Ontario and Quebec Municipalities Ready to Take on Climate Change

Mayor Rick Goldring in Ottawa for the signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

Mayor Rick Goldring in Ottawa for the signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

As Chair of the Climate Change Task Force of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, it is an honour and privilege to be in Ottawa today for the historic signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

Climate change is a global problem that needs solutions at the local level. As we look for leaders in the charge towards environmental sustainability, I believe this leadership lies in the municipalities of Ontario and Quebec.

Municipalities have long been climate change champions. We support public transit, waste diversion, efficient municipal buildings and renewable energy measures, among other green infrastructure.

The City of Burlington is committed to the environment through initiatives like our Community Energy Plan, sustainable development, and support of responsible intensification to foster walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods.

Today’s signing solidifies our willingness to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our provincial and federal counterparts to take action on climate change.

Leading today’s signing are Gary McNamara, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and Suzanne Roy, President of the Union of Quebec Municipalities.

“This historic agreement signals that AMO and UQM are going to combine our efforts as we look for solutions to the climate change problem,” said McNamara. “We want to signal that municipalities in Canada’s most populous provinces are willing partners in the fight against climate change.”

“The UQM is proud to sign a long-term partnership to promote the essential role of municipalities in the fight against climate change. We only have one planet, and as the level of government closest to the people, it is essential that municipalities act locally for the well-being of future generations,” said Roy.


Improving Storm Resilience for Residential Dwellings and Public Infrastructure


Mayor Rick Goldring’s Nov. 20 workshop on improved storm resilience for residential dwellings and public infrastructure included case studies from other municipalities and their responses to severe storm incidents. The panel featured Allan Magi, Executive Director, Capital Works, City of Burlington; Martin Powell, Comissioner, Transportation & Works Department, City of Mississauga; David Kellershohn, Manager, Water Infrastructure Management, City of Toronto, and moderator Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development and Infrastructure, City of Burlington.

It has been almost a year and a half since approximately 191 millimetres of rain fell on parts of Burlington in a matter of hours, causing significant flooding and damage in parts of the city.

As many of you recall, roads, highways and more than 3,000 homes were flooded.

While the City of Burlington and Halton Region have moved forward on infrastructure investment plans to lower our flood risk, we have also been continuing the dialogue with the insurance industry and other levels of government on overland flood insurance.

Overland flood insurance was not available in Canada until it was introduced in Alberta earlier this year. This meant there were many residents who suffered financially in the aftermath of the 2014 Burlington flood.

On November 20, I convened a workshop focused on improved storm resilience for residential dwellings and public infrastructure, which featured perspectives from local government and the insurance industry.

The meeting brought together approximately 50 people, from elected officials and staff from municipalities across Ontario to representatives of the insurance industry.

There were several important takeaways from that meeting:

  • There is a need to continue the dialogue, through workshops like the one held here in Burlington, as well as regular and frequent year-round contact, about effective overland flood insurance. Both municipalities and insurance companies are here to serve the best interests of our residents.
  • Addressing the infrastructure gap that affects communities across Canada in a timely manner is essential. However, municipalities do not have the financial resources to do this alone. We are looking to the provincial and federal government to serve as partners.
  • There is great potential for both the insurance industry and municipalities to inform homeowners about what they can do to mitigate the risks of overland flooding.
  • According to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), some insurers are now providing residential overland flood coverage in parts of Canada, and within the next 12-18 months it is expected to become available through a number of different companies representing 40 per cent or more of the market.

I will continue to work with our government partners and the insurance industry on overland flooding. There is a lot of work left to do, but the latest meeting shows there is great potential in connecting with residents and the insurance industry to put our residents’ best interests forward.


The Nov. 20 workshop also featured a discussion on insurance and overland flooding among a panel of Rob Wesseling, Co-operators; Lapo Calamai, Insurance Bureau of Canada and Mazdak Moini, Aviva Canada, with moderator Mayor Rick Goldring.

Please connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Mayor Rick Goldring. Subscribe to my monthly digital newsletter by emailing mayor@burlington.ca.

This column will appear in the November 27 edition of the Burlington Post.


Syria Action Burlington


Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring and the City of Burlington are hosting a public meeting to discuss how the community can come together to support Syrian refugees.

The event takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Mainway Recreation Centre, 4015 Mainway in Burlington.

Speakers at the event will include officials from the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, Halton Region, Lifeline Syria, various settlement organizations including faith-based groups and service clubs, among others.

All are welcome.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Mayor Rick Goldring’s office at 905-335-7607 or email mayor@burlington.ca.


Burlington Matters: Episode 4 – Building Burlington

Mayor Rick Goldring, Burlington City Manager James Ridge, Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven and Acting Director of Transportation Services Vito Tolone at TVCogeco.

Mayor Rick Goldring, Burlington City Manager James Ridge, Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven and Acting Director of Transportation Services Vito Tolone at TVCogeco.

A new episode of Burlington Matters hosted by Mayor Rick Goldring on TVCogeco debuts this week.

Episode four is entitled: Building Burlington – Where to Build in a City That is Built Out. It features a discussion about responsible growth in Burlington through intensification. The guest panel is: City Manager James Ridge; Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven​, and Acting Director of Transportation Services Vito Tolone.

This episode airs on TVCogeco Burlington/Oakville on:
• Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 22 at 11:30 a.m.
• Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 9:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Nov. 29 at 11:30 a.m.


October 2015 Progress Report



Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in October, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

New Players in Burlington Following the Federal Election 

Like most of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, Burlington was swept up in the Liberal red tide that dominated voting in Ontario in the federal election on October 19th.

Following redistribution of electoral boundaries, Burlington now occupies all or part of three federal ridings.

I want to offer my congratulations to Karina Gould, the Liberal candidate and next MP for the riding of Burlington and also to the successful Liberal candidate in the new riding of Oakville North-Burlington, Pam Damoff. Congratulations are also in order for Lisa Raitt, who has been re-elected in the riding of Milton (which now includes rural North Burlington.)

I hope to meet with all of the MPs soon. I look forward to ongoing dialogue with all three of them on how we can work together to foster a vibrant and even more prosperous Burlington. Continue reading