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Fri Aug 24, 2012


fri feb 8, 2013

Musical mentorship capped with CD release FANNIE SUNSHINE


wo Art Starts programs focusing on music and storytelling wrapped up Jan. 31 with a CD release party at its Yorkdale Shopping Centre location. The One World: New Generation CD is the recorded culmination of a four-and-a-half-month music program that provided opportunities for youth from underserviced neighbourhoods to work with professional musicians. Participants were coached in writing, performing, recording >>>art, page 5

Staff photo/Dan Pearce

Harlem Globetrotters Handles Franklin hams it up with a couple of students at Driftwood Public School Tuesday. Franklin and teammate TNT Maddox were at the school presenting The ABCs of Bullying Prevention, a worldwide community outreach program.

Globetrotters wow with tricks and tips Anti-bullying message tossed in with ball tricks for Downsview P.S. students Photo/Nancy Paiva

Not intended to solicit properties currently available for sale.

Krystle Chance performs at the Art Starts community arts centre youth recording program’s CD release party at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre site.

HILARY CATON If the children of Driftwood Public School were left with one message from Harlem Globetrotters Handles Franklin and Fatima “TNT” Maddox that would be this: Bullying is not

cool. “I think everyone in one point in their life has come across bullying,” said Maddox. “I think that it’s really important that we come and talk to the youth so that they have something that they can build from.” As a part of their visit to the school

at Jane Street and Finch Avenue on Tuesday, Maddox and Franklin discussed the Harlem Globetrotters ABCs of bullying prevention, mixed in with a few ball-handling tricks and skills that floored the grades 1 to 5 students in attendance. The A stands for action: Franklin

encouraged the students to “take a stand against bullying” by telling a parent, teacher or principal. The B means bravery: “Don’t join in,” said Franklin. And C is for compassion: “Care about each other. If you see some>>>action, page 5



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NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013 |




NYGH first in GTA to introduce patient advisors LISA QUEEN


hen Patricia Mackey came home from a trip in 2009 with two lumps in her breast, her doctor sent her to North York General Hospital’s breast diagnostic centre for a same-day diagnosis. “It’s kind of a jewel in the crown at North York General,” she said. While Mackey was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer, she has nothing but praise for the treatment and care she received. “They have an incredible hospital there,” she said. “The sense of kindness and grace at that hospital is not to be believed.” Now, Mackey is part of the hospital’s new team of patient and family advisors, a program believed to be the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area. So far, there are about 20 members on the team and nine of them, including Mackey, sit on an advisory council. The advisors, who contribute four hours a month Photo/JOSE ARMANDO VILLAVONA on average, are volunteers North York General Hospital patient and family advisor Patricia Mackey tours the hospital’s seventh and eighth floors on Monday afternoon. The but are compensated for hospital plans to develop them as more patient-friendly environments. their parking fees. They must have had personal experience with the hosWhile at the hospital duced the advisor program advisory groups and staff pie-in-the-sky, all fuzzy looking for a truthful pital as a patient, family recently for some tests, late last fall because it is recruitment practices, (feedback).” account of what patients member or caregiver within Mackey noticed a recepcommitted to constantly Rutledge said. Mackey said she also and their families are lookthe last two years. tionist wasn’t greeting striving to improve patient Although Mackey brings to her role the pering for. Although the advisors patients and explaining and family-centred care, describes her treatment at spective of having been a “I don’t think in any don’t have authority to that their tests would be hospital president Dr. Tim North York caregiver way this is a glossy piece. I make decisions, they help delayed. Rutledge said. General of relathink they are 150 per cent influence While it’s a Although a Kingston hosin glowing tives who behind (what we’re doing).” services small thing, pital has advisors, the conterms, she received Administrators are lookand policies Mackey cept is new to the Toronto doesn’t medical ing for the advisors to give from the plans to area, although other hospibelieve she care at other honest opinions about hosperspective bring the tals do get patients’ input or other health care pital services, Rutledge said. of patients incident to in a less structured way, advisors are facilities. “We absolutely want to and their the council’s Rutledge said. expected to She look at our warts. We want – Patricia Mackey attention so families. “I believe we are the merely pay saw how to learn from our misWhile it can remind first in the GTA to take this lip service something takes. We don’t want to be – Dr. Tim Rutledge, it’s still early days and the employees that even little formal approach,” he said. to patient as simple ostriches burying our heads hospital president role of the advisors is still gestures can make a big dif“Within Canada, I would concerns. as providin the sand,” he said. being developed, Mackey ference to sick and anxious say we’re one of the leaders “I am a ing rocking “We are absolutely comand four other advisors are patients. in this area.” Pollyanna,” she laughed. chairs and allowing more mitted to making changes already being consulted on Meanwhile an advisor is The role of the advisors “(But) we’re all very natural light into patients’ and making things better design ideas for North York participating in the recruitis still being developed different. They (advisors) rooms would have been a from patients’ perspective. General’s new seventh and ment and interview process but they will be formally have different views, difcomfort for patients and I’m really excited about this. eighth inpatient floors. as the hospital searches for included in an advisory ferent attitudes. There’s family members. I think it will make a paraShe is also making a difa new chief of surgery. capacity on various hospital some anger that comes She believes North digm shift. I think it will ference in other areas. North York General introcommittees, community out, which is great. It’s not York General officials are make a real difference.”

‘We are absolutely committed to making changes and making things better from patients’ perspective.’

‘It’s kind of a jewel in the crown at North York General.’

Two North York principals win national awards

Principals from two North York schools are on this year’s list of Canada’s Outstanding Principals announced this week by The Learning Partnership. Susan Baker of Senator

O’Connor College School and Maria Palermo of Downsview Secondary School will receive their awards at a ceremony on Feb. 26 in Toronto. They are among eight principals from Toronto schools

and 51 educators from across Canada who will be honoured. “Behind every great school is a great principal who is not only an outstanding educator but an excellent manager and

leader,” says Akela Peoples, president and CEO of The Learning Partnership. “These school CEOs communicate compelling visions, engage their communities, mentor their staff and, most

importantly, create safe and nurturing learning environments for students. We are thrilled to be recognizing these individuals as examples of excellence in public education.”

| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013


NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013 |


Opinion The North York Mirror is published every Thursday and Friday at 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2, by Toronto Community News, a Division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. Ian Proudfoot Marg Middleton Peter Haggert Paul Futhey Warren Elder Angela Carruthers Debra Weller Mike Banville

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Fairview Library should be allowed to re-open without paid parking

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Can Di Giorgio deliver balance on future budgets?


he city’s new budget chief, Frank Di Giorgio, has quite the job ahead of him as Toronto’s new budget chief. The fact Mayor Rob Ford sees Di Giorgio as “very, very loyal to the administration”, those not so loyal to Ford our view will, if tradition continues, find ways to counter his suggesToronto needs tions as to how the city’s books should be balanced. a mix of budget Unlike his predecessor, Mike solutions Del Grande, who quit after councillors tweaked his 2013 operating budget and called for more transparency in the process, let’s hope Di Giorgio is not as quick to protest and remains open-minded. On his first day as budget chief, Di Giorgio has already delivered. Despite Ford wanting to trim the land transfer tax by 10 per cent, Di Giorgio openly stated revenue would have to come from somewhere else – and that trimming departmental budgets seems unlikely as there is little “gravy” left. As we have said before, City Council has to go beyond partisan politics and work together – especially on the budget. Toronto needs a mix of budget solutions. We need to analyze the needs of all Torontonians, all programs, and all spending. And sometimes that spending goes against the budgetary grain, but must still be done in order to build a well-balanced city. On raising taxes, Di Giorgio must be open to the notion. On spending in areas Torontonians expect – libraries, firefighters, EMS and social programs – he must be also be open. That is not to say he shouldn’t stick to his convictions if he believes his budget is on track, but he should not remain tied to dogma. Di Giorgio has served on Toronto’s budget committee since 2010; he has seen his fair share of debates on the floor of council, his fair share of deputants voicing their opinions on the budget direction. This is an advantage, and something that should not be ignored moving forward. “At the end of the day, if someone has a contrary opinion to me, council adjudicates things,” he said. “I would hope that they would keep the mandate. If in their wisdom they don’t, I may be disappointed – but I won’t be overly disappointed.” A good attitude moving forward. Let’s hope it continues. newsroom

Write us The North York Mirror welcomes letters of 400 words or less. All submissions must include name, address and a daytime telephone number for verification purposes.

We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject letters. Copyright in letters remains with the author but the publisher and affiliates may freely reproduce them in

print, electronic or other forms. Letters can be sent to letters@, or mailed to The North York Mirror, 175 Gordon Baker Rd. Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2.

Cartoon would not be needed if there were proportional representation To the editor: Re: ‘Minority government cartoon’, Opinion page, Jan. 31. The cartoon commenting on the poor functioning of both minority and majority governments brilliantly highlights the problem with our current electoral system. The United Kingdom more accurately calls minority governments “hung parliaments” because the government is not the parliament. The government is the prime minister and the cabinet. In a hung parliament, legislation requires the support of more than one party. The big problem with this is that defeat of some legislation is taken as triggering a new election. In many nations it instead merely triggers a restructuring of the government – new alliances are formed that can enjoy the support of the

majority of legislators. Only when a fresh coalition cannot be formed is an election necessary. The other side of the coin is that our majority governments aren’t. They don’t actually represent the majority of the voters. Usually they only represent about 40 per cent. This means that legislation passed by Parliament does not have the clear support of the electorate. The most popular class of electoral systems, proportional representation,

ensures the elected representatives actually do reflect the way the people voted. Bills passed by Parliament really do enjoy the support of the representatives of the majority of the people. Over the last 60 years, Canada has had more federal elections than any other nation I know of, including Israel and Italy. Our electoral system has given us neither stable governments nor even responsive ones. Since they almost never are elected by the majority of the voters, they are not even democratic. If we followed the example of most countries and switched to some form of proportional representation, a cartoon complaining about the problems of both majority and minority governments would not be needed. Gary Dale

To the editor: Re: ‘Fairview library branch will charge for parking,’ City News, Feb. 1. Recently, the Toronto Public Library Board adopted a recommendation, against the advice of the chief librarian, to introduce pay and display parking at Fairview Library. This action would amount to a bad faith bargain with Fairview Library patrons. Patrons who rely on this library branch for their children’s success took a leap of faith in 2012. They attended consultations and accepted that in order to install automated checkout infrastructure, upgrade the theatre infrastructure and save money by doing stateof-good-repair improvements at the same time, the branch would have to close for an entire year. No one asked these patrons whether they would mind funding it through paid parking. Fairview Library serves one of Canada’s most densely populated suburban communities and its largest concentration of new Canadian residents of less than five years. It is the den, family room and homework desk of the 33 rental apartment buildings that surround it. But it also houses one of the library’s largest collections of multilingual materials and events, so library and theatre patrons often arrive in groups, by car. As Fairview Library is closed until at least September, there is no way to effectively seek patrons’ input or inform them before proceeding with even a pilot installation of paid parking. The library board members should follow staff’s advice and allow the Fairview branch to re-open without the surprise of a pay and display parking lot. Shelley Carroll City Councillor Ward 33, Don Valley East

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At left, singer and guitar player Kafaye Rose performs during the Art Starts community arts centre youth recording program’s CD release party last Thursday evening at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre site. Above, Creative Brickwurk’s LEGO artist Ekow Nimake explains the LEGO challenge to Shankjua Taylor and Sarah Cordner at the CD release party. Photos/NANCY PAIVA

Art Starts gives young people training and tools through music >>>from page 1 and producing original music. The project concept was developed in 2007 when a group of youth from Steeles L’Amoreaux approached Art Starts to mentor them in creating a music program to build healthier relationships amongst their peers, while becoming familiar with the training and tools needed to take musical ideas from concept to completion. “I come every week because I really enjoy it,” participant

Kafaye Rose said in a release. “I get to do what I love – work with music, experiment with different styles and genres, and come up with new ideas.” The party featured performances by all involved youth, along with mentors Jaydahmann and Krystal Chance.

n Digital Stories explores safety and violence Digital Stories was made up of female residents from the

Neptune Drive community near Bathurst Street and Wilson Avenue and featured participants recording their personal stories of living in the neighbourhood to share. “The finished product was a DVD and it was played during the party,” said Myra Leibu, program director. “We had a huge turnout from Lawrence Heights, it was a great party. It’s important the programs we offer reflect and celebrate the communities we serve.”



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The digital program, in partnership with North York Community House, is part of a broader project exploring safety and violence in Lawrence Heights. The party also included a create-your-own LEGO art workshop with LEGO artist Ekow Nimako. Art Starts is a charitable, notfor-profit organization using the arts as a vehicle to encourage social change in Toronto’s underserved neighbourhoods.

>>>from page 1 one who doesn’t have many friends go and be their friend,” said Franklin. Both Maddox and Franklin played games with some the kids and teachers in between teaching them about how bullying affects others. One of the game’s winners was Adenike Olaosebikan, a Grade 2 student. “Bullying is not good because it makes other people feel bad about themselves and makes them cry,” Adenike said. Principal Debi Lavine said bullying happens at her school, but the children need to learn the difference between bullying and fighting. “I find some of the challenges are that they play rough and then they play fight and the play fights turn into real fights,” said Lavine. “And then that’s when they come in and use the words, ‘He was bullying me’ when actually it was just play fighting that got out of hand.” To help stop bullying, Driftwood reminds students every morning of the code of conduct at the school and tries to stop bullying as it happens. The school has also organized Parents for Peace, consisting of teachers and parents who want to put a stop to bullying. The group recently received a $1,000 Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grant from the Ministry of Education to run anti-bullying workshops for parents. In addition to their anti-bullying message, the Harlem Globetrotters encouraged children to stay in school and continue their education, and to always believe in themselves, something Maddox couldn’t stress enough since she is the first female player to join the team in 20 years. For Adenike, whose favorite Globetrotter is Maddox, one another message was clear. “Never give up on your dreams and never let anyone tell you, you can’t do something,” she said.

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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013

Action, bravery and compassion: ABCs of bullying prevention


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Despite loss, Sting remain in top spot


he Seneca College men’s basketball team is hoping its Wednesday setback at the hands of George Brown is just a blip on an otherwise extraordinary season. Despite losing 95-83 to the Huskies, the Sting (14-2) are still in first place in the OCAA’s East Division with a game in hand on second-place Centennial. Seneca next plays Saturday at home against a winless Cambrian squad. Game time is 3 p.m.

BATTLE OF NORTH YORK: North York Rangers’ Cory Kalk battles a Toronto Jr. Canadiens defender in front of netminder Denny Dubblestyne during Ontario Junior Hockey League action at Herb Carnegie Arena Sunday afternoon. North York went on to claim a 2-0 victory. The Rangers’ next home game is Sunday at 3 p.m. against Hamilton. The Jr. Canadiens next take the ice at Chesswood Sunday night against Milton at 7:30 p.m.


MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Tonight, Seneca’s men’s

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Seneca’s women’s team is also on the road against Algonquin and La Cite this weekend. Seneca (9-8) currently sits in sixth in the OCAA’s East Division.

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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The women’s squad had a better time of it against their George Brown counterparts, winning 62-54 on Wednesday. Seneca (10-5) next plays when they host Cambrian on Saturday at 1 p.m.

team takes to the court for the first time since Jan. 30 when they face Algonquin on the road. The Sting are currently in a three-way tie for first spot in the East Division with Algonquin and Durham with identical 14-3 records. George Brown, at 14-4, has played one more match but has the same number of victories, making it crowded atop the division. Seneca rounds out its road trip tomorrow afternoon with a game against La Cite before wrapping up the regular season with a home game against George Brown Wednesday at 8 p.m.


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it’s happening ■ Friday, Feb. 8

Oneg Shabbat: The Continuing Search for My Roots and How You can Search for Yours WHEN: 7 to 10 p.m. WHERE: 18 Wynford Dr., Main Floor CONTACT: Roby Sadler, 416-3853910, COST: Non-members welcome: $15

■ Saturday, Feb. 9

For the Love of Nature WHEN: 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. WHERE: Banbury Community Centre, 120 Banbury Rd. CONTACT: Sarah Hedges, sarahh@ COST: $50 A gourmet meal, winter walk, silent auction and variety show hosted by the Onatrio Nature Youth Council. Proceeds will support the Nature Guardians program to provide opportunities for newcomer and lowincome youth to discover the natural world. Contact Kavita Dogra at 416-444-8419, ext. 234 or to buy a ticket, made a donation or provide an item for the silent auction. Syria is Calling WHEN: 6 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Noor Cultural Centre, 123 Wynford Ave. CONTACT: www.

looking ahead

■ Thursday, Feb. 21

Ask an Expert: Retirement Planning WHEN: 1 to 2 p.m. WHERE: Downsview Library, 2793 Keele St. CONTACT: Diana, 416395-5720, COST: Free How will taxes affect my retirement income? What is the difference between taxation on registered retirement savings and unsheltered savings? What are the options for converting retirement savings to retirement income? What is the difference between an RRIF and an annuity? Certified financial planners from the Financial Planning Standards Council answer these questions and more. Call or email to register.

North York Diabetes Group WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. WHERE: North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge St. CONTACT: Anna Lequang, 416-221-2841, COST: Free This informal group meets monthly to discuss the treatment, control and cure for diabetes. If you or a family member has diabetes or is pre-diabetic we encourage you to attend.

■ Tuesday, Feb. 12, COST: $50 A fundraising event sponsored by the Syrian Canadian Foundation for Humanity (SCFH). For tickets, visit http://syriaiscalling.

com COST: $20 adults/seniors, $12 children under 12 Music On The Donway presents the Hamilton All Star Vocal Jazz ensemble comprised of young singers from Hamilton.

Ash Wednesday Service WHEN: 7:15 p.m. WHERE: Parkwoods United Church, 85 Parkwoods Dr. CONTACT: 0ffice@parkwoodsunitedchurch. ca,, 416-447-5519 COST: Freewill offering Ash Wednesday Service and Imposition of Ashes in the sanctuary to mark the beginning of Lent. All welcome. Wheelchair assessible, equipped for hearing impaired. Service also on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m.

A Jazzy Valentine WHEN: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. WHERE: Donway Covenant United Church, 230 The Donway W. CONTACT: Jaren McLeod, 416-444-7807, donwaycovenant. com, donwaycovenant@msn.

■ Monday, Feb. 11

Diabetes Info WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Evelyn Gregory Library, 120 Trowell Ave. CONTACT: 416394-1006 COST: Free Learn tips from a Unison community dietitian. Call to register.

■ Thursday, Feb. 14

CHECK OUT OUR complete online community calendar by visiting Read weeks of listings from your North York neighbourhoods as well as events from across Toronto.

A fun-filled evening for women featuring dinner, cocktails, jewellery & accessories at extremely discounted prices, silent auction, professional photographer, live entertainment, and much more!

Saturday, February 23, 6 pm Celebrations Banquet Hall 174 Bartley Dr., East York

For tickets ($50) & Information: / call Susan: 416-414-0320 Media sponsors incude:

Proceeds benefit:

Harmony Hall is a multicultural community centre specializing in transportation, recreation, education & wellness & support services for seniors and adults with disabilities in East York & Scarborough.

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Pianist Mboya Nicholson presents Duke & Monk WHEN: 12:30 p.m. WHERE: North York Central Library Auditorium, 5120 Yonge St. CONTACT: 416-395-5639 COST: Free Pianist Mboya Nicholson from the TorontoJazzBuzz company, will demonstrate how stride pianists and ragtime music influenced the styles of jazz greats Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Call to register. Seating is limited.

■ Friday, Feb. 15

TCDSB Dance Festival WHEN: 7:30 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, 36 Greenfield Aven CONTACT: Mireya Martin, mireya., 416-2228282 COST: $10 Performances by 300 secondary students from 11 schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. the festival focuses on dance as an art forms and not a competition.

Kabbalalalat Shabbat WHEN: 7:15 p.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-4161, www., COST: Free

■ Saturday, Feb. 16

Toronto Cat Rescue Adoptathon WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. WHERE: Pet Valu, 486 Lawrence Ave. W. CONTACT: Alison F., 416-538-8592, COST: Adoption fee Fee is $175 for kittens under six months, $100 for cats over six months, and $250 if adopting two kittens; cash only.

■ Sunday, Feb. 17

Text-spressoz; End-of-Life Decisions WHEN: 10:15 a.m. WHERE: Temple Sinai Congregation of Toronto, 210 Wilson Ave. CONTACT: 416-487-3281, www., education@ COST: $2 Congregation Darchei Noam Celebrates Black History Month WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. WHERE: Congregation Darchei Noam, 864 Sheppard Ave. W. CONTACT: Jennifer Badani, 647-216-1627,, COST: $5

■ Tuesday, Feb. 19

Modern Designs with African Violets WHEN: 7:30 to 10 p.m. WHERE: Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E CONTACT: Sayeh Beheshti,, COST: Free Learn about creating modern floral designs using African Violets from two leading designers. Presented by Ursual Eley and Judy Zinni.

ongoing Weekly Bridge WHEN: Noon to 3 p.m. Mondays WHERE: Willowdale United Church, 349 Kenneth Ave.

CONTACT: Betty Jacobs, 416223-0568, bettyjeanne.jacobs@ COST: $2, includes refreshments New players welcome. All levels of play accepted. Knitting for Charity WHEN: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays WHERE: Centennial Library, 578 Finch Ave. W. CONTACT: Zelda Pasternack, 416-395-5490, www., EFTHoney@ COST: Free New knitters/crocheters welcome. Needles and yarn provided. Refreshments included. Donway Badminton Club WHEN: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays WHERE: Don Mills Collegiate, 15 The Donway East CONTACT: COST: Membership $50; guests $5 All skill levels welcome. For 16 years and older. Friendly Games of Bridge WHEN: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays WHERE: Trinity Presbyterian Church York Mills, 2737 Bayview Ave. CONTACT: 416-447-5136 COST: $2 per session Bridge and Euchre WHEN: Noon to 3:30 p.m. Fridays WHERE: Parkwoods United Church, 85 Parkwoods Village Dr. CONTACT: John, 416-447-2928; 416-496-8705 COST: Free Bridge and euchre for those aged 50 and older.

get listed! The North York Mirror wants your community listings. Whether it’s a church knitting group or a music night or a non-profit group’s program for kids, The Mirror wants to know about it so others can attend. Sign up online at to submit your events (click the Sign Up link in the top right corner of the page).

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Many happy returns






Staff photo/Nick Perry

AMESBURY CELEBRATION: Edith Chambers blows out the candles on her cake while celebrating her 100th birthday with friends at Amesbury Community Centre yesterday afternoon. Chambers, who officially turned 100 two days earlier, says the key to longevity is to live each day for itself alone.

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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013


NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013 |


In brief... ■ Dancers show off moves for Baycrest at Exhibition Place

■ Seneca president gets Jubilee award


Seneca College president David Agnew was presented with a Diamond Jubilee medal Wednesday night by Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley at Roy Thomson Hall in recognition of his years of community service. The medals, in tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne, are given to Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to their community and country.

Four Toronto philanthropists and their professional dance partners will show off their fancy footwork at the fourth annual Baycrest Dancing with Our Stars fundraiser. The event will raise money for Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, a world leader in research on the aging brain. The dance will be held March 7 at 6 p.m. at the Allstream Centre at 105 Princes Blvd. at Exhibition Place. For more information, visit

■ York U. leads projects in developing nations

■ Silent film series at St. John’s York Mills features Charlie Chaplin March 2 Catch Charlie Chaplin star in The Gold Rush as part of the 10th annual Silent Film Series at North York’s St. John’s York Mills Anglican Church. The movie, with live organ accompaniment, will be shown March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at 19 Don Ridge Dr., northeast of York Mills Road and Yonge Street. Admission is free but charitable donations are welcome. Visit or call 416-2256611 for more information.

ng eni p O on! So

Staff photo/DAN PEARCE

CHAMINADE GRAD GOING STATESIDE: Chaminade College school graduate James Bodanis at a signing ceremony held in his honour Wednesday. Bodanis is slated to go to Michigan State University on a full football scholarship. Since graduating from Chaminade in 2010, the linebacker has been playing at the University of Toronto. Bodanis is the second Chaminade grad to play football south of the border. Tevaun Smith, who plays for the Iowa Hawkeyes, in the Big 10 Conference, is also a Chaminade alumnus.

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Residents in developing nations will benefit from two research projects led by York University. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has given York almost $6.2 million to bring post-secondary education to refugee camps and the surrounding area in the north-eastern region of Kenya and to promote employment of people with disabilities in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The announcement was made Monday morning and helped kick off International Development Week.

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GO quiet zones: Pilot project could soon be expanded RAHUL GUPTA A three-month pilot program to add specially designated silent areas to some GO trains could soon be expanded system-wide, said a spokesperson for the regional transit service this week. Mary Proc said she’s confident passengers will quickly take to the new

Quiet Zones that will go into effect on the upper level of most train cars running along the Barrie rail corridor on a trial basis beginning Monday. In the specifically marked areas, all riders will be required to refrain from noisy conversations and to mute electronic devices. Although individuals will be asked to police their fellow riders’ behaviour

– without the assistance of GO employees – Proc said similar initiatives in American transit systems have enjoyed success when passengers themselves enforced the rules. “I don’t think this is going to lead to any kind of confrontation,” said Proc, vice-president of customer service for GO. “We want to be reasonable and over time expectations will take

care of themselves.” She compared the quiet zone experience to that of a library where patrons understand noise should be at minimal levels at all times. “Once there are expectations about libraries being a quiet place people don’t tend to open their cellphones and have a 30-minute conversation,” said Proc. She said the decision to add the zones – which will be designated with decals and posters – came from overwhelming customer feedback via a survey of GO riders; 74 per cent of the respondents listed noise as a chief complaint. GO will listen to customer feedback in determining whether it expands a pilot program adding silent areas to its train service and a decision to expand them system wide could be made as early as this spring, said Proc. While she welcomed GO’s intention to improve its quality of service, frequent commuter Cindy

Smith isn’t so sure the Quite Zones will turn out a success. Smith, who chronicles in comedic fashion rude and insensitive behaviour of GO customers on her popular blog Ride This Crazy Train ( said the unique nature of most GO train trips – which, with the exception of the Lakeshore East and West lines, take place during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods – mean not many people will risk a confrontation with another passenger with whom they’re likely to share the same train ride in the future. “You’re seeing the same people over and over again,” said Smith, who takes the Lakeshore East line between Union Station and Oshawa on a daily basis. ”People are not comfortable in the spotlight and they don’t try to make a scene.” Smith recalled once after she asked a man to turn down his clicking

Blackberry he passed her a tersely written note saying she was the rudest person he had met in 12 years of taking the train. “No one wants to be criticized,” she said. Rather than tackling the issue of noisy trains Smith felt there were more pressing examples of passenger rudeness that could be dealt with, from “donkeys” who place their shoes or bags on seats to “barrelers” who charge down the narrow aisles and knock over people in their haste to exit the train. She also wondered whether the zones could work on “boring snoozefest” lines like Barrie compared to the “party drunk” atmosphere of Lakeshore East and West that offer more frequent service. Still, Smith was happy GO was at last heeding the concerns of its customers. “Baby steps, I guess,” she said. For more information about the GO Quiet Zones, visit

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a division of

City News


Di Giorgio doesn’t think property tax freeze in 2014 is ‘doable’ DAVID NICKLE

DAVID NICKLE An anonymous tip has led the new head of Toronto Community Housing to launch an investigation into what could be kickbacks and other improprieties in the way the public housing company completes repairs. “I’m saying there’s a possibility of kickbacks and so forth,” said Eugene Jones, president and CEO of the Toronto Community Housing Company. Jones made the comments to reporters Wednesday after having told his board he’s hired an outside company to review the city’s “processes

and practices for hiring vendors who do repairs” for the housing company. After having been briefed on their preliminary findings, Jones said he and the board have hired the firm to conduct a detailed investigation. In a statement released on the TCHC website, Jones said he had heard reports from residents about problems “that deeply disturb me: namely, that the company is wasting money.” In the statement, he said, “I have heard stories about repairs that had to be done over two or three times because of shoddy work; stories about small repairs that were never done until

they became big expensive repairs; and stories about employees being careless or cutting corners, resulting in higher costs.” He later told reporters when asked for examples: “You just see things that have not been done and should have been done. We had a place where a plumber went out and didn’t re-patch the wall. And there was a pattern to it. Residents kept on complaining, staff kept on complaining, everyone else was complaining. Then I get this anonymous tip to put it all together, and I say, ‘Let me do an audit to validate it’...And if it is then we’ll vehemently go after whoever’s responsible for it.”

Notice of Commencement & Public Event The City ofToronto andToronto & Region Conservation (TRCA) are hosting a public event to introduce you to the East DonTrail Environmental Assessment (EA) study.The event will be a drop-in open house for viewing study materials and one-on-one discussions with members of the project team. We invite you to attend this event to learn more about the work completed to date, key challenges and opportunities, and ways the community can participate in the study. Wednesday, February 13, 2013 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Blessed John 23rd Catholic School 175 Grenoble Dr. (east of Don Mills Road) Background The City ofToronto andTRCA are investigating ways to construct a multi-use trail system within the East Don valley lands, as part of the 2012 multi-year BikewayTrails Implementation Plan.The proposed trail will provide a key connection between the Moccasin Trail Park, the Lower DonTrail system and Gatineau CorridorTrail.

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Toronto Community Housing investigates alleged improprieties

East Don Trail Environmental Assessment Study


were to do so, it would have to make up the revenue elsewhere. “I wouldn’t mind dedicating a portion of the land transfer tax to something specific,” said Di Giorgio, adding that he believed the city would need to deal with the province in order to make changes to the land transfer tax. Di Giorgio also made it clear he intended to take a higher-level approach to the job of wrestling the city’s nearly $10-billion budget, relying on senior staff to craft the more detailed budgets – an approach that markedly contrasts with former chair Del Grande’s detail-oriented approach to dealing with the city’s capital and operating budgets. Former budget chief Shelley Carroll said that in the end, Di Giorgio – a former math teacher – may have difficulty with “the mandate” when it comes to the dollars-andcents realities of budgeting. “At the end of the day things have to add up for a math teacher,” said Carroll. “The mayor has demonstrated that he votes according to how things appear to people... Frank may find himself drawn into that ideological messaging exercise and then discover he can’t satisfy his own instincts as a math teacher to make sure that the sums add up. That will be the real challenge between the two of them.”

d. ills R Don M

Toronto’s new budget chief Frank Di Giorgio’s first day on the job was marked by confusion, as he first told reporters he would attempt to freeze property taxes in 2014, then said homeowners would likely have to pay an inflationary increase. “I think anything is doable,” said Di Giorgio in front of reporters Tuesday morning, shortly after Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee appointed him budget chief, replacing former budget chief Mike Del Grande, who resigned last month. “I think that we certainly can try and if it’s doable it will be done.” Di Giorgio had been answering a reporter’s question as to whether he could deliver on a property tax freeze as requested by Ford. But in an interview with The Mirror just two hours later, Di Giorgio revised his statement. “I don’t think that’s doable,” he said. “But hey – I basically will try and deliver whatever the mandate is, but I also think that you have to be reasonable and residents out there will be

reasonable – they will understand if all you’re asking for is an inflationary thing.” Di Giorgio has served as a member of Toronto’s budget committee since 2010, alongside Del Grande. He was offered the job first publicly on the mayor’s radio show Sunday. Ford described Di Giorgio as “very, very loyal to the administration” and someone who understood the value of money. Di Giorgio, for his part, had praise for Del Grande’s leadership on the budget committee and maintained that he would do his best to fulfill “the mandate” of Ford. But early on, he appeared to run into trouble. He said he believed he could direct staff to prepare departmental budgets that showed no increase in departmental expenditures. He said he didn’t think there remained enough so-called “gravy” to actually cut into those budgets enough to make up for inflationary increases. He maintained taxpayers would understand dealing with inflationary increases “separately” with a small tax increase. Di Giorgio also appeared to be at odds with the mayor when it came to the question of the land transfer tax. Ford told reporters he would like to try to cut Toronto’s land transfer tax by 10 per cent in 2014. Di Giorgio said if the city

The City of Toronto holds public consultations as one way to engage residents in the life of their city. Toronto thrives on your great ideas and actions. We invite you to get involved.

To Gatineau Corridor Trail


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The Process The East DonTrail EA study will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act providing opportunities for public input at key stages. The study will ensure that any potential impacts to the valley lands, river crossings, flood and erosion risks, and property ownership are considered We would like to hear from you Public consultation is an important part of this study. We are asking for your input to inform the East DonTrail EA study.Topics to discuss include: • How and where you are utilizing the East Don valley lands • Key areas of interest • Challenges, opportunities, and other concerns • How we can engage the community and provide opportunities for participation You are invited to learn more and to share your insights and opinions at any time. For more information, please contact: Maogosha Pyjor Tel: 416-338-2850 Public Consultation Coordinator Fax: 416-392-2974 City of Toronto TTY: 416-397-0831 Metro Hall, 19th Fl. E-mail: 55 John St. Visit: Toronto, ON M5V 3C6 Issue Date: January 31, 2013 Information will be collected in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013

New budget chief’s first day marked by confusion

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MP brings ideas for federal transit strategy to North York RAHUL GUPTA Before a group of faculty and students at York University last week, federal MP Olivia Chow outlined her ideas for a national transit strategy. Chow, the NDP’s official transportation critic, unveiled what she called a five-point plan for transit support and called on the federal government to heed the call of municipalities across the country to dedicate funding for transit over the long term. Under Chow’s plan, the federal government would guarantee transit funding over 20-year cycles, set clear targets, issue money based on non-partisan measures, partner with municipalities and encourage sustainable and energy efficient policies. She said urgent action was

Staff photo/RAHUL GUPTA

National transit critic Olivia Chow called on the federal government to adopt a strategy for transit during her speech at York University on Jan. 31. Chow said the federal government should dedicate more funding to major transit systems like that of Toronto’s and work to relieve gridlock in the GTHA.

required by the Harper government, which is set to renew its infrastructure funding plan that expires in 2014, to address worsening congestion the Federation of Canadian Municipalities says costs the national economy an estimated $10 billion annually. “Gridlock is costing our

urban economies dearly,” said Chow to the audience gathered in a lecture hall at York’s Vanier College. “That adds up to real financial, social and personal loss for every person in this city and the country.” Chow, who represents the downtown riding of Trinity-

Spadina federally, said she enjoyed visiting York’s Keele campus, but increased congestion of late has made such trips more difficult. “I don’t need to convince you of that because you live it every day,” she said of worsening gridlock during her approximately 30-minute

speech. “Everyone who is a student or a member of faculty or staff member at York knows this all too well.” Despite federal contributions to the ongoing Spadina subway extension – which includes a station under construction at the Keele campus – Chow dismissed such allocations as “piecemeal” and pointed to the Harper government’s refusal to pay for a share of new TTC streetcars costing nearly $2 billion as evidence transit funding for Canada’s largest city remains far below what it should be. After then-federal transport minister John Baird rejected Toronto’s request to include the streetcars as part of a federal economic stimulus plan, the city ended up allocating funding it receives from the federal gas tax – around $110 million – toward the amount. C h ow, w h o re c e n t l y authored a letter to Toronto City Council asking for support in her efforts to get the federal government to include dedicated transit funding in the spring budget, said students should contact their political

representatives and demand better transit. “We need all of you to take action,” she told the crowd of around 75. “Go to public meetings, write to your MP, write to the prime minister. Spread the word.” Chow’s visit to campus was initiated by York University students enrolled in the Canadian studies program, according to co-ordinator Jon Sufrin, who said a group of dedicated students wrote a letter to the MP asking her to give a talk. “The students brought their enthusiasm and passion to planning the event, and that’s something we want to encourage as much as possible,” said Sufrin before Chow’s speech. He said the students plan to organize more talks by prominent political leaders in the future. Following her remarks, Chow fended off repeated queries from the media on whether she would run against incumbent Rob Ford for mayor in the 2014 municipal election, saying she was examining her options.

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| NORTH YORK MIRROR | Friday, February 8, 2013

Chow urges York U. students to lobby for better transit

NORTH YORK MIRROR s | Friday, February 8, 2013 |



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