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East York people, places, events & insights

East York Advocate 035: Decisions made at City Hall and by the Province aren’t truly local!

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017

New provincial appeals board’s adherence to Smart Growth Act will undermine local EY neighbours’ wishes and concerns Have you ever heard someone complain about the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)? Well, as of last May, appeals from decisions of Committee of Adjustments in Toronto are now heard by Toronto’s own Local Appeal Board (LAO) rather than the OMB.  We can only wait to see if this new board will be more sympathetic to neighbours’ concerns. However, appeals from all other planning decisions continue to be heard by the OMB.  But, according to Premier Kathleen Wynne, that will soon be over.  “Planning decisions have to be made locally,” she says. To accomplish that the Ontario government plans to replace the OMB with what it calls the Local Planning Appeal Board (LPAT).  The LPAT, the Province says, will provide a faster, fairer,...

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EY ADVOCATE 034: Will it ever end?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2017

Endless appeals allowed under Planning Act put EY family on bureaucratic merry-go-round Have you ever received a NOTICE from city council’s Committee of Adjustment informing you that your next door neighbour wants to build an addition on his house and needs a “minor variance” from the zoning by-laws in order to do so? In 2015 a Queensdale Avenue family got one of those notices and immediately realized that the “minor variance” requested by their next door neighbour would have a drastic impact on their own property.  Fortunately for the family, when they attended the Committee of Adjustment hearing their next door neighbour did not show up and, after hearing what the family had to say about the drastic impact the requested “minor variance” would have on their property, the committee rejected the proposal on the grounds that the requested...

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OPINION: Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do -by Justin Van Dette

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017

Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do In recent months, there’s been a lot of talk and debate about increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour and whether it’s too much to fast or the right thing to do. At a time when the cost of living, and everything around us, in increasing, I support raising the minimum wage. I first started following the issue last year as it became a hot topic during the Democratic primaries.  Senator Bernie Sanders made some very articulate arguments on the issue and attracted a ground swell of support from labour and the youth of America.  He openly pledged to make the national minimum wage $15 dollars because the current $7.25 (USD) was, as he described it, “starvation pay”. Transit fares, gas, hydro, home ownership and food prices are...

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SEEING GREEN 033: We all need to be proactive to reduce flooding

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017

With images of the Houston disaster in our minds we come face to face with how deadly and costly intense storms can be, particularly when little thought had been given beforehand to reducing the impact or updating failing infrastructure.  Paying for the after affects is much more costly in lives, clean up and restoration than if action had been taken ahead of the storm. Here in East York, our stormwater costs are included under the city’s water budget rather than the environment and energy budget.  This means that stormwater projects are given less priority that our drinking water and not addressed with the Environment and Energy division; they are frequently deferred and delayed with little attention. Because the city’s staff and councillors retroactively received thousands of complaints about basement flooding in 2013 the city has introduced a backwater valve...

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EAST YORK ADVOCATE 033: Woodbine Bridge is also a link to East York’s past and history

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017

There has been a drug store on the south east corner of Coxwell and Sammon Avenues since 1924. The day the store opened, its owner, the druggist Percy Bustin, was working in the back when he heard the front door open and slam shut.  Delighted to meet his first customer, Percy rushed to the front of the store only to find his visitor was not a paying customer but a stray horse, likely from Billy Mc Kay’s farm. Percy, later a township councillor, was a keen observer of everything that went on in East York from that day on.  He wrote down many of his observations, including about the opening of the Woodbine Bridge and O’Connor Drive. Here is what he had to say on that subject: “Until the year 1932, the most northerly crosstown street running from Pape...

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COMMENT: Guaranteed Annual Income —a good idea or not?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2017

\ By Pip Wild \ The idea of an annual guaranteed income (GIA) is not new.  Napoleon was an early supporter. Milton Friedman, a well known right wing American economist, proposed it in the 60s. More recently Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame supports the idea.  And Finland recently rolled out a GIA, the first European Country to do so. The Ontario Government plans to test the GIA over three years in three pilot communities: Hamilton and area, Thunder Bay and area, and Lindsay, Here’s what people are asking about the program and some explanatory replies. Q How is the GIA different from the money government gives people now, like welfare?   The income support programs we have now are based on certain conditions being met. The Ontario Disabilities Support Program (ODSP) provides payments to severely disabled people. Ontario Works...

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