CN Presentation to Halton Region Council May 27th 2015

The following is a clip from todays Halton Region council meeting where CN makes a presentation outlining its newly named “Milton Logistics Hub Project” aka Milton Intermodal.

More details and comments to come.  I had posted a link to the Halton website earlier on Twitter and some have commented their browsers werent able to view the meeting, so that section has been uploaded to YouTube.

 

Provincial Legislation Being Reviewed By Ontario Government

PUBLIC INPUT SESSION: Tuesday April 14th Milton Sports Centre Room #3 at 7pm!

Recently the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced a province wide review of a number of pieces of legislation to be conducted over the next several months.

These are just some of the laws that govern municipalities and how fast we grow, where we grow and the limitations of that growth.

They include:

  • The Growth Plan for the GTHA
  • The Greenbelt Plan
  • The Oakridges Moraine Conservation Plan
  • The Niagara Escarpment Plan

The Ministry has announced a number of public open house sessions throughout the province including one here in Milton on April 22nd.

Given the impact that these pieces of legislation have on a municipalities ability to plan its growth, I felt that it was important that we try to gain a better Milton and Halton perspective on some of these items before we make our views known during the ministry’s provincial meetings.  I have scheduled a public input session for Tuesday April 14th at Milton Sports Centre Room #3 starting at 7pm and with the assistance of fellow Councillor Colin Best we can get important feedback from Milton and Halton residents on these potential changes.

All are welcome as we discuss ideas on the Greenbelt and your thoughts as to the future. Is the Greenbelt too big? Is it too small? What changes can be made to better plan for Milton/Halton’s growth over the next 20 years?

There are many questions to be asked and we would like to hear from you.

As always if you cant make it, please email me your thoughts mike.cluett@milton.ca or here in the comments.

2015 Bell Ringing at Milton Town Hall

It was a little chilly to say the least.  Canada’s Most Famous Hockey Dad Walter Gretzky along with Mayor Krantz and close to 50 others rang in the new year at Victoria Square in front of Milton Town Hall this past new years eve.

Happy New Year Milton!!

 

When the chips are down…

…Regional Councillor Tony Lambert left Milton high and dry.

The following video is from yesterday’s Halton Regional Council meeting.  After a marathon 4 hour plus meeting an in camera report came up for a vote.  This report is a result of 3 years of discussion regarding ROPA 38, which is the Regional Official Plan Amendment that affects many areas in Halton, including Milton.

Our council representatives Mayor Gord Krantz, Councillor Best and Lambert received this detailed report less than 24 hours before the meeting before having to be asked to vote on it.  I wasnt part of the in camera discussions obviously, but what came out of it was a motion by Mayor Krantz to defer the report until such time that Town of Milton staff and legal teams could look into it in more detail.  This comes on top of an announcement from the provincial government regarding a change to the Places To Grow Act that will now, once complete, bring a total of 1,000,000 people to the Halton region, and MANY of those to Milton.

When its all said and done, the province of Ontario has deemed Milton to grow to over 350,000 people by 2041.

You can see that due to this development and the fact that Milton will be the location of the majority of that growth, our councillors representing the best interests of Milton would want to take a look at it some more.

If you watch the video, you will see that some of the discussion on Mayor Krantz’s deferral motion.  The results of the vote were 11-3 with our 3 regional representatives voting for the deferral, so it lost.

Then the vote on the main motion came up and this is where the head scratching begins.  When Milton needed to stand united on an issue that will affect this town for 20-30 years down the road, Tony Lambert first opposed the report by voting FOR the deferral, and then after that motion was lost, voted FOR the original report.

Regional council voted against the deferral and in turn lone Councillor Tony Lambert chose to support it in the end leaving Mayor Krantz and Colin Best standing alone. When the chips were down and Milton needed to stand united, for whatever reason he might come up with, Lambert chose to flip flop and change his mind to in essence desert Milton’s long term needs.

As regular readers of my blog will know, THIS is why there has to be change in representation for Milton at the Region and why I intend to run for the regional councillor position for wards 1,6,7 & 8 in 2014.

3 years of on the job training has not worked. Sadly as it is, this isnt the only example of erratic voting behaviour.

With all of these changes and important issues facing Milton in the coming years, we need someone who will stand up for Milton when the chips are down.

Region of Halton Budget Highlights

Ive received a few emails from people asking when the Town of Milton budget documents will be ready.  As I’ve posted here before we are expecting those documents to be ready around the 26th of November for our review.  This will give councillors 14 days to review the budget, receive input from the public and make those decisions at our budget meeting on December 10th.

I personally am not happy with this timeline as it doesnt give us much time to review the finalized budget, consult with you and get more background information to make those decisions.  In the meantime, for you budget junkies out there 🙂 the Region of Halton budget is online for your review.  It contains roughly 570 pages of background information, capital budget items, operating budget items as well as a 10 year plan for the region.

Overall the tax rate increase will be 0% not including the police services budget which is included as a separate item.

As a reminder, Regional Councillor Colin Best will be holding a budget information session at the Sports Centre on November 28th  at 7pm Room number 4 and you will find yours truly there and maybe a few other of my colleagues to answer any questions you might have about this or the town of Milton’s budget.

You can find the documents here at www.halton.ca/budget

Here are some of the key investments and highlights from the Halton website.

Key investments proposed in the 2013 budget include:

  • $1.6 million to deliver new Assisted and Affordable Housing Units as identified in the Comprehensive Housing Strategy
  • An additional 100 child care fee subsidies for low income families and additional special needs services for 20 children
  • 10.4 paramedics to staff two 12-hour ambulances in the Region to ensure wait-times for ambulance services continue to meet standards ($1.1 million)
  • New waste diversion programs including a three bag garbage bag limit and expansion of the blue box program to include additional recyclable materials to extend the life of the landfill site resulting in long-term savings
  • $810,000 advanced funding through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative to support Halton’s low income residents
  • Increased investment in the Region’s water and wastewater maintenance program ($3.1 million) and state-of-good-repair capital program ($8.7 million) to ensure the existing infrastructure is appropriately maintained to provide service to the residents of Halton

The 2013 Regional budget will go to Regional Council for final approval on December 12th. Halton residents are invited to provide input or comments at budgets@halton.ca

Property Tax Impact of Regional Government Services – Typical Residential Home: $350,000 cva*

2012 Actual 2013Budget $ Change % Change
Regional Services $807 $807 $0.00 0.0%
Police Services** $448 $458 $10 2.3%
Total Regional Taxes*** $1,255 $1,265 $10 0.8%

If you have any questions on the budget you can submit questions to me mike.cluett@milton.ca or comments on this blog.

As soon as the Town of Milton budget documents are ready, I will post them here.  Let me know what you think!