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Time's Running Out on City Council to Debate Long-Term Financial Plan This Term

Yesterday, Mayor Tory's Executive Committee discussed a report on the City's Long-Term Financial Plan. Our city has grown substantially and the needs and interests of residents and businesses have grown concurrently over the past decade. The City of Toronto has responded by developing plans and strategies to ensure Toronto remains a livable, accessible and inclusive city for everyone, but City Council has not ensured the funding to implement these necessary services. A new model for budgeting and financial planning is long overdue. 

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Determining the priorities of a city and the methods and means to pay for the services and programmes, is not an easy task and requires City Council to dig deep and make smart decisions. This is not something we can put off for any longer as our infrastructure crumbles and Toronto becomes increasingly unaffordable for so many.   

The options put forward by the City Manager will force City Council to cut services or reduce service levels, which are already insufficient in meeting resident needs, or develop new revenues to pay for a growing city. It will not be an easy decision for City Council, but it is one that cannot be delayed.

Which is exactly what Mayor Tory and his Executive Committee have chosen to do. Instead of governing, they have deferred these important decisions until the next term of Council.  Please contact Mayor Tory to encourage him to bring the report to City Council next week. Let him know you believe City Council should debate this plan immediately and not delay this decision until after October's election.

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Payday Lender Public Consultation at North York Civic Centre

Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) is hosting a consultation on proposed new interim rules for payday loan establishments.

Background:
The Province of Ontario governs payday lenders and alternative financial services such as cheque-cashing, instalment loans and rent-to-own services. Ontario Bill 59 (Putting Consumers First Act) now provides municipalities with tools to regulate payday lenders through business licensing. As of January 1, 2018, the City has authority to restrict the number and locations of payday loan establishments.

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Proposed rules for consultation
New rules being considered are:

  • creation of new business licence category for payday loan establishments
  • placing a cap on the number of establishments in Toronto, and
  • requirement that establishments be licensed by the Province prior to applying for a City-issued licence

This proposed interim approach will provide the City with a mechanism to mitigate the proliferation of these establishments while staff conduct a comprehensive review of the industry and develop final recommendations for regulation of payday loan establishments. The review will include continued research and broad public and stakeholder consultations to better understand the best approach for the City.

Consultation details:
When: Wednesday, March 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3

We invite the public and stakeholders to join us for a presentation on the topic and an opportunity to provide input. The input received at this consultation will inform a report on payday loan establishments to Licensing and Standards Committee on April 10, 2018. Materials from this meeting will be posted here.

Input and feedback can also be sent to: mlsfeedback@toronto.ca
More information: Vanessa Fletcher, 8-3478, Vanessa.Fletcher@toronto.ca

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Free and affordable activities for March Break!

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Monday, March 12 to Friday, March 16 is March Break for elementary and high school students in Toronto. The City of Toronto is offering many free and affordable activities for students and their families all week that are fun for the whole family.

Drop-in programs
City of Toronto community centres offer free or low-cost programs for all ages. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/rec or call 311.

Skating
Many outdoor artificial ice rinks are open until the end of the day on March 18, weather permitting. Locations, hours and program details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.

Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. Hockey helmets approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) are mandatory for children under six years of age and all shinny hockey participants, and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Schedules and locations are available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.

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#LoveWins Statement

As organizers and supporters of #LoveWins we have actively listened to concerns from community members about the March 29, 2018 event. Our intention was to bring the city together in love and healing after hearing from many people who wanted to come together in unity and strength. Unfortunately, the event created an unintentional division at a historic time in the LGBTQ2S community.

‎For the many who expressed support and enthusiasm for the concert, and gave freely of their time and talent to its organizing, we sincerely apologize for this disappointment.

We will postpone the event and work with all community members to ensure that any future endeavour will address the concerns raised thus far. We welcome continued dialogue and honour the broad spectrum of opinions in the community.

Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding.
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City of Toronto Calls Upon 49,000 Toronto Real Estate Board Members to Help Find Locations for New Emergency Shelters

TORONTO, FEBRUARY 28, 2018 – The City of Toronto's Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) and Real Estate Services (RES) are looking for new shelter sites to better meet the demand for emergency beds. They are working in partnership with the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) to identify properties that will meet the City of Toronto's shelter criteria. 

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