Category Archives: Blog

Sidewalk Lab Project

The presentation is now available from the December 12, 2018 forum:
“What’s the story with the Google Toronto Sidewalk Lab Project?”

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Speakers Kumsa Baker (TCBN), moderator Dusha Sritharan (TEA), Alejandra Ruiz Vargas (ACORN) and Nasma Ahmed (Digital Justice Lab) outline the background and some challenges with Sidewalk Lab’s plans for Toronto waterfront at Parliament Street and Queen’s Quay.

Election Charter for Climate Justice and Good Green Jobs for All

In Ontario’s 2018 provincial election, we need to continue taking action against climate change.

The Good Jobs for All Coalition created the Election Charter for Climate Justice to support action now and after the election on June 7th. It contains nine great measures to be included in a proposed Climate Change Accountability Act.

Use the Charter at all-candidates meetings, in letters to the editor, on your doorstep when candidates ask for your vote, and in other ways you use to take action.

Here are three questions you can ask candidates and parties:

  1. Do you support a Climate Change Accountability Act that would include adequate measures to ensure Ontario’s legislated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction targets are met?
  2. Do you agree that all revenues earned under the cap and trade system be spent on GHG reduction activities? (Note: The undesirable alternative approach is to give residents “dividends” or to put funds into general revenues.)
  3. Do you support “just transition” measures to reduce GHGs, so that the negative impact is minimized on workers and historically marginalized groups and they are involved in decision-making? This includes measures such as:
    • Just transition funds
    • Investing in publicly owned renewable energy, public transit, public building retrofits
    • Stopping privatization of Hydro
    • Community Benefit Agreements for all infrastructure projects over $50-million
    • Mandatory joint union/management environment committees in workplaces

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RESPECT – Our Communities, Public Services, and Good Jobs! Rally on Saturday April 9

The Good Jobs for All coalition has endorsed the Community Day of Action on Saturday April 9, 2011. Follow Respect Toronto on Facebook.

1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2011
Rally at Dundas Square, followed by a march to Toronto City Hall

What’s at Stake?
• Services and programs that serve every resident and community, such as libraries, child care and recreation centres
• TTC serving all neighbourhoods
• Environmental leadership in challenging climate change
• Keeping public control of public services, such as garbage pickup
• Safeguarding vital public assets, such as housing
• Good jobs and the fundamental rights of workers

Read a Guide to the 2011 City of Toronto Budget by Councillor Janet Davis


2011 City Budget Launched


The proposed 2011 City Budget was released at City Hall this week. This year, the City will consider its Capital, Operating, Water and Solid Waste budgets together and in a shorter period of time.  

The budget will determine how much funding is available to deliver the City programs, services, and facilities that residents rely on every day. I want you to understand how the budget will affect these services, and I want to hear your views. 

Over the next three weeks, the Budget Committee and Council will debate, make changes and approve the budget. Your input can make a difference.

Below you will find more information about the 2011 budget proposals and the next article in this newsletter details how to get involved. For more information about the budget, you can view the City web page at

Budget Highlights

The 2011 proposed budget has been balanced by drawing on our savings (reserves), reducing services and using the one-time surplus of $350 Million from 2009 and 2010.  With a tax increase of 0% and the elimination of $64 million in revenue from the Personal Vehicle Tax, the City has fewer ongoing revenues to build a sustainable budget for the future. 

The following is a summary of some of most important features of the proposed 2011 Budget.

Property Taxes, Water Rates and Garbage Fees

•    The proposed property tax rate increase from last year is 0%, so your property tax bill should stay the same.
•    The proposed Water Rate increase is 9% over last year, which will cost the average homeowner an additional $60 per year on their water bill
•    The proposed Garbage Bin Fee increase is 3%, which will cost the average household $6-$12 per year, depending on the size of bin used.

Parks and Recreation
•    Fees for recreation programs will increase 3% over last year
•    Adults taking programs at designated Priority Recreation Centres, such as the Secord Recreation Centre, will now have to pay fees for programs.

Public Library
•    The Urban Affairs Library at Metro Hall will be closed, and the collections and staff moved to the Toronto Reference Library.
•    The number of books purchased for circulation will be significantly reduced, meaning you will wait much longer to borrow some books

•    Funding to support tenants will be cut by $100,000

•    The TTC has proposed reducing the service on 48 routes, including the 62 Mortimer Bus after 10pm on weekends and holidays.
•    Fares may be frozen if the City and TTC can find $24m in cuts elsewhere in the budget to offset the cost

Police Services
•    200 to 250 positions will not be filled when officers retire in 2011

Toronto Water Programs
•    Drain Grant Program that provides $1500 to property owners for broken sewer pipes will be eliminated
•    Water efficient toilet and washer rebate program eliminated
•    Lead Water Service replacement program reduced

2011 Budget Process

Once the public hearings have been completed, the budget will be considered at the following meetings:
•    January 19: Budget Committee Hearings at the East York Civic Centre (see for more information) and the North York Civic Centre.
•    January 20: Budget Committee Hearings at the York and Scarborough Civic Centres
•    January 24 and 25: further Budget Committee meetings
•    February 10: Budget Committee Final Review of the 2011 Budget
•    February 17: Executive Committee reviews the Budget
•    February 23, 24, 25, and 28: Toronto City Council meeting to approve the budget

City Hall:
Councillor Janet Davis
100 Queen Street West,
2nd Floor, Suite C57
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Community Office:
East York Civic Centre
850 Coxwell Avenue
East York, ON M4C 5R1
Phone: 416-397-4870

Cities Get the Cold Shoulder with EI Announcement

By Laurell Ritchie, CAW National Representative

The government’s October 12 announcement that they will extend two EI pilot projects for eight more months (“Best 14 Weeks” and “40% Allowable Earnings”) is welcome news for the many workers who find themselves in precarious employment. The government should move quickly to make them permanent features of the EI Act.

Continue reading Cities Get the Cold Shoulder with EI Announcement