Mayor Rick Goldring joined Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Provincial Environment Minister Glen Murray and Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger to speak at the June 17 update on the Randle Reef sediment remediation project in Burlington Bay. The project will reduce the amount and spread of contaminants through the harbour, significantly improving water quality.
Committee and Council Meetings
Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.
Burlington City Council – Monday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Community and Corporate Services Committee – Monday, July 11
Development and Infrastructure Committee – Tuesday, July 12
Burlington City Council – Monday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Burlington Named Canada’s Best Mid-Sized City, Second Best Overall
I am proud to share that Burlington was named the best mid-sized city in Canada for the fourth year in a row in MoneySense Magazine’s Canada’s Best Places to Live 2016 rankings.
This year, Burlington moved up in the rankings as the second best city overall in the country. Our community was also named the third best place in Canada in which to raise children.
Burlington scored high with low unemployment, high incomes, healthy population growth, low crime, good weather, as well as a strong arts and sports community
I am extremely proud of the people and the businesses that make Burlington a great city. Our challenge together is to make our city an even better place in which to live and work.
Bay Area Economic Summit 2016
I was pleased to be part of the Bay Area Economic Summit again this year. The sold-out event was presented by the Burlington and Hamilton chambers of commerce. Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger and I participated in a fireside discussion at the event hosted by Jennifer Mossop.
I am supportive of the Bay Area Economic Summit, as businesses and companies do not see municipal boundaries, but rather a regional market. There are tremendous economic development opportunities in the Burlington-Hamilton area. Our cities are also natural partners, sharing such assets as McMaster University, Royal Botanical Gardens/Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System, Burlington Bay, as well as a significant workforce. Approximately 26,000 people come from Hamilton to work in Burlington each weekday, while approximately 9,000 people travel from Burlington to work in Hamilton in that same period.
As a result of last year’s summit, there have been further conversations around transportation, in particular. There is an opportunity for improved connectivity, especially on public transit. Burlington City Manager James Ridge and Hamilton City Manager Chris Murray meet regularly to discuss this and other opportunities between our cities. From this year’s summit, Mayor Eisenberger and I agreed to ask our cities to collaborate on climate change action. Read the Hamilton Spectator’s coverage of the summit.
BEDC: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy
In line with the city’s new Strategic Vision for a City that Grows, the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is developing an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy for Burlington.
Traditionally, local economic development efforts have been focused on attracting large companies to Burlington. With the new Strategic Plan, there has been a shift to focusing on supporting small and medium-sized businesses in starting up and scaling up for growth.
In a 2016 report, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce identified a critical gap in Canada’s business growth strategy: businesses are not scaling up into large, world-leading organizations. As a result, the Ontario government is taking action to address key barriers and opportunities that are available to help businesses scale-up and grow.
With the innovation and entrepreneurship strategy, Burlington plans to be a part of this. BEDC will serve as a catalyst, facilitator and advocate for the space by supporting new and existing companies, government organizations, and grassroots initiatives.
Support will be delivered in the form of sponsorship, programming development and physical infrastructure in order to help create and maintain a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship at a regional scale. Since January, BEDC has met one-on-one with more than 30 stakeholders across the Halton and Hamilton Regions. Best-in-class examples have also been considered in order to understand how successful ecosystems developed, what the key challenges were, and where new, untapped opportunities exist in the space.
Currently, BEDC has identified seven key components of a successful innovation ecosystem: entrepreneurial leadership, capital, talent, research institutions, commercialization support, network density and mentorship. These areas will remain a focus as the development of the strategy moves forward.
Over the summer, BEDC will continue partnership development and the creation of an asset map to better understand the opportunities available.
Council News in Brief – June 13, 2016
Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System – Partner Memorandum of Understanding Extension
Council approved, in principle, the contents of the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System Memorandum of Understanding Extension (MOUE). Staff will finalize wording before the City Manager will sign the finalized MOUE on behalf of Council. This MOUE aligns with the Strategic Plan key direction: A Healthy and Greener City in the Environmental and Energy Leadership category. The Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System is a network of 3,650 hectares of significant lands naturally connecting Hamilton and Burlington at the western end of Lake Ontario. The original MOU expires in June 2016. In order to facilitate further progress, and realize the potential for engagement with the Province of Ontario and other agencies, a continuation of the current working arrangements is proposed for a further five years.
Six-storey Hotel at 1120 Burloak Drive
Council approved a rezoning application for a six-storey hotel to be built on the site with the existing one-storey convention centre at 1120 Burloak Drive. City staff recommended approval of the application to amend the Zoning By-law, stating the proposal conforms to the City’s Official Plan and represents good planning.
Review of Lighting Multi-Use Trails
A direction was supported by council asking staff to investigate the feasibility of installing lighting along the Centennial Multi-Use Trail and Hydro Corridor Multi-Use trail using the Route Lighting section outlined in the approved Trails Strategy. Staff was asked to report back to committee on the feasibility of lighting multi-use trails, results of public engagement, as well as capital and operating costs.
Agenda, reports, minutes and video for this Council meeting can be found here.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference
During the first weekend in June, I had the opportunity to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Accompanying me were councillors Paul Sharman, Blair Lancaster and Marianne Meed Ward, as well Halton Regional councillors, including Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz.Conferences like this give elected officials the opportunity to “work on the business” unlike when we are working at home “working in the business”.
The conference had a full agenda, with addresses by the leaders of the national political parties including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Dianne Watts – representing Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose, New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. All four spoke about the crucial importance of the relationship between the federal government and municipalities.
There were also a number of study tours to choose from including: the Winnipeg Bus Rapid Transit System, the CN Training Centre for engineers and rail workers, heritage buildings, the University of Winnipeg, active transportation and the urban tree canopy. The tours proved helpful in stimulating thought about what could work (or not work) in Burlington and Halton.
The conference featured concurrent sessions on a broad range of topics, including asset management, municipal broadband connectivity, sponsorship programs and infrastructure in the age of climate change.
Speaking about flood mitigation at the FCM Annual Conference.
One highlight for me was serving as a panelist alongside Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Halifax Mayor Mike Savage in a session entitled “Disaster Proofing Communities”. The focus of my comments was the August 4, 2014 flood and how the city and region responded in the short-term and continue to do so.
A meaningful outcome of the conference was the opportunity to connect with mayors and councillors from across the country. On the plane heading to Winnipeg, I had the opportunity to sit beside Bill Martin, who is the mayor of Summerside, P.E.I. We had a great discussion and I made a few notes from our conversation.
I also had the opportunity to speak with Henry Braun, the mayor of Abbotsford. B.C. Abbotsford is in a similar situation as Burlington, with a city featuring approximately 75 per cent agricultural land and no more remaining greenfield development. This means they are going through the same city building process as Burlington. In fact, they too are working with noted urban planner Brent Toderian, who was in Burlington in February guiding us on our long-term vision.
Finally, there was also a trade show of more than 100 exhibitors that provide products and services to municipalities. As a result of the discussions with some of the exhibitors, I will be meeting with city staff about some specific products and services that could be beneficial to us.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference presents a meaningful opportunity to broaden our perspective and assist us in taking an informed and wholesome approach to city building in Burlington.
Region Wide Basement Flooding Program Improvements
Last week, Halton Regional Council approved a number of improvements related to the Region Wide Basement Flooding Program. The two key recommendations approved by council include: 1. Phase II Targeted Downspout Disconnection Program
- Based on the approximate construction date of homes, flow monitoring, past consultant studies and operational experience, a 3-year downspout disconnection plan targeting approximately 10,000 homes each year has been developed. Halton Region will hire a consultant to contact homeowners and provide the full disconnection service where feasible.
2. Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program enhancements
- A 100 per cent subsidy for downspout disconnections up to a maximum of $500, which is increased from the current 50 per cent.
- A 100 per cent subsidy for weeping tile disconnections up to a maximum of $5,000, which is increased from the current 50 per cent.
- A lateral lining and repair subsidy of 50 per cent of the cost of a private lateral repair up to a maximum of $2,000.
- A list of qualified contractors for the weeping tile disconnection subsidy program.
Since the summer of 2015, more than 1,200 downspouts have been disconnected and 146 sewer system optimization projects have been completed in the priority areas in Burlington and Milton. The region reports this work undertaken in these priority areas over the past year has resulted in a significant reduction in extraneous infiltration and inflow of stormwater into the sanitary sewer system. Based on data collected to date, the disconnection work completed has removed approximately one cubic metre of rainwater every second during the peak moments of a 1 in 10 year storm, which is equivalent to removing one Olympic-sized swimming pool every 40 minutes.
The second phase of the Region Wide Basement Flooding Program will remain at $85.3 million over the next 10 years. Of this, $60.4 million has been budgeted for system optimization and capital improvements while $24.9 million is budgeted for the subsidies and staff resources.
Prior to the widespread adoption of modern lot drainage practices, many weeping tiles and downspouts from eaves troughs were connected to the sanitary sewer system. These connections have the potential to overload sewers and cause basement flooding during large storm events. If you are in this situation, with the increase in financial support, there is no good reason not to take advantage of these programs. You can get more information by calling 311 or going to the Halton Region website.
Land Use Planning Review Public Open House
This May, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry released proposed changes to four land use plans: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.
The province is seeking feedback on the proposed changes until September 30, 2016. An open house is being held in Halton on Thursday July 7, 2016 from 5-8 p.m. at Oakville Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Rd. Ministry staff will be on site to answer questions about the proposed changes to the plans. No registration is required.
If you have a personal accommodation requirement, contact the ministry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 1-800-665-1120 at least three days in advance of the Public Open House.
Visit www.ontario.ca/landuseplanningreview to find Shaping Land Use in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a guide to proposed changes to the land use plans and the four proposed revised plans. Information on how to provide input, as well as the dates and locations of public open houses can also be found on the website.
Mayor Goldring and Apeldoorn Mayor Sign Expression of Interest
Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and I signed an Expression of Interest on May 31, 2016 at Burlington City Hall to promote economic development opportunities between the two cities. The Expression of Interest focuses on advancing potential partnerships in three specific areas, including:
- Clean technology sector development;
- Trade partnerships;
- And an exchange and internship program for post-secondary students.
The Burlington Economic Development Corporation will lead discussions on behalf of the City of Burlington. Based on conversations during our visit to Apeldoorn last spring, as well as meetings in Burlington the last week of May, we have agreed on three specific areas of opportunity we are looking to pursue.
Apeldoorn is a natural economic partner due to our twinning agreement, as well as with its prominent clean technology sector as it relates to Burlington’s Community Energy Plan. The signing furthers the twinning agreement established between the cities of Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and Burlington, Canada on May 6, 2005. The twinning agreement states that the cities will explore economic development and new business opportunities.
“Apeldoorn is interested in furthering business with Burlington,” said Mayor John Berends at the signing. “Several of our companies are interested in Canadian partnerships, especially in a city like Burlington where we have already established a good working relationship.”
New Street Review – Guelph Line to Burloak Drive
As a result of a council-approved direction this spring, city staff is conducting a review of cycling options for New Street from Guelph Line to Burloak Drive, as this stretch of street is slated for resurfacing in the coming years.
An objective outlined in the new Strategic Plan, under the direction: A City That Moves is implementing a complete streets vision, where streets are planned and designed to allow safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for everyone using any form of transportation.
I look forward to seeing staff’s recommendation and listening to the community’s dialogue. Read more about the options being considered at: www.burlington.ca/newst.
Delegations can present their feedback at the July 12 Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting and at the July 18 City Council meeting.
Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program
The Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program in Burlington governed by the Region of Halton launches on July 1, 2016. The program offers qualifying low-income seniors who own and live in their homes in the City of Burlington a full property tax deferral with interest being paid by Halton Region. For more information about the program and an application form, visit Halton Region’s website www.halton.ca/taxdeferral.
Burlington Transit Updates
Burlington Transit has launched an improved, mobile-friendly website, www.burlingtontransit.ca, which features real-time data for improved customer service. In the past year, the city’s statistics show that over 53 per cent of our web visitors are using a mobile device, and we expect that number to grow even higher in the years to come.
The key features of the new, mobile friendly website include:
- Schedule Finder: View a route or stop-specific schedule online or print one to take with you.
- Next Bus: Get real-time departure information for any bus stop location online or by calling 905-639-0550 with the stop ID number. Users can also see a live map showing the exact location of their bus.
- Stop Finder: Find the best stop location to suit your needs. View a list of amenities available at each stop so you can plan your trip with comfort.
The next steps of the Smart Transit System project include launching an online subscription service and online Handi-Van trip booking. This month, Burlington Transit also launched a Twitter account at www.twitter.com/BurlONTransit. For schedules, maps and next-bus information, please visit www.burlingtontransit.ca or call 905-639-0550.
Burlington Transit adjusted its weekday schedules as of June 27, 2016 to align with the scheduling changes by GO Transit on the Lakeshore West weekday peak trains. These changes will improve transit connections at GO Stations in Burlington, says Mike Spicer, director of Burlington Transit. There is also a larger than projected ridership increase on the Route 101 Express. As a result, Burlington Transit has increased its rush-hour frequency to every 15 minutes. Route 1 Plains has moved to a 30-minute frequency. Those changes also took effect June 27, 2016. There will be more schedule adjustments once the Burlington GO Station construction is complete this fall as all buses will be routed to the station’s south platform.
Burlington Transit is adding benches to 57 bus stops around the city. Some bench installations will require a concrete slab to be poured first. The locations were chosen based on areas that have busier pedestrian and vehicular traffic, as well as public space available. Providing benches will provide a more comfortable place to rest while waiting for a bus. The bench expansion is already underway and will continue as weather permits throughout the summer and into the fall, if needed. For a list of the new pads and benches and their locations, visit www.burlington.ca/transitbenches.
Faces of Burlington
To support Bike to School Week and as Champion of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge – Burlington, I partnered with Lakeshore Public School for a mayors’ bike-to-school ride on the morning of Tuesday, May 31. More than 50 students accompanied myself and visiting Mayor John Berends from Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Thank you to the Halton District School Board, Principal Evelyn Quist and the outstanding team of staff, students and parents at Lakeshore Public School for making the Bike to School Week mayors’ ride a great success.
Listen: CHML Mayors’ Town Hall
I am a regular guest on the Bill Kelly Show on 900 CHML for The Mayor’s Town Hall once a month from 10-11 a.m. Host Bill Kelly and I discuss a wide range of news and topics related to Burlington. Previous programs are available in podcast on the CHML website at http://www.900chml.com/. Tune into the next Mayor’s Town Hall on Monday, June 27 from 10-11 a.m. Listen on the radio or online.
Watch: Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring
My community television program, Burlington Matters with Mayor Rick Goldring, on CogecoTV has wrapped up for the first season. Eighteen episodes featuring more than 50 guests aired from September-June, with great topics and dialogue. You can watch all 18 episodes anytime online at http://www.burlington.ca/en/your-city/Burlington-Matters.asp. We are currently looking for guests and show ideas for Season 2. Please email email@example.com with your show suggestions.
Join Us for Canada Day in Burlington
Fireworks, live entertainment, a citizenship ceremony, food and vendors – these are just a few of the many reasons you should celebrate Canada Day in beautiful, vibrant Burlington. Watch my video message for more details about this special celebration. For a full schedule of events, visit www.burlington.ca/canadaday.
Free Summer Concerts
The City of Burlington’s 2016 Summer Concerts in the Park series is back for another year. Free performances will be held each Wednesday and Sunday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Central Park Bandshell from June 19 to Aug. 14. Residents are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy a variety of music for all ages. A complete list of scheduled performances is available online. For more information, please call 905-336-7600, ext. 7947, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.burlington.ca/concerts.
Movies Under the Stars
The City of Burlington’s Movies Under the Stars, presented by Tim Hortons, returns on Thursday, July 7, featuring free family movie screenings in local parks every Thursday until Aug. 18. For more information, including a list of movies and locations, park maps, movie trailers and cancellation updates, visit www.burlington.ca/movies or call 905-335-7766.
Inspire Burlington – Fall Events Announced Soon
We have two exciting Inspire Burlington events being finalized for October and November. Be sure to subscribe to my free digital monthly newsletter to receive updates about the renowned guest speakers coming to Burlington for these free community events. Email email@example.com to be added to my newsletter e-mail distribution list.