November 2014 Progress Report

First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank the people of Burlington for “extending my contract” for another 4 years. Each and every day, it is an honour and privilege to serve as mayor. I do not take this job lightly and I continue to work hard at improving my performance. I am very pleased to re-connect with you and provide this post-election update. I look forward to continuing to send out regular progress reports for the next term as one way of updating you on what Council and staff are working on at the City. I want to continue the dialogue with Burlington residents and encourage you to reach out to me and the Mayor’s office on any issues that may arise. You can reach me via email at mayor@burlington.ca, phone at 905-335-7607, or through my social media channels. Continue reading

City of Burlington looking for volunteers for boards and committees

On Wednesday evening, the City of Burlington will be hosting a Volunteer Open House to recruit volunteers for the city’s committees and boards. Current volunteers are also invited to attend as a networking and learning opportunity. The City’s committees and boards are important to Council and the entire city; the decisions and input the committees make affect our decisions at Council.

Getting involved with our committees and boards is a great way to be engaged in City decisions and to shape your own community, now and for generations to come. Your ideas, passion, and engagement are vital to helping us continue to build a city  that works to provide the best in vibrant neighborhoods, prosperity and excellence in governance.

According to the most recent Stats Canada report, in 2010, more than 13.3 million people in Canada—about 47 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older—did volunteer work in 2010. They devoted more than two billion hours to their volunteer activities. What amazing commitment.

Volunteering is contagious. When you care enough to do something about the situation before you, you inspire others with your example. Nowhere has this been more evident in our community this year than in the level of commitment and energy shown by our residents who helped each other after the flood and subsequent clean up in August.

There are many committees and boards to become involved with where you can contribute your time and talents and I encourage you to come out on Wednesday evening and find an area that you are passionate about and speak with one of our current volunteers or staff members to learn more.

The event details are as follows:

Wednesday, November 19, 2104
Burlington Public Library – Central Branch
2331 New St., Burlington
6:30 to 8 p.m.

The program will also include a panel discussion on the value of volunteering followed by networking and a display showcase.

The city’s volunteer groups and advisory committees participating in the Open House include:

  • Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Burlington’s Best Awards Committee (formerly the Burlington Civic Recognition Committee)
  • Committee of Adjustment
  • Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee
  • Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee
  • Burlington Mundialization Committee
  • Burlington Public Library Board
  • Burlington Sustainable Development Advisory Committee
  • Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee
  • Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee
  • Festivals and Events – Canada Day and Christmas Parade Committee
  • Museums of Burlington Board and Doors Open Volunteer Organizing Committee
  • ChAT – Community Engagement Charter Action Team
  • Burlington Downtown Parking Advisory Committee

I would like to thank all the volunteer members of our committees and boards – past, present and future. You invest every day in making Burlington a better place to live, work and play.

 

Province of Ontario approves ODRAP Application for City of Burlington

I am so pleased to share that earlier this week the Province approved the application by the City of Burlington for the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program, with a commitment of up to $3 million dollars, matching 2 to 1 the monies raised locally.

On hand for the announcement Monday at City Hall, were Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon and Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris, along with Chair Gary Carr, Colleen Mulholland from the Burlington Community Foundation and Ron Foxcroft, Chair of the Burlington Community Foundation Disaster Relief Committee.

flood-relief-bannerOn behalf of Council, I offer my thanks to everyone who committed their time and energy into supporting Burlington’s residents, working tirelessly to advocate for our community and fundraise for those whose lives have been dramatically impacted by the floods.

There were many media outlets present at the announcement. Please click on the links below for additional coverage of this story.

The local fundraising campaign ends on November 14th through the Burlington Community Foundation. The applications for losses and damages will continue to be accepted by the Burlington Community Foundation until December 15th. Anyone who wishes to file for funding relief is encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Finally, I would like to thank the community for their resilience, patience and their support of one another; from neighbourhood fundraisers, to businesses who held special events, to our service organizations and corporations for their donations, and to the individuals who have contributed in many ways. Burlington is a city with a big heart.

Announcement Media Coverage

Lest we Forget

For me, Remembrance Day is a very poignant time.

poppiesWe proudly wear the red poppy in remembrance of those who have fallen in the conflicts that have taken place during our country’s history. When we think about those who have served our country in times of conflict, and the many who died in that service, many of us are filled with feelings of melancholy. This year, we are also reminded of the tragic events that took place in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and many of us have shown our support for those in uniform by wearing our poppies early and by leaving flowers and notes at cenotaphs and monuments across the country.

This year marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in World War II.

Here in Burlington, we had a ceremony to dedicate an additional monument to the Naval Ships Memorial Monument at Spencer Smith Park to honour the memory of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Marine seamen and their ships that were lost during the Korean War.

Many of us connect Remembrance Day with our own personal history – a family member or friend who was lost or fought, often in the major conflicts of World Wars I and II and the Korean War.

But we must also remember there are many Canadians who have served in other conflicts as well as brave men and women who currently serve our country to ensure our freedom and the freedom of people of all nations.

Personally, I associate Remembrance Day with my father, my aunt, several uncles and my father-in-law. I am reminded of their experiences and stories each time I encounter a veteran, attend a function at the Royal Canadian Legion, or participate in any of the special services conducted on Remembrance Day and to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic. While these are often sad stories, they are also inspirational stories of great courage and fortitude and are told with great pride.

I am also reminded at this time of the significant role of the Royal Canadian Legion who work tirelessly to promote Remembrance through the Annual Poppy Campaign that serves to remind us all of the thousands of men and women who have given their lives in wars and military missions around the world. I wear the poppy with great pride and think about my family and the veterans I have known over my lifetime.

On November 11 there will be two ceremonies held to mark Remembrance Day in Burlington. A Sunrise Remembrance Day Service led by the Burl-Oak Naval Veterans will take place at 9 am at Spencer Smith Park at the Naval Ships Memorial Monument. All are welcome to attend. For additional information, please contact the Burl-Oak Naval Veterans at 905-632-3118.

Following that service, a Remembrance Day Parade begins at Central Public School at 10:30 am and continues along Brant Street to the Cenotaph at Burlington City Hall for the 11:00 am Remembrance Day Service. The Royal Canadian Legion is holding this ceremony and everyone is welcome to attend. For additional information, please contact the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 at 905-639-6400. Please be aware that Brant Street will be closed for this parade and Ontario Street, between Brant and Locust will also be closed for the Remembrance Day Service.

I believe it is ever more important that we maintain a strong connection with the people that have served and continue to serve our country.

Lest We Forget

Flood Report October 2014

I have been keeping you posted with latest news and update on the issues and fundraising efforts resulting from the August 4 Flood Disaster. The following is current information as we proceed with the flood assistance, and the city’s plans to resolving the infrastructure issues:

flood-relief-bannerBurlington Community Foundation – Flood Disaster Relief Committee

Almost $800,000 in cash has been raised by the committee to date. I have been in contact with both our local MPP Eleanor McMahon and Minister’s McMeekin’s office for the latest updates from the province on our ODRAP application which we hope will match funds raised. The Burlington Community Foundation has a 100-day campaign for fundraising efforts which will come to completion on November 14, 2014. (NB: Please note the correction to originally published date of November 4, 2014).

The money has been raised through the outstanding efforts of the Flood Disaster Relief Committee, local businesses, sports organizations, neighbourhood groups and individuals. The Burlington Community Foundation website has a page dedicated to how you can become involved in the fundraising efforts.

Losses and Damages Claims

The Burlington Community Foundation has approximately 40 completed applications for Losses and Damages have been received by the Flood Disaster Relief Committee. Application forms are available on the BCF website, or they can be mailed out to residents by calling the BCF office at 905-639-0744, ext. 223.

A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for November 4, 2014 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Burlington Seniors Centre to answer questions about the claim application form and to assist residents with completing the application. Here is a link to their most recent update.

Cunningham Lindsay will be the adjuster for claims over $500.

Building Permits

The City has issued 328 building permits so far for disconnection of weeping tiles from sanitary laterals and the installation of sump pumps and/or back water valves; staff in our Capital Works department has been assisting with the site inspections and authorization of sump pump discharge locations to minimize future lot drainage issues.

Flood Reduction Study

The city received 941 storm water flooding calls. To date, staff have contacted 500 residents and visited 105 properties. An agency coordination meeting took place on October 21 with Conservation Halton and their consultant EWRG Limited, Halton Region and their consultant GM BluePlan Engineering along with City staff and our consultant AMEC.

AMEC has been focused on documenting the storm characteristics and flooding mechanisms and have identified areas of improvement and areas requiring further assessment. Conservation Halton has been mapping the extents of the riverine flooding in Tuck and Shoreacres Creeks on August 4 and their consultant is continuing to work on the assessment of the rainfall data and classification of storm. Halton Region’s consultant is continuing to work on their assessment of the sanitary sewer system and the sewer back-up flooding.

City staff, together with affected landowners, continue to develop restoration plans of impacted reaches of Tuck, Shoreacres and Roseland Creeks.

I would like to reiterate that this will be an ongoing complex process and will require the necessary time to ensure that we are making the best approaches to addressing the issues. Regular updates will be presented to committee and the public during each cycle and an annual review will be presented to the Development and Infrastructure Committee.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me through email, my social media outlets, or by phone at any time.