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Culture

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politics

What’s on Council’s Agenda: April 2014

Here are some of the issues city council will be debating at this month's meeting.

In which we highlight key items from the month’s city council meeting. You can also watch it live.

Photo by Steve M, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

This Tuesday and Wednesday, council will be considering and debating a number of issues, but there’s one in particular that’s attracting the bulk of the media attention and producing the majority of the advertising campaigns, and it’s number one on our list.

City council will weigh in on:

The tripartite agreement for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
We will not launch into an explanation of what it is Porter wants (jets), what it would take to make Porter’s dreams a reality (infrastructure changes, complex political negotiations, environmental assessments, etc.), or why those who are opposed to the proposal want to make sure it never becomes a reality, because we’ve already created a Porter primer.

A capital investment of $10 million in the renovation and expansion of BMO Field
This motion—which would see the City invest $10 million and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (owner of Toronto FC) contribute $90 million—will likely not prove controversial: the executive committee voted 11-1 in favour of expansion at last month’s meeting. The lone holdout? Mayor Rob Ford. (The investment would involve an interest-earning loan secured by an underlying asset, and the mayor therefore opposes it because he sees it as a form of corporate welfare—unlike the Porter situation, which has nothing to do with corporate welfare.)

Recommended neighbourhood improvement areas
“Priority Neighbourhood Areas” are being replaced by “Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.” The Community Development and Recreation Committee is recommending that council designate 31 neighbourhoods with Neighbourhood Equity Scores below the Neighbourhood Equity Benchmark as Neighbourhood Improvement Areas. Neighbourhoods were assessed according to criteria related to factors like health, economics, and education, and those that fell below a certain standard will receive additional funding and resources.

More food truck freedom
If this item passes, there could soon be more food trucks on Toronto’s streets. Some restaurant owners are concerned about this prospect, but many Torontonian eaters are enthusiastic about it, and agree with Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly when he says, “I’m really delighted that finally we’re going to catch up with the rest of the world in providing choice to the residents.”

The Gardiner Expressway
City staff have recommended that the 2.4-kilometre stretch of the Gardiner running east of Jarvis be torn down, but council will not be debating that contentious issue until 2015. For now, it will be considering the matter of the replacement of the expressway’s west deck.

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