What's on City Council's Agenda: October 2012
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What’s on City Council’s Agenda: October 2012

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

City council is meeting today (October 2) and tomorrow (October 3). Here are a few items from this month’s agenda that have been in the news, or should have been.

City council will weigh whether or not to:

Introduce new regulations for separated bike lanes, and maybe save the bike lanes on Jarvis Street.

The City is in the process of installing curb-separated bike lanes on Sherbourne Street, but right now there are no bylaws to govern how people behave in and around this new (to Toronto) type of road layout. Council will decide whether or not to create some legal penalties to make sure drivers and cyclists use this infrastructure safely. Also, there’s a rumour that a councillor may try to amend this item so that it also prevents the Jarvis Street bike lanes from being removed. As things stand, those lanes are on borrowed time.

Acknowledge that Mayor Rob Ford’s office did a bad thing.

Toronto’s ombudsman released a report last week that blames the mayor’s office for harming the City’s public appointments process. Council will decide whether or not to accept that report.

Start talking about next year’s budget.

Councillors will likely use this preliminary report on how much the City spent this year (not as much as expected, apparently) as an opportunity to start bickering over spending in 2013.

Rescind the ban on plastic bags.

If this member motion from Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) gets the two-thirds vote it needs in order to make the floor, council will decide whether or not to reconsider its impulsive decision to ban plastic shopping bags.

Move ahead with Waterfront Toronto’s revised development plan for the Port Lands.

After a months-long detour caused by Doug Ford’s attempt to sell the area to developers, the Port Lands are back before council, now with a revised development plan. As it turns out, the extra deliberation may have been a good thing: Waterfront Toronto found some problems with their original designs. For instance, apparently there’s a giant concrete plant down there whose owners didn’t want a public park built on their land. Who knew? The new plan is a careful refinement of the old one. It deserves a go-ahead. Council will consider giving it one.

Find a new private operator for Casa Loma.

Casa Loma used to be run by Kiwanis Club, but that arrangement fell apart last year as a result of friction between the club and the City. Council will decide whether to look for a new private operator for Toronto’s favourite giant castle. Some have suggested turning part of the place into a city museum, and it’s likely that we’ll see an attempt at an amendment to that effect.

Insist that the TTC operate Toronto’s forthcoming light-rail lines.

Last month, Metrolinx announced that they would seek a private operator, rather than the TTC, to run the four light-rail lines the province will be building in Toronto over the course of the next decade. This member motion by Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s) would have city council declare a preference for letting the TTC operate the new lines. Mihevc told the Sun he’d be withdrawing this motion, which could mean Metrolinx is reconsidering its stance.