News

Statement on Planned Anti-Islam Event at Nathan Phillips Square

August 7, 2018

I stand with Toronto's diverse communities in rejecting hate and division. News of an anti-Islamic event being planned for Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, August 11 is a disappointing reminder that, as far as we have come as a society, many still cling to violent prejudice. We must continue to come together in the spirit of cooperation and pluralism to show strength and solidarity with those being targeted.

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My Statement on Doug Ford’s Attack on Toronto

Yesterday’s announcement that the Ford government will be unilaterally cutting Toronto’s City Council in half is deeply unsettling. It’s been under two months since the provincial election and already Ford is abusing his powers against Toronto’s democratic structure. It was not part of his campaign platform when he ran to be Premier and I have no doubt that this is only the beginning of his work to reshape Ontario in his own image.

Toronto’s residents deserve a say in how their municipal government is organized. After the multi-year extensive ward boundary consultation process which ended in 2016, Toronto residents expressed their desire to have a City Council that more effectively represented the population growth that intensified under Ontario’s own planning growth policies. The resulting 47-ward structure recommended by the external consultants was endorsed by City Council and upheld at the Ontario Municipal Board and the Ontario Superior Court. As a city, we invested time, money, and public consultation to arrive at the new ward boundaries before us. Now Ford wants to repeat a failed “mega city” experiment from the past.

Toronto, like cities across Ontario is struggling. With an opioid and mental health crisis, a shelter system at capacity, a lack of deeply affordable housing, and increasingly gun violence in our neighbourhoods, Toronto needs adequate social services and investments to address complex problems and the communities at the centre of these challenges need better, local representation, not less. The best of what Ontario is today was not built on decrees in opposition to local government. Modest neighbourhoods, often times poor and isolated will be the earliest casualties in this reduced council gerrymandering. We can not let this happen.

At Mayor Tory’s press conference today, he too objected to Ford’s process and offered to host a “referendum” as a rebuttal. For someone who wants a “strong mayor” system, his response was disappointedly meek.  We need leaders to rise up with residents to defend our democracy.

In the 1990s, 76% of residents objected Mike Harris’ megacity and that referendum did not stop amalgamation. His promised savings and effective government never materialized. Instead, transit planning became deadlocked, municipal programs stagnated and the cost of delivering essential city services became more expensive with less government accountability. Toronto has never fully recovered from this forced marriage.

Ford and his ilk may not like how Toronto governs itself today, but it is fundamentally undemocratic to impose this change unilaterally from the Premier’s chair upon our city.  Make no mistake, will not helping Toronto govern ourselves better. He is not doing this across the province. This is about Ford politically targeting our city and region by weakening Toronto.


Three immediate actions you can take:

  1. Add your name to Progress Toronto’s Stop Ford petition: https://www.progresstoronto.ca/stopford
  2. Show up at Tonight's Rally: Stop Doug Ford: NO CUTS To Council https://www.facebook.com/events/234521980713455
  3. Contact the Premier’s Office to register dissatisfaction: 416-325-1941;  doug.ford@pc.ola.org    


Together we must resist Ford with a better vision for Toronto. This is a clear and destructive attack on Toronto, and the residents and communities will not sit by and do nothing. Both on the streets and in the courts, together we will fight for the integrity of our democracy and the residents of Toronto.


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Reminder: 2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors

2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors

As you may already know, there is a municipal election coming up this fall on October 22, 2018. The recently amended Municipal Elections Act, 1996 ("Act") now requires municipalities to establish rules and procedures with respect to the use of municipal resources during the election period. To preserve the public trust and integrity of the elections process, the City’s Policy sets out provisions that address: (1) access to City facilities during an election period, (2) access to City resources during an election period, (3) access to City information during an election period, (4) attendance at City events during an election period, and (5) restrictions to services provided to Members of City Council beginning August 1 of an election year.

These rules stipulate that City Councillors are not permitted to send out communications to constituents after August 1st. These rules were recommended by City staff, as required by provincial legislation, and approved by City Council, in order to ensure that City resources are not used for election purposes.

This means that my office is not permitted to send out information in e-newsletters, or print newsletters, after this date. If there is an emergency, my office is permitted to communicate with constituents regarding this emergency. However, after August 1st, regular e-mail newsletters are not permitted.

To ensure that residents are notified of this rule, I will include this reminder in my email newsletters for the next number of weeks. Here are additional details with respect to these rules:

  • After August 1st, City Councillors are not permitted to:
    • Send out email newsletters or print newsletters
    • Host or organize meetings or events

For more information, click here.

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My Statement on the Danforth Shooting

Last night, our city was shaken to its core by a cowardly and unspeakable act of violence. My thoughts are with the families of those who are experiencing unimaginable loss, and to those who are in the hospital as a result. I wish them a swift and full recovery. My heartfelt gratitude is with the first responders and their life-saving efforts – Toronto police officers, firefighters and paramedics who rushed as quickly as possible to the scene following this horrific incident. To the medical staff in emergency rooms across Toronto, we too are indebted to your service.

We will come together as a city to grieve and process our pain, but we must also take action. Gun violence has become too commonplace. Guns are too readily available to too many. Yes, the issues of violence are complicated and will require political courage, but doing nothing will continue to put our communities at risk.

I anticipate our continued work with our Federal government in taking action on stricter gun control legislation. During my time in political office, I have advocated for the retention of the long-gun registry and its data, promoted the idea of regulating and banning bullets from our city limits and most recently for the strengthening of the new gun control legislation Bill C-71: An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms, which is currently before the Senate. We need stronger background checks, limitations on the sales of firearms and stronger regulations for a proper gun registry and around the transportation of a gun. These are important steps in keeping our communities safe.  

We must also recognize the root causes of violence. Stronger gun control legislation is imperative, but so is action on its social determinants.  Lack of mental health and addictions services, lack of deeply affordable housing, and lack of social supports all increase the likelihood of violence in our communities. We must also recognize the increasing relationship between social isolation and acts of violence. To create communities that are safe for all, we must address social inequity in all shapes and forms.

Torontonians are resilient and strong. Nothing has prepared us for yesterday's gun violence. In this time of grief, please know that you are not alone. Victim Services Toronto (416-808-7066) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides immediate crisis response, intervention and prevention services which are responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime and sudden tragedies. Gerstein Centre (416-929-5200) provides crisis response as well, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here is an extensive list of crisis resources.

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Ward 27 News | July 20, 2018

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July 20, 2018
E-Newsletter

  1. A New Community Action Plan for the Downtown East
  2. Environment Day Thank You
  3. Affordable Housing & Shelter Update
  4. Working Together for Safer Communities: Who to Call in Your Neighbourhood
  5. 2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors
  6. Nathan Phillips Square Farmer's Market
  7. Community Spotlight: Na-Me-Res
  8. FAQ
  9. Development Map

 

1. A New Community Action Plan for the Downtown East

_20171116_161202.jpg In November 2017, Councillor Wong-Tam organized Ward 27's first Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit, bringing together residents, community members, business owners, and City staff to report on community needs in the Downtown East.

On November 15, 2017 Councillor Wong-Tam held the Healthy Neighbourhoods Summit that brought together 150 residents, business owners, and City staff from across the downtown to discuss pressing matters of health, safety and community vibrancy. Downtown neighbourhoods consistently reported major gaps between service levels and community needs. On December 5, 2017 City Council endorsed a motion by Councillor Wong-Tam to develop a fully-funded 12-month and 5-year action plan to address these major public health, service, and supports gaps. Last month, a 36-point 12-month Action Plan was endorsed by City Council and is immediately going into effect.

Dh2Qjp8WAAAyuvA.jpgCouncillor Wong-Tam with Councillor Troisi and the Mayor's office to develop the 12-month Action Plan and 5-year Action Plan to make immediate investments in the Downtown East service prevision.

The action plan area spans from Bay Street to the Don Valley, from the Waterfront up to Bloor, plus the Collier-Asquith neighbourhood, and will see many improvements, including the following:

  • Increased park maintenance operations through new "flying squads" – up to six times per week for identified hot spots
  • Increased number of Parks Ambassadors to maintain order and connect vulnerable populations to services
  • Increased laneway and alley cleaning from annually to bi-weekly, and 3 times per day for hot spots, including needle collection
  • Weekend Clean-up Blitz teams to provide additional cleaning supports at high-demand locations
  • Improved front-line staff training for overdose prevention and mental health
  • More access to City washroom and shower facilities for vulnerable community members
  • 8 new peer-to-peer and harm-reduction hires to do direct outreach with vulnerable community members
  • A new community services coordinator to integrate the work of municipal and community agencies in the Downtown East
  • Increased street sweeping
  • Replacement of damaged litter bins this year and the removal of abandoned street furniture and newspaper boxes this summer
  • New recreation spaces and programs at local community centres

Much more needs to be done and Councillor Wong-Tam is committed to continuing working with partners at every level of government to get the necessary mental health and addictions resources into the communities that need it most. The 12-month Action Plan is the first step in having Toronto take on its part of this work and ensuring that the downtown is as vibrant and healthy as it can be. More will be done with the upcoming 5-year Action Plan to address deeper systemic issues in the downtown east and to identify where proper levels of funding need to be directed.

 

2. Environment Day Thank You

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Thank you to residents and community members who joined us this past Saturday for our last Community Environment Day as Ward 27. As I reflect on my past eight years as City Councillor, I am always touched by the generosity and participation of our diverse communities.

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Thank you to the all community groups and organizations who participated, including Toronto Public Library Parliament Branch, Friends of Allan Gardens, TDSB Trustee Chris Moise, Grace Church, Toronto Hydro and staff from City of Toronto divisions 311, Solid Waste, Tower & Neighbourhood Revitalization, Shelter, Support and Housing and the STEPS Initiative, whose gorgeous new Equilibrium mural was completed just in time to be prominently on display for all to admire. Thank you to Out of This World Cafe for a delicious community lunch!

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3. Affordable Housing and Shelter Update

For her entire time on City Council, Councillor Wong-Tam has been advocating for the improvement of services and facilities at Toronto Community Housing. With support of local residents, she has allocated millions of dollars in Section 37 funding to expand and invest in the broadest range of affordable housing, including that of Habitat for Humanity, Artscape, Na-Me-Res, Casey House, Fife House, Egale Centre Toronto Community Housing, LOFT Community Services and YWCA Toronto.

Last year, Councillor Wong-Tam sounded the alarm on the shelter system surpassing its capacity and led the advocacy at City Council to secure 1,000 new shelter beds and opened the Moss Park Armories as a respite facility. 2017 also saw movement in Councillor Wong-Tam's years of advocacy with the Bay-Cloverhill community to secure Provincial lands for affordable housing as the Grenville and Grosvenor Street lands were integrated into a plan for 2,000 new low end market rent and below market rent units. This month, Council will be voting on amendments by Councillor Wong-Tam to move an additional $500,000 in funding to support the Out of the Cold program in the 2018/2019 winter season to deliver safer and more accessible services and supports.

Councillor Wong-Tam has worked with a range of organizations such as ACORN, Health Providers Against Poverty, Sistering, YWCA Toronto, and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty to secure housing, shelter spaces, and essential services for those struggling to afford rent. There is a lot more work to be done to secure a long-term, fully-funded housing strategy, but important steps have been taken to make Toronto a more affordable, accessible and inclusive city for everyone.

 

 

4. Working Together for Safer Communities: Who to Call in Your Neighbourhood

We care about the well-being of all residents and are working hard to build safer, stronger communities. You are not alone. Whether it is an emergency or an on-going issue, the Police and the City of Toronto are here to help. If you see something, please report it.

 

 

5. 2018 Municipal Election Communication Rules for City Councillors

As you may already know, there is a municipal election coming up this fall on October 22, 2018. The recently amended Municipal Elections Act, 1996 ("Act") now requires municipalities to establish rules and procedures with respect to the use of municipal resources during the election period. To preserve the public trust and integrity of the elections process, the City’s Policy sets out provisions that address: (1) access to City facilities during an election period, (2) access to City resources during an election period, (3) access to City information during an election period, (4) attendance at City events during an election period, and (5) restrictions to services provided to Members of City Council beginning August 1 of an election year.

These rules stipulate that City Councillors are not permitted to send out communications to constituents after August 1st. These rules were recommended by City staff, as required by provincial legislation, and approved by City Council, in order to ensure that City resources are not used for election purposes.

This means that my office is not permitted to send out information in e-newsletters, or print newsletters, after this date. If there is an emergency, my office is permitted to communicate with constituents regarding this emergency. However, after August 1st, regular e-mail newsletters are not permitted.

To ensure that residents are notified of this rule, I will include this reminder in my email newsletters for the next number of weeks. Here are additional details with respect to these rules:

  • After August 1st, City Councillors are not permitted to:
    • Send out email newsletters or print newsletters
    • Host or organize meetings or events

For more information, click here.

 

6. Nathan Phillips Square Farmer's Market

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The Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association invites you to the Nathan Phillips Square Farmers Market every Wednesday from 8:00AM to 2:00PM until October 3, 2018 (rain or shine) at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West.Pick up locally-grown and produced fruit and veggies, meats, cheeses, pastries, preserves, breads, pop-sickles, wines/ciders from Ontario's best farms. Come pick up something fresh for dinner or plan to meet a friend for lunch!


7. Community Spotlight: Na-Me-Res

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Over the last eight years, Councillor Wong-Tam has been proud to support the great work of Na-Me-Res, a multi-service organization that works to support Aboriginal men with access to housing, life skills, and social equity through a culturally sensitive lens. Na-Me-Res offers a number of initiatives and programs, from providing traditional teachings to workshops on creative writing, photography, and reiki. The Na-Me-Res team takes a holistic approach to supporting their clients, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs. The team is comprised of individuals from different areas and sectors such as traditional Elders & teachers, Oshkabaywis (spiritual helpers), case managers, client care and support workers, etc.

We are proud to welcome Na-Me-Res to their new home at 63-65 Homewood. The once popular Bed & Breakfast is now owned by the City of Toronto and leased to Na-Me-Res for long-term affordable housing. The space provides 16 one-bedroom apartments that are long-term, independent rental units. Councillor Wong-Tam is committed to expanding affordable housing in Toronto. Thank you to everyone at Na-Me-Res for your incredibly important work!

 

8. Development Map

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Councillor Wong-Tam wants you to learn about current and upcoming development in your neighbourhood. The Ward 27 Development Map lists every application for a zoning by-law and/or official plan amendment received within the last 5 years. You can view the status of the application, learn briefly what it's about and find links to staff reports, applicant reports and more. The map also includes information about local neighbourhoods, including who is your Ward 27 staff contact and how to contact your local residents' association.

The development map will be regularly updated, with new applications and information when applicable. The map does not include Committee of Adjustment applications. If you see anything that you feel should be on the map, please contact edward.larusic@toronto.ca.

For more information and to view the map, please visit http://www.ward27news.ca/development.

 

9. Got a Question? Check out our FAQ!

Do you want to report discarded needles but don't know how? Are you interested in implementing permit parking on your street but don't know where to start? Have you received a notice for a zoning by-law amendment in your area and want to know what comes next?

You can visit the Ward 27 Constituency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to learn the answers to the above questions and many more common questions the office receives. The FAQ will be periodically updated with new questions.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the FAQ, please contact edward.larusic@toronto.ca. To visit the Ward 27 Constituency FAQ, please visit: http://www.ward27news.ca/faq.

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Ward 27 News | July 4, 2018

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July 4, 2018
E-Newsletter

  1. Welcome Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam
  2. City Council Highlights - June 26 to 29, 2018
  3. 2018 Community Environment Day - Saturday, July 14, 2018
  4. Pride 2018 Recap
  5. 11-21 Yorkville Avenue Public Consultation - Wednesday, July 11, 2018
  6. Kristyn in the Community
  7. Development Map
  8. Got a Question? Check out our FAQ!
  9. Welcome Luula!
  10. Community Spotlight: PATCH program
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Letter to Minister Ralph Goodale on Bill C-71

June 4, 2018

To:       Minister Ralph Goodale
           House of Commons
           Ottawa, Ontario
           K1A 0A6

Re:  Strengthening Bill C-71

Dear Minister Goodale,

In 2012, the Harper Government weakened Canadian gun control in detrimental and costly ways. It ended the firearms registry and destroyed 6 million records of ownership. The harmful results came as no surprise to those of us who fought for public health and safety.

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and we have been seeing a sharp rise in gun violence. Since 2012, the number of shootings has almost doubled. 2005 was dubbed "Year of the Gun" with 359 shootings and 359 victims. We have surpassed those numbers in both 2016 and 2017. 2018 has already seen over 160 shootings in Toronto and I share many residents' concerns that this year will see a record number of gun crimes and a return to the "Year of the Gun".

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Media Advisory - Building a Healthy & Liveable City in a Post-OMB World

On Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam will be hosting a significant forum Building a Healthy & Liveable City in a Post-OMB World to discuss the future of city planning in Toronto, now that the Ontario Municipal Board has been replaced with a local appeals body.

Toronto's Chief Planner Gregg Lintern and top experts Cheryll Case, Shauna Brail, Cyndi Rottenberg-Walker, and Zahra Ebrahim will join Kristyn Wong-Tam for a robust discussion on where planning goes from here, the risks, and new opportunities. This will be the first event of its kind to bring together this level on this subject.

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May 2018 E-Newsletter

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May 2018
E-Newsletter

  1. Welcome Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam - Join us on Tuesday, May 29
  2. City Council Updates
  3. Getting to the Core of TOCore
  4. Equity & Government Responsibility in the Smart City Recap
  5. College Park Re-Opening July 2018
  6. Tonight! Church-Dundas Safety Meeting with Councillor Wong-Tam
  7. Kristyn in the Community
  8. Community Spotlight: Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention
  9. Coming this Summer: Equilibrium Mural
  10. Development Map
  11. FAQ

 

1. Welcome Letter from Councillor Wong-Tam

Dear friends,

On April 3, 2018, the replacement for the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), began hearing appeals of new zoning by-law and Official Plan amendments. Like many municipalities, Toronto has long struggled with the OMB. The board has been accused of favouring developer interests over the local community. There are countless examples of City Council decisions being overturned for development that does not address local community needs and has resulted in what can simply be called, bad urban planning.

Toronto's Downtown is growing rapidly with development exceeding growth targets by decades. We are also facing an affordable housing crisis; unseen homelessness rates; Canada's highest child poverty rates; and an opioid crisis. In this brave new world of municipal land use planning, the policies of the City’s Official Plan are expected to be even more crucial to follow if the city is to defend itself at the new tribunal. What considerations have traditionally been left out of the city planning process that should now be raised? And if the city’s goal is to build healthy, inclusive and complete communities, does Toronto have the right policies it needs?

Please join me and an esteemed panel of subject experts on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 to discuss building a healthy and liveable communities in a Post-OMB world.

What: Building a Healthy and Livable Downtown in a Post-OMB World
When: Tuesday, May 29, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: 2 Sussex Ave, Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto

Panelists include:

  • Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City of Toronto
  • Cheryll Case, Planner, CP Planning
  • Shauna Brail, Director and Professor, Urban Studies Program, University of Toronto
  • Cyndi Rottenberg-Walker, Partner, Urban Strategies Inc.
  • Zahra Ebrahim, Co-Lead, Doblin Canada and Founder of archiTEXT

This event is wheelchair accessible and ASL interpretation will be available. RSVP to reserve your spot. I look forward to this lively and important discussion!

I remain yours in service,

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Kristyn

 

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Ontario Launching New Justice Model in Toronto

Creating Community Justice Centres in Toronto, London and Kenora

Ontario is launching a new and innovative initiative to respond to the overrepresentation of marginalized, racialized and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

Community Justice Centres move justice out of the traditional courtroom and into a community setting to help connect individuals with holistic supports that address the root causes of crime. They are justice hubs that bring together services - for example justice, health, mental health and addictions, housing, and social services - to respond to the unique needs of the communities they serve.  

In Toronto's Moss Park neighbourhood, the new Community Justice Centre will respond to the needs of marginalized people including those facing homelessness, addiction, mental health and poverty issues in order to improve community safety and well-being.

Once established, Toronto's new Urban Community Health and Justice Centre will:

  • Address social factors, like income, homelessness, education, and employment, that can negatively impact an individual's health and well-being
  • Increase access to harm reduction strategies and alternatives to incarceration
  • Improve information sharing and coordination of services between local agencies, justice sector partners and service providers

The Toronto initiative is one of three launching in Ontario, with the other centres located in London and Kenora. Each centre will be designed by and for the individual community, with support from local and provincial partners. Continuous evaluation of the centres will ensure evidence-based decisions are made to improve outcomes and refine the services they provide.

Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario worked with community leaders, Indigenous service providers, health and social service agencies, and justice partners to explore whether a Community Justice Centre model could improve the integration and delivery of justice, health and social services in Moss Park.
  • Local design and planning will begin in fall of 2018. Implementation is forecasted to begin in 2020.
  • Harm reduction intervention is designed to reduce drug-related harm without requiring abstinence from drug use. Harm reduction programs and policies target all harm caused by drug-use, including to users, families, communities, and society.
  • As part of Ontario’s plan to create a faster and fairer justice system, the province has hired more prosecutors and expanded bail programs.
  • The CJC model in other jurisdictions has led to healthier and safer communities with improved outcomes for recidivism rates, public safety, community well-being, rates of incarceration, trust in the justice system, and cost savings.

Quotes

“For vulnerable people with a history of poverty, homelessness, and mental health or addictions issues, the justice system is often the first point of contact to access programs and services. The Community Justice Centre in Moss Park will provide comprehensive supports and services for vulnerable people to make long-term positive changes in their lives. By providing this holistic approach, it is my hope that we can break the cycle of re-offending by addressing the root causes of the criminal behaviour.” -Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General

“We are committed to working collaboratively to enhance timely and meaningful justice services for the public. These kinds of innovative initiatives can have a real and positive impact on people’s lives.” -Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Justice, Ontario Court of Justice

“After much consultation the establishment of a Community Justice Centre in Toronto’s Moss Park and Downtown East neighbourhoods is intended to bring a new approach to the criminal justice system, one that is more collaborative and measured for vulnerable communities. The City of Toronto has utilized similar approaches in response to complex needs, which have proven to be very effective. I welcome this initiative and look forward to having the City of Toronto work with the Province to implement this innovative program.” -Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 27

“A Community Justice Centre will be of immense value to the Moss Park community. It will help many individuals, including Fred Victor clients, to access more off-ramps from the justice system, such as supportive housing, safe beds, and treatment-related supports. By taking a therapeutic and harm-reduction approach, the Community Justice Centre will be able to meaningfully meet people where they are at, and focus on individual and community wellbeing.” -Mark Aston, Executive Director, Fred Victor

Additional Resources

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