... with my answers
1. Postal Code XXX XXX
2. How have you been personally impacted by COVID 19?
3. Additional clarifying comments to #2
Locked myself in my unit for a full month with duct tape around my door and vents.
4. What supports, programs, and services did you access before COVID 19?
Libraries, Parks and Public Spaces & Other - TCHC Board and Committee meetings.
(Currently it seems as if TCHC is not going to meet its mandatory minimum requirement of meeting using COVID as an excuse.)
5. What do you need as the city begins to re-open?
Culture and arts program, Access to libraries and library services, Parks and public spaces Opportunities for services to be delivered through technological innovation.
Other - Access to information that pre-COVID 19 was automatically in the public domain but has now become scarce.
6. Provide additional comments to clarify #5 TCHC budgeting (in private session or confidential session) for an independent company to assist with the search for a new CEO. Quite the jump from having the Mayor just appoint them. I'm wondering if they will use the same process when it comes to nominating new tenant board member as the current members terms have expired.
7. How can programs or services be strengthened for you and your community?
There is a complete lack of information in Priority Neighbourhoods. Maybe the city councillors, MPP's and MP's could work together to create newsletters that are more forward looking newsletters instead of individual photo op propaganda sheets.
8. What three priorities would you like to see the City work on with the Provincial and Federal governments?
Virtual town halls where all three levels of government are mandated to attend to address any concerns moving forward. Its easier for politicians to address issues that are brought up directly to them instead of having one level of government try to shuffle an issue off to another level of government after a meeting.
All levels of government should be holding city run organizations (TCHC in particular) accountable for holding the mandatory number of meetings per year. All levels are directly and indirectly funding these entities so they should ensure that the Boards are following up on their fiduciary duties.
The city of Toronto should be looking for federal and provincial support to create Business Improvement Associations that overlap pre-existing Neighbourhood Improvement Areas so that no one gets left behind in the recovery process.
9. Recommendations on how to boost job creation, support small business, and boost local economies.
The city of Toronto should be looking for federal and provincial support to create Business Improvement Associations that overlap pre-existing Neighbourhood Improvement Areas so that no one gets left behind in the recovery process. The city could be supporting this initiative by holding an initial meeting in each of the priority neighbourhoods. Then providing meeting supports as each NIA gets up and running. All area businesses and homes should be flyered prior to the initial information session to ensure that all community assets are present.
Stop providing grant funding to organizations that consistently use volunteers instead of paying their staff for their contribution. Part of ensuring local economies recover is making sure that everyone gets paid for their labour. The City of Toronto allow persons on social assistance a special benefit to those who volunteer for up to a year. After that year the organization should provide paid employment for that volunteer. Or repay the governments cost for supporting that person for the period that they volunteered. Many non-profits are using volunteers to do jobs that in the corporate world would be paid positions.
Implement a Guaranteed Annual Income for all adults. This encourages career building instead of just job searches.
Prioritize a corporate culture where the highest paid executive (with bonuses and stock options) makes no more than ten times the lowest paid employee.
10. What can the City do to enhance the participation of vulnerable populations? Please refer to the answers in #8 and #9.
11. How can the city other levels of government, community partners, and organizations support your community to reduce green house gases?
Embrace virtual meetings/townhalls where appropriate.
Facilitate a work from home culture where appropriate.
Rotate public events thru different parks in different areas of the city. Decentralizing cultural events like Play the Parks and Pride. There is lots of available space on Scarborough that could use some TLC (Toronto Life and Culture)
Stop expanding into a "Drive"-In culture. Make space for walk ins or bike ins on movie and concert nights. Seating them in the front few rows with individual/family units one parking space per unit to allow for social distancing. Encourage this form of entertainment post COVID.
12. Share any successful actions that you, your business, your community or your neighbourhood have implemented ....
Be Proactive! Don't just read the room. A risk management approach may be far more effective than an economic approach to recovery.
13. Any other comments with respect to planning for the COVID 19 recovery and rebuild process?
TAKE YOUR TIME. I would rather you err on the side of caution than put additional lives at risk. Prepare the public for a new normal. To date there is no lasting immunity from COVID 19. Antibodies don't appear to stay in the blood long term. There is the possibility that, like the flu virus, COVID could morph from season to season. There could also be a new virus emerging any moment. Social bubbles, physical distancing and masks (when physical distancing is impossible) should become a preventative measure.
Click here for the link to the Social Planning Toronto website.