Tag Archives: richmond hill

The house that garbage built in York Region – rental mayhem 101


Garbage on the curb for more than a week in York RegionWhat comment can I offer on the lack of care for rental homes in York Region? What’s sad is home owners who buy rental properties, in fairly nice neighbourhoods, are turning them into rental ghettos. It’s said to see how individuals can come into a area and treat it with no care. Now there are some basic considerations to home ownership, but one that seems to allude G.T.A residents is the basic decency to keep their neighbourhood clean. Why do you put out garbage and leave it on the curb for a week; knowing it won’t be picked up until next week? Now I know what you are thinking. Maybe they are on vacation right? Wrong! I have seen this time and time again. Homes that are rented out and garbage left on the street; including glass, paint cans, and other items. Unfortunately with an interest rate hovering at the lowest in many years this problem can only get worse; with investors trying to make a quick buck. What’s interesting is this type of issue rarely happens in an area like Leaside, Unionville, Whitby, Oakville, Woodbridge or other portions of the city. Why? Maybe it’s because residents care and want to ensure that their investment remains intact. There is little tolerance for individuals who buy a home and don’t maintain it. It’s sad because I am not sure if this problem will ever be fixed. We take the taxes, but forget the neighbourhood. In some areas people don’t care and I am not even sure why. Maybe they just like it that way?

Strike! Lots of confusion in York Region (YRT and VIVA)


There seems to be a lot of confusion over what is running and what is not in York Region. Details from the YRT/VIVA site are listed below, however there is much confusion over exactly which routes are not in operation. Some TTC routes, that go into Markham are still in operation.

Southeast Division (Miller Transit)

  • 51 YRT routes in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch-Stouffville, with some routes in the City of Vaughan

North Division (First Canada)

  • 29 YRT routes in the Towns of Newmarket and Aurora with some routes in the Towns of Richmond Hill, East Gwillimbury and Georgina

Viva Division (York BRT Services)

  • Five Viva routes operating in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket and the City of Vaughan
For more details click here or here. For details on the services unaffected by the strike, please review the information below.
  • Traveling on other YRT routes – The strike does not affect service along more than 30 YRT routes in the Southwest Divisionthat Veolia Southwest provides. These routes mostly serve the City of Vaughan, but also parts of the Towns of Aurora, Markham, Newmarket and Richmond Hill and the Township of King. You can find out whether buses operate along your route here.
  • Traveling on north / south TTC buses in York Region.
  • Traveling on GO Transit buses and trains and Brampton Transit Züm buses. (Brampton Transit may add extra service on the 501 Züm Queen route to help passengers that usually use the Viva orange service between Martin Grove Road and York University’s Keele Campus.)
Note: Seems it maybe best to catch a Go Bus, Go Train or at least try the 99 bus.

URGENT NEWS! Viva Strike is back on for York Region…


 

YRT - VIVA BRT Strike

YRT - VIVA BRT Strike

I am listening to the news and it seems that the VIVA strike is back on for tomorrow morning @ 4AM. There has definately been a break down somewhere down the line. The news is on CFRB and 680News at the moment. The information below is from 680news. Make alternative plans now!

Note: This does not affect YRT buses, however there is no way that they can handle the load, so the contracted TTC buses and GO Transit may become good alternatives. I will try to post information about alternatives a bit later. 

Update: You can arrange a lift through Carpool Zone or to call the YRT/Viva Customer Service Centre, at 1-866-668-3978. Extra customer service agents would-be available on the phone and at the main service centres.

http://www.680news.com/more.jsp?content=20080924_194001_11804

Opinion: I am starting to wonder, is it is time for Metrolinx to take over ALL transit services in the G.T.A (the Greater Toronto Area) and make it an “essential service”? Or is this a rejection of ATU Local 113 and Bob Kinnear?

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2008/04/26/5395786-cp.html

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080418/transit_strike_080418/20080418?hub=TopStories

http://www.cfib.ca/legis/ontario/pdf/on0375.pdf

York Region Viva bus service ends Wednesday September 25 2008 at 4am – No service in York Region


 

VIVA on strike for Wednesday

VIVA on strike for Wednesday

680News staff | Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 7:42 pm

 

Thirty-five-thousand commuters in York Region will have to find another way to work or school come Thursday morning.

That’s because Viva bus drivers will go on strike starting at 4 a.m.

Union members turned down a tentative settlement by 61 per cent, Wednesday, and that group represents 165 bus operators.

In a press release, Bob Kinnear, President of ATU Local 113, which represents the bus drivers said “we are a democratic union and our members have spoken.”

He added “Veolia management [the company that runs Viva Transit] knew that the strike would being tomorrow (Thursday) if their offer was turned down and I have informed them of the results of the vote.”

The major issues in negotiations are wages and sick time.

At this point no further talks have been scheduled.

All York Region Transit (YRT) buses will continue to run as usual because they are not part of Viva Transit.

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Tainted Chinese milk products in Toronto stores


Yogurt products from two Chinese companies suspected of distributing melamine-tainted milk powder are still being sold in Chinese supermarkets in and around Toronto.

Yogurt products from Mengniu and Yili were discovered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in a Richmond Hill import company.

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China formula scare spreads to ice-cream, yoghurt


BEIJING (Reuters) – Hong Kong has ordered the recall of a Chinese company’s products after milk, ice cream and yogurt were found to be contaminated with melamine, the compound responsible for killing four children in a China health scandal.

Tainted milk powder produced in China has made thousands ill, and triggered sackings and detentions and rocked public trust already battered by a litany of food safety scares involving tainted eggs, pork and seafood in recent years.

Now the scandal has spread to milk, ice-cream and yoghurt ice-bars. Hong Kong ordered the recall of a Chinese company’s products on Thursday after tests found that eight of 30 of its products, including milk drinks, were tainted with melamine.

The company, Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd, was a Beijing Olympic Games sponsor and is one of 22 Chinese firms implicated in the scandal.

A regional Chinese health authority said on Thursday a fourth child had died at a hospital in remote northwestern Xinjiang. The report on the authority’s website (www.xjwst.gov.cn) gave no further details.

Milk tainted with melamine, a compound banned in food, has killed three other babies, two in China’s northwestern Gansu province and one in eastern Zhejiang.

The health scare erupted after Sanlu Group last week revealed it had produced and sold melamine-laced milk, and a subsequent probe found a fifth of 109 Chinese dairy producers made adulterated products with the substance.

At the latest count, 6,244 children have become ill with kidney stones after drinking powdered milk laced with melamine, with three deaths and 158 suffering “acute kidney failure.”

“It’s just a terrible situation, it’s really scary,” said a 34-year-old father surnamed Zhou, cradling one of his eight-month twins outside a Beijing children’s hospital.

“You expect small brands to have quality issues, but these are big brands, name brands. The authorities need to improve their oversight,” said Zhou, queuing to have his children examined.

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The Subway Now group of York Region and the VIVA BRT


In an effort to be entirely impartial, posting the opinions of others, I’ve decided to list a link to the “Subway Now” group. Although I understand what they are attempting to do I still wonder who is going to really end up paying for the extension of the subway to Richmond Hill at Hwy #7 and Yonge Street. I definitely like the picture of the subway train that they are using for their banner. I wonder if that’s what our new subway trains will look like (O-Train’s from Ottawa). But, I digress! Again, you can read a statement from the website below. Essentially they want to stop plans for a BRT, using VIVA buses, down the middle of Yonge Street in favour of a subway to the 407. Tax payers of Markham, Richmond Hill and Thornhill be prepared to “pay your share” and not expect Toronto to pay for the operation of it alone. Ironically, this extension probably makes more sense then the Sorbara Subway. However, I am worried about the amount of people that will travel on Yonge. Will it end up being a Scarborough RT situation, where the subway cannot handle the amount of people traveling on the line?

As a side note, if you are wondering, yes I’ve added them to the public transit links on the right panel; however let’s not confuse this with outright support. I still think Toronto has larger problems and added more people to an already congested Yonge line is not going to help Toronto’s woes. You will start to see links from various transit advocates in a new panel, as soon as I get to it.

From their website:
York Region should abandon its costly and controversial plans to construct dedicated bus lanes down the centre of Yonge Street, now that the provincial government has committed funding for the subway extension from Finch to HWY 407.

Since the Government is throwing around funds and gifts this season maybe a subway line along Don Mills Road, from Fairview Mall, or Finch, would at least help to alleviate some pressure on the Yonge line. But I guess I am dreaming in Technicolor!

By Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

For more information about the “Subway Now” group, see the link below.

http://subwaynow.ca/

http://subwaynow.ca/blogus/

GTTA and the MoveOntario 2020 Plan – Phase 2


It looks like the GTTA has received funding for the following projects. Maybe I am still in disbelief until I see shovels in the ground? I am not in favour of all of the plans listed, but this definitely will be some good news for once for public transit in the Greater Toronto Area. What seems to be lacking is funding for Transit City, other than the head start funding. What is interesting is the Durham BRT funding, which will be a definite boost to transit in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Oshawa.
By: Andy MJ (a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot” / Toronto, Ontario)

MoveOntario 2020 Foundation Investments Total: $791.3 million

  • Hamilton A-Line, James-Upper James corridor and Airport connector – $6.9 million
  • Hamilton B-Line, King-Main corridor – $17.4 million
  • Hamilton James Street North GO/VIA Station – Gateway to Niagara – $3.0 million
  • Halton Region Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) – $57.6 million
  • Bolton GO Transit service improvements – $600,000
  • Dundas and Hurontario higher-order transit corridor development – $26.5million
  • Mississauga Transitway Hub: Airport-Renforth Gateway – $39.0 million
  • York-VIVA Highway 7, Pine Valley Drive to Kennedy Road – $62.0 million
  • York-VIVA Yonge Street, Richmond Hill Centre to 19th Avenue – $19.0 million
  • York-VIVA Yonge Street, 19th Avenue to Newmarket – $29.0 million
  • Toronto-York Yonge subway extension to Richmond Hill (Phase 1) – $423.7 million
  • Toronto-TTC Transit City Light Rail Transit (LRT) head start – $7.1 million
  • Toronto Yonge Finch-Steeles BRT – $17.3 million
  • Durham-Highway 2 BRT Spine – $82.3 million

—-

See more information from the link below:

http://www.urbantoronto.ca/showthread.php?t=7454

Tax Me I’m Torontonian


Toronto Council has finally passed the controversial new land-transfer tax and vehicle registration tax/fee. Although a compromise was needed, Toronto should now have the stable funding that they require to run the city. Barring that the housing market does not go bust or everyone in Toronto decides to sell their car. This would never happen? But, I needed to point out the absolute worse case scenario. The new taxes might only initially raise $180-million to $200-million for 2008, less than earlier annual estimates of $356-million. Even with the new taxes, city finance officials say they still need a property tax hike. This also does not stop Toronto Council from considering new entertainment taxes, fees and the possibility, however unlikely, of a toll on the DVP, going into downtown Toronto. A land transfer tax of up to 2 per cent and a $60 fee for motor vehicle registration, which only could have happened with the new powers from the “City of Toronto” act. What will be interesting is the fall-out in the Real Estate market. I doubt there will be much change in the downtown area. Toronto still does not serve the outer regions like Scarborough and Etobicoke with adequate public transit. It should be interesting to see if funding now starts on the “Transit City” plan. There is no excuse now since they have their money and what David Miller wanted. What is interesting is that the Liberals are in power, and based on their “promises, this should be boom time for public transit. The question is, were they all “telling the truth”? Or was this all a rouse to get more money and tax use again later? Only time will tell. I imagine those, with homes just north of Toronto’s Steeles Avenue must be extremely happy. There homes just became a little bit more valuable. There will be those who want to skirt the tax and move a bit north, still within walking distance of the TTC and Toronto. They will be sad to learn that prices in Markham, Thornhill, Vaughan and Woodbridge are already high. However, the major point is that it is now time for “Transit City” to move forward, with no delays! I do not necessarily agree with the new taxes, however David Miller seemed to have no choice. I am also not totally in favour of all of their public transit plans; however something is better than nothing in the “transit world”. Other than the audit of the city contracts and the panel looking into savings for the city, council has done there part. Dalton McGuinty will now have to show if he was telling the truth? The Liberal Ontario government must start with the Move2020 plan now, with no delays or lies or false promises. Let the people in the know, do their work and lets get Toronto moving! Torontonians will now expect “results”, otherwise David Miller and company may find an angry electorate in 2010. Torontonians will be watching!

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”

Toronto, Ontario

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says controversial grant indicates problems


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty conceded Friday there are problems with a government spending program that saw $200,000 shipped to a group headed by two senior Liberal party activists, including one candidate in the upcoming election.

McGuinty said his government was going to “have to take a look” at the program which, despite doling out approximately $32 million over the past two years, according to records, has neither a formal application process nor any selection criteria. In fact, the program does not even have a name.

It was under those circumstances that the Iranian-Canadian Community Centre received the $200,000 cash grant only three weeks after registering in March 2006. The charitable organization, initially categorized under “protection of animals,” was later changed to “recreation, playgrounds and vacation camps.”

The group lists its mailing address as the law office of charity director David Farmani, Liberal riding association president for Richmond Hill.

Reza Moridi, the Liberal candidate in the same riding is listed as another director. A third director, Bohran Fouladi, is a longtime acquaintance of Finance Minister Greg Sorbara.

“I think we can do a better job and I think that we have to do a better job,” McGuinty told reporters Friday. “We’re going to have to look at it.”

read more | digg story

2007 Ontario Election: Have we forgotten the 905ers and 289ers again?


Polling is an interesting subject. Over the weekend the Toronto Star published the various polls, which seem to indicate that the Liberals will be victorious on October 10, 2007. However, what is more interesting is the 905 region. There are a lot of, dare I say, extremely close ridings. Who knows how the vote will swing now that the faith-based issue is off the table. The Conservatives have a lot to gain in these ridings and we really do not know the “mood” of the public. It will definitely be an interesting night indeed. The spread in predicted Liberal seats, based on the polls below, will definitely be something to watch on election night. Another item that has been overlooked is Toronto and the NDP. Are people angry enough with Dalton McGuinty to cause them to lose seats? My gut tells me that the NDP will steal some ridings from the ‘Grits’ on Wednesday, but that is to be seen. If the Liberals come out as the winner, they will definitely get a “bloody nose” from the electorate.

Ontario Polls

For poll and predication information, on the October 2007 vote, go to http://www.democraticspace.com

PC AND NDP MPP’s call for police investigation of “slushgate”


(Toronto) – Progressive Conservative and New Democratic MPP’s joined forces today to call for a police investigation into a scandal involving $32 million in grants to multicultural groups by the McGuinty Liberal government.

Bob Runciman (MPP Leeds-Grenville), a former Solicitor General and Peter Kormos (MPP Niagara Centre), a former criminal defence lawyer, released a letter to Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant requesting a police investigation into “financial misconduct” by political officials in the distribution of “highly questionable” grants made at the fiscal year end over the last two years.

In late July, Ontario’s Auditor General released a review of the decision-making process used in the distribution of grants. His findings and scathing criticism detailing the lack of control and transparency as the money was doled out, led to the resignation of Citizenship Minister Mike Colle.

“The Auditor’s report left a basketful of unanswered questions, many beyond the Auditor’s purview to investigate and some raising issues of criminality” asserted Runciman.

“The Auditor’s report was not an investigation of civil or criminal wrongdoing rather it was a quick and narrowly scoped review that confirmed financial misconduct” said Kormos. “We still have no answers for why the misconduct occurred and how these improper benefits were sought or bestowed.”

In calling for the police investigation the veteran MPPs’ argue, citing various sections of the Criminal Code, that criminal misconduct remains a potential explanation for the actions in question and the citizens of Ontario have a right to answers.

“The Auditor General did his job, now it’s time to get to the bottom of this by having the police investigate” said Runciman.

“It’s over to Mr. Bryant to do his job” added Kormos.

read more | digg story