Earth Day Cleanup at Harbourfront

Mayor David Miller and City Councillor Pam McConnell were in our
neighbourhood April 24, 2009 to celebrate Earth Day. Dozens of people who live and work on the Waterfront joined in the annual 20 minutes of spring clean up that took place throughout the city.

Here is the Mayor and our popular Councillor (in blue) with YQNA members Ulla Colgrass and Bob Rasmussen, ready with their plastic bags and gloves to get to work. Bags were filled with food containers, cigarette buts, coffee cups, broken glass – even a rusted bicycle wreck was removed!

Proposed Federal Amendments to the Canadian Marine Act Could Rob Toronto of Infrastructure Funds

With Toronto’s budget on the verge of being balanced, a new threat looms as legislation is set to pass in Ottawa that would give the Toronto Port Authority access to our city’s hard won federal infrastructure funds. The TPA, a federal agency, with no local accountability was criticized by the recent Tassé report as being unresponsive to the needs of the community.
Now, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has struck a deal with the Federal Liberals to make amendments to the already controversial Canada Marine Act that governs the TPA. The amendment covered under Bill C-23 will give even greater power to arms-length Port Authorities across Canada and allow them to become eligible for public funding that is currently held and controlled by municipal government’s infrastructure funds.
“One of the proposed amendments to the Canada Marine Act will fundamentally change the requirement that Port Authorities are to be self-sustaining. In the case of the Toronto Port Authority, we have an example of a Port Authority that has consistently run substantial operating losses every year – in the millions. We fear that this amendment opens the door to the TPA covering those losses through applications for funds that are essential to other municipal needs such as running community centres or removing snow and garbage” says Bill Freeman of CommunityAIR, a non-profit group representing many Toronto waterfront communities.
Freeman will present a fact sheet to the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities which tallies over $110 million in subsidies paid to the TPA, and lists examples of how the federal agency mishandled public funds on ventures like the $9 million spent on the ill-fated Rochester Ferry Terminal.
Joining Freeman, in Ottawa is Brian Iler, past commodore of the Alexandra Yacht Club and Toronto City Councillor, Adam Vaughn, whose ward contains the TPA run Toronto island airport. They will voice their opposition before the committee on Tuesday, February 5 at 11 a.m. Now in its final stages, they hope the Bill will be blocked from passing through the House later this month.

With the recent announcement of another Conservative party loyalist to the Toronto Port Authority’s board there are fears that Bill C-23 will further erode the TPA’s accountability to the Toronto public. Craig Rix, whose appointment to the TPA was made by Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon last week, was an aide to Finance minister Jim Flaherty when he was a member of the Mike Harris government in Ontario. The Canada Marine Act requires that four different classes of port users be represented in the makeup of the TPA’s board, yet none of its current members appear to meet this particular requirement.

Q400 Crahes Again

As you may know by now, another Q400 plane crash landed in Europe, this time in Copenhagen airport (for full story click here). That’s SAS’s third crash in 7 weeks! SAS has now decided (according to Jyllands Posten, a reliable daily) to get rid of all it’s Q400 planes. Quotes from the paper:

” Patience and confidence have disappeared after a dreadful year for SAS. As a result, none of SAS’s passengers will ever fly in a Q400 plane again,” said SAS’s chief operating officer Mats Jansson.
It is already clear that the decision to replace 27 Q400 planes will cost SAS millions and will negatively affect the company’s economy.
“We have had problems with this plane for a long time and have suffered three crash landings. Consequently we must get rid of the plane entirely,” continued Jansson.
SAS will buy or rent new planes to replace the grounded Q400 planes.
SAS will attempt to get Bombardier to take back the planes.
“Lease agreements on the planes expire in 2010 and 2012. SAS will not lease these planes out to others. We will attempt to get Bombardier to take back the planes. They can then decide if they will lease them to others or what they want to do with them,” said John Dueholm, vice president of SAS.
That’s it for now …. I think the big story here is that 27 planes might be returned to Bombardier. What’ll happen to them? The Danish story suggests that these planes will continue to fly somewhere, leased to unsuspecting or cash-strapped companies. Are we connecting the dots to the local scene?

Message to YQNA Residents – News from Harbourfront

Dear YQNA friends,

Harbourfront Centre offers both entertainment, culture and education.
Below is a list of the courses they offer this winter.

We have updated information on YQNA’s website, so take a look at Among other things are new photos from our successful
recent garage sale.

Sara Hsieh
YQNA Communications

Harbourfront Centre’s Courses & Workshops provide adults and families with exciting, fun and creative learning experiences!

Explore a new genre! Expand a skill! Embark upon a learning adventure of a lifetime! Harbourfront Centre’s stimulating Courses & Workshops return for a third year with a wide range of new programmes including creative workshops for families. The fall semester of Courses & Workshops runs from October to December, 2007.

Register early as courses and workshops require a minimum number of participants. To register or for more information, the public can call 416-952-4046 or visit

We are trying to inform as many area residents as possible. If you have a newsletter, could we be included? Would you be able to post this information on your website or distribute in any other available manner to area residents?

Please see information below. If you click onto the document below, it links directly to our Courses & Workshops website that contains complete programme information.

Best regards,

Linda Liontis
Media Relations
Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2G8
Phone: 416-973-4381
Fax: 416-973-6055

Pet Discovery Centre Coming to Harbourfront

The vacant building on Queens Quay West that formerly housed the Bamboo will soon become a Pet Community and Discovery Centre. The building is owned by the City and managed by Harbourfront Centre. They have been looking for a suitable tenant for several years.

At a reception on September 11th in the York Quay Centre, Bill Boyle, Harbourfront Centre’s CEO, introduced spokespeople representing the Nestle-Purina Corporation. They announced their plans and enthusiasm to have an opportunity to “give back to the community”.

As the new tenants of this space, Nestle-Purina shared their plans to develop an animal hall of fame and to plan activities to help individuals and families learn more about how to care for and have fun with their pets. They asked people attending the reception to offer any ideas they might have and promised that they will welcome community input to their planning process.

Watch for signs of change as they begin to do extensive renovations to the building in the near future.