To the editor,
(Editor’s note: The following letter is recently installed Deputy City Manager Tracey Cook’s March 21 announcement introducing Toronto’s new Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards.)
I would like to thank all the candidates in the recent competition for the new Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS). There was a comprehensive process with a large response and pool of talented candidates. Following the candidate search, I am very pleased to announce that Carleton Grant is the successful candidate and will be starting his new position as Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on April 24, 2019.
Carleton comes to his new role with a seasoned portfolio of 26 years with the City of Toronto in progressively more senior positions in various City Divisions including Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Economic Development, City Planning and the Deputy City Manager’s Office.
In his current role as Director of Policy and Strategic Support in MLS, Carleton has provided strong leadership for service planning and program standards in the Division. He has led the development of several significant plans including the Division’s first Strategic Plan, People Plan and Communications Plan. Carleton was instrumental in leading the modernization and development of new bylaws to establish new programs and address emerging industries including Short Term Rentals and Street Food Vending.
Carleton has been involved in a number of Corporate and cross-divisional initiatives and led a number of organizational change initiatives. He has implemented continuous improvement programs to ensure service delivery is executed in a manner that is consistent, efficient and effective in both City Planning and MLS.
In his new role as Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards, Carleton will focus on Division priorities including supporting staff through investing in improved training and development programs; modernizing bylaws; and implementing business transformation initiatives.
Please join me in congratulating Carleton on his appointment. He will be located at Toronto City Hall, West Tower, 16th Floor and can be reached at 416-392-8445.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Elizabeth Glibbery for leading MLS as the Interim Executive Director over the last few months. Thank you to everyone who supported her in this role. I know you will give Carleton your full support as he takes on his new role.
Deputy City Manager
by Andy Réti
Against my initial instinct not to attend the City’s March 4 “public consultation” meeting on the Vehicle for Hire Bylaw, I did show up. It was a surprise even to the Review Team that over 80 owners were in attendance. The meeting was for owners only.
As soon as we saw the agenda, one person left, arguing that he was invited under false pretenses— because, just as every consultation before this, the MLS set the agenda that they wanted without really caring about what we wanted.
But not this time. I stood up before the meeting began to complain about an agenda that contained topics such as “public safety” with subtopics of: Driver Requirements, Training, Cameras, and Reducing Dooring Incidents. Second Topic: Emission Reductions, other Vehicle Requirements”. However not one single mention of “owner” anywhere. Wasn’t this a consultation with owners???
We came to discuss our dwindling livelihood and they wanted to talk about “dooring”!
Carlton Grant (the new Executive Director) to his credit allowed me to speak and was willing to hear from owners and put their concerns on the record. There were about eight groups and a staff member to record what was said. I must say it was very professional and courteous, dare I say a new beginning?
We told them about plates sitting because there are no drivers, too many PTCs stealing our business, sky high insurance, serial ticketing and a whole bunch of other concerns.
It was a small victory, but our concerns at least are officially on the record – or at least that’s what we’ve been told.
For years the MLC had gone through a charade that the industry is being “consulted”. This of course is a gross misrepresentation. Yes, we were heard, and completely ignored. I don’t know of any cab owner expressing their fervent desire to bring Uber to our city in the 2011-2012 Review. Yet somehow, that’s exactly what happened in 2012.
And our industry knows better than to trust or work with the MLS any further. This is why ATOOL, the lead group for Toronto taxi owners, launched our $1.7 Billion lawsuit against the City. For decades they have ignored anything we said and done whatever they wanted, all under the guise of “consultations.”
If they had listened to us, there would never have been the shameful Ambassador program that flooded our market with taxis whose owners were given a useless work permit with no value. If they had listened to us, there never would have been the disastrous TTL’s. When they changed the bylaw to “level the playing field,” to legalize Uber, Council mandated a review in one year. I presume that this is the “one year review” which is taking place now albeit three years later than it was supposed to. Why? Because it “wasn’t a priority.” Meanwhile, it’s our industry that’s been levelled – right into the ground.
Let me be clear, we would love to have a working, respectful relationship with the body that is supposed to be licensing and regulating our industry. But decades of abuse at their hands is hard to overcome. And with all our hard work handed over to Uber and the PTCs, we have to wonder…
If the Reviewers truly want to consult us, we would love the opportunity to be heard and listened to. There’s a lot we could do together, but no one has ever showed any desire to work WITH us, only against us. Perhaps the new Executive Director, Carlton Grant will be able to set a new tone.
Meanwhile, the only time we’ve been heard is when we stood up and fought. I hope you’ll join ATOOL so that we can stand together as we fight. It’s the only way any of us are going to see any kind of justice for our decades of hard work, and the long promised pension that we heard so much about.
Or we could allow the MLS to continue to tell us what our issues are. Because I know how concerned we all are about dooring. I lost a whole night of sleep over that issue alone. I can’t get to sleep at night for thinking about so much.
The Motion Material was filed on March 8 of this year and we posted it on our web: www.taxiownersoperators.com. We are urging everybody to read it, then join the fight.
ATOOL, your industry organization, is leading the way with a court challenge. We ask for your support by contributing $500 to:
ALL TAXI OWNERS AND OPERATORS LTD, 2238 Dundas St. West, #218, Toronto, Ont., M6R 3A9.
To the editor,
To show yet another of the City’s inability to legislate and regulate our industry fairly or even with an acceptable level of common sense, consider how our new VFH bylaw mandates all four wheels must have snow tires or all weather tires, even on a rear wheel drive vehicle!!!!!!
If you are operating a rear wheel drive vehicle and not an all wheel or front wheel drive vehicle, only the rear tires grab the road for traction, while the front wheels on a rear wheel drive vehicle are only used for steering.
So, why does a rear wheel drive vehicle require snow tires on the front wheels when those front wheels on a rear wheel drive vehicle only steer the vehicle and have no grabbing capabilities?????