Mississauga Calls on Province to Impose Ban on Door-to-Door Sales

Mississauga City Council passed a motion yesterday calling on the Province of Ontario to impose a ban on door-to-door sales activities in the home services sector. The ban specifically addresses the sale or lease of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, water heaters, water filtration systems and other related home energy products and services by door-to-door sales agents.

The motion, brought forward by Ward 2 Councillor Karen Ras, urges other municipalities to join with Mississauga in calling on the Province to act.

“Even with the recently implemented Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act in April 2015, homeowners have continued to experience unsolicited, aggressive and misleading sales tactics at their door from companies seeking to sell home energy products,” said Councillor Ras. “These sellers are thumbing their noses at the existing provincial legislation. They misrepresent their identities, pose as government safety inspectors and tell their victims that they are there to conduct so-called mandatory checks. I’ve experienced this kind of behaviour myself, and we need to put a stop to it.”

The motion comes as part of a campaign called ‘StopTheKnocks’ which encourages homeowners across Ontario to lend their voices by signing the online petition on Change.org.

“It is important for homeowners to know their rights when it comes to door-to-door sales,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “We ask residents to always be cautious when approached by anyone offering goods and services door-to-door.”

City to License Outdoor Clothing Donation Drop Boxes

The City of Mississauga is proposing required licensing of outdoor clothing donation drop boxes by June 1, 2016 through its Business Licensing By-law. 
 
“There are currently requirements for clothing donation boxes under the City’s Zoning By-law including that they be for registered charities,” said Mickey Frost, Director, Enforcement. “The proposed changes to the Business Licensing By-law will help to more effectively regulate outdoor clothing donation drop boxes to ensure they are kept in a reasonable condition and benefit registered charities only.”
 
The City’s Zoning By-law requires clothing donation boxes be for registered charities, have a setback of six metres from a residential area and not block parking space.  The following additional amendments to the Business Licensing By-lawwould be made for clothing boxes:

• A licence is required for every clothing donation drop box.
• The by-law would permit the removal of derelict, illegal or unlicensed outdoor clothing donation drop boxes.
• Every new licence application for an outdoor clothing donation drop box would require a letter of agreement between the property owner or agent and the licensee.
• Two clothing donation drop boxes will be permitted per property.
• Outdoor clothing donation drop boxes must be in good working order, free of rust, graffiti and pests and the immediate surrounding area kept in a reasonable condition at all times.
• If clothing donation drop boxes are not maintained in accordance with the by-law, the City may issue a work order to the property owner or to the licensee to bring it into compliance. Failure to comply with the order may lead to suspension and/or cancellation of the licence.
• The fees for removing and disposing illegal clothing donation drop boxes may also be recovered by adding the charge to the property owner’s tax roll and collecting the charge in the same manner as property taxes.
 
The licence fee for the boxes is under review.
 
Once Council has enacted the by-law, Enforcement staff will notify all previously identified owners/operators of outdoor clothing donation drop boxes and related property owners of the requirement of a business licence under the Business Licensing By-law by June 1, 2016. 
 
The by-law amendment for the clothing donation boxes will be on the April 16, 2016 Council Agenda for final approval.
 
For more information read:
Amendments to the Business Licensing By-law 1-06, as amended, to Require Licensing of Outdoor Clothing Donation Drop Boxes

City to Improve Consumer Protection and Safety for Vehicle Towing and Storage

This week, Council approved additional regulations and procedures including a vehicle towing and storage online software application and creation of a subcommittee to improve consumer protection and safety for vehicle towing and storage.

The subcommittee is to review options to help eliminate chasing.  The subcommittee will be formed of Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Ron Starr Councillor Ward 6 and Towing Industry Advisory Committee Chair, Matt Mahoney Councillor Ward 8 and Vice Chair of the Towing Advisory Industry Committee, Nando Iannicca Councillor Ward 7 and Carolyn Parrish Councillor Ward 5.

“We are looking at what is best for the consumer and taxpayer while ensuring safety, good governance, transparency and value for tax dollars,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Consumer protection on this matter is important. At this time, we did not feel that operating our own pound was the best option for Mississauga. The options we are looking at would provide significant consumer protection and generate fewer complaints and risks against the City.”

“We are leading on this issue and in many ways our current by-law is aligned with Bill 15 and in some aspects it is more strict,” said Ron Starr, Councillor, Ward 6 and Chair of the Towing Industry Advisory Committee. “Towing and storage of vehicles impacts a great number of residents, industry stakeholders, police agencies and other levels of government in different ways. We need to modernize how towing and storage is being regulated. We will not be limiting our overall review but will be examining all available options.”

“Vehicles are towed daily in cities across Canada for a variety of reasons including mechanical failure, accidents, parking violations or other offences,” said Matt Mahoney, Councillor, Ward 8 and Vice Chair  of the Towing Industry Advisory Committee. “The right processes and procedures need to be in place that work best for all concerned. The work ahead of us will improve safety and consumer protection.”

Central Vehicle Pound Facility Feasibility Study:
Tow trucks for hire in Mississauga are licensed by the City. In 2015, Mississauga Council requested the staff report on the feasibility of establishing a City-run vehicle pound facility. Other alternatives to a City-run vehicle pound facility where reviewed as well.

The City of Mississauga conducted a comprehensive review;Centralized Vehicle Pound Facility Feasibility Study (CVPF). Council reviewed a number of options to ensure safety, consumer protection and that the City’s by-laws conform with Provincial Bill 15 – Fighting Fraud and Reducing Automobile Insurance Rates Act regulations.

Staff conducted research and interviews with Members of Council and the City’s Towing Industry Advisory Committee, representatives from the vehicle towing and storage industry, representatives from the auto insurance industry and police to identify best practices and opportunities.

For more information read:
Centralized Vehicle Pound Facility Feasibility Study

City Calls for Nominations for the 34th Mississauga Urban Design Awards

The Mississauga Urban Design Awards have opened the call for nominations for the 2016 program. The awards, which will take place every two years, is the longest running municipal urban design competition in Ontario.

The deadline for submissions is May 16, 2016. Nomination packages for the Mississauga Urban Design Awards are available now. Forms and information on judging criteria are available here.

Jury Day for the awards is on June 16,2016. Jury members for 2016 include:

  • MayorBonnie Crombie
  • Ed Sajecki, Commissioner, Planning and Building
  • Olha Dobush, Director, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Region of Peel
  • Philippa Campsie, Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto
  • Michel Trocme, Urban Designer, Partner at Urban Strategies

The awards, which include an Award of Excellence, Award of Merit and Award of Healthy by Design, will be presented on September 22, 2016 in the Great Hall at Civic Centreat 6:30 p.m.

For more information on the awards program, please call 905-615-3200, extension 5522 or extension 5539, email urban.design@mississauga.ca or visitthe City’s Urban Design Awards website.