If we can resume, that would be terrific.
And welcome back to all of our visitors today and to the members of the committee.
We agreed we would move next to item 3.3, which is administrative inquiry on sponsored
rallies. As customary, we start with our debutantes,
which there are seven. The first listed to appear is Dimitri lescares.
Good afternoon, sir. I think you understand how we operate.
Have you five minutes to make your comments. Or up to five minutes.
And there may be questions for you. Thanks for coming.
Can you hear me fine? Pardon?
Can you hear me fine. ?
Loud and clear, thank you. I’m the lawyer for the Al-Quds day rally if
Toronto. I would like to alert executive members to
the fact h we have filed for a member of the organizing committee.
This is filed and supportive in submissions that I will make to you today.
And he responds to various allegations that have been made to this committee about the
rallies. In view of my limited time I won’t repeat
what he says in his affidavit but he does address the principle claims made against
the rally and I urge members of the committee to read them if they have any concerns about
the allegations. I also have hard copies.
In January 2017, six peaceful worshipers were shot dead.
Several days ago, a white supremacist entered two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand and
shot dead 50 peaceful worshipers. Terent, much to our concern, had the name
em blazen had on one of his weapons as if having solidarity with the white supremacists
in Québec. You stated the Toronto quote stands with our
Muslim community to condemn this hate-filled violence.
We share solidarity with the Muslim community. This is by no means the only atrocity by the
right wing in the right recent past. There was a target in Pittsburgh.
It is precisely because of these far right atrocities that one of the overarching concerns
expressed by respondents to the city survey was the presence of neo-Nazis on city property.
With all due respect and the so-called hate rallies, we have heard fairly little about
the threats by the far right group. One group is JDL.
In November 2017, this committee held a meeting at which the mayor, JDL director made false
inflammatory allegations against the rallies. He alleged for example that the rallies at
those rallies crowds are insighted to hate Jews.
That is false. In fact, members of the Jewish committee participate
in the rally he year after. The opposition being expressed at the rallies
is not against the Jewish people but against Zionism, which many find to be profoundly
inconsistent with the values of Judaism. According to now Toronto at a recent city
hall rally to protest the federal government’s anti-phobia motion which passed overwhelmingly
members of the JDL physically attacked journalist and activist Kevin metcalf as he was filming
their protest. In the video, JDL members, according to Toronto
now, can be heard telling Mr. Metcalf you’re going to get killed.
In contrast, to the JDL sorted history, no organizer, this must be underlined, no organizer
or participant this rally has been charged let alone convicted with a hate crime.
Why? Because the police aren’t doing their job?
In this day and era when Muslims are under a microscope, are we to believe police are
hesitant to bring charges of hate against Muslim extremists?
No. The reason for the absence of any allegation
let alone conviction by the police is because no hate crime has ever been committed at rally
in Toronto. It is as simple as that.
Decades ago, purported to an ex east Jerusalem. The fundamental purpose of the rally says
simply to contest this act of confiscation of territory if violation of international
law. That’s all it is about.
Al-Quds means Jerusalem, around the world protecting Jerusalem and occupation of Palestinian
territory. The fact that this constitutes a severe violation
of international law is not something for which you need to take my word because this
is the official policy of the Canadian government and can you see this on the global affairs
website. Where it is explicitly acknowledged that east
Jerusalem is a violation of the Geneva Convention. Not only a — I have to ask to you wrap up.
We’re at 5:20. If you have one more sentence to complete
with. Yes, thank you, mayor.
Celebrated by Jews and Christians for one simple reason to ensure the state of Israel
respects the rights of international law. There is nothing remotely hateful about that.
Nothing whatsoever. Thank you.
Thank you very much. I might start with questions.
I’m sure there may be others. First of all, for myself, I can say in preamble
to my question, that for hate 23u8 language we reject in the city and that which flows
from the language, it goes across the board. It is something that has no place here.
And so, just in regard to your comments where you said you had not ever seen indication
of us taking on the people who are the extremist white supremacist, are you familiar with the
change in policy for booking rooms and libraries, under my leadership as mayor?
I want to be clear, my comment was to the debates occurring in this Executive Committee
with respect to the initiative council Pasternak. I’m saying, respectfully, this is part of
the question, you are not aware and that’s fair enough.
You wouldn’t necessarily beware. And I would tell you, would you accept from
me we had an instance where a room was rented inadvertently to groups that might be described
as fitting in the category you talked about. Not only did we issue a statement saying we
rejected it but we moved as city government amend policies to be sure we placed greater
scrutiny on those kinds of bookings, of library rooms, public spaces you referred to, so we
would try to not have those rooms made available to people from, you know, groups that were
preaching hateful conduct, some of the time. I’m not saying every word ever spoken.
But you would accept that we did that? I’m happy to take your word for it.
I commend the city. I’m sure my clients would as well.
So one more question, which is this. I’ve actually never been to one of these meetings
or or rallies, whatever they are called. Are you saying here today that all of what
has been written, and there is quite a bit that has, where some people have taken the
trouble to transcribe things said by speakers at these rallies in Arabic or other languages
so they had to be translated in English, are you saying all of that that happened, all
of the transcriptions done over time never happened and are false?
Again, you’re not giving me precise information. Let me tell you about what I know.
I have seen a great deal that has been written and transcribed about the rallies.
I cannot say I’ve seen everything. I can only speak to what I have read, which
is quite a bit. Everything that I have read that has been
transcribed is twisted and skewed. It is absolutely critical.
I, myself, attended one rally and spoken at one rally and last year’s 2018.
Where a shaykh who spoke after me was accused of having called for the eradication of Israelis.
I don’t think that’s at all what he said. He said he wants the eradication of a rediseem.
Disie onist regime. I think is a distortion of his words to say
there was to be a killing as a mass. I don’t think that’s true.
When you deprive people of the context and put the most nefarious interpretation — was
there an official response to the suggestion? Say you’re right and this is a misinterpretation
of what was said. I don’t think any context makes those kinds
of comments if they are meant in the way they are portrayed acceptable, but say you were
right. This is a misinterpretation.
If there is an organization that’s official enough to have you here today as their lawyer,
then I guess they are official enough to have issued a press release to say that is not
what was said. Let us say perhaps the backing after professional
translator that this wasn’t really said. This is a shameless misinterpretation, as
you called it. Was it ever done?
I myself publicly commented, including my website, about this allegation about the gentleman
who made these statements at Al-Quds rally. In my capacity as lawyer, I have done this.
But the person speaking after me, I’m sure he would be happy to address your concerns.
I have publicly commented and attempted to rebut the serious allegations made against
him. I was there.
I listened to the entire speech. I listened to it again and again on youtube.
I believe that is a grotesque misinterpretation of what he said.
I will ask Mr. Ellis as well. If you are official enough as an organization
to have you here as lawyer and Mr. Ellis here as principal, or whatever he is purported
to be, are you agreeing to accept under the law, and make arrangements, if you have people
engaging in this hateful speech then we will send a bill or policing and other costs when
you have rallies without permits to hold you account for this?
Are you willing to say yes we will hold account for this if there is hate speech.
We don’t direct the police. If the person is disseminating hate, so for
example there is a debate about whether Zionism is hate speech.
Whether the person is making a speech to send a devastating bill to the people who organize
this rally and have them pay the cost the city incurred in order it maintain public
safety during the rally, if they have an interpretation of hate speech which includes the notion which
we categorically reject the criticism of Zionism amounts to criticism of the Jewish people,
then yes we have a problem with them being sent that bell, absolutely.
If there is hate based on justice and principles of human rights law and applied impartially
and not discriminatory — so for example, the bill is sent to Al-Quds and not JDL, but
we need comfort that the city’s definition of hate is in accordance with human rights.
And embraced by a large portion of the Jewish community.
That’s the end of my question time. Now we move on to Councillor Pasternak.
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I’m looking at some of this, I guess this
is one of the songs that is saying, I guess it’s been translated from a reputable source,
slaughter them in etsion, stab whoever you see five, six, ten, 12.
Make us happy with bombing the mosque, make us happy with bombing the bus.
Now, do you think this is appropriate? Have you read my client’s affidavit sir?
Have you heard the song before? Yes, I have.
My client addressed in my affidavit. I’m asking you a straight-up question, did
you read my client’s affidavit sir. I will say respectfully, sir, we ask the questions
here. Councillor Pasternak — you are — perhaps
you could try to answer — I have heard the music.
I regard the music as offensive. So do my clients.
My client as explained in his affidavit, the speaker which from which this music was allegedly
played was never rented by the organizers and they put expert evidence before the committee
which I would hope Councillor Pasternak has read to support their position that that music,
if it was played, was not played on any speaker system they rented.
They reject it. They have no recollection of having heard
it. They reject categorically that they authorized
playing of that music. It apercent that someone involved in the video
upon which that allegation is base said Jonathan Halevy, exposed in the Toronto star in an
expose last year as being someone who had used a doctored and mistranslated video in
order to smear a Toronto. We found that out through investigation.
At the end of the day, whatever that video may or may not show, our client’s position
is, and we have sworn evidence that is un-contradicted, they had no knowledge of that music played.
Did not authorize that music played. And they reject categorically what is said
in that music. When they say “slaughter them in etsion,”
who are they referring to? I don’t ne. Know.
I’m not the author of the music. I will accept the characterization of the
music that it calls for the killing of Israelis and I reject it categorically.
So do my clients, I assure you. One last question.
Kevin Barrett, holocaust denier from the United States was invited to be your keynote speaker
in 2017. Is that correct?
It is correct that Kevin Barrett spoke. We don’t accept your allegation he is a holocaust
denier. My client in his affidavit explained that
Kevin Barrett, and this is not a fact ever communicated to the executive community in
all of this extensive of yours Mr. Pasternak, Kevin Barrett categorically denies he is a
holocaust denier. If you watch the video of his speech in 2017
at the Al-Quds rally, he suggests, interestingly, that the people who should have given up property,
land, in order to give the Jewish people a homeland were the Germans who perpetrated
this holocaust. Not the Palestinian people who had nothing
to do with it. That’s his argument as I understand it.
We have no knowledge. If my clients had any knowledge to know that
Kevin Barrett was a holocaust denier, they would not have invited him.
I have no more questions. Thank
you for being with us. We move to the next speaker, Mr. Ellis.
Steven Ellis, please. Good afternoon.
Good afternoon. You have five minutes and there may be questions.
Mr. Mayor, honourable members of council, thank you for the opportunity to comment on
this matter. I am a human rights lawyer.
As someone deeply versed in constitutional rights, I’m deeply concern bid this process.
If you would indulge me I would like to point out this is the international day for elimination
of discrimination. In recognition of this important day, I think
it would be appropriate to engage in some straight talk.
This is not concerning hate rallies. This is about the Al-Quds rally.
I saw no other groups mentioned in the documentation provided.
Not a myriad of hate groups out there trying to stir up hate.
The annual rally brings together hundreds of people to protest Israel’s inhumane treatment
of Palestinians. Those who gather on that day, every year,
express their anger over how western governments provide cover for Israeli regime at expense
of Palestinian lives. This is their right.
The law permits them to rally and express indignation over a fundamental injustice.
This is what freedom of expression is all about.
This is why Al-Quds is under the microscope. It is app expression of solidarity with the
plight of Palestinians. Why is this a problem for some?
Sadly, some among us don’t want the crimes to be exposed.
This is what Al-Quds does every year. Reminding the public that the Palestinian
land is an affront to humid ain daily violation of international law.
Let’s talk about curbing freedom of speech on Israel.
In the U.S., legislators are going to great lengths.
Making a crime up to 20 years in prison for supporting a boycott against Israel.
In response ACLU launched a myriad of lawsuits and the state and federal level to ensure
that American citizens continue to enjoy the right to protest.
So let’s have some straight talk about hate speech.
Section 319 sub 2, over past few years, a number of very prominent hate mongers have
been charged under this provision. One question raised by city clerks’ office
is whether or not charges are laid under this provision with regard to the rally on June
9, 2018. I can answer that for you.
They have not. The June 9 rally had no shortage of police
presence and no hate speech charges were filed. Why is that?
No charges were filed because there was no hate speech.
In fact I don’t think anyone at any Al-Quds rally has been charged with hate speech.
If there is so much hate speech emanating from the Al-Quds rally every year, why is
it that no one has been charged? Why hasn’t anyone been charged?
Canadians are increasing their rights on free speech be respected.
We ask that you do not go down the road of unconstitutional measures such as recently
enacted in France and the United States. Canadians have the right it speak out about
the fact that our government is aiding and abetting a government that has literally killed
thousands of unarmed Palestinians in the last decade.
In fact united nation’s council just released a report stating there are grounds to believe
that Israel has committed war crimes against unarmed demonstrators in gaza.
In particular the commission found in the killing of 189 demonstrators between March
and December last year, 183 were killed with live ammunition, including 35 children, three
health workers and two members of the press.
So with Jews and Palestinians and need to respect the principles of international law
and rights enshrined in our constitution. Canadians demanding free speech on Israel.
Mr. Mayor, the only reason we’re here, the only reason we’re here, is because Mr. Pasternak
does not want the public to talk about Israel. Those are my submissions.
Thank you. Again, I would like to start with a couple
of questions and maybe others. Thank you for coming, Mr. Ellis.
You said you are a human rights lawyer, what capacity are you here today?
As an individual. As a –?
Individual. It is fairly clear to me from reading the
history, you are not just an individual who happened to show up on this item — no, no,
I’m concerned about what is happening here. Have you been a leader in a lot of the demonstrations
on all kinds of causes to certainly take Israel to task for various things and you’ve been
on the so-called bds moved and so forth. And like a could organizer of many events
and so on? Correct.
So given that have you that status as well as here as an individual, can I ask you the
same question I asked Mr. Laskaris, there is a difference between what Councillor Pasternak
read out and what I read. And not just the song but other transcriptions,
based on translations, at some of these events, including rallies in particular.
Are you prepared, since you are here as someone who seems to be involved in the establishment,
the organizing committee for those rallies, to have someone to take a degree of responsibility
to say to the government and people of the City of Toronto, and I would say the same
thing if you were here as part of the Jewish defence league, they are not here today, but
if they were here, are you prepared to accept a degree of accountability that allows us
to have a better degree of assurance than we have today, that this kind of language
will not be spoken and songs not sung, at these events?
Because we are talking here about people who are speakers.
Not just people where the sound system happened to be over under and someone was mumbling
a song to themselves. People at the microphone speaking.
That are alleged to have said these things. Are you prepared to take a degree of accountability,
not just a lawyer but a person clearly involved in organizing of these things and therefore
in charge, if anybody is, are you prepared to take accountability.
I have a little bit of the question as it is posed.
Because I don’t — the only rally that I’m familiar with was the one that took place
last year. And you had never been to one before?
Just the one that took place last year, that’s the only one.
What I can tell you is that there is no question that the words spoken by shaykh huda were
taken completely out of context and he was misquoted.
If you read predictably the Toronto sun, and Ms. Levy’s article, on the question, he was
quoted as saying he was calling for the eradication of Israel, which is false.
What he called for was something that many leaders in the civil rights movement have
called for and that’s eradication of unjust powers.
Unjust empires. He talked about eradication of unjust powers,
such as, American empire, the British Empire, and the Zionist Israeli Empire.
Because it is a fact that the Israeli state presides over an occupation of millions and
millions of people who have no rights. That’s what he was referring to.
There is a vast difference between calling for the eradication of people of Israelis
and calling for the eradication of an unjust power.
I think would you concede that is likely a big, quite a bit difference in terms of the
words spoken. I would say to you that normally it is politicians
saying they are misquoted or taken out of context.
And so we are hearing that. I guess I would ask you one more time — and
I’ll answer if I can. Let’s just assume you’re right.
This is a great misquotation and terrible injustice and taken out of context.
Lets take about the future, from today on. Are you, as someone involved enough o show
up today, not just as an individual ases established but organizer as many of these events.
Are you prepared to take a degree of accountability that we are looking for as the city governors
to ensure, not just this event but that all events are free of this kind of hate speech,
let’s assume in the past there wasn’t any, but are you prepared from today forward to
say yes I will together with, I don’t care, x, y and other people, take a responsibility
to guarantee that people of Toronto, notwithstanding charter rights that people have, to not engage
in hate speech. Are you prepared to did that?
I think what is everyone’s responsibility. I was asking you.
Not everybody. Of course.
I’m certainly prepared to do it to a point where I wouldn’t issue a permit to this organization
if they applied for one. Because I think there is a track record that
calls into question, quite seriously on city properly.
That’s all we are entitled to do. But I’m asking you the question whether you
would be prepared. What is something I’m prepared to accept all
the way down the line and have always accepted responsibility for whatever I’m involved in
organizing. So that’s a responsible I take seriously.
But what I want to say is this, I don’t think it would be fair, and I’m not an organizer
with the Al-Quds rally, but I don’t think it would be fair to hold some groups to a
standard this other groups aren’t held to as well.
I think the standard has to apply across the board.
And also saying, the tools with hate speech, no one has been charged with hate speech in
9alcudes rally. Nobody.
There are more police there than any other rally that takes place in the city.
So as much as there is talk about hate speech, a lot of this is blown up, taken out of context
and political because the people at the Al-Quds rally are speaking about the plight of Palestinians.
And some people don’t want that discussion to take place.
Okay, my time is up. Anyone else, Mr. Pasternak?
I’m looking at quotes over a four-year period. About shooting people, glory to murders.
Said in both English and Arabic, by molt itch el speakers.
When you connect the dots you get a theme. You are saying all these people are misquoted
and taken out of context over a four-year period of speaking at Al-Quds rally.
Calling for violence, shooting. When are we going to start shooting them?
All of that — all taken out of context and all misquoted?
Let me be clear. The only situation I’m familiar with is last
year Al-Quds rally. With regard to the text you’re reading, I
have no idea what you’re talking about. Okay.
Thanks. Anybody else for Mr. Ellis?
Okay. Thanks so much.
Thank you. Karen brothers.
Thank you, I’m involved with the united church for many years which has a a token for many
years on the explain-Palestinian. Who among you have attended an Al-Quds rally?
I have spoken at many. Along with ministers and Jewish activistes
who have a strong and supportive presence at these rallies.
Al-Quds are inspiring and inspirational. There is no anti-Semitism.
I have never heard anything anti-Semitic at the events.
This motion is looking in the wrong direction for hate speech.
The hate sponsored rallies with Al-Quds has is unacceptable.
We saw this last week where the anti-Muslim racism leads.
It leads it murder and surveillance of Muslims rather than the real source of hatred.
It leads to the racism behind this motion as well as of those promoting it and speaking
for it. I waited 12 hours — I can’t accept you categorizing
a motion as made by City Council as racist. You are entitled to say here and say your
peace but I can’t have members coming here and say to City Council — I would like it
keep going. Keep going.
I waited 12 hours to speak against this motion. The only speaker supporting this hate filled
motion was from the JDL. As you know has been recognized as terror
organization. Shamefully it was that racism that carried
the vote. We had all been waiting for our turn to speak
for nothing. Who among you knows what is happening to the
Palestinians? Al-Quds events try to fill people in.
World council of churches and united church have had similar initiatives because media
censorship created a recognized need. Can I give you an example?
Last Friday Israel bombed 100 sites? Gaza.
Did any of you hear CBC mention this? Or see a word of it in your newspapers?
I didn’t see one word. Israel initially claimed it was self-defence.
But then noted that there must have been a mistake.
Any deaths were unfortunate. Isn’t it time to stop using Islamophobic racism
as an excuse to eliminate our civil liberties? Canadian freedom
of speech must not be for any foreign interest. This motion is looking in the wrong direction
for hate speech. This hate-sponsored racist motion must be
rejected. All right.
Any questions of this debutante? I find your comments disgraceful and untruthful.
What in particular do you find disgraceful? The fact that you called our efforts it tighten
up our antidiscrimination policy racist is disgraceful.
And I’m not — I’m embarrassed for you, actually. For you to come here and say that.
Well, I don’t know what other conclusion I can come to, when many of us Christians, Jewish
citizens came to speak last time. The only speaker for it was the JDL speaker.
And he won the day. There were only two people who were against
this hate-filled motion. I think the hatred in our society — I think
we have heard enough. Can you go now.
Your time is up. I think your comments are disgraceful.
Okay. We are supposed to be asking questions.
You have no further questions Councillor Pasternak? I would say, anyone calling people racists
is not contributing — well I’m disappointed at the l language myself.
Karen rodman is next. Thank you mayor and Executive Committee.
Can you hear me okay? Loud and clear, thank you.
Great. I make this on behalf of a Canadian base with
respect for human rights. Based on the principle that the people of
Palestine are entitled to the same rights as all people.
I trust that you would agree with this Mayor Tory as well as other members of the Executive
Committee. Our organization is based on production of
civil and constitutional rights of those who speak out for freedom, justice and equity.
We appreciate the opportunity to provide a civil society voice focused on government
institutional and society tal accountability to the rule of law and standards of international
rights and humanitarian law. The November 2017 motion that came to this
Executive Committee called for the review that is being considered today and it was
to include scholars and experts on constitutional law on the charter and on human rights.
We note that right report back that there was no indication of any of these stakeholders
or experts consulted. What we do know is that the suggestions provided
to the city staff were ignored and dismissed. Rather than a meaningful consultation, generic
survey offered, the survey did not allow for informed fact gathering with the city staff
themselves most recently indicating it did not yield useful information.
The genuine lack of desire to look at current alarming situation of racism and hate in the
city and in the country and around the world in particular related to Islam phobia is the
concern. I’m somewhat more kind than sue ann levy was
in the Toronto sun last night. It’s been provided to the clerk and I trust
you have that article before you who was very critical of your staff city manager so I just
point that out. I also draw the Executive Committee members
attention to the Islamic hate mongered comments that were included to in reference to Ms.
Levy’s article and in particular if I was to start to read any of those I’m sure I would
be dismissed from my delegation immediately here.
In the original material that was provided in November, 2017 to this committee in regard
to the motion, there was indication of concern about white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies
in our city. We would join in with that concern around
white supremacy, fascism and hate. Al-Quds day was referenced and the key highlight
of concern. Somehow the entire focus has become Al-Quds
day. I say this is ironic because Islamophobic
actions and behaviour is on the rise. We have mentioned the massacre by white supremacist
terror last Friday with 50 Muslims, including children, being murdered in New Zealand and
occurring event akroz gaza and Palestine. Gathering outside and in the chamber for solidarity
on the elimination of racism. I hope here and City Council and with the
executive that you will show that same solidarity by voting against this racist Islamophobic
hate-oriented motion put forward targeting civil rights of the very people who are most
impacted by the hate associated with Islamophobia in this city.
Al-Quds day, or Jerusalem day, a is Muslim-sponsored event that happens in the holy month of Ramadan
just before eve. It is to work for just peace for the people
of Palestine. Al-Quds brings people together, including
Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists and others. I have provided again the council or Executive
Committee with an article that has just come out, a stiment from organizations, Christian
organizations in America and Africa that represent 50 million Christians that provide the same
comment around just peace for Palestinians. For the record, I need to mention that there
has been no indication of the background provided to City Council executive of at least 15 hate
rallies held by right wings hate groups with most of these having happened on city property
and the rest on our city streets. I have provided you with a list of these anti-Islam
hate rallies in the written report I’ve submitted. The last one was just as the one as in Québec
city mosque in January 2017. Most embarrassing for city is when a rally
was to occur on the anniversary of that date here at Nathan Phillips square but was moved
up to so it didn’t interfere with the vigil of the one-year anniversary and the most recent,.
I will ask you to wrap up. Okay and I will.
Two sentences. And the most recent was on February 23.
So I urge you and I appeal to you, if you believe in civil liberties, human rights,
inclusiveness and international law you will reflect and reject this hate-sponsored motion.
All right. There may be a question.
I don’t know. No questions?
Okay. Thank you very much.
Michael, with neighbours of Canada. Thank you very much.
My name is Michael moston. I’m with neighbours of Canada.
I would first like to thank James Pasternak for continued advocacy for human rights in
this city. And thank you, Mary Tory, for making sure
that this report came out after Al-Quds. We see deeply flawed report that avoids answering
the request of this Executive Committee. Today marks the Jewish holiday.
When there was a plot to kill every Jew in the Jewish empire.
Al-Quds day was started by the regime of the ayatollah ca ka mainy.
The holocaust and I’ll contest brutal rights against women, homosexuals and miyorts and
state sanctioned activity doesn’t shy away towards members of our community.
On June 19, 2018 the Executive Committee adopted 35.6 with amendments.
I will summarize how the Executive Committee was not followed or answered in this report.
One, committee requested the Toronto police service board it determine whether a Toronto
police service general occurrence had been generated in response to the incidence last
June. And confirming that the hate crime unit is
conducting investigation. The report ipped case a letter written to
the police and with no elaboration. Second the committee requested ministry of
attorney general to conduct an expedited review of the hate crime investigation of the Al-Quds
rally and again a letter written and no elaboration. Third the committee requested that the city
manager report back it Executive Committee in the first quarter of 2019 on the status
of the request to Toronto police service board referred to recommendation one as well as
consultation and survey results identified in the staff report.
For the first point the status of the Toronto police service board request is absent from
the report. When ways here deputizing last year I explained
how organizers annually bypassing rule of law in this city do not apply for permits
for Al-Quds day. This survey requested not one question about
this reality and therefore does not consider an Al-Quds day hate rally type scenario.
They were asked for this report in 2017. There was no consultation to my understanding
with stakeholders outside of this survey. The report indicates that none of the legal
scholars identified by city staff chose to meaningful engage in the survey process.
Executive Committee requested consultation with constitutional right scholars not to
have them fill out a survey particularly one as fundamentally flawed as this was one.
In my opinion they failed this n their duty to consult.
Only two groups responded as organization. My own as league for human rights.
And long branch neighbourhood group. Point four, there was, amended requested,
city manager report back to Executive Committee on the means at the city’s disposal to address
protest featuring hate speech including possible recovery of costs.
Item 4 as amended by yourself, Mayor Tory, was a discussion before the Executive Committee
when this was address had last year when I also appeared.
Yet there is no discussion of possible recovery of cost for the city in this report for action.
We all deserve to know the answer to this important question.
As it is essential in plotting out a pathway forward to deal with rogue hate rallies in
the City of Toronto, particularly those who do not play by the rules at a financial advantage
and fail to comply with city bylaws and antidiscrimination policy.
I have to ask you to wrap up. Absolutely.
Two last sentences. We ask respectfully this report should not
be accepted by Executive Committee. And lastly, the Al-Quds day organizers must
be held to account by the City of Toronto. Thank you.
Any other questions? Councillor Pasternak?
You touch on a good point where many worthy causes in the city play by the rules.
Apply for permit. They pay the TTC rerouting fees.
Solid waste fees. Pay for security.
And we can — and they are supposed to sign an antidiscrimination commitment.
Part of our policy. We are trying to find out, and I think the
report is missing, and I would agree, on what legal framework we have to deal with groups
that don’t play by the rules. Is that really a synopsis of what we are facing
today? I think it is very important and particularly
important when there are annual rallies taking place year over year.
With similar if not the same organizers involved. And seemingly nobody that can possibly held
to account because it is projected as will just an event that pops out of the blue.
There is a lot of planning. And once again, antidiscrimination policy
of the city, which the City of Toronto abides by, is a separate and apart and different
standard than the criminal code. You have heard other debutantes and they make
it sound like peaceful rally for an identifiable group that all of the comments that were citing
in English and Arabic and whatever language are out of context and inaccurate.
You have studied this rally for many years. Is this just a bunch of young people or people
taking up a social cause and getting together and giving speeches of peace and harmony and
those comments are all taken out of context and really shouldn’t be taken into account?
Thank you. In my opinion that is not the case.
This rally has been a global phenomenon. Once again since 1979, I believe.
As part of the ayatollah in Iran. This is drenched with anti-Semitism worldwide.
There is all sorts of evidence for this around the world.
There has been video documentation year over year of the City of Toronto and what has taken
place. I believe that what generally has been reported
is accurate. There is no question that there were Hezbollah
flags on the City of Toronto. No question there were expressions of support
for Hezbollah which is an enlist et terror organization in the City of Toronto at pat
raids. There was mentioned earlier about a holocaust
denier and previous debutantes said they didn’t research this and weren’t aware of anything
but had very firm opinions without doing that research.
In my opinion this individual is a holocaust denier.
He left a teaching position at university Wisconsin, Madison in 2006 for 9 false notion
that 9/11 was an inside job of its government with the citizens and this individual repeatedly
questioned the 6 million figure of Jews that perished in the holocaust at the hands of
the Nazis a inholds the Nazis as a religion. I believe that was brought in from outside
the country to be a keynote speaker at previous rally.
So to summarize how, if Toronto doesn’t stand for something, in other words, if Toronto
doesn’t stand up against this kind of rhett ring and demonization and call for violence,
what does — what is the city government for? What is our antidiscrimination policy for?
What is the criminal code for? Yes.
I would entirely agree with you. Toronto holds itself out as a multicultural
city that is open and welcoming to everyone. That is the image we are projecting to the
world. The world is now watching us on how we deal
with this particular scenario. The Jewish community feels targeted by this
rally. Individuals who fled the Iranian regime feel
targeted by this rally. And by similar type out there in society.
We ask the Executive Committee to treat it seriously and to make its best efforts.
Thank you very much. Thank you, Councillor Pasternak.
Any other questions for Mr. Moston. Thank you very much.
Michael kiefer. Thank you, Mr. Kiefer for coming.
Have you five minutes. I have expertise of the direct questions of
anti-Semitism and rebuttal of such charges. I am the editor and coauthor after book, anti-Semitism
real and imagined, published 2010, which received flattering comment from a number of reviewers.
I won’t repeat those comments here but are available to members of council in the text
which I’ve provided. I’m also the author of several substantial
scholarly articles which I have listed as well on the final page of my presentation.
Again that’s available to members of council. Now, I wish to begin by suggesting that the
emphasis of this initiative on the part of the city on the Al-Quds day rallies is mistaken
and potentially dangerous. It is so because this initiative risks diverting
attention and resources of law enforcement officials way from the very real threat posed
to the safety of Torontonians on the far right ideologies.
I have listed the appalling recent crimes committed by white males of neo-Nazi in-cell
far right wing neo-fascist and so on persuasion. The March shooting of 50 people in Christchurch
in New Zealand, and at the mosque in Pittsburgh, and take in north Yonge Street Toronto, 10
murdered, 13 wounded. January 2017 mass shooting at Islamic cultural
centre in Québec city, 19 wounded, 6 murdered. The June 2015 mass shooting at Emmanuel African
Methodist episcopal church in Charleston, south Carolina.
An event that didn’t quit occur but averted by’s tentativeness of the Halifax police in
early 2015 to precisely the danger that I am warning council of today.
This was a plot by three well-armed far right wing terrorists.
Two of them identifiable right wing Nazis who ray tempted to carry out a mass shooting
in a Halifax shopping mall. To concludes that part of my presentation,
is if the resources of the Halifax police had been diverted into suppressing peaceful
rallies these terrorists might have managed to kill many people.
Second issue I want to raise is my own personal experience of one Al-Quds rally and two Al-Quds
day dinners which I was an invited speaker. Again on the second page of my text I go into
some detail on this. I heard details on which members of the public
can help right wrong visited upon Palestinian poll layings of the Israel proper and can
do so between support for the boycott divestment and sanctions movement and through the exertion
of peaceful pressure on the state of Israel to conform to the requirements of international
law. Again, or in addition, urging our own government
for the fourth Geneva Convention to by ensuring that the turns of that convention are respected
by all states. And I want to insist that at no point did
I hear overtones of anti-Semitism. Any suggestion that Jews as a people might
be responsible for the wrongs committee by a state?
What I heard instead were expressions of hope that people of conscience, Christians, agiests,
Jewish activists in particular, these people might be able to work together to bring justice
and peace to all people of Israel and Palestine. I will ask you to come to a conclusion shortly.
Am I out of time? You’re at 5:10 so a couple of sentences to
wrap up is great. I will just conclude to say that in my text
I also quote several paragraphs from, I think, a very important statement made in the letter
to this council in November 2017, by joseph hickey, executive director of Ontario civil
liberties association. In which he commented on the unconstitutionality
of the banning of Al-Quds day events. And urge lawmakers to consistently and duly
reject the boogie man, in his words, of hate as pretext to suppress the constitutional
rights of citizens. I think we have to call it there, just to
be fair to the others. So thank you very much.
Mr. Kiefer. Any questions?
Any Councillors it ask questions? Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Lastly is Sophie elpard, centre for Jewish
affairs. Good afternoon.
You have five minutes to make your comments, then we may have questions.
Thank you. Hi, everyone.
I’m printing on behalf for the centre of Israel and Jewish a affairs.
From the federation of greater Toronto with regard to city space by third parties.
As you are aware, significant data and evidence points to rise in anti-Semitism and hate in
other parts of the world. With devastating results on taking Muslims
at prayer in New Zealand. This is a trend from which Canada is not immune.
There are public rallies by those promoting hateful agendas.
In Toronto this is included annual Al-Quds day rally which has been actively monitored
since 2011. This includes display of flags of banned terrorist
entities and even calls for violence against jus.
The organizers of Al-Quds day have been deknowed permits together outside legislature and outside
of Queens Park circle. This is not an isolated phenomenon.
Other hateful groups attended to use city space to conduct hate rallies.
This includes the worldwide event against Islam.
We propose a practical solution that will help the city ensure that in exceptional cases
groups promoting bigotry would be to deny city young space w including parks and Nathan
young square. A model exists in the form which, Mayor Tory,
you talked about earlier. We commend the city for recently modernizing
this policy to deinto I permits that will likely promote discrimination, contempt or
hatred towards identifiable groups. This was conceived in direct response for
neo-Nazis using library space for their meetings. I’m not going to read the entire section but
I will draw your attention to one point that states the library has the right to cancel
or deny booking when it reasonably believes that use by any individual or group is for
a purpose likely to promoter would have the effect of promoting discrimination, contempt
or hatred for my group or person on the basis of race, ethnic origin yb citizenship, colour,
ancestry, language, creed, sex, gender eye tenty, gender expression, marital status and
many other factors. In 2017 these policy changes are designed
to support a democratic society. Including free, open and equitable action
it a diversity action of ideas, civic engagement, intellectual freedom.
Free speech does not translate to tolerance for late speech.
While this applies to Toronto facilities, parks are not subject to this policy.
Instead of City of Toronto avoids events if public parks based on noise to apply for a
permit to city. For a special event for in a park or facility
has nothing similar to library denial of use policy.
Library policy was developed after deliberation and legal review.
Whatever modifications are ultimately made to the existing policy on events held in city
parks or squares it is clear the following three elements are essential.
First, demonstration organizers should be to a penalty if they do not hold a permit
to eye vent or demonstration in city park or square.
Second, permit application should explicitly state that promotion of hatred against identifiable
groups or incitement of violence or criminal activity constitutes violation and event organizers
can be to penalty if they failed to uphold the terms 37 third, permit application should
state the city dinies the right to deny permits when it reasonably believes the event organizers
will not or cannot uphold terms and conditions of the permit.
Mayor Tory yourself as well as City Council has shown a steadfast commitment.
In keeping with the strong record and ensuring no Torontonian intoed fear facing hate because
of their identity. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Which is of deep concern to many Toronto’s diverse Jewish community.
By look forward to further engaging. Thank you, right on the dot of five minutes.
Thank you very much for your comments. The Queens Park situation, they add permit
there and the permit was revoked and now I understand there is a private members bill
to keep hate rallies out of Queens Park. So it is not just City of Toronto or me.
Other levels of government are getting tough on hate.
Do you see this as a good thing when all committees are tough on hate?
Specifically with the grounds of legislature, because rally in question was not meeting
the guidelines they had established, they were not allowed a permit to continue, and
unfortunately that has now moved on it city property which has become a topic of discussion
among this committee. You mentioned the Toronto Public Library space.
I understand that group was white supremacist, holocaust deniers, that was not an Al-Quds
gathering. And they were banned from further space.
Because I understand they have made another question.
Do you think it is fair enough to revisit antidiscrimination policy on a regular basis
like today to keep up with changing times? Absolutely.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
Other questions? Thank you so much for your representations
and answers. That brings us to speakers if there are no
further — oh, I guess we have questions of staff.
I forgot about that. Sorry.
Are there questions of staff? Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
Through you to city manager or anyone else you want to delegate the answer to, staff,
we were looking for a legal framework on what to did in situations where non-permitted groups
take public space and violate the principles of antidiscrimination.
I’m wondering, this report that we’ve got here, mostly deals with situations which permitted
groups violated in policy. Do you think we may have missed the boat on
this one? Through the chair, I should say first of all,
that the response is two-fold. So there is the public report but also a confidential
legal report. So when you talk about the response to the
council directive I think we need to speak about both of them.
I recognize that what you are looking for in terms of legal framework is not contained
in the public report but I would suggest it is in the legal report.
If we wanted to go into that, that would be the appropriate way to have that conversation.
So there were letters written to the chair of Toronto services board and attorney general
to see whether there was any kind of investigation it events on June 9, 2018.
Have you received any response from either the chair of the police services board or
the attorney general’s office to these inquiries? Unfortunately we have not.
The process is when Executive Committee requests another entity to provide a response, the
clerk following the meeting rights, the letters you have, we confirmed they did not respond
and our office reached out to the attorney general and we have no response.
O we don’t know if there is or not, there is just no response.
No response. So cost recovery.
We have dozens of groups apply for road closures, festivals, marathons.
They pay a very large TTC reroute fee. Solid waste fees.
Security. They play by the rules.
We were also looking for suggestions and policy on what we do when groups don’t play by the
rules and take over university avenue. Use up dozens of police officers.
Who are sworn officers on duty paid by the city.
And don’t pay a dime in any of the costs related to an event?
And I don’t see anything here addressing that. I think you are right it is not in the public
report. But it is also covered in the confidential
legal report. The final thing I would say, I know there
is charter challenge chill. Don’t do anything that violate the charter.
But my notes indicate that a charter challenge could cost the plaintiff 300 to $500,000.
How often do you think we would be subject to a charter challenge if we implemented our
antidiscrimination policy in. I would start by saying we do apply our antidiscrimination
policy and that the city does not permit, prohibits, hate on city property.
That’s what the hate activity policy provides for.
So I mean, my position is that we do implement our policy on case by case basis.
Which is an appropriate way to do so. : When we ban the white supremacist group
and holocaust deniers from library, they had an event then applied for another event.
They were told no. Did they launch a charter challenge?
I don’t believe so. But I wouldn’t know.
So in other words if we take, call it the high road and remain a city of high purpose
and principle, it is unlikely we will be subject to a charter challenge, really, by most groups.
They won’t invest the years of litigation, lawyers fees, to take us on.
Unfortunately I’m not able to speculate on what that would be.
But I would say this in that circumstance, the circumstance resulted in people being
denied a permit at the library would likely result in the same, with the city policy.
Our policy would also have resulted in a denial of permit in that circumstance.
So our policy is not that different from theirs. So just very quickly.
We are talking about public safe. They can gather at restaurant and spew their,
I guess, their hatred or go to a private hall, banquet hall or whatever.
As deplorable as it is. Our reach is city property and city facilities.
That’s correct. So we’re not telling anyone they can’t gather,
they just can’t gather and leverage city space. Last question.
Policy provides that people cannot conduct hate activity on city property, correct.
Thank you Councillor Pasternak. Thank you for the answers.
Any other questions of staff? Okay.
We will move into those wishing to speak. I guess it’s me.
I think we have to send this back. I think there is an important message here.
Do have you a motion? Yes.
I do have a motion. If we could put it on the screen.
We need more of what we were asking for originally. And you know, I mean,.
There was a feeling here that this was picking on Al-Quds.
Al-Quds has a multiyear record documented by numerous institutions making defamatory
comments and spousing violence is a way to settle political and geographical disputes.
Yet we still have other forces at play within the civic government or within our facilities,
which are disconcerting. The rise of Nazi ideology.
White supremacist groups. We need to have a legal framework going forward
which we have the guidance on what to do when groups don’t play by the rules.
When they don’t sign antidiscrimination policy. Don’t properly book space.
Don’t pay any of the fees. Run for the cure pays fees.
Heart and stroke pays fees. Sporting life marathon pays their feees.
Taste of manila in my ward pays tens of thousands of fees.
They play by the rules. We have to have a situation in which we can
recover our costs from groups not playing by the rules and implement our anti-discrimination
policy. I think we have to send this back for a second
look. That’s what I’m moving here today.
I appreciate your support. Thank you the mayor’s support.
Thank you to some of the debutantes for coming in.
I should remind my colleagues we updated the antidiscrimination policy a few years ago,
four or five years ago. Actually, longer, five or six years ago.
It hadn’t been reviewed in 15 years. It is an annual look to make sure it keeps
up with changing times and to make sure we can make any corrective legal edits if necessary.
I think the charter is a value id piece of Canadian history and valued piece of Canadian
law. But very rarely will groups violated in antidiscrimination
policy launching a charter challenge that’s highly unlikely at the cost and time involved
and I think we should be a city of high purpose, of principle, and make sure the policies are
followed and we stand up to the kind of demonization and hatred that can permeate in a city.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Pasternak.
Any other speakers? I will speak for just a minute and say this.
First of all, I believe I have, as mayor and prior to that, but I will only speak to my
time as mayor, proud of a consistent record, and prior comments about one disconcerting
and language and conduct as opposed to another. I’ve been one of those who have gone because
I believe it is important for the mayor of the city, whoever that is , when there are
acts of anti-Semitism, graffiti and I was one of those initiating anti-black racism.
We had an action plan now in place. And same is true when there are incidents
of anti-Muslim rhetoric activity in the city. I am the first because I believe it is my
job to be the first o speak up about those kinds of things.
I will be at a mosque showing solidarity for the Muslim people for the horrific act this
took place. The actions I would take on these kinds of
things and my rational is different, because I think it is accountability, I would take
position with my group where there was a danger of or demonstrated history.
I will say there is a dispute about what the demonstrated history is or is not.
I think this city, Councillor Pasternak referred to it as a high are purpose or higher goal
we see. We are seen as a city in the world that is
doing better when it comes to discouraging and prohibiting and making sure there is no
need to discourage or who hibbity because people are not inclined to spew hatred or
discrimination against others. I think where as the world is seemingly drifting
in the other direction, where that is more acceptable to more and more people, I think
we are well advised to stay the course and push back hard on the edge of the other side
of the world that thinks that is okay. To polarize on faith or skin colour or sexual
orientation or anything else. That involves being more vigilant without
interfering with freedoms we value so much in this country.
I would say there is a number of reasons why this is the right time to talk about the — [ inaudible
] this is a time to address these issues. It happens to be addressed in this report
in the context of one particular haven’t but lessons we can learn from trying to find ways
to monitor and hold people to account under the law are valuable.
Secondly I would say to you that the statistics from our own hate crime reports, the last
one we have for 2017, out last year, showing 28% increase of hate incidents.
Top two categories, happen to be, acts of hatred against Jewish people and against husband
limb people. So and it is almost equal.
Slightly more Jewish people. 18% increase.
This is disconcerting trend to say the least. Going exactly the wrong way from where we
want it to go. And third reason, this is the international
day for elimination of racial discrimination and I believe the intent of that day includes
all kinds of discrimination. I think if you start from the fact we sit
here from a place that seems to have it more right.
As evidenced by this discussion, but we have it more right than any other place.
What I’m seeking is the following, a greater degree of accountability.
That’s why I asked the questions I did for people who had a slightly more official capacity
of being here. They are quoted in the news and others as
being associated with that things and my search accountability.
I commented earlier that politicians are routinely criticized and cynically criticized for saying
they were misquoted and taken out of context. At the end of the day I would have been more
heartened if I heard here today and would have had much less need to go back and for
the fact we wrote letters to the police and attorney general’s department, and didn’t
hear back. I think a reasonably diligent pursuit, and
to be looked at in the context, we should have heard back as to whether there was a
police report or attorney general review. I’m looking for Pasternak’s motion, that people
should follow up on these things, and the report comes back and says nothing happened
and nothing to see, and no one wrote anything up, that’s fine with me in the context that
at least we o know that. But more important than what we might do to
find further ways to have the law upheld, the hate speech law and make sure that is
discouraged, is to have shared accountability on the part of erveg.
Including people that spoke today for the fact it isn’t good enough to see someone standing
in the corner and not an official speaker even though they had the microphone.
Especially in public spaces. Especially in this city where I will continue
to speak up for as long as I have this job against any kind of hateful speech or discriminatory
speech. It has no place here.
It is why we are admired around the world. Why people come here from all over the place,
to escape that kind of thing. And so anybody else?
Before we ask Councillor Pasternak to put the motion before us.
We have a motion on the screen. Motion 1.
Self explanatory, I think. Get further information on this from the 1
1eu9 city manager. All those in favour in opposed ?
Are you opposed ? Okay.
All in favour. Thank you.
Very much. It’s carried.
Thank you, everybody who participated in this. I would like to hope aside from, I will say
aside from the word racist to describe inquiries, we can move forward.
That brings us to 3.4. We have Hamish Wilson.
Mr. Wilson, you know the rules. Five minutes are yours.
Quite honestly I think we need a cycling advise I committee and pedestrian advisory committee
back again in this city. We lost them, I’m not sure what year, perhaps
under Mr. Ford. I think they are hopeful and needed to collect
expertise, to collect evidence, to filter programs, to refine them so we actually could
get better result. And in terms of the cycle advisory committee,
and I was reminded of all of this coming in. Abikeed today where I saw a police officer
enforcing countdown rules against pedestrians. I’m seeing so much red-light running by motor
vehicles. It strikes me as being incredibly unfair to
push back and prohibit a pedestrian from trying to get to work on time because maybe the subway
was delayed and not enforce red-light running. It is not pedestrians killing motorists.
It is not the cyclists killing motorists. It is the motorists killing cyclers and pedestrians.
Have you to be fair and not carrist. And make sure there is an equity of enforcement.
Let’s catch up with Hamilton. They still have cycling advisory committee.
Think that is really helpful. Their mandate to enhance the ability for this
to be picked up here and summed it up as follows, to advise City Council through public works
committee on all matters related to cycling. So monitor implementation of the Hamilton
cycling plan. To encourage and participate in planning for
bicycling facilities. To encourage citizens to cycle instead of
drive. To educate on the benefits and necessities
of cycling to integrate the work of area municipal bicycle committees.
We don’t have a bike plan now. We did have one.
Relatively speaking it was pretty good. We didn’t get all this way done in the core.
It is a especially a problem in Scarborough. And if you think about why we actually need
a cycling committee, I think — no, that’s the — oh, pa r pardon me.
I wanted to show you Scarborough. We did a certain amount in the city.
It’s been much better than it has been. In terms of transport and getting around,
Scarborough is really the short shift of things. And you need to be nudged on this.
If we have on-road bike network through Scarborough instead of spending money on off-road paths,
because it is easier politically to put costly paths in off road area, we o have an extra
layer and layer of mobility for the people of Scarborough.
Quite honestly we have gaps and things. You need to be nudged to make sure we save
lives. Because we have too many issues.
I know you don’t want to hear notice of hazards. They were listed in the e-mail he sent in.
But bluer street west, this is subway relief as well.
If we got around to doing something this year, not next year, the glaciers are melting faster
than we are doing the sensible bike stuff. That is subway too.
That will ease pressure at bluer run and bluer St. George.
If we have a safety lane. Some of which was in the 2001 bike plan and
somehow we haven’t found the $25,000 to repaint lane lines.
Which I think is totally disgusting. Notice of hazard at major and bluer and existing
bike line is hazardous. Notice of hazard about conditions of cycling
on Danforth. Notice of hazard about cycling on college,
Dundas, queen and king and streetcar tracks and streetcar tracks are dangerous.
But especially in the areas beside the, this is the conditions we sometimes encounter,
an old picture. This concrete here is especially prone to
breaking and fracturing. Too many locations to give you a specific
address. But that’s a systemic hazard.
Please fix. This is the sort of thing we have to get addressed
and I think you need a cycling safety or cycling pedestrian committee, cycling and pedestrian
Thank you I have much. Appreciate that.
Any questions? You are coming back.
No, you’re not coming back. Oh, yes you are, Mr. Wilson.
You may as well have stayed there. There is a motion.
No questions of the debutante or questions of staff?
Question of staff? Councillor Thompson?
Yes 123 1? [ inaudible ] yes, thank you very much.
Have we reached that point? Okay, great, thank you.
Just to staff, in 2017, there was motion passed asking for the reinstatement of the city’s
lbgqt advisory committee. In 2018 a second why asking for antiracism
advisory committee on racial justice. I recognize that under there is a report before
us speaking it advisory bodies but I don’t see any reference to those bodies.
Can you speak to that? Through the chair, I’m happy to take that
question. We considered the possibility of an equity
advisory body that would include working groups for the, in place of separate advisory bodies
within and consult and come back with a recommendation on that.
The consultations are in progress right now. And when we expect we will be coming forward
with recommendations. Those are not included in this report but
we expect them to come to executive shortly. Thank you.
When will that report be coming? Is there a time line expected?
Consultations are in progress right now. We contacted 519 community centre to conduct
and I expect that will go on until probably may.
We are also in the process of setting up a program advisory body internally that will
also provide advice that will be helpful in setting up that advisory committee.
So my expectation is it will be in the latter half of the year.
Recognizing the original motion was adopted in 2017, 519, are you saying it’s been in
consultation with the community for almost two years to develop terms and reference?
No, I’m not saying 519 has been in committee for two years.
We reported back in 2 2018. You referred to a number of advisory bodies
requested of staff at different points in 2018 prior to election we came back and recommend
we would — we would take an intersectional approach to a response and we would be responding
in that way. First of all, staff did to consultations last
year working with colleagues in SDFA who were doing work with trends and youth.
So we did contract with 519 to do a broader scale consultation.
With respect to the advisory committee on racial justice, is the intention now to merge
the lbgt advisory committee as well as this antiracism advisory committee, is the intention
to merge these groups and any other equity seeking groups or committees all under one
body? We are doing, as indicate id in the last report
we are doing a jurisdictional scan and based on the research we have done that is best
practice. Most places historically had multiple advisory
bodies on equity related issues are moving to what’s a model and it is thought that that
provides a more intersectional approach. Because concern with equity advisory bodies
is that then you have, that could you have scenarios where staff are getting conflicting
advice or that there is no reconciliation of the conflicting interest for instance,
that one equity advisory body is a preferred model.
In the research we have done today I will say staff has not landed so we indicated in
the report that that is our initial preliminary findings are and I think it is perhaps premature
to make a final conclusion now and we are in the process of establishing a body and
representation on that advisory body so they can help inform final recommendations that
comes to council. Is it is correct to say that is the initial
directional. They have multiple advisory bodies and they
are contacting us because they are looking to move away from the model.
So we are still working on it, is what I would say.
Would there be concern that given the specific needs of various different communities and
I do understand that different communities and identities sometimes come together but
it would be perhaps a watering down of the voices of those specific communities if they
were all lumped into one group? Because not everybody will, like there is
no space for lbgqt community at Toronto city hall.
Again I would say we are working through all of these issues.
I would say this those are exactly the kind of concern that staff are weighing in making
and will be weighing and discussing with the equity and program advisory body in making
a recommendation. If there is a model that will work to ensure
that everybody is interests are well represented and we recognize that different communities
have different particular interests. And it is for people to have a voice at City
Council. I think the best, because we have not landed
and had a chance to consult with experts on those committee partners, I think is again
premature to speculate now. But I can ensure Councillor that we are thinking
about those particular issues and that will inform the optimum, I guess final recommendation.
That was your final question. Thank you.
Councillor Thompson? Here we go.
To staff, with respect to tmat, has the terms of reference changed or is it the same or
you added elements? Through the chair, terms of reference have
changed. I can speak to areas where there are differences
from previous terms of reference. Firstly in the number reflecting smaller size
council and alignment with the film board and number of Councillors and industry members.
Secondly, what I would characterize as an update in the industry categories that the
citizen members should come from that reflects a more holistic and modern view of the way
the industry shifted. DIY grass roots industry mentioned for example
in some of the categories that were maybe less relevant.
Guilds and the like have been taken out. Those are major changes in working with clerks.
Right. So in terms of broader diversity, I don’t
know, music, young people, we are encouraging more of that group to be part of this?
Absolutely. That’s the intention of the change in wording.
I think there was some perhaps justified commentary on tmac and being a little too top heavy and
not inclusive of young voices. A old.
Too old. My final question, to speak relatives advance
of the economic development aspect, this is something we had been working on for quite
sometime. Councillor Colle and I and had music industry
and that has come forward but the economic piece needs to be tied in, sort of in a very
tangential way, not only with respect to staff, but the committee as well.
Like ensuring at least one member of Economic Development Committee is part of this.
We did something similar in the last iteration. Would that be inconsistent if I were to put
a megs that requires that or suggests that, would you be in support?
I would be in support. It is consistent with aim of Economic Development
and Culture as a vision with the music office as part of that division.
And with aimses of tmac, to promote robustness and jobs in the music sector.
Thank you. I won’t ask any other questions.
Thank you. I will ask one question.
Sorry to have you come back. I will follow along, to be perfectly honest,
when I read this report, it slipped my mind that we passed this resolution that I supported,
about the establishment in the lbgqt area, communities.
I want to know, does your work a that you’re doing now, looking a the best practices, preclude
us from — preclude you from coming back with recommendations and we have considered all
of this and think it should have the status of advisory committee as opposed to working
group and I presume from what you said, you are in no way precluded from concluding there
should be a separate, even if it is a working group, separate lbgqt working group as opposed
to one of the more consolidated groups. I just wanted to clarify this.
Absolutely. . All of the options are open.
We just want to give council the best advice we can.
Certainly not closed up from that. I know they went over this with you but it
isn’t expected until q3? Yes.
519 is expected to have consultation by may. We will have time to come up with appropriate
consultation. If they conclude consultations earlier we
will come to council — I was asking to ask you if you could strive for earlier part of
q3. It sends September 30.
Is that something —I think these things take a long time.
Two years pretty much by then. I hope it will p not be two years.
We will come back as quickly as possible. Earlier part of q3, I hope so.
But, I think we are trying not to tie 519 hands as they do consultation.
But we will work as quickly as possible. I think q3 is reasonable.
But depends on their timing. Thank you very much.
Sni other questions of staff? All right, then.
Do we have speakers? Councillor Wong-Tam?
Yes. I wanted to highlight when the motions adopted
in 2017 and 2018, it had full strength and support of council.
Council specifically requested that consultations that terms of reference would be developed.
Compositional instruction would be created and it would come back to this committee and
allow for deputation. I think that is helpful o have computations
leading up to development, however none of that council direction ever said to staff
we now want to you lump these equity seeking groups together and come back with one advisory
committee and that’s an equity body of some sort.
I do recognize that staff are stretched with time and there’s limitations to how much one
can do. However, it is important to highlight when
council gives direction to staff to specifically do something, whatever that task is, it should
be followed and the outcome should be brought back.
If there is a change in direction it should not necessarily be made without the input
of council once again. I’m a little bit troubled by the fact that
we may not be getting what we asked for. And I encourage to hear that staff are open
to perhaps bringing back multiple advisory committees that we had asked for in this case
the anti-race advisory committee on anti-justice and community committee.
Different communities have different needs and different interests.
Just by pulling one piece out, lbg community, it is very difficult for them to understand
their place in city hall. Not necessarily because we don’t have access,
but often times deeper dive into the issues the community is facing is not available to
us in any particular form. I will give you an example.
Right now within our community we are struggling with crystal meth addiction.
There is nothing coming out of the committee and if it comes with party culture, so there
are a lot of stigmas that and a lot of it would exist in these spaces that we won’t
be able to get to, to be quite honest, if we are having a global conversation.
In order to get to intimate partner violence, and for example, in the mcarthur space, to
unpack it and to understand what really transpire said yes there was a mass serial killer but
leading up to that was mass partner violence. When we have reports that come to City Council
perhaps from the Board of Health, it doesn’t have lbgt lens on it.
We never get to the critical issues that the committee is facing.
And because the community needs a space to have that conversation facilitated within
the structure of this building, so they can influence policy, programs and services that
we hope to deliver to the community without their specific input in safe spaces, inclusive
spaces we won’t get through the outcome we are hoping for.
I would say the same thing, that if we think that lbgt community can sit down and have
a conversation about any particular issue that we have conversations about, I think
that we are — it would be a wrongful assumption. Because I think that we can.
Just as much as we can have a conversation aren’t antiracism and anti-justice and anti-black
racism landing on that and speaking to it in terms of social location answers where
people are coming from and also bring out the lens around immigration status and the
ability to speak English and access services. So these communities are very sophisticated.
They are able to do that deep dive intersectionly. And have a conversation to eval imrait our
programs and services and give us meaningful and I think valuable input but I don’t think
we would be doing ourselves any service or those communities any service if we lump it
all together. How would you even do the deep dive?
And this is what we need to do. Get to granular details of experiences so
we can pull the valuable feedback into how we program work at city hall.
That’s why I would advocate and encourage staff to really think twice about lumping
all of these groups together. Thank p you.
Thank you, Councillor Wong-Tam. I don’t think there are any more speakers.
Councillor Thompson has a notion put forward. Please.
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I have motion that is now indiscreet.
Originally it was chair to designate until I could move
the designant here. So I’m leaving it here as chair.
I want to thank the staff. Pat, Mike and others.
As you know, tmac process goes back a long way.
Former Councillor Colle and I and music industry are very concerned about the fact this we
didn’t have a real prominence of the music industry featured here at city hall.
We had the film advisory board and so on. That brought forward great things in terms
of the film sector. And similar situation for the music.
What was amazing was when the mayor became the mayor, he basically, you know, came on
board and adopted obviously the, and supported, the process that’s been in place.
And he went on a number of, with respect to Austin, our music city partner, and work in
this particular area, a lot has been achieved actually by tmac and I want to thank Mike
tanner who came on board and as a result of his connection and expertise and experience
with the industry has really helped us to expand tmac.
We’ve had live at city hall. We’ve done work at at yyz live.
And the music in the park. And so on.
And the directory and work done with respect to noise bylaw.
And even the venues in terms of reaching out and addressing issues and issues effecting
musicians in the city. One issue that came up that is very important
to us is that fact that a lot of the musicians were saying, can I play here but I can’t live
here. What are you going to do about that?
So there is a lot of work done in this particular space.
So venue is extremely important. Mike Williams is very instrumental in terms
of economic development and support he offered to them and so on.
I think we have come a long way. We are now expanding it to bring more younger
people in and the cross sectional of inclusive music and also instruments and things like
that. I met with folks yesterday as part of the
Caribbean carnival process that we are going through.
And they are saying to us, by the way, we would like to be involved in tmac.
We have a strong history in this city. So that change is going to reflect that these
groups will be incorporated into this particular process.
I think is really amazing. Because music has such a prominent benefit
in the lives of everybody. I think, I don’t think there is anybody in
this room that’s an music lover. I don’t know any music lovers qub quite frankly.
We all love music of some form or another. I think the work is important.
And looking at night economy and so on and the mayor talking about that and what we can
do with respect to music and so we are really focusing on this industry.
And we want to grow that more significantly and it is done in a more coordinated way.
So I want to make sure that economic development piece is always very prominent with respect
to moving forward and it allows opportunity for members of council and so on to be involved
and tours of Toronto and other agencies and organization in the City of Toronto.
So I move that motion in order it ensure there is that intersectionality to ensure it is
featured prominently as part of this particular advisory body 3 thank you.
Thank you Deputy Mayor Thompson? I think Councillor Ainslie wished to speak.
Thank you, Mayor Tory. I wanted to speak to two items.
I will support the recommendations in this. First one I wanted to, staff taking direction
around the cycling committee. As City Councillor from east end of Scarborough
where cycling is more prevalent, we put in the bike lane, I wouldn’t call them bike lanes,
they are bike routes. They are used more and more.
Cycling infrastructure in Scarborough in particular I will speak to.
While it is improving on a gradual basis, I think we can do more.
And get advice from the cycling committee. I hope staff will take that under advisement.
Other item I would like to talk to as Councillor Wong-Tam mentioned, lbgq2s plus committee,
and seconding a motion a couple years ago and I mentioned that on being City Councillor
from Scarborough. The community and in particular youth from
the community, looking for resources are often hard pressed.
There are metro resource service webs they have a youth group called east crew.
But beyond that if you want engagement and once again for youth community in Scarborough
you are expecting to go to 519 downtown. There aren’t a lot of resources there.
I know youth in Scarborough. I know they want to be much more engaged.
And I will speak again for like the flag raisings out here on the podium all the time.
Kids in Scarborough, for a flag raising at 2:00 in the afternoon, they have to take a
day out of school to come down here. People have to travel down here.
The last four years in Scarborough I’ve been asked to sign as a Councillor for pride day
flag raising. Where groups are till expected, no normal
process or process they seem to follow here, at city hall, for p flag raising.
You have to go to a City Councillor and ask them to sign off.
I don’t know if that is happening in North York but that is a community that wants to
be more engaged and keep deeper recognition than included in the equity group that staff
were just talking about. I know that wasn’t Councillor Wong-Tam’s intent.
It wasn’t my intent. I hope staff will revisit that when they come
back with a report. Thank you.
Thanks, Councillor Ainslie. Any other speaker ?
All right. First to Councillor Thompson’s motion, if
we can put that up. Pretty straight forward.
Here it is. That is cementing the composition.
I will call the question on that. All those in favour?
Owe possessed? Carried.
And I guess, confident, that staff will allow us, and that is why I asked the questions
I did, to later deal with questions by Wong-Tam and Ainslie.
And we will deal with the recommendations here, for establishment of committees mentioned
here. We are told that is not to the exclusion of
others. I call the question on that.
All those in favour in opposed? Carried.
That item as amended. That’s 3.4, thank you.
Good progress here. 3.8.
Renewing city’s proposal. You are debutante on 3.8.
Thank you, sir. There the time is gone.
I understand why we want to engage the world. We do like tasting the world as humans, enjoying
it, traveling and learning new things. I need my coffee in the mornings.
[ inaudible ] I also have a book habit. So many of them are not printed locally.
Towards zero carbon is printed in china. At the same time, this is the, this puts us
in perspective. I think we can all find Toronto in there somewhere
lit up. Another good book that was in it, this one
was heavy. To have brought this in from china.
That was lot of energy. Spread of London underground.
We can learn a lot from overseas. Ride a bike.
Printed in Germany. Danish transport, earning 90 cents for every
kilometer we cycle instead of a car. So yes, worthwhile getting a book brought
over from Germany fool’s rule printed in the usa.
A good one. We have an issue we should be looking at throughout
all of our decisions and that’s basically a climate crises.
Climate break down. That’s where we are at in terms of the support
of our ecosystem. Things are cracking.
We are going down. People going down are probably not going to
be the ones that created things. Because Canada emission top g20 report says
we are leaders but in bad way we have to reduce emissions somehow to merely think about supporting
more capitalism, more stuff exported, more trade, more this, more that without analyzing
how much greenhouse gas we are actually exporting how much is imported, I think is a mistake.
We should be leading the world because we have this Toronto target.
We have got it in a commitment to reduce our emissions.
So I doubt you will actually filter this through or slow it down.
But seriously, we have to really think about how we are proceeding and can’t be burning
as usual because we are in a break down stage and we reach 411 parts per million.
This year a bad record. How will this reduce our climate emissions.
Thank you, Mr. Wilson. Any questions of the debutante?
Thank you very much. Any question is of staff?
Councillor Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. I have questions of the general manager.
Have you seen an annual report? Yes.
We put up the last two years, least, I think, an annual report.
Is it on the website? Yes, it is.
Okay. So we see their budget every year?
Their audit figures and there is budget information we talk about at economic development officer’s
committee. Does that come here?
It doesn’t come to council, no. I see.
And their expenses ? Posting travel of their senior people on their
website. Oh, okay.
I was poking around trying to find it. I wasn’t successful.
I can show you how to find it. I just looked it up a half an hour ago.
I won’t draft a motion. Thank you very much.
I knew that was where it was going. And we won’t comment on your technical ability
on the website. You need Mr. Williams to help you with that.
Absolutely. You’re very kind and benevolent Deputy Mayor.
Any other questions of staff? Ways just going to move the recommendation.
That’s fine. : Through you to Mr. Williams and similar
to councilman Minnan-Wong, do you have a list or document you can provide us with today
that provides that information? No.
My understanding is that they will be on the 2018 sunshine list.
I’m not worried about that. What I would like to do is, I would like to
actually see the information. Do you have something from 2017 for example?
That you could submit to us between now and council?
Yes. So 2017 and perhaps if you’ve got ’18, can
you bring that forward so we can address issues at council?
Yes, of course. We are giving funding for how many years?
Five years. But cancelable, we can cancel out with notice
at any year and subject to council approval each year.
Excellent. That’s what I was looking for.
Thanks. Any other questions of staff?
Okay. Ready to move recommendation?
Thank you. All those in favour?
Posed ? Carried.
Okay. We are getting close to the end here.
To Toronto police service. Holding that for deputation.
Derek moran. We missed you this morning.
When I say missed you, you weren’t here. Did you call me mister?
I want to say by — oh, my god, already at 40.
Just by me speaking at this meeting shall not be my consent expressed imcomplied and
doing so is fraud. Long live the majesty and queen.
I do not violate section 8 currently taking place here at Toronto city hall.
Now speaking of statistics, Mayor Tory, this statistic that I would like to see next month
expanded upon at the next police board meeting. ?
This is a tweet 4948 president Brendan Haley disputes to the Toronto library board on the
rise of violent and threatening incidents in my public library affecting staff and patrons.
So I demand that you, Councillor Ainslie here, Councillor Perks, wherever he is, tell chair
Pringle to invite this union president Brendan Haley, next police board meeting is Tuesday,
so next month’s meeting, give them 10, 15 minutes, whatever, because I don’t have the
statistics with me but from what I read they are pretty shocking.
I have seen some pretty hairy-carry stuff at the library myself with regard to violence.
This is the Toronto police services board 2018.
Fb further I accept, justice Joel coplin, that making a submission remotely is not as
effective as in tern at a meeting because if a submission is made remotely would he
lose the ability to ask follow-up questions. I’m saying that because, I will have to check
with Miguel, but no one ever went to the police board meetings to hear statistics spoon fed
to us. We go there because, one of the things that
we like to do, for some reason justice copeland was under the impression we could ask follow-up
questions at those meetings. Which is ironic because it implies she thinks
we can ask questions to begin with. Councillor Ainslie is talking.
I bring this up Mayor Tory, last time I was here.
You saw myself and Minnan-Wong bond together for the first time.
You know my stance on asking questions at these meetings.
And not being able to ask meetings is unacceptable. So to provide information, there is a public
safa that the date why portal designed to provide timely and relevant information regarding
public safety m Toronto. I like the way Chris langenfield put it.
Toronto police board is interested in controlling what we say and what we get to know.
One way they do this is by giving us lots of statistics and pretending as if it is the
same as answering our questions. One thing that Deion Renee because she recently
took the police board to court, I was there, Miguel was too.
One thing Deion Renee did not say to Justice Kavanaugh is darn it Justice Kavanaugh the
police board does not provide us with enough good statistics to listen to.
What she did bring up to Justice Kavanaugh and you probably may remember me bringing
this up at the last police board, was the two case laws from a Supreme Court, where
we’re going to the promotion of truth, and the search for truth, and as I ended up saying
to chair Pringle, when you show up to these meetings, the public will never find out the
truth because again your stance on not being allowed to ask questions.
Chair Pringle loves to brow beat people there. I wanton the record what the preamble says,
police services board wants to ensure the interpretation of the procedural rules contained
in the bylaw are consistent with principles set out above.
1.4 says the board wants to ensure the rules reflect the principles of accessibility, responsiveness
and accountability to the community fairness respect and full debate in the conduct of
its meetings and flexibility and responding to changing circumstances at the meeting of
the law. Blacks law dictionary defines responsive as
giving a response answering and defines accountability as responsible, answerable.
When chair Pringle says you can ask questions but we are under no obligation it answer,
the preamble when you break down the wording of the preamble it says opposite and you are
supposed to answer your questions. You are at the time limit.
That’s one of the rules I accept f too. Do.
Justice called me sir. I will just move recommendation.
Questions to staff? Question is of staff?
Okay. Councillor Ainslie?
I have a request for Toronto police service staff.
He are not here. Are there staff here?
No. They aren’t here?
No. We could call them over but I don’t think
that would be — let’s follow up with them. And take it from there, I guess.
Sorry. Is this item going from here to council?
I think is just being received. My binder doesn’t have a sheet with recommendation
on it. So City Council received.
So it will go to council. So we can get the question answered before
the council meeting. Just going on it council to receive it, right?
To receive it. So I can ask questions of police staff and
You can tell them to be there. I would appreciate that.
Can you remind me — thanks. Any other questions?
Mayor Tory? Just a point of order.
My questions were resolved mainly around open data.
And one of them is why the — tell them to have someone who is prepared to answer those
questions regarding open data. Yes.
Thank you. Are there any other questions of staff in
any other Councillors wishing to speak? Otherwise, moving recommendation, which is
to have City Council receive the report. All those in favour?
Opposed ? Carried.
Ayes in favour. Thank you.
That brings us to final item of the day. Ex3.11.
2019 Toronto zoo Lumia experience. One debutante on that.
Miguel villarde. You know the rules.
Thank you. I look forward to asking you questions next
week at police services board. Be there.
The pipe dream is the name of my dissertation. My name is Miguel.
In 2009 when former councilman spent $16,000 on taxpayer money on the mission to china,
I was really furious that city money was misused for a project doomed to failure because it
was a bad crooked plan. By politicses and no citizen input which is
why we are here now. Talking about something made up by staff.
I remember councilman Thompson, the deep-rooted culture, saying old boys club.
He quit. We insisted this was a political manoeuvre.
Heavily influenced by former councillorry manned and — [ inaudible ] it was important
to bring to the table, the sober thinking, before rush project at the time.
I spoke of this at the board and city hall at the time when mueller was the mayor.
We lost money between 2016 and 2018 before Calgary,
we told this to the board. It is an old boys club culture that they think
think can think for us, ignore input from the public as the mayor witnessed.
The Toronto zoo will have paid — they pay almost a million a year to maintain
the pandas while here in Canada. We said it was mistake.
But here we go again 2019 with another help idea to transform the zoo.
The experience, the zoo, are telling us at this committee to raise awareness and encourage
conservation, et cetera, et cetera. That is fine with me and many people around
here. This is born of loving company, loving groups,
trying to send the — you know they met in closed doors meeting last February 15, 2019
to discuss this particular item. C b-2 16.
And run in my opinion is another failure as attendance it is in design.
Zoos are becoming a thing of the past. Most of the animal experts, they would love
to see to push the reset button. Thanks to my friends, we have a huge victory
when we got rid of elephants and moved to a sanctuary in California.
A sanctuary for local animals and make the zoo a place for people to come and give conservation
efforts. How to work on climate solutions.
Place to be proud of. Money should be spent on improving lives of
the animals and not used for more visitors. It is a prison for animals.
And out of experience for visitors would not change that.
But however, I have great suggestion that I hear from many people, why not put the people
in those cages that would bring the revenue of the city up.
That’s my advice for you. Thank you.
[ inaudible ] questions much the debutante. Are you giving that panda to us as gift or
are you keeping it? You want it keep it?
O, that’s okay. Are there questions of staff?
Okay. Question of staff Councillor a Ainslie?
Thank you. I will start with Ms. Taylor.
I circulated an amendment motion for the recommendation in this part.
I want to ask Ms. Taylor. Do you think properly safeguards city’s financial
risks? Or how does it — do you think safeguards
the city from the financial risk? The intent is to ensure that we have the discretion
to insert required terms and conditions and eliminate any risk for city.
Okay. And so the foundation that’s mentioned in
the record has its own set of financial documents? I understand that they are going to be made
available to your office on a regular base snis.
Correct. We will assess is statements to ensure due
diligence there is no risk to the city. The part of the motion I wrote about within
a fixed rate equal to city’s cost of borrowing with interest repayable over 36-month period,
that’s nothing out of the ordinary, is it? Through the chair, that’s correct.
Nothing unusual about that. All right.
Thank you very much. Then I have questions for the CEO of the Toronto
zoo. So Mr. Dejong, welcome to city hall.
Can you explain so the project here, how that fits — the zoo has a strategic plan and master
plan. Can you explain how this fits in with our
— well, I guess both plans. Thank I have much to the committee for considering
this. Thank you very much to staff.
Both of the zoo and of the city working so diligently on this.
Our strategic plan is ratified by City Council brought in 2015 this hits four of the major
goals we have. First to advance the zoo as a sercht of conservation
excellence through innovative programs. Luminate fits the bill as something we haven’t
seen before in the city or at the zoo. Goal 2 talks about enhancing guest experience.
Recognizing the need to continue to grow and evolve and provide new opportunities and reasons
for people to come visit our zoo. Goal 4, financially sustainable.
We aren’t working with a new group. We are working with a world organization with
a proven track record across North America, in far, protected areas, in di zoos.
Goal 7. This is a story about effecting change.
This is using interactive digital technology to connect people to the natural world and
giving you tools and hope. And this is what you will find in a world-class
city. That is why based on research we feel this
project is a great fit for our site and a great fit for our community and tourism in
Scarborough and season talked about as an area of need and opportunity for the community.
We are excited to bring if it forward. For us, one of our biggest concerns is around
financing. And making sure that the moneys are secured.
So you’ve got a business plan of you feel is adequate and having this backed by foundation,
is that a worse case scenario or something you pretty much expect is going to happen?
Our testimony las a lock list of scenarios. Taking into account weather and other disruptions.
What we have come into we feel is a modest expectation.
And feedback time after time and we delivered on this program is we were surprised it was
hard it manage because of interest. We are willing to approach our badder and
assume that risk because we believe this is great opportunity to generate more opportunity
and effect conservation and improve what is going on in the natural world.
Business case reprovided focuses on October and March and folks is particularly on weekend
and few weekdays. Looking at corporate opportunities on the
nonbooked days. What we have before us is a report from the
Toronto zoo to the Executive Committee. At February 21 meeting, there was a presentation
of the approval of the ward, correct? I’m sorry.
I’m not understand pg p we haven’t awarded the contract.
In the decision history, the contract awarded. Pending funding — so my question is, when
it was discussed, the contract at Toronto zoo board?
When it d it first come up? We went through process of putting in a request
for proposal. When was that?
How long ago? We did that request for proposal in, was it
October of 2019? Or 2018?
Okay, October 2018. And it just come forward now in February of
2019. When we went through the budget recently,
we approved the budget, you never mentioned any of this during the budget process.
Why was it not mentioned ? Great point.
Because we went through the budget and asked questions and there was never ever an item
or report on this project. Snses right.
We went through RFP and that came back after the budget process.
I started in says and I’m familiarizing myself with this and felt that this is the kind of
opportunity we wanted to take advantage of. When I joined, we received a lot of feedback
about wanting to continue to evolve as a zoo and add new things.
I felt pushing this new kind of opportunity would be something worth doing and it will
allow us to push attendance at a time of year when we have capacity.
But there was an opportunity for to you put a place holder on it through the budget.
Knowing that this was going to come up in the next month or so.
I mean, it is not — I’m just requesting why, after we wept through a budget process, this
that this comes forward to the Executive Committee. I just don’t understand that.
If would you have even mentioned it during the budget process, we would have looked at
this. I will take responsibility for that as my
first budget process coming in at the timing I did, there is an awful lot to understand.
This is a big complex machine you’re running. I understand the level of deliberations that
two on with the budget process. This is not an approach I would take on again
in the future. It is important to the zoo.
Timing will help it be more successful. We continue to push it.
Thanks Councillor. I have Councillor Thompson?
Thanks very much, Mr. Chair, through you. How will the $5 million be spent?
That $5 million — I don’t see a business plan.
I just see the request for the $ $5billion. Do you want to answer this?
As Mr. Dejong mentioned with be there was a 60-day, more than one submission that had
to be evaluated by the time this was evaluated-tsh. That wasn’t my question.
So $5 million spent on the program development by moment factory and the execution of the
production and installation and the equipment and projection and the Lumina production sings
supporting equipment at the zoo app and also marketing significant marketing that goes
into the the promoting it. We are trying to promote the off season.
And fair amount of moneys dedicated to marketing and promotion as well.
So the creating and developing, how is that — so what exactly is that?
What exactly is a Lumina experience? A guided night hike that is 45 to 60 minutes.
If we could pull up a youtube video, it would be far more effect pitch it is a symphony
connecting people to the natural world. Interactive projections, ins that litions
that take to you magical places, let you journey through time to a world where we have done
it right. Picture the biggest light show you’ve seen
and amp that up, make it moving. Not just hanging lights in trees.
Indoor/outdoor? Primarily outdoor.
And running from September to March? October to March.
Okay. So in winter months you are subjecting people
will go to the zoo to enjoy this experience? And I like winter, don’t get me wrong, but
at the zoo? Yes.
You are staking your reputation on this because I think a is what you are doing.
I signed up to an organization that I think can have a far brighter future.
But we need to challenge the status quo. We need to challenge how we have done things.
We have done our homework. Looked at best practice across the world of.
We believe we are working with a world-class partner if we go forward.
So this experience is not really a — so it is an experience that can be had because you’ve
got the zoo but also whistler. Is this whistler the zoo, the ski resort?
Is it simply meant for zoos or general a light show, light experience in general?
He have put them from basilica in Montreal to fort henry to the zoo.
They have experience working in settings with animals.
They have experience working in sensitive environments.
They have a wide range. It is adaptable?
Very much so. My final question, and I don’t know, but I’m
asking because you’re here and you’re the new CEO.
What is the diversity composition of your employment, your ftes?
Right now I would say our staff does not do a good enough job reflecting our community.
What are you proposing to do about that? First piece is addressing is a problem is
acknowledging you have that. We are looking a the board composition, what
that looks like. Just for the record, I have asked this question
before at the zoo. We are looking at our senior team as we go
through changes. We look at that and look at grass roots opportunities
to connect with communities. We met with visions of science last week.
We are looking at programming if underrepresented areas.
This is our zoo, your zoo. We are committed to being part of your community.
That’s a commitment that will change how we look and how people see us.
Do have you a program gear had towards young people, youth volunteers and so on in the
area? Have you a strong community around the zoo.
You would be able to draw from that. Do you have a program — we have 400 plus
volunteers that come in. We need to look at accidental biases or barriers
to folks participating. That is something real and we are considering.
Thank you. Any other questions of the staff from the
Toronto zoo? Okay.
Then to speakers. Councillor Ainslie?
I have a motion circulated I would like to have put up on the screen.
Just history about this further history. The zoo put up an RFP, 90 days.
Staff to do due diligence. We discussed at our board meeting, unanimously
supported by board of directors. Given back to staff to process.
And get to the city as quickly as possible. I know within the last week of February, it
was and to our finance staff here at city hall, I know we did have a budget process.
I don’t fault them for not getting to this as quickly as they could.
There is a lot of work. We did get to theccy city as quickly as possible.
I’m on the board of directors of the Toronto zoo.
I’m proud of this. I’m proud of the staff.
Some of the projects we are working on, some may be familiar with the train brought to
us as a capital project, pilot project they are doing at the zoo.
No cost to the zoo. Trying to be more innovative at the zoo.
The Lumina light festival you see here, it is a world-class event.
It meets all of our strategic and master plan goals.
As Mr. Dejong mentioned a few minutes ago. One of those is conversation.
We are trying to get the zoo a little more away.
You have seen the reports about attendance going down and very dependant on whether we
are trying again, you know, attendance all year round.
Not just in summer. This festival will be in the evenings from
September, basically, to may. When days are longest.
One of the reasons the zoo unanimously supported it.
They made an excellent presentation. We saw an example of other areas in the city,
a video, where it was done. We asked questions around financing.
Projections around attendance. We are very comfortable with the projection
and number possess p we put the motion forward. I tweaked it a bit today.
I know there is concerns about financing and risk here.
So you know, the amendments here to try and alleviate that I think you know, the numbers
even right from the beginning, numbers we put forward, proponent where we are buying
this project from said the numbers were very conservative.
I’m very confident we can meet our attendance projections over this and I would ask for
support of the committee. Thank you.
Thanks Councillor Ainslie. Others to speak?
I have a question for Councillor Ainslie. You have amended the original recommendation.
So the foundation would be totally liable? Yes.
And the foundation, you have money? Yes, we do.
How much money do you have? At this point I don’t know — I know we don’t
have $5 million. It is an ongoing foundation like any other
foundation. We don’t have $5 million.
We have money, for some reason, that’s not set aside or designated for projects at the
zoo that can cover any shortfall. If I recall, and Councillor Crawford, we did
ask that question when want went through the budget process and the Toronto zoo mentioned,
staff mentioned to us, they were trying to build up the foundation because financially
there wasn’t enough money in that reserve account.
I’m surprised you are saying they have a lot of money.
I didn’t say we have a lot of money. I said my understanding is we have money no
cover a shortfall that is not set aside. When I first went on the board of directors
on the Toronto zoo about four years ago we did away with our foundation, charitable foundation.
We have been parking money or taking donations within an arm’s length.
But we have money that’s been ongoing from donations there as we are rebuilding our foundation.
All right. I don’t think we can — we are at speakers.
If you could answer off line or give information — I will address that off line with Councillor.
Okay. I will support the amendment that Councillor
Ainslie put forward. Mainly because of the mitigation of risk — again
I’m not commenting on the program. Looks like it could be good.
There was mitigation of risk from city side. I know we have done loans in the past to agencies
for a number of reasons. But I’ve also known and been involved in a
number of the loans we had to forgive because the money didn’t come back in.
I realize that happened in the past. I want to make sure we weren’t going to be
stuck with any costs after that. What is important here is it is guaranteed
by the foundation. This goes back to the board and foundation
they have to agree to this and agreed by CFO. I’m hoping it is a success.
I hope it is great and you will make money. I was concerned because by didn’t get information
on the analysis. I know it went to the board but our staff
and CFO didn’t get the opportunity to do the analysis.
Process wise isn’t the best thing. I look at this as a one off.
Without the proper sort of follow-through and all the that.
I think a number of us were hesitant to support it.
Not because we didn’t want to but the process aspect of that.
I’m comfortable that it is guaranteed by the foundation and chief financial officer will
be having to ok this eventually. I understand also too that initially I wanted
to bring it back to the next executive that would have impacted the program.
I think this is the best scenario moving forward. Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
You know, the zoo is an interesting asset that we own.
Animals are wonderful. People there are wonderful.
But the zoo continues to lack what I think is interests for the most part for most people.
That’s why the numbers where they are and that’s why the zoo doesn’t break even.
The zoo doesn’t make any money. I am loathed to support what we have in front
of us based on our experience with respect to the zoo.
I served as a member of the board. In fact, one of the issues I had with the
zoo was the very foundation. We had the person who was the CEO of the zoo
who was also in charge of the foundation, and there was huge issues with respect to
that for my concern. I think what just cemented it, Ainslie’s comment,
we don’t have a foundation, we have an arm’s length entity that is acting as foundation.
That is troubling in terms of how that comes forward.
To when I look at the need of some of my residents who need day care, things for young people
and other issues and some of my seniors, I have a to ask myself how I would be able to
explain any action he here today to my residents. I can’t come up with plausible way to explain
to any of the folks at. We foaferred restaurant or other places where
people actually will ask me about this. And so I’m not comfortable with this idea
that the foundation is going to repay the funds that are here.
I don’t know about the Lumina or the foundation or whatever it is called, I don’t know how
it will work. . I realize we are asked to back stop.
I know we get favorable rates and better than the foundation would get so through us this
would be advantageous to the zoo. But I still don’t have enough information
to make an informed decision to support what we have in front of us.
Inspite of the fact that we are told in the motion here, that the moneys will be paid
back in 36 months. I’ll be surprised if that is in fact the case.
For those reasons, Mr. Mayor, I cannot support this.
Thank you. Any other speakers?
All right. May I say w a word on this?
Just reset the clock here. I was not happy with what I will call past
process. And I think you have acknowledged it was less
than ideal for a bunch of reasons. But I’ll tell you the principle concerns I
have, and for my part, speaking to the zoo and other agencies I’m sure have done things
before that we didn’t like, if another proposal comes back, ill be against it.
What happened to my way of thinking, when you ask us to guarantee a loan, which is the
same as potential in a matter of spending the money, if you default or call upon our
guarantee, there wasn’t a business plan. There was a statement that said in 36 months
it’ll be paid back. You have to rely on management and I understand
it was passed by board including three members of City Council.
But when we are asked to guarantee the loan which means we could be ending up paying for
all of it, whole $5 million then we have to look at the business plan.
We can’t just say, fine, we’ll take your word for it.
I and I think there is little contact and letters in February and done right in the
middle of the budget season, our budget season here, a very complex time to did this kind
of thing. And I would say that the process was seriously
lacking. What got me to a 6 out of 10 and that’s where
I am, 6 out of 10 is good enough to get me to vote for it but it is 6 out of 10 only.
Nothing to do with the concept. I’m in no position to judge.
Looks successful elsewhere. I question what is good enough to get people
into the zoo on a winter night in February. That something you have to confront.
What got me over the top is we flipped this thing from being a request for us to guarantee
the loan to a situation where we are the lender and our loan is guaranteed.
It takes the risk as Councillor Crawford said so well to zero for us assuming we can answer
the question, which I’m counting on you and our CFO to do, in due diligence to follow
today if this motion passes, to be sure there are adequate funds in the foundation account
or whatever that is, to make sure that that guarantee of our loan is for real.
I think is does raise, and again 6 out of 10, it raise eses questions about whether
the donors who put money in the foundation would have thought and perhaps they might.
They say say there is no better use we can think of than to did something that will enhance
attendance and create a new attraction. Again, no position to judge that.
I would just pose the question if I was having the discussion with you not at the stage it
pass final judgement. I would have said if we have the foundation
guaranteed, which got me over the top, our risk take it down theoretically to take it
to 0, is that what foundation donors would have intended ?
That better that an situation where we are loan gairner to and ask risk if things don’t
go well. Final thing I will speak to is what I will
call future or present process which is I’m heartened that it will go back to the board
and to the foundation. I guess they have to separately agree to guarantee
this pb and to the management. And our CFO will be involved.
So I think there is lots of belt and suspenders there to make sure that just before anybody
signs the paper we really, really, really thought about this.
I will be honest, and what contributed to me getting to 6 is you sat there and said
you would be at accountable for this. And I’m not saying a job-dependant decision.
But I heard you say that t is our best judgement from all of the things we could do is a good
thing to do to boost interest in the zoo in shorter seasons and so forth.
I admire that because people might have said, the study showed or the guy told us or whatever.
I was heartened by that. I encourage you to think of this diligence
as not some rubber stamp thing. Between to follow board, management and our
CFO, and she certainly won’t, but I encourage you as well to be very diligent about it and
be really absolutely satisfy yourself that this is the best investment up $5 million
that we could make in the well-being of the zoo and increase interest and attendance.
I think we have indicated through our concerns about this is it would be easy to pass this
and say sure, and not have spent the half hour of your time or ours doing it.
But I think can you see there is a concern here.
I will get myself just over the line thanks to some representations of Councillor Ainslie
and we have changed the deal. A better terms for us as Councillor Crawford
said. I will support it.
But there are lessons to learn from the zoo and others as well.
I don’t like loan guarantees, we have had bad ones as Councillor Crawford said.
I don’t like them. They are risky for us.
Ready to vote? All right.
We are voting first on Councillor Ainslie’s motion.
In front of you here. I will call the question.
All those in favour. Record the vote.
Motion 1 by Councillor Ainslie. All in favour.
Bailão, Ainslie. All owe possessed.
Thompson and Nunziata. Carried.
That’s the item. That’s completes our business for the day.
With thanks. I’m not sure we will be so lucky in future
months. But a good solid day.
Good business done. Thank you for your attention.