Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Successful community safety meeting from March 31

Last night's meeting was a great victory for the residents of Westbury Cres. Our city officials pulled together with provincial officials and definitive steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the residents and their enjoyment or their own properties. Afterward everybody joined hands and sang that Coca-cola Christmas advertisement song from the 1970's. You know, I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company...


Of course the meeting was a giant waste of time. Many of the government agencies that we pay for, that Councillor Di Giorgio invited, did not attend. This included the TSSA and The city's legal council. When asked if legislation could be put in place to protect residents, either at a municipal or provincial level, Laura Albanese stated that it would take a long time and that she would have to see if there was any such legislation already out there. Was she unaware that this meeting would take place? It's been scheduled for several weeks now, is it too much to ask for our provincial rep to do her homework BEFORE she comes to a meeting. As for the time frame, many of the residents living in this neighbourhood have called this place home for decades. "It'll take a long time" is simply not acceptable. And what about the next neighbourhood, and the one after that? Is is right that they should have to fight the same battles to ensure safety from "light industrial" businesses in their backyards?

The meeting was full of "we'll try" and "operating legally" and "nothing we can do". Apparently there is some new definition of "legal" that allows you to detonate propane cylinders in residential areas, damaging dozens of private residences and risking the lives of the people in the community. It has been months and no charges have been laid. NOT ONE. By-law enforcement is apparently also only enforceable if multiple infractions occur. This is good news for people who want to dump a bunch of their garbage somewhere. Apparently you can't get fined unless you break a by-law multiple times over...oh, let's say a one month period.

The City of Toronto once pursed an Etobicoke man for three years in court because he had what some people would consider an "unruly" garden. Three years of tax payers dollars to keep their neighbourhood safe from tall grass and wild flowers. There were even some reports of nature creeping into the neighbourhood! Our city really knows how to prioritize when it comes to the battles it chooses.

This is not about restricting a legitimately operating business. This is not about neighbourhood beautification. This isn't even about noise complaints, all of which would be legitimate gripes for the residents of this neighbourhood. This is a public safety issue, one that the City of Toronto has CHOSEN to ignore. Everybody in the neighbourhood knows that it is only a matter of time before someone dies as a result of the operation of that scrapyard. It seems obvious, you 'd have to be a complete moron not to be able to see that. A complete moron or a politician.

-Sean Kloosterman

Monday, March 03, 2008

Community Meeting March 31st at 7pm

There will be a community meeting for residents to speak to Councillor DiGiorgio and various City staff regarding the numerous incidents at GB Scrap Metal

When: Monday, March 31st at 7 pm
Where: York Civic Centre -2700 Eglinton Ave. West - in the Council Chambers

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Website Forum to Share Views

Residents of Ward 12 are continuing to put our faith in our elected officials to help find a solution to our public safety concerns. Some residents will be participating in a Committee proposed by Councillor DiGiorgio to work towards a permanent solution. Any further updates or meetings will be posted.

Meanwhile, residents encourage ALL MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY (and other communities) to exchange ideas and strategies regarding how to stop the nuisance in your own neighbourhood.

Please visit the link below to register (for free) and discuss what's on your mind.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Community Safety - Who Takes Responsibility?

So far, residents have contacted the Ministry of Community Safety, the Ministry of the Environment, our local, provincial, federal politicians, along with city officials from licensing and standards and fire officials. We are still looking for someone to step up to the plate to take specific measures and assume responsibility for the safety of our community.

The following responses have been received so far from the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services. We await further response from other parties.

From Ministry of the Environment:
Thank you for your e-mail.
The matter is currently under investigation by the ministry’s Investigation and Enforcement Branch

From Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services:
You raise a valid safety concern, and the ministry appreciates your taking the time to write about it. As the matter you raise falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment, you may wish to send your concerns directly to that ministry via its website contact page at
I trust this is helpful.

Below is from a section of the Ministry of the Environment's Environmental Protection Act (EPA)...with YES marked where applicaple to an explosion with flying debris (propane tank and bits of burning debris)

From EPA
1. (1) In this Act,
"adverse effect" means one or more of,
(a) impairment of the quality of the natural environment for any use that can be made of it, YES
(b) injury or damage to property or to plant or animal life, YES
(c) harm or material discomfort to any person, YES
(d) an adverse effect on the health of any person, YES
(e) impairment of the safety of any person, YES
(f) rendering any property or plant or animal life unfit for human use,
(g) loss of enjoyment of normal use of property, and YES
(h) interference with the normal conduct of business; YES

"contaminant" means any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration, radiation or combination of any of them resulting directly or indirectly from human activities that causes or may cause an adverse effect; ("contaminant")

Monday, February 04, 2008

Still no response from the Mayor's office

So I sent out my letters to my MPP Laura Albanese, City Councillor Frank Di Giorgio and, of course, Mayor Miller. Everyone at least responded to me within the week with the exception of the Mayor's office. Over the past two and a half years this is the one part of our municipal government that has been consistently silent on this matter. I understand that Mayor Miller must be a busy man, coming up with ideas to collect more taxes, like raising them and inventing new ones. That has to be tiring work. Really though, how much energy would it take to answer one question. There was really the only one that I had asked him that I wanted an answer to, "What is the City of Toronto going to do make sure that our families can feel safe in our own homes?"

One week later I guess I have my answer. Nothing. Mayor Miller's office has demonstrated to me that they do not care about the safety of the people that live in this city by completely ignoring the people that pay to live in this city.

I am Sean Kloosterman and I live on Westbury Cres. in what was once Toronto "the good".

Friday, February 01, 2008

Response from Laura Albanese MPP

Wednesday January 30, 2008

Dear Constituent,

The Ministries of Community Safety, Environment and Labour confirm that on January 26, 2008 at approximately 11:30 a.m. the Spills Action Centre notified the Ministry of Labour on-call inspector of an explosion that occurred at G.B. Scrap Metal Ltd. located at 96 Hyde Avenue in Toronto.

The Ministry of Labour is investigating, I will be sure to keep myself informed of the result.

My office also contacted the Fire Department who confirmed that, although the weekend fire was not a big fire, this is the third one in last three years. The Fire department will have a report on fire code compliance at the site on Wednesday January 30 and I will make sure I am aware of that as well.

I have also been in touch with the Ministry of the Environment to inquire about Spills Action Centres and the legislation and regulations that surround them.

I am in contact with the Spills Action Centre. My understanding is that the yard is currently legally allowed to operate but I pledge to continue to keep in touch with Ministry officials to ensure that compliance at the site is reliable and that the site is operating according to all regulatory codes.

I will continue to monitor the situation and follow-up on the matter on behalf of the residents of York South-Weston.

Sincerely, Laura Albanese MPP York South-Weston

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Response from Frank DiGiorgio's Office

January 30, 2008

RE: 96 Hyde Avenue, GB Scrap Metal Limited

Good Afternoon Everyone,

My name is Mike Makrigiorgos, Executive Assistant for Councillor Frank Di Giorgio. Unfortunately, Councillor Di Giorgio has been struck with a very bad case of the flu and will not be available for a few days. Due to the nature of this issue, I wanted to give an initial response to address resident’s concerns.

As you may know, this type of use has been in place at this location for more than 50 years and has a legal non-conforming status, which means, it has been Grand fathered and is legally allowed to exist. Our continued commitment to the community is to work with the residents to address their safety concerns, but clearly, this type of use is no longer compatible with the community that has since grown up around it.

Community safety is of paramount importance to Councillor Di Giorgio.

A meeting will be taking place with City staff (Municipal Licensing, Planning Dept, Fire Services, Legal, etc.) as well as our Provincial representative, Laura Albanese and the relevant Provincial agencies to determine and implement a course of action.

Also, neighbours will be asked to join a working group that will be headed by Councillor Di Giorgio. Its mandate will be to guide the issue forward and to keep the community informed of new developments.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call me at 416-392-1660 or email me at mmakri@toronto.ca


Mike Makrigiorgos
Executive Assistant
Office of Councillor Frank Di Giorgio