The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), of which I am a member, invited Premier Kathleen Wynne, Leader of the Official Opposition Tim Hudak, and Leader of the New Democratic Party of Ontario Andrea Horwath to meet individually with the LUMCO membership, requesting that they, or their representatives, present their party’s Provincial Platform on the issues facing Ontario’s Big Cities.
LUMCO’s key priorities for 2014 include gridlock and transit issues, the rising cost of emergency services, and job creation in Ontario. LUMCO Chair Mayor Jeff Lehman spoke for all Mayors’ when he indicated that the organization is working to advance the issues facing the majority of Ontarians in our large Cities. This Provincial election campaign provides us the perfect opportunity to find out where the leaders stand on our key priorities. We remain cautiously optimistic and hopeful that the important issues of infrastructure, transit and job creation will remain on the Provincial agenda, regardless of the election outcome.
A press release resulting from last Friday’s meeting is posted on my blog indicating where the parties have or have not addressed the issue put forward at the LUMCO meeting.
The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) represents 67% of Ontario’s population with Mayors of 26 communities over 100,000 residents. LUMCO advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.
Burlington Airpark Environmental Report
As you know, over the last 5-6 years, tens of thousands of truck loads of fill have been transported onto the Burlington Airpark site for the apparent purpose of expansion and enhancements to the existing services offered at the airpark.
These activities have raised a number of questions by both neighbours, residents and the city, including questions about the quality of the fill being dumped.
On July 15 City Council received a report from Terrapex Environmental on test results of the fill at the Burlington Airpark. The results have been shared with the public and are available online. A summary of the test results is available in the press release issued: “Burlington City Council receives environmental report on fill material at Burlington Executive Airport”
November 4, 2013
Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park is one of three of Halton Region’s waterfront parks. Burlington Beachway Park is classified as a regional park, and is jointly governed by Halton Region, Conservation Halton and the City of Burlington.
The City of Burlington is committed to protecting the Beachway, an environmentally significant area of the city, while respecting the rights of the existing residents.
(Read more about the City Council meeting here: “Burlington Beachway Park: Update from City Council”)
As a result of the Halton Regional Council decision on October 23, the city will continue working in partnership with the Region of Halton and Conservation Halton to deliver a detailed park design, master plan and an environmental management plan for the area.
Halton Regional Council Decision
On October 23rd, after much discussion and deliberation, Halton Regional Council supported the motion (Regional Council NO. 09-13):
Affordable Housing in Burlington
November 1, 2013
According to the most recent news release from the Realtor’s Association of Hamilton and Burlington, the Hamilton-Burlington real estate market is strong and prices and sales continue to increase. This is a great indicator of the strength of our local economy.
However, with the average price of a home in Burlington climbing over $486,000, for those living with low and modest incomes, single parent families, and single person households, it can be very challenging to find affordable housing.
This issue is further exacerbated by a very low rental vacancy rate – 1.3% in Burlington compared to 4.2% in Hamilton and 2.5% across the province. A vacancy rate of 3% is considered necessary for adequate competition and supply.
We have a growing number of single-parent families and single-person households. We also have a rapidly growing seniors’ population. These demographic trends and the reality that we are approaching build-out, indicate the need for more diverse housing options in Burlington. Continue reading
September 24, 2014
Burlington Beachway Park
This week City Council approved several recommendations for the Burlington Beachway related to the 30 homes on the Beachway and Regional plans for a waterfront park.
This has been one of the most complicated matters to deal with since I have been on City Council. Land on the Beachway is owned by 3 different public agencies and many private property owners. City of Burlington zoning contradicts with the Halton Region Official Plan. There are encroachment issues, wastewater issues and property standards issues that have not been dealt with while the greater plans and vision for the Beachway have been under consideration.
I have met with several of the current beach residents and heard from many others who have expressed concern over the long-standing goal of public ownership along the beach strip. I have also heard from many residents across Burlington who feel passionately about the Beachway.
Over the past few weeks we have heard from many of the Beachway residents and from many delegations over two days of Committee meetings. Emotions have run high, and that is understandable as we are dealing with family homes and residences in this discussion.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to connect with me. This is a very complex and difficult issue and it is not resolved yet.