City Council Preview: December 2015
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City Council Preview: December 2015

Torontoist's Council Watch previews the December 2015 agenda so you know what City Hall is up to.

Hello again, everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year—that’s right, municipal budget time. But amid our festivities, the everyday business of City Council must go on. Here’s a peek at what’s on this month’s City Council agenda.

The Rate-Supported Budget

  • While the City budget (the operating and capital budgets) will come to Council early next year, the water, waste, and parking budget gets passed at this meeting. There’s typically not a lot of debate or controversy, though expect councillors like Cesar Palacio (Ward 17, Davenport) to complain about paying more for garbage. Here’s my earlier overview.

Immigration

Urban Planning

Indigenous Issues

Food and Drink

Sesquicentennial

  • It’s already time to start planning for Canada’s 150th birthday. And we’ve barely recovered from three years of commemorating the War of 1812!

  • Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth) wants to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial with a horticultural exposition.

  • Philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews are donating $25 million to the City to turn a strip of land underneath the Gardiner into a park and cultural space. The aim is for Phase 1 to be finished by 2017. It’s up to Council to give “Project: Under Gardiner” the green light.

Public Health

The Great Outdoors

    Did you know that white spruce is often used as an affordable alternative to rare kaya wood to make Go boards?

  • Tree Removal Application of the Month: This white spruce near Kingston & McCowan. Includes the dryly delivered “The Private Tree By-law does not support tree removal to address the nuisance resulting from a tree’s natural functions.”

  • Related: the City’s tree by-laws are getting clarifications and updates.

  • Tree update: the City may be purchasing that very old red oak tree. In other news, I owe the Torontoist editors a side of nachos for losing a bet about this item last meeting.

  • In support of the David Suzuki Foundation’s goal to protect environmental rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Executive Committee wants the City to declare the right to a healthy environment. Environmental rights are important not only because, duh, the environment, but because climate change and environmental destruction have a disproportionate impact on poor, racialized, rural, and otherwise marginalized communities.

  • Could the City finally legalize skating on Grenadier Pond?

  • Longtime mortal enemies Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) and Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) are united in their goal to ban parking pads. It’s not about the “war on cars”—it’s about basement flooding. You see, permeable surfaces like grass, dirt, and gravel soak up water, taking some weight off the City’s water main system and reducing the risk of floods. Every little bit helps, especially considering the high cost of flood prevention ($1.6 billion over the next decade). That’s why parking pads aren’t allowed in the old City of Toronto. Carroll and Minnan-Wong would like to extend this policy to the rest of the city, but their motion could face some stiff opposition from some suburban councillors who are fond of readily available parking.

Miscellaneous

Anything important or interesting that we missed? Let us know in the comments. And tune in December 9 at 9:30 a.m. for the livestream, and follow along on the Torontoist liveblog!


How to Follow Along
Watch the Livestream
Follow the Agenda



City Hall Council Chambers (100 Queen Street West)

December 9, 9:30 a.m.



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