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September 12, 2003
City's summer student SARS recovery program closes on positive note
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism - Toronto's image as a clean and
welcoming city received a boost this summer, thanks to the efforts and
accomplishments of 276 students participating in the City of Toronto's SARS
recovery summer program, an initiative developed in partnership with Human
Resources Development Canada (HRDC).

"The presence of youth throughout the city to assist in our SARS recovery
effort left a positive impression on residents and visitors," said Brenda
Librecz, Executive Director of Toronto Economic Development.

This was a first-time partnership for the City of Toronto and HRDC to deliver a
student employment program. Developed by Economic Development, Culture and
Tourism under the Toronto: You Belong Here campaign, summer employment
opportunities were injected throughout the City, providing youth with jobs when
summer employment opportunities were diminished because of the impact of SARS
on the economy. The program funding from HRDC, in the amount of $811,532,
enabled the City of Toronto to provide support to communities, special event
organizers and City departments in achieving our clean city goals. Top of mind
with many Torontonians is pride in the city's cleanliness. This initiative,
coupled with our Toronto: You Belong Here campaign to engage residents in
Toronto and the surrounding communities, went a long way to advance our city
building post-SARS.

Public Health Ambassadors, Clean City Ambassadors and special events support
staff performed a myriad of tasks. Toronto's signature events and annual
community festivals received extra hands with event organization as well as
operational support. In light of the pressures on Toronto Public Health as a
result of SARS, a number of existing programs received additional resources.
The largest beneficiary of the additional staff, however, was Toronto Parks and
Recreation and its 'pristine parks' program. Students were assigned to
litter-picking, painting, weeding and watering as well as performing general
clean-up duties to make parks look their best.

"We saw nothing but positive results in our parks," said Claire Tucker-Reid,
General Manager of Toronto Parks and Recreation. "The pristine parks program
was also an opportunity for students to pay for school and to gain hands-on
experience. And as their work experience increased, so did their civic pride
and appreciation of the environment. It was a win-win situation for everyone."

Media contact:
Economic Development, Culture and Tourism Media Hotline,



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