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wed dec 26, 2012

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HRRH thrilled with $1-million donation

Above-Freezing fun

New hospital scheduled to open in 2015 Lisa Queen lqueen@insidetoronto.com

T

he spirit of the holiday season is alive and well at Humber River Regional Hospital. Last week, the hospital received a $1-million donation, which will go towards the $1.75-billion hospital now under construction at Keele Street and Hwy. 401. The contribution came from accounting firm and solvency and restructuring firm Spoergel Spergel’s full company name is msi Spergel Inc./ Mandelbaum Spergel Gluckman Group/Spergel Forster Silverberg & Gluckman, LLP.

“It (Humber River) is our charity of choice,” Spergel managing partner Alan Spergel told The Guardian. “We believe strongly this is a facility that is long overdue in the north of the city.” As North America’s first fully digital hospital, Humber River will provide leading edge technology and treatments for patients while saving taxpayers money, he said. Spergel has been involved in fundraising efforts for Humber River for the last decade. Hospital officials are thrilled with Monday’s donation. “Spergel has been a great

friend to our organization over the past several years,” hospital president Dr. Rueben Devlin said. “This very generous donation will help us provide state-of-the-art care for thousands of patients in the years ahead. We are very grateful to everyone at Spergel for the support and confidence in our team that this donation represents.” Heather Hurst, president of the hospital foundation, agreed. “This $1-million gift by Spergel is a tremendous boost to our capital campaign,” she said. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2015.

TTC, GO offer free rides on Dec. 31 RAHUL GUPTA rgupta@insidetoronto.com

Staff photo/Nick Perry

GETTING INTO THE SWING OF THINGS: Taking advantage of the unseasonal temperatures, Jan Demke pushes Ferja Brauer on the swings at Lions Park last week.

Over the holidays, both the TTC and GO Transit are offering some free rides as we head into 2013, including New Year’s Eve. Until the first couple weeks of January, both transit agencies will run on holiday schedules, and are offering some free rides, earlier trips and free parking over that time period. On New Year’s Eve, the TTC is offering free rides from 10

p.m. to 4 a.m. TTC is also offering free parking on Dec. 31 at all of its station lots after 3 p.m. The extended schedule means trains on both the Yonge University Spadina and Bloor-Danforth lines will depart shortly after 3:30 a.m. giving revellers nearly two hours extra than normal to ride the subway. The last Sheppard line train will leave for Don Mills station at 3:58 a.m. while the Scarborough RT is scheduled to run its final ride of the night

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at 4:07 a.m. Subway service resumes on New Year’s Day at 6 a.m. when new fare price increases take effect. GO Transit, which is extending service on several of its routes as of the New Year, is also offering free service after 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 on all of its trains and buses. The regional service is also running earlier and later trips on some of its routes. For a full list of schedules visit www.gotransit.com For more information, please visit www.ttc.ca


YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

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Community

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Honoured in York South-Weston York South-Weston MP Mike Sullivan presented 30 distinguished local community builders with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals last week at a special reception for the medal recipients and their families and friends at the Lambton Golf and Country Club. The honourees and their bios are below. n Carol Pamela Sip Ms. Sip is an avid community volunteer who has served in many capacities over the past two decades, including as one of the lead organizers of the annual Amesbury Park Canada Day celebration.

n Liliana Angarita Ms. Angarita is a well-known advocate and crusader for international human rights who has received many accolades for her work. n Mary Louise Ashbourne Mrs. Ashbourne has made significant contributions over the course of several decades to preserving the unique history and heritage of the Village of Weston.

n Bella Jane Smith Ms. Smith is one of the founding volunteers of the local Meals-On-Wheels program. Nearly a half-century later, she is still personally delivering meals to seniors in the community.

n Norman Baker Mr. Baker, 96, is a lifelong volunteer with numerous community organizations. He served in the Canadian Forces during the Second World War.

n Gail Elaine Stacey Mrs. Stacey has devoted three decades of exceptional voluntary service to ensuring the continued success of the York Lions Club and the York Lions Steel Band.

n Domenico Barbieri Mr. Barbieri is a leader in promoting the Italian culture and heritage in Canada. For many years, he has served as the 1st Vice-President of the National Congress of ItalianCanadians. n Barbara Anne Bisgrove Ms. Bisgrove is a passionate community leader and volunteer whose many good works have benefitted some of west-end Toronto’s neediest residents. n Major Garfield Robert Bonnell Major Bonnell is a dedicated officer with more than three decades of continuous service to Cadets Canada. n Mavis Irene Breckenridge Mrs. Breckenridge is the founder of a weekly supper for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents. She is an exemplary volunteer who is a role model to many. n Swatanter “Sam” Chopra Mr. Chopra has distinguished himself as a leading figure in the promotion of South Asian culture and heritage in Ontario. He is the president of South Asians in Ontario. n Gayle Helena Christie Ms. Christie served on the council of the former City of York for many years, including two terms as mayor. In her post-political life, she has lent her considerable expertise to not-for-profit organizations across Toronto. n Robert Graham Churchill Mr. Churchill has devoted the past half-century to serving his community, as an always energetic volunteer

Photo/Ornella Roman Millor.

The medal recipients in attendance at the Lambton Golf and Country Club.

for numerous organizations and as an elected school trustee.

n Cherri Gail Hurst Ms. Hurst has spearheaded the impressive community effort to protect the unique architectural heritage of the Village of Weston. She is a recognized expert in Toronto’s heritage preservation community.

n Ernest Stuart McMullan Mr. McMullan has long been a pillar of the Downsview neighbourhood. For many decades, he operated a pharmacy that became a community gathering spot where no one was turned away.

n Muhammad “Moe” Irshad Mr. Irshad is a well-respected leader in Toronto’s Muslim community who has led successful efforts to reach out to other faiths to create greater cross-faith understanding and cooperation.

n Sadrudin “Sam” Meghji Mr. Meghji is a local small business owner who has always given back to the community. He serves on a number of local boards and was a lead organizer of the Weston Santa Claus Parade for five years.

n Valentino Esposito Mr. Esposito has devoted the last three decades to supporting numerous youth organizations across westend Toronto in a voluntary capacity.

n Steve Ross Levasseur Mr. Levasseur has demonstrated commitment to the development of community through his work over the past quarter-century as an Officer with the Canadian Cadet Organization.

n Maria Meyers Ms. Meyers is one of Toronto’s foremost promoters of the Caribbean culture and heritage. She is the president of the Spice Isle Association and the Grenada Day Association.

n John Frederick Gell Mr. Gell is a retired educator and a life-long resident of the Lambton Park neighbourhood who has chronicled and written a book on the area’s rich and colourful history.

n Ronald Kenneth McCuaig Mr. McCuaig is an active and generous supporter of a diverse number of community and social justice organizations. He is well known for his philanthropy.

n Mark John DeMontis Mr. DeMontis is the founder of Courage Canada, a charitable organization that promotes blind hockey and encourages youth with disabilities to engage in sport. n Odoardo Di Santo Mr. Di Santo is one of Canada’s leading advocates for injured workers and is a political pioneer in the ItalianCanadian community, having served a decade as a Member of Provincial Parliament.

n Odesia President Ms. President is a model immigrant success story, having started her own business and always making sure to give back to her adopted country. She dedicates herself to improving community safety and providing more opportunities for youth.

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n Helen Diana Stapleton Ms. Stapleton is the volunteer chair of the Weston Area Emergency Support food bank that provides food to almost 10,000 people on a yearly basis. She is also an avid fundraiser for many local causes and organizations. n Donald Andrew Stewart Mr. Stewart is a veteran of the Second World War, having served in the Canadian Navy in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. Since the war, he has advocated for his fellow veterans and served two stints as Legion branch president. (Note : Mr. Stewart was presented with his medal at a Remembrance Day ceremony at Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.)

n Charlcie Mae Stickley Mrs. Stickley is a World War Two “war bride” who has served on the executive of the Royal Canadian Legion Mount Dennis Branch for several decades, including as president. She is currently Secretary-Treasurer and is an inspiration to many. n Barbara A. Stone Ms. Stone is a community leader in Mount Dennis. She has been the driving force behind a number of community improvement initiatives to benefit the neighbourhood. n Suri Weinberg-Linsky Ms. Weinberg-Linsky is proprietor of Weston’s oldest continuously operated business, Squibb’s Stationers. She is a tireless champion for, and promoter, of the local small business community.

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| YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ykg@insidetoronto.com


YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

4

Opinion Ian Proudfoot Marg Middleton Peter Haggert Paul Futhey Warren Elder Alison Fauquier Debra Weller Mike Banville

ykg@insidetoronto.com

Your View

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Public transit important to making city better

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The York Guardian is published every Thursday at 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2, by Toronto Community News, a Division of Metroland Media Group Ltd.

Lots of things to do locally over the holidays

N

ow that the rush toward Christmas Day has passed, we’re hoping our readers can take some time over the next few days to enjoy their community with family and friends. For many, that enjoyment means hitting the stores today and over the next few days for the sales that come with Boxing Day. Have a great time and we hope you find some bargains. our view Once the shopping is done, take a breath and try and take part in some of the many other Take the time fun events going on this week. to enjoy your The kids are out of school, community many parents are taking time off from work, college and university students are home for the holidays and it’s a wonderful chance for families and extended families to reconnect with each other. Traffic is lighter on the roads, it’s easier to get around and there’s lots of events scheduled over the holidays – many of them with a family focus. In York, Cedarvale Park is just one of the fun places to visit and enjoy a skate on the outdoor rink. For additional details on rinks in York, visit http://bit.ly/York_rinks If you are sports fans or participants, the next few days can be busy ones. The holidays are the traditional time for highlevel hockey tournaments in Toronto including the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, which brings in some of North America’s top teams from the bantam level up through to midget. For details on the tournament, visit http://torontomarlboros. com/ Also, there will be lots of indoor soccer action for local fans and players alike as Downsview Park’s The Hangar hosts its Youth Holiday Classic Tournament today until Jan. 4 for both boys and girls teams. The holidays are also when people can slow down and savour the special things. Take some time to meet and talk with the neighbours, visit a relative who may live alone or renew an old friendship. We hope all our readers are able to take some time over the next few days to focus on what is important to them, enjoy themselves and reflect on the wonderful city we live in. newsroom

Write us The York Guardian 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@insidetoronto.com, or mailed to The York Guardian, 175 Gordon Baker Rd., Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2.

TTC Commission Councillor Karen Stintz has announced there will be a five cent hike to the TTC transit fares as of Jan. 1 in order to cover costs that will be incurred over the next year to implement improvements as well as added service. This will involve purchasing some new LRT vehicles as well as fulfilling current orders to build new ones. These will be regulated by Metrolinx. Also, GO Transit has petitioned Metrolinx to implement a fare hike ranging from 35 cents to 55 cents that, if approved, will be effective as of Feb. 1. In a city such as the size of Toronto, during peak rush hours, public transit offers a viable alternative to driving and therefore these changes can help reduce pollution as well as make the commute more tolerable. Maria Sabatino

Budget leaves police chief with limited options

A

t the centre of the debate over freezing the Toronto Police Service budget is the question of whether residents will remain safe. Police Chief Bill Blair originally thought that limiting his budget expenditures to last year’s level would have consequences. But the Police Services Board unanimously voted to approve the budget without an increase. Afterwards Blair was quoted as saying: “I’d keep Toronto safe if it was just me and two other guys. Whatever is available to us, we’ll just go out and do our best.” Although Torontonians are grateful for the enthusiasm, fortunately we have more than three police officers. Blair still commands 5,320 uniformed officers and a budget of almost $930 million. Yet given his earlier concerns, residents may wonder whether they will remain safe. Toronto’s backdrop of

Beyond the headlines

david soknacki

declining crime rates is promising. The most recent data show substantial decreases in all forms of crime, with the exception of a minor jump in the murder rate. Part of the reason is demographics, since the section of population most engaged in crime, young men, is declining. Part of our crime reduction is due to the intelligent use of technology. And part of the reason is smarter policing. Yet the Police Services Board, in combination with city council, has given Chief Blair a tough assignment. With a budget consisting of more than 90 per cent in labour costs, he must look at the number and productivity of

his staff. He begins from a difficult position, since the board agreed to a collective agreement that keeps Toronto’s officers the highest paid in Canada. It follows that Chief Blair must get more out of his workforce. He will probably start with reviewing his organization, and work to reduce the practice of two-officer patrols. Although these and other changes are essential, it’s easier said than done. The biggest challenge to achieving enough productivity gains is due to the size and power of the police union, the Toronto Police Association. While Blair can do his best to increase productivity, the Toronto Police Association is vigilant, well-financed and accustomed to grievances. The Police Services Board is already anticipating legal challenges should Blair downsize his organization or attempt

productivity gains contrary to union wishes. Under the rigid labour system now in place, change will probably come at the pace of retiring officers. As individuals leave, Blair will then have some ability to redeploy officers. However, it is in the union’s interest, and also within its ability, to limit productivity increases generated by these changes. And so we come back to questions of whether Torontonians will remain safe, and how the chief can make that assurance with constrained resources. Thanks to fewer young men in our population, adequate investment in technology and a history of smart policing, Torontonians will be safe. But with inflexibility in labour relations, options are limited. David Soknacki is a former City of Toronto councillor and budget chief. Contact him at www.soknacki.com

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Community

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Hospital has improved its results each year LISA QUEEN lqueen@insidetoronto.com For the first time since mortality rates in Canadian hospitals were made public five years ago, Humber River Regional Hospital is better than the national average. An annual report card, released last week by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), compares the number of deaths in a hospital to a national average score of 100. CIHI bases the score on a number of factors such as a hospital’s five-day mortality rate following major surgery and its 30-day mortality rate following a stroke. The lower the score, the better a hospital’s mortality rate on the report card, formally known as hospital standardized mortality ratio (HSMR). Humber River’s score this year is 80, a significant improvement over its

2010/2011 score of 107. The result is also dramatically better than the 134 it received in 2007/2008 when Humber River ranked as the worst in the Greater Toronto Area and the second worst in Canada. The hospital didn’t initially release that score because it complained a coding mix-up didn’t accurately represent its true mortality rate but was later ordered by the Ministry of Health to reveal the rating.

‘The key is to see a positive trend in the scores over a number of reporting periods.’ – email from Dr. Rueben Devlin Since 2007/2008, Humber River has boosted its results annually. Hospital president Dr. Rueben Devlin said the report cards are important and he is

pleased with Humber River’s improvements over the last few years. “HSMR, like other quality of care and performance indicators, is useful to indicate where improvement opportunities may be available. It’s important to understand that HSMR is a ratio which allows comparison to a benchmark – it is not a ‘mortality rate’,” he said in an email. “The key is to see a positive trend in the scores over a number of reporting periods. We are pleased that the latest HSMR report indicates we continue to move in the right direction and we exceed the benchmark requirements. It supports what we see in other performance indicators, which in total show our quality improvement plans are having a positive effect for patients. We continue to work hard every day to provide the highest possible quality of care to our patients and our community.”

Panel of three judges to hear the case Jan. 7 DAViD niCKle dnickle@insidetoronto.com Lawyers for Mayor Rob Ford have filed their factum to the Divisional Court, appealing the order to have him removed from office. The appeal of Justice Charles Hackland’s decision to order Ford removed from office will be heard Jan. 7 by a panel of three judges. Hackland ordered the seat of mayor to be declared vacant this past month, after finding Ford had violated the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he spoke and voted on a report from the city’s integrity commissioner, asking he be made to return $3,150 in monies donated by lobbyists to his charitable football foundation. Under the order Ford will be permitted to run immediately in a byelection, and will, according to a stay granted last week, be permitted to

remain in office until the Divisional Court appeal is decided one way or the other. F o r d ’s l a w y e r A l a n Lenczner is, as he indicated in court last week, appealing the decision on four grounds: first, that because council had no power to force the mayor to repay the money, the original council resolution asking that he do so was ultra vires, which is to say outside council’s jurisdiction. He will also argue that the conflict of interest act doesn’t cover matters of the code of conduct for city councillors; he argues the conflict of interest act should only apply to matters whereby a municipality is in a relationship “whereby it stands to gain or lose a financial advantage.” His third argument is that the sum of $3,150 ought to be considered insignificant.

And fourth, he argues Hackland ought to have found Ford at the very least committed an error in judgement in voting on the matter. In his conclusion, Lenczner argues that Justice Hackland, “from the outset, adopted the wrong approach. Rather than applying the ordinary meaning to plain language, and seeking to uphold the democratic decision of the voters who elected the mayor, by construing the MCIA ‘strictly’ and by searching for ‘a reasonable interpretation which will avoid a penalty,’ Hackland did the opposite of what the law demands.” The court will also hear from lawyer Clayton Ruby, on behalf of his client Paul Magder, who brought forward the initial complaint, arguing that the decision by Hackland ought to be upheld. Ruby was to have his factum submitted to court by Dec. 24.

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| YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012

HRRH mortality rate beats Mayor Ford’s legal team national average for first time basing appeal on four points


YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

6

Active

active@insidetoronto.com

GTHL hockey holiday tournaments abound The week between Christmas and the New Year is traditionally the busiest of the year for hockey tournaments, and Toronto is no exception with plenty of Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) tournaments on tap. They include:

WHEN: Dec. 26 to 31 WHERE: The MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, 400 Kipling Ave. (Kipling Avenue south of QEW) LEVEL: select house league AGE GROUPS: tyke to minor midget WEBSITE: http://faustinasportsclub.com/

n Toronto Marlboros International Holiday Classic WHEN: Dec. 26 to 30 WHERE: Games at Canlan Ice Sports (Etobicoke) Arena, 1120 Mar tin Grove Rd.; Chesswood Arena (North York), 4000 Chesswood Dr.; Canlan Ice Sports York, 989 Murray Ross Parkway; Westwood Arena (Etobicoke), 90 Woodbine Downs Blvd.; and the Pavilion Ice ( Thornhill), 130 Racco Parkway

Staff file photo/Ian Kelso

The Toronto Marlboros International Holiday Classic is one of several tournaments taking place over the holiday season. In this 2010 game Toronto Marlboros bantam (white shirt) Mitchell Stephens tries to prevent a Whitby defenceman from stopping the puck entering the net during the 2010 championship final.

LEVEL: AAA AG E G RO U P S : m i n o r bantam, bantam, minor

midget WEBSITE: http://torontomarlboros.com/

n Faustina Carl Gordaneer Memorial Christmas Tournament

Beary merry delivery

n North Toronto Christmas Select Tournament WHEN: Dec. 26 to 31 WHERE: games will b e p l a y e d a t No r t h To r o n t o M e m o r i a l Arena, 174 Orchard View Blvd.; Forest Hill Larry Grossman Memor ial Arena, 340 Chaplin Cr., and St. Michael’s Arena, 1515 Bathurst St. (all are centrally located in Toronto). LEVEL: select AGE GROUPS: tyke to midget WEBSITE: http:// nthockey.ca/

n Canadiens Cup

christmas cheer: Humber River Regional Hospital pediatric patient Reina Elsaouda, left, receives plush toys from Toronto Community News advertising staff members Serena Tung and Joachim Reinert on Tuesday as part of the company’s Beary Merry Christmas program.

WHEN: Dec. 27 to 29 WHERE: Westwood Arenas, 90 Woodbine Downs Blvd., Rexdale LEVEL AAA AGE GROUPS: minor atom and minor peewee WEBSITE: http:// canadianiceacademy. wordpress.com/canadiens-cup/

Photo/Peter C. McCusker

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n Paul Coffey Christmas Tournament WHEN: Dec. 27 to 30 WHERE: Westwood Arena, 90 Woodbine Downs Blvd., Rexdale LEVEL: AA AGE GROUPS: minor atom to midget WEBSITE: http://mississaugajets.ca/

n Gardner Cup Showcase WHEN: Dec.27 to 30 WHERE: Scarborough Gardens Arena, 75 Birchmount Rd. LEVEL: U-21 TEAMS: Toronto East Enders (GTHL), Stouffville Clippers (OMHA), Whitby Wildcats (OMHA), Toronto Colts (GTHL), Etobicoke Canucks (GTHL) and Mississauga North Stars (GTHL) WEBSITE: www.eastendersaaahockey.com/ Other GTHL tournaments include: the Streetsville House League Christmas Tournament Dec. 26 to 28; the elite Bauer (peewee AAA) Challenge Cup Dec. 27 to 30 at Mississauga’s Hershey Centre; and the Vaughan Rangers Silver Stick tournament for ‘A’ level teams Dec. 27 to 29. More info on these GTHL tournaments can be found at www.gthlcanada.com/

Zoo is open Boxing Day This holiday season, the Toronto Zoo is inviting all residents to join in the festivities. The zoo re-opens on Dec. 26 with its annual Boxing Day Christmas Treats Trek, where animals are fed special treats. Attendees will also receive a Littlest Pet Shop gift, courtesy of toy manufacturer Hasbro, and admission is half-price all day on Dec. 26. Zoo-goers are asked to bring a non-perishable item to donate to the food bank. On New Year’s Eve, the zoo will host from 5 to 8 p.m. a family countdown to 2013.

The annual event, in its 10th year, will feature animal visits and zookeeper talks and a full line-up of family-friendly entertainment including a 1960s cover band, an appearance by Po from the hit film franchise Kung Fu Panda, the Majinx Magic Show team and the WotWots children’s television characters. Tickets for the outdoor event are $20 for adults and seniors and $12 for children between the ages of four and 12. Children under three are admitted for free but must have a ticket. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.torontozoo.com


City Hall

7

Nutrition programs, botanical garden get funding boosts DAVID NICKLE dnickle@insidetoronto.com Toronto’s budget chief Mike Del Grande offered up some “tinkering” to the city’s 2013 operating budget – adding back some funding for children’s nutrition programs, the Toronto Botanical Garden, local arts organizations and various other programs, to the tune of $1,150,000. But the largesse comes at a price: $1.30 for the average Toronto homeowner next year, in the form of a two per cent property tax increase as opposed to a 1.95 per cent tax hike. And Del Grande warned his colleagues that

if councillors try to add back anything more, he won’t be around to shepherd the next two budgets through council. “If at the end of the day council wants to blow $25, $50 million more, I can tell you, guarantee for sure, they won’t have me again as the budget chair,” Del Grande told reporters following Monday’s penultimate budget committee meeting. The city’s capital and operating budgets will have one more go-around at the budget committee Jan. 8, before being sent off to executive committee and then Toronto Council for final approval. The $9.42-billion budget has been under consideration at the budget committee for about a month, and last week, more than 200 deputations came to

raise various issues with programs that had been flatlined or cut. Del Grande said he’d spent the weekend trying to figure out which of those requests could be accommodated, and how that might happen. He said his solution amounted to “tinkering” and dealt with various problems, at least in part. For instance, he will restore $300,000 in funding to local arts organizations in the city’s inner suburbs, and $30,000 to cash-strapped lawn bowling clubs. The Toronto Botanical Garden had asked for $160,000 in funding to keep going; Del Grande offered $75,000. And he moved that the city report on ways to get revenue from the billboard tax into local arts programs. And he set aside cash for

community partnership funding and the city’s priority neighbourhoods. To fund it, he said the 0.05 per cent additional property tax increase is the way to go. “I’m going against the grain of what the mayor’s request was, but I just can’t accommodate everything,” said Del Grande, who later was unclear about whether he had discussed his plans with Mayor Rob Ford before bringing them to committee. “I think this is a fair tinkering. The budget, if we leave it alone now, will get us a lot closer to sustainability than we’ve ever been.” The amended budget will mean an effective 2.5 per cent property tax increase, because of shifts in tax burdens as a result of the latest round of MPAC current value assessment.

DAVID NICKLE dnickle@insidetoronto.com

100 Queen St. W, 6 to 9 p.m. • Saturday, Jan. 12: North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yo n g e St . , 1 t o 4 p. m . • Monday, Jan. 14: Etobicoke Olympium Gymnasium, 590 Rathburn Rd., 6 to 9 p.m. • T h u r s d a y, J a n . 1 7 :

The City of Toronto will be taking the question of whether there should be a casino built in city limits to a number of neighbourhood meetings in January. The city-wide http://www.toronto.ca/casinoconsultation consultation will take the form of Scarborough Civic a series of community open Centre Rotunda, 150 houses, as well as an interacBorough Dr., 6 to 9 p.m. tive website. The consultation will allow • S a t u r d a y, input on several questions Jan. 19: Bluma that council will be facing later Appel Salon at in the winter when it decides Reference Library, whether to welcome a casino 789 Yonge St., 1 to resort to the city: should there 4 p.m. be a casino in Toronto at all? The If so, where would be the best website location? What else should is availcouncil consider in making able now its decision? and will The consultation meetings provide will take place in five locaopportions starting the second week tunities in January: for com• Wednesday, Jan. 9: City Hall ment in Rotunda, Toronto City Hall, January.

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YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

8

City Hall

ykg@insidetoronto.com

Looking back at 2012: Six issues that defined the year at City Hall DAVID NICKLE dnickle@insidetoronto.co,

T

here are some who say the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world in December of 2012. If you’re reading this, chances are that the world did not in fact come to an end as predicted. On the other hand, if you’d been paying attention to City of Toronto politics, you might not be so sure. It was a tumultuous year for Mayor Rob Ford and the 44 councillors who run this city. Subway plans evaporated as highways crumbled; librarians walked the picket lines and casino moguls walked into city hall. And the mayor – oh, the stories. To help readers sort it all out, here are some of the stories that helped define Toronto City Hall in the year that’s passed.

n THE 2012 BUDGET

Mayor Rob Ford’s second budget started 2012 in crisis. In 2011, budget chief Mike Del Grande and his budget committee delivered a budget that had communities across the city up in arms. There were cuts to libraries, arts grants, sidewalk snow-clearing in the suburbs, child care, and homeless shelters. It was clear to the mayor’s supporters early on that there wasn’t going to be support for what opponents called a “radical conservative” budget. So at the executive committee, Ford’s allies attempted to strike a compromise deal, reversing some of the more controversial cuts by dipping into $8 million in unanticipated revenue. It wasn’t enough. Mayor Ford made a personal plea to councillors to leave the budget as it was recommended – putting $154 million in surplus all into capital debt reduction. Council didn’t listen. In late January, council supported a motion by rookie councillor Josh Colle, that restored nearly all the cuts that the mayor’s budget had proposed, digging into reserves to the tune of $20 million.

n SUBWAYS

In 2010, Mayor Rob Ford campaigned on a plan to scrap his predecessor David Miller’s light rail Transit City plan, and instead extend the Sheppard subway into Scarborough. Shortly after he was elected, he declared Transit City to be “dead” and began a process to find private sector investors as well as provincial and federal funding

to make the subway a reality. Former city councillor Gordon Chong was charged with providing a strategy for doing so, and for a time a majority of councillors went along with the subway plan. But following the mayor’s budget defeat, councillors who opposed the costly subway plan saw what proved to be a fatal opening. The mayor and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had drafted a memorandum of understanding between the city and the provincial government, that the $8.4 billion in funding that was to have gone to build Transit City light rail lines on Eglinton, Sheppard and Finch Avenues would be diverted to building the Eglinton light rail line all underground. But the memorandum of understanding needed to be ratified by Toronto Council. And when that finally came forward, along with Chong’s report on funding, council rejected both it and the plan. Over Ford’s objection, council convened its own expert panel on what to do about the Sheppard corridor. Ford’s team was furious, and at the next meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission, gathered the votes to fire Gary Webster, the TTC’s Chief General Manager who had advised council that light rail made more sense along the relatively lightly-populated suburban routes. Council was equally infuriated by the move, and at a special meeting voted to fire the TTC members who’d voted to fire Webster. When the expert panel finally returned, it advised, as expected, to go ahead with LRT on Sheppard and abandon the subway plan. The mayor voted against the plan, and vowed to continue to campaign for re-election in 2014 on a promise to build subways and kill light rail once and for all.

n THE GARDINER

During Mayor David Miller’s tenure, the elevated highway named after the late Metro Chairman Fred Gardiner was slated to be torn down, and replaced with a widened Lake Shore Boulevard. One of the reasons given for removing the highway was that it was very old, and one day soon, it would begin to fall down. Miller’s successors opted not to tear the highway down – and in 2012, as predicted, the Gardiner began to, if not fall down, then fall apart. This spring and summer,

Staff file photo/David Nickle

Eglinton-Lawrence councillors Josh Colle and Karen Stintz at the swearing in of the TTC’s new board on March 6. The debate over transit in the city saw the TTC’s Chief General Manager get fired by the previous TTC board. Council responded by appointing new board members, including Colle.

motorists began complaining of falling concrete as they drove beneath the elevated section on Lakeshore Boulevard. Subsequent examination by city engineers revealed that the structure, which was not designed to last through repeated exposure to Canadian winters, was crumbling. In May, city crews began to tear off the most precarious slabs of concrete, and the city developed a plan to deal with the problem. By the end of the year, it had become clear that the problems with the Gardiner were much more serious than initially thought. The city’s 2013 operating budget contains more than half a billion dollars to do major repairs on not only the underside but also the surface of the highway.

n PLASTIC BAGS

In late 2011, Mayor Rob Ford told a radio station interviewer that he had been hearing from members of the public upset that the city was still forcing retailers to charge five cents a bag for plastic shopping bags. Ford agreed, and said he’d like to end that once and for all. In July, the matter came before council, in the form of a report suggesting that the bag fee be targeted toward protecting Toronto’s tree canopy. Ford brought forward an amendment, to simply end the bag fee altogether. That amendment succeeded. But it was not the only one to do so. Willowdale Councillor David Shiner moved an amendment that

would ban all plastic shopping bags from Toronto retailers by Jan. 1, 2013, and council approved it as well. It was touch and go in the coming months as to whether council would go through with it. An attempt by Ford supporters to reopen the matter and overturn the amendment failed in the fall, because it requires a 2/3 vote to reopen a matter already decided within a calendar year. But before the bylaw came forward, council did vote to hold public consultations on its implementation. In the course of that consultation, several industry associations brought forward legal challenges to the bylaw. And in the late fall, when council was finally faced with the bylaw, they voted in a simple majority to kill it. Next year, the city’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will be looking at a report on how to reduce the use of plastic bags in the city – which could include a ban.

n LABOUR

As Toronto Council was battling it out with the mayor over control of the city, negotiators for the city and the unions that represent most of its workers were fighting toe to toe over their collective agreements – all of which came up in late 2011. At issue were clauses in the contracts with inside and outside workers providing job security in the event the city decided to contract out their services. These clauses were negotiated under

former Mayor Mel Lastman and persisted under Mayor David Miller. The Ford administration was the first to be able to weaken job protection on those grounds – and with one brief exception, did so without job disruptions. In each case, city negotiators did so by playing tough. The city moved to go into conciliation with its outside workers, CUPE Local 416, in 2011 before the collective agreement had even expired. And in January, the city asked for a ‘no board’ report, starting the countdown for a strike or lockout. The tactic had its effect. CUPE negotiators countered by offering a wage freeze. The city held its ground. Eventually, a tentative deal was struck. The city’s inside workers followed suit a month later. In the end, only library workers went on strike – a walkout that lasted nearly two weeks. In the end, they settled on a contract that was marginally better for the union than the one signed by CUPE, with higher wages and better job security language.

n THE MAYOR

Arguably the biggest story in Toronto was the story of the mayor himself. Rob Ford started off the year on an optimistic note, taking part in a weight-loss challenge with his brother, Etobicoke North Councillor Doug Ford in the Cut the Waist Challenge. But the weight-loss program didn’t click and the challenge frittered away. There were other incidents. The mayor was photographed reading while driving; he called TTC Chief executive officer Andy Byford to complain about a streetcar driver, who’d chided the mayor for driving past the open door of his streetcar. And then there was football. Ford started the year with what turned out to be a major blunder, when he spoke and voted on an integrity commissioner report asking council compel him to return $3,150 in money donated by lobbyists to his private football charity while he was a councillor. Prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby and client Paul Magder took Ford to court, charging that he’d breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and ought to be removed from office. Supreme Court Justice Charles Hackland agreed, and Ford’s future now rests in the hands of a Divisional Court of Appeal, set to convene Jan. 7.


Al-Anon offers support for families over the holidays While families and friends gather to celebrate the holiday season, this time of year can present special challenges for the families of those who are dealing with alcohol abuse issues. For these families, every festive event has the oppor-

tunity for conflict and hostile confrontations if their family member drinks too much. Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups offer help and hope to anyone who has been affected by someone else’s drinking.

That support is especially important and needed during the holiday season. Those in need can contact Al-Anon/Alateen Family Groups at 416-4103809 or visit al-anon.alateen.on.ca for details.

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Keep safe while shoveling snow Snow is just around the corner. When it comes to shoveling the heavy lifting can be a pain in more ways than one. These tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association will help keep your back in top shape:

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Keep teeth healthy during the holidays often leads to cavities. Saliva in the mouth acts as a buffer to the acid and prevents demineralization. The flow of saliva is greatest during major meals lowering the chance of cavity formation. Avoid sticky candies: Sticky candies like caramels and taffy are the worst culprits for causing tooth decay because they adhere to the teeth making it difficult to brush and floss away. Hard candy like candy canes can be dangerous because they can cause breakage of teeth and in some cases joint dislocation.

Practice proper oral care: Ensure you gently brushing the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short backand-forth strokes. If there is only time for one brush a day, clean your teeth before bedtime to help remove food particles that would otherwise sit in the mouth and create a feast for bacteria. Make family appointments at the dentist every six months for check-ups and cleanings. Regular dental check-ups can help prevent the need for fillings and root canal in the future.

you to move smaller amounts of snow each time. It’s far less strenuous in the long run.

Pick the right shovel Use a lightweight pushertype shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won’t stick to it.

Push, don’t throw

the side rather than throw it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.

Bend your knees As with any heavy object, you need to use your knees, leg, and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting, while keeping your back straight.

Take a break If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shoveling, see a chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a doctor immediately.

-Newscanada.com

Always push the snow to

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Community


YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

10

Community

ykg@insidetoronto.com

EGLINTON WEST STREETSCAPE

Staff photos/DAN PEARCE

Guardian staff photographer Dan Pearce went out on Eglinton Avenue West near Black Creek Drive late last month to snap pictures of the construction scene that’s part of the ongoing Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown light-rail line. Clockwise from top left: the view to the southwest; looking east, south-west and west along Eglinton; the view to the north; an eastbound view. See these and other pics from the project at bit.ly/york_galleries Earlier this month, Metrolinx confirmed that there will be a Mount Dennis station on the line located at Weston Road. Residents have until 4 p.m. Jan. 4 to complete a study on community opportunities in the Mount Dennis area. Visit thecrosstown.ca to complete the study.

Weston Road There is to be a Mount Dennis station at Weston Road, which will be the western terminus of this project.

Keele Steet/ Trethewey Drive Open house on station design held Feb. 9, 2012.

Dufferin Street Open house on station design held Jan. 25, 2012.

Allen Road Connection with the existing Eglinton West station on the Spadina subway line. Open house on station design held Feb. 2, 2012.

Chaplin Crescent Open house on station design held April 25, 2012.

EGLINTON AVENUE Caledonia Road Open house on station design held May 14, 2012.

Oakwood Avenue No open house has been held yet, but Toronto council ratified an agreement in November which ensures a station is on the map.

Bathurst Street Open house on station design held Nov. 28, 2011.

STATION SNAPSHOT A number of stations have been identified along the western portion of Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT project. Where open houses have been held, the dates have been listed.


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York Region Media Group, a division of Metroland Media Group (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation), is a dynamic media company delivering vital business and community information to millions of readers across Ontario each week. With over 100 newspapers, countless advertising venues, numerous distribution networks, and the Internet and web publishing, no target is unreachable. The Classified/ Inside Advertising Sales Representative is responsible for servicing and growing our client base and will increase sales revenue through new business development. This is an inside sales position that is responsible for taking incoming sales calls and making outbound sales calls for our numerous advertising opportunities. Position Accountabilities: • Provide our valued customers with creative and effective advertising solutions and play a key role in the overall success of our organization • Responsible for ongoing sales with clients and able to concurrently manage both sales and administrative processes • Handle incoming sales calls • Prospect for new accounts including researching advertisers in competing publications and reviewing new businesses in the area • Create proposals for prospective advertisers through compelling business cases • Assist clients in ad designs and co-ordinate the execution of these ads with the Production department • Attain and/or surpass sales targets • Address client concerns in a timely and professional manner • Contribute to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed Competencies, Skills and Experience: We are looking for someone who is action-oriented, driven for results, able to learn on the fly, customer-focused, composed and creative. In addition, the ideal candidate will have the following skills: • Excellent product and industry knowledge • Superior customer service skills • Ability to build and develop effective relationships within the team and with clients • Strong sales and telephone skills • A proven history of achieving and surpassing sales targets, with an unprecedented drive for results • Solid organizational and time-management skills with the ability to multi-task • Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment • Ability to concurrently manage both sales and administrative responsibilities • Previous experience in a sales position would be an asset What We Offer: • Development and opportunities for advancement • Base rate plus commission structure, unlimited earning potential, sales incentives & contests • Benefit program, including pension and competitive vacation/paid time off provisions

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Job Title: Department:

Advertising Clerk Metroland Media Corporate Sales 10 Tempo Ave, North York

Metroland Media Group is a dynamic media company delivering vital business and community information to millions of readers across Ontario each week. Metroland is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation. Key Accountabilities: • Calculate commissions for department and complete commission report • General accounting reporting in balancing the G/L’s credit and debit adjustments • Intercompany communications • Provide Reception duties • Sort incoming and stamp outgoing mail and couriers • Ordering department supplies Competencies: • Action oriented, Customer Focus, Business Acumen, Quantity of Output of Work, Quality of Work Output What we’re looking for: • Two to Three years relevant experience • Post secondary education in accounting • Thorough knowledge of Word and Excel • Must be exible and adaptable with the ability to multi-task • Detail-oriented with a high degree of accuracy • Strong organizational skills • Must be a team player • Knowledge of MPE would be an asset What’s In It For You: • Work for a well-established and respected company that is immersed in its communities • Work with a strong team of successful professionals • Fabulous paid-training and extensive ongoing development seminars • Individualized career plans and opportunity for advancement • Benet program, including RRSP and 3 weeks vacation per year • Company that is committed to a healthy and safe work environment • Free parking, ofce conveniently located near highways 404 and 401 at the North end of the city If working with a highly energized, competitive team is your ideal environment, please email your resume to cgray@metroland.com by January 4, 2013. Thank you for your interest. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. Job Category: Admin/Acctg.

Delivery questions?

Toronto Community News has an area available for distribution of our TCN News Bags. Deliveries consist of picking up our pre-inserted flyer packages (TCN News Bags) and distribute them to addresses within an area/zone in the lobbies of apartment buildings within the City Centre area. (Please see map of area coverage) Area’s Available: M4N; M4P; M4S; M4T; M4W; M4Y; M4X; M5A; M5B; M5C (Approximately 38,088 TCN News Bags and approximately 321 drops) Contracts commence on Monday, January 7th, 2013. To apply for this area and submit your pricing, please come into either of our office listed below. Fill out the bid packages. A vehicle is required for this distribution.

HOW TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD Phone: 416-798-7284 Fax: 905-853-1765

Bid packages are available at the reception at 175 Gordon Baker Road Toronto On M2H 0A2 Tender due date: Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013. By 5 pm To the attention of: Arlene Del Rosario Distribution Department

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YORK GUARDIAN | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 |

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December 26  

We are a local newspaper reflecting the lives of our readers by covering what’s important to them: The people and events in their own commun...