We have a close relationship with our neighbours. We share an economy, we share a work force, and we share our transportation corridor. The challenges of congestion and gridlock affect us all.
Gridlock is one of the most important issues facing us today. This is not just a Greater Toronto Hamilton Area issue; gridlock affects all of Ontario. Traffic congestion affects our quality of life, increases the cost of moving people, goods and services, and has a significant impact on public safety, our health and the environment.
We have seen and heard much in the past several weeks about this topic and The Big Move in the media. The Big Move is the 25 year plan from Metrolinx that will impact 6 million residents across the region.
I have participated in several regional events on this topic over the past few weeks:
Burlington has a unique and close relationship with our neighbours in Halton Region and the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. We share an economy, we share a work force, and we share our transportation corridors.
Which means we also share the challenges of congestion and gridlock in the GTHA. Traffic congestion affects our quality of life, increases the costs of doing business, and has a significant impact on public safety, our health and the environment.
Transportation, urban planning and economic development are inherently linked. In Burlington we are working with the Burlington Economic Development Corporation to attract more jobs and create live-work opportunities for our residents, but the reality is that we that have a high percentage of commuters.
Every day, approximately 50% of the Burlington labour force leaves the city to travel across the GTHA for work, school, business and other reasons.Traffic congestion and gridlock affects everyone in the region.
I believe that local governments have historically been too local, too silo-ed in their approach to cooperation and economic development. Municipal governments need to take a page from business and not be constrained by traditional lines on a map. Rather, we need to forge partnerships and alliances with communities that share common interests, goals, resources, and barriers, to develop a stronger, more impactful voice for our constituents. We need to work together.
I’m looking forward to hearing from Ken Greenberg at the Summit on May 21st. Ken gave a presentation as part of the Inspire Burlington series last year, where he talked about cities have an incredible capacity to change, learn and adapt. We can think differently about planning. As Ken so eloquently puts it – “allow ourselves to play chords instead of single notes” and create great, memorable and sustainable places.
Our approach going forward cannot be politics as usual. We need 22nd century thinking to address our current and future challenges and opportunities. Elected officials need to work together with our residents so that we can have a future that we can all aspire to.
I am pleased to join Western GTA Mayors, civic leaders and business leaders at the Western GTA Summit on May 21. This will be an important opportunity to discuss our common challenges of regional transportation and economic development.
Please join me at this free event on May 21 at the Mississauga Convention Centre. Register online at westerngtasummit.ca
Here are some of the key questions that we will be talking about. Tell me what you think.
How does traffic congestion impact your daily life in Burlington?
Do we need to change the way we live and design our communities?
What should our future neighbourhood and city growth look like?
What are some ways that we can work together to improve regional transportation?
How will we pay for regional transportation networks?
What innovation and employment opportunities will we create for our region?
Over the past 2 years we have heard from some great speakers about what makes a great city and they have provided us with inspiring ideas on how to build our community better. Several of our events have involved conversations around ways that urban planning can impact community life – whether it is the environment, our economic prosperity or public health.
We have much to be thankful for in Burlington. We were recently chosen as the number one mid-sized city in which to live in Canada and the number one overall in Ontario – by Money Sense magazine.
Speaking to Burlington Business community at James Burchill’s Spring Into Business Networking event. Photography courtesy of Derrick van der KOLK
In a recent Environics poll, 95% of those surveyed indicated they had a good or excellent quality of life and expressed a positive outlook on the future as it pertains to both their quality of life and personal financial situation.
We have a strong and vibrant local economy that is well positioned to grow. We have a diverse economic base with a mix of professional services and manufacturing in Burlington. We have above average family incomes, a relatively strong housing market, an educated workforce and easy access to Toronto, Canada’s largest city that is central to the country’s economy. Our physical location also gives us access to the US markets and global opportunities. We cannot take all of this for granted. We must remain competitive and innovative in our pursuit of future investment, new business and more jobs. The challenge going forward will be to maintain the positive progress and energy we have and build on this foundation and drive so that we ensure that Burlington continues to be a destination for both families and businesses. Continue reading →
This week is Youth Week, an international celebration of youth held each year from May 1-7. It is a week of fun, interaction and celebration aimed at building a strong connection between young people and their communities.
Our young people are an important asset to our community and deserve to be recognized. Their contributions and accomplishments need to be acknowledged and celebrated.
The City of Burlington is a Youth Friendly Community and is dedicated to youth engagement. That means we strive to provide meaningful participation and involvement of young people in our community, in various ways.
Thanks to the Burlington Youth Week Committee for inviting me to participate in this year’s Youth Awards and Battle of the Best Contest. Please watch and read more below about Youth Week in Burlington, 2013.
Youth Week…What’s all the buzz about?
Guest Blog Post by Burlington Youth Voice @Burl_YouthVoice
International Youth week runs from May 1 to May 7 and in Burlington, we take the words “Celebrating Youth” to a whole new level!
The Burlington Youth Week steering committee includes youth-friendly community partners. We work hard throughout the year to put together an exciting event line-up during this international celebration.