Tag Archives: province

Ford’s transportation deal with province

City and province to make joint transit announcement
It’ll include Ford’s privately-funded Sheppard subway plan
Plus provincial cash for Eglinton and Scarborough LRTs
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier March 30. March 31 UPDATE.)

Mayor Rob Ford's plan includes $4 billion in private sector cash to build a Sheppard subway. Town Crier file photo.

The city and province are both climbing aboard a new transportation deal that will be unveiled tomorrow morning.
TTC chair Karen Stintz confirmed on March 30 that the provincial government, its transportation agency Metrolinx and the city are moving full steam ahead with the plan outlined by Mayor Rob Ford.
“We have an agreement that will see major transit expansion in the City of Toronto,” Stintz told the media at an impromptu press conference this afternoon. “It is a real win for both the city and the province and I am really excited about the announcement tomorrow.”
That announcement to take place at the TTC’s Wilson yards at 9 a.m. on March 31 will be to confirm the province is still committed to its original investment of about $8.4 billion.
The provincial cash will be spent on a fully underground and expanded Eglinton LRT and to turn the Scarborough RT into an above ground light rail transit route.

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Sarah Thomson will run provincially

She’s accepted Liberal’s invite to be candidate
The Trinity-Spadina riding association to hold nomination meeting
Kris Scheuer

Sarah Thomson has accepted Liberal invite to run as their provincial candidate in Trinity-Spadina. Nomination meeting yet to be held. Photo courtesy of Sarah Thomson.

Former mayoralty candidate Sarah Thomson confirmed to me today she’s accepted the provincial Liberals invite to run for them in the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina.
When I reached her on Monday she would not say, but did announce her intentions on her Facebook  page yesterday so now she is more open about her plans.
She is taking on NDP provincial rep Rosario Marchese who was first elected in Trinity-Spadina in 1990 and has been in that seat ever since.
I will report back for the Town Crier on March 10 and will post a full story on this blog as soon as that story is edited.

2011 city budget with tax freeze

Budget includes some service cuts
And 2012 budget outlook grim: city officials
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 24)

Mayor Ford talks to city hall media Feb. 23 about the budget. Town Crier file photo.

The good news is that city approved its 2011 operating budget today with a tax freeze.
However, the 2012 budget is already shaping up to be one that will involve hikes in TTC fares and property taxes and selling off city assets to fix the projected $774 million hole for next year’s budget.
But that’s a worry for another day.
Mayor Rob Ford was beaming after the passage of the first operating budget of his administration.
“This is a great day for the taxpayers of the city. For the first time in 11 years we passed a zero percent tax increase,” Ford told the media. “We campaigned hard and definitely slowed down the gravy train.”
Ford said not only did he attend the four public meetings on the budget with hundreds of deputations, but personally returns calls from Torontonians regarding their priorities.
“If you talk to the citizens out there, I am sure 99 percent of them are happy at not having to pay higher taxes,” he said.
The city passed the $9.381 billion gross budget with few amendments.
Councillor John Filion that did get one through with a 44-1 vote to increase the Toronto Public Health Budget with one-time provincial funding of $100,000. This money from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is earmarked for a communication strategy to encourage HIV and Syphilis screening.
Mayor Ford was the only one to vote against this provincial money.
“Everyone says it’s provincial money. No it’s taxpayers’ money,” Ford explained his vote to the media.

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Mayor Ford pushes to end Transit City

New mayor wants subways not streetcars
TTC will cost-out different options and report back in Jan
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 1)

Rob Ford at press conference Dec. 1, his first day as mayor. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Transit City is dead.
So said Mayor Rob Ford on his first day in office Dec. 1.
The first task of the new TTC board will be to formally stop spending on the project we do not need anymore, said Ford.
“Transit City is over,” Ford told the media this afternoon. “Their second task will be to move forward on subway construction. I expect they will report back on options by the end of January.”
“We will re-focus our transit plan on subways not streetcars. And we will not build anymore tracks down the middle of our streets.”

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John Lyle’s MacLean House demo stopped

Province halts alterations of 100-year old home
City explores heritage criteria for 7 Austin Terrace
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 23.)

President of Casa Loma Residents Association Robert Levy and Dyan Kirshenbaum cheered the provincial stop work order. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Is the MacLean House at 7 Austin Terrace worth saving?
The province has bought the city 60 days to find out.
Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll issued a stop work order Dec. 21, halting the owner from continuing to destroy possible heritage features of the 100-year-old mansion near Casa Loma.
The new owner, a numbered company, applied to the city for a demolition permit to tear down the house and build a townhouse development.
But residents who want to see the home designated a heritage property will have nothing of it.
“Residents said we should look at it from a heritage standpoint,” Councillor Joe Mihevc said. “That was communicated to the developer who started work on (removing elements of the home).”
Some damage had already been done before the stop work order was issued.

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Millions to fix up social housing

$220 million will be spent on repairs, upgrades
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Dec. 1 for Town Crier.)

Workers strip old bathroom tiles from a Toronto Community Housing unit during a recent renovation. Francis Crescia/Town Crier file photo.

Toronto social and affordable housing complexes are getting a $220 million facelift over the next two years.
The province and feds are pumping this cash into renovations and retrofits which means everything from new toilets, lighting and fridges to repairs of decks, garages and elevators for thousands of Toronto tenants.
“It certainly helps (to reduce) the state of good repair backlog and helps buildings stay in good repair,” says Glenn Courtney, city manager of social housing administration. “And it provides better living conditions for tenants in these buildings.”
During the first phase, between now and March 2010, the city will spend $98.5 million for 1,217 projects.
The money is spread out among 139 Toronto housing providers but the lion’s share of this cash, $68.3 million is going to the city’s Toronto Community Housing. Continue reading