Council passes resolution to seek support from the province of Ontario
Burlington City Council held a special council meeting yesterday morning to pass three resolutions:
- To approve a request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to declare the City of Burlington a “disaster area” for purposes of the public and private components of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program;
- To approve a request to the Region of Halton to give immediate priority to sanitary sewage issues for residents who experienced flooding on multiple occasions, including but not limited to May 13, 2014 and August 4, 2014; and
- To direct staff to investigate the implications of establishing a program to assist homeowners with the cost of building permit fees directly related to flood remediation.
The full text of these resolutions will be available online through the Agendas and Minutes portal next week. All resolutions were passed unanimously and I encourage you to watch the meeting online as there was great information shared by City management and by several resident delegates, as well as questions and comments from all members of council. A press release regarding this special council meeting is also available online.
Yesterday I spent several hours visiting many neighbourhoods in Burlington and speaking with over 100 residents who have had flooding of their homes and properties. As many know, my wife and I shared a similar experience and we understand personally what these residents have lost.
We have formally been notified that 1,578 homes that have had flooding but I believe the final number will be closer to 2,000.
We have had extensive flooding in many areas of Burlington: from the Headon Forest/Palmer Drive area, to Brant Hills/Mountainside area, with the greatest number of homes affected in neighbourhoods in south and south east Burlington. Although the percentage of homes overall is low, the impact for those that have been affected is severe. Many residents do not have adequate insurance coverage and have suffered tens of thousands of dollars damage, in many cases damage is over $100,000.
Storm cleanup efforts continue
The City of Burlington was hit by a massive rainstorm on Monday, Aug. 4. Meteorologists say Burlington received two months of rain in one day. Considered to be a 1 in 100 if not 1 in 250 year weather event, this is 150 to 200 millimetres of rain over a number of hours-the same amount usually received over July and August. As a result, extensive flood damage has occurred in a number of areas.
Having been affected by the flood in my own home, I have tremendous empathy for residents whose lives have been turned upside-down by this storm. Floods are the most frequent natural hazards in Canada and the most costly in terms of property damage.
We are meeting today with a team from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to tour a number of the hardest hit areas and to lay the groundwork for potential funding from the province of Ontario help for both the residents and the City. Continue reading
Earlier this week I attended a dedication of the Royal Canadian Naval Ships in Korea Memorial Monument.
Many residents are very familiar with the Naval Memorial Monument in Spencer Smith Park which was unveiled in May of 1995 with thousands of veterans and supporters in attendance. This significant monument is a cenotaph that honors the memory of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Marine seamen and their ships that were lost during World War II. This monument is a special addition to Spencer Smith Park that attracts residents and visitors, a place to stop and reflect on our naval history and to those who fought for freedom. Continue reading
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss with you the rationale for the initiation of the New Street Bike Lanes’ Study that was recently supported by Council.
Why should we consider designated bike lanes on New Street?
Since the City of Burlington declared itself as a Sustainable Development Community in 1990, we have invested in creating vibrant neighborhoods. To be truly vibrant, neighbourhoods should be designed to encourage active lifestyles, including walking and cycling. These areas are often favoured places to live because of lower pollution levels, less traffic congestion, more parks and public spaces, improved opportunities for social interaction, and an abundance of healthy lifestyle choices. Continue reading