Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) Terms of Reference

Background

The City of Toronto, Metrolinx, and the TTC are advancing plans for the Relief Line North (RLN). The Relief Line North will build on the ongoing Relief Line South Project Assessment (Downtown to Danforth) to continue rapid transit service north from Pape Station, with the goal of connecting to existing/future rapid transit, such as Line 5 (Eglinton) and Line 4 (Sheppard).

This continuation of the Relief Line South will be a critical part of our expanding transportation network; better serving Toronto transit users and supporting the goals identified in Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan and the City’s Official Plan. Provincial funding for the Relief Line North is currently in place to advance the planning and environmental assessment for this important rapid transit line.

Purpose of SAG

The Relief Line North (RLN) Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) has been created as a forum for community leaders, advocates and experts to become involved in the study process to plan the RLN Project. SAG members will provide feedback on the current phase of work and input on the technical design, planning, public realm, and transportation work that is part of the larger RLN Project.

These terms of reference include guidelines for how the SAG will operate when meetings take place. Through the establishment of the SAG, the Project Team will:

  1. Inform and educate community leaders about the project;
  2. Provide community leaders the opportunity to ask questions of experts and discuss the project with other community leaders;
  3. Solicit advice, address concerns and incorporate input from community leaders into the study; and
  4. Act as a conduit to distribute information about the project process and other engagement opportunities to organizations and members of the public.

Mandate

The Relief Line North Stakeholder Advisory Group is guided by these Terms of Reference. The SAG is a group of community leaders representing the interests of residents, businesses, institutions and other groups. The active participation of stakeholders within the study area and from the broader city is a critical component of the project.

While the SAG's participation is extremely important, the SAG does not have any binding decision-making authority. Formal and informal output of the SAG will be used as prioritized advice by the Project Team and inform development of recommendations to governing bodies (City Council, Metrolinx Board, etc). While every effort will be made to respond to or incorporate the input and comments of this group, the final decision on all design aspects rests with the Project Team and other Project Partner representatives. All final decisions the Project Team and other Project Partner representatives make collaboratively with members of the public will be brought forward to Council for approval.

Membership

Membership will include:

  • Representatives of resident associations
  • Representatives of business associations (including Business Improvement Areas)
  • Representatives of local institutions and organizations
  • Other organized professional and interest groups
  • In some cases, individual residents, business owners and land owners may also be invited to join the SAG

A comprehensive list of potential members will be established by City of Toronto staff that includes input from local elected officials and Metrolinx. This information is being used to ensure the comprehensive list reflects a broad range of residents / represented resident groups, business owners / represented business groups, and individuals who represent specific interests.

The wards/areas within the study area are:

City of Toronto

  • Ward 40 – Scarborough Agincourt
  • Ward 34 – Don Valley East
  • Ward 33 – Don Valley East
  • Ward 31 – Beaches-East York
  • Ward 30 – Toronto-Danforth (south of Danforth)
  • Ward 29 – Toronto-Danforth (north of Danforth)
  • Ward 26 – Don Valley West
  • Ward 25 – Don Valley West
  • Ward 24 – Willowdale
  • Ward 23 – Willowdale

Elected officials or their staff are not eligible to be SAG members, but are invited to attend and observe SAG meetings.

The Project Team will review the comprehensive list of stakeholders and select potential members from this list.

Term

Members are appointed for the duration of the Relief line North Program, commencing in March, 2018. The study is expected to be complete by late 2018.

Code of Conduct

All those attending meetings will be required to adhere to a Code of Conduct of these Terms of Reference. The Code of Conduct is built on individual integrity and respect of others’ opinions.

Participants at the SAG meetings must adhere to the following Code of Conduct:

a) Participants should be courteous, listen to others and respect the opinions of others.
b) Participants should not request that items outside of the mandate of the SAG be discussed at meetings.
c) Participants should participate fully in discussions but not dominate the discussion.
d) Participants should speak one at a time and not interrupt other participants while they are speaking.
e) To ensure equal participation, participants wishing to make comments should do so through the facilitator. Participants should remain focused on the set agenda topics; participants wishing to hold private discussions shall move outside of the meeting room while the meeting is in progress.
f) Participants shall not use foul language.
g) Participants shall not make derogatory comments based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
h) Personal insults toward other SAG reps and/or to the third party facilitator and City/Metrolinx staff will not be tolerated.

Administration

Governance

The Project Team is made up of staff from the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, and the TTC with the City of Toronto taking the lead in the administration and coordination of stakeholder and public consultation for the RLN project.

Location

SAG meetings will be held in a public venue such as a civic building, community centre, school, library, etc. within or very near to the project study area. Meeting locations will be barrier-free and easily accessible by public transit.

Agendas

The Project Team will circulate meeting invitations and agendas to SAG members a minimum of one week prior to any SAG meeting.

All agendas, materials presented and outcomes of SAG meetings will be made public (shared on the project website http://reliefline.ca/) to demonstrate transparency and assist SAG members' communication with their constituents and networks about the project.

Facilitator

Meetings of the SAG will be chaired and facilitated by a Project Team member or consultant working for the Project Team. The role of the facilitator will be to ensure that meeting agendas are adhered to, that all opinions represented are heard and that any advice from the SAG is clearly articulated.

The SAG is acting in an advisory capacity to the Project Team and is not responsible for the decisions made by any member of the Project Team, their agencies or elected officials. By participating in the SAG, members are not expected to waive their rights to participate in the democratic process and may continue to participate through other channels.

The SAG will report its advice to the Project Team with the assistance of the facilitator. The facilitator will provide facilitation services for SAG meetings, including developing meeting agendas in consultation with the Project Team and SAG, and documenting perspectives and advice shared at the meetings through meeting notes.

As an advisory group, the SAG will be asked to seek general agreement on guidance and advice to the Project Team. The SAG will be encouraged to openly discuss ideas, perspectives and viewpoints, and seek to develop common ground and narrow areas of disagreement to the best of their ability. Where differing viewpoints and opinions exist, these will be documented in the SAG meeting notes.

Meetings

Regular meetings will be arranged to coincide with key project milestones. By meeting throughout the process, the group will act as a sounding board to anticipate issues, opportunities and challenges, and as a conduit to distribute information about the project, and to help distribute information about other engagement opportunities to organizations and members of the public associated with SAG members.

Regular meetings will be formatted as workshops lasting about two hours. A typical workshop may include:

  • A formal presentation by the Project Team or other experts (e.g. Provincial Government officials, technical experts, etc.) on an issue for consideration
  • Short question and answer session
  • Working sessions designed to solicit feedback about the issue
  • Brief report back
  • Informal networking

Additional meetings may be held as determined by the Project Team. The format of additional meetings will be tailored to the purpose of the meeting. The SAG may also be consulted between meetings by other methods such as online surveys or the striking of ad hoc working groups.

Experts in subjects relevant to the project may participate in SAG meetings from time to time but will not be considered SAG members. Experts will help to inform members, provide context and answer questions, but their advice will not form part of the SAG's outputs.

Reporting

A minute-taker provided by the Project Team will record notes at all meetings. A Project Team member will incorporate the notes into a meeting report that will be circulated in draft form to SAG members within three weeks of each meeting. Members will be able to provide comments on the draft meeting report for one week after circulation. Once the comments are incorporated, a final meeting report will be made available to members and on the project website.

Communication

All communications will be in English; translation services will not be available for SAG meetings. Any member requiring accommodation should make this requirement known to a Project Team member who will ensure communications are provided in a barrier-free manner.

Distribution of meeting materials, agendas and reports will be by electronic mail.

Contact

Questions about the SAG and these Terms of Reference may be directed to:

Liora Freedman
Senior Planner, Transportation, Transit Implementation Unit
City Planning
City of Toronto
416-338-5747
reliefline@toronto.ca