Do we need a strong Mayor or a City with increased powers?

Toronto City Hall

Following a “leak”, Premier Doug Ford recently confirmed that the Mayors of the City of Toronto and the City of Ottawa would be given “strong mayor” powers by his newly re-elected government. This announcement, coming “out of the blue” (there was no mention of this as a promise during the Premier’s recent election campaign) is little more than an idea until the necessary legislation is introduced into the Legislature. Until then we don’t know the details of the “strong mayor” proposal. 

Nevertheless, the announcement was warmly received by Mayor John Tory of Toronto, and perhaps less warmly by Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa. However, in the time since the July announcement, the idea has received an increasing amount of media attention, most of it criticism and skepticism. The most frequent reaction is, “why is this measure necessary?” A good question indeed, at least in the case of Toronto. Mayor Tory has been able to win just about every vote that he wanted to win as the Toronto Star’s Shawn Micallef notes “with his endless political capital and control over council that makes other mayors jealous.”

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Sprawl, Tall, or Infill – Are These Really Our Only Choices?

FUN AGM Presentation – Saturday, June 18, 2022

Guest Speaker: Graham Churchill, Executive Director, A Better Richmond Hill

Sprawl, Tall, or Infill – Are These Really Our Only Choices

With the Ontario government expecting the GTA to grow by an additional 2.9M people in the next 25 years, we need a sensible growth plan. The politicians aren’t doing it so citizen groups need to come together to create one. Graham Churchill has a plan, and he’s looking for like-minded community groups to help refine it.

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President’s Report – June 18, 2022

Thank you for your Association’s membership in FUN and for your (virtual) attendance at this year’s AGM on June 18.

While we are still meeting virtually we are seeing some semblance of normality, despite the changed behaviour regarding work and home. The long-term implications for neighbourhoods can be no more than conjecture.

The events of the past (over) two years reinforce the critical role of residents associations at the local level, and federations of residents associations, at the regional and provincial level, to address policy issues. The mantra “municipalities are a creature of the province” is regularly demonstrated in decisions, and legislation introduced and passed by the provincial government, some positive, but many with long term negative implications for such areas as cultural heritage, urban sprawl, and climate change.

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FUN 2022 AGM

Zoom Meeting

Saturday, June 18, 2022

FUN depends on our members understanding issues and contributing to their resolution. We share information, concerns and expertise with our member organizations, other groups and all levels of government. We need your involvement to continue our work speaking on behalf of community organizations across the Province. Please consider becoming an active member by joining the Board of Directors.

Guest Speaker: Graham Churchill, Executive Director, A Better Richmond Hill

Sprawl, Tall, or Infill – Are These Really Our Only Choices

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Provincial Bridge Station TOC Proposal

Markham Civic Centre

Markham will be holding a Special Development Services Committee meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2022, at 7 p.m. to present the proposal for the Provincial Bridge Station Transit Oriented Community (TOC).

Members of the public may watch and listen to the livestream at pub-markham.escribemeetings.com and have the option to attend either in-person in the Council Chamber at the Markham Civic Centre or remotely via Zoom.

If you would like to speak at the meeting, please complete a Request to Speak Form. If you do not have access to email, contact the Clerk’s office at 905.479.7760 on the day of the meeting.

Members of the public may submit a written deputation by email to clerkspublic@markham.ca no later than 5 p.m. on May 25, 2022.

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Hamilton Truck Route Master Plan Review

Trucks - Hamilton

The City of Hamilton has completed the Truck Route Master Plan review. The study explored opportunities to provide safe and efficient movement of trucks in Hamilton, support economic activities, minimize negative impacts of truck traffic on sensitive land uses, and balance between the industry and community needs.

Based on the technical analysis and public and stakeholder inputs several alternative solutions were developed and evaluated and a preferred alternative was determined.

The report detailing the study and preferred alternative will be available for review and comment until June 17, 2022.

The Report is available for review online, along with a compendium of the stakeholder engagement.

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Densest housing centre in the Western Hemisphere, second only to the Dharavi slums of Mumbai?

Dharavi slums

Subject: Request that you pause federal funding for the YNSE until a deal is made public

Dear Prime Minister,

On behalf of the resident and ratepayer groups in York Region and elsewhere in the GTA, listed below, I respectfully request that your government pause payment to the Government of Ontario of your government’s 40% portion of funding for the Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE) until such time that the Government of Ontario makes public the details of a financial deal it made sometime in 2021-2022 with the owner of lands on either side of Highway 407 at Yonge Street, and until such time that the Government of Ontario meets all conditions and guarantees for funding set forth by your government.

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Opportunities to increase missing middle housing and gentle density, including supports for multigenerational housing

Cornell - Markham

Question 1:

  • What are the biggest barriers and delays to diversifying the types of housing built in existing neighbourhoods?

Response

The question is built on several assumptions – which are unproven:

  1. That the housing price issue can be solved through increasing supply.  Instead we need to address the demand issues, such as land speculation e.g. flipping, vacant housing, the real estate industry practices that force up prices;
  2. That there is a housing shortage when in fact the number of homes increased at a greater rate than population;

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Emergency in Ontario

Emergency in Ontario - Rally May 14, 2022

Join the Rally for Communities, Climate & Nature – May 14, 2022, Queen’s Park

Ontario’s environment is under threat.

Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise again, protections for nature are being dismantled, and mega projects are encroaching on communities.;

This spring we have a chance to choose another path – one that prioritizes people and the planet.

In the lead up to the provincial election, show your support for a flourishing, low-carbon Ontario that offers good green jobs, prioritizes our collective health, and respects Indigenous rights.

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Ontario draft transportation plan for Eastern Ontario

Eastern Ontario transportation Map

The Ontario government has released Connecting the East: a draft transportation plan for eastern Ontariowhich contains more than 50 near- and long-term actions, including highway expansions and public transit improvements, that will help address gridlock, connect more people to places and support economic growth.

The plan includes the expansion of Highway 417 to four continuous lanes in each direction between Highway 416 and Maitland Avenue in Ottawa, long-term planning work to widen Highway 401 to up to eight lanes in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, improvements to local and inter-community bus services, support for the trucking sector by adding truck stops along Highway 401 and the development of a new marine strategy.

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