General Government and Licensing Committee – September 4, 2019

Good morning, everybody.
I’m going to call the meeting to order. I want to welcome committee members, any members
of council in attendance today, members of the public and the media. You can follow the
agenda and debate on your computer or smart phone. The general government licensing committee
acknowledging that we’re meeting on the traditional territories of many nations including the
Mississauga of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat
peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also
acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississauga of the Credit are
there any deck a law rations of interest. Yes.
Number 13, I believe. I have to declare an interest on GL7.13 as
my sister owns property [inaudible]. Okay. Thank you. You filled out the form.
All right. I need a motion to confirm the minutes of
June 24th, 2019. Councillor Holyday, all in favour? Carried.
The green sheet in front of you has a list of speakers. Communications and reports are
— should be with your green sheet. We’ll just go through the agenda. Gl.7.1 there’s
a presentation and also a deputant for that one. GL7.2 the apportionment of property taxes
as of September 4th, 2019, that’s a schedule the 9:45 hearing so we’ll come back to that
one after we do the agenda. The same with number 3, the cancellation reduction
of refund of property taxes as of September 4th, 2019, that’s a public hearing scheduled
for 9:45. GL7.4, status of outgoing payment in lieu of tax amount for federal provincial
and municipal properties. There’s a present — it’s a hearing scheduled for 9:45. Does
anybody want to hold number 4? Recommendations to receive for information
all in favour? Carried. Number 5, largest property tax — as
of June 30th, 2019, anybody like to move receipt of that? Councillor Holyday is moving receipt.
All in favour? Carried. Number 6 is options to address outstanding property taxes on unauthorized
exemt entity, have a motion — we’ll come back to number 6.
I’m holding that. Number 7, 1 yorkgate boulevard, designation of portions of the property used
by the Toronto Public Library as a municipal capital facility.
Councillor Nunziata is moving recommendations. All in favour?
Carried. Number 81901 westin road — municipal capital facility. Councillor Nunziata’s moving
that. All in favour? Carried. Number 9 is 5140 Yonge Street designation
of a portion of the property used by the Toronto Transit Commission as a municipal capital
facility. Councillor Nunziata’s moving that. All in
favour? Carried. Number 10, write-off policy for fines under
the provincial offenses act deemed uncollectable. Number 11, expropriation of a portion of 3038
to 3040 Danforth avenue for laneway purposes. Councillor Matlow moving the recommendations.
All in favour? Carried. Number 12, expropriation of permanent
easements for the fairbank silverthorn storm trunk sewer system. Heard Councillor Holyday,
all in favour? Carried. Number 13, acquisition of surplus liquor control
board of Ontario property at 11 broke avenue for affordable housing, Councillor Matlow,
you declared a conflict of interest. Okay. Sorry, Councillor Matlow, come on back. Number
14 is the 2017-2018 annual human rights office report. And I believe there’s 2 speakers on
that. Number 15 is the update on the City of Toronto
municipal code, there’s speakers for that. And last item on the agenda today is number
16 Municipal Licensing and Standards enforcement strategies and service standards there is
a speaker on that. Okay. We will go back to the beginning. So
our — it is 7.2, 9:45 hearing. Councillor Holyday. Councillor Holyday’s moving the recommendations.
All in favour? Carried. Number 3 is cancellation reduction or refund of property taxes as of
September 4th, 2019, there is no speakers on this, does anybody have questions of staff?
Councillor Karygiannis. Undergo changes such as when it’s destroyed
by fire or demolished I’m just wondering if staff can identify or speak to should this
be an act of god, should this be undue circumstances that structure is taken down, would property
taxes until this thing is rebuilt be put on hold?
Through you, Mr. Chair, when a property with a structure on it becomes unusable by the
resident, there is a reduction that will be made to the taxes for that year. When the
property is returned to the beginning of the year, it’s fully taxable land and building
where a change occurs mid-year, these tax cancellation reports reflect that something
changed in the property mid-year, and there is credit given. So if the building is removed
or damaged by fire or otherwise unusable there’s a reduction in the property taxes that are
payable. So if this is a business, and the business
comes down because of wind, hurricane, like the people in the south are facing and until
that individual is given the opportunity to rebuild, do we forgive the taxes until this
happens? It’s not a forgiveness of taxes so much as
a reduction in taxes. As long as there is land there, the property still has value and
there is some portion of taxes that will be payable because the land is always there.
If the building is rendered unusable, even for a business, then there is a reduction
in the taxes that reflect the building is no longer able to be used. So it’s not a reduction
to 0, it’s a — it’s a reduction likely to land value.
So let’s say you got 3 acres and you’ve got a building that is used for sports and all
of a sudden there’s a windstorm, takes down the building, and if they were paying a hundred
dollars in taxes what would it be reduced to until they were able to rebuild.
Again, it would — if the structures or building or the use of the land was such that it could
no longer be used than the taxes would be reduced to the equivalent of the taxes that
existed simply on the land portion. We would rely on impact to tell us the portion of the
assessed value of the property that is attributable to land and then there’s a tax adjustment
to reflect that. So the figures actual come from impact in this case.
But impact also takes into consideration a building that’s on the property.
Correct, they value the building, they value the land.
And when the building is no longer there, or no longer used. then the taxes would be reduced to
the equivalent of the taxes that existed simply on the land portion we would rely
on impact to tell us the portion of the assessed value of the property that is
attributable to land and then there’s a tax adjustment to reflect that so the
figures actually come from impact in this case but impact also takes into
consideration the building that’s on the property correct they value the building
they value the land and when the building is no longer there are no
longer usable they tell us and we reduce the taxes accordingly
we’re impact driven in order for us to reduce the taxes on that property would
that be correct we yes all of our where there is an application for a reduction
of taxes we get that information from EMPAC and they they give us that
determination that we do the tax calculations based on their assessed
values so the property owner has to apply for relief correct and then a upon
application of relief until he puts up his building he has to go to impact and
and and and state that or would you we be able to take that into consideration
and just relief the taxes that that individual pays no in this case we
always go to impac and we confirm with impact what the value is that the
reduction in taxes is based on a reduction in assessed value when an
applicant makes that application or they it does it go back
date that the accident happened or is it henceforth from the day he applies can
people know it it is it is based on a per diem number of days in the year and
it would go back to the event so if the building was destroyed by fire it would
go back to that day just fire or could it be act of God could be act of God as
well so any any any act like any act that takes the business down until that
business is able to be reestablished then the individual it gets a break in
municipal tax correct they can apply for a reduction in taxes for that year yes
thank you appreciate it Thank You councillor Kerr Gianna’s
counsel Annunziata you have questions the staff only have a question because
the question was asked as far as fire so would it if the school was destroyed in
a fire what category would they be under through you mr. chair if it’s a school
the property is likely exempt from taxes they wouldn’t be paying taxes on the
schools if it was destroyed right right okay okay
Thank You Council Annunziata other questions of staff speakers on this item
comes her care Janice did you want to speak to it
no okay would you like to move the recommendations somebody councillor
Malvo thank you all in favor of the recommendations for number oh sorry
I have an amendment my apologies thank you
the recommendation number one be replaced with the following the general
government licensing committee approve the individual tax appeal applications
may pursuant to section 323 of the City of Toronto act 2006 resulting in tax
reductions excluding phased in and capping amounts outlined in the detailed
hearing report marked as Appendix A excluding the following applications
Ward number 17 appeal number two zero one nine zero two four two sixty seven
citation Drive Ward 11 to zero one nine zero two four five known as 251 College
Street Ward 11 appeal number two zero one nine zero two four seven known as
481 University Avenue and ward 11 appeal number two
zero one nine zero two four zero known as 720 Spadina haven’t you any questions
of the mover please say no all in favor carried and item has adopted as amended
on favor carried okay we are going back
to our first item which is the Toronto parking authority overview and we have a
presentation warning whenever you’re ready Good morning. Thank you very much for inviting
us. With me today is our vp of parking strategy. I’m robin, the CFO and acting president of
Toronto Parking Authority. With us today is [indiscernible] our vp of operations. And
our vp hr and transformation. Together the leadership delivers the bike share program
and municipal parking services for the City of Toronto. Our bike share program now has
5,000 bicycles. Spanning 55 neighbourhoods over a hundred
square kilometres an now over 40 million kilometres traveled. Our parking operations cover almost
60,000 135isz. We manage 307 off street facilities and process over 35 million transactions.
Where available our app is chosen by our customers more than half the time. Where are we here?
TPA is a key component. Come law meanting and aligning with city transportation policy
to help achieve city-wide initiatives. We aim to provide customers with safe, attractive
self sustaining public parking and bike share services. And in doing so we support the vibrancy
of businesses and
the livability of communities through rate-setting which encourages high
parking turnover our strategic focus our key message today is our story about
transformation and modernization with the creation of the citywide real estate
strategy TPA strategic focus has moved away from real estate towards retail
centering on customer service in order to meet our mandate we must focus on our
customer service delivery and ensure that we meet and exceed our customer
expectations accordingly we rank and assess our initiatives for the benefits
to our customers and the stakeholders and for the value and alignment to the
city’s transportation strategy as a whole our focus is to modernize and
standardize our operations to provide a consistent customer service model expand
retail payment options for convenience and continue our corporate governance
modernization we have a number of initiatives on the go some are multi
years some completed this year. firstly I would like to highlight our culture
and transformation program. Our program has been developed and we’re launching a number
of different initiatives including improving our internal communications, expanding communication
channels, developing informal, employee discussion groups and providing learning opportunities
for employees including project management and leadership training. Our programs that
we have contract management, we have developed a comprehensive management contract management
guide for employees which clues roles and responsibilities, standard operating procedures
as well as documentation and we will now be implementing the training program for that.
We have been working closely with the city’s corporate security services to develop a service
level agreement for the security program leveraging the best practices that the city can provide
for operations and security infrastructure systems.
We have completed our bike share expansion. 1250 bicycles, 105 new stations and almost
2,300 new docks. We have also been reviewing our parking rate, parking rates to ensure
alignment, we do this annually to ensure that we are in agreement with city policy and TPA
policy. In addition, we’re reviewing our operations modernizing with a customer service focus.
We have been removing the customer, the classic customer service booth or cashier booths moving
towards customer service focused, expanding our retail payment options and reviewing our
standard operating procedures. So that wherever anybody goes they will experience
the same — the same standard that service despite the location. We’ve been refreshing
our onboarding and training programs and currently we have over-3000 machines on street for parking.
We would like to — now with the success of the mobile app we find that we don’t need
as many. We can start to remove old metres, initiate
some mobile only zones as a pilot and we do search new paid parking opportunities. Key
for bike share is maintaining effective and efficient operating system and ensuring that
it is low cost as possible. We are developing an RFP right now and we’ll be launching that
shortly which will have some improved kpis for improved contract performance management.
In addition, we’re currently in discussions with potential partners for advertising and
sponsorship. Should those discussions not come to fruition
we will be rfping those opportunities to ensure that we receive value for the city. Sap, we
have a fantastic opportunity leverage the city’s master service agreement with sap.
TPA will be implementing a non-customized cloud based system in early 2020 as a result.
And this will provide us improved automated governance processes, address outstanding
auditor general system recommendations and also help us support open data.
Currently our older system aggregate and doesn’t support requirements of open data including
detailed transaction and location mapping capabilities. Key operational improvements
from sap will also don’t with the automate asset and work management capabilities. In
addition, we are reviewing our and updating our pci standards this October for pci and
moving to — payments in 2022. Our app is now ready for an update, version 2 of the
app will provide a platform to expand payment options, improve our customer experience,
add geo location and a platform to integrate with other apps such as Toronto bike shares
cycle finder. Currently we manually issue parking enforcement tickets in our off street
facilities. We have aligned our policy to remove courtesy charges so that we can now
implement an automate enforcement software to improve the efficiency there and in addition
to that, we are working with the city to review the fine levels to ensure there’s alignment
with the parking rates in addition to the consistency of the fines. Meet and shop operation
we’re currently reviewing our maintenance operations to organize the how, what where
and when work is performed, developing standard levels to ensure customer experience. As noted
in gated facilities we’re updating or replacing older software. In addition, with this, with
the update of the mobile app we will be able to start to look at how we can integrate the
mobile app experience in our gated facilities in the coming years.
We’ll also be assessing play by play technology, trends moving sessions into the cloud and
how we can leverage those opportunities. And of course we’ll continue our ongoing alignment
with the city real estate review. Okay. Ongoing governance as directed by City Council we’re
working closely with city staff to develop new governance processes and procedures for
our board and we will continue to adapt to the evoling trends in mobility.
For our first half of the year our ridership in bike share despite the rain has been quite
strong. Currently year-to-date we’re up 16% both our membership and our revenue has increased
38% over the previous year. We’re looking at about another million dollars
in revenue in ridership year other year for bike share which is fantastic.
Our parking highlights our transaction volume is down roughly 1 and 5% respectfully in on
and off streets. In off street we have had some disruption with construction.
The I guess closure of certain parking spaces for the roll out of some respite centers in
certain downtown core areas. And we did have a delay in the closure of
Queen Street parking garage. We anticipated that being opened earlier this year but we
have not yet taken it over. For some reason the last slide is missing our revenue space.
Unfortunately for onstreet and off street we have a growing trend of increasing our
revenue per space this is a key metric for us and continue to focus on doing so. To date,
we have generated over a billion dollars in operational dividends back to the city through
or operation and on average currently for every dollar of revenue we certain $0.50 back
to the city. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today.
Thank you for the presentation. Any questions of the deputant? Councillor Matlow.
Good morning. Good morning. .
You mentioned you intended mobile only pilot on some streets to increase the actually number
of metres that you’ve got. And what would your answer be to somebody who would express
concerns regarding those with mobility challenges or, you know, members of our society who are
not as acquainted with digital devices as others and, you know, still would far prefer
to rely on something that they’ve known for many years and perhaps have not learned how
to use smart phones as well as others, do you still intend to have a metre somewhere
in the vicinity for them to use, or do you intend to have a higher block with that one?
Through the chair, you know, I think with technology accessibility is increasing through
mobile. Rather than in the past historically individuals at a machine which might be in
subject to whether or not they might not be able to read the screen and so on, people
with those challenges are actually finding that the app is an easier use than the equipment
itself on street. Well, there are some, you know, I can probably
think of some members of my family who are still confused by these things. And there
will continue to be. And I just wonder while I think we all recognize probably data — I’m
sure data supports and we know that the best preponderance of people in our society, in
our community know how to use them, use them every day, probably even too much, there are
members of our society who don’t. And what’s the plan to address their needs?
So we’re taking a very cautious approach with this program. And in fact at this point in
time we do not have any mobile-only zones. We’ll be implementing our first one soon and
making sure at this point in time that there’s machine options nearby. So there are paid
physical devices nearby. And as I say it’s an initial roll out. We’ll
be monitoring it closely and we share all your concerns.
That will be something considered in the pilot. Yes, of course, yes. We share your concerns.
I mean, it’s been a difficult transition for us in the organization wrestling with this
idea and we certainly don’t want to inconvenience our customers so we’ll be very cautious with
this roll out. I appreciate that.
Thank you. And the other question I have is with respect
to the bike share docks, most of us are delighted that there are more docks being rolled out
throughout the city. Perhaps not all of us, but most of us.
And some of us like the chair are probably just dreaming to have some. But regardless
of that debate I think it’s wonderful. The — there were some stumbles in my ward for
example, there were I think some reasonable complaints where the docks had been put in
just inconsiderate locations sometimes directly in front of the door of a building like just
really weird places that just didn’t seem to be recognized and even just preferred paths
or how people use the sidewalk. And I ask has that been something that you have been
thinking through or considering how to roll it out in a way that that reflects perhaps
the best use of the public realm and doesn’t inconvenience people to perhaps bring down
the number of complaints that you receive. Through the chair, we carefully look at the
locations for all of the docking stations. If there is some that are not properly located,
then a specific example we can have staff look at it.
Is that — do you. Curbside is a very scarce resource.
Do you recognize that it is a problem or do you just see it as people complaining.
Oh, no, it’s something we want to be — we want to ensure that we’re locating in a convenient
location for everyone. We don’t want to be having anyone trip or stations or anything.
There are a couple of just weird ones that didn’t seem to be considerate to the space
that people use. I’ll follow-up if need be. Thank you.
Thanks, Councillor. Councillor Filion.
A question I used to ask when I was on the parking authority to what extent, and I imagine
the answer has changed since then, to what extent in the strategic planning are you incorporating
the likelihood of autonomous vehicles in the reasonably near future?
Well, that’s a good question. There’s a lot of unknowns obviously with respect to when
autonomous vehicle technology will actually arrive.
If you’re aware there’s what they call 6 levels. And really not until we get to level 5 that
we really expect it to impact our program, but we’re working closely with the city’s
autonomous vehicle task force and monitoring trends. And we are starting to consider incorporating
conversion designs into our facilities as we build them. We’re working with the city
of Calgary, yes, we’re still in the initial stages of dealing with that. And I think,
as I say, there’s so much uncertainty in the program right now it’s really difficult to
plan and resource for that type of situation. So for example, something that used to concern
me, and I don’t know whether it’s still cause for certain or not, that we would be taking
on new facilities at a high cost with a pay back that would require you know, many years
assuming somewhat current uses. So if we’re looking at creating a new facility for example,
that would require you know, operation of 20 years assuming current situations, are
we — are we adjusting our expectations based on the likelihood of autonomous vehicles being
a fairly large share of what’s out there in 5, 10, 15 years?
We have not taken that into consideration in any of our current projects. We’re not
— we haven’t committed to any new projects in the last couple of years since the real
estate model came into effect. So it’s definitely an issue. As I say, it’s very difficult issue
to deal with because of the unknowns in the environment, so.
Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Filion. Councillor Holyday,
questions. Thank you, chair. Good morning. Early in the
presentation I made a note you talked about transforming from a — an organization that
dealt with a lot of real estate to and an organization that is now more retail focused.
I always understood some of the fundamental ways that you earn profit as an organization,
a dividend was through the real estate transactions. I wonder if you could describe what — how
the strategic process is unfolding at the TPA, and how Councillors can begin to understand
where we’re headed with the revenue stream. Will it trend up, trend down as your business
transforms? What do we need to start thinking about in terms of that dividend and how we
rely on it. Through the chair, I believe there’s still
opportunities for real estate through the city-wide initiatives. I don’t think that
potential stream will go away. I think that’s a key component to the whole strategic piece
on how the city manages its real estate and allocates resources. In terms of operations,
our focus is to drive customers to our facilities and maximize the value that we can bring to
the city in that regard. So I see as focusing on a retail operations being disciplined in
our execution, ensuring our facilities are clean, inviting, safe and secure, and in doing
so an area of growth for us, I believe, is through our management services. Currently
we don’t support all city agencies, and I think that with our change in strategic focus
we can, I think, provide far better down the road far better services and solutions for
our city agencies that would help bring better value to the city.
Now, are you growing in the number of spots, or are you flatlined or declining total?
Currently we’re flattened. Okay. I guess the point I wanted to make was
in the face of some of the demands that council’s putting on, so we’re not giving you more surveys,
more land, more opportunities — bike share on you which we know from our last budget
discussion is a net loss. And so either you’re going to have to make up the money to keep
it running or council’s going to have to supplement money, do you see yourselves operating in
the black in the future, right, in the positive despite all of this pressure that we put on
you to do these various things? Do you think you can through the retail operations cover
those costs or do we have to think about other fundamental strategic activities to make sure
that you’re operate net positive? Through the chair, I believe we can. I think
through smart use of technology, the right structure we can encourage high turnover and
maximize revenue and growth through our dividend through you know, efficient operations.
Okay. The province has announced an e scooter pilot where they’re going to permit these
electronic scooters on the road, and that means that the companies that have been interested
in this, you know, potentially can have the chance to create retail operations or different
models. Are we going to get too that game or — and do you see that as a threat to the
bike share program where people will ought to go to one of these electronic scooters
and we’re going to be standing to maybe lose ridership to these types of things or are
we going to enter that space? Through the chair, there’s certainly a lot
of technological disruption and new entrance and over the past several years in the ride
share industry we have seen a lot of competition, a lot of investment in capital, but unfortunately
no operating returns. At this point in time until a sustainable operational model is obtained
I’m not concerned about the threats. Okay.
To keep our eye on them, but at this point in time they’re not generating profit.
Okay. And the last question just around the bikes and the hardware, you know, council’s
no stranger to other companies that have come around to say you know we’ve got bike share
ideas, we’ve got bike share systems and programs, and they use very, very different hardware
and I would just characterize the green p hardware is very heavy duty docks, specialized
types of bikes versus things that are different models. Do you see yourself continuing in
the existing system, or do you see yourself changing the technology over time into something
a little different because of the very, very high cost of capital investment in sustaining
the bike share program with existing equipment. Through the chair, because of the high cost
of entry, I don’t see it as a short-term issue. But in the long-term certainly we would be
assessing business cases. And as we — there’s more certainty around trends and technology
we would certainly be opening to reviewing to see you know from a discipline business
case perspective how is it that we can deliver a better solution more efficiently.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Holyday. Councillor
Nunziata, you have questions. So in certain parts of the city where there
is the expansion of transit along the Eglinton line and the up express going north and south
there is proposals to have stops at these intersections. There’s lack of parking. So
are we going to in some of these areas look at a purchasing property or maybe partnership
with some of the developers coming in to redevelop these areas for additional parking? I’m talking
Mount Dennis I’m thinking you know that area, we have the go and up and then the Eglinton
line all in one area. We’ve been pretty aggressive about acquiring
property and property opportunities along the cross town right-of-way. We have a number
of properties we have acquired, and we’re in discussions with some private sector partners
with respect to redeveloping some of our existing property to say address that. There’s so some
uncertainty as to when the parking demands’ actually going to arise as a result of the
Eglinton cross town. That’s been our most active corridor we’re working with, you know,
specifically I think the Mount Dennis location is what you’re referring to.
Yeah. So had some discussions with the private sector
partner right now the business case from the parking authority’s point of view were not
able to make it at this point but working closely with CreateTO and private sector developer.
We’ve had to work those issues out. As I say, we’ve been very active along Eglinton corridor
specifically. So you’re just waiting for the line to open
because right now there’s a lot of vacancies. Yes.
Might be an opportunity to purchase. Yes, and we have — as I said we’ve done a
lot of acquisitions along that corridor over the last 5 years or so, 5 or 6 properties
we’ve purchased and their various stages of development and redevelopment.
So certainly actively working on that. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor, Nunziata. Councillor Karygiannis, no questions.
No. Okay. All right. I’ve got a few. I want to
start with open data. So I’m just trying to understand where the Toronto Parking Authority
is with open data. So we put 8 sets up as of 2017, you haven’t put anything up since
I see a lot of information on twitter about ridership or celebrating the number of riders
you have on a given day but nothing about ridership around your bike stations and open
data sets trying to understand where you are and what the holdup is.
Over the past couple of years we have been going through reviewing our systems looking
for a new solution. And the culmination of all of that work is the decision to leverage
the city’s sap master services agreement. Our existing system is over 30 years old.
It was implemented in the mid-’80s and paper based and designed really without any kind
of concept of open data in mind. So largely our systems just cannot accommodate the open
data sets that are required for today. The data right now is aggregated and captured
and reconciled in a matter which doesn’t allow us to translate it and publish it without
being aggregated, so our objective as part of the sap project is to capture the full
details of the transaction and be able to leverage the sap as parking lot of our — to
publish the data in a more real time basis. Okay. So I guess — so I guess the difficulty
I’m having, robin, is that so there’s an inquiry before City Council in 2017, at that time
I was told the Toronto Parking Authority was going to be issuing ridership within a year.
So when was this decision made that you’re going to be using the issues around sap and
releasing ridership data, when was that determined. Apologies, I believe our bike share it’s operated
through pdsc software. We’re able to publish that. It’s our parking activity today that
we’re not able to publish. So when do you think you’re going to be putting
up the appropriate data sets? Our current plan is to launch sap in February
or March of 2020. And at that time it would be part of the capabilities when — okay and
you can’t put up — so a term that’s so often used in the open data community around scraping
where you put up data in a hard copy pdf and they’ll take that data and deal with it, that’s
not doable either. No, because the data is aggregated. It wouldn’t
have to hard copy it, but we could publish aggregated data if that was the wish.
Okay. I’m just trying to understand what the holdup is.
It’s been a long — since the first requests have been put up in the open data portal to
have 7 data sets — sorry, 8. And there’s still 8 there almost 3 years later. To me,
it’s quite surprising and I know to a lot of people very frustrating.
The other thing I wanted to ask around was I had a motion put before the public works
committee in 2017, about a pilot bike share program in eastern Scarborough. The Toronto
Parking Authority was supposed to report back in the spring of 2019. And I haven’t seen
that report. So I’m trying to understand how you determine where you put your bike share
to stations because there’s only one in all of eastern Scarborough east of Victoria Park.
So I look at all the different. I. Is I have, community housing putting in bike repair stations,
putting in bike lanes and bike tracks as they call them, University of Toronto Scarborough
has a bike repair hub, there’s a lot of interest at the time I went to Metrolinx they said
if we wanted to put them in the go train stations they’re fully acceptable of that, TCHC, University
of Toronto as I mentioned, but I haven’t seen anything since then from the Toronto Parking
Authority. I’m trying to understand why east of Victoria Park there’s one bike share station.
Apologies I’m not familiar with the 2019 bike share spring report request. I will follow-up.
Okay. All right. And then I wanted to ask I was in the garage at queen and SoHo on the
weekends, so it’s got a Toronto Parking Authority sign on the building but Toronto Parking Authority
is not running it. So that’s been a complicated real estate deal.
And we’ve had problems closing it but we expect to be closed in about 2 weeks and it will
be property of the parking authority at that time. But we’ve worked — there was some complications
in the way they agreement and purchase and sale was originally developed which we’ve
been working closely with CreateTO and city legal to resolve those issues and we think
we’re there now and we’ll be assuming operation putting our equipment in probably about 2
weeks. Okay. So who built that garage?
Well, the developer, the owner of the property built the garage to our specifications.
We’ve gone through our site review, we’ve accepted all of the garage as being built
to our standards and it’s just been a legal issue with respect to an option on the property
that has been holding up the transfer. Okay.
I think we’re very close to having that resolved I think in the next 2 weeks it will be and
it will be a parking authority property at that point.
Okay. And sorry, that lot goes down 2 levels. Yep.
And up 3. No, there’s no above grade — the building
is 3, but yes okay. Mountain equipment moved.
All right. So that’s who the owner of the building is.
I’m curious why queen and SoHo did the authority did not look at any affordable housing going
down. I’ll say no. I mean I inherited the project.
I didn’t start the project but certainly that wasn’t an issue that was top of the map at
the time. It now is obviously. City’s focus has become very closely aligned on affordable
housing, so, no, it wouldn’t have been at that time.
Okay. [Multiple Speakers].
Surprised to — excuse me. In that area without any housing on top of
it when we have a high demand for affordable housing in Toronto.
So the little bit west of there at queen and Portland, it’s another — so that was not
a parking authority site. That was a partnership we had so we didn’t really control the land.
There is a property at dennisson street which is now under examination and will include
affordable housing. It’s a parking authority parking lot it’s being reviewed by CreateTO
right now and the idea is to include some affordable housing on that.
Okay. On the focus of all of our developments going
forward. Okay. Thank you. And sorry, robin, my staff
will follow-up with you on the open data issues or concerns I have.
Yes. Okay. Thank you very much.
Thank you. No more questions. Thank you very much for
coming in this morning and all the work you’re doing at the TPA. Okay. We have — we have
one deputant on this item Mark Richardson with housing now to. Good morning, Mr. Richardson
you have 5 minutes whenever you’re ready. All right, Councillors, welcome back after
your summer break. I’m Mark Richardson from housing now to. Diane — is also here with
me formally of united way and wood green. As some of you probably know, we’ve been fairly
active on the housing now project since December last year scraping data. I want to apologize
in advance to the 2 TPA staff that were just up here we’re about to light you guys up it’s
not you it’s the people that were in the jobs before you. So housing now is where we’ve
been scraping the data out of the various sites around the city. Since January of this
year our map has had over 22,000 visitors to the site. Our mandate is to be public open,
clear transparent detract against your targets. You’ve described your positive as creating
mixed income communities on public land. We’re particularly focused in this year on
the Wilson site, the warden site and the vic park site which are all currently surface
parking lots. That purple box on there, Mr. Matlow might be interested in that is the
catch the area around the Eglinton cross town, Councillor Nunziata might be interested in
it as well. Earlier this year we found an incredibly stupid parking lot. TPA was about
to tear down houses and apartments above retail to build a surface parking lot within 300
metres of the new Caledonia station which is a connection between the Eglinton cross
town and — station. Thankfully our stations were able to get the mayor to write a letter
and I think this is the most important part of that letter, our priority should be building
more of that housing close to transit. So we shouldn’t be tearing down housing for TPA’s
surface parking lots. You’d think it would be a one-off, but it wasn’t. The Toronto star
found that — road was also a location where you’d bought a house you were going to tear
down for a surface parking lot. You bought land away from a developer at Danforth
and Broadview for $3.25 million to create a surface parking lot next to broad use station.
There’s another one close by Broadview. Stop wasting millions on new parking lots on developed
land. You were talking about queen here’s the item from the next door you paid $9 million
there for 125 parking spaces which means that you were paying $72,000 per parking spot.
You can get an affordable housing unit for about $250,000.
So for 4 or 5 parking spots you could have created a new affordable housing unit on that
site if you’d also relaxed the zoning requirement to say allow it to be taller for that location.
This is what that parking lot looks like now. We understand from staff that there’s some
confusion about ownership, but this is that parking lot at 4:45 on a Friday afternoon
and it wasn’t the long weekend. This was taken weeks ago. There’s nobody in it. And you spent
$9 million on it. Toronto Parking Authority was mentioned in
a report by the board of trade a few years ago.
I know Councillor Holyday is always concerned about the finances of this. Surface parking
is a giant sinkhole in the city, discounted surface parking is an even bigger sinkhole.
Turn that into valuable land you cans you get the trance transfer tax, revenue it’s
a much higher and better use of the land. So stop wasting millions on new TPA surface
parking lots and if you’re building underground parking require them to have an affordable
housing mandate to go above it. Open data, all of your parking lot transactions should
be open data. We heard the staff mention that they’re waiting for a new system before — and
there were concerns about bike share information as well not being able to produce that open
data. San Diego for example is able to produce that
open data as the Councillor mentioned we were promised this open data in January 2, ’01,
with a follow-up in March 2018. It’s now September 2019. City bike for example in New York City
releases their data every month. Your green p folks have not released any data,
your bike share people have released data but release it over a year later. And they’re
somehow able to produce their stats for promotional purposes the next day they can tell you the
busiest day bike share was but won’t release the data for the civic tech community to engage
with. So here’s our offer to them around the open data, we want to just produce this information
as this flat report, flat paper pdf report every month and as much history as you can
give us and we’ll scrape the data out of it. The parking district, the location, months,
the capacity, the gross revenue. We’ve got 15 seconds so here are our requests
for you, place a moratorium on demolishing housing for Toronto Parking Authority surface
lots, review every land acquisition made by Toronto Parking Authority since 2010 that
were designed to provision surface parking lots mandate an affordable housing component
to all developments release meaningful open data and somebody give Donald — at ucla a
call. That’s our time. Thank you. Thank you, Mark.
Questions — sorry. Councillor Holyday. Hello. Both you. Thank you and good morning.
I’m intrigued a little bit about some of the discussion around the finances of the lots
as you alluded to in your presentation, but from a poll perspective, do you have any concerns
if the city or parking authority develops housing above a lot, and still preserves the
parking? I know we’ve had these discussions at council.
We were talking particular bell that Wilson site for housing now. Losing 885 parking spots.
Right. You charge $5 a day for them now and they’re
free on weekends, it’s $0.24 an hour. I got it.
So I think the — if you’re going to build those lots we have no problem with you building
lots underneath. Right, that’s what I was getting at.
But you have to, have to, have to charge them at a cost recovery or better basis. Right
now green p’s mandate is to charge 20 to 25% less than a neighboring parking lot. We shouldn’t
be in the parking subsidy business if we have a housing crisis.
Do you think you could have both? That you could have a lot in the civic purpose of the
lot isn’t necessarily to make money but to create parking opportunities at the subway
station so that people would drive there and use the subway as opposed to driving all the
way. So here’s the deal I’d offer: It’s $15 a day
if you arrive at the parking lot in the car by yourself, $10 if there’s 2 of you in the
car, it’s $5 if there’s 3 or more of you in the car but we do not incentivize solo drivers.
I encourage you at Wilson for example to have somebody stand there with a camera and see
how many individuals are serviced by those 885 spaces.
All interesting propositions. 50i8 just trying to understand the policy vectors that you’re
taking and I know that you’ve got a desire to create housing and so on. I just want to
understand if there’s another layer that discusses parking cars, transit traffic, or are you
agnostic about it, as the housing is going up what we do under the housing is the city’s
business and the financing of it is ours. The city has a fine item budget, you have
a fine item amount of subsidy dollars what are you going to choose to subsidize? Are
you going to choose to subsidize people who choose to drive a vehicle by themselves and
park close to transit, or park downtown under the mountain equipment co-op on queen.
Okay. Fair enough. Thank you. Councillor Filion, questions.
Yeah, just interested in your thoughts on something. So a part from the real estate
transactions themselves, which I would travel a fair distance to — and thank you for your
work on that. You know, but apart from that, the — I mean
some of the affordable housing sites that we now have wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t gone
out and acquired lots — properties for parking lots. So my question is: Is that not a legitimate
way of strategically acquiring property which can bring in some revenue while waiting for
an opportunity to present itself. And I think we would fully agree that it is
legitimate that’s why in our list of suggestions we do not say place a moratorium on land acquisitions,
we say place a moratorium on demolishing existing housing once you’ve made those land acquisitions
and to review the land acquisitions. We understand there is a capital budget at
TPA that you can use, you should be putting it to highest and best use. If you’re going
to use it to acquire land for a future parking lot that’s fine. You can make some revenue
renting out the units as apartments, renting out the retail spaces, those Caledonia spaces
have been empty for 3 years. You missed revenue opportunities there. So we want you to be
able to acquire land possibly through the TPA, but we want to change the mandate of
the TPA so that it’s prime — its primary directive is closer to what the mayor is saying
is a primary directive of the city which is creating housing, creating affordable housing,
we have a housing crisis despite what some Councillors say we don’t have a parking crisis.
If we had a parking crisis, we wouldn’t be discounting parking.
Thank you. Other questions of the deputant? Councillor
Karygiannis. Thank you, chair. To the deputant I want to
thank you for coming and certainly bringing some great points. We in the City of Toronto
are not the only people that are using parking spaces in order to — for people to park and
move across the city. Pet row links is certainly something that they also are utilizing a lot-parking
spaces especially in the suburbs. Have you taken the same case to Metrolinx and asked
them to look at a lot of their parking lots? Metrolinx has a department starting to looking
at that. You guys are bad Metrolinx is a gong show.
The way they do the development around it. My question was: Very taken this to the gong
show. We haven’t because they just had a recent
change in staffing over there, but that’s one of our stops we’ll be making along this
fall. When you say recent change of staffing, what
exactly do you mean. The folks who were in charge of their affordable
housing component have only really come in in the last 12 months since the change of
the provincial government. There was nobody at Metrolinx before and had any kind of housing
mandate. Did you advocate for them to have something
like this? We’ve only dpiftd since January of this year.
Okay. Appreciate it. Okay.
Can you tell me if I may, just a few more questions what action are you taking with
Metrolinx. Similar idea, find the best land uses around
their — their sites in the city. They don’t have as many. There’s a really good report
that just came out this week from a group called smart density that is looking at all
the go and rer stations that have been announced. They’re not there yet but certainly places
like Danforth, Danforth and main there’s a go rer station, 15 minutes service in Councillor
Ainslie’s ward there’s a guildwood station you guys have a property at 80 dale which
is an affordable housing open doors project we’ll be talking about that to try and make
sure that you’re actually putting affordable housing near those Metrolinx go station rer
sites as well. Thank you.
Okay. Thank you. Sorry, Mr. Richardson can you give
a quick when we talked about scraping you gave the one slide deck with the yellow columns.
Yeah. Can you give a quick explanation what is meant
by scraping and you gave the example of New York City and they release all of their data,
their ridership for bicycles for example. So why would you scrape that data, and what
do people use the information to do? I know we have the green p app that people compliment
me all the time that they’ve made it much easier parking.
Here’s a good example from our housing now project. The housing now map that we created
this January this year you guys announced the housing now project in December. Within
7 weeks we had gone back through off your staff reports, through your material around
CreateTO, we created this interactive map that people can use to actually go and visit
the sites virtually through a google map. We’ve had over 22,000 visitors since that
time. CreateTO only got their official version of the housing now map up by end of May this
year. So more than 6 months behind when you announced the housing now project. By opening
it up, you’re able to have more transparency, a better service delivery to the public on
the bike share side. You know, here’s a map from city bike that shows you the stations,
shows you how busy the stations are, people can model traffic to see where a bike lane
might need to go. If you can show that people are going from bike share a to bike share
b in the morning at a high volume then it helps you justify where your bike lanes need
to go without having to put bike readers out on the street or do street counts and stuff
like that. So this is not nuclear launch codes, right, these are parking lots and bike share
stations. The fact that we had to come down here and bang our heads against the wall for
five years now to get this basic data is mind boggling, but we come down and we do it because
that seems to be the only way things get done around here.
And how long has New York City been doing this?
Well, we could click on their bike share data and see. I think they go back to — so back
to 2013, and we can already see their last quarter data through to June. So every quarter
they’re releasing their update data of bike share. And it tells you exactly what’s in
there. The trip history start, stop, duration and option that people want to put in the
demographics of their membership. You can see what’s happening there. The city bike
share system is almost identical to your — there’s no reason this should have taken years.
You had decent bike share data in 2013, 2014. Then when — you changed contracts there’s
actually something on your open data site that says you know, data prior to this date
isn’t available any more because you don’t write open data in your rfps at the city.
If you don’t tell your vendors open data is mandatory in the contract boiler plates you
end up with the sort of doing’s breakfast of stuff that we have now.
All right. Thank you very much. I think those are all the questions. Thank you very much
for coming in this morning. Thank you.
Does anybody have any questions of city staff on this item? Okay. So move the recommendation,
Councillor Holyday. Just to receive the report is it not.
Just to receive the report. All in favour? Carried. Next item is number
6. I have a motion that Councillor Fletcher has asked me to move on her behalf she’s unavailable
to be here today. Motion’s on the screen. [Off Mic].
Sorry. [Off Mic].
Yes. All in favour? [Off Mic].
Sure. Something about a statute for Councillor Fletcher, but — [Off Mic].
We’re having trouble getting it to go to the bottom.
[Off Mic]. Yep. Do you want me to hold it down.
[Off Mic]. Okay. We’ll hold it down so you can see the
bottom part. Next is Councillor Filion, I think you held
this. [Off Mic].
Can let it go. Councillor Filion moving the — [Off Mic].
Sure, Councillor Filion has one question. Do you want to hear the deputant first?
Yeah. All right, Mr. Moran — sorry, you’re up.
I want to say by me speaking at this meeting consent expressed or — [indiscernible].
Let the record show I do not consent to the unconstitutional searches violating section
8 of the constitution act. — now, I don’t want you people feeling all that bad about
not being able to collect on these unpaid fines with the regards to the provincial offenses
act. Because as I’ve mentioned here before the
provincial offenses act is actually invalid and of no force or effect to begin with based
on section 6 of the legislation act of Ontario which reads enacting clause an act shall contain
at the beginning the following words to indicate the authority by which — by virtue of which
it is passed. [Reading] and afterwards the act is — there’s
a lot of talking going on here. So I’ll sit here and pretend I guess I’m talking to myself.
So, yeah the provincial offenses act doesn’t have that enacting clause. The highway traffic
act doesn’t have that enacting clause, the City of Toronto doesn’t have that enacting
clause, police services act doesn’t have that enacting clause. So put this into perspective
though the hezel — act does have that enacting clause. So that act out of all those acts
actually is valid. Another reason we shouldn’t feel so bad is
this is from r versus Vincent where it said the transactions of independent states between
each other are governed by the other laws than those which municipal courts administer.
Such courts have neither means of deciding what is right, nor the power of enforcing
any decision which they make. Wow. So that’s a pretty good reason why you guys probably
are having trouble on collecting these unpaid fines because as it says the municipal courts
have neither the means of deciding orders nor the power of enforcing any decision which
they make. As Councillor Nunziata knows from last time I spoke at Civic Appointments Committee,
1886 Supreme Court of Canada in the case of — varsity of Toronto decided that even a
member of a municipal council is a trustee. So I know that you good upstanding Toronto
City Council members will make sure in the future that not only are we not being charged
with laws that don’t actually apply to us but from an act that is actually invalid and
of no force or effect to begin with. So in this report it says City Council approved
a revise the write off policy for fines, speeds costs and independents opposed. Were any of
the following applifully e was the operating entity, convicted and that owes the unpaid
amounts has claimed bankruptcy. I actually have a solution for you people on how to collect
on these unpaid fines. It’s — can be found in section 43.2 of the Ontario financial administration
act. The title is collection of debt by set off.
If in the opinion of the Minister of Finance, a person is indebted to the crown in any specific
sum of money or received an overpayment of a success filed sum from the crown the Minister
of Finance may a, retain by way of deduction or set off of any money that is due and payable
by the crown and right of Canada to such person as the Minister of Finance sees fit in such
circumstances and b, pay such sum to public officer appropriate to receive it.
Here’s something that probably people haven’t come across in the bankruptcy and in solvency
act this is section 12.1, each of the provinces constitutes one bankruptcy district for the
purposes of this act but the governor and council may divide any bankruptcy district
into 2 or more bankruptcy divisions or number them. Come to think of it I do live in something
that’s calmed ward 8. So every province is a bankruptcy district, who knew? This is what
it says in Collins versus Mackenzie court of appeal [indiscernible] justice Davidson
recognized the fact that the right of set off had to exist at the time of bankruptcy.
So we have the right of set off, isn’t that nice? And this is from the Supreme Court of
Canada in 2015, 407 etr concession company versus just to show that there’s second line
refers to Canada and in brackets the superintendent of bankruptcy. So I just want to wish you
all a happy belated the July 1st superintendent of the bankruptcy day. So I don’t know if
I’m going to be able to fit this in in re central bank of Canada 1897 Supreme Court
of Canada said it appeared that by orders issued the balance so deposited had been paid
out to a person who is not entitled receive the money and the receiver general for Canada
as trustee of the residue intervene and applied for an order to have the money repaid in order
to be disposed of says there that the receiver general of Canada is trustee which makes sense
we have a receiver general. So you would send the bill payment remittance to set off the
debt against these provincial act to the receiver general Canada if you want to do it.
Thank you. Does anybody have any questions? Seeing none. Thank you, appreciate you coming
in this morning and all the context. [Off Mic].
Context around what we’re debating. Thank you.
Councillor Filion, you had a question of staff. Yes. My only question is it looks like sort
of it going back through the history of this, the change came about 10 years ago, I’m just
wondering why it’s taken so long to update our policy. Unless I have that wrong.
Through the chair to the Councillor, the review of the policy came about as a result of one
of the auditor general’s recommendations in 2018, of which court services and consultation
with the controller office developed a revised policy looking at current best practices and
leveraging what we believe will be a better technical solution in 2020.
Okay. Thank you. I either misread or there’s a typo, I’m not sure which. Thanks.
Okay. Thank you, Councillor Filion. Other questions of staff on this item? Speakers?
Councillor Filion you’d like to move the recommendations. Sure.
Councillor Filion’s moved the red days. All in favour?
Carried. That takes care of 10. Next item is number 13 — sorry and we can
go back to number 6, the recommendation was circulated to everybody in front of you so
we can see the bottom part. If there’s no questions all in favour of the motion?
Item as amended all in favour? Carried. We’re on item number 13, Councillor
Matlow you’ve got a conflict of interest on this item. It’s number 13 acquisition of the
surplus liquor control board of Ontario LCBO property at 11 brock avenue for affordable
rental housing. The first deputant is Paul Bruce.
Mr. Bruce. And just for everybody each deputant has five minutes to address the committee.
After you’ve addressed the committee individual Councillors can ask you questions for up to
five minutes. Once everybody has spoken we — bring it to what’s called back into committee
where Councillors can ask questions of staff for up to five minutes and we can each speak
to that for up to five minutes. Thank you very much for the opportunity to
dispute this — my name is Paul Bruce, I’m the chef executive officer of — a non-profit
organization that supports people living with mental health and cognitive challenges across
the city. We provide a wide range of social securities to people living with mental illness,
substance use challenges, mental health conditions, developmental disabilities and those that
are experiencing homelessness. Within the scope of our services we provide
approximately 5 hundred units of supportive housing and support over 5 thousand Torontonians
every year. Given the breath of our services and the population that we support we are
actively engaged with a number of groups that have a keen interest in ensuring that affordable
housing opportunities are created for Toronto’s most marginalized citizens. For example, we
are members of the Toronto alliance stand homelessness the Toronto mental health — the
Toronto developmental services alliance, the Toronto injury network and are supporters
of the efforts of the neighbourhood land trust. Suffice it to say that each of those groups
believes that access to housing is a fundamental human right. And an essential foundation to
health and wellness. Unfortunately as we all know in this room, access to affordable housing
in this city at this time for people living on modest means has reached a crisis point.
Market rents continue to escalate, vacancies hover around 1% in neighbourhoods like Parkdale
continue to experience erosion of affordable housing options.
These factors contribute to the unfortunate displacement of residents from their communities,
and the ever increasing pressures on the city’s emergency shelter system.
Collectively there are tens of thousands of people on various wait lists for affordable
housing in Toronto. For example, there are approximately 16 thousand people on the wait
list for mental health and addiction supportive housing alone. If we are to address the desperate
need for affordable and supportive housing in the next few years in this city we need
to employ every strategy available. So as such we would implore the city to proceed
with this acquisition and the proposed plans to move quickly in releasing the competitive
proposal call to a select not-for-profit to work with the city and CreateTO to design,
build and operate this site under a long-term lease with the city. So thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Bruce. Any questions of the deputant? Seeing none, and thank you for all
your work. Second on the deputant list is Mr. Bob rose.
Good morning you have 5 minutes whenever you’re ready.
I’m ready. Thank you for opportunity to speak about this opportunity which is in front of
us which is the acquisition of brock street. Stands in stark contrast to the issues the
park has — that Parkdale has. I should just say just to let you know I have lived and
worked in Parkdale for 40 years. I would say that my work within Parkdale is of the special
kind, for 32 of those years once I had passed the era of my work as a homeless leverage
worker I worked for Parkdale activity recreation centre or park which is an important organization
not only in serving the basic nests of homeless people and psychiatric survivors an other
who are disabled but also an important resource in the neighbourhood in term of galvanizing
the community of Parkdale to respond to its needs. So the recommendation — I’ll make
a few recommendations but I want to state at the beginning that this property represents
for all of Parkdale the human right to housing, and the struggle to ensure that that right
is met. And that this hearing is also critical because
this is to ensure that this — that the existence of that right and that you folks and council
as a whole take on the responsibility to respond to taking governance for your responsibility
and action to check trends forum the human right to housing into a reality.
Now, I have to say with some regret that I have spent my entire career of 32 years fighting
for the right to housing. Whether that was with my community in Parkdale or Parkdale
activity recreation centre, or with the Toronto disaster relief community in which I was a
steering committee member and that we still do not have the kind of national strategy
and kind of local strategy that would provide homes for people who need them.
Now, when we talk about this, we are talking about a life and death issue. I have to acknowledge
that the work in Parkdale in my organization was extremely important, but maybe one of
the most important aspects of it was the fact that we were able to find our way to develop
39 units of supportive housing 29 of which were done through the expropriation of a rooming
house property next to park. Now, we’re not talking about expropriation in the same way
here we’re talking about the purchase of acquisition of the property 11 brock but essentially it
ends up in the same place that is the acquisition of land. And I think the person that was talking
about parking lots spoke to that, the acquisition of land on which social housing can be built
as opposed to used for other purposes that are far less critical to the lives and well-being
of our citizens. It’s important to also know that there’s a
quite a long process leading into my presentation which is Parkdale activities recreation centre
to support the engagement of citizens all across the community of Parkdale who stand
behind this acquisition because of the — desperate need for social housing in Parkdale, now,
all of take place in terms of the — in the context of a wider crisis and I’m not going
to go into details about that but you know that the shelters are full, that there’s 1,500,
2,000 people on the streets of Toronto and that we are losing 2 people a week.
In deaths because of homelessness. Years ago packed was scribed as a slum. Sort of a derogatory
term which dismisses both the people and the properties in that particular neighbourhood.
But we know and I’ve seen this over 40 years how that community has e involved, has evolved.
In self Parkdale everybody rents, 80% of people rent. And south packed which is as close to
this property that you can get is under attack. The most serious housing crisis that I have
ever seen in 40 years. And now we’re talking as a result of that about a different kind
of slum. When I say slum this time I’m talking about
the values attached to the slum which is created when a community is turned over to the financialization
of housing by corporate interests that are only there in Parkdale to make as much money
as they can and take it out of the community for the purpose of profit. What I am seeing
on the ground right now is that that greed and housing within development directions
is not about homes. Sorry, I need you to wrap up.
Wrap up, okay. So I’m going to make 3 recommendations to you. First, that you recognize that this
packed is in a housing crisis in the context of the decision you’re going to make.
And that housing displacement that is taking place in packed is connected to your larger
homeless crisis that you affirm the right to housing through purchase of this property
and send that message out to the rest of the city and its citizens and last, that you take
action. Taking action on this property is about the acquisition of properties which
exist across the city for the purpose of — [inaudible] desperately need. Thank you.
Yep. Thank you, Mr. Rose and I appreciate the recommendations and suggestions.
Is there any questions for the deputant? Seeing none, thank you very much for coming in this
morning. Next I have Anna from the packed neighbourhood land trust.
We applaud the city’s acquisition of 11 brock for affordable recommend housing.
We ask that the city demonstrate courage by going beyond the short sidedness of the housing
now initiative that would have this side produce only 1-3rd affordable units at 80% average
market represent. And move towards genuine community driven demands for deep affordability.
We are extremely hopeful in the city’s intentions to build affordable housing in our community.
In that spirit, I would like share with you our community vision statement and recommendations
for 11 brock. On February 9th, 2017, in response to Councillor
Perks submitting a motion to council recommending that the city purchase this property, Parkdale
neighbourhood land trust hosted a community vision workshop attend by the 100 residents
including both homeowners and representors as well as non-profit organizations. This
event generated small group discussions focused on 11 brock affordable housing opportunities
and led to a community vision statement and 13 recommendations for 11 brock development
which I will share with you now. Community vision statement, Parkdale has a
real and immediate need for new affordable housing in the community. The development
opportunity to add 11 brock should focus on providing one or more of 3 community housing
priorities including new supportive, family and/or senior housing. Furthermore, this development
should avoid exclusive uses reflecting the diverse needs of the community and encourage
community development by introducing affordable housing and new community space for non-profit
agencies and social connection. The design and operation of this site should
align with the Parkdale community values of affordability, diversity, inclusion and equity.
Support services provided through the development and encouraged through community agency partnerships
are critical to the success of the development and should be prioritized.
Development must prioritize community engagement and partnership reflected in development evaluation
criteria. Increasing density must be considered in order
to maximize the opportunity to address the significant need in the community. 13 recommendations
for development. Number 1, affordability should be defined through rent geared to income and
income target levels should reflect current neighbourhood population. 2, affordability
requirements should be a long-term previousably legal blinding obligation for the operator
owner of the development. 3, affordability and rent options should reflect a range very
low, low, mid and market to ensure a diverse and reflective community. 4, tenant applications
slash selection should be transparent, accessible and available on site. 5, the development
should prioritize a formal role for non-profit slash community ownership structures either
through co-op models or limit equity options or through a formal role for non-profit organizations
to lead in ownership or operations. 6, developer and development evaluation criteria should
prioritize innovation and partnership with community organizations. 7, formal and real
community engagement should be a priority in development evaluation criteria. 8, community
engagement must occur throughout the development process and early community engagement with
the clear and real opportunity to impact development and design is a priority. 9, community engagement
activities must engage residents. Business owners and community service providers and
address bare areas to participation including language, literacy there must be a clear link
between engagement and results in order to ensure authentic engagement activities.
10, design of the site should prioritize environmental and sustainability characteristics to offset
the cost of living through rising utility costs.
11, the development should maximize the site for housing including by requiring blow grade
parking and should include green space frontage. 12, tenant support services are critical to
the success of the development, and should be broad and flexible to accommodate various
tenants’s needs. Service support services should partner with
agencies to ensure consistency of care. 13, the development should include space for other
uses including affordable child care and social enterprises community workplace and local
space and business space. I need you to wrap up.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Any questions of the deputant? Seeing none,
thank you very much for coming in this morning. Thank you for your time.
Thank you. Anna was last deputant. Any questions of staff on this item? No question of staff.
Speakers. Councillor Nunziata. I’ll move the recommendations.
Okay. Councillor Nunziata is moving the recommendations for number 13. All in favour.
[Off Mic]. Sure.
Recorded vote. All in favour? Councillor, Filion, Councillor Holyday, Councillor Karygiannis,
Councillor Ainslie, Councillor Nunziata. And that carries unanimously. Okay we are on number
14, 2017 to 2018 — sorry we did that one. We did number 14. No we didn’t.
Annual human rights office report. Derek, you’re up again.
So in this report it says this report analyzes data on harassment and discrimination inquiries
and complaints made in 2017 and 2018 by City of Toronto employees. And back in April I
just want to point out that they had an item on this harassment open at the Toronto police
services board and there it said that the board is committed to the principle that every
person has a right to receive police services without discrimination including harassment
contrary to the Ontario human rights code and every member of the Toronto police service
has a right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination including harassment
contrary to the code. However, notice also what this passage from
that report didn’t say, that every member of the Toronto police services board has a
right to work in an environment that is free of discrimination including harassment, contrary
to the code. Now, Councillor Ainslie, you probably don’t know this but this is a lady
activist who is so dissatisfied she took them to court at the beginning of the year and
justice — actually admitted my affidavit onto the record during that matter. And if
you want to take a look at it City of Toronto lawyer Fred fisher has a copy of it. This
is what paragraph 5 of my affidavit had to say: In the spring of 2017, a bumped into
the Toronto police services board member Councillor Carroll at the Canada square movie theaters
located at Yonge and Eglinton . As I was walking out of the theatre having just seen a movie.
Councillor Carroll and I sat and talked for about 20 minutes. One of the things that she
said to me was she thought the Toronto police services board was no place for those — because
how could they possibly be able to relate to someone feels they have been marginalized
and abused by the police. This is paragraph 6.
Councillor Carroll also told me that she had been subjected to harassment while a member
of the Toronto police services board. This is paragraph number 7.
Councillor Carroll did not bother this time around at the start of the new term of council
to put her name on list to become a member of the Toronto police services board again.
Councillor Ainslie, you know that recently at the Toronto Public Library board I brought
up how you had been harassed by a member of the mayor’s office when you wanted to — he’s
laughing at it — I don’t know why you find it funny when you simply — when you simply
wanted to become the chair of that board and you know what, Sara [indiscernible] actually
took up for you to her credit. This is the third time I brought this up. The first time
was at the police board, things that really I never seen the chair look at me that angrily
when I brought that up, second time was in front of Executive Committee, third time is
here. You know what’s going to happen, you know who’s going to take up for Councillor
Carroll based on what I just said probably absolutely nobody. So unless this is investigated
what I just said, this report about oh, we’re so concerned about harassment in the City
of Toronto, please. Bunch of posers, you do not investigate what
I just said. Councillor Carroll was the best member of
the Toronto police services board and a lot of people are not happy that she’s not still
a member of that. So this is paragraph 22 of that affidavit also. And this is stems
from actually Councillor Holyday might remember this a public works committee, there’s [indiscernible]
there and City of Toronto lawyer he got into it with. It’s paragraph 22 of my affidavit
says in regards to the chair telling people who speak at Toronto police services board
meetings that they have to stick to the topic they can’t go off topic, below is a screen
shot of what a City of Toronto lawyer of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting
said to then Councillor of what people who go to speak of those meetings can talk about
which was in quotes what ever they basically want to say what ever she wishes to speak
to because month in month out at the Toronto police services board meetings oh, yeah, here
we go, sorry, everybody I’m being a bother to Councillor Nunziata now, me, migel, Chris
and Brenda and mainly us month in month out we are harassed by chair Andy pringle telling
us to stick to the topic. Who is she speaking to? Is she speaking to you?
That lawyer who I just pointed out who works at the City of Toronto you heard what he just
said basically people that come to speak at these meetings can basically say basically
whatever they want to say whatever they wish to speak to. Last month Councillor Mike Colle
showed up, he went off topic for the first minute of his five minutes and the only reason
he stopped is because he didn’t want to waste all five minutes going off topic and the chair
didn’t say anything to him. So he obviously discriminated against me and migel in favour
of Councillor Mike Colle. Yep. Thank you. You’ve got your five minutes.
Thank you, does anybody have any questions of the deputant? Seeing none.
There is another deputant listed. Send a note to the clerk’s office he’s removing his name
from the list. Does anybody have any questions of staff on this item? Seeing none, does anybody
want to speak to this item and move the receipt? [Off Mic].
Councillor Nunziata’s moving the recommendations. All in favour? Carried. Okay. Thank you. Our
next item is number 15 update on the City of Toronto municipal code chapter 545 licensing
of payday loan establishments. First registered deputant.
[Off Mic]. Using your five minutes collectively.
Yeah. Okay. Thank you.
Good morning, chair. Members of the committee, I’m here with our
government relations representative Jim on behalf of the Canadian consumer finance association.
The association represents the majority of Canada’s regulated providers of payday loans
installment loans, lines of credit and check cashing services. Check include operators
who are national in scope and are regulated and licensed in all provinces across Canada.
These companies are focused on strict compliance with all regulation and therefore, provide
financial services to consumers in a safe and legal environment. The association supports
reasonable regulation and Toronto licensing to not only provide consumer protection but
to protect their strong brand and different water from an increasing number of lenders
who are unlicensed and work outside of the law. These illegal lenders prey online with
to care for the consumers nor regulation. The industry exists because there is a demand.
And a need for credit for the — in our society. Despite fewer payday lending stores demand
has remained the same. And these illegal operators are taking advantage. The association is willing
to work with Councillors and the current recommendations with one exception and that is regarding the
transferability. Unlike virtually all other businesses in the
City of Toronto, these bylaws prevent the sale of a business. This license is non-transferrable
unless an applicant held a license since may 1st, 2018.
They are prohibited from obtaining a business license required to purchase a current operating
licensed and compliant business. This means that a legitimate business owner can’t sell
nor transfer a license to a family member if they get sick or want to retire. On a larger
scale it also means that the brand and the business can’t be sold to another financial
institution that may want to acquire the services offered by a particular brand or store.
For a large corporation with hundreds of locations across the country, the inability to sell
its business operations in Toronto has a profound implication in the value of the business and
its ability to secure funding. The current bylaw eventually eliminates a business city,
a business in the city which is trying to regulate this provides more incentive for
online and illegal operators to fill the void and replace the demand. Online and illegal
operators are not subject to provincial and municipal regulations. We’re hopeful that
a way can be found to transfer a license so that consumers and business owners can count
on the protection provided by the City of Toronto license. Although we’ve had previous
consultations and expressed our concerns to staff, we’re asking committee to refer this
matter back to staff. The purpose being to meet with the association
to specifically find a way to transfer the license and not eliminate all legal stores
as the current bylaw will do. The association is reasonably willing to work with you in
a timely way to bring this back to the committee as soon as possible with recommendations on
the process to transfer the license that should be satisfactory to everyone. On behalf of
the association thank you for the time. Questions of the deputant?
Councillor Filion. Thank you. What would create value for a payday
loan business. The license.
No, no, but what would create value for that license?
The income to revenue generated by the business, okay.
But without the license, it’s nil and void. Okay. Right, but I guess I’m not asking the
question the right way. What — if someone was to be able to transfer that license.
Yeah. What value goes along with it?
Probably goodwill. Goodwill.
Yeah. I think Councillor what you’re asking is what
is the value of the license, the value of the license is — it’s whatever it is, the
value from the business bricks and mortar, it’s the brand, some of these brands are worth
millions of dollars. And eventually because you can’t transfer the license, it becomes
worthless because as an operator decides that they want to sell or they want to move on,
the City of Toronto they — the value of the brand, the value of the store no longer has
any value because transferring itself on a small scale I can’t give it to my wife if
I want to retire large scale I can’t sell to another financial institution.
I’ll still having trouble why would someone want to buy it because it has an established
clientele, is that is the reason? Yeah, or has a brand just like any other brand
name you could have. One of our clients is — they have a brand. That brand is of value.
And so is the — and it is a value trust. People know when they go to an institution
that is one of our clients, that they can trust that it’s actually [inaudible].
It is a legal entity and it City of Toronto they’re regulated by the City of Toronto and
the province of Ontario. When they go online they don’t know who their borrowing from because
they don’t have that. Do these businesses have regular loyal customers?
Yes. They do. Repeat customers. Repeat customers.
Who like the service offered. And is that not a problem if you have people
who are chronically or repeatedly or frequently using payday loan services?
Well, in some instances, Councillor, for example, I may use a financial institution that you
count on, a lot people don’t have access to that sort of bearing so they use payday loans
instead. Payday loans are also sometimes a stopgap
measure and they may not need it for some other time.
Sure. Yeah.
That’s what I was getting at, if it’s a stopgap measure you wouldn’t have regular client tell.
Well the repeat customers if they weren’t paying back their loans they wouldn’t be getting
their loans back, right. So there are people who would use a loan for a short time. They’re
successful for it — with it. Pay back the loan, come back 2 years from
now. That’s right.
Thank you. Councillor Nunziata.
Yeah, so basically your clientele are the most vulnerable and that’s why you go into
these communities. So you’re preying on the most vulnerable residents in that community
because they are from — they have challenges and they don’t have the opportunities, correct.
No. I des agree. Well, I — well you may disagree but by know
it’s a fact. So why is it that you don’t — you want the opportunity just transfer your license
to go wherever you want to go? Without any consultation. Like liquor licenses right now
if you want a liquor license the community is notified, there’s comments from city, there’s
comments from the community, and if you ask for a transfer, you don’t have that consultation.
And we have problems with that. So why would we want to do that with your license?
Councillor, I don’t think we’re talking about transferring locations. We’re talking about
— what are you talking about then? Transfer of business license itself.
Yeah. So currently, and you can ask staff, I believe
that the only license that you can’t transfer right now are hot-dog carts. If you have a
business license like a restaurant, and you want to transfer the license for your spouse
or son, there’s a process to do so. But you can go to another location as well.
No, yeah, but that — we weren’t — we aren’t challenging anything about the location matter
in this report. What we’re challenging or what we’re asking for more consultation on
is transferability of the license itself. So the license if you have a hot-dog cart,
you can’t sell it. That’s what I understand. If you have a restaurant you can.
So if there is for example, if there’s charges against a particular location with a license,
and you can transfer to somebody else’s name and there’s no record.
And that’s why we wanted a process. But that’s not good.
But we want a process where we can transfer a license and perhaps you do a background
check. Yeah.
There’s some sort of thing where I think it’s reasonable that all parties, the city would
want a — the new owner to have certain qualifications including a background check. That’s what
— that’s what we want. We want to make sure that new license owners or — who would be
taking over an existing store would have a background. I mean, the way it’s setup right
now is by attrition, your eliminating every payday loan store in Toronto.
Well — eventually by attrition it will all be gone.
Exactly — and people will go online and get more riskier loans.
That’s what I’m trying to do is get rid of them altogether.
But the demand does remain the same and people will find loans online in a much riskier way.
Thank you, Councillor. Councillor.
Thank you, Mr. Vice chair. Thank you for speaking to us today. Could
you tell me a little bit more about the industry? If I wanted to as a personal — as an individual
I wanted to enter the payday loan space as a business person, what do I need to have,
what do I need to do assuming I can get a license from the city? I know we’re talking
about that. I raise capital, do I have to obtain other types of licenses or standards
or certifications? What makes the business.
It’s provincial regulated. Yeah.
Provincially regulated but I think your question, Councillor, I think your best answer what
type of capital you would need. Well, you would have to have a significant
amount of capital to outfit a store, single location, okay.
Okay. With protection for staff, bulletproof glass
for instance, vaults, alarms, all necessary stuff that would protect employees. And ensure
that cash could be dispersed safely. Okay. So those are all the hard assets.
Yeah. You’ve got to build the place yeah, exactly.
What about money overhead, is it you know, I bring a million dollars and that’s enough
to handle the ebb and flow of money, standard location, is it more, profoundly more, profounding
less. It depends, okay. Obviously there’s infrastructure,
hardware, software as well. Yeah.
It’s probably a lot more than you would effect. Okay.
It’s like running a financial institution lack of a better word, okay.
An then in terms of the being the business, do I create a company, you know, 1, 2, 3,
4, 5 Ontario inc in which I’m the shareholder and the company then becomes the business
itself and I put some capital investment into that to create the hard infrastructure.
Yep to create the cash pool, to run the loans, that type of thing?
Sure. It is like any other business, okay, you incorporate a company, you’ll fund it
either dead equity or bring in investors and get the appropriate licenses, okay.
Okay. And regulations and ensure that you’re compliant,
okay. Besides the city license, are there other
licenses required other than incorporating? Ontario doesn’t require any special overhead.
Yeah. You have to form the corporation you’ve got
to adhere to the law. Yeah, they’re — and this is why this association
was created. Um-hum.
A few years ago was to you know, the bad press was out there. And these rather large payday
loan companies wanted to get together to different water themselves from the smaller ones. A
lot of our clients are traded on the New York stock exchange. They’re big but their value
has diminished under this process. They asked to be regulated which the City
of Toronto and province of Ontario did, but now the brands are now you’re herring their
value when can’t transfer the license. So suddenly you’re eliminating the business altogether
as I said earlier. Who obtains the license, is it the company,
or is it the individual? It’s the company.
It will be the company. Okay.
[Multiple Speakers]. Fair enough.
Depending on how a certain store or brand may work and then how does the relationship
with the franchise work. I know there’s independence out there, you know, Steve’s payday loan shop
versus one of the branded names. Yeah.
I’m assuming it’s a franchise relationship with the head office. Is the majority of your
association members franchiseees of a larger group.
No, wholly owned company, okay, that owns all the assets, there’s no franchises, okay,
so it’s a total corporate organization. Okay, so the corporation owns the — yeah.
— would then have multiple licenses because they have multiple locations, have I got that
right. That’s correct.
Yes. Yeah.
That’s correct. There may be others but none in our association that are franchise owners.
I know that there may be some other speakers later that have a different system.
Okay. And there are other — I mean the organization
we represent we want to be regulated. We’ve worked with the province for the regulation.
The city’s much as we can. The transferability doesn’t give them a future to operate. And
they want to invest in their business an continue on.
They’re not, you know, there are a number of changes in the recommendations regarding
ward boundaries. We’re not fighting that. We’re just — or we’re not fighting for real
location. We are fighting or we’re asking just to go
back to staff and let’s find out a way we are reasonably come up with a way we can transfer
the license that’s agreeable to all. Perhaps that could mean background check, perhaps
that could mean some other mechanism that the city deems appropriate. That way you keep
licensed establishments in the City of Toronto here.
Rather than people going, you know, people might go outside of Toronto for those loans,
or they may go online. And it’s totally unregulated business online.
That’s where a lot of borrowers are going right now. And to be quite honest it’s the wild west.
The finance association represents 3870 financial institutions across Canada. I mean, a number
of them are the big names that you commonly see, payday, money mart, and so forth. They
are the — they’re the brands that we represent. So they’re right across Canada in the GTA,
during ram — correct? Yes.
So if we are — to move in a fashion that you can not transfer this store that you have,
or the — and we get them wiped out in the City of Toronto, what would stop people from
going to other municipalities. They are other municipalities with this own
bylaws, I believe this is in Hamilton they can’t transfer as well. And but they’re doing
one where you can’t — so in Hamilton if it’s a corporate store that has — I mean you can
— you do have corporate businesses that have these stores throughout the city.
Yeah, there are a number of our stores in Hamilton.
What is staff saying to you about this transferability? Well it’s the same problem that we have. You
can’t transaction first responder in Hamilton like what’s proposed today in the City of
Toronto. If it’s a corporate store, the corporation
is going to be around for a long time. Well — and the corporate store has its employees.
Yeah, yeah. Well, if the store decides to close or if
the business decides that it no longer wants to exist, it closes the doors, it can’t sell,
or there might be another financial institution that could be interested in buying that brand
or another payday loan corporation they can’t do so. They’re stuck with it. So the value
that particular store is only the yearly revenue rather than — how many of your operators
are self operating like mom and pop operations, and how many of them have multiple operations?
Well, there’s a number of those that do operate in the City of Toronto, but generally we don’t
represent them. We don’t represent them. You may hear from them later.
The company that I work for has 109 locations, 19 in GTA.
How many do you have in the City of Toronto, 19, sorry, yeah.
19 in the City of Toronto. Yeah.
So if the president of the corporation. Yep.
Were to pass away. Yeah.
It will be somebody else that would take over. So your locations do not cease to exist, correct?
I can’t answer that. Point of order I think we should give the
deputants respect to answering the questions. Everybody’s busy either talking or talking
among themselves. Go ahead.
Thank you. So if the corporation — yes. President of the corporation was to cease,
deceased, the new president takes over, so actually your operation still continues on
those 19 stores. Yeah. I think that’s correct, Councillor.
Although you’d have to collar tie that with staff. I think that the corporation would
still own the business. Okay.
But if the business for whatever reason decided they no longer wanted to exist or wanted to
go into something else they’d be giving up the value those stores or.
[Multiple Speakers]. Couldn’t they.
If they wanted to sell, yeah they wouldn’t be allowed to, no.
You can sell the corporation, the corporation owns the license.
Yeah, well. You’d have to sell the whole corporation you
just can’t divide it up. Okay. How many are — how many in the City
of Toronto that you know of self — I mean like single corporations that have one store.
The independent — the independent payday loans, I believe, I thought they’d be here,
they may be here today and they can speak to that.
But the corporations, I mean, can you not move from one location to another locations
do they have restrictions? Yeah, there are restrictions to us moving
and it’s in the report about moving to another ward.
But the corporation can sell — if the corporation is parking lot of another corporation you
can certainly sell that corporation right out.
So therefore, you will not be going in extinction if the president dies, would I be correct.
That’s correct, but you can’t sell the business. You can’t sell the business to another corporation.
Okay. Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Councillor Karygiannis. Other
questions of the deputants? Seeing none, thank you very much.
Thank you. Thank you.
Next on the list — Toronto association of community organizations for reform now.
Are you all speaking together or — we’re speaking — we’re speaking individually.
Okay. So you have five minutes.
Yes. Good morning, everyone.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak today. My name is bob murphy, I’m a
Toronto — member. Acorn association of community for reform now. I’m also an ODSP recipient.
And I’m also a volunteer at the spot community food centre advocacy office.
Acorn is an independent national organization of low and moderate income families fighting
for social justice and economic justice. One of our big campaigns is fighting predatory
lending and fighting for fair bearing. — banking. We’re pleased that there’s a report today
about stopping predatory lending. We worked with Councillors Wong-Tam and Nunziata about
this issue back in 23-’16. We thank them for their efforts on this item as well as Councillor
Peruzza and for including us in the discussion. Good morning. Thank you for allowing me to
speak. I’m a member of acorn an thank you for allowing us to speak. Today we’re very
happy that the city is looking into the cap and the am of licenses [inaudible] for payday
lenders in Toronto. Can you continue, please. I’m having a hard time.
We are very happy that the city is looking into capping the amount of licenses for payday
helped nurse Toronto. We would like to share some of our thoughts about this issue. We
want to limit the amount of payday helpeders like money mart, cash money, et cetera that
are taking advantage of us and clustering and low income neighbourhoods with this predatory
practices. We would like to see the city use Hamilton as an example who have recently became
one of the first cities in Ontario to limit the number of payday lenders in the city by
capping the number of payday licenses down to one per ward. However, we also want to
see installment lenders included in this report. Many payday lenders are getting into installment
loans due to acorn’s work on the payday loan act and lowering the provincial interest rates.
We ask why installment lenders are not included in this report. They should also be licensed
and capped. I’m going to go off the script here. I’m not going to read anything else
but what I’d like to say about predatory lending, is that they’re clustered in the most vulnerable
areas in the city. I can go to payday lender number 1, before row some money because I
want to pay my represent because ODSP recipients are a lot 497 for rent. I go to lender number
one borrow. I can walk 6 units down to pay lender number 2, and pay off lender number
2. I can get another loan and walk up the street to church and westin road and borrow
money from vendor — or lender number 3. If I’m having trouble paying my rent or at the
office we see it all the time where individuals have addictions issues or money issues it’s
a revolving cycle and by the time you’re in that cycle, I know I’ve been this myself,
once you’re in, you’re in big trouble get out especially if you’re on social assistance
or you have mental health problems or addiction problems. The cycle just continues. I believe
that westin road and Lawrence have those businesses, those lenders together for a reason. They
know that slid I 1e6789sz within maybe 20 minutes, 25 minutes.
Once you get stuck in that hole you’re in big trouble. You’ll be homeless very quickly.
You’ll be visiting food banks, you’ll be travelling from food bank to food bank. Thank you.
Questions of the — Councillor Karygiannis, questions of the deputant.
Thank you. Through you to the deputants I want to thank you for coming and I understand
that some of this might be emotion to you. Let me — let me ask the following: If we
worry about the entire industry, wouldn’t we pop up on the internet?
I have no idea. I’m not well versed in how it works on the internet, but maybe it might
be an idea to lower the rates. I don’t know, I’m not familiar with internet loans. I’ve
never been involved in that. Okay.
So I really can’t answer that question because I’m not familiar on payday loans through the
internet. I’ve never been exposed to it and I hope I never will, but I’m willing to answer
any questions that anybody sitting here today has. Once you’ve walked through that road,
it’s something you never forget. If.
If you don’t have those stores, I mean we’ll see sharks, I mean we’ve all seen movies of
sharks like people actually owe you money and if you don’t pay they knock at your door
or you know, do other things to you, wouldn’t we encourage the underground to continue and
thrive. What was the question again.
I said that if we close the stores that we have right now, this will be other means of
people being able to borrow money, and those means would be more ill legitimate and those
people will use other methods of collection by closing the stores, wouldn’t we be encouraging
those illegitimate businesses to thrive? I don’t think the solution is closing the
stores. I think that the solution is reducing the amount of stores. And reducing the interest
rates that the vulnerable are being charged. So I’m not suggesting that all the stores
be closed because the needs there. There’s no question about it.
Are you advocating that we as a city force upon them to lower the interest rates? Do
we have that availability, I don’t think so? Absolutely, that’s what we’re requesting.
And the amount of payday lenders that are saturated in the low income areas.
I understand the, you know, the saturation in low income areas, but I don’t think we
as a city are able to control the interest rates that’s another level of government.
Would you agree or disagree with me? I would agree with you, yes.
Okay. So what your intention is is to seek less
— like the ones across the street from each other.
A prime example, I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head but I’m sure this is
been 4 or 5 banks that have closed down and we have payday lenders pop up.
So you as an individual you have had that experience, you talked about it, can you go
to one store, to one payday lender and get a loan and then walk down the street and get
another loan and walk down the street and get another loan?
Yes, and westin is one prime example. I can go to let’s say money mart and I can borrow
let’s say $400 it might cost me around 640 or — I don’t know what the rates are right
now, I haven’t done it recently. Then I can go get some money from that lender and then
go from lender — the same day. Oh, within minutes because the information
is not connected. From business to business. So the different payday lenders I can go to
one right now, next one in 15 minutes, then I can go to the other one down the street
in 30 minutes. So then when I get some money from the third one I go pay off the first
one and then when I get more money from the first one after I repay it then I go to the
second one then I repay it and go to the third one. So I can have 3 different businesses
revolving in a circle where we’re just getting killed on the amount because I just want to
pay my rent. Okay. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Karygiannis. Councillor Nunziata.
Yes, thank you very much for being here. And I’m glad that you mentioned westin because
we really have a problem. As you mentioned they’re just next door to each other like
across the street. They just keep popping up. And so well what you’re saying in your
presentation is that we want to limit and you know, have less of these locations than
we do now because right now as you mentioned they are next door to each other.
And also you mentioned how you can go from one to another and borrow, right? So really
that’s what you want is to — for it to be limited to the number of — that you have
in one area, right? Just like you do banks, right?
Yes. You’ll never see a td bank next door to each
other, 2 of them. Exactly.
Right. And I don’t know for sure but I think it’s
rather obvious that these payday lenders in the low income areas are close by, near by
for a reason because you’re seeing that same person coming in every pay period and borrowing
money and going a couple doors down to next one and then they’re going a couple blocks
over to the next payday lender. They’re saturated together for a reason. They’re not saturated
to get one time clients. They’re saturated to get — to have a clump of these locations
in one area, because they know that we’re all going from one to the next one to the
next one. Right.
Because once you’re in the cycle. And westin we have quite a few Toronto housing,
social housing buildings in that area and need more affordable housing, so very vulnerable
community, correct and that’s why they’re focusing on those areas. What about the ones
that we have in westin and Jane where they’re not only money mart that they also buy and
sell gold. Pardon me.
To buy gold and sell gold. Oh, I’m not familiar with that — those businesses.
I’ve never I guess had the luxury to visit one of them. I’m not sure how that works as
far as lending. Um-hum. But they’re in same — same — like
in the same location. Oh, yes.
Get loans and also buy and sell gold. Yes.
Yeah, okay. There for a reason.
Yeah, well, depending what area you’re in, right?
Yes. Thanks.
Councillor Holyday, have questions? Thank you for speaking to us and I’ll ask
my question to the gentlemen on the left because you told the story. I appreciate you explaining
some of the pitfalls of how these clustering of these shops creates risk for people. Are
there any other pitfalls or scenarios that somebody gets trapped in? Because I guess
the concept is you can go to one of the places and only get so much.
Now, it is a lot of money to some people but I guess in the world of things it’s a manageable
amount of debt and I think I understand the situation that you described is when you kind
of start shopping around and start having multiple debts and try to gain the system
so that people can’t figure out until it’s too late that you’ve acome late too much.
Are there any other scenarios, and I think you mentioned that you, work with people,
are there any other scenario that is people get into that are risky that we should be
understanding about when we’re thinking about all these rules appear policies.
As far as the lenders. As far as people, people that are using these
places. We run into individuals with addiction problems
and mental health problems and they’re not thinking once they get the cycle what they’re
paying back several days later or a month later at the end of the month when they get
their assistance moneys. They’re just thinking about paying your rent,
eating or getting the next substance for your addiction. Nobody’s looking ahead.
Right. They’re just thinking from day-to-day.
Okay. But in your — in your experience in what you’ve seen and maybe even life experience
you found that the most dangerous situation is where somebody goes around to a bunch of
places at the same time and accumulates a whole bunch of debt at once, to the point
that — did I get at that right? They can’t pay it off and kind of cheat the
system because they do it really quickly. Well, they’re not necessarily cheating the
system, they’re just, you know, taking from Paul to pay Peter.
Okay. Right, so they’re just moving money around
because they’re getting the cash available to them immediately.
In a lot of cases, you know, depending on individuals that are not looking at the monies
that they’re paying they’re looking at getting cash and paying off the next lender, getting
cash and paying off the next lender and then by the time you realize it your interest — but
you get into a mountain of a hole, right. Now, do the institutions finally figure that
out? Does it finally catch up with the person? Maybe it takes time, you know, suddenly I
owe 2,000 or $5,000, would I have a problem now going to another payday loan place and
getting anything? I don’t believe they communicate the different
— from my experience I don’t believe that money lender number 1, money lender number
2, money mart or cash for less, their information is different. They have no idea whether you
got a loan 15 minutes ago. And that’s what individuals do is because there’s no knowledge
of it. I go there, I go lender number 1, I get $400, then I go to lender number 2 and
get $400 and then I go to lender number 3, there’s no communication between all those
lenders. Do they eventually talk to each other though?
Not yet. And I don’t believe they will because this is no point for them to talk to each
other because they’re just interested in getting you as a customer. They know it’s a revolving
door and for individuals that are in trouble, it’s a numbers game. If you lose your money
on one loan big deal. That customer’s paid multiple times and multiple interest rates.
So it’s a — it’s like credit cards. Some people pay and some people don’t.
Right. It’s just the last institution on the chain is the one that gets the bad debt because
the others are getting paid off. And I just wondered how, you know — I was intrigued
that they hadn’t established a system to talk to each other, because that last institution
on the chain is the one that eats all the problem as opposed to the others that were
part of the process. Well, I understand what you’re saying.
Yeah. But if I was in real trouble and I wasn’t
paying let’s say lender number 3 because I would have to borrow lender number 3 to pay
lender number 1. But if I’m in such a bad situation, I wouldn’t necessarily pay back
any of the lenders because you can’t get anything from me because I got no money.
Right. And I’m in a shelter.
Yep. So I don’t think — just for me just trying
to answer your question, you just go from one lender to one lender to one lender.
Right. To keep the chain moving.
Okay. And to keep your credibility what little you
have left rotating around. I hope I have been that confusing on that.
No, no, it’s helpful. Thank you for talking to us.
Appreciate it. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Holyday. Other questions of the deputant. Thank you very much.
Really appreciate your feedback and your comments. Derek moran is the next deputant.
So in this report it says City Council direct in consultation and standards to consider
as part of the Toronto poverty reduction strategy initiatives to promote lower cost financial
services including the delivery and promotion of financial empowerment supports and the
— in the development of inclusive alternative financial products.
So here’s something as you guys probably haven’t even thought about, are you sure that these
payday loans places even actually loan money? Now, I know that sounds kind of — to listen
to but most people don’t realize not even a bank loans money, and that’s not my opinion,
you can find that in Canadian pioneer management versus labour relations board 1980 where the
Supreme Court of Canada said banks create credit.
It is a mistake to suppose that bank credit is created to any important extent by the
payment of money into the banks. The bank does not lend money. The borrower can if he
pleases take out the whole amount of the loan and money. It is not necessary to refer to
the various schools of with the diversion views as to the extent to which banks create
credit. As you can see if you add up all the deposits, a hundred plus 90, plus 81 and so
on and so on you get a result that is much larger than the original hundred dollars.
So money has been created by the financial system, but in this case it’s actually credit
has been created by the financial system. So that’s probably why since you’re able to
create credit out of thin air basically why these sections of the bank act read as they
do, section 440, a bank shall not directly or indirectly charge or receive any sum for
the keeping of an account unless the charge is made by expressed agreement between the
bank and the customer or by order of a court. Section 457, a bank shall not directly or
indirectly charge or receive any sum for the provision of any prescribed products or services
unless the charge is made by expressed agreement between it and a customer or by order of a
court. Now, who knows it might be the same way with
payday loan places, they’re not lending out money, they’re just lending out credit created
by someone’s signature based on section 57.1 of the building exchange act.
Here’s something that Councillor Karygiannis and Councillor Holyday probably don’t know
didn’t you guys like invite 8 years ago a 12-year old girl named Victoria grant came
here to city hall I believe it was in committee room number 1 and explain how all this bank
created credit act out of thin air. Some guy did a documentary, sit down with late federal
finance minister, you can find it on YouTube, it’s called oh Canada movie bought and sold
out land. So the interviewer asks: So what would happen if we simply wanted our money
back? Responded we would have a credit crisis and the system would not be sustainable so
we’d have to reorganize and restructure which is what happened actually in the depression.
I don’t see that happening again but theoretically that’s what would happen. Recently myself
I had a banker tell me that if I keep pursuing trying to get the bank to honour these 2 sections
of the bank act that I just said we’re not supposed to actually be charging as service
fee that is she was going to delete, cancel my account as I — as I recall what she said
was regardless of what these 2 sections of the bank act say if you want to have an account
here then insert specific bank, here the bank has the right to charge seniors fees, but
that’s on top of what you all just found out the federal government in those 2 sections
of the bank act say that they can’t do it but they still do. Yes, I know, gave that
other guy an extra minute and 5 seconds. Thanks, any questions of the deputant? Seeing
none, thank you, Derek. The next deputant is Diane dyson.
Thank you. As you know we’re here for another matter earlier today so I was grateful to
have a chance to speak on this issue not having realized it was on the agenda as well. But
reason I felt compelled to is during my time as a research analyst we produced a report
in 2007, that mapped out where payday lenders are across the city. We drove major streets
up and down everywhere. If you’re lost I know where to tell you to go.
When we looked at it found that we had seen payday lenders had grown 8-followed in 1995
when they first appeared in the city until the time of the report in 2007. And I do remember
at that time also having a chance to meet with some of the payday associations about
some of the recommendations we were bringing forward. In essence they are defending a model
of corporate growth. What we found is many of the lenders were small mom and pop associations
that were being bought up by the larger ones. Here today we heard that the reason that you
should be loosening some of the regulations around this is because it would make their
ventures less profitable. So I urge you to return to the mandate of this committee, that
is that you are here for licensing of industries that may harm people residents of — of our
city. It’s not something that City Council should be reluctant about doing, that we re-regulate
housing, regulate harm reduction, why would we not look at something like payday lenders
and keep tight protections on them as we can. The report in 2007, also did find that lenders
concentrated in lower income areas at the same time that banks were disappearing from
them. The choice that was open to residents to be able to access funds were not there.
And it’s true there was the defence made today that online will be a more of a wild west,
and that’s what really why we should allow these store fronts is because it protects
people from going online, but there a third alternative which I’ve been involved for the
past 15 years with my colleagues in the non-profit sector and that is that we have through the
models offered through st. Chris west neighbourhood house through partnerships looked at how do
we do financial empower am in a non-profit model. These conversations continue. I’m very
excited to see that that’s part of the recommendations for this report through the poverty reduction
office and I really hope that you stay the course.
Thanks very much. Thank you very much. Any questions of the
deputant? Seeing none, thank you very much.
Enjoy your lunch. Next on the list is Nelson [indiscernible]
of pay today. Are you gentlemen speaking together.
Yes. Okay, perfect. You have five minutes whenever
you’re ready. Thank you first an foremost.
I wanted to take this time, my name is Nelson, I respect an independent company called pay
today. We’re also a member of the — loan association of Canada. We are not here representing
the big guys and so our concerns and challenges are different than theirs. We pride ourselves
on delivering this product in an appropriate manner that helps the customer and we really
believe in what we are doing today. We’ve been in this industry for over 20 years.
We’ve gotten to understand who the customer is and our approach has been uniquely different
from your money March or cash monies and catch for use. We don’t represent the 830 plus members
that makes up Canadian franchise association of Canada those are predominantly the 3 big
guys. For us, of course, not being able to expand
our brand and we feel we are, you know, improving this industry for the better through responsible
lending. We are unable to do that with the legislation put forth in Toronto currently
we have five locations and looking to expand and continuing to challenge this industry
to improve it. We’re proud to say we’ve been involved in certain government officials and
have been able to successfully lower what didn’t exist before which was how much a customer
could be lent. We’ve been able to talk them into capping that at 50%. We believe that
clients should be able to borrow when they need us, not be financially affected in a
negative way, be able to go on about their business when they’re not in need of our cash
and should be able to come in whenever that need arises. As you guys know, a large portion
of the Canadian population are living paycheck to paycheck.
This is a reality and there is a need for money. I understand that the attempt to eradicate
our industry completely in the hopes that the banks and the larger financial institutions
are going to step in has not happened, will not happen. We are here, we understand our
customer better than anybody. So I also understand that we’ve been towed
by some, not Councillor, you know, not by Councillor Nunziata, we’ve been told yes,
your product is required, we understand this is a need for your product. Of course, we’re
seeing that no, some Councillors want to see this industry completely eradicated. And the
need of the client will not go away. I’m also proud to say that as a business we made a
conscious decision early on in our careers having known who the customer is that we did
not lend to certain groups of individuals because we felt they did not have the ability
to repay. This is an employment-based product. Unfortunately to the — two of the individuals
behind me in acorn we do not lend to people on ODSP and welfare, they do not have the
ability to repay this loan. And we’ve been met with some criticisms with that, well,
why don’t you lend to us? You’re discriminating against us. You know,
we feel that without the ability to lend to that individual group, that the narrative
of us taking advantage of the — of the poor just wouldn’t be there. You know, last week
we helped a police officer who was in just a short temporary financial crunch and needed
$500. Okay, that’s not somebody we’re taking advantage of. We help nurses, we help teachers.
So the narrative I think is a little bit misguided. The idea that we’re only helping people on
social assistance and Ontario disability is not one that fits our criteria, that’s not
who we are. As a company we’ve been pushing for the 15% rate for over 5 years, you know,
the city and the government has just caught up with us. But we are the competition that
will improve this industry and we are the very people you guys are stopping from getting
in here an making this product a better product for the consumer.
Ironically enough, as spoken by the gentleman from acorn they wish to see less money marts
and less cash monies when the reality all they’re keeping away is us. They’re very grateful
for some of the laws you guys are putting for the because the 835 locations across,
you know, over 500 for money mart, 200 from cash money and over a hundred from cash for
you they’re already situated in all the main spots. Their main concern is can we sell our
business? For us, of course we share the same certain. It takes a massive amount of money
to open these locations. We’re not big bank, we’re not big money, we’re individuals, small
business trying to help the community and we’re trying to do it the right way. It’s
unfortunate and we’re here to basically advocate that there shouldn’t be a limitation.
There’s been a drop recently already as it is with the $15 per hundred. We’ve gone from
over 212 license to say under 200, a drop of 10%. So the intended consequences of the
rate drop has been — has been successful so far. So I don’t think that you guys are
going to be seeing a growth in this industry’s number wise other than competition and small
business. So we see this as an attack — ask you to wrap up.
Lastly I’d like to point your attention to a recent study that has been done by — wrap
up. Was released June 26th where he points out
to what Hamilton has done, gave them a failing grade of d. This in fact has not helped eradicate
this type of industry, online businesses will be there for the gentleman behind me it will
not stop somebody from overusing this product and borrowing from multiple — I need to you
stop, oh, my apologies. Thank you.
Questions of the deputant? Councillor Holyday, questions.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think there are more technical in nature. I realize that you’re
independent from the other places, but I understand there are rules mostly from Ontario law that
govern how this works. Can you help me, if I wanted to get a payday
loan I walk into one of those places what are the prerequisites that I have to have
that are mandatory across the industry and maybe you can offer comment to people who
break the rules on this. So you have to have an income for us you have
to have employment income and you have to have a bank account.
So I have employment income, I got a check from the City of Toronto every now and then,
what do I — am I signing over the rights to that check? Like how does it — what’s
the concept here. So if you’re receiving money from the City
of Toronto we first have to identify if you work for the City of Toronto or if you are
receiving social assistance from the City of Toronto. If you’re receiving social assistance
unfortunately you don’t qualify, it’s not income.
Is that with you or — that is with us specifically. I want to know across the industry.
Across the industry — you’re following more restrictive rules and I appreciate that.
You have to proven income and you have to have a bank account.
So I’m getting a check from the government or getting a paycheck and I prove that to
the lending institution, you know, here’s my last 3 checks, and I have a bank account,
so what am I doing when I take the loan for $500 am I signing a paper that says.
A pre authorized debit form that allows us to take money back in the next 2 weeks, some
cases it could be a month, some cases could be a week.
And you take the money directly from the bank. That’s incorrect.
The customer has options to come in and pay on their payday in person they can send the
money electrically — okay, so you’re using the stream, the income stream from the checks
as presented by the customer as a way to make your decision to give the loan, but you don’t
actually get security — no security whatsoever unsecure loan.
And it is in our best interest to make sure that the customer’s borrowing a responsible
amount that they’re able to repay. It is not of interest to us to incur additional fees.
Why they’re coming to us to begin with is to avoid the fees that can be incurred, 234
345e7b cases outweigh the amount that they’re borrowing.
So how does it work that you’ve got customers as outlined by the previous speaker are going
to multiple places? Are they taking the same they can check and saying I’ve got a check
— thank you for the question. That’s an interesting scenario because most
of the providers and I would say cash money cash for you they do not want to lend multiple
times to these individuals. So the customer has to be forth right when we’re asking the
question do you borrow with anyone else and they have to be honest with you and say, yes.
If a customer borrows with a competitor and have employment income with us well not lend
to them. Ontario government does not allow.
If they’re not truthful, in that case you can get into a bit of trouble, right.
Yeah, because you’re securing — not securing but — like conceptually securing the same
loan on the same check. And harming yourself in the longer long-term,
sure the maximums is 50%. If you make a thousand dollars we are allowed by the rules to lend
up to $500. We never ask the customer if they want the
full amount we ask them how much do you need and — income means whatever the next check
is. They’re usually net pay.
The net pay. So that’s every 2 weeks or monthly or annually.
It depends or client but the majority of our customers are paid biweekly.
So you’re looking to the payment interval so you can give 50% of the payment interval
I guess including fees and interest and so on.
Yes. What we’ve found was some of our competition was lending up to 80 or a 100% of a person’s
take home pay and we felt that wasn’t conducive — [Multiple Speakers].
No, not appeal all. Like I said, we played a role in stopping that.
The last question is I guess how do the interest rates work from a regulatory standpoint, how
much interest can you charge and does it vary with a bank of Canada rate.
It’s a fee-based product and the maximum is $15 per hundred, so if you borrow 200 with
us you’re going to be paying us $30. I’d like to be in a position to defend our customers.
These are not uneducated individuals who are being taken care of. They’re making a decision
to save the difference instead of paying $90, they’re paying 30, and I’d ask any of you
what would you do in that scenario. Bank charges you $45 and the institution that
you. [Multiple Speakers].
So there’s no interest on this. There’s a flat fee of.
[Multiple Speakers]. Now, whatever that — right.
Calculates as interest is what the mainly I can number is, but is doesn’t accrue month
to month, does it. No, it doesn’t. The most recent additional
regulations that have been put into place to additionally protect our customers are
called extended payment plan gives customers who borrowed on their third loan an additional
6 weeks to repay that loan. Thank you, Councillor Holyday. Councillor
Nunziata has questions. No, I’m putting my hand up just to move a
motion to complete the agenda because it’s 25 after 12. So this way we don’t come back.
Yep, I’m fine. Really fine with that. So we have these last deputants on this item. We
have one mortem with one deputant. . okay. So all in favour of the motion. Carried.
And sorry, Councillor Karygiannis, you have questions of the deputant.
You were thoughing around some numbers and $45 and $90 in nsf is it 45 — 4750 at the
banks currently. And some institutions charge 50 and some insurance
companies charge even higher. for bouncing in each
arm what insurance company insurance companies if you got car insurance and
you’re bouncing that some institutions are charging even more than 50 bucks
okay so if I was to come in and and borrow some money like Amanda and I
wanted $200 what would you charge me $30 $15 per hand what’s the the time line
that I have to repay you generally it’s about 14 days so every 2 weeks they can
come in for $200 and every two weeks you charge me 30
bucks our customers on average per year borrow five times so what we find is
most customers when they find themselves in a temporary financial crunch the only
my question was in a short term financial please let me finish
yep I can come in every two weeks and borrow $200 and you will charge me 30
bucks every two weeks up until your third loan.
What happens on your third loan there’s been additional legislation that I just mentioned
before called the extended payment plan which allows you as a customer the ability to take
6 weeks to pay that loan that way you’re not stuck in a cycle.
That would be what — you will now have 6 weeks to pay back the $230 and that gets divided
35% n 2 weeks and then the remainder — 35% in the second.
[Multiple Speakers]. Laymen’s terms. I come in you charge me 30
bucks. Um-hum.
2 weeks another 30 bucks. [Multiple Speakers].
It’s important that you need to come in and pay off your loan in full and you can — before
row 200 bucks. Yes.
Hold on a second. Sorry.
Don’t be like a — I don’t want to — I’m — I just want to understand I borrowed 200
bucks you charge me 30 bucks, I come in 2 weeks from now, 200 bucks you charge me another
30 bucks. Yes.
Right, that’s $60. I come in the third time and you charge me 30 bucks for 3 weeks or
6 weeks or what do you charge me back. We charge you again the same $15 maximum per
hundred but at this time you don’t have just 2 weeks to pay, you have 6 weeks to pay.
And there’s no additional charges. No.
So actually you’re making 90 bucks for my $200 and that’s something like ten weeks all
right. Thanks. Assuming the client needs the money, yes,
sir. The other questions for the deputants? Seeing
none we’ll go to — thank you very much both of you.
Yeah, thank you very much. We’re going to go to questions of staff any
questions of staff? Councillor Karygiannis.
We have some advanced circulated motions I was wondering if staff have seen the circulated
motions by Councillor Ainslie, am I allowed to ask questions of those?
[Off Mic]. Yes.
Okay. So we’re asking the federal government to require charter banks to have branches
in low income neighbourhoods which offer credit lines to low income people at the same rate
as they offer to the other customers. Can we do that, can we go to the federal government
and say we’re mandating you to open a bank here?
I think it’s a request, it’s not a mandate and council often sends letters up to the
province or to the feds. Okay.
For their consideration. I mean right now capital payday loans of 15
bucks for every hundred bucks loan this is what they’re doing right now or are they doing
anything else different. No that is how it’s governor verned.
To lower the maximum interest rate, am I to understand right now we can — mine the numbers
the general we’re talking before we’re not, you know the slick answer is not clear answers
that I can be charged up to 60% per year, that is what’s known as the criminal interest
rate. Okay, have we had — if I own a corporation
and I have a payday loan store can I not transfer that corporation to somebody else, sell the
rights of the corporation? Defer that to my colleague and legal.
So as in most business licenses under chapter 545 the license itself cannot be transferred
to new he want tee like a new corporation. But I can sell the corporation, correct.
These provisions applicable to payday loan operators do not prohibit the transfer of
shares. Which would allow you to sell the ownership
of the — is that a City of Toronto or is this a federal or provincial.
That is the City of Toronto’s rules in chapter 545.
Okay. But corporation is an identity almost like a person, correct.
That is correct. Corporation is owned by five individuals,
those five individuals sell their five shares to somebody else, where do we come in and
say well, you couldn’t do that if federally and provincially are allowed to do that.
So, again, under the provisions that apply to payday loan operators that activity would
not be prohibited. Some business license categories do prevent the transfer of controlling shares
or controlling interests, but those that apply to payday loans do not have those restrictions.
Sir, you lost me, you lost me. Are you trying to tell me if I have a corporation that has
this business and I have 3 shares that I cannot sell those shares to somebody else.
Again it’s the exact opposite, Councillor. Those shares can be transferred to other individuals
as long as the corporate he want tee does not change.
So the corporation stays the same, the shareholders can change.
That’s correct. Okay. So we’re not putting these people out
of business some people are trying to convey to us, we’re not putting them out of business,
they — the corporation still stays but the corporation could move from place to place
— I mean from shareholder to share hold tore shareholder, correct.
Correct that is one way to maintain the license with the single — are we disallowing people
to move from one location to another location? Yes, there’s a cap by ward.
So if — what’s that cap again? Well, it was 212, it is now been reduced over
the last year to 187. Per ward?
No, for the entire city. Okay.
And again, there are — it’s capped based on the number of provincial licenses that
were in existence may 1st, 2018. And again, so that is how it was established.
So if I was existing before per ward I can still operate, so in my area have about 15
or 20 of these guys can still operate. Our records actually feel that your ward has
6. What this doesn’t allow for is a new entry into the market.
Okay. So if I wanted to open a new store I can’t.
That is correct. That is the policy intent that the province gave to municipalities and
the policy intent of the city when we adopted this — council adopted this last May, last
April, pardon me. And they cannot move back and forth, they
can sell the shares but cannot move from one location — last question, Councillor.
Technically they could move across the street when we went from 44 wards to 25, that caused
some issues, 50% of them are actually on a street. So if it was on Victoria Park for
example, I don’t know if that’s the ward boundary, that’s just a north south street and nor whatever
reason the lease ran out or the building is being demotion granted accomplished, the intent
is to give them the opportunity to move across the change which would be a changing ward
which this report allows for afternoon exemption process for that to happen.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Karygiannis. Next Councillor
Holyday. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I just, Councillor Karygiannis
was helpful in helping me understand some of the requirements in the report. So if I’ve
got this right we’re not issuing any new licenses under the proposed and current set of rules
that are can’t insured in this report. . That’s correct and the cap has naturally through
attrition has gone from 212 to 187. And as businesses close or go online we’re
not going to see any more take their place and expect that number to increase over time.
That is correct that is the positive intent. Okay, there are some proposed motions there
that talk about putting suggesting to other governments that caps be put on interest rates,
what would the effect be if we put a cap, a dramatic cap on the interest rate? I see
in the report it says the effective annual percentage rate of 390%, and does that — do
I understand the mechanics right, that represents the $15 per $100, because there’s a complex
equation on how you each reach the apr, have I got that right.
Yeah, that’s right. So if the apr was made 10% or 20% that $15
would go down to pennies. That’s correct, again this is something under
the provinces jurisdiction for them to consider what they feel is appropriate.
Okay. And you recommending in the report that you have some sort of a mechanism to approval
the movement of a payday loan in and out of the different wards for some of the reasons
you’ve cited, you know, that the building had to be torn down so did you want to put
the business out you wanted to give them a chance to go somewhere else, and would you
be looking at — would you be looking at this or would you just say as long as you’re relocating
in the 416 we’re okay with it. No, we would be looking at it closely and
the intent is for it to move across the street not to move from say your wards, Councillor
Filion’s wards which aren’t even connected
so we couldn’t have a bunch of payday loan companies say you know what we want
to join the cluster over there in Weston we think we can have better business
there so here’s my application you would have some criteria to to substantiate
their requirement to move yes that’s correct
and if council was not happy with that could we bump it up or have a discussion
at community council or you know how would we resolve any differences in an
opinion on that matter or did we just sort of leave it to staff so the way
it’s written in the report it would be delegated to to myself and my team to
look at it okay it doesn’t it doesn’t have an appeal process okay and can you tell me a little bit more about the
criminal code of Canada and the interest rate which is currently I guess 60% according to
something that was circulated, how does the criminal code of Canada maximum interest rate
relate to what’s happening with the payday loan caps and mechanisms because I understand
according to the report that rate is 390%, so wouldn’t that be illegal?
This is the way payday loan operators operate is this is an exemption to the criminal interest
rate. Section 347 charge an effective rate of 60% or more per year.
So if we petition to reduce the criminal code of Canada rate would that have any effect
on the payday loan industry? I don’t believe so because it’s exempt.
Okay. Thank you. Are there questions, sorry, Councillor Nunziata,
questions. I was just looking at the map. My ward seems
to have the most clusters. Most red dots. In the report on page — on page 2 of 13,
the location change process. So I’m rather surprised that — that you mentioned that
a — one of the establishments can move from one ward to another. But nothing in there
about the local Councillor being consulted or the community being consulted, like we
just did — went through the clothing boxes a couple months ago. And in there even the
recommendation was that the local Councillor be advised. So I’m surprised that that would
not be part of your report. They can move from one ward to another without any notification.
They can only move within — they have to move within this ward and then if they go
outside the ward again it’s meant for those really when you’re on border because of the
new ward changes going from 44 to 25 which is why we introduced that process.
Yeah, would we be notified? We do not put that in here but it’s something
we can do. Well, yeah. I mean really the Councillor is
not notified at all. The attempt is not to have a veto for the
Councillor. I think the Councillor should have the opportunity
to say yes or no. We did that with the clothing boxes and that got passed and we you an agreed
on that. Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Nunziata. Councillor
Matlow, did you have questions, no, okay. Councillor Karygiannis did you want a second
round. [Off Mic].
I was looking what Councillor Nunziata was saying about us having some sort of a say
as to whether — I was looking at the map and you were looking at the map and we understand
that no ifs ands or buts that these folks are around low income areas, would that be
correct? I mean in my ward certainly they’re right across the street from TCHC or low income
buildings I see people shaking this heads. That is correct, 41% of the location are in
neighbourhood improvement areas. Would it be unreasonable for us to work with
you and for Councillors to have a final say so these places when they move or relocate
or you know, like I mean, if we have to throw within the ward, would that be unreasonable
for us to have a say as we have a say with boxes I mean clothing boxes?
I leave that to your discretion if you want to add that.
Now, how do we go about legalizing legislating or regulating oversea loans people that can
go on the internet, looking — talking to one gentleman whatever the guy lines up and
makes fun of him and goes on the internet and borrows how do we regulate those.
I think it’s different level of government. It’s not under our control.
Okay. All right. That’s it. Appreciate it. Okay. Okay. Thank you. I think that’s all.
Does anybody else want a second round of questions other than Councillor Karygiannis. No, okay.
Speakers on this item. [Off Mic].
I’m going to move that [Off Mic]. Shall we move onto the next item. We’re going
to hold this item down while we clean up some motions. We’re going to move onto number 16.
The registered deputant is Mr. Tim [indiscernible] from the emery village improvement area.
Thank you. You have five minutes whenever you’re ready.
Well, here today to talk about enforcement strategy that has quite important not only
to our bia but potentially others. I think Mr. Grant was a little bit aware of
it. The — okay. Everybody I think knows in the committee what
the bia is it’s a group of business owners that work together. We particularly work together
on the aspect of safety. A big bunch works on enforcement from a separate security firm.
One thing Mr. Chairman, I think I gave you a copy, I think Councillor Matlow is the only
one I never gave a copy to, but I think everybody else has received a copy before, but I brought
additional copies for everybody. If you’d like a copy of the emery village
voice newspaper. We are one of the largest employment zones
in the city. We’ve been designated as an employment zone.
Welcome efforts of enforcement for a number of things. So some it appears to be inconsistently
applied. And this is why I’m here today. A good number of projects that we do particularly
in naming, street naming, community centre, just recently [indiscernible] drive this is
street improvements, et cetera. And we’re working hard to achieve this to
create an appealing review just nation for the area. What happens is our ba has been
very proactive and received phone calls about various complaints about a number of things.
And they’re related to service standards and property standards, property maintenance,
a number of things, our efforts are counterproductive to those. We also get referral calls from
Councillor’s office from the police departments, they were referring to calls to deal with
troubleshooting and from the members themselves. A lot of these problems are associated with
counterproductive to what we’re doing, illegally parking.
This has been an ongoing issue for about 8 years. the
beautification efforts that we do are becoming unappropriately damaged and I
believe that the time is mister oh there yeah I spoke to him earlier
about what we thought was what was called a special constable could late
charges with parking but a new model has to be created What happens is all of our efforts are beginning
to be counterproductive and the efforts that we have with enforcement, a new strategy I
think Mr. Grant might be in favour of in terms of planning activities and policy, creating
initiative where experts can help devise this. In the past I’ve always felt that our private
mobility services which is the teleguard they can issue warns but almost handcuffed in terms
of where these warnings are coming from. We need more teeth we’ve gotten to that point,
Mr. Chairman. I had thought in the past that a special constable —
so we have a solution. We have a proposal today. And we hope that somebody can recommend
to the staff to have a look at. And that would be that the — this committee through you,
Mr. Chair, use the emery bia as a pilot project where dedicated officers can be hired perhaps
a portion of our security budget can go to the hiring of a new officer and other bias
too. But we can be used as a pilot project on this particular model. And when other bias
contribute perhaps be a minimum amount and so on. So it’s just a new model we’re working
toward modernization working towards specialization and things like that. That’s what I hope you
have a look at today. Thank you. Thank you. Through you to the deputant I want
to thank — and I understand the difficulties, the challenges you’re facing but you’re not
unique. I mean every industrial area faces the same challenges.
Am I to understand that you’ve asked the city to have bylaw officers come by — yeah.
Why not parking enforcement. Why not do what.
Parking enforcement. That’s what we do as well.
At that time what we meant, we do that as well. There are warnings, they’re infective,
the answer is this, Councillor Karygiannis, we’ve gone beyond just calling the police,
calling parking, we’ve hired our own security firm. It’s 1-3rd of our budget. Unfortunately
some of these issues that you talk about parking issues aren’t deemed to be vital, are low
on the priority list when it comes to health and safety. So they don’t get addressed properly.
So we have to take it into our own hands. This is how we feel that we can take it in
our own hands by paying for it. Have again, this might sound stupid, or it’ll ask a
question have you not asked your local councillor to get involved and ask for
stricter parking enforcement this is well yeah we have part of it is when it
gets down to perhaps mr. grant can help me understand this special constable can
deal with parking enforcement you can hire private security firm who’s
I believe who is a special constable who can issue the those those things this
recommendation comes through our last meeting I went through our AGM it was
approved in January council fruits at our last meeting they discussed this
okay thanks thanks other questions of the DEP unit counselor Philly ons so if
I understand you correctly Tim you’re suggesting in effect two levels of
service one for people who could have organizations which can afford to pay
for the level of service which you think everybody should have and then the ones
who would settle for the existing service levels who can’t afford to pay
for it I mean it’s in the staff reports called specialized enforcement there
would be the staff already do that now so should we have should we extend that
too. So if you have — the neighbourhood association
can pay money to the city to get adequate bylaw enforcement but in less affluent areas
they just have to settle for poor bylaw enforcement. I don’t know what I’m asking here is that
your staff professionals review this and come back with a recommendation.
It’s sort of what you’re saying. But then again I have great faith in Carlton
grant and I would like to see what he’d have to say about it, but it’s sort of what you’re
saying. Thank you.
Any other questions of the deputant? Seeing none, questions of staff. Councillor Filion.
So I’ll start out with the question of staff, is our — no, I won’t ask that. I’ll just
go to the report. So on page 4 of the report it talks — this is a column that says service
standard. So I’ll just look at the top one property standards which is our most common
complaint where it says initial response in five days, what is that referring to?
Through the chair, that refers to the initial response from when service request comes in
and when the officers makes that first contact. So it’s to say yes, we’ve received your complaint.
It could — through the chair, it could be yes, we’ve received your complaint or yes,
we’ve received your complaint and we want to set up an appointment. So the service response
standard is five days, however, most — well I’m going to say 50% of the time they’re making
that service standard. So I’ll just before moving on from that, so
the — and then we only — so the five days is just to get back to you — get back to
somebody, our performance level is 70%, our target, why would our target not be 100% to
get back to people in five days? Through the chair, those are the targets we
sent based on existing resources. If council wishes those response times to improve then
we would have to have the resources to support that.
And the 52%, is that 52% of a hundred % or 52% of 70%.
Through the chair, that would be 52% of 70%. Of a hundred percent, sorry, I stand corrected.
Okay. The motion which I’m looking to find, it was my motion made at the committee which
no one — thank you, no, no, sorry. My motion that — that
asked for this talked about service standards for doing something, not service standards
for will heing somebody know that you’d received their complaint. Do we track — do we have
any service standards for actually dealing with a complaint?
Through the chair, are you — I want to clarify the question, are you specific about where
in — or where in general do we track it? .
Okay, so the motion asked for service standards for enforcement among others things.
So is there anywhere in this report that talks about service standards for enforcement?
Thoish, not for — not for resolution. There isn’t.
No. So is there any reason when the report request
asks for that, is there any reason why you didn’t provide that information in the report?
Mainly because the service standards are — is our response times to reaching out to people
resolution is sought in a number of different ways, and it very challenging based on the
30 bylaws that are reviewed to have it specific per bylaw. So we do have different standards,
again, to get to resolution for something resolved, one that you and I have discussed
before, one or two days to notify, to give an advisory notice to cut grass but then we
have to leave 20 days after that as an appeal period. So they are some pieces built in.
It is something that I want to develop further, so that you, so that Councillors, your staff
an con estimate wants have a better understanding of our response times beyond the five days.
When we met 2 months ago to discuss my concerns about moving enforcement staff, moving all
staff out of North York, North York Civic Centre, you were going to get back to me with
actual standards for doing something by tall grass and weeds, et cetera, et cetera, were
you not? Yes, and I have those and they are in a very
lengthy document that I think I can make clear and easier for yourself and your staff and
your constituents to be aware of. I have the details it’s just I think it’s cumbersome.
So it appears to me and I’m conscious time, it appears to me that basically they are no
performance standards for actually accomplishing anything, and if there are they are so convoluted
that you can’t provide them to anyone including this committee.
So you’ll notice in the report we talk about doing a service standards review on page 9.
I hear your concerns loud and clear and know that we need to get — and also through the
new budget process this year with service standards and outcomes it is a body of work
that we will be doing. There was an auditor’s report in 2017, I believe,
which was not compliment tear, has anything — and I think this was a section in that
that talked about standards and proper deployment of staff, has — what of that has been acted
on. I’m going to defer to the director of bylaw
enforcement who again, was heavily involved in that report.
Last question, Councillor. Through the chair, what I can tell you, Councillor,
is there’s 3 parts to that report. One of the parts spoke to how we could better
deploy or resources. Based on that a number of things have happened.
We have instituted dedicated teams that are concentrating on our high priority matters.
We’ve reorganized or — our operation into teams. Looking towards data driven results.
How well do we do, and really and truly is anyone better off because of it. One of the
examples I can give you it’s in the report, but just to sort of show you a different way
of doing business, is doings off leash in the parks. The historic way of doing that
was to dispatch an officer every time there was a report of a dog off a leash. Obviously
you can understand the logistics of trying to get there in real time. By the time the
officer got this the doing and owner were long gone. Instead of doing that, the current
method now is using data plotting the reports of doings off leash finding the high incident
locations, the time of day, the day of week, and proactively being there to prevent the
activity from happening rather than to Chase after it or find it.
Councillor Holyday, questions. Thank you, chair. It should be of no surprise
like most Councillors bylaw enforcement matters that are complex, consume an enormous amount
of resources in the Councillor’s office. Ultimately they’re due to human behaviors. I just wondered
in the contemplated review of service standards, if this is any thought being given to try
acknowledge complaints, maybe put health and safety ones first and deprioritize those ones
that we really clearly get the sense that they’re frivolous or, you know, repeat issues
or issues that stem from fighting between 2 people over, you know the length of grass
that’s an inch too tall. And you know, I just add if I had a nickel for every time a constituent
said look, Councillor can you help me just tell bylaw not to come, you know it’s the
situation into neighbours just calling again to get under my skin, there’s no problem here
and yet we’re obligated today enforce it, we’ve got to go. Is there any thought to that
process, is there anything council can do to help create some policies or rules with
our support to try to deal with, you know, the scenarios that just seem to be a really
big draw on resources where I would prefer you being out this and dealing with the health
and safety issues? That is our current practice. We do triage,
we do have a priority response where we are doing health and safety first. The challenge
we’re having is then those — the second examples that you provide is that we can’t just ignore
a service request. We’re moving towards doing some — you know doing notifications instead
of having to send an over. But we are not in a position to defer our work to anyone,
and that’s our challenge. Police for example, through their task force were able to defer
some to other people. We do not have a group to defer to so we need to respond to all,
but we fully agree that it has to be on a priority base and those are the ones we need
to get to and why some of our other issues, service standards are suffering. and so
would you contemplate a future report would really talk about those ideas that
it’s not defer but you know repeat calls or calls that you know fall into the
category you can describe them any way you want you know have a much longer
service window versus the you know the acute issues have the really short
service window and so you know we could see council although it may be a little
complicated in the report I think it’ll be pretty intuitive to people that
important stuff gets addressed quickly and and less important stuff takes
longer and as counselors we’re gonna have to you know take a little bit of
complaint to us as well to say why is it taking so long well the answer back is
is because we need to have our by law officers focusing on the urgent stuff do
you see a report coming that would be you know it might take a few weeks to
get to a particular type of complaint so that is our thinking as well and this
anklet councillor Fillion is driving towards to some certainty that complaint
a is gonna take five days in complaints he may take twenty two but at least some
certainty and that’s what’s missing right now and I understand I understand
the questions okay thank you councillor G Anderson and councillor
Annunziata thank you through you to the staff age 3
or 14 number 1 refer it to Toronto animal services Toronto motor soup
remotes responsible whatever shelter care and 24-hour emergency response for
domestic animals and wildlife complaints 24 hours which means that they’re open
24 hours the chair we provide 22 hours 21 hours of coverage at this time we
recently had to change our service standards because we could not meet the
bulk of the emergency calls which is 99 percent of the service requests that are
coming in between 6 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. in addition when we looked at our call
volumes we determined that a chair my questions
we were simple do you provide 24-hour service a chair no we do not
okay so then this 24 hours is not valid then correct what’s written in here on
page three or four shelter care and 24 hour emergency service response for
domestic animal well complains if you don’t provide 24 hours why is it that it
says 24 hours here through the chair [Music]
it’s an error I’m just I’m gonna walk through a scenario it’s it’s just how
its interpreted if it called min o’clock in the talked about the scenario the
raccoon in the apartment in the ninth floor and we got a call in at one
o’clock today our standard is to respond before 1:00 o’clock tomorrow regardless
of being open 24 hours a day our objective to do it within 24 hours 5
an emergency pet wildlife requiring immediate medical assistance service
standard is 2 hours so if you get a call at 1 o’clock they’re gonna look at after
by 3 a.m. 1 a.m. in the morning are you gonna look after my 3 a.m. through the
chair that’s our targeted standard however as I just previously explained
that we had to change our service standards based on local volumes at
night lack of resources supervision of staff training of staff absenteeism and
the list goes on and on so yes we had to make those hard decisions but I believe
we’re continuing to work with our partnerships in the community and
Trombly services to manage our response times I’m gonna go to page 7 or 14 in
2017 MLS created a team focused and workforce development and training in
order to develop a comprehensive training program you have a
comprehensive traveling program for the Toronto animal services staff through
the chair yes we do and that is something that is readily available it’s
written up it’s in a book format is it a it’s any it’s in the you know under
databases of the city of Toronto is it readily available through the chair it
is readily available it’s it’s contained in
SOPs we also have orientation manuals it’s contained on the city of Toronto’s
website Eli providers also keep copies of all the
training for staff training is not just done formally in a classroom it’s also
done electronically and at monthly staff meeting oh the MLS created a team
focused a workforce development for Toronto Animal Services what is that a
page two pages five pages twenty pages what is the manual through the chair
there is no manual for the workforce development that’s a fairly new program
to MLS and the framework for that program is being developed by 2017 MLS
created a team focused and workforce development and training in order to
develop comprehensive training program for bylaw enforcement officers and other
staff through the division do we have a manual for people that are working for a
yes through the chief we do do you have it available through the chair all of
our officers are given the same orientation training we do have an
orientation guide for if you’d like to see one the program was launched in 2017
we had a few hiccups along the way so we feel we’re in a very good place now to
promote that kind of training so if I ask any TAS staff person and say do you
have a manual will they be able to provide it through the chair they have a
number of different training manuals yes would you be surprised if the folks if I
was to tell you that they they’re not aware of this would you be surprised if
I was to tell you that something like this does not exist through the PAS
staff through the chair I’d be very surprised counselor
shucks the hell out of me so the staff then that are working MLS folks that are
working and they’ve told me directly that there’s no such manual are they
lying to me through the chair I’m not going to comment on that question
counselor manual is you’re thinking physically of a manual our training is a
little more fluid there’s an onboarding piece there are several pieces and
there’s monthly pieces so I think what you’re looking for is physical manual
but there’s there a significant amount of training and investment in our staff
and animal services are you fully staffed with Ron Ramsey Chancellor last
question yet the through through the chair we are struggling to maintain our
resources the hiring process has been a challenge for us
however we are filling every position that comes open as soon as we can we are
understaffed as well and we will be making a submission through the budget
process okay Thank You counsel nuns the other
questions of stuff question now that your last answer I was my understanding
that last year that we put additional money into your account to hire so I’m
surprised that you’re saying that you’re understaffed we sorry he added on we
gave you the enrichment last year during the budget process I believe that was
for by law enforcement officers not necessarily animal control officer this
is just for animal control for by law officers you did hire and we’ve just
hired 37 and they’re right now going through extensive training program and
are going to be on the road shortly filling vacancies that that that existed
now some of the complaints that we get in the only the only way that you could
monitor and you can actually investigate is because they’re different times of
the day so some of them are in the evenings and
so are we having our staff on these issues some of these issues that are
coming forward to work in the evenings and because a lot of the complaints come
it happens at night not during the day and then we send someone out and they go
well nothing’s happening you know but it’s in the evening that it’s happening
so are we doing that so through the chair depending on the
type of complaint that’s coming in we have different response times so for
investigation services we’ll have one type of response time for those kinds of
complaints so we do have staff working through the evenings that are receiving
the types of calls that they should be addressing in the in the timeframes okay
my last question I’m not going to take five minutes because it’s late some of
these issues some of these complaints that come in there they’re ongoing
complaints from from the same the from the same constituent or the same
location and so we have to keep sending staff out keep sending staff out to give
them a notice and then gonna go on and it takes weeks and weeks so rather than
do that can we be looking at being a little more proactive though and if you
send them a note for example hi grass and weeds so if their absentee landlord
they don’t care and you wait two months later it’s like seven feet high and you
know so in the incidents like that where you have to keep going back keep going
back and beste gaining can we not just go and do the work and then charge it on
the property tax wouldn’t that be a lot easier then keep sending staff out again
over and over again in the same location I’m just giving you an example the grass
high grass and weeds no it’s a good example and it’s when I discussed with
councillor Fillion as well is we need to use data and when we have repeat
offenders we don’t have to wait for the complaint to come in because that
property is a problem every April May and we need to we need to be on top of
that and we use the new data so that we can be doing that that is part of the
service review that we’re doing and something
we’re committed to doing so can we though the repeat offenders can we not
go in and and we used to do that years ago we used to go and cut their grass
and clean up the garbage and then charge on the property tax and then you know we
did that before but we were being very proactive and once they got thousands of
dollars added on to their property tax depending on what the issue is you don’t
have these repeat offenders now through the chair we do a lot of the remuda work
as well but there is a regulatory requirement to give them sufficient
notice we can’t arbitrarily go in to the bad actors we have to follow the bylaw
we used to do that years ago I guess things have changed days okay
okay all right other questions of stop seeing none speakers it’s not counselor
Kerr Janice if you have a motion I get to that little while ago I’m not sure if
they they have it ready okay we’ll stand you down comes our newly on motion as
well which I’ll read out that the general government and licensing
committee requests the executive director municipal licensing standards
to report that the general government and licensing committee at its meeting
on October 7th 2019 on the following a performance standards for actually
dealing with and closing files related to complaints and investigation services
and by law enforcement and be how the removal of municipal licensing and
standards staff from the North York Civic Center is affecting property
standards enforcement particularly particularly in words where that results
in significant travel time for staff so not to belabor this too much but I think
we need to acknowledge here that we have a portion of a department that is
functioning so badly that we have a deputy and coming in saying can we
please for a good service level I mean you know that’s if we needed an
illustration of how bad it is that’s how bad it is and it’s not it’s not sporadic
it’s unfortunately and I’ve said this had this conversation with with Carlton
but and with Tracy before him it’s it’s it’s not I wish it was sporadic it’s
sporadic when it’s working well occasionally it’ll work well for six
months or a year and then it falls apart again whether there’s change in staff or
whatever it’s extremely sporadic but fairly chronically
and I have been trying for many years to try to say okay let’s sit down here and
come up with some standards and I can never doesn’t matter who I meet but it
doesn’t matter whether it’s the local North York staff who aren’t there
anymore or mr. grant or anyone I can’t seem to ever it’s like it’s like nailing
jello to the wall you can’t get any standards and if we don’t have any
standards how do we know whether we’re doing an okay job or not I think
anecdotally we are not doing an okay job so let’s so let’s if that’s the case if
we can’t demonstrate that we’re doing a proper job let’s acknowledge that we’re
not and then that generally boils down to two things lack of resources or
existing resources not being properly deployed and managed or some combination
thereof so let’s get a report back and determine one of those it is if we have
no standards if we have standards let’s say so in a report and tell us what they
are if we have no standards let’s say that
and if our standards are poor because we don’t have enough staff which is what I
think we heard then let’s tell that the council and council can make a decision
either provide enough staff to do the job or accept very poor performance
standards and be prepared to tell our residents that or take some other action
to you know get some improvement here the second part of my motion deals with
the staff at the North York Civic Center which you know the North your councilors
found out by memo several months ago that the staff that the Councillors who were already expressing concerns
about lack of enforcement were told that all of the staff in the civic centre had been
moved to Scarborough. So the Scarborough civic centre is you know,
even when you don’t have much traffic, is at least 20 minutes from North York Civic
Centre and when you have traffic, it can be 45 minutes.
So how is that not making poor service standards worse makes no sense to me.
It just seems logical that that wouldn’t do anything other than complicate already existing
problem. So there.
Now I have said enough. Okay.
Thank you. Any questions?
Seeing none, so Councillor, staff want to know if they can report back to the November
general government licensing meeting and they will have, they have to submit a report for
September 23 for our next meeting. They want to have time to get it done adequately.
That would seem like a reasonable request. My concern is if we have to deal with the
budget if the answer is we don’t have enough staff, but if they can’t do it until November,
then they can’t do it and I wouldn’t make that amendment, that change.
Okay. All right.
Thank you. A friendly question, if I may.
okay. I’m looking to have a section of this report
regarding animal services come back to us with more specifics of what they are doing
there and questions I raised. I’m wondering if I can attach that to your
motion. Sure, I don’t think it matters if it is attached
or separate but I haven’t seen it. Basically, I was going to defer until January
2020 in order to get back concerns by the staff.
I don’t want to wait until January 2020. I was wondering if I could do it for November
alone. If it’s November, sure.
Sure. Can staff — yeah.
Again, I haven’t seen it. But sure.
This is the staff writing. Sorry, I’m not sure how this computes with
my motion. I’m trying to make a motion.
I’m not deferring. I’m asking for further report back.
I don’t think that’s complimentary. Okay.
Can I ask for a report back. Okay, you can.
Okay, thank you. Okay.
Other speakers? I’m not going to move a motion but I just
want to share a couple observations that I’ve had over the years.
Why we have some of the challenges we have. I can’t tell you how many times, and Councillor
Filion was saying about what their expectations are and what kind of response they are able
to attain. When someone called 311, you are told with
that’s what you do. They call 311 and they are told that it will
take about five days for somebody to come out and address it.
And just intuitively, I think one can admit that just isn’t helpful.
In most cases. You know, it is happening that night.
It is happening at 2:00 in the morning. That’s when they need help.
And that’s when they feel vulnerable. And not only five days doesn’t really help
the situation as far as addressing what is going on, there is no way to attain evidence
to help with prosecution at that point. It is a done thing.
So residents then I think reasonably ask what is the point of all of this.
Why are we doing this. And I’m sure people working are wondering
the same thing but from a different vantage point.
Either way it is dysfunctional. It doesn’t work.
No blame to staff, just that system doesn’t work.
So I acknowledge, by the way, that I understand there is a new, I’ve been asking for this
for many years, a s.w.a.t. Team violations that will be announced that hopefully will
be helpful. But even with that we can address the magnitude
of complaints we receive on a daily, nightly basis.
Then we get into the long grass and all of these different issues.
So there is a couple of things I’ve observed. One thing is, we don’t have the powers that
most people think that we have. I’ve described to many people, the city in
general has the highest level of expectations with the least amount of power.
And people, the whole Airbnb issue for example, everyone thinks that the city can just unilaterally
decide what the rules are going to be and a lot of people don’t understand it is not
with the LPAT and that’s not our last say. That can be said for a number of different
powers. People expect we just jump like superheros
and go and fix but really there are all sorts of hoops and things that we need to do to
get permission to be able to enforce certain bylaws.
You were surprised earlier, Councillor, that we can’t just go and say, hey, we’re going
to stick you with the tax bill. It is not that simple.
So expectations are different than the reality and that something that I think we need to
remedy one way or another and I hope this review will help to seek to address which
is, let’s just match, let’s match reality with reality.
If we can do something, let’s do it. If we can’t do something, let’s stop pretending
that we can. Because a politician wanted to save the day
and say here is a motion. Be candid and say, you may want to look like
you are doing something but realistically we will raise false expectations and let people
down and it’s not good for anyone. Politically or ethically.
Just not a good way to run government. The other thing is resources.
I have real problem with how we’ve each year during budget, whether it is from council,
tell everybody across the system that we need to cut a certain number, right, whether it
is 1% or 2%. And it is so arbitrary.
I’ve never seen a private business do things that way.
Typically what I believe people do, and certainly I do this in my own household is you thoughtfully
consider what your priorities are, what you fund, what can you cut.
It is not about pro or anti-cut or any of that.
More just about recognizing what, where you have redundancy and where you can make some
thoughtful cuts and where you need to invest and then you make decisions based on what
your needs are. And how much money you have coming in.
And to say you need to cut or get it a certain zero or 1 or whatever, without recognizing
what their needs are, puts a lot of pressure on their general manager, to come to Budget
Committee and say, we’re doing just great. We are doing just fine.
I’ve seen that happen with many senior staff that rather than feel comfortable in our system
to be able to say, you know what, we are struggling, that is not good for your career and not good
for the spirit of your staff. Or to say, you know, we need this many extra
things or maybe we can’t cut this year. We have a system right now that doesn’t allow
a lot of room for that candour. And I think we need to fix that as well.
I need to round up by saying I think the system is broken and needs fixing but I think the
people who work for us, Joe in my area and others are exemplary and appreciate the work
you do. Thank you, Councillor.
Councillor Holyday. Bylaw and enforcement issues are among the
top three things that go on in my office that cross my desk and take up good time.
And dealing with complex issues. And for the most part, folks do a really good
job. In fact, I’ve gotten to know many of them
and the management team because, in my learning on this job, the issues are rarely what they
seem on paper. There is always often more to the story.
And although we enforce the rules that we have before us, and because of the complexity
of the issues and I appreciate the work that they do.
I am looking forward to the report on standards because that helps a lot for us to deal with
difficult situations. And in particular, it is human conflict is
normally at the root of things that don’t easily get resolved.
And I guess, if I could leave one message of, besides thanks, is just to push the limit
in terms of how we try to deal with these matters.
And living in a city of this size, living with density in an area will only lead to
more human conflict and attitudes towards resolving that conflict, I think I changed
over neighbours don’t want to seem to talk to each other as much as they used to or reach
an agreement and people look towards the city or other officials or entity to sort stuff
out. And that’s a very difficult thing to keep
up with. In fact I don’t think we ever will.
But you know, some things that have tripped me up and tripped others up in trying to get
things resolved is just our approach to the information and privacy and I think we should
always question, you know, when it is we cannot share information and why.
And I recognize there are very valid times when we can’t share the information and there
are other times when I scratch my head and say, maybe we really should.
Because the outcome will be better or there is a very good reason for that.
So staff and I know they don’t have a lot of time between now and the time that the
next report will come. But to me, I’m really looking for, if there
is any ideas on there, or experiments we can try to make things better, because I do take
the phone calls as the front line staff do and I do realize and how difficult some challenges
are in people’s day-to-day lives and they look to the city to help them sort things
out. And they look to the city to help them sort
out conflicts and if we can try to get these things resolved, faster, better, more successfully,
because of the processes that we have. I think it will improve the quality of life
of citizens. I like do my part as a Councillor, both in
operation side but also as policy maker and member of council and I encourage staff to,
as I said, push the limit on this if we can come up with ideas, I would love to hear them.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Holyday.
Councillor Nunziata to speak. Thank you.
Briefly because it is late. I think that we need to review our bylaws.
Like I would like us to review our bylaws. And you know, as Councillor Matlow mentioned,
sometimes we can’t, you know, the bylaws, we don’t have the authority.
And some of these issues that come up, constituents expect the city to resolve them.
Well, we can’t. And when we say this is not in the bylaw,
they just don’t understand it and they go why not and you know, I think we really have
to look at that. And because of issues with Airbnb, a lot of
them are operating illegally, we are getting complaints, people are partying on the streets.
There is nothing we can do. So I think that we maybe have to look at all
of, you know, at our bylaws and maybe you know, make them a little tougher.
I like the idea of city going in and you know cleaning up some of these repeated offenders
property and just charging them on the property, that will smarten them up right away.
As far as staffing, I’ve been a big supporter, always a supporter of adding more resources
into your department because as Councillor Holyday mentioned, really the majority of
complaints that we get are from your MLS and complaints like that.
And that’s visible. Like visible.
People can see the high grass and weeds. People can see the garbage.
And that’s where really, and I’ve always supported, for us to put more resources into our department.
Because that makes a difference to constituents and most of our complaints are to your department.
So thank you. Thank you.
That’s all the speakers. Oh, sorry, Councillor Karygiannis.
As part of what I was looking at, there was, right now, I’m looking at the report, and
it says that we — I moved it as part of a friendly amendment.
You got to say. Can I have the motion up please for the friendly
amendment so I can move this. That’s the third line.
Right now if we get a request for an animal services response, between 1:00 am to 6:00
a.m., staff are not there to respond. If you have a cadaver in the middle of the
street or a dog hurt, and a call comes in in the middle of the night, we don’t have
staff to report. In Councillor Filion’s ward, a rottweiler
molested a 78-year-old and this was done in the night and we were able to respond because
the officer went in and removed the dog. With the cut backs that we’re facing right
now, for budget or realignment of staff, that individual we will not have the ability to
respond to that call. There has been called where there was a fire
and the police had to remove animals and keep them overnight either at fire station or at
the police station because we don’t have staff to respond.
So I realize that the work needs to be done in order for us to reestablish the service
calls at night but right now as it stands, Councillor Matlow, Councillor Nunziata, if
there is a call from your ward at 1:00 or 1:30 at night for an animal in distress or
animal attacking someone we don’t have anyone to respond.
We don’t have offices to go out and respond. I had an opportunity to meet with animal services
personnel. There is all kind of difficulties they are
facing and I would like to part of that to have to move to, along with the rest of Councillor
Filion’s request in order for us to have a report back from staff so we know how to answer
our constituents should you get a call from someone who says my mother was molested last
night by my son’s rottweiler and I could not get somebody to come out.
That is what we are facing with right now. Thank you.
Councillor Karygiannis, just for clarifications, it says concerns raised by municipal standards,
staff, I’m not sure what those concerns are. They’ve been raised by the — they’ve been
raised by staff and — in what form? I met with them and have given them a letter.
And this is a four-page letter that can I make available to you.
The staff and they are looking at it and there is also difficulties — okay, so refers to
a letter from myself to staff. Concerns raised by staff that I’m working
by MLS front line workers and officers. Just trying to be accurate with the motion.
So it is a letter that you sent them. Yes.
So I would really rather, it is indirectly, I just think they would have something, staff
should have something to refer to, so it is concerns raised by Councillor Karygiannis.
So if we can change that, there should be something there for them to respond to.
Sure. Shoes so can we change staff to — change
it myself, sure. I may be able to help with clarification as
well if you would indulge me. We’re indulging.
Instead of, I want to put it into service levels, staffing levels, training, pieces
that make — I would rather it say that than concerns raised by Councillor about staff.
I think you would want us to address staffing levels.
Service hours and training and any other — it would be more — hit the nail on the head.
Okay, thank you. I’m much more comfortable with that.
Thank you, Councillor. You want wording changed?
Instead of concerns by Councillor Karygiannis, reporting back to animal service standards.
Staffing levels and training. Response times?
Second one. Yes.
Response times is fine. All right.
All right. Thank you.
Thank you. This is Councillor Filion’s motion in front
of us as amended by Councillor Karygiannis with a friendly amended.
All in favour. Carried.
Item is amended. Carried.
We are back to number 15. Speakers.
Councillor Nunziata. Thank you.
I won’t be long. So I have two motions.
And motion number 4, we can put it on the screen, as far as the creating minimum separation
distance between payday loan establishments in between payday loan establishments and
schools. And then motion number 5 to add in in consultation
with local Councillor. When I asked that question about if they get
relocated to a different ward, local Councillor advice, and yes, and so, the local Councillor
should be advised and consulted and have the final decision.
Slow. This all started years ago actually.
I had asked for a report from staff. I’m going back about ten years, at least.
And then in 2016, the province was reviewing their reviewing the payday loans and the regulations
and so I made a presentation at Queens Park on behalf of the city manager.
On the payday loans. And as you know, the province then amended
legislation and it was near the end of I think the end of the year and that.
But as it was, from the debutantes, if you look at the map, like I have them all in my
ward. I have them all.
The clusters. Councillor Karygiannis, and these are in areas
where residents are very vulnerable. And I have been approached by constituents
in my ward in the westin area and throughout my ward, it they’ve had enough with the payday
loans a not westin in particular, they are side by side.
Payday loans and dollar stores. And people are fed up.
We are trying to revitalize the area. We have the goal station, the express, trying
to get good development in the area and bring in new retail and it doesn’t help when have
you all of the payday loans along westin road and j street.
For example, there used to be a kfc, they set up, no one knew they were coming, they set up,
and they had the bright lights, you know, the signage around the building, that was
shining into the building and I kept receiving calls and complaints from residents, can they
dim the lights. Can they dim the lights.
Well, it took me months and months and months to finally because there was nothing we can
do as far as the city. We couldn’t do anything with our bylaws.
And so finally speaking to the manager, and what I was told, because it is American, money
mart, that they have to go to the states and get permission to dim their lights and they
are the ones in the states, they dim the lights from money mart that is in my ward.
Which was — I mean, really? So these are the complaints I’m getting and
so I hope you will support my motions. Councillor Ainslie has a number of motions
that I support. So I’m urging members of council.
You may not have any in your ward but I tell one they will be coming, they will be coming.
So we have to control and control them just as we did the clothing boxes.
We put forward recommendations. And restrictions.
So I’m hoping members of the committee and council will support motions we are moving
today at the committee. What Councillor Nunziata was trying to say
and what I’m looking for is the executive to establish for the local government to object
to the payday loan establishment in the same wards. If they are in one area and they see
they aren’t moving money then they want to move it a lower income area and Councillor
has the final say. The same thing as we have now with clothing
dropboxes. Okay.
That’s it. That’s it.
Thank you, Councillor. Any other speakers?
Seeing none, okay. Through you Mr. Chair to mover.
I wondered if you contemplated some flexibility in the process that if staff comes back with
a recommendation, that it is not just the local Councillor but maybe community council
or a governing body or do you insist it be sort of with the one person’s signature.
Well right now we have one person’s signature when it comes to dropboxes.
That’s what we do. As October 3.
One person signature. This is why I’m using that and you know, but
it is tough — for the staff to come back and certain, you know — okay, fair enough.
Any other questions or clarification? Seeing none.
Okay, thank you. So I have a couple of motions that I would
like to move. The first one is recommendations number 1,
2, 3, 4 and 5 be deleted and replaced with the following.
City Council, director Municipal Licensing and Standards with standing current provisions
in City of Toronto municipal code licensing to immediately cease
issuing new licenses to payday loan establishments in City of Toronto.
My next motion 2a is City Council across the province of Ontario to limit annual interest
rates for all payday loans to 30% annually. Recommendation 1e be deleted, recommendation
1e deals with, so we are putting a cap on payday loan establishments, 1e is recommendation
that staff put forward of notwithstanding the cap that would allow payday loan establishments
to cross boundaries, I’m asking for that to be deleted.
City of Toronto to have City Council services. And two, next part, City Council requested
executive director municipal licensing standards it report to general government and licensing
committee at its meeting on January 6, 2020 on options to restrict advertising from payday
loan establishments in the City of Toronto. This report be forwarded to the association
of municipalities of Ontario and the federation of Canadian municipalities.
3a, City Council request the federal government to require charter banks that have branches
in low income neighbourhoods which offer credit lines to low income people at same rate they
offer other customers and create national data base of payday loan users to stop users
from taking out loans to pay off other loans. And finally 3b, City Council requests federal
government to cap all payday loan fees of $15 on every $100 loaned and to lower maximum
interest rate from 60% to 30% and I will start by going back to my first motion.
Which is capping the licenses or ceasing to issue licenses.
As a City Councillor, on southeast corner of Scarborough, I have five of our priority
neighbourhoods. Residents in those neighbourhood webs number
one complaint I get from them is the state of their buildings.
Many of them live in TCHC buildings. So I get concerns with issues around living
in the buildings. And the next highest one is easily the interaction
with payday loan establishments. And it goes everywhere from rate of interest
to trying to understand the rules. How much interest they pay.
I have one just down the street from where I live, they have large sign out on the front
line and it says $200 for $20. You know, even I used to laugh and good that’s
a great deal until actually I went in there and I was able to figure out $200 for $20
isn’t just the first day, it is $20 everyday until they pay the loan off.
If you don’t read the fine print or if you have a language barrier you get in deeper
and deeper and deeper. We hear residents from acorn.
And I hear they own the same thing in my own neighbourhoods about residents that don’t
understand what they are doing. They have a loan.
They figure out how much money they need it pay off the loan.
They go to another loan establishment to pay off the first loan.
And it is secular and as we are trying to help the neediest members of our
community, which maybe you see in the appendix in the report, if you look at the map, of
where the payday loan locations are in the wards, they are centered around where our
TCHC buildings are. Our low income buildings.
The example, I don’t to call it a colleague, but in the ward east of me, she has one TCHC
building and TCHC complex on damsic street, that the total number in her ward.
She has one payday loan establishment and Morningside.
You go into my ward for example, you go into two higher income areas in my ward, guildwood
and seven oaks, you won’t find a payday loan establishment anywhere.
I think all of us have heard horror stories and concerns around payday loan establishments.
I know as a two gentlemen that were here, they were saying you know, we have stricter
rules and regulations. But you know, I think that the minority.
I don’t remember the last time I heard a good news story about a payday loan establishment.
We are trying to build communities and make sure everybody has a sustainable living to
strengthen our communities. We have a responsibility to look at payday
loan establishments and on much stronger level of enforcement.
So I’m putting these motions forward. And I hope everyone will support them.
Thank you. Questions of the mover?
No. Just one quick question, chair, if I may.
Regarding request for federal government, did you have an opportunity it speak it staff
and find out that everybody we are asking for is doable and is within constitution or
whatever else? They think it is doable.
Just a matter of getting the federal government to buy in.
At one point the federal government had a much stronger role in the payday loan establishments
and they delegated it on the province and for whatever reason it is a big concern for
them which you know, I think that the other part of the motion asking in this report to
be sent to amo and so they are aware of what the City of Toronto is doing.
Fantastic, thank you. Thank you.
So we have motion number 1 by myself. Want to do everything as package?
Want to record some of them? All right.
Yes. So my first motion is motion number 1.
Actually I’m going to ask for a recorded vote on that one.
All in favour. Councillor Filion.
Karygiannis. Ainslie.
Matlow, Nunziata. Opposed, Councillor Holyday.
Passes. Motion 2a.
Councillor Holyday, want to tell me which ones you want to record on?
[ inaudible ] okay. Councillor Holyday would like a recorded vote.
All in favour. Councillor Filion, Karygiannis, Nunziata,
opposed? Councillor Holyday, that one passes.
Motion 2b. All in favour of motion 2b.
That passes unanimously. Motion 3a.
All in favour. That passes unanimously.
Motion 3b. You want it recorded?
All in favour of motion 3b. Councillor Filion, Ainslie, Matlow, Nunziata.
Opposed? Sorry.
Councillor Karygiannis is in favour. Sorry.
Opposed? Councillor Holyday.
That passes. Motion 4 by Councillor Nunziata.
All in favour. Passes unanimously.
Motion 5 by Councillor Nunziata. All in favour.
Passes unanimously. All in favour, that passes unanimously.
6 passes unanimously. Am I missing one?
Sorry, members. Sorry, Councillor Karygiannis.
Sorry. Just have to clean up motion 2a.
Because motion 1 passed. The second part of motion 2a is redundant.
So we just — yes. Because motion — so motion 1 passed.
Motion 1 passed, which deleted section 1. So motion number 2, asked for section of motion
1 to be deleted. So it is redundant.
We just have to vote on that again. And I don’t — okay.
Asking to do what? No, no.
We have to vote just revote on this. Without part number 2.
Just the first one? Yes.
Just voting on the first part. All if favour.
Opposed? Councillor Holyday.
That passes. Okay.
Item is amended. All in favour.
Okay. We have one more vote.
Yeah. We have to confirm.
Oh, yes, sorry. Okay.
Perfect. Perfect.
Okay. Councillor Matlow?
General government and committee pass and declare as bylaw conform to build to confirm
the legislative proceedings of the general government and licensing committee acting
under delegated authority to be held on September 4, 2019.

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