a few thousand dollars come before council even if it’s
to rubber-stamp it so it’s it’s never to rubber-stamp it let me be clear so yeah
so so you you would say that these this program which you know is now up to half
a billion dollars in public cost gets less scrutiny than a five thousand or
ten thousand dollar grant to an arts organization final question staff as I
understand it I’ve worked with them they’re there as thorough as they can be
it’s a small department and you’ve got you know big developers with with lots
of money who are able to throw a bunch of things
at it but I’d like to also if I may talk about the sort of the decision-making
process and I’m just gonna put up here something from the June 13 2017 public
consultations that were that were held on this issue and it’s the whole
rationale for the program which is that but for the funding that is given for
this development the thing wouldn’t have been built I already mentioned the you
know the the King Street East the the first Golf Club and Mail going from one
place to another when they were gonna build their own downtown Tower but this
is what was said on the slide package that we were given one of the program
challenges is determining I am I t’s degree of influence on project decisions
is a challenge the but-for test they knew that and and they haven’t found
their answer through the consultation process or through the analysis that I
can see certainly it’s been recognized that office development in the very sort
of small key downtown core they’ve recognized it doesn’t need it but we
haven’t seen the evidence that the funds provided to other activities other
developments have passed a rigorous but-for test alright thank you for thank
you very much are there any further questions of this
deputy Oh councillor Davis yeah what we’re attempting to do as well through
development of any kind is to ensure that we create local jobs so are you
suggesting that community benefits agreements must be also condition a
condition of I did that too are you mean if in fact
we end up still having that program yeah labor council certainly supports
Community Benefit agreements I think city council would need to make
that decision but I think consultations in involving organizations like T CB n
that are leaders in helping to really create good local jobs would be an
excellent way to find out whether that model can be applied to other kinds of
sectors okay and the the principle of what’s the
principle the principle of would would not have at for but for but for how is
I’m gonna have staff this I really don’t understand how the but for analysis is
done and what makes rigorous but for analysis can you provide any further
clarification on that I’m sorry I can’t okay all right thank you
thank you thanks counselor Davis I forgot no I don’t think I ever put the
question is we got distracted on to looking at that 54:55 item to a motion
to extend and just to get the concurrence of the committee and I’m
sure who’s over there councillor Crawford and councillor McMahon I know
you’d want to agree with the motion to extend to complete the agenda agreed
Kerry thank you okay so that would bring us to the next
we thank you miss required for your deputation oh you did have a question
I’m sorry I was and I asked again and I didn’t see any hands but I apologize it
go ahead please thank you very much for your presentation I’m just wondering
based on the recommendations are here whether or not any of these particular
recommendation sort of meets yours your group’s concerns or address some of
these you because what I’m hearing you say is that first of all we have to do a
better mr. mayor just having the speakers having a challenges hearing me
and I’m really close to her my voice tends to boom so it’s a little bit
better thank you very much I’m just wondering based on the recommendations
are here whether or not any of the concern
say you have raised has been either addressed partially or otherwise based
on as I said the recommendations are here do they address some of your
concerns at all sure and in a longer version that would
have taken me probably four minutes to go through right we certainly appreciate
removal of offices in the expanded financial district so we think that’s a
good first step but we think removal of offices especially in the rest of
downtown would be great right we do appreciate that there has been some key
focus brought to some sectors such as manufacturing food and beverage and film
studio complexes so we we acknowledge that there’s been some narrowing there
we think that Greene enterprises should be added we we appreciate the idea of a
ceiling for teams but we think that the ceiling excludes I think only one
development that was in there so far and and we think that if the whole grant
rate was lowered to make us more similar to our sort of nearby geographic
comparators but then the ceiling could be reduced even lower okay we don’t
think that the idea of having a floor is a bad thing but setting it at five
million would exclude some of the manufacturing organizations that were
eligible and received grants and we think that keeping manufacturing in
Toronto is a valid thing and there is going to be a more rigorous but for
justification required for transformative projects but those are
enormous and we think that that rigor should be applied at a lower level as
well right and I’m just wondering I don’t know whether or not you had
submitted to the clerk a copy of your presentation but I wondered that’d be
very helpful thank you thank you thank you
Joyce hall Joyce hall here Michael Rosenberg welcome you have three minutes
that’s it okay yes I’m Michael Rosenberg you certainly
got a lot of tax business tax issues here today I mean on the previous one I
think the real problem is the official plan making property is so expensive but
on this one the real issue is industrial industry specific tax rates I mean
that’s generally not liked as a way that you should be specifying what types of
industries you want and I’ll give you both the general problem with the
argument and the specific for for what’s in this in this particular tax issue so
the general problem is that the argument that’s made here is that well if you
give a tax break they’re going to have more people are going to come in build
more buildings and then you’ll get more tax taxes back but that’s a nonsense
argument because regardless of whether there’s any reason to favor one industry
over another you could always make that argument but the reality is if they
build more of one type of Industry they’re going to build less of something
else so you’re not actually getting more revenue back because you chose to give
one type of Industry a higher tax rate and another type of Industry or lower
tax rate that’s all you’re doing you’re you’re favoring one industry over
another which is generally not thought to be a way to improve the overall
situation now on top of that I would suggest that the particular industries
that are being favored here are fashionable industries that people like
to believe are beneficial but are actually quite harmful so in reality
you’re doing a lot of harm by favoring IT and those sorts of things those
industries are actually causing the economy to decline are
putting a lot of pressure so in the end you will obviously by favoring a certain
industry you will get more of it but the amount of other economic activity that
you will lose because you have favored a particular industry that harms the
economy is multiple times more than the amount of that particular industry that
you will gain so it’s actually quite a harmful strategy both because the
general concept doesn’t work but also because in this case you’re favoring
something that you should if anything be discouraging so I don’t think that’s
what you need to do it is a huge number of hundreds of millions of dollars if
you want to put that money in as any kind of tax break I would suggest you
since since the manufacturing is one thing you want to support just generally
reduce the industrial tax rate by the same amount
cross the board don’t try to favor one industry over another and don’t if you
don’t want to put it into commercial put it into industrial like that might be
the the best thing you could do with that amount of money thank you any
questions all right and that’s ends the speakers list we’ll
take it into committee questions of staff counts or perks
I’m not sure if this is to the city manager or mr. fur egg so there’s some
criteria recommended here one of the criteria is that it needs to be near to
get the grant the proposal needs to be near a regional transit station do I
have that correct yes that is correct okay so that would mean that we would be
reducing the taxes for some businesses that are moving in near regional transit
transit stations through the chair that I suggested in the report yes okay we
have a report which you you committed to bring by the end of this term of council
on the tax increment financing plan for smart track isn’t the whole purpose of
tax increment financing for smart track that we
increase the taxes on businesses that move in near regional transit stations
in order to pay for them through the chair certainly we’ve signaled in the
past that we would be coming forward with before the summer recess with a
report that deals with TIF for smart track tifus tax increment financing and
it relies on the incremental tax revenue that’s generated in a transit corridor
to fund the debt associated with financing the cost of smart tracks and
so in that report we’ll be seeking a council direction on whether or not to
include an I mat program within the TIF zone so you have we haven’t made our
minds up yet whether we’re getting more tax revenue near transit stations or
we’re getting less tax revenue near transit stations through the chair in
fact this report it speaks to what I just said and that is we’re coming back
with a report that deals with the decision on whether or not to include
the grant in the TIF zone so if you haven’t decided yet whether we should
take that approach how does council endorse this my
understanding is that this does not become effective until we introduce a
community improvement plan and that process takes time and so council will
have a decision to make when we introduce the report in the summer of
this year so we’re not establishing that this becomes how the I align that
program works with these recommendations here today or are we one can assume that
we are establishing it but it’s subject to for a reconsideration when Council
considers the TIF report Wow okay thank you
any fruit councillor Davis okay now I’m not on ways to improve in
hence the employment requirement under the I meant so what exactly are we
approving about the I meant if there are significant reports back still which is
which think of it excuse me which significant projects use plural reports
are you referring to well I’ve just heard there’s a report back on whether
or not we’re going to be using a TIF to finance a smart track or other transit
projects but there’s also here another report back in recommendation three
about further changes an analysis to improve and enhance the employment
requirement under I met oh why are we what are we approving if they’re still
outstanding work to be done so we’re acknowledging as one of the deputations
two of the deputations referred to that the employment requirement these better
definitions a lot and also i would agree with the dip it in that it requires a
lot of stakeholder input and this provides us with the opportunity to do
that properly we are mandated to bring back and i’m it review in a particular
timeframe and we’re doing that I believe that approval of the IMET program will
be solid with the commitment that we are doing as much as we can to ensure that
the employment benefit is as firm as it can be but I don’t understand we’re
amending the i’mot program eligibility requirements and conditions in this
report so we’re leaving hanging out there then some very significant pieces
why would we not complete that work and come back so that these things are
absolutely clear fight in the I met eligibility
requirements and conditions because I think that the majority of those
refinements with regard to the employment conditions are refinements on
a basic principle rather than a basic principle in itself I don’t understand
what that means at all I’m sorry Mike we we are looking at conditions one of
the public benefits from these very generous tax incentives are that we get
jobs and I don’t understand what you’re saying recommendation 3 is we need to
work on that and clarify it if we don’t have that piece done I don’t know how we
can go forward with a report that leaves that so the so the issue of additional
or employment critical criteria for IMET is not being changed what is being true
what is being asked for by this recommendation is for us to refine the
exact methodology currently we have a process with tests we have a process
where we interview the grant applicants and the tenants and we want to fine-tune
that but we don’t want to we’re not recommending any fundamental changes nor
will normal consultation fundamentally change it I’m sorry the community
benefits policy has to be has to be worked out as part of this thank you
very much through you mr. deputy mayor to mr. Williams mr. Williams you’re
suggesting that you’re refining what is the I met program is that correct you’re
referring to the employment aspect of the whole program well both actually so
this report recommends a series of significant changes right to the iimit
program beginning with the biggest one which is
to disallow office eligibility within an expanded downtown core area but the
office eligibility outside of the core you would want to support correct okay
this is to encourage more development in those areas correct how many jobs has
been in fact how many how many organizations have benefited from the I
meant program let’s say over the last four years so we have 20 we have 32
approved projects and some of which are still being built right so of those we
have how many buildings that we so the treble with answering a question
counselor is the tenants within these buildings benefit almost almost entirely
there now if an ant on the command we don’t know how many exactly how many
tenants are in those buildings do you have an idea in terms of the community
benefits associated with this program in terms of internal employment in that
space yep it was 47,000 jobs and that’s in the office Kippur ssin to the point
that was made by the one of the deputies that does not include retail shopping
mall in the basement and so on the jobs the 47,000 would there be a portion that
would have been retained and a portion that would have been new jobs
correct so hamsun did a study on that and they they found it in a downtown
area about 75 to 80 percent were retained jobs versus the rest being new
jobs to the downtown area I might point out that the vacancy rate in the
downtown area has lowered while all of this space came on board
that means the backfilling jobs came in and I would argue that a lot of the
those were new jobs to the downtown area that was not part of the study process
so we don’t have an exact number on that and there’s going to be further
consultation taking place with respect to the implementation of the employment
criteria yes okay thank you on behalf of one of my colleagues councillor Davis
I’m asking then what is the downtown area defined us so the current downtown
core is the financial district I’m asked to ask you what streets so it’s
basically Queen to just west of University to just west of young town
okay so I have to ask myself have I asked all the questions that I wanted to
ask apparently have asked all the questions that I wanted to ask thank you
so just to finish describing them out the purple or the deep maroon color is
the existing financial district and the expanded recommended financial district
is the adjacent gray areas that vanna over there is describing
I’ll take a vow thank you very much mr. deputy mayor as
as many of you will know I have I have had deep concerns about this project for
quite a number of years recall it was established during the global financial
crisis when we were worried that all the jobs were gonna leave the downtown and
that we would never be able to stimulate and attract new investments in the city
and particularly things like Woodbine live there were very specific reasons
that we developed this program none of those reasons currently exists this is
an example of a program that was brought in for one purpose and is now just
drifted off its mission and in the process of drifting off its mission it
has foregone half a billion dollars in public funds half a billion dollars in
public funds I can think of nothing else we do around here of that order of
magnitude in terms of financial impact on the City of Toronto that receives
less scrutiny and has fewer mechanisms around it to make sure we’re getting
good public value for the dollar I was looking I was looking forward to this
report hoping that it would either a recognize the conditions that made it an
important program no longer exists and that it had lived its usefulness and
that we could move along and just wind down the program or that it would give
us clear guidelines on how we were going to get the public policy outcomes that
the program is designed to deliver the two key ones that I can tell that you
know might make an argument for continuing the program in some form are
trying to tot try to bring jobs in the City of Toronto we just heard from the
general manager that we’re not there yet with having criteria to accomplish that
we’re gonna have to do further consultation and the other is
that we would want to relate investment in the City of Toronto specifically to
areas where we’re investing in our transportation network transit stations
that serve the region and we heard from the acting CFO that no we’re not ready
on that one either we’re going to have to wait for a future report that’s going
to come towards the end of the term of council
in other words neither of the things that we should have got in this report
are presented we’re not presented with an art with a
winding down of the program who’s the timeline had elapsed and whose raison
d’être no longer existed nor are we given the tools by which we can say that
it is a good public policy tool to in cause investment for outcomes that we
want jobs and transit related investment so as far as I can tell there’s no
purpose to this program it just fits some notion that if the public gives
private capital some of our money that’s how some that’s somehow a good thing I
would I was tempted to give a whole speech teasing the city manager about
Karelian but I’ll do that another day counselor counselor Davison councillor
Carroll Thank You mr. chair I know that there will be arguments made and there
is in this report that the incremental tax that comes with this program is
worth the tax loss that that and the grants that we give to these large but
for funding we are at this point giving away 60% of the tax
we would have collected so there maybe 900 million in incremental taxation but
we are giving back half a billion 550 million of it in 31 projects and what’s
not really clear to me is the tangible community benefits and while I do agree
that the eligibility has been changed and we’re excluding the downtown
commercial core I think more work has to be done here I don’t believe that we
have the information required to ensure that we get the jobs the community
benefits and other services that will I forget the way it’s described but will
make a difference in the community significant amenities that are
accessible to the public and transform the nature of the area what are those
how are they defined I’m also interested in understanding what is the but-for
process you know when we had the the last one that we gave on the the
whatchamacallit lands behind the Sony Center that was a huge benefit that was
given to that developer and I don’t know frankly what came out of it that I know
there were some public realm improvements and we got a bridge but I
can never understand the but for analysis that was done there are
third-party consultants who are hired and we have to trust that they are
giving us the information I want to understand better how it is that we
assess whether or not a project would have been built if we had not given them
this incredible amount of tax relief so I don’t know if we’re expecting back to
reports that are significant in the in the first quarter of 2019 thank you
can don’t understand why we are proving this today when it is not complete thank
you Thank You councillor Carol yes Thank You mr. deputy mayor I I’m not
I’m nervous but not as nervous as my colleagues have just spoken I support I
support the finding and and and that we can at this point release the downtown
as as they say – who is this and it has always been the same and and mr.
Williams might even remember I’ve just always said if you know if we’re gonna
launch into a Teague program let us not be Cleveland Cleveland was too energetic
in the offering of Teague’s hollowed out their ability to gather revenue from
their downtown core but at the same time revitalize their downtown core the
problem was this they they signed on for 25 years of foregone revenue such that
there were actually victims of their own success then all of the things they
needed to support the employees that that came new housing new transit new
whatever for 25 years they had difficulty delivering because they had
overstepped the foregone revenue and so you know the the story of Cleveland was
there for us in the 90s that being said I disagree a little bit with the
councillor perks it wasn’t just the the snapshot moment of the global financial
crisis if we’re honest we were talking about this for free for a few years
before because for a long time from amalgamation when we reintroduced the 4
to 1 property tax ratio folks started moving out of the downtown corn in fact
moving out of even suburban business parks I had to have mr. Williams come
and drive around mine to realize what a suburban Business Park that is well
connected to highways and ready to house 35 thousand workers looks like when
there’s only 10,000 workers left there and five minutes north as soon as they
get past Steel’s data processing centers massive Bank of Montreal all the
financial service sector we’re literally picking up
processing and moving it just beyond the city limits so the the tap we’re taking
here saying that we now have huge vital companies interested and and
revitalizing the downtown core means that they can’t afford to pay their
share particularly because we are not at the four to one property tax ratio
anymore so they can’t afford to pay their bill but as much as it pains me
because I hate to forego any revenue I I’m gonna support the the staffs
findings that we’re still not there in the outlying court because we still have
to compete with people who are three to five minutes away on a very easily
connected Highway and so that piece isn’t quite over yet I think our transit
that is so when you put in the Eggman to crosstown and and some of the things
that are coming I think we can re-examine it at that time thank you
mister Thank You cancer taking in community councillor Thompson um thank
you very much mr. deputy mayor I want to thank the staff of the report I think
it’s important to understand what’s actually happening we recognize that
there are elements to this program that we need to refine we are doing so we
recognize that there are benefits that comes from this particular program I
have actually been in rooms and meetings where I’ve been told by business leaders
that if we don’t get this we will not actually invest in City of Toronto I
will give you the example of the Ivanhoe Cambridge development that took that’s
taking going to take place at 45 and 181 Bay Street it’s a billion dollar
investment in the City of Toronto you talk about community benefits the
community benefits that’s going to accrue to this community is a 50 million
dollar Park a brand new bus bay that’s actually going to be built also the new
regional railway connection at Union Station that’s actually being done as a
result of the the you know the I meant initiative that we actually negotiated
with respect to this particular company so I would submit to you that that is
significant community benefits and I want to go through all the
programs that we’ve actually been involved with but these are extremely
significant we will have a brand new spanking bus Bay at Bay Street we will
have a new 50 million dollar Park and the regional rail connection I think
that’s actually important we in the City of Toronto offer very limited incentives
for people to come and actually invest here when we compare to American cities
who are offering land I was just with Greenland the CEO of Greenland who came
in from China last week we had a meeting they talked about lands that were given
to them in Brooklyn next to the Brooklyn facility that houses the Brooklyn
basketball team we would never do that here in the city of Toronto in terms of
creating that opportunity and so on we don’t provide a lot of the tax
incentives and so on for businesses to actually invest here we rely on our
educated population we rely on the talent we rely on diversity we rely on a
lot of things here to to create opportunities and so on I think it’s
important for and I know that councillor Davis mentioned the the but-for aspect
our CFO CFO has actually been consulted is in support the consultants who’s
written as reported are in are in agreement with this and so on so the tax
breaks that we do provide and yes it’s a deferral more than anything else quite
frankly because over time we do generate significant tax benefits as a result of
these particular investments we’ve seen situation where companies wanted to move
from Toronto to other areas in the GTA because it was for their purposes more
efficient and more applicable to their benefits and so on as a result of the
teks we’ve been able to keep them here in sweats a good program yep I get you
to set two seconds over it’s a good program it’s something that we are going
to continue to strive to to to to to modify for the best results thank you
thank you okay you’re moving adoption counselor very good we could move that
adoption if we had quorum two four five we have Mary Margaret man
we need one more sadly we can’t deputy deputize some of our visiting counselors
counselor ain’t who’s proffered this around by law I think is still here
haven’t seen past your neck in a while I don’t think Cesar’s coming
three you need one more excuse me maybe I could do a quick release when we get
quantum Ida you trying this is the one the one that you and I’ve been working
on well together I don’t think chorim’s gonna help you on
that just thought I’d try with members of the executive committee
please come to commit it in 1/4 quorum hello alrighty although councillor
Barlow thank you I see so we have councillor D adoption of the report all
those in favor opposed that’s carried let’s move on shall we
okay councillor McMahon very much so I had
someone have a quick release with emotion with 4:30 point 11 is that the
police station yes so I have I’m I would like to hold that are you gonna have all
been fair enough so just as in the interest of being
respectful of every counselor if any councillor want to hold an item for any
particular reason I the the practice of this committee and any Standing
Committee is to recognize the the privilege of that council councillor
anyone anything else it’s the police station
because we’re gonna move on to seven unless there are any other items there’s
one speaker and I think we can do that one quickly financial impacts resulting
from high water levels in waterfront parkland we have one deputy mr. William
mr. bill Beasley mr. Beasley welcome well that’s that’s one of the things I’m
gonna bring in here but I like to thank you for allowing me to speak at the
regarding the impact of flooding on the Toronto Islands I initially registered
to speak in opposition to some of the wording contained in recommendation 2
regarding the treatment of insurance proceeds but I’ve since spoken to Park
staff and had clarification on their position so now I support the report and
recommendations I decided I would like to speak to you about four issues
related to the to South 2017 flooding not contained in the report but first I
would like to ask why the mayor and city council are not taking to task the
International Joint Commission Board who regulate the lake levels and implemented
plan 2014 that increased winter lake levels by one foot I believe this plan
2014 is responsible for the property damage and revenue loss experience due
to the 2017 flood and that this plan is still in place and I fear will
contribute to 2018 high water levels so the four issues I’d like to discuss that
aren’t included in the report is won the 2007 flood and its impact on our company
our license extension request to parks forestry recreation as it relates to the
flood the sale of our carousel as it relates to the flood and our Halifax
very purchased as it relates to our agreement and the flood yes sir well can
you all a second I’m gonna hold your time and I need council direction
because those sorry I get a bit of I’ll give you credit for that so usually
we deal with only what’s before us and the gentleman has wanted to kind of go
outside the ambit of what’s within the report and talk about other things I’m
just one he pardon me my feeling would be if I were to rule on
this I would say it’s out of order because it’s not within the report I
don’t want to spend a lot of time on this if the committee wants to do that
hear him oh please I’d like he’s talking about the flooding
on the island and the impact impact in the cause of the that’s fine I’m just
I’m I’m looking for your iam something wrong with him trying to bring those
matters here no you have another minute and a half sir thank you I’m so I’m told
by city staff that our family business is the largest single tenant and partner
of the parks forestry and Recreation Department and has been for more than 50
years we have three templates unten license agreements that includes
Centreville to restaurants 20 snack bars catering rights and on the Toronto
Islands and a waterborne transportation service to and from the island this past
May the city ordered us to close our operations for the majority of our
season throwing over 350 staff out of work we lost over eight million dollars
in sales and now project an operating loss of over two million dollars
we need this hundred percent rent abatement of our license fee wreck as
recommended but we require more assistance from the city I’ve asked for
license extensions I’ve asked Janey romoff and the mayor last July to grant
us the additional 10-year extensions to our three license agreements so that we
can secure bank financing for the continued operation and continued
investment in our facilities on the island
these council approved extensions require only the general managers
approval have no negative financial impact to the city and actually increase
our license fees payable annually throughout the term I asked you to
please suggest to the parks general manager that she extend all three
license agreements immediately with regards to the senator Valera cell we
were forced to look for an immediate funding this summer due to the island
forest closure and found an American purchaser for our antique carousel being
mayor of Carmel Indiana in response to public pressure and councillor
Fletcher’s adopted members motion last October to negotiate an agreement to
keep the carousel in Centreville we abandoned the sale to Carmel ask you to
finish I’ve given you more time even okay well I have I have a number of
issues and I thought that maybe I could address them at this at this meeting but
I just would like to say that I do support the research it’s not really
we’ve everyone’s down to three minutes and I can’t I can’t give you anything
more than it would be unfair okay just I just like to thank you sir thank you sir
recap that I thank you sir all right okay questions any questions from
visiting councilors no any questions from members of the committee counselor
I’ll just councillor Thompson and councilor shiner thank you very much mr.
deputy mayor through you mr. Beasley you were about to give us an overview as to
some of the challenges that you’re experiencing and so on and you’re about
to ask for some specific things what are those well one that our three license
agreements are extended for the additional ten years that was approved
by City Council in 2013 that’s one number two I would like the City Council
or Executive Committee to ask the the parks forestry and Recreation Department
to negotiate in good faith the Carousel to be staying in the City of Toronto I
want to keep it here and it sounds like most people want to keep it here so
let’s negotiate in good faith to keep it here and what’s the Carousel worth
what’s the value the value the the the deal we had was 3.2 million Canadian
okay u.s. that was Canadian sorry I missed that part okay you had said
earlier that the water levels were I sort of missed that
you said that we should be very concerned because there’s an
international organization who had missed the mark if you will you know
there’s a there’s a board that’s that’s I’d say made up of Canadian and American
people and they controlled the lake levels okay
so they changed the plan from what it used to be 1978 plan that never let the
lake flood to a 2014 plan that basically put a we’re in the Moses Saunders dam
right down a Cornwall that raised the lake level a foot okay how long have you
been in business on the island 51 years now the one years right and you said you
employ about 350 people a lot of them young people yes they probably primarily
are their first jobs for the most part yeah from the GTA yes right okay and in
terms of community benefits it’s a big issue around here what community
benefits have you offered to the community as a result of being there for
51 years yeah we well part of our agreement with
the city is we offer 3,000 passes to the to the city to be used to with community
groups and with with camp city camps we have free days we have discounts
going on all the time and we we supply services to over a million people a year
okay okay anything else you’d like to say sir the
flooding is severely damaged our company and we need your help okay thank you
what documentation do you have to help us acknowledge that the change in the
weir is what’s created the flooding problem as I know all the Great Lakes
had low water levels and there were many claims and concerns made from Georgian
Bay and make Erie and here on that nature seems to have fixed and actually
raised them substantially well you know by in some case I think up to a meter so
with the exception of your thinking it is there something that you have or that
you can send to us that shows that the impact that we have experienced is due
to man-made issues the only information I can give you is that in January of
2017 the lake was 14 inches higher than it had ever been at that point we did
have lots of rain we didn’t have more than ever before we didn’t have a lot of
snowmelt so it just stands to reason that if the water is 14 inches higher
when there’s a lot of water coming in it can’t wash it out down the st. Lawrence
so again today were 14 inches higher than we were two years ago and I suggest
that they were gonna have high water levels again this year coming up and
nobody is taking the ijc to task and you believe that the water level could be
lowered further now before the spring season that’s correct
thank you any further question yeah councillor Burnside just three but this
10-year extension you’re talking about you said it was approved in 2013 yes our
agreement was a ten-year plus 10 year and the extra 10 year was on was was the
council granted the general manager of Parks Recreation the authority to give
us that 10-year extension all of the financial details are in there all the
investments are in there all of so that was granted by council in 2013
yes okay and obviously that hasn’t been acted upon or executed when what would
the extension period be it would be an additional ten years now yeah but
starting when sorry starting went in in five years from now
so twenty twenty three three yes now we have received one of the three okay
thank you thanks further questions seeing none thank you very much sir
thank you questions take questions of staff any
visiting councillors seeing then we’ll take it into committee questions
question staff the other so I’m just gonna give you gift some advice to
members of the committee because I actually have talked to our general
manager of Parks and Recreation Recreation she’s any matters with regard
to commercial matters relating to this particular company the general manager
sees is seized of these issues if you ask any type of material questions she
will tell us that we need to go into camera okay a councillor Thompson thank
you very much mr. deputy mayor I will try to ask questions that will not take
us into camera I don’t want to go there to be honest with you but through you
just to the general manager could you give us I guess an assessment and
overview in terms of where things are and and and
what your thoughts are in terms of timing and so on so through you mr.
deputy merit timing insofar as the negotiations at the DEP attend so as as
the deputy as mr. Beasley’s noted we certainly are in negotiation with him on
all of the items that he noted in the deputation these discussions will
continue we hope to be resolved over the next few months I think the report
before you today does give authority for us to abate the rental income from last
summer which is what your step approximately a million dollars and the
other items will be negotiated as part of the terms of the contracts that that
we already have with mr. Beasley and there’s no necessity
there’s no necessity for us to provide you with any directions you have ample
directions in terms of we certainly have the contracts that were approved by
counsel at the time of the RFP and we’re you know within those if we need any
further authorities around any of those things we’ll certainly come back to
executive committee and then to Council I hope this hasn’t taken us into camera
but I’d heard something about a ferry service is that mr. Beasley as noted I’m
not sure me at a time to talk about it but he is he is he has procured one boat
which is towards one of the restaurants I believe is just to the west of the
center Island dogs so we are under discussions with those as well and
around how they relate to the contract that we have with him
so authority would have to be given nor can anyone buy a boat and actually
provide the services these are the things that we’re negotiating all right
thank you those are my questions thank you anyone else no speak up sorry I
didn’t see you there did you have questions counselor carry on so of the
manager of Parks and Recreation was taking that you’re not an expert on lake
water levels but there’s issues raised as to how they might or why they might
have been increased and knowing that we’ve had substantial impact and so have
other municipalities as the issue of the man-made alterations to the water levels
of the lake been considered at all by staff disgust anywhere I’m gonna ask
through you mr. deputy our mr. Evans to respond through use mr. deputy mayor the
International Joint Commission that regulates the water levels has taken a
very hard look at this this matter because it has affected every
municipality and every property owner along the entire shoreline of Lake
Ontario however those are negotiations that are outside and apart from the work
that we do they are of course international negotiations but the other
thing that is important to remember is that is that Lake Ontario is a very
large body of water it’s upstream in order to provide an increase in the flow
you have to significantly increase the flow in the st. Lawrence and that has a
very substantial impact on Quebec so so there are a number of calculations would
be available that would show that that any drawdown of water has a fairly
significant impact downstream and and Quebec was already I believe fairly
substantially affected by that flooding downstream so that was my next question
that the city manager was the area’s downstream impact that as hard as we
were upstream here I think likely more so and I think that the the arithmetic
of the large basin would be to be drawn to draw down into a material effect on
that would require fairly substantial changes in terms of the the outflow of
the st. Lawrence so it’s really a much greater issue as to all the Great Lakes
the increased water level in them all and us being impacted as others were
along all the Great Lakes management change regime but also a combination of
a very substantial amounts of water and you can’t get out of them get rid of the
water to the extent you can actually get rid of the water you can’t get rid of it
without significantly increases than increasing the downstream flows thank
you thank you very much and so I just like
to say I know we all have a soft spot in their hearts for for santaville it’s one
quite a unique amusement park it’s been there forever and and not too many
cities have well an island beautiful island but an amusement park from the
island it’s like taking a step back into time so we really appreciate all that
the Beasley family has done to keep that alive but it’s it’s my understanding
that parks staff is working closely with the Beasley’s as with all the businesses
we have to think of all the businesses on the island and the other businesses
along the lakefront who have been affected by the flooding last year which
was very unfortunate in the beach we didn’t have a beach for for most of the
summer either so so I’m thrilled that Park staff is working with everyone you
read in the report a million dollars in abatement and we’re doing extensive
extensive remediation measures all along the shoreline and and on the island and
and plenty to go forward we really can’t fully assess the extent of the damage
until we get rid of this cold weather and and into the summer months I think
to see what the state of the roads would say the shoreline really is like and and
the boardwalk so there will be more much more remediation coming just know that
we all love our unique access to the lake the island everything wanted
including a beautiful Centreville thanks thank you
I’ve emotion I’m living on behalf of councillor Crawford and he would like to
amend recommendation number two the two underlined points and other waterfront
park lands and specifically has to deal with the bluffer part bluffers Park area
in his word that has a number of businesses that were impacted by the
high water levels nobody’s made a claim to date but he he would like to insert
that in in case any of the businesses and his
ward do decide to make a claim thank you thank you so I’m going to obviously
support the recommendations that are here so moving this item there’s no
doubt that the water issue on the island was very impactful on a number of fronts
for a lot of young children in this city they were not able to go to Center
Island and enjoy the things that we’ve all taken for granted I think probably
about forty five years ago I actually went there for the very first time and I
can tell you I still feel the same way when I go there today the memory that it
brings back I’m hopeful that beasley entertainment in the city can arrive at
an agreement that allows the beasley entertainment to continue their
operation on the island the jobs that they have created for young people in
this city has just been absolutely amazing the family has contributed
greatly to the betterment of the city and the enjoyment of the city they have
contributed to young people getting free passes around the city involvement in
the camps and so on often we have issues when we’re not able to parties not able
to come to agreement and sometimes there’s a need for a third party to be
involved and so on I’m hopeful that the general manager of Parks and Recreation
and the team and the beasley teams can come to a resolution show that
Centreville as we know it for the young children who have no ideas or concept
about the legalese nor should they at the ages that they want to come and
enjoy the center island with their families and so on that that can
continue and that the city we’ll work with but beasley
entertainment to ensure that they’re up and running it’s a good quality company
it’s a good organization that provides amazing entertainment to visitors as
well as residents here in Toronto I don’t know any young person in this city
where this hasn’t been a rite of passage for them in terms of going to center
island riding on the ducks or the train or the variety of things that you have
there I can think of the amazingly sunny days when being there with my own
children now they enjoyed the entertainment there and so on so this is
an institution here in the city I’m hopeful that both sides and both parties
can agree on the the the first of all the extension I’d like to see that
secondly on the terms with respect to what is needed in order to move forward
with the operation and so on clearly the undertaking will be done by
the general manager of Parks and Recreation and her records enforcing on
her team and I’m hoping that all parties can come to the agreement for the
betterment of the children and the visitors of the city any further
speakers okay I’ll just briefly speak I’m gonna support the report all the
nice stories about the island great I will tell you however this idea about us
in any way subsidizing or buying a ferris wheel is not on for this
councillor sorry the carousel ferris wheel carousel it’s the same it’s it’s
this it’s the same exact thing no we’re never never not one of my constituents
has ever said you know what we need we need to spend millions of dollars on a
carrot on a merry-go-round where you know go we’re going to spend millions of
dollars on the Mara Graham this is simply not on for this councillor my
right you know it is this is this is this
is a symptom of a disease in this place that we spend money on things that we
absolutely don’t need and I will this counsellor were never support that so I
didn’t make a motion counselor go ahead I was equally I was equally I was
equally I equally objected to that as well or a gas plant in Oakville I think
that’s another election good could I speak or consultants to delete computers
could I speak point of order or point of order please
councillor shiner so yeah you can there you go thank you so in light of some of
the comments that have been made carousels are a different issue Ferris
wheels are a different issue their work in some cities carousels are our issue I
think that they are great ideas and would never want to lose the carousel
that’s there although I would question purchasing it but I can’t don’t think
that one member of council can speak to all as to what we might want to do to
save it I will tell you in my 27 years of experience there are many days and
many meetings that I’ve gone to or actually feel like I’m on a carousel
because the issues just seem to be going around and around and around and around
but today I’m more than happy to support the recommendations that are found in
front of us and hope that we can help protect the island and those people that
make it a great place to visit and thank you
and I will tell you that staff said that there has to be report back because we
don’t know that you know the financial implications of this all those in favor
opposed that’s carried items amended all those in favor
opposed that’s carry and I just went up to open the to launch
that wonderful Muslim fellowship program that’s gonna be happening here at City
Hall unfortunately they said our building was what was full and couldn’t
accommodate it so it had to be done at Queen’s Park that’s kind of strange so
that would bring us I believe to item X 30.8 old city hall future uses intended
options we have two deputies is Chris Drew here
sorry councillor Thompson oh okay I only had two noted but maybe my list there it
is I’m sorry you’re right right Oh George rest dies here very good
all right so mr. drew welcome I thank you for your patience and you have three
minutes thank you I’ll try to make this as quick
and quick as possible I know it’s been a long day for all of you around this
table and for city staff my name is Chris drew and I’m a Ward 28 resident
and I just want to enthusiastically support the staff recommendation for all
of the exciting potential for Old City Hall and so I hope that that report can
be adopted and we can move to the next phase one of the reasons why I was
seized with this and really excited to speak out about this issue is for the
specific reference in option three that the new Old City Hall can accommodate a
larger wedding venue and reception on June 17th 2017 it was one of my happiest
days of my life I got engaged I don’t have no idea why my fiancee said yes but
here I am I’m a lucky guy and so I’ve been thrust into the world of wedding
planning and it’s been a very interesting experience if you have any
advice you’re welcome to share it offline I don’t know that reference but
I’m gonna follow up with you later and I’m really happy to say that we found a
wonderful venue in Toronto after a lot of searching at the guild in and we’re
very excited to city-owned facility and it’s beautiful that being said it was a
very stressful experience to try and find a venue so I think that this option
allows for more choice in Toronto or wedding venues and I think Old City
Hall’s has some really unique characteristics which I think could be
at an advantage and I think also although this is located in the downtown
I think anyone in Toronto wherever you live can benefit and I my
fiance and I are a good example where we live in Ward 28 but our wedding will be
in Scarborough and we’re really excited about that I think the other unique
thing about Old City Hall is that it has excellent transit access and I think
that’s really helpful when you’re planning a wedding to give your guests
as many choices as possible especially to get home safely after consuming
drinks and so I think it’ll be a really great venue and I’m really excited that
it’s that it’s a potential so I just want to again enthusiastically say that
I’m in favor of option 3 which is the staff recommendation and I’ve I think
there’s many advantages to considering Old City Hall as a wedding venue not
just for the ceremony part which city hall here right now does but also for
the reception part as well it can be pretty tough to find reception venues
because dates as I’ve learned fill up very quickly and I apologize I don’t
think I’m gonna be able to invite all of you to the wedding
I’ve been told by my fiance that and sometimes a little too generous in
distributing the invites but councillor Ainsley will be
representing City Council and we look forward to having him and the other
exciting thing about the guild in is it’s very close to the Eglinton East LRT
route and I look forward to seeing that constructed as well thank you very much
thank you very much sir any questions of the deputy well thank you very much for
your patience and for being here today and good luck with your impending
wedding next we had Brian Graf please Brian is not here Brian Graf okay George
rest I welcome Thank You mr. no stranger to these parts
not at all three minutes thank you thank you well I was notified by Callister
Thompson that this item was going to be on today’s agenda Chancellor Thompson
was knowledgeable of my background and trial history I was rememberin chair of
the Toronto historical board for many many years I prosecuted in on behalf of
Metro in every courtroom in the old city hall it’s my favorite building professor
Eric Arthur has called it the most beautiful and one of the most beloved
buildings in the city I am here today simply to lend my total support very
strong support to the recommendations before this committee particularly
recommendation number one I think that and I’ve always thought that the Old
City Hall would be the ideal civic museum for the City of Toronto and that
the City of Toronto needs a museum of the city in 1986 I was appointed by the
Toronto historical board to chair a test for us on on the civic museum called the
Civic Museum task force we reported back in 1986 and I would strongly urge the
city to review that report and to to follow its recommendations with respect
to location and criteria for the establishment of the museum and I’ve
been advised by the south that the city has my 1986 report and the consultants
reports that went along with it I think it’s I think it will be a credit to the
city if it if it proceeds with this plan and I’m happy to offer my assistance in
any way I can and I’m looking forward to the fact that hopefully the museum will
store about 2,400 books on the city of Toronto which which which I’ve collected
over the last four years Thank You mr. mayor and I’ll be happy to answer any
questions that’s so nice to have here and thank
you for your comments are there any questions of mr. Estee yeah councillor
Thompson sorry I was out of the room mr. Estee so your supportive of the report
that’s in front of us Oh totally yesterday you have a history
with not only with the city but that particular building can you give us a
bit of an overview on that yes I worked in it for many years I had an office
actually when I prosecuted liquor court on behalf of Metro Toronto I had an
office at the old city hall I’ve prosecuted mainly things like bylaw
offenses involving body rub parlors and adult entertainment parlors both of
which bylaws I drafted in the courtrooms of the Old City Hall and when I was
sitting around doing nothing which was a lot of the time in the Old City Hall I
marveled and marvel that and loved the architecture of the city the beautiful
deck or the McCausland stained glass the the hallways and and the and the floors
it’s a wonderful building on the city is very fortunate to have it preserved and
also the city is very good to have restored the gargoyles to restored the
to clean off the building I’m responsible for one small change here
two small changes to the old city hall if you go to the front hallway you’ll
see at the at the base of the steps on each side of the old city hall there are
about eight-foot metal grow tests or gargoyles these are in the Old City Hall
originally they were sold off and I found them at a flea market and in
southwestern Ontario and I bought them and I brought them back and gave them to
the city and they’ve been reinstalled so I’m I’m always happy when I understood
Hall and now of course as a museum I’ll be able to take pictures in there and
won’t be searched when I go through the front door so I’m looking forward very
much to this recommendation being implemented and proceeded with this
arrest I just I’ve got a minute left are there any works that you have
perhaps could be helpful as part of a collection of items to be stored in this
building as it relates the Museum of Toronto are there any things that you
would have that you think would be a benefit you just told us about this you
know the gargoyles that you found but what else would you be able to offer
well through you mr. mayor I I have collected books and various things
relating to the City of Toronto over the last 45 years starting with when I
prosecuted in the courts in Metro yes my book collection which is an entirely
books on Toronto which I have as I mentioned over 2400 and I’m collecting
them on a on a continual basis I’m hoping it’ll be much larger by the by
the time the Museum of Toronto opens I have a number of other relics and
antiquarian objects out of the old city and and once again I’ll return them all
to the the city itself thank you thanks counselor Thompson any other questions
of the deputies of this deputy in rather well thank you mr. West Diane we heard
you make your offer of help oh and and the books I heard that loud and clear a
donation of the books that was I didn’t hear that I heard a room for the book so
we take do note of that thank you very much
now the next step event we have that’s the last one I think it’s a matter of
fact I’ll call one more time for Brian Graf okay very good
then we’re quite time for questions for staff anybody from visiting from counsel
once asked question of staff okay otherwise councillor Thompson
yes mr. er through huge staff I realized we’re not there as yet the museum is not
going to be opening tomorrow next week or the day after and so on I’m just
wondering what is the mechanism and/or provision that will be put in place in
order to allow Torontonians and others who may have materials that
could be helpful as part of the the items to be placed in the museum and I
realize they’re on a rotation basis and so on mr. Rasta has indicated that
he has materials that could be of importance and the second part of the
question would be what are the criterias in terms of selecting items to be placed
in the Toronto Museum at such time when it was it’s opened so I’ll ask the
director of museums and heritage services are inseparable
answer both those questions while he’s coming to a microphone all answer the
first one ask any person to get in touch with Wayne Ruiz or myself and we’ll sort
out the acquisition of relevant historical artifacts including books
it’s a very generous offer he just made and Larry will talk about the criteria
for the Museum of Toronto through the chair we currently regularly receive
offers of donations of artifacts and items of various types and so there is a
process in place through which we evaluate them and if they’re considered
appropriate we access them access them into the work session them rather into
the city collection my assumption is that it would be the same type of
process in the case of the Museum of Toronto that would most likely clearly
have to be a close association with a significant aspect of the history of the
city or of persons places and events associated with the city and it’s my
assumption that the museum would greet offers of donations of specific
significant items quite enthusiastically and will you have something online in
order to allow the residents to be able to either
I understand mr. Williams mentioned Wayne Reeves but will there be
additional information that would be available to the public at such time
when we are ready to accept donations through the chair I think councillor
that’s an excellent suggestion we could in the event that a museum were to open
make a public call to see if the public members of the public had items of
interest which could be important parts of a collection of Museum of Toronto
thank you those are all my questions if you can stir Thompson other questions of
staff council sir deputy mayor by allowing Thank You mayor I just want to
make sure I don’t have to move a motion that I understand that the possible
partnership with University is still a possibility in
this place is that correct through the chair that
is correct okay so I mean I for me talking about a museum or a library
given that for example our Urban Studies library of Metro Hall was closed down
that if we’re talking about a place that is a Museum of Toronto talks about we’re
coming from it would make sense to have a library that is not only about the
books but it’s about where the city is going forward so a partnership with a
university that it’s about urban studies about the libraries about where the city
is going that creates the dialogue that creates a discussion would be an
important space is that still a possibilities that’s still at the table
or do you need me to move a motion in order for you to explore things like
that in this space between the library and the museum through you mr. mayor
yeah yes that’s correct it’s still an opportunity you have it
you’re going yes absolutely thank you thank you deputy mayor bio council
Scheiner Thank You Maya Tori so through you to our staff one of the
recommendations is to consider moving the library from City Hall over to Old
City Hall but the space would increase to 25,000 square feet
currently libraries are running around 10,000 square feet maybe 15 if I’m
correct so I think one of the requests there is to have a number of community
rooms or other rooms available then could we also look instead of those
rooms being charged to the library where it would fall under their budget and
their expense to maintain and will be booked to them to having those under
another authority within the same building where they could be used for
many other events including staff meetings at City Hall because you’re
often short space or others and if you can do that do I have to ask you to do
that through way of emotion or would you do that when you report back
are you mr. mayor as the report details I think
as part of the 25,000 square feet that are that’s currently allocated to the
library 7500 of those square feet are for flexible space I think it’s fair to
say and I’m looking at the library that there would be flexibility there in
terms of us programming differently and looking at that flexible space
differently in the context of the overall programming of the facility I
don’t think that emotion would be required for us to do that and I think
we’ll consider that moving forward as we move on to the next phase of programming
so then why 17,500 square feet 7,500 square feet would be the public buts
that leaves 17,500 square feet for library use I don’t know of other
libraries without their meeting rooms that are of that size 3 mr. mayor I can
respond to that mobile-sierra director of branch operations with Toronto Public
Library we do have branches of multiple sizes our smaller neighborhood branches
the standard is 10 to 20,000 square feet district branches are 25,000 plus square
feet and we’re looking at this location as a large neighborhood at the top end
of a neighborhood branch or potentially at the at the bottom end of a district
branch fort York just to give you an example was 16,000 square feet when we
opened it it was already under sized we found that the usage was well beyond
what we actually expected we’re expecting much the same at this location
and also to respond we were more than happy to partner with the museum in fact
it’s a it’s a it’s a perfect fit and we’d be also happy to look at the
donated books as well ok and then in things that you might display in the
library sre in the building of Toronto’s heritage you’re not going to consider
putting any old statues of old members of council in there because the dream of
Howard Moscow always comes to my favor here are you well let the museum display
artifacts thank you Thank You councillor shiner it got sir Ainsley for questions
thank you I did I did want to ask about in the in the report it says the
non-usable area of is two hundred and thirty seven thousand square feet and
what that and what that’s comprised of yes through you mr. mayor so based on
the the building and its attributes there’s there’s unrest base as included
in the overall square footage and that’s based on the attributes of the building
and its history so you know very wide hallways and and those types of things
okay and that includes I guess the basement and there’s an attic area there
yes indeed so there is a basement area which isn’t included in the square
footage as well as attic space which totals about thirty thousand square feet
which is quite quite beautiful okay but it’s it’s not usable for anything in
terms of a museum or storage so the the attic area we are considering what
future uses we could put in in that space that 30,000 square foot space and
and we believe that we can utilize that space okay and then when it comes to the
courtyard so there’s gonna be some infill in the courtyard and how many is
that one floor yes so the idea would be to cover the courtyard with a glass roof
which would allow for programming in the courtyard for events and and weddings
other other other events you’re not putting a floor like an enclosed floor
area to increase the square footage of the building you’re putting putting a
glass roof over the courtyard so that’ll make that usable space because it’s
covered correct and there would be a mezzanine constructed as part of that
space in the I’ll say in the donut area in the in the center part which is
currently a parking lot okay all right thank you and while I have you so the
Toronto Public Library’s got a hundred branches the one downstairs where is it
ranked in terms of usage it’s currently sitting at the top of the quartile
within the eighty one neighborhood branch
it’s open 40 hours a week and even with 40 hours a week it’s actually operating
well above what the others are so it’s sitting 13th below 12 other branches
that are actually open 62 to 65 hours we have 200,000 visits annually that’s that
that’s the average in about 300,000 circulations and we anticipate with the
new location those numbers would definitely go up okay and just my last
question Meritor e somos I was remember coming down here when I was a kid to
City Hall and I seemed you know things are always much bigger when you’re a kid
but I thought the library was much bigger it absolutely was it was
approximately 20,000 square feet over the years it has been reduced and it was
I believe in 1997 that we went from finally 11,000 square feet to the
current 5,000 square feet so we’re hoping to get back up to the previous
size so you’ve gone from 22 to 5,000 okay all right Thank You Mara Torey
thank you XCOM fluency any other questions of
staff on this item okay then that means we’re ready to go to speakers and I have
no list at the moment but may I start with members of the council that are
councillor Carol today was that your hand up or were you just waving or okay
councillor Carol yes I I love the report that we’ve come a long
way there there was a point in time mr. Williams will remember at which we knew
we needed a museum we don’t actually need to solicit for people to please
donate things to go in the museum because we have a massive collection
with no place to be seen right this very minute and so we don’t need to worry
about that although as soon as we say we are building a museum I dare say
there’ll be plenty of contributions coming forward but there was a point at
which we were desperate for where would you put a museum where should all these
things be we were even talking about building a restaurant in a museum on top
of harbor front grain silos we had crazy ideas the fact that an asset right here
in the middle of town where tourists would actually want to go to it we’re
students who might be be studying urban man
sniffing sand urban design and planning would be nearby this all makes perfect
sense I’m I’m heartened by the the expertise
that helped in the study that we that we had mass helping to facilitate the the
consultations one of the most forward-thinking in town that we have
Lord who is is I think we sometimes take Lourdes cultural services for granted
that and don’t realize their international reputation which means
that initially people will think we’re taking a go big or go home approach to
this I would simply say carry on carry on making a go big or go home no here’s
the downside and to me what that means is by the time we finish doing what
should be an international design competition you may find you don’t want
a library in here a museum as a museum as the museum sometimes nowadays museums
are highly interactive things highly engaging things not just static glass
cases they need movement they need architectural magnificence and so I
would I would just caution – well we should be going ahead with this well we
should adopt the financial impacts of continuing the envisioning process that
we should not as council designate ourselves architects and designers and
begin to lock down what must happen in that building because if you if we if we
want on the city side to have something that that is ours but is in the same
magnitude of an a geo or a ROM let’s not tie the hands of those that can can help
us get to what could be a truly magnificent thing and truly attributable
to the city because it sits right beside this architectural gem that we already
take for granted right here I think this is a this is a perfect happy ending to
what started out as a pretty comical exercise about museums and one thing I
know from the early work that I did during the first four years of looking
at that panel that included David crombie Sam voltaic cetera that that
group is that there is plenty of passion for this amongst your
residents all over town in surprising quarters all over town this is something
that Torontonians truly do want Thank You those are my comments mr. mayor
thanks counselor Carol either others wishing to speak geothermic land its
County after that sorry thanks and I’ll just echo councillor Carroll’s words
there I think this is a fantastic opportunity it’s a well loved building
and iconic right in the midst of downtown and people are super keen on a
museum and and also that we should think outside the box for for into a more
interactive styles of museums in Dublin they have a museum called the epic
immigration museum it’s probably one of the most interactive it’s an immersive
interactive museum probably the most interactive I’ve ever seen and so we
wanted you know to engage everyone we want to do things like that and I’m
looking forward to hearing what we’re going to do if the lot should the
library move over there what we will do with the library space in this building
because I think that part of that is a perfect opportunity for my City Hall
store thank you Thank You councillor McMahon councillor Ainsley oh yes thank
you Mary Tori I do have a motion that I would like to move if I could have it
put up on the screen it’s basically City Council direct the
deputy city manager internal corporate services to consult with the Art Gallery
of Ontario Royal Ontario Museum the National Gallery of Canada Canadian
Museum of History to identify best practices to make optimal use of all of
the available space for new City of Toronto museum within Old City Hall I’ve
about a year and a half ago as the chair of the government management committee
and our facilities and real estate staff came to the committee with a report
about retail opportunities in Old City Hall and my initial reaction is I was
quite taken back as somebody who studied municipal politics in Toronto and in
Canadian history that we would take something like Old City Hall and and
play retail space into it and one of the things through the number of people that
came to me there’s a quote from Mayor John Shaw who opened Old City Hall in
1899 and it’s a great building symbolize the people’s needs people’s deeds and
aspirations we’re no such monuments or to be found the mental and moral
nature’s of the people have not been among the facilities of the beasts and
that’s the mayor that opened that bill Old City Hall in 1899 and then you know
I think this has been a long time coming I heard loud and clear when I was chair
of the government management a year and a half ago that we needed a museum I
think this is a very appropriate space we have two repositories for a lot of
our archives and material there’s one up near Casa Loma there’s I think hundreds
of thousands of boxes of material in it we have another one down on
commissioners Street you can think Raiders of the Lost Ark we at the end
where they will the big case into the warehouse that goes on forever well I’ll
think of Commissioners Street like that but there’s no cases it’s full of
material and artifacts that don’t fit in a box and are being stored there that’s
our history I think we have a lot of history in this city and I think that we
need the best experts to tell us how to use it how to put it in that building
have people continually coming so we get the best bang for our buck and the best
use of that space I like the idea of a library as I said I remembered a library
in this building much bigger than when I was a kid it turns out it’s only a
quarter of the size it’s the thirteenth most used branch out of the hundred
branches that we have in the city today the population in the downtown core is
growing I think we need to look at that option for one of our branches but first
and foremost I think the first priority needs to have a be a City of Toronto
Museum and I think Old City Hall is an excellent place for it thank you
all right other speakers on this matter old city
hall okay we have no motions correct madam clerk oh there is a motion
oh yes I saw right of course let’s then put that motion up and we’ll deal with
it there it is so we’ll call the question on counselor
means these motion all those in favor pose carry and then we have the most of
the matter of the item as amended all those in favor proposed carry I I didn’t
speak in the interest of time but I just thank our staff for a great work I think
this is moving forward something that’s very very exciting and respectful of the
heritage of this building and lots more to be done obviously okay so we have the
sidewalk Toronto e.x 30.9 and we have three three deputies and the first is
Bianca Wiley co-founder tech reset Canada thank you for your immense
patience you’re most welcome here and you have three minutes okay thanks
everyone and thank you in particular to both councillor Minh and Wong forgetting
the staff report here we really need it and to Michael Noble on the waterfront
Secretariat for his commitment to publicizing this report my name is
Bianca Wylie I’m here on behalf of Tech reset Canada we have two requests
related to this project the first request is to ensure that the data and
data infrastructure of this project are the property of the City of Toronto and
its residents the second request is to make the sidewalk Toronto contract
public with the public monthly accounting for the 50 million dollars
the policies and the laws we have to manage this type of project are out of
date they are from a pre-internet era this is not a situation unique to
Toronto this is a global challenge big technology is ahead of our governance in
this situation where we don’t have policy we run the risk of
commercializing the delivery of our public service we haven’t had a
conversation in this city about if nevermind how we want to use this type
of tech so we’re in a vacuum we don’t have a smart city policy right now in
this vacuum big tech can show up with solutions to make markets in these times
of uncertainty we need strong leadership the city must protect the immense value
of our Civic data fifty million dollars is a rounding error in the conversation
about the value of our data we cannot undervalue this asset innovation is born
of openness as owners of data we retain the power to open our data under our
terms at that point true innovation can happen
on our terms that’s when broad and wide economic
development can take place data can be used for new business development public
service delivery social innovation academic research and more we must think
about this data infrastructure the way we think about critical physical
infrastructure it cannot be proprietary about the
contract it needs to be open let’s take a minute here to stop and reframe the
narrative on this project this is not an urban planning project it’s a technology
project as far as a technology project goes the biggest issue with this is not
privacy its governance this staff report shows what happens in a governance
vacuum it’s called scope creep if you’d like to
see page three of the staff report there are now pilot projects being recommended
for the City of Toronto proper we don’t have a contract with sidewalk labs to
manage those projects yes we have procurement but again it’s out of date
the 50 million dollars here is for R&D this consultation is not a consultation
its product development that deal is done we need to understand the terms of
this deal and the way this money is being spent we must protect our digital
infrastructure and data and the immense value of our public assets we can create
the conditions for the next steps of this deal as well as for an open and
transparent process we must we have one shot at it thank you
thank you miss Wylie questions of the deputy counselor Davis thank you very
much and for waiting for tonight so the 50 million dollars is going to be spent
on what in your what do you think it’s supposed to be being spent
I I don’t want to speculate but I’ll say this 50 million dollars for a
consultation you can’t fish I don’t even know how you would spend fifty million
dollars on a consultation so to me it’s a product development it’s an investment
in figuring out how to make some products in the course of this year
which is why we should understand how it’s being spent
because what are those products and how are they being made and there is a risk
of course then if they this data and these products are monetized that we
don’t have control over those things and I guess that’s what you’re talking about
when you talk about governance yes well correct um we need to be clear
about something here is that if we the city and our residents own this data we
can make a decision to open it but that’s our decision to make it’s not a
decision for a vendor or an investor to say that they will open data okay that’s
got to be something we have to think about this as critical public
infrastructure our data infrastructure is like our physical infrastructure so
one of the things that I’m struggling with is if you have these fixed
boundaries in which you’re going to pilot some new technologies how are you
going to contain those and not then now run the risk that you’ve opened the door
and of course there will be a desire to extend it as far as I understand that’s
already happened I’m here on a third page of the staff report there’s talk of
using pilot projects in the city of Toronto proper so outside of key side
and outside of the Eastern Waterfront it sounds like this is why we need to see
the contract now they will argue these are this is a
contract its proprietary information although you’d be surprised someone told
me in a meeting they’d be happy to release it but what would you say to
that it’s possible I mean I think given how high-level this contract sounds is
there really gonna be intellectual property that would be a commercial risk
in that contract I suppose it’s possible I also think it’s possible that there’s
not and the consultation that they’re speaking of you’re suggesting that 50
million is what that is what the 50 mm the consultations what the 50 million is
going towards but actually I think we understand that the 50 million is going
to developing a variety of intellectual property I think that’s what you’ve
called it as well yes okay thank you it’s another reason to have open data we
can understand the data that’s going into the use of an algorithm we’re in a
better shot I mean we got a better shot at understanding what’s going on it’s
not perfect Thank You councillor Davis questions of the deputy all right well
thank you very much was Wiley for being with us tonight
Jeffrey Stern Toronto Association of Community Organizations for reform now
acorn thank you welcome sir thank you three minutes
Thank You mayor and members of the executive committee on behalf of Toronto
acorns thousands of low to moderate income members I have some questions
about the proposed sidewalk Toronto development and how the city plans on
ensuring that the development is good for everyone in Toronto
sidewalk labs is spending a million dollars a week on their consultation
that’s a massive amount of money for a process that has only had one public
meeting in three months does the city know how and if this
million dollars a week is being spent another question is how the city is
going to ensure this digital neighborhood is going to affect
municipal workers how many good jobs will be replaced by robots doing the
driving garbage collection and so on is the local union QP 416 a part of the
consultation process yet another set of questions is who will own the data that
is collected how will the city insurance collected ethically what new models are
being developed by Google and they will then sell elsewhere how much money will
Google make from selling digital infrastructure developed the city should
understand this deeply before proceeding housing affordability that’s the first
issue acorn brought up at the November first consultation our questions are how
many units are going to be made affordable at what income level will
they be it made affordable and what size will the units be the city loves saying
waterfront for all well here’s our chance to see if the city is serious
about making the waterfront accessible to low and moderate income families we
have a housing crisis and by the looks of it Google is making money not off
real estate but data the city must understand the project and the company
we are dealing with and use it to leverage deep housing affordability in
Sidewalk Toronto lastly how is the city using this
opportunity to close the digital divide in the city what a sidewalk and Google
offering as a way to connect all low to moderate-income Canadians to the
high-speed Internet at affordable price thank you very much for your time Thank
You mr. stern are there any questions of this deputy seeing no no well thank you
very much for the fact that Schanke was tonight for your patience
finally a Michael Rosenberg hello mr. Rosenberg you know the procedure here
three minutes thank you very much [Music]
obviously in some sense people don’t know the scope of this but the initial
comments seem to relate that the only thing they sort of expressed as a
concern is data privacy so there seems to be some sort of assumption that this
is all about data but I was glad the previous deputy didn’t mentioned that it
could go much beyond that he talked about automation so obviously
in one sense they can basically propose anything they want so I would like to
just step back a bit from this and say the whole approach to wards sort of
seeing technology as some sort of part of the waterfront and beneficial has
been something that Waterfront Toronto has been doing all along in fact that’s
how I got involved in waterfront issues including all kinds of other
environmental assessments that had nothing to do with that the first reason
I turned up at any meeting related towards the waterfront was because
Waterfront Toronto was proposing something or the other along the lines
of innovation and technology and they’ve been proposing that increasing after
precinct it seems to be just that for some reason the people put in charge of
Waterfront Toronto we’re sort of from that culture and I think that that this
project is just sort of where you could expect them to
go next and I wished it city council and and and the other levels of government
that set up Waterfront Toronto would have given a little bit more thought
about who they wanted to put in in on the board and in senior management and
what directions they really wanted because it seems as if we get into these
situations and there’s many other examples in the City of Toronto that the
innovation office and all these things we just put these things in place and
then you know multiple years later they come out with something and we never
really thought about whether we wanted to put that much effort into technology
in the first place so I mean I’m glad that these things are now being
considered but I mean we also have to look at the economic impact of this for
example in other parts of the waterfront they’ve already basically said if you
want to move in you don’t just get your four walls you must buy an Internet
contract with the provider that they have provided well it’s not the
selection of provider I’m concerned about it’s the must have internet
they’re basically forcing people to pay about twenty thousand dollars over the
course of that contract which they would the person would otherwise have if they
had the option of no internet at all and it’s that it’s the lack of the ability
to opt out not just in terms of data but in terms of physical features such as
having internet or having whatever forms of automation they plan to put in is
there an ability to simply opt out and save the money what if I wanted twenty
thousand dollars more than I wanted internet that’s the option that’s being
taken away from us by these proposals that say oh if you buy in bulk and
everybody has it it’s cheaper well it’s not cheaper than not having it and I
guess you’d have to give them an option as well have to ask you to conclude on
that no mr. Rosenberg thank you questions of the deputy okay hearing
none oh thank you very much for your for your contribution thank you
that brings us to the end of the list of decadence and so we could move then to
questions of staff and we’ll start with councillor perks thank you very much mr.
mayor I don’t know who I’m asking questions of
I received a briefing from some staff at Waterfront Toronto and some a gentleman
from sidewalk and I asked if I could see the existing agreement and I was told no
our members of council not allowed to see this agreement is that correct mr.
mr. mayor we we to its staff have seen the document in confidence
it was relayed to us on the basis that it would be held in confidence and they
believe Waterfront Toronto represents that this contains commercial matters
and so you’d have to ask the lawyer about the propriety of us making a
request to City Council to them and whether or not that can be mandated in
any form in order to get today today I cannot see that contract would today we
have not presented that call to a contract – you know we have respected
the way it was distributed to us we’ve looked at it as staff and we’ve
expressed our concern about it not being public to attempt to them already but
they have said that there are commercial matters and therefore they don’t want to
release it publicly and so they provided a framework synopsis it’s attached as
attachment yeah and I don’t want to see the framework synopsis but no they have
not afforded us the opportunity to make that available to you publicly I’m not
even asking if I can see it publicly I’m asking if I can see a copy like go into
a little room as we do sometimes with our tender documents and have a copy of
it there and read it again I think you’d have to ask them to provide that
permission and we’d be more than happy if they were willing to do that Wow okay
thank you the councillor perks councillor Carolyn yeah following on
that line of questioning so I can understand if we’re if we’re at early
stages and we’re looking at something without prejudice but at what at what
juncture can we require it that that that that it that it has to be made
available to the rest of Council in camera or what
in order for them to be able to vote on proceeding well as I think mr. Libby’s
already said it’s probably a question to be asked to Waterfront Toronto no I’m
asking when you have a right to require it right well our relationship with them
is not the same as other city corporations and so there is no obvious
right you know in that sort of framework relationship that we have with them so I
mean we’ve been provided with it for the purposes of commenting on it and being
able to advise counsel but that’s as far as it’s gone at the moment so last
question are we a party to the contract no and and so we can take them through
the entire planning exercise without ever being a party to it who would be a
party to the thing that we heard the deputy concerns me about would it be a
federal authority that we’re talking about data ownership and and and those
sorts of things that that will exist in cyberspace where where would they go
where there is some sort of government requirement to know who who gets to know
the deal for people to live in an area where someone owns the the knowledge of
all their activities so to answer that question mr. mayor the the agreement
that we’ve seen is an agreement to agree it has its intentions it’s laid out some
intentions and some ideas about how to undertake the work necessary to
crystalize and what they call a master innovation and development plan that
would require us as the city staff provincial staff and federal staff to
have input in that and be able to provide a full and complete explanation
of that proposed plan and it would also require us to have Waterfront Toronto
complete a business implementation plan as we do on any of the precincts in the
waterfront so there will be on the next round transparency about what the nature
of the deal is recognizing that this feels the best that we’ve been able to
determine is a deal as an agreement to agree and we’re setting the table
for a future set of negotiations okay questions of staff counselor Davis what
pilot projects are currently underway currently met midst mayor there are no
pilot projects underway all their husband has some initial discussions
about potential candidates but again they would have to be crystallized and
through the the master master innovation and development plan so it is nothing
will be started initiated or approved until that Fred that that plan is
developed I’m mr. deputy city manager I met with
sidewalk labs and they told me and in fact the document I was provided says
that they are launching initial early pilots today in 2018 currently they have
no permissions from the city to do so and they will require our permissions
and the permissions of others to do so okay well then we are not waiting to see
the master innovation and development plan to see what the pilot projects are
they told me they are going to initiate within whatever well they’d had they’d
have to do separate one-off require separate one-off projects the word apart
would require inevitably the approval of both Waterfront Toronto and the city and
any other relevant agencies so for legal there is data then presumably if they
wire up this whole area and collect data about people’s movements and all kinds
of personal data and they say they’re going to protect it and they’ve hired an
outside consultant to do that and kabookie in what is still going to
protect the privacy interest of the residents in that neighborhood when
we’ve just seen that uber has had a breach and refused to be accountable to
us around that what accountability will there be to the people of Toronto and
through their governing body the city of for the data that’s collected well I
think the report that you have in front of you mentioned some of the overlying
statutes municipal Freedom of Information Act of the extent that the
city became involved and then the which is basically dealing with the use of
information by the private sector by private companies which I think would be
primarily what would be engaged can you back up to the extent that the city is
involved well what what the report is just pointing out that that if the city
somehow became involved in projects that are ongoing there if there was some kind
of interchange then obviously we’d have input into exactly that privacy and
breach issues in the legal agreement is that in the contract we can’t see well
I’m sort of limited in terms of what I can say about that so if there are if
what we have here is essentially a bunch of consultants being hired with fifty
million dollars to produce in this so-called testbed a series of things
that they are potentially going to use and then enter into an agreement what I
understand is all of that will be wrapped up and confirmed before it comes
to us in any way so how is it that there will be accountability to the city
around what is developed the monetization of these commercial
products that will come out of it how do we know that the procurement process
they’re using are fair and would meet the test that we would expect and who is
benefiting whom amongst the various related companies these are all
questions that I think we need to understand how are we going to get at
that information that was the last question it’s three times three is nine
I’m sorry I didn’t reset the clock but it’s gonna be
mr. mayor the answer to that question is that this Agreement that we have today
the framework agreement is an agreement to agree and the only document that will
crystallize the questions you have will be the master innovation development
plan that is the intended work for sidewalk lads with Waterfront Toronto
over the next year to be brought back through both us the promise and the feds
for approvals so you don’t have answers to the questions yet because we haven’t
seen nor have been made aware of the terms or conditions for that master
innovation plan in any way and we will be working closely with Waterfront
Toronto and will be reporting to you when it is in a form suitable for your
consideration okay we have other questions of staff or members of the
committee counsel Ainsley and council viola deputy mayor viola thank you mara
Torre for someone had asked about just some of the details about the
consultation process with the city and Waterfront Toronto and sidewalk labs and
a couple of places that lists the staff that are give me gonna be involved but I
didn’t see any reference to the chief information officer or the chief
transformation officer being involved through the chair they will absolutely
be involved okay but they’re not they’re not listed well we will have to engage
numerous divisions and agencies and it was just too long a list to include
everyone so we kept the list to what it is in the report but absolutely the
chief information officer will be involved
the chief transformation officer and and we’ve had many discussions in drafting
this report and we’ll be discussing a lot of these these issues just covered
into the report with Waterfront Toronto with sidewalk labs in the coming months
okay and then I I guess for the chief information
officer mr. Michael I just wanted to ask about so the the work with Waterfront
Toronto and sidewalk sidewalk labs so we have a digital infrastructure and a data
policy what are we what are we doing to make sure that we’re leading this and
it’s not a company coming in well making we’re making sure whatever is done in
this area will align with city policies correct through the chair
yes councillor we are engaged in some conversations and as part of those
conversations we will ensure alignment – as you mentioned digital infrastructure
and data policy so we’ll make sure that we include that in our in our
conversations okay and then I wanted ask the the waterfront Secretariat there’s
there was a number of references well a couple of references within the report
about advisory committees I understand that waterfront Toronto’s boards gonna
have a subcommittee but the amount of technology and data provisioned in terms
of privacy versus the data that could be sold is there gonna be an advisory group
of residents like who’s looking after who’s gonna be engaging residents on an
ongoing basis to make sure their rights are protected and they understand what’s
happening in their community through the mirror Waterfront Toronto we’ll be
setting up advisory an advisory group which will be made up of stakeholders
including citizens it will be representative and then they also have a
an elaborate strategy that they’re developing around the broader public
engagement and I would imagine that there’ll be quite a lot of engagement
not just in the waterfront but citywide okay so there’s so there’s basic tenants
around open data in terms of data collection it should be anonymous by
default this is very public area that people are using and the information is
going to be collected was a reference somewhere else about
open-source license on all public data and so that’s all going to be
encapsulated or by this Advisory Group that residents are going to be dealing
with well I think city staff will be involved throughout the process to make
sure that city policies around such such matters are addressed and that the
there’s adequate public consultation okay all right Thank You Mara Torrey
thanks Council easy deputy Morello yes I just want to make sure I understand this
correct what’s is telling us is that the framework agreement is basically just an
agreement to basically sit down at the table yes so the framework agreement
it’s attached at the end it basically sets out an intention to you agreed to
be at the table an intention to develop a master innovation and development plan
to crystallize what it is that they’re going to do and there’s a process and
steps that are included in that framework agreement over the next year
to arrive at that answer so all those concerns that councilor
Davis raised about data and privacy and all that will that be addressed in the
master innovation mr. mr. yes happen will anything happen will any of these
pilot projects will anything happen without that Master Agreement mr. mr.
Mehra the no the the master agreement will crystalize the relationship between
sidewalk Waterfront Toronto and the partners of the City of Toronto the
province of material and the federal government and if you look on the top of
page two in that first paragraph this does not find out that this framework
agreement does not financial Kermit finalized commercial terms conditions
government approvals representations warranties covenants or any other
provision it contains a few to the future documentation okay but you talk a
lot about that that doesn’t give him the right to develop
land but what about the data the information like how is that protected
like I know you talk a lot about here that did does eventually we will develop
the land eventually will control the land you cover that well that it’s the
Master Agreement what about any data any rights to any data even from the pilot
project that would be done for the master or currently Waterfront Toronto
sidewalk labs have to abide by all the rules and regulations stipulated by all
levels of government with respect to those issues no change if they make a
proposal to do something in terms of a project a pilot project a development
scheme whether it’s autonomous vehicles two types of host forms all those things
have to be crystallized through the master agreement and that will be
published that will come to her and that we will see it yes okay deputy mayor
admin and Wang I just want to go back to some of councillor perks questions I
just want to be crystal clear so if a councillor asks to see the framework
agreement the answer’s no mr. berry it’s a question of who are you asking Maddock
you thought the documentation sorry sorry let’s I’ll be more specific then
you have in your possession the framework agreement is that correct yes
I have so if a member of counsel asked to see it you could not show it to them
I’ve been asked I’ve been asked and I’m agreed with the representations have
been made by Waterfront Toronto to maintain it at the staff level yes and
our only way to get to actually look at this would be for Waterfront Toronto to
Waterfront Toronto and Google to agree for us to see the framework agreement I
believe that’s the correct answer yes right so the only thing we could
actually really do would be to ask Waterfront Toronto to to release to
release the agreement yes that would be their appropriate way of doing that I
see and and do you say this is just an agreement to agrees that what you said
is that yes that’s what I said mr. mayor so if it’s just sort of this harmless
agreement to agree why can’t we see it again there are
this fifty million dollar question there are some commercial terms about how that
money gets dispersed and at what time and I think that’s the kind of
commercial relationship that they’re they don’t want public at this time this
also this in the report it says that this has to do about two main pieces it
has to do with Atlantic key side and the Toronto Portland’s correct mr. mayor we
go to some pains in this report that you have our report to explain that this is
a this is a an agreement around key side it makes references to the eastern
waterfront and we’ve made great pains in the in this report and point out the
planning framework and other processes that we do to control development in the
Portland the Eastern Waterfront includes the Portland’s yes that’s correct
how many acres do we own there is it 500 oh yes about 500 acres mr. mayor so we
have a big interest in that absolutely those are kind of like the crown jewels
yes I think that’s been the thrust of our report so I’m just finally I’ve read
in The Globe and Mail that a representative of Google said that this
is primarily a real estate deal I saw that Oracle saw that quote thank you
except deputy memorandum on councilor shiner sorry first of all I might
correct the deals with sidewalk labs which is a company owned by Google but
it’s not with Google it’s a sidewalk labs is a company owned by alphabet has
Google so we’re dealing with whom here we’re not dealing with Google Comfort
the company SL risk is a sidewalk which is a subsidiary of alphabet right this
is sidewalk they were a real estate development company we’d have to ask
them to characterize the way they would describe themselves they I’m so it’s not
for me to describe them they are a company that is interested in these
urban issues that you have before you today and our involvement with this as
the city is the issue of the redevelopment lands and the way that
they can go about redevelopment not the issue of the
data information which we don’t control the collection of data in the city doing
mr. mayor there our involvement as a city pertains to all things in terms of
waterfront revitalization and you would not be just a physical development but
it would be the way that that development actually is both built and
operated we be very concerned about a whole raft of things including making
sure that the city’s policies on procurement open date etc are adhered to
and we would attempt to do that through the up the next round of negotiations
over the innovation so I’m trying to being some very clear words to a very
foggy issue how would you describe the agreement that Sidewalk labs has with
Waterfront Toronto after you’ve reviewed the agreement what the first second and
third steps are which you say there’s three steps in this well we do describe
the steps the next step is the work program so there’s to be a work progress
one is what’s the agreement about in general well it’s like I say it’s an
agreement to agree on how to take key side and develop some innovative urban
solutions that would involve both mobility built form Road pattern what
solid wastes a variety of things that human population meets and and Azhar’s
on a daily basis and necessarily it talks very directly about using the
their capacity to collect data to inform those services that would be provided
it’s very big it’s very rhetorical and it’s not precise in any way to give
anybody certainty as to exactly how that will all unfold because that agreement
has not been crafted yet and the next two steps in so any of that still a
subject to a further review by Waterfront Toronto as to the next steps
the first phase is to ascertain what they’re going to do and how they’re
going to go about it that’s that would be correct mr. maryk and our involvement
the matter of the planning issues and jurisdictions that we have plotting is
important important part of that but I can tell you that both servicing and the
question of how it is that the built form will emerge and how it is that the
data will be collected are all things that are important to us as we are
things like procurement we want to make sure that the procurement is open we’ll
make sure this competitive and as the agreement allowed them to anywhere upon
that final question anywhere beyond the 12 acres and key side because the
question is and has been raised are they now looking to find a way to plan out
the Portland’s or is there agreement for their 12 acres and as a demonstrative
site and then further consideration but the agreement speaks to their
aspirations for development on for scale for large-scale projects that would
necessarily be larger than 12 acres the way that the proposal was presented to
Waterfront Toronto talked about the Portland’s and we felt that that that
they overextended when they made those references and we’ve suggested in this
report that there may be some issues larger than the key side for example
district energy which was a long-held aspiration for Waterfront Toronto in the
in the eastern Waterfront or some similar things that might be applied
somewhere else in the city we’re not saying that it has to be one geography
or the other it’s all going to be dependent on what they come and propose
to us in the next round we’re trying to be receptive to new and innovative ideas
we think that’s something that should be supported we think that there’s some
things that they might be testing out for us that will be new and emerging
things that would be useful in other places but we’ve yet to have any of that
crystallized because we’ve not seen the specific proposals for the next
agreement thank you councillor shiner any other
questions of staff counselors George oh yeah couple of quick questions Thank You
mr. mayor so my understanding is the Waterfront
Toronto put out a proposal yes in March of last year and did the proposal
contemplate comprehensive development as opposed to
sort of piecemeal development of the of the total package that was put out there
he was looking for proposals on comprehensive development of the whole
person yes so they were looking for the key side geography the 12 acres and they
said it in the context of the larger waterfront area and it was for a
comprehensive development typically their RFPs to invite a development
partner but in this case they did not go to that far and come to that step and
how many respondents were did we get to the proposal call you would have to ask
them I think it’s I’m looking back on six six and water for in Toronto
selected sidewalk correct okay so and they’ve entered into a framework
agreement that basically contemplates proceeding very slowly in phases along
the first year and I guess everyone needs to get some both clarity and
certainty with respect to the process that’s being followed would that be fair
statement no that would be a very fair statement clarity would be much welcomed
at this point because well I’m sure everybody would does you know if I if I
were investing 50 million dollars I’d like some clarity I’ll tell you that’s
right but I don’t want the clarity okay that’s fine thank you thanks counselor
DiGiorgio any other questions of staff okay and then we can move to speakers
and I had in terms of our members of council visiting with us today
councillor perks was first thank you very much mr. mayor in my view I as a
member of Toronto City Council cannot say that I am doing my duty if I sign
off on this report when it comes to council I have an absolute obligation to
the people that elect me to represent them to the best of my abilities the
first line in the oath of office that I say and I’ll tell you right now it is
not the mead – I would not be doing my job to the best of my ability if I’m
buying a pagan up I feel like I’m on you know let’s make a
deal and I’m being told well there’s something really exciting behind door
number one and so vote on it well no I I’m sorry I need to know
what’s behind door number one and if we haven’t gotten more clarity by the time
this gets to Toronto City Council I cannot support going any further down
this road I simply can’t I’m also profoundly concerned you know I
sat in a meeting with sidewalk and Waterfront Toronto staff mr. levy said
and answers to questions he can’t give me the document I asked them directly
can you and they said well maybe if you consider signing a nondisclosure
agreement maybe we can go that route I as a public official am responsible to
the electorate of Toronto it would be a complete dereliction of my duty to those
voters to ever sign an agreement that bound me in a way that prevented me from
sharing information from I know there are specific times when in the interest
of the corporation say the a named individual or giving away the details of
the deal in a way that may put the City of Toronto at risk we’re after at least
temporarily not share that information but signing an agreement that said that
I could not talk about something I would never do it and here’s the thing that’s
driving me absolutely mad about it I am told that we’re not bound it’s just an
agreement to agree and it’s and until we get the more to get the final agreement
until we have that in hand we’re not really committing anything on behalf of
the City of Toronto or rather Waterfront Toronto hasn’t committed anything on our
behalf well if that’s the case where’s the commercial interest if we only have
signed a document Renault has only signed a document that says we’re gonna
walk along through the woods with you and do some thinking and we’ll happily
pay for all of that where is the risk and letting me see the current agreement
where is it there’s no commercial interest
no risk so there’s something here that I do not understand and I would not be
doing my job to the best of my ability to sign off on something that I don’t
understand and have no way of coming to understand I simply don’t so I urge you
to like take a hard look at whether you’re doing you members of the
executive committee will be doing your duty as elected officials moving this
forward the other thing is you know we’re being told that there’s this 50
million dollars that’s going to be spent over a year and it’s to develop some
stuff and it it sounds great like 50 million free dollars
no no alphabet or Google or whatever they’re calling themselves these days is
worth five hundred and eighty billion dollars and they didn’t get there by
giving money away they got there by making investments that have a return
the 50 million dollars is an investment that has a return and because I’m not
stupid but I asked them what’s your return what’s the cat what’s the flow
here where’s the money for you and I said one of three things they said
there’s a real-estate piece code for we’re getting public lands to do
something on it and that is of value to us
the second was well there may be a private public partnership financing
thing in this for us well as mr. Fogg well knows I won’t sign those deals
unless I know the terms and even then I’m not likely to and then the third
thing is well we think there’s might be a cash flow around data somehow I said
so okay you want to commoditize something about how human beings live in
cities that’s not currently commodity to wrap up Catherine what is that and they
said we don’t know I don’t believe them thanks council perks other members of
council not on the committee councillor Davis yep
Thank You mr. mayor I did have the opportunity to meet with sidewalk and
waterfront and I have to say I ended up leaving the meeting not knowing a whole
lot more than when they arrived but what I did learn was that they were going to
initiate pilot projects now they were going to enter into discussions with
waterfront in this phase to determine the scope of the work that’s going to be
done they are going to move on then to through three phases to seek government
approvals to and the language that was used loosen the regulatory environment
to allow them than to test the various from the various products or innovations
that they had developed in this process what I struggle with I don’t believe
that we should be opposed to innovation and new ways to deliver civic
infrastructure or we should block the development of smart city innovation but
I do believe that we must have control over the data I do believe that the
commercial any commercial products that are going to emerge out of this that we
understand what they are in advance how they’re going to be assigned and that
whatever is generated through this prescribed segment of the city that has
been developed as a result of gathering of personal data investing in new
technology’s bending of some of the rules for how they’re delivered that
that what they call I called it a petri dish they call it something else that’s
on one of these sheets to test bed how are we going to contain then what
happens within that that prescribed area they said very clearly they did have
three interests or three businesses that they wanted to see come out of this
innovative infrastructure real estate venture capital and technology and when
challenged of course they’re in it to build better cities cheaper
infrastructure more efficient infrastructure all of these new
innovations but very clearly they’re in it because of the commercial proprietary
products which they will create in our petri dish to sell in other
jurisdictions and across Toronto this is a commercial venture right we shouldn’t
believe it’s anything else Thank You councillor Davis other members of
council that are visiting with us want to speak okay members of the committee
deputy mayor I didn’t before did to council with that recommendation if it’s
if that’s not moved it no it doesn’t go anywhere from here I won’t speak long
about this I’ll just ask a couple of questions do you think this deal is big
enough that you need to know what the terms are when we’re dealing with
keysight plus 500 acres of land and if you think you do
that we should know more about it now then i say that we need to have a bigger
discussion at council if you don’t then i that’s you know you answer that
question yourself and vote accordingly yeah you’ve concluded
okay Thank You counselor teacher I’m sure sorry it counts him in along like
you on Waterfront Toronto Sam so have you not been able to get your questions
answered there um I I know enough about the agreement that I think you would
like to know more about the agreement sorry I asked like my comment are you
unable to get your questions answered there and have you asked them there to
make information public i I know and enough about the agreement that in some
ways I have more questions and answers have you asked your questions there and
not getting answers to it yes now if you ask them to do things that they’ve
refused to do such as making information particular information public yes so you
don’t feel that Waterfront Toronto is acting in a responsible manner on this I
think it’s best that that kept that we move it on to Council and the council
gets to but how do you move to motion you want to send it to council the staff
recommendation was to receive the report because it gave us the information I’m
trying to understand the rationale for your motion if you’re not getting
questions answered and if you think you can get them better answered at Council
and if there’s particular questions why not pose them here so it goes to Council
with those questions I can’t pose my questions here because I know what’s in
the agreement and you’re not supposed to know what’s in the agreement so I can’t
raise those subject matters here so what else would get answered at Council I
think members of council can ask questions that are prescient and
important and learn more about how the waterfront may be developed
I don’t have any other questions mandatory Thank You counsel shiner
I think speakers councillor Jojo first of all I will not be supporting the
motion naive I think recommendation to receive is
appropriate at this stage I think this is a for me anyway because I’ve I’ve
been involved in applications where we’ve been asked to approve something in
principle most of you have not been involved in applications planning
applications where approval is given in principle subject to certain conditions
or being fulfilled in the future and the only condition that I think you need to
be concerned about and I talked about clarity and certainty and whatnot is to
make sure that counsel does not lose control of planning approvals oh it
involves other levels of government so there may be some fear that counsel may
lose approvals whatever conditions are in the agreement and I haven’t seen the
agreement but to the extent that Council retains control of what happens and
believe me it won’t happen over the next year whatever the framework agreement
says within one year they won’t even get to first base maybe second base it’ll be
this is a long term project okay and somebody is investing money where they
don’t get their money out until maybe 20 or 30 years down the road you can rest
assured that there’s some risk there so a lot of this has to do with risk as
well and making sure that people are not being forced by people who have all the
answers here to take undue risk because people walk away from huge projects like
this when you know that that involve huge risks so you know I keep coming
back to the mega project we are in the big leagues and sometimes in big cities
like ours we do take undertake mega projects and this is kind of the the
ballpark that I think this project is in so I just think we need to just keep
I on the ball make sure that we don’t lose control of the approvals whatever
we are being asked to approve at any given stage whether it be six months
from now a year from now two years from now that’s really where you’ll have the
opportunity to to throw in the barriers of the roadblocks that you’re looking to
throw in right up front because any barriers that are thrown in an up front
people walk away so it’s like let’s take it to the next step you know rather than
say forget it we’re interested in somebody else coming
forward nobody else is going to come forward to develop it on the
comprehensive basis I’m not sure that anyone is going to come forward and be
any better we wanted my white line up we might want to piecemeal it out and say
you know what Waterfront Toronto sell an acre to this group sell another acre to
this group and then we’ll just look at development on an acre by acre basis
that’s fine that’s an option that this council has but and I’ll leave my
comments tonight I think we should just receive the report I know first of all I
want to thank whoever was responsible for writing the report this is he it’s a
good report in the context of the nature of the problem that we’re looking at so
thank you councillor DiGiorgio speakers councillor Thompson thank you very much
miss mayor I’ve had two meetings with folks from Waterfront Toronto and
sidewalk it’s still not clear to me in terms of what the actual product will be
it’s not even clear to me when I ask the question of them what do you produce in
New York what would I be able to see that you have done that would help me in
terms of validating my sense of understanding as to what you’re about
you’re a technology company or a real estate company or a data sales company
and so on there’s no doubt there are people who are obviously well known in
terms of their abilities and their argument Dan
Doctoroff who is the former deputy mayor in New York and some of the teams are
there the folks from Waterfront Toronto I have to tell you I have absolute
confidence in them I don’t have an issue with that but it’s still not clear to me
that what is being presented and as I said the two meetings I’ve had with the
organization’s it hasn’t fully come to my sense of understanding that I am
confident with respect to what it is that I would be approving at this
particular point in time I would support the recommendation that’s here to
receive it for information because when I look at the other elements in this
report it talks about the need for more work to be done by our staff and I want
to see that actually take place I’m a little bit perplexed that more details
are not available the agreement itself that we’re not able to see it and
they’re not privy to it and so on yet we would be asked to endorse this
particular initiative I wouldn’t be able to explain it in its totality to my
residence and if I can explain it to them as their representative how would I
be able to say that I want to support this I’m fascinated by the fact that an
investment of 50 million dollars is being talked about in these for the city
of Toronto I’m fascinated by the fact that the
variety of technology that they’ve spoken about and so on I’m interested in
how the relationships going to be and I asked the question most recently just
last week who is going to develop the lens are you the developer the answer
was no we’re not we haven’t gotten to that is that we’re gonna work through
that and so it’s problematic for me and it’s just the interest of time I’ll
basically just stop there for now but I will just move receipt of this item
which is the recommendation there’s that recommendation other members to speak
councillor Ainsley Thank You meryt or eid have a motion if I can have it put
on the screen so the motions in three parts and it’s based on some of the
question that I was asking earlier of staff the first one asks that the we
have the chief information officer and the chief transformation officer to list
of city staff that are assisting the development of Waterfront Toronto and
sidewalk labs master innovation and development plan that kind of stood up
stood out to me when I was reading the report that this is all about technology
and it’s a partnership with a technology company and I think not specifically
laying at the point about having our CIO and the chief transformation officer
listed stood out to me the second part once again this is all a lot of it’s
about technology and open data and protection of data both from the city
side and from our residents so on the second part of it I’m asking that the
chief information officer ensure Waterfront Toronto sidewalk and sidewalk
Toronto initiative aligns with the city’s digital infrastructure and data
policy and that report any findings and lessons learned to the government
management committee the last one there is there’s a reference in the report
about an advisory committee and I understand the board of waterfront
Toronto’s is going to have their own but I think it’s also important that we
protect the rights of our resonance when it comes to open data and and the value
of data because one of the things that staff talked a lot about is the
protection or the privacy of data is the core issue well there’s also the value
of the data that’s going to be gathered within the key side community and I
think that needs to be protected as well I will be supporting receipt for
information I think that you know I’ve been a counselor now for 12 years we
have a lot of reports and negotiations that we do that come to City Council in
the first stage and they talk about it going to the next
stage and I and I see this in the same vein but at the same time I think we
have an obligation to be leading this that a lot of the information on page 15
in the report there’s a comment about scope scale and implications of data
collection and use are still unclear well in the 21st century a lot of the
the provincial and federal legislation I don’t think it’s quite caught up to
envisioning something in the scope of something like this and I think there’s
gonna be more of these agreements with the City of Toronto you know this is
where the first step and I think we need to be leading it we need to make making
sure the city’s best interests our safeguard of both the cities and our
residence and so I’m moving these this motion and I’ll be supporting the report
and looking forward to reading the next stages staff continuing the negotiations
thank you Thank You councillor Angley others to speak their use because of
shiner okay you know you know Mara Tory we should be saying wow we should be
saying wow because is that much interest in our waterfront in our city to have
someone come forward and say I’ll take a demonstrative piece of land 12 acres and
invest 50 million dollars I’m looking how to deal environmentally friendly
development new styles of development creative ways to move people creative
ways to build and work within your development framework and look at what
data might be coming for Dan other information that’s coming because the
city is changing simply put Weebly by our cars but
recently I read an article from a past CEO of General Motors who said you might
be buying him now but in the future the automated cars going to come to your
house to pick you up and last night I was out for dinner with family and
friends and as I’m ready to walk to my car the
younger folks with me pulled out their phones and called and Kevin showed up
three minutes later to pick him up and take him home in as uber ride I drove
home uber would have probably better I could
have had a couple more drinks I couldn’t do that I don’t have one glass of wine
but things are changing so when you have people that are prepared to put their
money on the line to find them and work through a public organization like
Waterfront Toronto which is a tri-level organization which has its duty back to
all of us and the public to make sure that they proceed in an open and fair
matter you have to put some faith in the fact that they’re going to look at all
these options and come forward with something and as the report says this is
phase 1 this is the investigative options that they’re looking at and
spending a lot of money to do that they were experienced folks in the
development and in the government area and they have the backing of a
technology company and the knowledge over there so they want to look at how
we can do better and then come back that’s what I understand the deputy city
manager said to us they’re gonna look at all the options that are out there and
then they gonna go back to Waterfront Toronto I think that’s fine I’m prepared
to support the motion to receive I think that we could do that receive it and
we’ll come back later on as these things progressed and of a Waterfront Toronto
update us in the future but now we’re setting more policies of more people to
work on things that I I don’t know why and most of all I’m concerned because we
have representation of the city on Waterfront Toronto in the deputy mayor
and all I get is questions of doubt as to what might be going on there is if
it’s secretive and you know it’s espionage or something I these all these
questions would start to concern me which our representation should be there
to help us understand what’s going on to be our vocal a responsible person over
there to try and work with the organization to bring that forward and I
don’t see that happening so we asked for a report we have a report it’s first
phase is 12 acres of development it’s not the rest of the waterfront it’s only
those 12 acres there’s a lot of money going in to see how you can do things
they have to work with an all the legislature
we have to have any type of development down there and they’ll come back with
proposals and a look at unique ways that things may move forward and when you
start to tie things down within our organization it’s like throwing anchors
out along the way to slow things down because they don’t get done no
disrespect but we’re a bureaucracy they’re a private corporation we look at
boards to do things like that so and due respect and I appreciate what my
colleague has I don’t know where the vote will go right now but I am more
than prepared to support the motion that my colleague has to receive which is a
staff recommendation so if like colleague councillor Ainsley’s
recommendation doesn’t go forward that’s what I will vote for Thank You
councillor shiner others to speak okay then I think I’m advised that the order
in which we deal with these is the councillor agency’s motion and referral
first and then we take it from there I guess then receipt and then I mean it’s
it is I think if you go look can we just scroll up I think it did say did it not
can you scroll can we score a lot please so I can see the top of the motion okay
so it is a referral motion so at me they would be dealt with first and I’ll call
the question on this motion by councillor Ainsley all those in favor
opposed I carried I believe I think it’s carried
and I’m gonna rule that the other motions are then redundant because this
has been referred so we’ll go on to the next item which is the hydro item number
thirty thirty point TX thirty point ten Toronto Hydro corporation review
executive compensation policy there are no deputations so I guess we could move
to questions of staff I don’t know just trying to determine
whether we have to go into closed session to have I have questions that
you have questions of staff that could be asked in public session and should be
then if that’s the case well I can ask first and you can determine for me but I
we may end up going in camera the police the 5455 counselor committee no weird no
but we had I was awaiting frankly to hear from counsel McMahon and when that
was ready because it’s been ready two or three times today and I said deputy
mayor made and Wang has had well I’ve held it because he has questions we
wanted to release it all day we’ve worked hard and the staffs been sitting
here all day not on that item and councillor Davis isn’t a member of the
committee no I fully understand that but she is quite rightfully pointing out
something I’ve been trying to I’ve been told four or five times today it was
ready to deal with just so we could release it and release the people that
I’ve been sitting here all day and and so but I agree we moved on to the
hydroid I’m just kind of if we’re just going to vote on I’m trying to deal with
it that that is what we were gonna do I was told look I’ve been told that four
times today so I you know I’m a bit skeptical now there deputy Menon Wong
said he wanted to ask questions about it so he’s now left the room so it’s up to
you merit or er we’re gonna deal with it now well ya know he talked he’s coming
back I would rather deal with it now and actually dispose of it because he I know
he’s not so oh okay he’s doing a media interview in the
hallway apparently so if somebody could just go and find out could somebody from
my office just go and find out if he can come in and deal with this now and cuz I
would then release the people that are sitting here
he is counselor Davis no questions all right can it with your concurrence then
can we revert to that item which is item X 30 a lot thirty point eleven well
again this is again where I getting miss misdirected I thought we were just
clearing it off like it was not speeches they were just we were just having a
vote I have a motion but it it can be very quick and counsel Davis one speak
it’s just the two of us no that’s gonna take longer if this really is shorter
you remark short and there are there any other questions of staff or speeches to
my and mine is less than three wait less than three minutes so all right let’s
proceed but thirty point eleven with your concurrence and I’ll ask for if
there are no deputations I know are there no notifications questions of
staff no questions of staff all right speakers members visiting with us today
thank you I want to say first thank you to all of the staff who’ve been involved
from Toronto Police to real estate services to planning who have engaged as
well as the consultant that we use to engage the community we had very good
public consultation many issues were raised and questions answered about how
this site was selected as the preferred site it and I believe absolutely this is
the best site and I believe it’s the best site for a number of reasons one it
allows us to create not just a modern new police station
it allows us to preserve an important heritage site it allows us to
incorporate the TTC and its needs and as well and the most exciting part of it is
that it will allow us to include in this project other important city and
community services there were many questions asked about whether or not a
police station was appropriate here and there were some concerns expressed about
whether or not it will feel like a fortress whether or not a jail here
would cause concern in the neighborhood there were concerns about whether those
two key uses we’re going to dominate the site and not allow for any other
important community uses and I think what we’ve established is that we can
have all of those uses this is an opportunity for a real City Building
proposal and it may take longer because of the complexities of all of the
parties involved but I think that everyone has a common idea and a common
vision for what this site could be so I will be supporting it I do think that
the motion that councillor McMahon is moving which adds a little bit more
detail to the criteria that we will be using the Planning Division has done an
excellent job at capturing as everyone has from the real estate division as
well capturing the sentiment of the community
and the priorities they have for this for this very important site so I look
forward to continuing this process working with all of our divisions and
our community the amendment that I asked councillor McMahon to include had to do
with making sure that the community uses are prominent on the site and that we
have an actual steering committee of stakeholders that involves the community
as we work through this process so thank you to everyone involved from Toronto
Police to planning real estate and all of the other divisions TTC
mentioned TTC sorry and TTC staff who have been part of making bringing this
proposal today thank you thanks counselor Davis Council McMahon thank
you very much so I have a motion so this has been this is as I mentioned maybe
earlier this corner is very unique in the city Clarksville and Danforth has
four councillors one representing each corner so it’s quite the hub the nexus
and so it’s been a long haul because lots of it different interests and lots
of different departments involved this site is larger than the Mirvish site so
it’s pretty important in the neighborhood and this is part of you
know what we asked the police to do to amalgamate in find ways of savings and
and a better newer way of police and community policing so it’s it’s a key
area key side key initiative it’ll be the first of its kind in the city but we
want to make sure there’s more community activity on the site so excuse me that’s
what this motion is about thank you to everyone who’s worked hard on this and
for sticking around all day like his fourth thanks Council McMahon
are there other others wishing to speak all right then we’re ready to call the
question and the I guess the motions are in front
of us motions plural correct so we can put one of those up well the first one
up do you want to do it as a package in the name of efficiency I’m quite happy
to do that the kids that’s the committee’s will that’s fine because
it’s been passed around the letters been on people’s ever all right can I call
the question then on the motion all of the motions together there are four ugly
for all those in favor pose Carrie okay thank you very much in thing
oh and then out the item estimated yes of course item as amended all those in
favor opposed carry and I thank to the people who were here waiting to be to
deal with it for their patients all day I really do thank you very much I’m
sorry you had to wait so long okay so back to back to item e^x 30 point 10
Toronto hi / corporation review of executive compensation where we were on
that there were noted amputations we were on questions of staff and there was
a question as to whether we needed to be in-camera to ask those questions and you
were deliberating on your questions I think councillor shiner you were up
what’s up so I don’t know if my questions are in camera or not I’m
trying to ascertain the fact that the document that was sent to us was all
sent in camera as a confidential item and yet a lot of it is simply
comparisons of and data of other organizations and also doesn’t I don’t
think or you could tell me what particular items from our perspective
would be ones that aren’t in the public domain or would have to remain
confidential so that a question of our solicitor or
through you mr. mayor I think it’s a fair question because I read the
document too obviously and I think that would be a good question to get our
lawyer to answer three mr. mayor I mean I think staff writer disadvantage
because obviously the materials have been submitted by Toronto hyegyo they’re
the ones that are asserting the confidentiality we have spoken to them
about it and they continue to assert that for various reasons they’re
concerned about commercial information financial information third party
proprietary information and I mean that is there that is their perception of
confidentiality and it’s before you on that basis and that’s really about all I
can say about it at this point thank you do we have to go in camera then to ask
questions about the document that we’ve if you want to ask detailed questions
about the documents yes at this stage you have to go on camera well I’m the
other question I’ll have in 2012 there was a motion to limit bonus paid at 25
percent we asked for revisiting of them where the shareholder this was a
corporation is a shareholder permitted to give those instructions through its
annual meeting to the management of the company well I think that when that
matter was brought forward there was also an attachment with legal advice as
well and I think in order to give you a full answer on that again I’m sorry but
I think it would have to be an in-camera discussion to impart that legal advice I
mean it may be that you want the solicitor to report on those to counsel
and respect in the matter because I you know I think we comprise perhaps use an
opportunity to review the attachment and revisit the advice we’ve given
previously I would a public question though still and then maybe we have to
go in-camera to the city manager trying to get Peters attention sorry I don’t
want to ask you if here not aware of what I’m asking the issue in reviewing
compensation packages for employees is often that of comparators of what would
be in the industry or an industry norm Toronto Hydro has done a review of what
they might believe is or at least from their compensation committee an industry
norm I look at it and they say well Toronto Hydro and they talk about a
million customers million 50,000 there are any reports to 760 thousand so first
of all I’m lost as to which numbers right if I look at comparators that
might be out there Toronto Hydro covers an area 630 square kilometers and simply
is a distribution company within a lower level municipal distribution company
Elektra covers 1,800 square kilometres saskatchewan power 650
one square kilometre I have you’re putting a lot of detail into this
question but I just have mindful of the the clock that’s all I’ve let it go but
I was just you’re getting into full well they’ll feed the reason for the question
is when you look at those comparators or even Hydra one with a million square
kilometers they’re different they’re complete provincial distribution systems
they’re local they also generate power and they have local distribution where
there isn’t local municipalities so would we be able to find our own list of
comparators that we might feel was reasonable to look at that so we could
look at this issue independently if that is council’s direction we can do that
but but the the this is information that is typically quite highly specialized
the choice of comparators is obviously a technical issue and in a practical sense
the way we would do that is go off and hire a compensation consultant to
undertake a review and provide them with different criteria so I would think that
my other questions might be ones that would be in camera meritorious just be
okay would be of the compensation committee members take the temperature
of the committee in a minute about going in camera but I’ll see if there’s people
who want to ask questions not in camera first before we do that others beside
yourself councillor Ainsley okay sorry I think this is a public question so
Toronto hydros are only I guess ABC of our ABCs that would be considered a
public company and where the major we’re the majority shareholder so as we’re
looking at salary compensation how do we I guess find that balance between we
have a city council directive and a certain salary level that all of the
heads of our ABCs receive as opposed to something like Toronto Hydro that we
considered a public utility that’s kind of on a different salary level I’m not
we have other revenue agencies that that operate in a
a market that does have some element of private sector comparator the pending
real estate organization would be an example another example would be the
toronto parking authority of those organizations obviously Toronto Hydro is
the most significant okay but again as a utility they’re kind of at a different
level as to like Toronto parking authority so there’s like there’s a
different salary threshold I think with public utilities in Canada than parking
agencies or yes in general energy energy compensation energy comparators are
higher there’s room us robust more robust market for executive talent in
there although these are questions that that frankly are not areas of great
expertise for me sorry I miss lost they’re not areas of great expertise for
me okay all right thank you others wishing to ask questions in
public I have one that maybe I addressed either to the city manager or the
solicitor it just it really falls along with councillor NZ I think what you were
trying to get out which is the one distinction I think that makes this
unique even from the real estate agency which obviously has substantial assets
and so on is that this is a public issuer and that does put it into leaving
aside its position in the energy industry as distinct from other
industries it does distinguish it from I think any other organization we that’s
correct that’s true and they would they would make the point that their
disclosure requirements are governed primarily by securities law and that’s
what they comply with and just again this is not at before I have some
thoughts of my own on this which sort of inadvertently not became public because
of media asked me a question today but the I’m also assuming that their
compensation setting practices and their compensation disclosure are largely
governed by legal requirements as to what they have to do nowadays as a
public issuer correct I I’m not sure about that I mean to be honest I didn’t
get that impression from the material I reviewed but I’m not sure well just I
guess I will don’t answer my own question but just from my own board
experience it’s on they’re required to have a compensation committee there’s
certain to school that is required that goes into the AI F
which is part of what we have in the confidential material and that is all
actually determined either by corporate governance practice or and/or by law in
terms of those things that have to be set out for the top five officers edster
that’s the actual setting of the compensation is left to the board to do
based on whatever advice they choose to get which in this case they did but
anyway that’s okay I just wanted to really sort of get that because it is
this company is different that doesn’t mean that explains anything happened but
it’s just different okay it sounds like we need to go on camera to ask some
questions about the document and I’m if the committee members generally
agreeable to that III you know I I don’t have a lot of questions about it but
there’s some fake pardon like to ask some questions are the members of the
Compensation Committee and the board hi Joe because it’s their report to us
even kind enough to come here and I think in fairness we should ask the
questions but in-camera to better understand those to that so motion to go
in camera moved by Councillor shiner all those in favor opposed okay and with the
members of the Compensation Board here yes and we’ll have will will have the
members of the representatives of hydro who can identify themselves stay with us
and I’m afraid to have to ask everybody else that’s from the public to excuse
themselves all right we will now resume in public
session we we we had we had questions of staff there squirm here we had questions
of staff in public we had the in camera session we had so I think where we are
is with those wishing to speak in public and I’m going to speak first if I may
and I’ll just start the clock I understand the fact that you know that
that this Corporation and we were talking about this in the public session
earlier is a different beast than some of the other entities and may be
different than city departments in that regard and the question becomes really
the measure of that difference and and this the ancillary question of what is
necessary to make sure we get obviously the best talent available and my
concerns quite frankly and I’m gonna introduce a motion can I put that up
just so that we can have it up there in compliance with the rules the motion has
to go up as I begin to speak I think that that while
well you can’t retroactively Lee deal with the contracts of people who quite
frankly I think do by and large do a good job and I’m not intimately familiar
with exactly what they do and how they do it and when they do it but the
results speak for themselves and they have been very favorable I think that
there is a growing inconsistency between the salaries that are paid to the people
in some parts of the public sector the city public sector which of which I
consider the hydro Corporation to be a part purses the salaries that are paid
to others and sort of that gap that exists between a senior management one
place in senior management another and it’s not my place to do that comparison
because I wouldn’t know how to do it as between the responsibilities carried to
a question that was asked earlier on by somebody who’s running a very complex
Department like the water department or for that matter the TTC
and somebody who’s running hydro I think we’ve been blessed by having excellent
people presently and in the past in all of those different places so what I’ve
done here in my motion is to refer this matter back to the city
manager and I will have an item of new business to introduce immediately
following the disposition of this assuming that I might have some support
which I hope I do from the other members of the committee but in this case we’re
asking the city manager upon referral back to review the executive
compensation policy at Toronto Hydro and report back to the executive committee
with recommendations on an appropriate salary and it should say salary and
compensation cap which would limit a compensation for a new executives hired
by the corporation so that’s respectful of present arrangements that are
governed by contract but it would ask him to comment on what could be done
what possibilities exist with respect to appropriate salary and compensation caps
for new executives hired by the corporation going forward and Part B
requests the Toronto Hydro board directors to review current executive
compensation packages and bonusing to assess opportunities respecting the
provisions of currently existing contracts to bring compensation in line
with other city policies and so it clearly acknowledges that there are
employment contracts and asked them to examine whether or not there are ways in
which you could could bring compensation in line with with our city policies in
that regard and obviously that’s something that the city manager would be
asking you to do and you’ll answer as you answer as you answer but I began a
bit specifically made reference to the contracts here so I’m hopeful that the
members of the committee will support that simply so that we can get the city
manager to take a look at that it doesn’t specify here any kind of how you
do the cap or what the cap should be just the notion that you might have one
so that we can’t have an ever-escalating level of compensation at this place in
the civic administration but also that gap could continue to grow indefinitely
because we’re clearly not following that kind of path with our current city
policy that relates to pretty well everybody else in the city of Toronto’s
domain so that is what I’m putting in front of you and those that concludes my
remarks and thank you for the dispensation on the 45 seconds others
wishing to speak sure so I understand your motion are are you
suggesting then that and I realized that when the 25 percent bonus provision was
put in it was a member of council putting it forward
there was no assessment done there was no review and so on we voted on it and
it subsequently became City policy there is no direction by the city manager of
the day to reach out to the different ABCs and to say is this an appropriate
level of conversation that you live with given market condition in talent
expertise etc etc are you amenable or hopeful that we could see a differential
in terms of an organization like Toronto Hydro even with the report coming back
from the city manager he’s frankly yes because and what I say that I say that
only with a view not to prejudge what mr. Wallace writes but if mr. Wallace
wrote back and said well you know I’ve looked at this and I’ve talked to
whoever he wants to talk to and I’ve determined that actually I mean to pick
an example when you talk about a cap if you said okay the cap could be a number
or it could get a multiple of somebody else’s salary there you know the city
manager himself or the mayor’s salary they up at Queen’s Park is you know
they’ve done a multiple I think of the premier salary that applies to senior
public servants but if mr. Wallace’s report says well I’ve studied this and
in light of the need to get top talent and in light of the particular aspects
of this job my recommendation either is you not have a cap or that you have a
cap that is three times this or four times that I’m amenable to it being
different than the city policy but you know obviously he’s mindful in fact we
have a city policy right oh okay no that’s very helpful thank you like I can
support it based on that I just think what it does then to complete that
answer is that it does at least even if it’s a little bit inconsistent with city
policy puts some kind of a capsule we won’t have a growing problem of the
separation between the city policy and what this says but it would be great I
guess for consistency if mr. Wallace came back with his report and said we
could do it exactly the same as city policy and here’s how you do it
okay I’m not prejudging any of that okay thank you a Tory question yes gasser
so with the city manager also look of the salaries for our senior staff of the
city we’re in line with what it should be for
the responsibilities that we have in comparison to what agencies and boys
because again we want the best talent well the item of new business that I
make reference soon it doesn’t ask him to review well I tell you what I don’t
just tell you what it says because I’ve been introduced we got it I’m gonna ask
you for rich and introduced it says review executive compensation at
agencies boards and commissions other than hydro so that we’re being
consistent again so I presume if he wants to write a report back saying you
know with the help of a consultant or otherwise that that the salaries at TTC
or a head of water or head of this or that are in line or out of line with
where they should be he’ll do that I’m assuming we signed people up to
contracts that they’re willing to accept that are in line with what they think
the jobs worth but he can write there if I don’t think anything stops him from
doing that in this wording that’s here that’ll be introduced any other
questions of the mover okay and then are there any other members of the committee
wishing to speak I had the deputy mayor down to speak but
he doesn’t see new with us at the moment councillor shiner yeah there was a
motion that I had two I have two motions can I see what I had that was for our
city manager to do was it not so I’m asking that we added for the city
manager to do a comparison for us so so and the other one
okay confidentially I’m so speak to both the first one is to look and I
understand the policies that may have been followed by Toronto hi Joanna I’m a
simple person I try to look in as I said earlier at the size of different
organizations their responsibilities and I think that the comparators that was
used could have been different in some manner so I’m looking for some
independent input from the city managers what comparators could be the second
part is the fact that we have attachments that come forward where
they’re completely confidential and it makes it look as if something is
in that information that can’t go public and I think a lot of it could so I’m
looking to see what information could be public with that but instead of having
it as a separate motion I’d like to add it to your referral so when it comes
back they couldn’t tell us that otherwise if your motion carries this
one dies so I would like to make this as an amendment to your motion to also
direct that because I think your motion is gonna carry which means nothing’s
going to council which means we wouldn’t have the request of hydro I accept both
as friendly amendments because I’m quite happy to do so I mean and speaking to
the item there is a huge issue that goes on and I hear issues of comparisons etc
but when I tried to deal with the TTC over attaching a station to a public
facility the issues came up with the fact they reminded me that they’re
running a train system underground and that is extremely complicated and has
many request requirements that they have to meet under different acts to do that
I look at our different organizations and I find the complexity of what we
have to do and I’m trying to be very short with it Meritor e because doing
exploration is also very complex so I look over here and I look where the
salary was where they salary went to and in fact I look at the fact that the CEOs
bonus is almost 50% more than his staff I don’t think that’s right if your staff
aren’t doing that well why are you doing so much better so I think there’s a flaw
and the way the compensation is paid no disrespect to that and I think that the
amount of salaries that are pay there although it’s a different industry it’s
not as difficult as its purported to be it’s a public company
it’s under the Business Corporations Act it has responsibilities for lenders
there’s thousands of companies that are like that and that to have someone that
works in a publicly owned organization by a municipality to have salaries that
we can’t well explain is somewhat embarrassing to have and I I don’t know
how to explain this to anybody how it comes forward and I’m still lost as to
what we can tell people about so that’s my emotions thank you I’m told council
honor that the first motion can be accepted as a friendly amendment by me
whereas the second one cannot because it deals with entirely
different subject matter like it’s it’s to do with the confidentiality of a
document as opposed to a review of salaries so like you’re referring it
back for further staff report correct yes I am so in your referral back when
it comes back to us I’m asking when it comes back by that time you looked at
that document which is part of what you’re referring a clerk is just saying
it’s because confidentiality is a city-council matter but this is not
confidentiality that’s been requested in this case by the council the City
Council or designated it’s been hydro that’s saying this is confidential and
we’ve just respected that I guess because we thought we should so how
about we request the city solicitor to review with Toronto Hydro what can be
made public if I amend it to ask when it comes back with the city manager the
city solicitor requests Toronto Hydro to see if they can provide us with a
redacted document when it comes back I think that’s friendly so we’re making an
ask of Toronto Hydro right I would say that is probably it could be treated its
friendly moment because it’s no different than the other requests were
making of hydro in that motion with respect to compensation really oh I’ll
do it instead of a direct which has to come to Council that the city manager
and the city solicit add that to the list of the city manager should should
request of Toronto Hydro a redacted document well we can I think we can do
that now I just say to you by the way I mean I think we have to be careful we
can’t get ourselves into the position of sitting here and saying well we’re gonna
start telling the board directors of hydro how they calculate somebody’s
bonus in terms of whether they think he did a good job or not that’s not doing
that’s way beyond saying you know that’s why I have a board part of that document
might be able to be public I’m asking the city manager to speak with Toronto
Hydro and our solicitor and see if they can come back and provide us with a
redacted document when this item comes back so I’ll make leave you to work out
the wording in time for the vote which is gonna be soon I think I don’t know
how many others wish to speak I wish to speak publicly council Compson yeah mr.
mayor thank you um I want to thank the members of hydro board and the
consultants for being here I probably would feel differently had I not
recently taken the icy course which was very instrumental in
helping me in terms of boards and governance and so on and oftentimes we
make decisions here without necessarily having all of the information and we
will support motions that are put forward etc that eventually becomes
policy but what I’ve heard from the representatives who are here especially
the head of the Compensation Committee about how they you know use their
criteria in terms of arriving at compensation the bonuses and so on and
recognizing that it is in conflict with respect to the policy that we put
forward some time ago in this very room you were not the mayor at the time mr.
mayor when it came forward and there was no analyses Donnie was just put on the
fly because someone had a concern is one and I think maybe we should have done a
better job as members of council in terms of asking more detailed questions
and perhaps asking for a report to come forward to determine whether or not it
would have been a matter of one size fitting all you know I we had a
situation where the CEO of what was then invest Toronto was making almost
$400,000 plus bonuses and the budget of that organization is 2.5 million dollars
I think the organization had if we lucky we had about 20 people that was being
supervised by that particular CEO and when I look at this particular
organization they’re looking at the revenues that are it’s generating for
this city looking at what has been told is the criteria that the board an
independent body who has been charged by this city and in fact members of council
sit on that particular board makes these particular decision it’ll make them in a
vacuum they make them in in in in in as part of the course of their duty and so
on and recognizing the the premise of governance and ensuring that decisions
are made and ensuring that you can you know gather and and harness good
challenge and I would say if we look at what this organization has done with the
resources that’s been available in the leadership of this organization I can
say that I would give it an A+ quite frankly and I would give the board
themselves similar mark because I’ve had nothing
that’s come to me that says that this is a poorly run organization this is a not
well governed organization in fact the comparators have been used for whatever
reasons the consultants have brought forward seems to indicate that
everything is in good order and so for that reason I would obviously not be
chastising but in fact supporting this board in its decision but in fact giving
us a bad mark in terms of our failure to have done a better job determining
whether or not 25% was appropriate it may have been for some instances mr.
mayor but I like your motion that you have put forward I also like the fact
that you’ve said look let’s take a look at it it may be 25 or may not be 25
percent I think that what is being paid across the board in this particular
utility and energy sector and given all the competition that’s actually taking
place believe it or not Toronto Hydro is not the only game in our city there are
many other organizations who are actually now creeping up and in the
organization of Toronto Hydro is is is well run so I just wanted to make that
particular point because they didn’t want anyone to think that somehow that
there’s something nefarious that’s actually going on I don’t believe that
to be so I believe that the credibility of the board members speak for
themselves so I’ll just leave it at that thank you thanks councillor Thompson
others wishing to speak okay well if there are no further comments the first
motion would come off a is the referral motion
is that the first one that comes up Jillian oh we’re just alright we’re just
dealing with the amendment for one minute and we’ll do that okay
so we’ll have the the revised motion with the friendly amendments plural put
up or is it just a motion from Council China amending movie amending wine is
that okay is that I just don’t see it on my monitor is it just because mine’s not
working here okay well I guess mine just my monitors just went dead yes all right
so this is a motion amending my earlier motion moves by councillor Sean are the
two items that were discussed I’m ready to call the question all those in favor
opposed carried and then the amend the motion as amended my motion as amended
the referral motion the original referral motion there we are
okay there’s and there’s the original motion which has now been amended by
Part C and D I’m ready for the question all those in favor opposed carried and I
think that disposes of the item the item over the item now is amended by that
motion okay item as amended all those in faith no we don’t have to because it’s
been referred right okay that disposes of the item and I’ll say to our friends
thank you I think it actually helped us a lot to have the discussions with you
and lots of further discussion to be had but thank you very much thank you thank
you for the time you spent sitting here we have more business to do but we thank
you for being here so [Applause]
I think I’m right we dealt with the police station 30 point 11 I would now
to take us through 30 point 70 X 30 point 17 I’m sorry oh there he is there
I’m sorry II 3.12 the diet Open Data master plan and there were so I’m sorry
I had an item of new business arising out of that that I think it was
circulated to you and may I have a motion approving the introduction of
this item of new business all those in favor opposed carried and I either
are there any there’s no deputations on it because we can deal with it now if
you’re willing are there any questions of staff on it are there any people
wishing to speak I think I spoke earlier and simply to say this is too broad note
the referral to because I couldn’t do it under the hydro item to have the city
manager look at other bodies to look at limiting compensation and otherwise
reviewing that compensation as was discussed can we deal with this then are
you ready for the question all those in favor opposed carry so that was carried
now we go to 30 X 30 point 12 the Open Data master plan and we did have some
deputations on that I believe starting with Richard Pietro hello mr. Pietro
thank you for your immense patience you you have three minutes the Toronto
opened at a book club however I’m typically known as the guy who rode his
motorcycle twice across Canada to talk about open government open data and I’m
here to tell you that as the representative and the organizer of the
Toronto pin data book club and his 1,300 members we support the open data master
plan this plan was truly co-created between the city and the open data
community I want to personally thank Andy McGee the neat car land nuyen Rob
Michael as well as counselor Paul hainsley who became the de facto open
dot a champion for council because they really did the walk they didn’t just
talk to talk they walked the walk two years ago
pretty much today me and other members from the open data community came to
counsel the government management committee meeting telling how
embarrassed we were with Toronto’s open data mandate and its efforts the
document dis opened out a master plan represents a complete 180 from that time
this is the vision that we hope for two years ago adopting strategies like this
one can only help in achieving Toronto’s goals as a world leader in innovation
and Navy maybe even help it when the Amazon HQ to bid thank you very much for
your time and that’s all I have to say I’m making it quick for you guys
questions of the deputy well thank you and thank you for your patience mr.
Pietro it’s much appreciated jennipher evidence co-founder tech reset
Canada good evening thank you for your patience again it’s my pleasure thank
you so much good evening Executive Committee and mr. mayor thank you for
this opportunity to speak my name is Jen Evans I am the CEO of two startups and I
am here today with Bianca Wylie representing Texas Tech reset Canada and
our two co-founders Satya Muzaffar and April Dunford we are a coalition of
businesspeople residents public servants and technologists advocating for a reset
of the Canadian tech and innovation agenda to recenter its goal for public
good open data is a critical priority for us we’re delighted by the progress
to date while recognizing there is so much more work to do
let’s truly invest in open data why there are four key reasons the first is
civic engagement there’s a huge opportunity here when you share up and
data about city we can all be more engaged in
decision-making decisions become much more defensible and acceptable if we can
all see the data and the rationale used to make them number two is engagement
from the business community open data is an innovation engine but only when you
release meaningful data sets that people need the business community will
increasingly ask for open data and we hope the city will continue its
commitment to providing high value data to promote local economic development
the tech community not only has an enormous appetite to use public data as
anyone who attended transit camp in 2007 knows the wider business community would
be very interested in more of these initiatives the business community will
often do business intelligence and other analysis on data sets that can be shared
back with the public if the right policies are in place
number three is staff engagement one of the biggest benefits of open data is
better cooperation between divisions and staff creating open data to be used
internally is a big help to better collaboration across city projects High
School’s civics and startups common information can often though not only
mean common priorities city staff and the community are important data users
open data users people pour over it it’s a powerful tool in helping them do their
jobs better what do we need to do to ensure that this happens and this is my
primary ask ensure that all new software and IT systems are required to public
open data if vendors wanna sell the commitment to the city in 2018 open data
is a baseline requirement safe TTC app that was recently purchased as an
example of this going wrong the data about usage of that app should be open
and it’s not it makes it hard for us to understand the value the fourth reason
is trust trust builds or rebuild something critical to the heart of the
community real power and real freedom would lie in trust not force that was
written by Ursula K Le Guin a brilliant writer on the future of society who
passed away yesterday and nowhere has that been more true than here in Toronto
Trust is under assault Monday at Davos the 18th annual element Trust Barometer
was released showing that trust in institutions is in Christ
trust in government in Canada dropped 6% in the u.s. such a huge influence on all
Torontonian Torontonian lives dropped 36% when institutions are not trusted
when we can no longer trust each other it’s very difficult to get it back topic
very dear to my heart is housing data there was tremendous confusion over
shelter options and communications over the holidays I experienced the impact of
that confusion personally this confusion around availability is not a minor
things you are all now painfully aware in -27 it can cost lives make this kind
of data properly open then we can all take better part of knowing and learning
and acting on it many many people I’ve met over the past few weeks on the
streets do not trust their government this government they genuinely do not
believe the city has the best interest of the most vulnerable at heart they are
afraid they’re powerless they don’t see change they see only power not the
weight of the responsibility and not the difficulty of those decisions one way to
reestablish and rebuild that trust to communicate the rationale for difficult
decisions is real transparency of data even better give the homeless in
themselves accident so they have some agency I person Evans given the nature
of her comments I didn’t want to but I’ve given you an extra minute and a
half already so I’ll have to ask you to conclude I mean I didn’t want any up
when you were being critical of the government and that’s fair enough but
you have taken a min and a half over the time and I have to be fair to everybody
that’s thank you I’m sorry I didn’t get the rest of my remarks but it’s ok here
to say what you want to say but it’s just that I did give you at some point
stopped you and now is the time I let you go through that part of it and so
thank you so much thank you questions of the deputy at miss Evans that you
there’s some questions if you’re willing to answer them starting with councillor
Ainsley ask you a quick question about open data and some some people there’s a
belief that data set should be sold and as a small business owner and tech
startup what do you think about it’s like selling data sets or I think public
data should not be sold I think data that’s critical to the operations of the
city municipality to the country are things that are owned by the entire
population and should be treated that way ok and then for a municipality not
to disclose the data set because it might have a comer
actual value to the municipality it’s a tough line to walk I need to really
understand what the circumstances were what kind of data we’re talking about
there is definite value in making data open for business to be able to use
maybe the data is is open to a certain extent and if business is going to use
it there’s a there’s an additional fee there’s a number of ways that this could
be treated but the key is that publicly critical data needs to be open okay
thank you Thank You Myra Torrey thanks councillor
Ainsley I saw another hand up man maybe you’re done your remarks but I just want
to give you a just ask you what else you had to say in a short timeframe because
I know you’ve been waiting here all day so I thought you deserved that thank you
so much if we all really understood how homeless people who’ve never done
anything except be poor or suffer a head injury or lose a job we’re working with
the family right now who lost their job the mother lost her job in June they
were homeless by November feel about being treated with less dignity than
hardened criminals who get shelter and three meals a day if we understood how
many are currently at risk of homelessness in the city I think
attitudes would change I’m a firm believer in the benefits of non-invasive
data managed company cities and states I spent three years living in Tokyo and
was fortunate to experience what it’s like to live in a data-driven society
open data is one of the keys to developing a data managed city without a
huge budget for BI tools and consultants it is also about a deeper level of civic
connection and engagement in education and being a part of the life of the city
it is the power to transform a city like Toronto to help those in our city who
need it most in an era of fake news and perpetual outrage and extreme
partisanship it has to be a guiding principle and I just want to say I did
not mean to sound critical of government I’m trying to explain the attitudes that
are out there about policies the government develops people who do not
have power who are disenfranchised only see power and not the terribly difficult
decisions that all of you have to make every day by making data open it changes
the tenor of the conversation and that relationship Thank You Marty
Otto thank you capsule McMahon did I see another hand up to ask questions of this
deputy okay well I thank you very much for your deputation and for your for
your answering of the questions sevens miss we have Curtis McBride Miele vision
technologies nice to see you sir thank you for your patience and we have your
letter on file as well that you sent we appreciate that can i plug this in for
you pardon me yes by all means for sure yeah
no just so I have three slides with three technical concepts it’s about 10
o’clock at night and so I’m going to try to get through these in three minutes
so first of all I wanted to say I I support the master plan for open data I
think it’s a great move in the right direction but I want to shed some light
on sort of where where this is going over the next decade and I think it will
also shut some light to the earlier conversation about sidewalk labs so so
about five years ago something fundamentally changed in the world
University of Toronto professor named Geoffrey Hinton invested invented
something called deep learning which was basically when you hear about people
talking about artificial intelligence we’ve sort of changed the model where it
used to be that IP generated data now data generates IP right so what that
means is that the value of data has fundamentally gone up by orders of
magnitude and and part of the reason why groups like Sidewalk are showing up
thinking a lot about public data is because the value of that data has
fundamentally gone up and and I’m I’m seeing conversations at the the
the provincial and federal level where governments starting to understand the
value the value of this data but as a consequence of that the public sector
has essentially an architecture choice right so so the the choice is as a
country and the City of Toronto we spend billions of dollars on on public
infrastructure that generates data that data can either be used to add to the
balance sheet of the public sector or it can go to the market capitalizations of
private companies and and what what is going on right now and on the waterfront
as an example is what in technical terms we would call a discovery process so
we’re going in so I what’s going in try to understand
the public problem space so that they can build fundamentally an architecture
which is the document that that I I put forward they will deliver at the end of
the first phase of this this project and and but but I would contend that if
any City is is given an architecture choice where there’s only one
architecture that’s hardly hardly a choice and and so what I would put
forward is that an alternative architecture which there’s a whole
network of people across the country that are starting to think about this
which is that public data should be owned by for for the public benefit
right and to do that we need to move towards standards and I was excited to
see in the master plan a big focus on standards move towards EVIC woody
because if you’re building applications let’s say you’re your ups trying to
route packages through a city in a more efficient way you having data in little
pockets of city or in one minute spending out the other doesn’t help you
so we need to move towards ubiquity and the third one whether we like it or not
economics drives the world and and we need to build into the architecture
economic incentives for both public sector and private sector to want to
participate and and time is almost up here but sort of in conclusion I I would
encourage the city and and the province on the feds who are already engaged on
this to to engage in a dialogue to understand that what’s
happening right now is there a unique time in the development of cities and
and what we hear talked about as the smart city is really about a fundamental
technology architecture and if we’re not careful private sector is going to
define the architecture and literally hundreds of billions of dollars of
market capitalization is going to be created for private companies where it
could be sitting on public sector balance sheets so thank you for your
time and happy to take questions thank you for yours and for your patience and
and for the good work you do for us as a helping us with some of our technical
requirements too in other areas who has questions of this deputy and other
questions councillor Ainsley Thank You Mara Torrey I just wanted to ask you
Curtis so your business your Waterloo startup tech correct how many employees
do you have now 175 and when you first started I think from your website it was
it was three students in the basement yep and now you do a lot of traffic
management and you’ve got a blog and do webinars one of the one of the
conversations we’ve had here there’s a conversation around privacy of open data
and some data sets might be commercially important to an miscibility and they
shouldn’t be put in there would you see that as more of a hindrance or is that
common across municipalities to do that so I appreciate the question and I think
it’s an important distinction so so I’ll make a distinction between open data and
open architecture so open data is the act of taking data and making it open
open architecture is building into the fabric of how you how you think about
data in the city building into the into the fabric of that the ability to open
it right and as opposed to give it away to a private interest so I it’s not my
I’m a technologist not a public policy person it’s not my job to decide what
should be open what should be closed what should be sold what shouldn’t be
what I’m suggesting is that there’s a fundamental question here that if we
want to set up the next 50 years of how people experience their cities we got to
get the technology architecture of how the data generated from cities
interfaces to the world and there there’s a raging battle going on right
now between private interests that want all that data to go to flow from
you know tax dollars through public infrastructure investment to private
benefit and and people would want to see that stay within the public space so so
I I would sort of suggest that it’s a good question but it’s not it’s not not
people in my I have the luxury of not being public policy thank you thank you
Mary Thank You Council II other questions of this tepid –nt okay well
again our immense gratitude for your patience today all of you that have hung
in there mr. Pietro and yourself and miss Evans
Derek Moran you know the rules mr. Moran hath for three minutes I’m already up to
have anyone spoken go ahead still three minutes take notice that the crown is
the surety for mr. Derek Moran the person I have I just want to say by me
speaking at this meeting that shall not be deemed to be in any way my consent
express or implied and doing so as fraud god bless her Majesty the Queen and long
live Her Majesty the Queen so my whole thing with this is the whole
open by default standard well what if you guys aren’t open by default what if
the City of Toronto blocks information from people so I just wanted to show up
today and share my an example of my lived experience with the City of
Toronto and being open and providing data with me so I did a Freedom of
Information Act a few of them for the subscribed oaths pursuant to section for
the public officers Act from Mike st. amant
Daphne Donaldson councillor Denzil men and Wong who it’s not here and
ironically you Lee Waqas so I got a signed letter here by you Lee Waqas and
that says please be advised that upon consultation with our legal services
division the public officers Act does not apply to municipal government
service employees additionally this act also does not apply to see councilors
and there’s a sentence here your application fees will be refunded just
so everyone sees in the bottom left-hand corner there that’s you li hua kisses
signature now the problem with this is that you
know I’m big on Maxim’s of law merit or even to trial police board and speak
there so there’s a maximal law I brought here onus probe and I doesn’t fit on the
burden of proving the strict meaning of the term onus probe and I is this that
if no evidence is given by the party on whom the burden is cast the issue must
be found against him because I got a real issue with this and just because
someone from legal services here at the City of Toronto got a magic arts degree
from legal school which gives them special magic authority powers to use
legalese in terms of art to deceive people into thinking they’re the person
they have doesn’t mean they can fill you lis Waqas and Susan Campbell’s heads up
with lies and just make stuff up as they go along because nowhere in the public
officers Act does it say that that it does not apply to municipal government
service employees and to city councillors I didn’t pay five dollars to
be lied to you by some anonymous City of Toronto lawyer and I demand five dollars
back because they think that they processed my request for Mike Stanton
montz subscribed oath but I didn’t get a subscribed oath but they’re still
charging me the five bucks and they won’t give it back so I’m sure you’ll
make sure to take care of that inventory and there was something else just three
minutes to run five really fast on on these days but yeah that’s basically all
what I had to say thank you sir are there any questions of the depe dn’t
okay hearing none thank you very much then we go to Mark Richardson please
thank you for your patience mr. Richardson
hey how are you sir okay thank you we’re shirt for time so we have try to
get through twelve slides in three minutes first of all this is a good
start on this open data master plan it’s great work but your question should be
now what we started this conversation back in January 2016 it’s taken as two
years hard work by your staff and by all the stakeholders that Richard talked
about now we have your open data master plan report basically from 2011 to 2016
we were stuck in a snow bank we spent the last two years on the people here in
the city the stakeholders helped you dig it out we pushed it you’re pointing the
tires in the right direction we just need you to give it a little big ass so
maybe what we need to do is the same sort of thing we’ve done with traffic in
this city get Toronto moving campaign get Toronto moving on open data your
staff have highlighted a number of things in the document and the page
numbers are there I want to just raise them for you a stable foundation a
substantial investment open data is a key contributor to the success of
strategic initiatives like smart cities Civic innovation and open government
open data is a not an official program which compromises permanency continuity
consistent access to funds publishing open data is not a requirement and the
city’s open data policy does not include open by default positioning open data as
an approach to decrease FOI requests and repeated republic’ questions which some
of the TTC has done successfully publish a dashboard that reflects open data
contributions by divisions agencies boards and commissions make sure you’re
cracking the whip with everybody the city needs to remove organizational
cultural barriers to open data there’s one thing you remember today remember
that open data is not a priority at all levels of the organization competing
philosophies exist between open data and data for revenue generation these are
all comments your staff have made within the report so what do you need to do you
need to be more like New York city they have an open data bylaw since
2012 they have a report back every year they hold their agencies departments and
commissions to a standard you need to be like the province of Ontario where mr.
Wallace was before where they set their standard as open by default is written
into the legislation Mayor Bloomberg said in 2012 if we’re going to continue
leading the country in innovation transparency we’re gonna have to make
sure that all New Yorkers have access to the data that drives our city each month
our administration shares more and more of this data with the public at large
catalyzing the creative intellect and enterprising spirit of computer
programmers to build the tools that help us all improve our lives so there’s been
some concerns about parking meter data we can take more questions about that if
you’re interested but really you Burt you were here we’ve pushed you out of
the snowbank you’ve got five-year plan in front of
you right now and there’s money in it but there’s only money in it for one
year in five years you could be here alright so when you’re looking at this
plan think of what Drake says I’m trying to do better than good enough 316 not
bad thank you we get that house if we go along mr. Ethan I don’t know just a scam
pack what do you assess mean is yeah yeah okay well thank you mr. Richardson
I’m sure there’ll be some questions are there questions of this dependent god
seriously remark could you just explain a little more about New York City they
have an open data law they’ve had a hard bylaw since 2012 brought in by Mayor
Bloomberg maintained under Mayor DeBlasio it’s that thing your staff said
about permanence and continuity elections change things by putting it
into a bylaw like your employment equity requirements then the or when you’re
dealing with Google and sidewalk if you have a bylaw that says we are supporters
of open data we mandate open data within the organization then it is baked into
the cake of everything you do RFPs and deals with sidewalk deals with Amazon
deals with whoever and that’s been around every year they report back well
you think we complete this open data master plan and then the kind of next
logical step after that would be a bylaw yeah your staff is warning you there’s
no permanence there’s no funding there’s no long-term follow-up there’s not
consistency across divisions it’s all it’s not even carried and stick it’s
there’s no carrot there’s no stick it’s bright now it’s a feel-good item with
one or two years worth of money okay and then can you explain the lot
you had one slide on San Diego and parking data yeah so I know there’s been
some concerns about a request that’s coming up from the Toronto parking
authority about releasing data from parking meters
basically there’s nothing to be afraid of and if anybody thinks there is
anything to be afraid of the mayor and the folks in San Diego are happy to take
a phone call from you and talk through what they’ve been releasing detailed
parking transaction data for the last three years okay thank you thank you
California’s the other questions for mr. Richardson okay well thank you very much
we appreciate all the time you spend coming to see us on at the police board
as well I appreciate that very much okay let’s see now we’re at got one more
to go here too many I mean where am I here there I am
Lois Wynne Jones think data works thank you thank you all right some slides but
I think I’m just gonna shoot from the hip on this one cuz you’ve all been here
for a long time now it’s alright thanks my name is Lisbon Jones and I’m here on
behalf of think data works we’re a Toronto based company that uses open
data as a core element for our business we’ve been in a position to watch
Toronto’s open data evolve over time and that evolution has created a unique
business opportunity for both the city and for private enterprise within it the
open data master plan is a critical step in establishing Toronto as a city that
capitalizes the financial and social gains that
opendata provides it will also be instrumental in establishing Toronto as
one of the preeminent open cities in North America and a global innovation
center for our part in the last four years think data has developed
partnerships with some of the largest companies in Canada from Thomson Reuters
and IBM to the Government of Canada and we’ve grown from three employees to 30
none of this would have happened without open data in the past few years there
have been seismic changes to the open data landscape in many ways think data
as a company has mirrored the growth of many open data policies which is to say
we didn’t know how to do things properly until we started doing things properly
this process may seem inexact to the outside observer but the truth of the
matter is that perfecting policy requires an incredible amount of effort
from internal stakeholders the Open Data master plan which I wholeheartedly
support is the byproduct of a dedicated group of people not getting discouraged
by the setbacks inherent in doing something complex years ago think data
developed a guide line of data that every city should release it came out of
conversations that we were having with companies who were trying to use open
data and as such it’s a baseline of data that represents immediate value to
businesses fully implementing and enforcing the open data master plan as a
core city policy and practice guarantees our ability to share this kind of
information with the city and ensures that the city has a mechanism for
implementing these global best practices internally in this way the master plan
reflects an administration that is eager to engage with its constituents and with
their businesses this is not transparency as lip service this is the
kind of discourse that has the power to transform economies there’s one thing I
know to be true no open data policy is so good that it does not need revision
and no of need a portal is so perfect that it does not require upkeep the open
data master plan has the potential to put Toronto ahead of the open data curve
but it is not a magic bullet the single most important thing that any city can
do to ensure the success of its open data is have political representatives
and empowered public servants with in government who fervently believe in its
ability to transform their city for the better thank you thank you sir questions
of the councillor Ainsley yes Thank You meryt
oh sorry I just said it could you just say again how many employees you have we
are moving to 30 employees we’re in a growth period right now we are currently
at 15 full-time employees and we’re moving space actually so we can
accommodate all of them okay and you were saying you wouldn’t be able to have
created your business and have that number of employees with that open data
absolutely not okay all right thank you thank you other
questions of the deputy thank you very much thank you for your patience much
appreciate and good luck with your business that brings us to the end of
the deputies and so now we would move to questions of staff are there questions
of staff okay hearing none speakers anybody from outside the executive
committee wishing to speak members of the committee
I’ll speak lost okay well you may end up speaking first and last well I shall be
first and the first will be last all right so okay
well I know it’s been a long day so I’m gonna bedtime story so my story begins
you’re walking down the street when it starts to rain so you duck into a bus
shelter near the bus shelters a coffee shop the owner of the coffee shop
decided on its location after using free market research from information on
neighborhood demographics and localized business conditions when the owners bank
wanted foot traffic numbers to support her loan application her niece a
master’s student a local university made block-level estimates of pedestrian
volume from the from their city through open data inside the coffee shop a group
of high school students is hard at work on a paper for their environmental
science class they’re analyzing the effects of climate change on different
tree species the data they’re using isn’t comparing far-off conditions
it’s from trees planted in their neighborhood if their paper is the best
in the class that meet with city agencies to put the recommendations into
action construction is going on in the park across the street
community members use open data on the neighborhood to decide where they want
to spend a discretionary grant the construction company saw the bid through
an app that uses machine learning and City open data
business opportunities specifically matched the size and expertise of the
company the company is small and is never considered working with the city
now it’s planning on bidding on two more contracts next year two city inspectors
and every building down the street they’ve just spent the morning
inspecting buildings to make sure they’re safely up to code in order to
increase the effectiveness of their inspection process they use a predictive
model developed by the agency’s analytical team using open data provided
by their municipality it continues to rain operational centers for different
agencies use three one one service requests for Street and building
flooding to deploy immediate resources they also overlay this rainstorms data
against past storm information to find hotspots to target in for the
infrastructure repairs an additional investment for long-term resiliency and
merit or time story because and I want to thank
everybody for coming in this evening I think open data and many of these people
are here is a very comport important component is city life and how you can
make a city better one of the things I’ve learned over the past two years
trying to explain what open data is and how it works and how it can impact the
daily life of a city a story seems to work best in trying to ensure instead of
trying to explain about open data and data silos and privacy versus public
data as we had a conversation earlier with with sidewalk labs and I want to
thank staff for all the hard work that they put into this open data management
plan that’s before us I think it’s a key next step in helping bring this city as
you like to say Merritt or II into the 21st century and I would ask everybody
to support it thank you okay councillor Haynes they had asked to speak last but
you didn’t put your hand up when I asked but you go ahead and speak I have a
small motion just to put forward that I think you’re aware of and city staff are
supportive of that simply looks to be sure that our policy makes sure that
items that we might have proprietary interest and might not be disclosed and
I would use information such as the parking authority which might have a
lot in New York felon has using a user on it we would want to make that
information possibly not make it public because that may allow competition with
us but a lot nearby or something similar to that
I’m just looking for staff to come back and clarify what the policy or add to
that in June otherwise I’m fine with the
recommendations that are here Thank You counselor
are there any questions of the mover otherwise I’ll just make one comment
which is to say thank you to the staff for the echoing the comments of
councillor Ainsley there’s been a lot of work done on this and to say that you
know consistent with one of the presentations we saw there the proof of
this will be and how committed we become as an organization from us all the way
through because I think we should be serious about this I think there’ll be
immense benefits in terms of transparency and in terms of things that
come out of it that we can’t even imagine and I think where it’s been done
and where there’s been a commitment to it it’s been proven to be a great
success without exception I think so I hope we will and I think if there are no
other comments it’s time for the question
so there was one motion just this one by councillor shiner
so we’ll vote on that first that’s a motion to amend the report all those in
favor opposed carried the item as amended all those in favor opposed carry
with thanks again to those who came out to speak to us today and waited so long
and also with great thanks to our staff for a lot of hard work over a long
period of time okay night-night I eat him thirty point seventeen he X thirty
point seventeen review of code of conduct that was being held for a
deputation and that was Derek Moran so in this report it mentions when it
established the Toronto Investment Board City Council requested that the
integrity Commissioner reviewed the code of conduct for members of local boards
to recommend any amendments to reflect the fiduciary duties of the investment
board one thing integrity commissioner Valerie Jepsen’s should take notice of
is in regards to something I mentioned at the police board last week citing you
verses Hopkins 1886 from the US Supreme Court we said while sovereign powers are
delegated to the agencies of government that would be you guys sovereignty
itself remains with the people by whom and for whom all government exists and
acts so back to duties as an example of some where duties is mentioned they have
a shorter version of section 336 of the City of Toronto act over in the UK take
notice of section 79 point 2 of the UK Local Government Act of 1888 says
incorporation of County Council all duties and liabilities of the
inhabitants of a county shall become and be duties and liabilities of the Council
of such County now anyone ever heard of something called usufruct there’s duties
attached to that the integrity commissioner should take notice of
especially in regards to the Toronto Realty agency board user fucked is a
civil law term it’s defined as the right of enjoying a thing the property of
which is vested in another and to draw from the same all the profit utility and
advantage which it may produce provided it be without altering the substance of
the thing then there’s the duties that come along with user frog this is a
definition of usufructuary from Bouvier’s Law Dictionary 1856 dome at
with his usual clearness points out the duties of the user fluctuate which are
one to make an inventory of the things subject to the user fucked in the
presence of those having an interest in them to to give security like section 7
of the Constitution everyone has the rights of the security of the person for
the restitution when the user fucks shall be at an end 3 to take good care
of the things subject to the user front 5 to keep the thing in repair at his own
expense and I went out of order there a little bit for to pay this is the best
part all taxes and claims which arise while the thing is in his possession as
a ground rent that’s why you know every once in a while I come up here and
and I brought it today that’s why you guys send us a rent check from an
association with the federal government this is a rent check from you guys to
pay the taxes with this remittance and actually I went over this with Marco
menechino on Sunday at his budget town hall meeting and he was good enough to
suggest why doesn’t my father deposit this credit item into his bank account
and then draw the funds from this remittance credit item out of his bank
account to pay the taxes with I guess my personal check he was implying so I
wonder if the guy max at TD Canada Trust will go for that
we’ll see thank you very much questions at mr. Moran Oh take notice the crown is
the surety for the person I have Meritor you’re a lawyer you should know this by
now I throw you myself upon the mercy of the deputed Thank You Derek so thank you
any questions that Aaron we’re hearing hearing none we’ll thank you very much
for your patience I think that was the only interpretation that we had on that
indeed it was questions of staff and our integrity commissioner has she’s the
last person standing and they’re sitting in the room but does she’s here and I’m
sure available to answer questions from any of us on that and with apologies if
there are none that you waited all this time but you’ll want to hear the
disposition of the item as well but thank you for being here and so that
brings us to nobody wants any questions of staff all right then it brings us to
people wishing to speak no speakers all right then I’ll call the question on the
recommendation which is contained in the report to amend the conduct as set out
in the appendix and to amend the conduct of the local boards and adjudicator
boards all those in favor opposed Carrie thank you for your hard work sure and
thank you all for that then next is item X 30 point 27 dynamic
symbol of success inclusion on city-owned properties the Ontario
Building Code and so on there was a definite on that Jonathan
silver the forward movement thank you for your patience mr. Soler Thanks yeah
I also had a presentation but I think I’ll just cut it really really short and
make it quick my name is Jonathan silver and I’m the co-founder of the format
forward movement we’re an accessibility and disability awareness and advocacy
group and what we’re doing is we’re updating the accessible icon in the
province so the current icon is everyone is familiar with it shows a person
sitting in a wheelchair and they’re just kind of sitting there almost as if
they’re waiting to be pushed from behind the new symbol the dynamic symbol of
access shows a person in a wheelchair and they’re propelling themselves
forward and they’re moving in this forward motion we understand that not
everybody who has a disability uses a wheelchair and not everybody who uses a
wheelchair is able to propel themselves forward like you see in the image of the
dynamic symbol of access but the symbol it’s a symbol and it represents first
and foremost that people with a disability have different abilities and
they have abilities so we we currently it’s myself and and my partner Dylan
we’re not just going around saying we think that this is the the best symbol
we’ve you’ve been very diligent in making sure that we have a lot of
organizations who also think the same so right now we have over 50 endorsements
from different organizations that represents people persons with the
disability many different types of disabilities so right now just for
example we have muscular dystrophy Canada Multiple Sclerosis Society of
Canada spina bifida and hydrocephalus Association of Ontario just of the
ability center and there’s a whole slew of others and so there’s very
wide-ranging support across the province and across Canada for this new
accessible icon and what we are asking for is a it’s a simple change but it’s
also a lot more than that the chain by changing the symbol regenerate a lot of
conversation we’ve done parking lot painting events the media has come out
and there’s been a lot of discussion changing attitudes around disability and
even as you walk around the city you may notice one of the new signs there’s a
lot of organizations in the city that are using the new symbol on their
property and you see the new symbol and you think about it and it you sit you
wonder and that that is a step towards education and changing changing the
discussion around inclusion so currently in Ontario there’s a number of different
cities that have adopted the new symbol so there’s Guelph Waterloo Cambridge
Wellington Sarnia Stratford Owen Sound and we have a lot of presentations that
are upcoming two other different cities and municipalities yeah that’s all I
have to say and I’m happy to answer any questions thank you very much questions
of the Deputy it got seriously thank you thank you for coming in Jonathan you’ve
got a petition that you’re asking people to sign as well aren’t you
we do have a petition that we are asking people to sign but that’s kind of at the
back of our of our work we spend more time reaching out to organizations who
represent large groups of people and can speak for on their behalf okay and are
you going municipality to municipality or is this something you’re also
engaging at the provincial level or we’re doing both so by speaking with
different municipalities we’re showing that there’s support from the ground up
and that the province can see that the different mutants cities different
municipalities are on board and so if they make a decision they can see that
there’s support across the province on on the local levels okay thank you
thank you Mary Tori thanks it constraints the other questions if
they’re not I just have a couple of I’m a first of all there are other cities
they didn’t say in our brief report that we got here whether there were other
cities for example bigger or smaller than Toronto that have signed on yep so
in Canada I mean there are cities outside of Canada New York one of them
New York State in Canada yep there’s Guelph Waterloo Cambridge as I
mentioned Sarnia just signed on a few days ago the city of Strafford signed on
and then he Lee went ahead and repainted their at
least one parking lot that I know of on on government property and that was sort
of my second question and I made a comment to this effect cuz asked about
this by the meaty earlier today but when they have done that they meaning the
cities you just mentioned say the ones in Ontario yeah have they gone to a full
sort of replacement with the forward assemble replacing the old the old
established one yeah I I don’t know what else Stratford is that at the moment but
basically the stuff that they took is they said we are supporting this symbol
and to show our support we’re painting the parking lot and then it makes sense
financially that on all renovations and new construction they use the new symbol
because there’s no difference in price between using the old and the new it’s a
zero cost solution and while there are – this is my final question it was a point
I made this morning and I made it only in the context of saying it’s something
you’d want to avoid and I don’t think there’s too much danger but you know do
you have any comments about the issue of confusion I mean in this case I think
most people would look at either one and sort of figure out what it was you know
even if they didn’t know there was a change taking place but I just said
confusion was a was a bad thing given that we’ve just started to get the kind
of level of awareness of people with differing abilities and respecting those
symbols when they see them and so forth and so on
do you have any comment on that yeah I think that’s a valid concern and I think
we’ve been very careful in choosing this dynamic symbol of access opposed to
other possible symbols like an open door for example we still the dynamic of
symbol of access is very close to the current symbol and so I think it’s it’s
hard to mistake what it means you see a wheelchair you see that those blue
colors and that indicates that’s a very clear indication of what the symbol
means it means barrier-free access okay thank you very much
any other questions okay well thank you again for your patience in being with us
mr. silver and you’re excused if you wish to you can stay there if you want
but you’re you’re certain excused from being at that table now there are there
questions of staff got anything so I just wanted to understand so if we
endorse this and one of the recommendations is that we ask
request the province of Ontario to include the dynamic symbol of access and
the Ontario Building Code so if we approved it at the city is it something
that we would replace all the symbols or the signage or I know I understand the
city in the state of New York they grandfathered and they replaced the
the signage as that came due or those renovations donner work done in a
building who was answering on this this evening understaffed I guess it falls to
a city manager fault up the scale to the top yeah so one of the so I was trying
to understand how if we approve this one of the recommendations is we’re asking
the province to change the interior building code and as a municipality in
New York State you know there was a grandfathering clause so that the
signage was replaced as renovations were done our buildings opened or built is
that something that we would look at doing in the city of Toronto as well or
okay thank you any other questions could I just follow along along with
just so I the members understand what they’re voting on mr. city manager it
says here you can see the word City Council direct the general manager
facilities management to report to the executive committee with a plan to
implement this so would I be correct in taking that is approving the empty
what’s the word adoption of this symbol as the sort of all caught the official
symbol for people of differing abilities and disabled facilities and whatnot okay
so I just a so people are clear that’s I guess we’ll be voting on the second part
is just a request to the province but the first part is the part that sort of
effectively has us adopting this so anybody else have any other questions of
staff do you want to speak or ask a question council we’re looking at
changing well that’s actually on that door is
that correct the door to your left right so it’s
taken us I guess some time and that symbol has been in place for quite some
time and we’re looking at being asked to I guess adopt or endorse the acceptance
of the principle or and all off a change in that system have we consulted with
the public okay I haven’t either so I thought I’ll ask
the question so if it’s not there do we will you create a situation process
where they’ll be consultation or do you need directions with respect to that of
this we don’t need direction we do that you’ll okay naturally okay that’s fine
thank you other members wishing to speak turn on
your mic to every good counsel yeah thank you I understand wanting to have
dynamic action have it look like it’s moving but that’s not many of the people
that I see in chairs if I saw my dad in his chair like that I think he was
falling over because he’s old so I don’t know really how to deal with this really
I mean consult I understand both perspectives but you have an
international symbol which is what the one is on the door now we’re asked to
change that so I’m the report the one thing that’s important and I guess
you’ve spoken in that sort I didn’t I’m looking for some others to speak I do
want it’s not questions anymore we’re in speeches how I believe oh you’re not so
that could be a question if it helps sure yeah and I’m not sure I’ll give a
satisfactory answer but the the report is actually quite self-explanatory
the Toronto accessibility Advisory Committee which is generally where I
want to expect the City of Toronto to take advice from has come forward
received what they believed to be a compelling
presentation offered offered this this advice up to this community committee to
accept it or not but it is it is fairly straightforward
okay tonight to replace a static symbol with a dynamic symbol and the process
from here is process for here is that that that the general manager facilities
management would report back in the first quarter of 2018 that’s gonna be
slightly challenged a bit of a plan implement the dynamic symbol for access
to city-owned properties and one would assume that that would bring in without
speaking for the general manager one would assume that would bring a phased
approach the deck if this could help the deck indicates that this is the same
process that was followed in a number of the cities that mr. silver mentioned in
the Western Ontario they first went to their accessibility committee and then
the city approved it and that’s I guess what’s happening here the deck doesn’t
really add very much in terms of what public consultation was done but I guess
to the city manager’s point the accessibility Advisory Committee is our
vehicle for getting that advice and they’ve given us that advice which is
that we should do this so and I guess the plan as it’s a broad degree of
latitude the plan can have us to sort of exactly how you do it or whatever so any
other yes the councillor anything pardon me please go ahead the
recommendations I’m very happy to move the recommendations in the report merit
or II as a symbol says it’s a dynamic symbol one of the things that it does is
it takes the emphasis away from the the wheelchair and puts the emphasis on the
person that’s in the wheelchair you know they’re moving one of the things that I
Vic’s people that I’ve talked to a lot recently at the Toronto Pan Am Center
which we have a very vibrant wheelchair basketball team their number do lots of
athletes they’re talking to them they they support this idea it’s where I
first learned about it a couple of weeks ago they all think it’s a great idea and
the disability community is fully supportive of it and for that reason
alone it’s gone to our disability accessibility committee and I’m more
than happy to move the recommendations any other comments anyone else wishing
to speak if not I’ll call the question all those in favor opposed carry e^x
thirty point thirty two that was being held by councillor shiner carbon policy
for City of Toronto projects I’ll just move the recommendations from Council
even so the right just to be clear because it’s in a different format it’s
a letter so that a number of people deputy a number of officials be asked to
report to the parks and environment really on the viability of a carbon
pricing pool and if appropriate of policy proposed policy and
implementation plan yes moving that recommendation yes all right any that
the counselor China has moved that recommendation is there anybody else
wishing to speak here all right all those in favor opposed Carrie we have
now item 30 point 33 and that was being held for a deputation I believe yes it
was there are two deputations Riley Peterson mr. Derek Moran will win the
ultimate prize because he’s the very last for the most patients but you what
you in the second to last and thank you very much for your patience and for your
interest 12 in York South Weston and I’m here tonight to express my concerns
around Toronto hydros efforts to keep important information and then from the
public on March 25th 2017 the Toronto Star created a timeline of their efforts
to obtain information from Toronto Hydro that should be publicly available
Torontonians deserve answers accountability and transparency from our
public utilities Toronto Hydro is owned by the mean
poor government the City of Toronto it is a public utility that should have
should always answer to the public according to its 2016 annual report the
Toronto Hydro is the second largest municipal electricity distribution
company in Canada serving approximately seven hundred and sixty one thousand
customers in the city since January of 2016 the Toronto Star has been trying to
obtain information regarding the possible privatization and the estimated
costs of all work done by consultants including lawyers and pollsters related
to a possible sale of hydro in January of 2017 the star submitted another
Freedom of Information request regarding how much public money Toronto Hydro had
spent on contractors to fight the star’s initial request the three Freedom of
Information requests have all been denied and fought by Toronto Hydro
councillor perks has also submitted an administrative inquiry into the cost of
preventing information being released that hydro has also denied as residents
of the City of Toronto and members of the voting public we should have the
right to know how and why public money is being spent this is not unique just
as we know how the Toronto Public Library allocates its funds we should
know how hydro is spending our money once again hydro is a public utility
that should be transparent and accountable to the people there is no
excuse for this information to be hidden thank you Thank You mr. Peterson
questions of the Deputy all right again I’ll thank you very much for your
comments and for your patience Derek Moran you know I met Doug Ford last week
hear what he told me about this scandal Oh God I want to say out loud so badly
but it’s like you know I actually have to have proof you know regarding stuff
like that and I don’t want to do anything to get the next mayor of
Toronto in trouble so since this since you’re talking about me mr. brown
I’m assuming oh sorry Derek notice the crown is the
surety for mr. Derek man the person since this somehow supposedly deals with
the Securities Act we might as well take a look at what it says the purposes of
the Act are section 1.1 says the purposes of this act are a to provide
protection to investors from an unfair improper or fraudulent practices B to
foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in capital
markets and C to contribute this to the stability of the financial system and
the reduction of systemic risk and if they ever get around to amending the Act
they should probably add a D to stonewall counselor Gord perks and David
rider of the Toronto Star from finding out the truth because there’s also a
definition in the Securities Act from misrepresentation a an untrue statement
of material fact or be an omission to state a material fact that is required
to be stated or that is necessary to make a statement not misleading in the
light of the circumstances in which it was made I think I heard something like
that before oh that’s right this is you Meritor e you’re speaking to Kerr
instance at the time at a debate and you told Karen stones Karen since you came
out in a very hasty manner and said you were gonna sell that off which I would
not do I would not sell Toronto Hydro also in the securities act there’s a
definition for a material fact when used in relation to securities issued or
proposed to be issued means a fact that would be reasonably expected to have a
significant effect on the market price or value of the securities kind of like
it would reasonably be expected that counselor perks counselor Davis and the
help of counselor Platt Co and any other counselor shouldn’t have had the try and
stop merit or selling Toronto Hydro why I would not sell Toronto Hydro while
we’re at it debt security means a bond debenture
note or other similar instrument representing
indebtedness whether secured or unsecured now I don’t know why I’m
bringing that up because I just don’t have any idea what them getting
stonewalled getting this information has to do with the Securities Act other than
there’s a court case Canadian bank note company versus Leblon that says the
plaintiff Canadian bank note is a developer and manufacturer of security
printing services and on the bottom of our birth certificates that says
Canadian bank no Company Limited but what my time is almost done it actually
is done I would not sell Toronto Hydro and have I mr. Moran have I no nevermind
alright okay did you try – nope and I never once thank you very much for
your – every day why is this even on the agenda I have no idea the crown is the
surety for mr. Daley thank you for your deputation thank you very much are there
any questions of the deputy ok aha we had questions of staff now by by
visiting visiting members of council on counselor perks is here and the way go
thank you very much I suppose my questions are to mr. Earle
so the administrative inquiry we have there’s a response under the signature
of a man decline the executive vice president regulatory affairs and general
counsel of Toronto Hydro the last sentence of which says all of which
remains in the appeal stage before the information Privacy Commissioner of
Ontario accordingly Toronto Hydro is not in a position to comment on the
substance of those Appeals while they remain subject to adjudication by the
IPC my question was not on substance but rather regarding legal costs is there
anything in the privacy of Commissioners rules of procedure in corporate law or
anything that would prevent Toronto Hydro from sharing with Toronto City
Council the costs of associated with these Freedom of
Information inquiries well I think I’d answer the question in the context of of
counsel’s rights as a shareholder and counsel has the right to direct that
information be provided and while I’d hesitate that to say that that means all
information the rights they have under the shareholder direction are not
restricted there so okay so I in I just want to make sure I’ve got it all
covered in response to a previous inquiry Toronto Hydro wrote and there’s
no signature attached to this response the information about specific contracts
is commercially sensitive and legally privileged and that was their given
reason for not sharing information with us is there anything about commercial
contract law or privileged law that would prevent Toronto City Council from
getting information from something that we are the sole shareholder yeah I mean
I think my answer would be the same neither of those requests came from
Council as the shareholder so if if the requests for that information came from
Council in your view there would be no legal reason for Toronto Hydro to say
that they cannot share with us as I say there doesn’t seem to be a barrier in
the in the shareholder direction today thank you very much those were my
questions mr. mayor thanks councillor perks are there other questions of staff
okay those wishing to speak and we have councillor perks thank you very much mr.
mayor it in remarks on an earlier item a deputy brought forward disturbing but
accurate information on public attitudes and trust of government and says that
there’s been a very sharp decline recently and and that concerns me deeply
and I think it should concern all members of council deeply government
exists only by the suffrage of the people who are governed and if we are
unable to keep their trust we the city of
becomes uncover noble and I think a key way to maintain that trust is to remove
any perception that important information that should be shared at
least with public officials is not being arbitrarily withheld I think we have a
duty as members of council to make sure that entities that we own live to live
up to that standard I’m going to request therefore that some member of the
executive committee simply move that this item before wordid to City Council
for its consideration and at that time it would be my intention to move a
motion directing or someone else on council night directing Toronto Hydro to
respond with this information I understand that there might be
circumstances between Toronto Hydro and City Council where some information
might have a reason to come to us as an in-camera report there might be an issue
like that if that’s the case and the city solicitor agrees that would be an
acceptable outcome but nevertheless there is no circumstance at all whereby
we as members of council should not be privy to this important information so I
hope someone on on the executive committee will as I said move to have
this item forwarded to Council so that we can take this step to get the
information that mr. Earle described thank you Thank You councillor Burks
other speakers wishing to be heard on this is councillor shiner Oh mayor Tory
I’ll move that this item go to counsel without recommendations and I’ll tell
you why I sat in this room here when David Miller was mayor and on occasion
over and over again because of the rules of the committee I and a number of my
colleagues were continually shut down and being able to get things in front of
a council for its consideration and it felt terrible
what our colleague is asking is that council consider his request and that’s
saying I’ll supported I won’t support it a council but he went to council with it
it came back here I don’t see anything wrong with him asking a council if will
support the request to get the information or not stopping it here by a
minority of council which is seven members so four people say no four
people out of 45 you can’t even get a chance to ask council those questions
and you know that council perks and I don’t always agree on issues but I do
agree on the freedom that a member of council should have to be able to make
that request of the body of council so it’s not as much the issue that’s in
front of us but it’s the principle of making the ask of council whether he can
and can’t get Council’s approval to ask for particular information as a
shareholder I’m gonna move that item to Council without recommendation and I
think it would be reasonable for us to at least let him make his request to
Council of that and council will decide as it may be but to shut it down here
with not even a majority of our colleagues six members have been gone
for hours so it’s down to four of us to make a decision for everybody if it was
important to them they should have stayed so it came from an administrative
inquiry I’m died not familiar exactly but then I guess those end up here if if
council right right Council could receive it or refer it so we referred it
here I don’t see raw anything wrong with councillor perks making his request at
Council I don’t know whether council will even support it as I said the rules
where you can shut things down with such a few members of council is something
that if you’re in that position it really doesn’t feel good so go ask
that’s my perspective and see if council support
Cyrano all right Thank You counselors and others sir wishing to speak okay
well we have that motion in front of of us which is again you there does that
can be put up in the item to counsel with no recommendation all right well I
there’s no other speakers I’m ready to call the question yeah you have a
question of the mover well probably of staff and but afraid questions for staff
time there are over but you could ask it quite well simply because I don’t quite
understand what would prevent someone from moving emotional counsel asking
asking counsel to do something maybe I don’t know why we had to go through the
administrative inquiry process to get it referred here oh maybe maybe leeway to
do it the way that things were set up was an administrative inquiry receive or
refer refer it comes here here that counselors ask us to ask counsel be able
to ask the question I don’t care if he asked the question of counsel’s – why
would you ask okay that’s our procedure as I said I’ve been shot I’ve been
shutting down in the room this committee could make the decision to direct
counsel to do it in other words he couldn’t skeino us to make a decision we
could request counsel to support his request right I’m not doing that I’m
sending it to Council without a recommendation so he can ask counsel
because at the same time I don’t think four of us should decide that Council
should do it I just go and have your question ask counsel all right that’s
your question any other comments people wishing to speak all right then it’s
ready to call the question the question is on the motion put forward by
counselors honor the item before word to city council without recommendation all
those in favor opposed Carrie okay we have but one more item don’t go
anywhere please we’ve got you can go custard perks you’re not part of quorum
but council Authority required to proceed to take part in provinces
development charge the rebate program and that is has been held down by a
counselor deputy mayor by law so what it said yeah army motion okay new item that
was added to the agenda correct mayor so I’m just moving it’s with regard to the
developer yes indeed so okay why did we hold it down then it was just an
additional item that was introduced okay your motion mr. mayor just want to see a
copy of it before we all vote on and I just don’t have it in front of me there
it is thank you all that this letter yes right okay so there’s a recommendation
here in the letter at the end from councilor by deputy mayor by Lao all
those in favor opposed carry and so your motion me did we deal with your motion
the one that was we did yes by item of new business we dealt with did we not we
did yes right after may I say thank you to those the the staff that are left and
pleased your colleagues that just filtered out of the room tell him I said
thank you for your patience today and thank you to the Kuti members and thank
you to the other staff that are here and we’re adjourned

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