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FORUM: Moving forward in the new reality (Dec. 2018)

December 30th, 2018 · No Comments

Our opportunity to reshape local democracy

By Mike Layton

Let me first take a moment to thank the residents of University-Rosedale who have put their trust and faith in me with their vote. I also want to thank the other candidates for bringing their ideas and issues forward during the campaign. Congratulations also go to Toronto District School Board Trustee Chris Moise for taking on the enormous challenge of managing the expectations of parents, students, teachers, and the administration for schools across two enormous wards.

Throughout the campaign it was a pleasure to meet old friends and new residents in Ward 11 — from the Annex to Kensington Market and from Ossington to Rosedale — to talk about the issues we are facing in our ward, and the city that we striving to create.

I heard some things repeatedly: residents in Ward 11 want to make sure there is more affordable housing, better transit, that we invest in ways to make our streets safer, and that we protect and expand green space in the city. What I heard even more often was that we must do everything we can to stand up for the people of Toronto against Doug Ford’s cuts and his approach to governing.

I promise to get to work on these issues right away. Together we will fight for a Toronto where nobody is left behind, where the city is leading the fight against climate change, and where we build opportunities for everyone in our communities.

In the coming months we will need to focus on Toronto’s new inclusionary zoning powers that will ensure all new development includes affordable housing. Early in the next term of Toronto City Council, new cost estimates for transit plans will be debated and the future of the Downtown Relief Line will be decided.

We will review our bylaws as they relate to ride-sharing services, and debate measures to reduce noise impacts on our neighbourhoods.

Parks and Forestry is developing a new Facilities Master Plan that will look at where we need to improve service delivery for recreation programs.

Locally, we will need to get serious about road safety and look at new plans for road safety measures on Avenue Road, Glen Road, and Bloor Street.

In the days following the campaign I reached out to city staff, community associations. and my colleagues on council to begin the process of transitioning to the new ward boundaries. There are several critical issues that we will need to address right away, and there are some that deserve a longer, more robust dialogue with residents and businesses about how they can be involved in shaping their communities and city.

In the coming weeks I plan to facilitate a dialogue with residents about the type of city they want to live in, the services they need and expect the city to provide, and how we can collectively move forward in this new political reality.

For the past two council terms, I have prided myself on having an open door and, an attentive ear, and being generous (and honest) with advice about how to move issues forward at city hall. I look forward to continuing this practice on a larger scale in the coming years in Ward 11.

Mike Layton is the councillor for Ward 11, University-Rosedale.

 

READ MORE BY MIKE LAYTON:

FORUM: Celebrate citizen activists (July 2018)

FORUM: Provincial government is developer-friendly (Spring 2018)

FORUM: Establishing a new Indigenous Affairs Office (Nov. 2017)

FORUM: Building a better Bickford Park (Oct. 2017)

FORUM: Recognize and reconcile Canada at 150 (July 2017)

FORUM: San Francisco a model to follow (April 2017)

FORUM: Tolls, taxes, and Toronto (February 2017)

FORUM: Seeing our neighbourhood through new eyes (December 2016)

FORUM: We can do better: Dangerous summer for Toronto pedestrians and cyclists (October 2016)

FORUM: Curious story of Christie Pits pool liner ends in extended hours at Alex Duff (August 2016)

FORUM: A tribute to a friend (June 2016)

FORUM: Large problem, small solution (March 2016)

FORUM: Happy New Year from a new Dad with a new perspective (January 2016)

Tags: Annex · Opinion