My Summer in a Nutshell

Our family on the beach at Hilton Head Island waiting for the eclipse.

I hope everybody had a great summer! Although the weather wasn’t as hot as I was expecting it to be, it was still fantastic nonetheless.

The highlight of this summer was celebrating my 60th birthday in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with thirteen other family members. I read books, watched the eclipse with my family and even hit a few golf balls. The uniqueness of Hilton Head that attracts me is that they have the most stunning tree canopy I have seen anywhere.  The island has a tree ordinance that states that one cannot remove any tree unless you have permission from the city.  It truly is gorgeous.

I also had a daughter get married this summer.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  And my wife Cheryl and I took in a Nascar Race in Watkins Glen, New York.  It’s my favourite sport to watch.

For my personal growth, I took courses to keep my accreditation for my financial planning and life insurance designations. Although I’ve stepped away from that career for the last seven years, I think it’s important to continue to build on your skills no matter where you are in life.

When I wasn’t with my family, I was back at the office where I had a packed schedule.

My council colleague Paul Sharman and I took a drive to Detroit and met with the leadership of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan.  We wanted to learn about their not for profit Seniors Living Communities that we believe could take place here. I will be sharing our findings with the Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force at our next meeting.  You may not know that Burlington identifies itself as an Age-Friendly City, so I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

I was in Ottawa for the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference. We discussed the long term financial sustainability of municipalities, the effects of the legalization of marijuana and new changes proposed for the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Community events are in full swing during the summer.  I participated in a Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Forum, the first Halton Freedom Festival, Joseph Brant Day and the Rotary Club of Burlington Central golf tournament just to name a few.

As we transition into September, there is much to look forward to on Council’s agenda, particularly with regards to development.  I hope you’ll be engaged as we move forward with the city’s strategic plan. A City that Grows.  A City that Moves. A Healthy and Greener city. An Engaging City.

I hope to see you out there on our beautiful streets.

Sincerely,

Rick

Burlington’s new Official Plan

The City of Burlington is excited to have a draft new Official Plan, called Grow Bold, which the Planning Department will soon be taking out to the community for further consultation.

The Official Plan is a document that contains the City’s plans for growth and development. It has been designed to recognize that Burlington is changing how it grows. Along with that, it outlines strategies for the challenges we face and a vision to 2041.

How are we changing the way we grow?

The fact is that we have no new areas or greenfield land to build more communities like Alton and Orchard, so we need to accommodate new residents and jobs with redevelopment of our existing land with higher densities. This intensification is carefully planned to occur in areas that are specifically identified in the Official Plan.

The Official Plan identifies four mobility hubs as focal points for higher density and mixed use development that will accommodate a significant share of the city’s future population and employment growth. These hubs include downtown Burlington and the areas around our three GO stations. Continue reading

January/February 2017 Progress Report

Mayor Rick Goldring speaks with Minister of Energy Glenn Thibeault, Minister and Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon and Burlington Hydro President & CEO Gerry Smallegange during a recent visit at Burlington Hydro about initiatives like Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations that support smart community energy planning.

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.

Committee of the Whole – Monday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. and/or 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Workshop – Thursday, March 2 at 1 p.m.

Planning and Development Committee – Public Meeting – Monday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Burlington City Council – Monday, March 27 at 6:30 p.m.

State of the City 2017

I was pleased to share my seventh State of the City Address in January with a crowd of more than 400 people at the Burlington Convention Centre. In my address, I spoke about how the city is supporting businesses and local jobs, planning for new development in key areas while ensuring the movement of people and goods across the city, and fostering a sense of community through neighbourhood initiatives. Our city has prospered, but we have more work to do. With continued leadership and vision, combined with the ongoing input and support of the community, we can make further progress on building a great city. Continue reading

State of the City Address 2017

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[Check Against Delivery]

Good morning. I would like to offer a warm welcome to the annual Mayor’s State of the City Address.

Thank you all very much for joining me this morning. It means a lot to have so many people here. I appreciate your ongoing support.

I would like to recognize the Burlington Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event, as they have done for many decades.

In particular, thank you to Keith Hoey and his team, Marty Staz and the board of directors, along with the volunteers and membership. Together, you facilitate many different programs and events throughout the year that help bring the community together and build relationships that are essential to the prosperity of business in Burlington.

And thank you to today’s sponsors: Bell, Scotiabank, CN Rail, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, Union Gas and CogecoTV.

Today marks my seventh State of the City Address. Since the first time I stood before you, we have made significant progress, which I will share with you.

My colleagues from Burlington City Council are with us today. I am proud to work alongside these men and women who are deeply committed to our city.

Please welcome councillors Rick Craven, Marianne Meed Ward, John Taylor, Jack Dennison, Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster.

Our City Manager James Ridge is also here today. James is a key part of the leadership at the city along with the Burlington Leadership Team and our staff. I am proud of the dedicated staff working hard every day to make this city the best it can be.

We continue to work closely with all orders of government. Joining us this morning is Oakville North-Burlington Member of Parliament Pam Damoff, as well as Burlington Member of Provincial Parliament Eleanor McMahon, who last year was also named Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

I want to recognize Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould, who was not able to join us today, on her appointment as Minister of Democratic Institutions.

I am pleased to see Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette and Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. It is great working with you as we build strong communities and a prosperous region at Halton Regional Council.

It is a privilege and an honour to serve as Mayor of Burlington. This community means everything to me. Continue reading

September/October 2016 Progress Report

Mayor Rick Goldring, Burlington Foundation President and CEO Colleen Mulholland, Burlington Foundation Board Chair Ron Foxcroft and TSN's Michael Landsberg at Inspire Burlington on Oct. 5. The next Inspire Burlington event is set for Nov. 14, 2016 at 7 p.m. Register today: burlington.ca/mayor.

Mayor Rick Goldring, Burlington Foundation President and CEO Colleen Mulholland, Burlington Foundation Board Chair Ron Foxcroft and TSN’s Michael Landsberg at Inspire Burlington on Oct. 5. The next Inspire Burlington event is set for Nov. 14, 2016 at 7 p.m.

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, Oct. 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Committee of the Whole – Thursday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.

Community and Corporate Services Committee – Monday, Nov. 7

Development and Infrastructure Committee – Tuesday, Nov. 8

Burlington City Council – Monday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Applicable Learning from Sweden and Denmark

Västra Hamnen – the Western Harbour – is one of Malmö’s largest residential construction projects. When complete, it will have 20,000 residents and a roughly equivalent number of workspaces. Once a declining post-industrial area, the Western Harbour has been transformed into an attractive and sustainable modern dockland development.

Västra Hamnen – the Western Harbour – is one of Malmö’s largest residential construction projects. When complete, it will have 20,000 residents and a roughly equivalent number of workspaces. Once a declining post-industrial area, the Western Harbour has been transformed into an attractive and sustainable modern development.

Last month, I travelled to Växjö, Sweden with a delegation from the City of Burlington. The purpose of the trip was to work with municipal and industry representatives to discuss a potential strategic partnership and share knowledge related to community energy, sustainable development and economic development opportunities.

The city delegation was in Växjö, Sweden on Sept. 26 and 27, 2016. The delegation also met with other municipal jurisdictions, including Malmö, Sweden (Sept. 28), and Copenhagen, Denmark (Sept. 29).

Delegation members included James Ridge, City Manager; Frank McKeown, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development Corporation and Paul Sharman, Ward 5 City and Region Councillor. Staff from the City of Burlington, Burlington Hydro and McMaster University also accompanied us.

Burlington is working towards the long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral, as stated in the city’s Strategic Plan 2015-40. Växjö, Sweden has the same goal. That city is a world environmental leader with a growing economy. In 1996, the city adopted a target for the community to be fossil fuel free by 2030. Greenhouse gas emissions have been cut by 48 per cent between 1998 and 2014 on a per capita basis.

Here at home, the Province of Ontario is expected to release its climate change strategy with ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This will likely significantly impact city operations, such as transportation and the use of thermal energy.

Among the noteworthy topics discussed were:

  • District energy: One of the main reasons we went to Sweden and Denmark was to learn more about district energy, as the City of Burlington is undertaking a feasibility study to investigate a potential district energy facility in our community. This direction is part of the Community Energy Plan. Sweden and Denmark have used district energy for many decades, and in some cases, for more than a hundred years. District energy plants have the potential to provide predictable and potentially cleaner energy. The focus of the feasibility work in Burlington focuses on downtown, as well as areas around the Aldershot and Burlington GO stations. We had many presentations on district energy and visited district energy facilities, including the Sysav facility in Malmö, Sweden, which uses waste-to-energy technology as a source for both electricity and heat for tens of thousands of homes. Continue reading