Yonge Street's small businesses are a vital part of Toronto's commercial mix. These shops and services are often run by locals, many of whom have owned their properties for generations. With a massive tax assessment increase in 2017, many of the businesses and owners faced having to close up shop or sell their properties to the highest bidder.
Supervised Injection Services (SIS) are a critical piece in both saving lives and reducing the city-wide impacts of the opioid crisis that is gripping cities across North America, including Toronto. Without SIS, vulnerable users will turn to injecting alone in secluded areas. That risks adding to the thousands of people who have lost their lives to preventable overdoses in Ontario.
I stand with Toronto's diverse communities in rejecting hate and division. News of an anti-Islamic event being planned for Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, August 11 is a disappointing reminder that, as far as we have come as a society, many still cling to violent prejudice. We must continue to come together in the spirit of cooperation and pluralism to show strength and solidarity with those being targeted.
Yesterday’s announcement that the Ford government will be unilaterally cutting Toronto’s City Council in half is deeply unsettling. It’s been under two months since the provincial election and already Ford is abusing his powers against Toronto’s democratic structure. It was not part of his campaign platform when he ran to be Premier and I have no doubt that this is only the beginning of his work to reshape Ontario in his own image.
Last night, our city was shaken to its core by a cowardly and unspeakable act of violence. My thoughts are with the families of those who are experiencing unimaginable loss, and to those who are in the hospital as a result. I wish them a swift and full recovery. My heartfelt gratitude is with the first responders and their life-saving efforts – Toronto police officers, firefighters and paramedics who rushed as quickly as possible to the scene following this horrific incident. To the medical staff in emergency rooms across Toronto, we too are indebted to your service.
Today’s news that the Toronto Police Service has withdrawn its application to march in Pride is a welcome development. The Police relationship with the LGBTQ2S community has been strained over the last two years – most recently around the investigation of missing and murdered men in the Village and the deaths of Alloura Wells and Tess Richey. Chief Saunders has acknowledged the need to overcome the challenges before us and the decision not to march in 2018 is the best evidence I have seen to date that the force is committed to truly prioritizing that work.
Today, the Mayor announced a new policy that will force all non-emergency utility work south of Dundas Street in the downtown to take place overnight. This decision was made without any consultation with local residents or Councillors – myself included. Our vibrant downtown neighbourhoods are home to many and we must work to make them more liveable, not less. There are over 240,000 residents who currently live in downtown Toronto and that number is expected to reach 500,000 in the next 25 years.
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.
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.