November/December 2015 Progress Report

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Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in November and December, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.

Improved Storm Resilience for Residential Dwellings and Public Infrastructure

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Mayor Rick Goldring’s Nov. 20 workshop on improved storm resilience for residential dwellings and public infrastructure included case studies from other municipalities and their responses to severe storm incidents. The panel featured Allan Magi, Executive Director, Capital Works, City of Burlington; Martin Powell, Comissioner, Transportation & Works Department, City of Mississauga; David Kellershohn, Manager, Water Infrastructure Management, City of Toronto, and moderator Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development and Infrastructure, City of Burlington.

Since August 4th, 2014, when Burlington was subjected to a deluge of 191 millimetres of rain in a single day, the City of Burlington and Halton Region have moved forward on plans to better protect ourselves both as homeowners and managers of the municipal infrastructure.

In previous newsletters, I have reported on measures taken by the City of Burlington and Halton Region to upgrade rainwater drainage and run-off through better maintenance, upgrades and new construction. Meanwhile, we have been engaged in dialogue with the insurance industry and other levels of government on the need for overland flood insurance to protect homeowners against financial losses from such catastrophes. Continue reading

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Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-2040

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Strat-Plan-CoverI am pleased to share that after almost a year of collaboration between the community, City Council and city staff, Burlington’s 2015-40 Strategic Plan is ready for review and will be going to council early in the new year for final approval.

This strategic plan marks a departure in Burlington’s history as it looks forward 25 years, rather than the next four years as is the norm in many municipalities.

Burlington’s Strategic Plan 2015-40 will guide this council and future councils in their decision-making by encouraging common goals and planned investment. This plan is a result of year-long engagement that saw input from residents, businesses, community groups, city staff and members of Burlington City Council.

There are four key strategic directions outlined in the new strategic plan:

  • A City That Grows – The City of Burlington is a magnet for talent, good jobs and economic opportunity while having achieved intensification and a balanced, targeted population growth for youth, families, newcomers and seniors.
  • A City That Moves – People and goods move through the city more efficiently and safely. A variety of convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation that align with regional patterns are the norm. Walkability within new/transitioning neighbourhoods and the downtown are a reality.
  • A Healthy and Greener City – The City of Burlington is a leader in the stewardship of the environment while encouraging healthy lifestyles.
  • An Engaging City – Community members are engaged, empowered, welcomed and well-served by their city. Culture and community activities thrive, creating a positive sense of place, inclusivity and community.

Short-term implementation plans and medium-term policy documents, like the Transportation Master Plan and Official Plan (5-10 year renewal), will complement the long-term policy of the strategic plan.

We want to know what you think of the city’s new strategic plan. Is the draft plan in plain language and easy to understand? Has the plan captured what’s most important to you about living in Burlington? Is anything critical that is missing? To view the strategic plan, visit www.burlington.ca/strategicplan or request a copy by contacting strategicplan@burlington.ca or 905-335-7600, ext. 7378.

The city is hosting four open houses on the Strategic Plan in December and January:

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
Haber Recreation Centre
3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
Community Room 2
7 – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016
Robert Bateman High School
5151 New St.
Cafeteria
7 – 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
Burlington Public Library – Central Branch
2331 New St.
Centennial Hall
7- 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
LaSalle Park Pavilion
50 North Shore Blvd. E.
Main Hall (upper level)
7 – 9 p.m.

If you are unable to make the open houses, starting January 4th, please give your feedback online at www.burlington.ca/strategicplan. You are also welcome to email strategicplan@burlington.ca anytime with your feedback or questions.

As always, please do not hesitate to connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter at @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring.

Note: A shortened version of this column will appear in the January edition of Snapd.

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Syria Action Burlington

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Mayor Rick Goldring addresses the crowd at the public meeting for Syrian refugee support on Tuesday night.

Mayor Rick Goldring addresses the crowd at the public meeting for Syrian refugee support on Tuesday night.

The City of Burlington hosted a public meeting called Syria Action Burlington on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

This was a community event focused on finding ways to connect the many offers of help the city has received with the numerous churches, faith groups, school groups and others working to not only bring Syrian refugees to Canada, but successfully integrate them into our community.

The outpouring of support materialized into more than 250 people filling Mainway Recreation Centre. The tone of the evening was caring and compassionate – two of the key qualities for which the people in our community are known. Continue reading

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Ontario and Quebec Municipalities Ready to Take on Climate Change

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Mayor Rick Goldring in Ottawa for the signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

Mayor Rick Goldring in Ottawa for the signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

As Chair of the Climate Change Task Force of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, it is an honour and privilege to be in Ottawa today for the historic signing of the Climate Change Action Covenant between the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Union of Municipalities of Quebec.

Climate change is a global problem that needs solutions at the local level. As we look for leaders in the charge towards environmental sustainability, I believe this leadership lies in the municipalities of Ontario and Quebec.

Municipalities have long been climate change champions. We support public transit, waste diversion, efficient municipal buildings and renewable energy measures, among other green infrastructure.

The City of Burlington is committed to the environment through initiatives like our Community Energy Plan, sustainable development, and support of responsible intensification to foster walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods.

Today’s signing solidifies our willingness to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our provincial and federal counterparts to take action on climate change.

Leading today’s signing are Gary McNamara, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and Suzanne Roy, President of the Union of Quebec Municipalities.

“This historic agreement signals that AMO and UQM are going to combine our efforts as we look for solutions to the climate change problem,” said McNamara. “We want to signal that municipalities in Canada’s most populous provinces are willing partners in the fight against climate change.”

“The UQM is proud to sign a long-term partnership to promote the essential role of municipalities in the fight against climate change. We only have one planet, and as the level of government closest to the people, it is essential that municipalities act locally for the well-being of future generations,” said Roy.

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Improving Storm Resilience for Residential Dwellings and Public Infrastructure

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Mayor Rick Goldring’s Nov. 20 workshop on improved storm resilience for residential dwellings and public infrastructure included case studies from other municipalities and their responses to severe storm incidents. The panel featured Allan Magi, Executive Director, Capital Works, City of Burlington; Martin Powell, Comissioner, Transportation & Works Department, City of Mississauga; David Kellershohn, Manager, Water Infrastructure Management, City of Toronto, and moderator Scott Stewart, General Manager of Development and Infrastructure, City of Burlington.

It has been almost a year and a half since approximately 191 millimetres of rain fell on parts of Burlington in a matter of hours, causing significant flooding and damage in parts of the city.

As many of you recall, roads, highways and more than 3,000 homes were flooded.

While the City of Burlington and Halton Region have moved forward on infrastructure investment plans to lower our flood risk, we have also been continuing the dialogue with the insurance industry and other levels of government on overland flood insurance.

Overland flood insurance was not available in Canada until it was introduced in Alberta earlier this year. This meant there were many residents who suffered financially in the aftermath of the 2014 Burlington flood.

On November 20, I convened a workshop focused on improved storm resilience for residential dwellings and public infrastructure, which featured perspectives from local government and the insurance industry.

The meeting brought together approximately 50 people, from elected officials and staff from municipalities across Ontario to representatives of the insurance industry.

There were several important takeaways from that meeting:

  • There is a need to continue the dialogue, through workshops like the one held here in Burlington, as well as regular and frequent year-round contact, about effective overland flood insurance. Both municipalities and insurance companies are here to serve the best interests of our residents.
  • Addressing the infrastructure gap that affects communities across Canada in a timely manner is essential. However, municipalities do not have the financial resources to do this alone. We are looking to the provincial and federal government to serve as partners.
  • There is great potential for both the insurance industry and municipalities to inform homeowners about what they can do to mitigate the risks of overland flooding.
  • According to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), some insurers are now providing residential overland flood coverage in parts of Canada, and within the next 12-18 months it is expected to become available through a number of different companies representing 40 per cent or more of the market.

I will continue to work with our government partners and the insurance industry on overland flooding. There is a lot of work left to do, but the latest meeting shows there is great potential in connecting with residents and the insurance industry to put our residents’ best interests forward.

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The Nov. 20 workshop also featured a discussion on insurance and overland flooding among a panel of Rob Wesseling, Co-operators; Lapo Calamai, Insurance Bureau of Canada and Mazdak Moini, Aviva Canada, with moderator Mayor Rick Goldring.

Please connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Mayor Rick Goldring. Subscribe to my monthly digital newsletter by emailing mayor@burlington.ca.

This column will appear in the November 27 edition of the Burlington Post.

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