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Toronto Mayor John Tory announces his plans to modernize Toronto

Toronto Mayor John Tory announces his plans to modernize Toronto

India Blooms News Service | | 23 Nov 2016, 06:56 pm
Toronto, Nov 23 (IBNS) Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced his plans in detail on Monday which would impart cost-efficient services to Toronto residents, CBCNews Reported.

New details of Tory’s plan included: hiring a chief transformation officer, establishing an online customer service strategy, utilizing city office space more judiciously, and to examine the city's current real estate properties.

"Modernization is an opportunity to do things better for people and at the same time to save money," he told reporters at Metro Hall.

"I have done this before in business. I know how to do it."

"This plan will make us more efficient. It will improve service," he said.

"When we improve our services and modernize the city and give our city staff the right tools to do the job, then they in turn provide better service and save money for the people of Toronto."

Tory said saving of $8 million can be achieved by city, starting in 2021, by replacing traditional channels’ services, such as telephone and in person, with online services. He said as part of his strategy he plans to launch a new website by the city and creation of two new service hubs in 2017.

Modification in the use of office space and not renewing leases that expire by 2020 could save the city between $4 million and $6 million annually, Tory said.

Tory also said that moving all real estate and facilities management operations to a centralized operating model could result in savings between $30 million and $60 million

The mayor had requested all city departments, divisions and agencies to reduce their budgets by 2.6 per cent in 2017, said Tory.

The request which initially provoked a lot of criticism showed results, he said.

"Any big organization needs clear mandates of this kind in order to cause them to think differently and to push itself to change," he said.

The Toronto Public Library, Toronto Public Health, Toronto Police Service and Toronto Transit Commission have all found savings, he said.

The Toronto Public Library would save more than $1 million over the next two years if readers pay fines at self check-out stations, thereby decreasing front-counter staff.

Toronto Public Health will save $257,000 if it provides its front-line workers with mobile technology to complete their investigative reports, which would reduce paperwork.

The Toronto Police Service will acquire a saving of $600,000 if it converts its landline phone system to Voice Over Internet protocol.

There would be a saving of $300,000 if TTC offers its staff either a landline or a mobile phone paid for by the agency.

"These are simple, common sense changes that save our city money while at the same time, I would argue, improving service to the public," he said.

"This is the kind of modernization we all want to see. Better services for less money. And it can be done."

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm