Statement from Kristyn Wong-Tam on Bill S-238, Ban on Shark Fin Importation Act

January 30, 2018

Senator Fabian Manning, Chair
Senator Mark Gold, Deputy Chair
Senator Jim Munson, 3rd Member
Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans

Good day Senators and thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Committee on this important matter. My name is Kristyn Wong-Tam. I am a Toronto City Councillor and the Chair of the Toronto East York Community Council.

Prior to my election to Toronto City Council, I served six years as the past-President of the Toronto Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC). The CCNC is a national non-profit organization with 27 chapters across Canada and a community leader for Chinese Canadians in promoting a more just, respectful and inclusive society.

My Statement on Additional Charges Against Bruce McArthur

January 29, 2018

Today's news and the additional three murder charges against Bruce McArthur are shocking and disturbing. The connection of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick to this case will come as painful news to the friends and family of the missing who have been in the dark for some time. Even for the brief and limited occasions I had to meet a number of the missing, I have found recent revelations to be very difficult to process. Simply put, these situations have left me heartbroken.

My Statement on Additional Charges Against Bruce McArthur

January 29, 2018

Today's news and the additional three murder charges against Bruce McArthur are shocking and disturbing. The connection of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi and Dean Lisowick to this case will come as painful news to the friends and family of the missing who have been in the dark for some time. Even for the brief and limited occasions I had to meet a number of the missing, I have found recent revelations to be very difficult to process. Simply put, these situations have left me heartbroken.

Statement on Arrest of Bruce McArthur

January 18, 2018

Today's news of the arrest of Bruce McArthur, 66, is shocking and upsetting, but also a validation to many in the community. Recent missing persons cases have seen friends, families, and strangers organize search groups, convene meetings, and provide police with any evidence available. That effort and those leads helped Project Prism make today's arrest and charge McArthur with the murder of Andrew Kinsman and Selim Esen.

Open Letter to Address Toronto's Shelter Crisis

January 16, 2018

I have been working with Councillors Cressy and Fletcher on finding a way forward to address the Toronto shelter crisis. Today we are pleased to announce that the support of key supporters including Mayor Tory, we will be advancing critical measures needed to stem the growing shelter demand. 

At the January 17, 2018 meeting of the Community Development and Recreation Committee, I will table a motion that will ask City Council to introduce many immediate actions including the creation of 1000 plus new permanent shelter beds into the system by the end of 2018 and to extend the winter emergency measures beyond their original closing of April 15 until these beds are officially in operation.

The shelter crisis has shown City Council that it is imperative that we work together to ensure that our shelter system provides a safe, stable place that all residents can access when needed.

Statement on Ward Boundary Changes

December 15, 2017

Today, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued their decision regarding appeals of the city's Ward Boundary Review. The OMB has approved the new 47 ward boundary structure that City Council endorsed at its November 9, 2017 meeting. Should there be no further legal challenges by the end of the year, the new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2018 municipal election.

Statement on Missing Persons Cases and Recent Deaths

December 06, 2017

Recent missing persons cases and the deaths of Tess Richey and Alloura Wells have hit our community hard. The Church-Wellesley Village, a neighbourhood that has been a symbol of inclusion, safety, and compassion, is looking for answers and a way forward. Planning is already underway in my office to bring the community together with Toronto's Community Crisis Response team and we know there are major service gaps that must be closed. The Community Crisis Response Program works across Toronto to provide support and resources to communities impacted by violent and traumatic incidents.

Statement on Trans Memorial in Barbara Hall Park

November 09, 2017

Earlier today I was informed that the trans memorial in Barbara Hall Park had been painted over. In meeting with senior Parks staff this late afternoon, it was determined that a crew from outside the neighbourhood had come into the park to remove graffiti and made the error of painting over the trans memorial. This never should have happened, as we have worked with our local Parks maintenance staff to respect and preserve this space for the community. It is my hope that the City's new LGBTQ2S Advisory Committee will prioritize the consultation and creation of a new and permanent memorial in their initial work.

Statement on Dropping of Charges for Marie Curtis Operation

October 30, 2017

It comes as welcome news that charges have been dropped against the men targeted in the Marie Curtis Park undercover operation. It is clear that more should have been done to work with the LGBTQ2S community, including understanding the vulnerability of closeted men, in resolving issues in the park. I believe that a new level of awareness has been achieved within the Toronto Police Service and that more care will be taken in the future. In a time of constrained budgets and limited court and policing resources, it is critical that our officers are deployed to make the best use of their time in serving all communities.

Statement on Glen Road and Bin-Scarth Road Stop Signs

September 22, 2017

Speeding on Glen Road has been a problem for decades. Traffic studies done by the City of Toronto and the North Rosedale Residents Association (NRRA) show that of the 4,000 to 4,500 daily drivers on Glen Road, more than half travel above the 40 km/h speed limit, with approximately 15% travelling at or above 50 km/h. Residents rightly view speeding on Glen Road as a safety issue. Unfortunately, there has not been broad community agreement on how to address this problem.

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