Yates Drive and March Crossing

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Just the mere mention of that intersection causes many residents in the area to roll their eyes.

Why? We have seen many near misses of vehicles driving down Yates from Thompson Road with cars coming out of March Crossing. This weekend was no different.

Lets go back in time to this past summer around the dinner hour. Local residents were brought out of their homes with the sounds of screeching tires, loud thumps and a big bang. What had happened was a car traveling north on Yates Drive towards Bennett Blvd. at what witnesses describe as “over the speed limit”, narrowly missing a vehicle coming out on March Crossing into the intersection. This car swerved to miss that car, lost control and jumped the curb on the opposite side of the road and smash into a house. Luckily there was no one hurt, the car sustained some damage and the bay window of the home was damaged.

For those of us who live in the area know, kids are walking up and down the sidewalk heading to their friends homes or to the local parks and thank God no one was there was this happened.

Now, we go back to this past Saturday and the almost exact situation happened again. A car traveling up Yates Drive from Thompson Road heading towards Bennett Blvd. driving up the street, narrowly misses a car coming out from March Crossing, loses control and jumps the curb on the opposite side and hits the same house in almost the identical spot.

Enough is enough. Im not one person who favours putting stop signs at every intersection or reducing speed when there is no justification. Something has to change before any other home or God forbid, someone is injured or killed.

The speed limit on Yates Drive is 50km/hr. During last falls election campaign, I spoke with many people about community safety and what we as citizens can do to make our streets safer. Many of you favoured reducing the speed limit on streets. Is that enough?

Would a 40km/hr speed limit saved this home owner from yet another insurance claim and time away from their lives to repair the damage to their home that someone else caused? Maybe.

If the speed limit was reduced it might be cause for the driver to make sure they slow down. Who really knows.

Would a stop sign have done the trick? Again, who knows. If drivers know there is a stop sign approaching at that intersection, would they reduce their speed before they come to March Crossing?

Possibly. Only if people open their eyes and realize our residential and town roads are not speedways.

It’s frustrating to live in an area such as this with such amazing neighbours and people living in the subdivision to have to deal with this. The only thing we have left is to turn to the town of Milton and see what can be done.

For years now, residents have complained about speeding on our streets. To the town’s credit they have done some studies about excess speed on Yates Drive and have concluded it doesnt warrant a stop sign at this particular intersection.

My message, that I plan on delivering with the help of the local residents, is simply this.

Reduce the speed to 40km/h and / or put a 4 way stop at this intersection. By doing nothing, is simply condoning this behaviour and endorsing what has already happened.

The safety of the people in the area, their homes and our children are more important than worrying about if people will be inconvenienced by an additional stop sign.

Whats more important to you?

Every Vote DOES Count

As many of you are aware, there was a provincial election recently. The campaign seemed to go on forever since Premier Dalton McQuinty closed down Queens Park early this summer and thus the rubber hit the road.

During that campaign there was a referendum on our voting system that we, as voters, had to figure out and make a decision on. The future of the province was up for grabs. Did we think that the Liberals did a good enough job to carry on for four more years or did they deserve to get the boot?

Despite what side of that arguement you sat on, one thing we should all be able to agree upon is this…the voter turnout was dissappointing.

Just over half of the electorate came out to vote. This statistic has been continually debated after each election and a common theme has emerged. My vote doesn’t count.

Now when I hear that, it makes me shake my head. A perfect example can be given from this past provincial election.

Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh has been representing our riding of Halton for 12 years. He, in my and many peoples opinions, has done a very good job representing us in fights to secure more funding for Milton’s hospital and other services our growing community needs.

To put a long story short, Ted was returned to Queens Park on October 10th with a difference of only 164 votes when everything was counted. Going from having the highest plurality of votes by a winning candidate in the last elections to one of, if not THE closest margin of victory this time. Regardless of what you thought about faith based education funding and what kind of impact that had on Ted’s results, it just goes to show that everyone who did vote here in Halton….those votes counted.

Another example from the previous federal election can be found with our current Minister of Health, Tony Clement. He won his riding by only 28 votes. On election night and before the recount, he had only won by 21 votes. Again, in that riding as well as others, those votes counted.

Want more? Lets go back in time shall we? Almost one year ago in fact.

Last year around this time we were in the midst of our municipal election campaign. I was spending almost each and every waking moment hitting the doors and talking to as many people as possible. My blog was being updated on a daily basis with comments and observations that I got from the voters in my ward.

Every issue that came up, I did my best to put out there exactly what my stand on the issue was and what can be done to fix that problem. From Pristine Power to road safety to green growth and to accountibility of the elected officials…everything was up for discussion.

In Milton, each ward can elect 2 town councillors to represent them. In our current system its the first two candidates with the highest votes that win. In past elections in Ward One, the difference between the first two candidates and the third were hundreds of votes. This time around in 2006, the difference betweeen an elected seat and the third place was only 92 votes.

Less than 100 votes separated myself from current Councilor Brian Penman. Not a large margin…and that’s democracy for you.

So when I hear from people that my vote doesnt count, I bring them to these examples and say, YES your vote DOES count.

Instead of coming up with different ways to count our votes (ie MMP et all) we should be taking a hard look at ourselves and our priorities when it comes to the ballot box.

Why didnt you vote?  Oh I didnt have time.  The last provincial election had several days of advanced polls so that people who would find it hard to go vote on election day, can come out and have their voice heard.  I believe the advanced polls were open 5 days and open for almost 10 hours on election day.  There are laws in place to allow everyone a chance to vote.  Many people dont take advantage of these options and its saddening to say the least.

In the last municipal election less than 30% of people voted.  In the following by election in Ward 2, even less voted … approx 20%.  Again in this situation, advance polls were available, extended voting hours and many opportunities given, but yet people didnt show up.  I dont think that by changing the system from its current incarnation to MMP or another system will help.

The problem is people dont want to vote.  Again, many feel that their vote doesnt count.  Hopefully after reading this, they might change their opinion.  We need to find out why people arent voting and work at it from that angle…not changing the system so that we end up losing local representation in some ridings by having some political party people sitting in a seat and speaking out on our behalf.

Lets have that discussion soon.  A federal election is looming in the next few months quite possibly and given the current state of affairs and the minority government in place, our vote counts even more.

New Look to the Blog

Trying some new things every now and then so if it looks like somethings been changed….youre right! It has. Let me know what you think. I’ll be trying to make it look a bit better so it might change some more over the next little while.

Im trying to incorporate this blog into my website so it will be easier to go to www.mikecluett.ca instead of this blog. As with everything…a work in progress.

Speaking of a work in progress, the Amazing Race is coming up next month as well. It looks like the teams are now set in place and they wont be accepting any new applicants…BUT we will need lots of people to come out and cheer the teams on.

This race has been many months in the making, and its going to be a fitting end to the 150th Anniversary celebrations. Go to www.milton.ca and click on the 150th logo for more information.

As well, one of the top rated schools (Hawthorne Village Public School) will be having its “WELCOME BACK FUN FAIR” on September 29th starting at 11am. Theres going to be tons of stuff going on so even if you dont have kids in the school…come on by.

Milton Fall Fair this weekend

It’s that time of year folks. The world famous Milton Fall Fair is upon us and this year, as every year, looks to top them all.

Check out more information at http://www.miltonfair.com/

Friday, September 21st 2007

3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
3:00 p.m. Midway Opens
(Special Reduced Midway Rates from 3:00 till 7:00 p.m. only!)
5:00 p.m. 2007 Speed Show (Barrel Racing) – Horse Ring #2
5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Beer Tent Open
6:00 p.m Ambassador Competition/ Grand Opening
7:00 p.m. Open Junior Dairy Show – No. 1 Barn
8:00 p.m. Demolition Derby

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
9:00 a.m. Hunter Show Jumper Challenge – Horse Ring #2
10:00 a.m. Pet Show1
0:30 a.m. Heavy Horse Show – Horse Ring #1
10:30 a.m. Truck & Tractor Pull
10:30 a.m. Youth Beef Show – Beside No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. Halton 4-H Dairy Calf Club Achievement Day – No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. Beer Tent Open
11:00 a.m. Midway Opens
11:00 a.m. Circus Jonathan – Infield Stage
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Chili Cookoff
11:30 a.m. Light Horse Show – Horse Ring #2
11:30 a.m. Sneezy the Clown-Infield Stage
12:00 p.m. Stylamanders – Infield Stage
12:30 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
12:30 a.m. Open Beef Show – Ring Beside Cattle Barn
1:00 p.m. Travel’n Riverboat Show
1:30 p.m. Stylamanders – Infield Stage
1:30 p.m. Terrie – Karaoke By Terrie – Exhibition Theatre
2:00 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
2:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Sign (Registration) on the track area by the office
2:15 p.m. Len Lee – Rose Specialist – Exhibition Theatre
2:30 p.m. Silver Elvis – Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Commences
3:00 p.m. Neon Rain – Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Terrie-Karaoke By Terrie – Exhibition Theatre
4:00 p.m. The Stylamanders – Infield Stage
4:30 p.m. Craig Douglas – Infield Stage
5:00 p.m. Martial Arts – Cead Bua – Infield Stage
5:30 p.m. Neon Rain – Infield Stage
6:00 p.m. Mounted Games – Grandstand
7:00 p.m. Demolition Derby Drivers Meeting – Exhibition Theatre
8:00 p.m. Demolition Derby

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

9:00 a.m. Hunter Challenge and Gymkhana Show
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Halls and exhibits open to public
10:30 a.m. Lawn & Garden Tractor Pull11:00 a.m. Midway opens.
11:00 a.m. Sheep Show – No. 1 Barn
11:00 a.m. Baby Show – Exhibition Threatre
11:30 a.m. Jonathan Fletcher Band – Infield Stage
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Beer Tent Open
12:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull sign up in track area by office
12:30 p.m. Sneezy the Clown – Infield Stage1:00 p.m. Demolition Derby Drivers Meeting
1:00 p.m. Jonathan Fletcher Band – Infield Stage
1:00 p.m. Kiddies Pedal Tractor Pull Commences
1:30 p.m. Hal Allison – Exhibition Theatre
2:00 p.m. Demolition Derby
2:00 p.m. Skyway Cloggers – Infield Stage
2:15 p.m. Sean James (Ponds & Water Gardens) – Exhibition Theatre
2:30 p.m. Martial Arts – Hundo- Infield Stage
3:00 p.m. Hal Allison – Exhibition Theatre
3:00 p.m. Skyway Cloggers – Infield Stage
4:30 p.m. Halls close
5:00 p.m. Hall Pick-up

Milton’s Ivory Tower

For those of you who havent seen the news, the Town of Milton is making it known we have some coveted land available for a post secondary institution…almost like a first come first serve.

The
town has been talking about this for some time now. Its been in the works for months and they’re finally moving on the pitch. If Milton could scoop a university/college campus for the town it would be a major coup. Mississauga was/is trying for the same thing.

There is a shortage of spaces available at post secondary schools in Ontario and with getting rid of Grade 13, it only got worse with more students looking for a place to go. Its a huge piece of land and giving it away might sound like the wrong thing but the long term goals outweigh the short term.

Where its located, it can provide a huge boost…especially with young people…shopping in town. Its really close to downtown Milton which can only benefit from the additional people. Traffic of course would increase and we have to make sure the towns ready for it and plan in advance. We would have to look closely at locations in Oakville by Sheridan College and the traffic impacts there. The town would have to look at how commuters will be getting to the campus, for instance GO train or GO bus. If so, we would have to start now working on a deal with the province to provide sufficient GO bus/train service to Milton, well before the ground is broken on the campus.

You can also play devils advocate and say with bringing in more students you will increase the need for “affordable housing” IE apartments and it would also increase the demand for basement apartments. Its something I don’t think the town has an official by law on and it in turn would have to be looked at. Not everyone who would be attending this campus location would be from the area. With it getting harder and harder for students to get into high demand university programs, a good college system will be needed to catch the overflow and provide a high quality program to keep up with the needs of business and technology in the future.

And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Many questions need to be asked, studied and answered. When you make a decision like this you have to look at the long term impact…5, 10 and 15 years in the future. Its something the Town of Milton hasn’t done very well in the past and I hope that will change in the coming months/years to come.

I think, if its planned correctly, a college or university campus located in Milton can be a good thing. Only if they use common sense in making those plans. We can only hope.

Here’s the article.

Milton covets its own ivory tower TheStar.com – Education – Milton covets its own ivory tower

Fastest-growing town in Canada offers free land in bid to lure a university or college campus

August 01, 2007


Education Reporter

Free to a good campus: A chunk of Canada’s new boom town.

Bustling Milton may have the fastest-growing population in the country and a business boom to match, but there’s one thing it hasn’t got that it wants very badly.

A wing of the ivory tower.

It’s offering a $3.5 million parcel of land by the main drag, just steps from the GO Train station, free to the first college or university to bite.

The timing couldn’t be better, after Toronto university presidents warned this week a surprise surge in enrolment could bring 40,000 more students to GTA colleges and universities in the next 15 years – sparking talk of a possible new GTA campus.

“The way we’re growing – and the way the GTA is growing – this could be the most sensible location for a new campus,” said Mario Belvedere, Milton’s chief administrative officer, who calls the two-hectare site of the old Pigment and Chemical paint factory “a dynamite, gorgeous location.”

“We want a post-secondary institution to balance out our residential and industrial growth – we’ve got a disproportionate number of kids here and in a few years they’ll need somewhere to go for higher education,” said Belvedere.

Milton topped the charts in the latest Census by roughly doubling the number of children under 14 in just five years, making it a young town that will put pressure on the school system, he said. It opened two more schools last year and has another two ready to open this fall.

These students will be part of the boom that puts pressure on all GTA universities, as well as community colleges such as George Brown College, which face the same space crunch as enrolments climb.

The U of T already has satellite campuses in Mississauga and Scarborough. McMaster University in Hamilton plans to open a campus in Burlington. Sheridan College in Oakville has a satellite campus in Brampton. The University of Guelph has a joint campus with Humber College in Etobicoke.

Still, Milton needs its own campus, says Belvedere.

“But we realized just wishing for a university or college to come here is not enough; we need to attract their attention.”

The town acquired the land through a partnership with the Royal Bank. Officials are contacting all Ontario colleges and universities to pitch the free land. The offer expires in December 2008.

It has even posted a sign that proclaims with confidence, if few details: Future Home of Post-Secondary Institution.

“Free land!” says Belvedere. “Is that amazing or what?”

Humber College plans to open a satellite campus in 2009 in Orangeville.