December 9th, 2022 edition of Councillor Alejandra Bravo's Community Newsletter
This week, Bill 39 passed in the Ontario Legislature, officially granting expanded strong mayor powers to the Mayor of Toronto. Before the legislation passed, along with 14 fellow Councillors, I sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Steve Clark asking them to withdraw the legislation and preserve the democratic norm of majority-rule.
As I’ve mentioned before–this is an undemocratic piece of legislation that dismantles the principle of majority-rule and forces our city’s democratic process to take a back seat to the Ford government’s “priorities”. Our city should be able to determine its own path forward, not subject to interference from the provincial government.
The second meeting of City Council will take place on Wednesday, December 14. Today, the agenda was released, including several key items:
- 2023 Housing Action Plan which proposes several changes to the City’s official plan, zoning by-laws, housing programs, and much more. I will be advocating for the plan to focus on building homes that people can afford, implementing stronger protections for renters, and the preservation of existing affordable housing.
- Legislative Changes to City Governance which includes details on how the strong-mayor powers created by the provincial government will change the way in which decisions are made at City Hall, including the Mayor’s ability to veto decisions of Council and pass by-laws with only one-third support of Council
- HELP is On The Way: Eligibility Criteria for the Home Energy Loan Program, a motion from Councillor Fletcher which I have seconded that will help people with minor late payments to continue to access the Home Energy Loan Program.
- You can view the full agenda here.
I have included additional updates on what’s happening in our community below.
City Councillor, Ward 9
In this Edition
- 2023 Waste Collection Schedules & Waste Management Guide
- Vaccine Engagement Teams Extended to March 2023
- Toronto Community Champion Award
- Laneway Project: Regal Heights Park-ing Project
- In the community
- Community Events
2023 Waste Collection Schedules & Waste Management Guide
Waste collection schedules are being distributed with your utility bill or through separate mailings. This process began in September and will be complete by the end of December. Please check the last page of your latest utility bill for your 2023 collection schedule. If you do not receive utility bills to your home or are not scheduled to receive your utility bill by the end of the year, your schedule is being mailed to you separately. The 2023 collection schedules are now also availableonline and will be available via the lookup tool and TOwaste App as of January 1. Schedules with larger print and icons have also been created and can be requested by contacting 311.
Each household will also be receiving a condensed Waste Management Guide. The Guide will begin mailing in late December and continue mailing throughout the month of January. Please look out for this item and hold onto it for reference.
More information is available at toronto.ca/waste-guide-schedules.
Vaccine Engagement Teams Extended to March 2023
The City of Toronto is extending the operation of its COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams (VETs) until the end of March 2023, ensuring continued support for COVID-19 vaccine equity and access for all residents.
The VETs operate across the city in 17 geographic and population-based consortiums made up of more than 150 health, community and faith-based organizations. This includes more than 720 community ambassadors who reflect the diversity of Toronto’s equity-deserving groups and have roots in the communities where they work to build trust and help residents learn about the importance of COVID-19 and flu vaccination.
Since the program’s launch in March 2021, the VETs have spent more than 136,000 hours building vaccine confidence. VETs have engaged with Torontonians more than 4.4 million times in more than 40 different languages. VETs continue to help people navigate the COVID-19 vaccine registration system and find a vaccine clinic in their neighbourhood with door-to-door visits, community events, phone calls, online social media campaigns and virtual events.
Our community is served by the Downtown West VET and the York-Weston Pelham VET
Toronto Community Champion Award
The Toronto Community Champion Award provides an opportunity for the City to honour the collective commitment and unwavering determination of communities to support each other through some of the most challenging times in Toronto’s history. Priority will be given to organizations that are community-focused, demonstrate an inclusive and innovative approach to their work, which serve vulnerable populations and provide community service as their primary focus.
The award recognizes the extraordinary leadership of Toronto-based community organizations and celebrates the resilience of Toronto residents as the city continues to recover from the pandemic.
To be eligible for a Toronto Community Champion Award, organizations must:
- Operate as a not-for-profit organization, a registered charity and/or serve Indigenous, Black and/or other equity-deserving groups and communities
- Be based in Toronto
- Be comprised of at least three people
- Be governed by a volunteer board of directors
- Provide a clear benefit to the community related to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or pandemic recovery between March 2020 and present day
Nominations are open to Toronto residents until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 15, 2023. Winners will be announced and honoured at an award ceremony in March 2023.
Laneway Project: Regal Heights Park-ing Project
The Laneway Project is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to bringing laneways to life. They are comprised urban planners, designers and place-makers who work with public, private and community-level stakeholders to transform laneways and other neglected public spaces into complete living public places.
The unnamed laneway behind the Dufferin/St. Clair TPL branch is the second site in the 2022 Laneway Park-ing project. The laneway presents a unique opportunity to enhance the image and cohesion of the community due to its proximity to the library and as a route used to access the St. Clair West Streetcar and Dufferin Bus Routes. As part of this project, Laneway Project will introduce green infrastructure, public art, pedestrian lighting, street furniture, and traffic-calming improvements to the laneway to transform the laneway into a source of community pride.
We have created a survey to ask the community their thoughts about the laneway space and what improvements they would like to see in this space.
Here is the link to the survey: https://www.jotform.com/form/222867243768266.
In the community
Last weekend, I was glad to join the Fairbank Village BIA for their 'Light Up the Holidays' event and tree lighting--it was a wonderful way to kick-off the festive season in Davenport.
Yesterday evening, I visited the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business & Professionals at Associação Cultural do Minho de Toronto for their annual holiday party and to meet with their members.
Have a community event you'd like me to share? Send it to [email protected] by Wednesday.