Item - 2013.EX36.22

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on December 16, 2013 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by Executive Committee on December 5, 2013 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on December 16, 2013.

EX36.22 - City of Toronto News Release Boilerplate

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on December 16, 17 and 18, 2013, adopted the following:

 

1.         City Council request the City Manager to change the City's news release boilerplate to the following and delegate authority to the City Manager to make future factual updates to the boilerplate as required:

 

"Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people.  It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities.  Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.  For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @torontocomms."

Background Information (Committee)

(November 19, 2013) Report from City Council on City of Toronto News Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63959.pdf
(October 28, 2013) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow addressed to the City Clerk on Administrative Inquiry regarding City of Toronto New Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63942.pdf
(November 8, 2013) Letter from the City Manager in response to Administrative Inquiry from Councillor Josh Matlow on Administrative Inquiry regarding City of Toronto New Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63943.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Josh Matlow (Carried)

That City Council delete the Executive Committee recommendation and instead adopt the following new recommendation:

 

1.         City Council request the City Manager to change the City's news release boilerplate to the following and delegate authority to the City Manager to make future factual updates to the boilerplate as required:

 

"Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people.  It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities.  Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.  For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @torontocomms."

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) Dec-18-2013 5:38 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EX36.22 - Adopted the Item as amended - Matlow
Total members that voted Yes: 32 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Michelle Berardinetti, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Mike Del Grande, Sarah Doucette, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Peter Leon, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, John Parker, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson, Adam Vaughan, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 2 Members that voted No are Mark Grimes, Anthony Perruzza
Total members that were Absent: 11 Members that were absent are Ana Bail„o, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Norman Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Ron Moeser

EX36.22 - City of Toronto News Release Boilerplate

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Executive Committee recommends that:

 

1.         City Council direct the City Manager to change the City of Toronto news release boilerplate to the following:

 

“Toronto is Canada's largest city, sixth-largest government and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto is one of the best cities in the world to do business, consistently ranked at or near the top in global competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and quality of life. Toronto is proud to be the Host City of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, the world's third largest multi-sport Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on twitter @torontocomms.”

Origin

(November 19, 2013) Report from City Council

Summary

City Council on November 13, 14, 15 and 18, 2013, referred Administrative Inquiry IA41.1 from Councillor Josh Matlow, Ward 22, St. Paul’s, regarding the City of Toronto News Release Boilerplate and Answer IA41.1a from the City Manager, to the Executive Committee for consideration.

 

Councillor Josh Matlow has submitted the following Administrative Inquiry:

 

“I am submitting this administrative inquiry under Municipal Code S27-61 to seek information regarding the status of the boilerplate that is included with each City of Toronto news release.

 

In November of last year, I wrote to the City Manager requesting that this boilerplate be revised to remove the inappropriately ideological, partisan, and politically aspirational (rather than factual) content which purports to speak for City Council without the authority to do so. Rather than serving as a political weathervane, the official boilerplate describing our city ought to reflect the fundamental characteristics and qualities of Toronto that we can all agree on.

 

A spokesperson from Strategic Communications announced in January that they were working to revise the paragraph to make it more factual and to reflect, for example, that Toronto will be hosting the Pan Am Games in 2015. And yet, several months later, there has been no apparent progress. There was also a suggestion by Strategic Communications at the time that this progress was being held up by a member of the mayor’s office even though there is no authority given to the mayor’s office to prescribe the City of Toronto’s news release boilerplate.

 

I am requesting answers to the following questions:

 

1.         Why does each news release from the City of Toronto continue to include the inappropriate boilerplate despite staff’s stated intention to revise it?

 

2.         What is the course of action that City Council can take to support the intention of Strategic Communications to revise the City of Toronto’s news release boilerplate to ensure it is factual and asserts what we all value about our city rather than being ideological, partisan or politically aspirational?”

Background Information

(November 19, 2013) Report from City Council on City of Toronto News Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63959.pdf
(October 28, 2013) Letter from Councillor Josh Matlow addressed to the City Clerk on Administrative Inquiry regarding City of Toronto New Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63942.pdf
(November 8, 2013) Letter from the City Manager in response to Administrative Inquiry from Councillor Josh Matlow on Administrative Inquiry regarding City of Toronto New Release Boilerplate
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-63943.pdf

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Norman Kelly (Carried)

That:

 

1.         City Council direct the City Manager to change the City of Toronto news release boilerplate to the following:

 

“Toronto is Canada's largest city, sixth-largest government and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto is one of the best cities in the world to do business, consistently ranked at or near the top in global competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and quality of life. Toronto is proud to be the Host City of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, the world's third largest multi-sport Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on twitter @torontocomms.”


2 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Peter Milczyn (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council