Tag Archives: Councillor Gord Perks

Advocating for change at city hall

How to impact change in Toronto
(Column written for Town Crier Dec. 22)

“You say you want a revolution,” the Beatles sang. “Well, you know, we all want to change the world.”
Even if it’s not a revolutionary change you are seeking, here are some tips on preserving a cherished service or advocating for a new policy at city hall.
As I wrote in a previous column, you can achieve small changes by calling 311, your municipal councillor, or by making a deputation at city hall.
But if you are seeking larger policy changes or want to protect services from being slashed, you’ll need a stronger game plan.
Do your research
Councillor Gord Perks is no stranger to activism, dating back to 1987 when he was involved with Pollution Probe, Greenpeace Canada and Toronto Environmental Alliance — all before he entered politics.
“You will have opponents so your information has to be as good or better,” he said.
So know your facts: why does it make economic, social and political sense for policymakers to agree with you? Continue reading

High Park daycare freeze

Interim bylaw extended preventing new home-based daycares
Temporary freeze applies to applications on High Park Ave
By Kris Scheuer
(Written May 18 for Town Crier.)

The home-based Teddy Bear Academy was allowed as of right before the interim bylaw froze new applications. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

It’s going to be another year before the debate over home-based nursery schools in the High Park area is resolved.
On May 12, city council decided to extend the existing temporary ban on new such facilities opening on High Park Avenue between Glenlake Avenue and Dundas Street West.
In 2009, the Teddy Bear Academy opened up at a home at 167 High Park Ave.
A resulting protest from High Park Avenue Residents’ Association around traffic and safety concerns led to the temporary moratorium on new daycares to give the city time to study the issue.
The provincial Day Nurseries Act does have guidelines regarding standards such as drop off and pick-up zones, adequate space and the number of children allowed per daycare facility.
The facility that opened on High Park Avenue is licensed for 50 children, said John Bowen, who lives near the daycare. Continue reading

Toronto councillors 2010 election

The election campaign already heating up
Who is retiring, running, playing coy in TO election
By Kris Scheuer
(Updated Oct.25- Election Day.)

 

Councillor Joe Mihevc

Joe Mihevc is one of the incumbent councillors seeking re-election.

 

One thing is certain in life – that’s change. And we can count on that in this city’s election. The vote is Oct. 25.
Of the 44 incumbent city councillors so far 35 current Toronto politicians have signed up for re-election in their own ward. Of the remaining 9 incumbents: 2 are running for mayor instead and 7 aren’t running at all. Want to see for yourself?
Check the city’s election website that shows all 477 candidates running for mayor, councillor and school trustee positions.
Here’s the scope on where all the candidates stand as of Sept. 10 the final nomination day.
Mayor David Miller is not running for re-election. There are 40 candidates registered to run for mayor.
Council races – there are 279 candidates running for 44 council seats
Ron Moeser (Scarborough East Ward 44) has registered and so have three others: Diana Hall, Heath Thomas and Mohammed Mirza.
Paul Ainslie (Scarborough East Ward 43) is running again and has four challengers: John Laforet, Benjamin Mbaegbu, Bhaskar Sharma and Samuel Getachew.

Continue reading

Toronto election 2010

Who’s running for mayor and council
Hot races to watch for city election
By Kris Scheuer
(For update, click here
.)

The Toronto election is a hot one and it’s only day two of the campaign. I will be updating the who’s who of candidates throughout the 10-month race. You can check for yourself on the city’s election site.
Candidates started registering Jan. 4 and already some fascinating decisions are being made.
Race for mayor
As of Jan. 12 sixteen mayoral candidates have registered including councillor Giorgio Mammoliti and Liberal strategist Rocco Rossi. The eight others so far are: Rocco Achampong, Douglas Campbell, Stephen Feek, Monowar Hossain, John Letonja, Colin Magee, Baquie Ghazi, Mark State and Sarah Thomson.
Ange Maniccia was registered on day one, but withdrew. Continue reading

Candidates for Toronto Election 2010

First day to register and dozens sign up early
Some incumbents back again and challengers line up
By Kris Scheuer
(See update here
.)

Today, Toronto’s municipal election race officially started with candidates filing nomination papers at city hall.
FAMILIAR FACES
So far, some incumbents have made it clear they want to be re-elected including: councillors Janet Davis (Ward 31), Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38), Mike Del Grande (Ward 39), Paula Fletcher (Ward 30), Adrian Heaps (Ward 35) Norm Kelly (Ward 40), Joe Mihevc (Ward 21), John Parker (Ward 26), Gord Perks (Ward 14), Bill Saundercook (Ward 13), Cesar Palacio (Ward 17) and so far none of them have any challengers.
HOT RACES Continue reading

Bloor West condo heads to court

Tower too tall for 1540 Bloor W according to new city study
Application for 27-storey condo heading to OMB
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Nov. 17 for Town Crier.) 

A developer trying to build a 27-storey condominium at Bloor and Dundas area is being sidelined by the city officials, who say nothing taller than 15 storeys should be allowed. 
A&G Mercouris has appealed its proposal to build a 250-condo unit building to the Ontario Municipal Board after city staff rejected the plan. 
The proposed 27-storey highrise tower is too tall and may create traffic problems, say both city staff and residents. Continue reading

City approves affordable housing plan

New units, fixing old ones, rent subsidies to help those in need
Plan calls for additional $484 million annually for housing
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written May 27/09 for Town Crier. This plan passed at council Aug. 7)

Heather Cunningham has lived in mental health facilities, shelters, detox centres and under bridges.
The formerly homeless 25-year-old is currently on the city’s affordable housing waiting list, along with 66,000 others.
Meanwhile, she’s paying full market value for an apartment in a 12-storey building in the east end. She’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and lives on $1,099 a month from the Ontario Disability Support Program. Her rent gobbles up $850 of that and would eat her out of house and home if not for the help of her mother, who foots half the bill.
“My mom wanted to take a year off work but can’t because she’s helping me out,” said Cunningham, who’s been on the subsidized-housing waiting list for three years. “I’d have to go to the food bank if my mom didn’t help me. I’d be in poverty.”
Cunningham’s not looking for social housing but rather a rent subsidy to lower the cost of staying in her current apartment.
She’s one of almost 250,000 people the city plans to help with its 10-year Affordable Housing Action Plan, which still needs a nod from city council. (It was approved Aug. 7)
“We are proposing to help (the) one-fifth of Toronto residents … in need of housing help,” said Sean Gadon, director of the city’s Affordable Housing Office. “Over the 10-year plan, we hope to help 50 percent of those households.” Continue reading