TORONTO — UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the city of Vaughan have been working together to address issues that arose over 48 UJA signs that violated city bylaws.
Vaughan and federation representatives met two weeks ago, and the federation is working to come up with a proposal for a new bylaw regarding temporary signage, Steven Shulman, the federation’s campaign director and counsel, told The CJN.
The signs in question stated “Jewish Toronto Lives Here,” and were also used in Toronto, where there has not been an issue about them, Shulman said.
He added that current talks represent the culmination of a “very positive” process that began several months ago.
Participants are taking into consideration “the need for community organizations and us in particular to get our message out, and at the same time take into consideration any concerns the city of Vaughan may have,” Shulman said.
The city will not be charging federation for the signs, although according to a Nov. 19 article on yorkregion.com, Vaughan’s bylaws specify that a $500 fee should be applied to each of the federation’s 48 signs. If that were enforced, the federation would owe the city $24,000.
Shulman added that federation has changed the relevant signs so that they read, “Jewish Vaughan lives here” instead of “Jewish Toronto lives here.”
Woodbridge West Coun. Tony Carella had taken exception to the wording of the signs, which Shulman said at the time referred to the GTA, not just the city of Toronto.
John Studdy, manager of customer service and administration for the city of Vaughan’s building standards department, said concerns for the city include the number and location of signs, as well as public safety issues.
Vaughan council meets every three weeks. Federation’s proposal is expected to be brought to council after it is completed some time this month, and once it has been vetted by the building standards department.