Happy Canada Day Milton

Thank you to everyone who came out to the annual Veterans Breakfast at Victoria Park this year.  Every year the Knights of Columbus hosts a pancake breakfast in honour of our veterans.  Its not just on Remembrance Day that we honour those who have fought for our country, those who returned and those who didnt, and it couldnt have been a more perfect day to do so.

MPP Ted Chudleigh (pictured here) as well as Halton MP Lisa Raitt joined members of council Mayor Gord Krantz, Clr’s Greg Nelson (who did some of the cooking) Colin Best, veteran Rick Malboeuf and myself to honour those brave heroes, who without their efforts we wouldnt be able to stand proudly and celebrate our freedom that many take for granted.

After the breakfast there was a brief remembrance ceremony at the cenotaph followed by a parade of veterans leading us to the gates of the Milton fairgrounds.  It was heartwarming to see the support of the community as they marched along with the veterans, applauding them and thanking them for their service.

We then assembled by the bandstand where those in attendance (including myself) reaffirmed our oath to Canada.  Normally there would be a swearing in ceremony for new Canadians, but this year its been done regionally and not locally.

After the formalities concluded, people by the dozens lined up for a piece of Canada Day cake and cupcakes to start off what was to be an amazing Canada Day in Milton.

Another big THANK YOU goes to the crew who organized the days events.  I know many of them personally and many, MANY hours went into preparation for this day and they should be thanked over and over for a wonderful day.  Great job!!

MOCKTAIL Competition May 12th at Milton Mall

A number of my councillor collegues have entered into a MOCKTAIL Competition on Saturday May 12th, 2012 at the Milton Mall.

Yours truly along with Mayor Gord Krantz, Councillors Zeeshan Hamid, Rick Di Lorenzo, Greg Nelson, Colin Best and Cindy Lunau will be providing our best mocktails for your sampling pleasure and you end up voting for the best ones (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid) with proceeds going to the Salvation Army as part of a nationwide food bank promotion.  The way it works is simple.

You sample the Mocktails from our group (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid) and place a donation for the corresponding mix. (HINT Cluett Cool-Aid)  Then you mock the rest of the group and CHEER for Cluett Cool-Aid!  Well, dont mock them as its not their fault.

I’m kidding.  It will be a blast and hopefully we can raise some money for the Salvation Army and our local food bank in Milton.

NOW, Im sure you’re going to ask this.  What if I cant make it?  THAT’S EASY!!  You can make a donation at anytime before hand, just send me an email and I will come pick it up from you.  Its that simple.

Each vote costs $2.00 but you can donate as much as you want either that day or before hand.  The more the better as I want to make sure the rest of my friends around the council table know that Cluett Cool-Aid is the ONLY way to go.

Council Eyeing Velodrome

From the Milton Canadian Champion By Christina Commisso

Council eyeing velodrome

The Pan Am Games velodrome has sparked the interest of Milton council.

The velodrome, an indoor track for cycling, is the only major Pan Am sports venue that’s still without a home after the City of Hamilton decided to cap its funding for the $45 million project at $5 million. Organizers, however, were looking for the host municipality to fund 44 per cent of the capital costs — about $20 million.

They’ve now reached out to communities who previously expressed an interest in hosting a Pan Am event, one of them being the Town of Milton.

“We did not go seeking this, they came to us to see if we could be interested,” Mayor Gord Krantz said during a committee meeting Monday. “I’m interested.”

However, Krantz said he wouldn’t be looking to the taxpayers to fund the local share of the project. Rather, it would be funded, if possible, through private partnerships.

The Town is proposing the Milton Education Village (MEV) location, a 150 acre-site at Derry and Tremaine Roads, house a permanent velodrome. If Pan Am organizers opt for a temporary facility, the Town is proposing the Derry Green Business Park or any existing vacant building in Milton.   

In a letter addressed to Krantz, organizers indicate they require a “shovel ready” site between five and six acres to be provided by the municipality by January 31, 2013.

Milton’s CAO Mario Belvedere pointed out the deadlines for the Pan Am site are similar to those of the MEV. Council has previously said the MEV would be shovel-ready by early 2013.

“Is that just a coincidences, or something we can look at more vigorously,” said Belvedere. “There are opportunities for project partnering by looking at other community partners who are already in place for the education village.”

But he warned that Hamilton had more than a year to work out site-selection and funding for the velodrome, and that still wasn’t enough time.

Milton has been given about a six-week window.

Organizers are looking for municipalities to express their interest and propose a site by tomorrow and a binding agreement to be signed with a host municipality by November 30.  

“Simply put, we haven’t had enough time to ask the appropriate questions,” said Belvedere.

Some of those questions include whether the interior of the velodrome could be modified to include other sports, what kind of operating subsidy would the Town receive to help with the ongoing costs of the velodrome and if the entire project can meet Pan Am’s tight timeframe.

Asked if the Town can meet the November 30 deadline, Belvedere responded, “absolutely not.”

“To be fair no one could meet those timelines. No one could put together a $40 million project in six weeks,” he said.

Krantz reiterated that he has no intentions of putting the Town’s finances in jeopardy and that the project would only move forward with private sector support.

 “There’s no doubt in my mind the Milton Education Village will be built in the next two, three, or five years. Will this fit in the college? I think it’s a perfect fit.”

He continued, “I’m looking 10, 20 years out to what the benefits of this facility may be.”

Krantz said three or four communities were approached by Pan Am organizers about the project.

While the committee voted express their interest in the Pan Am velodrome, several councillors raised concerns about the project.

“We only have six weeks for binding agreement. That’s not enough time for public feedback and that makes me nervous,” said Ward 8 Councillor Zeeshan Hamid.

He requested that the Town host a public meeting regarding the velodrome, but Belvedere said it’s best to wait and see if a private partner is found, as the velodrome wouldn’t move forward without one.

Hamid also raised concerns about ongoing operating costs.

Ward 6 Councillor Mike Cluett asked if there has been any indication from the Province regarding when MEV will move forward.

“There’s been no real contact at this early stage by the government or the ministry,” said Belvedere. “Prior to the election it was opinion of the ministry that they needed to move quickly on securing an additional 40,000 new spaces in the GTA, and that was a high priority.”

Ward 2 Councillor Greg Nelson said a velodrome would be a “hard sell” for downtown residents.

“With the hospital expansion and underpass underway, residents expect us to move forward with a razor-sharp focus,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t support funding the project with taxpayer dollars. “I hope we have Donald Trump or Richard Branson on speed dial.”

The velodrome will be an International Sports Federation-approved facility and will be used for Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games track cycling events and for training. The four-seasons velodrome will have a 250-metre track and will serve as the national training centre for Cycle Canada.

Belvedere said if organizers opt for a temporary site at the Derry Green Business Park, it would mean that area of town would receive water and wastewater services ahead of schedule. A temporary facility would be housed in a dome. When the games are over, the track would be removed and the dome could be used for indoor sports.

Mississauga councillors were expected to decide whether to bid on the velodrome at a meeting today.

A status report on the project will be presented at the November 21 Milton council meeting.


Community Services Committee Meeting June 13 2011

The next meeting of the Community Services Standing Committee is this coming Monday June 13, 2011 at Milton Town Hall beginning at 7pm.

This Committee consists of five Councillors and the Mayor. Committee members review all reports, formulate policy and make recommendations to Council on matters over which Council has authority under the Municipal Act. These matters are related to Community Services, Fire, Library, Transit and other operational programs. If you wish to be a delegation at the Community Services Committee, you must register in writing with the Clerk’s Office by 10:00 a.m. on Monday, the day of the meeting.

The following Council Members sit on the Community Services Committee:

  • Gordon Krantz, Mayor
  • Councillor Tony Lambert, Wards 1, 6, 7 & 8
  • Councillor Greg Nelson, Ward 2
  • Councillor Rick Malboeuf, Ward 4
  • Councillor Arnold Huffman, Ward 5
  • Councillor R. Di Lorenzo, Wards 7

Here is a copy of the agenda for you to review.  Some of the items to be discussed include:

If you cant make it to the meeting, as always you can watch online.  Just click on my links to the right and enjoy!

Milton Canadian Champion Covers Grow Milton Hospital

Citizens rally for Milton hospital expansion

(Photo Courtesy of Milton Canadian Champion, Graham Paine) – By Christina Commisso, Milton Canadian Champion

The signs are up, the signatures are in and the will is strong.

The time for Milton’s hospital expansion is now — that message was heard loud and clear Saturday morning.

About 30 people huddled under the gazebo at Victoria Park, sheltered against the rain and wind, to show their support for the expansion.

“We’re a small group, but we’re mighty,” said Halton MPP Ted Chudleigh.

He, along with citizen’s group Grow Milton Hospital, has collected more than 5,000 signatures of support for the expansion over a six-week campaign.

The petitions were delivered to Queen’s Park yesterday.

The urgency of the expansion was outlined by Milton District Hospital (MDH) surgeon Dr. Jeff Kolbasnik, who spoke during the morning event. 

“When I started (at MDH) we had lots of ward beds. Anytime I needed to admit a patient there was no issue. In the emergency department there would be a few people backed up, but routinely people would get seen within an hour. We never had surgery cancelled because no beds were available and getting a patient in urgently was no problem. Things have really changed.”

According to Kolbasnik, it’s not just the population spike that has placed mounting pressure on MDH; the infrastructure at the hospital is showing signs of deterioration.

He pointed to a leaky roof last summer that led to the evacuation of the medical surgical ward for almost a week. MDH recently received a “state of the art” surgical sterilization machine, which Kolbasnik said took a week to install because the hospital’s infrastructure was too old to support the new technology.

“During that week we had to ration surgical equipment…that’s not the sort of thing that should be happening in a growing community like ours.”

He continued, “As much as there’s a gradual deterioration, we’re worried we’re going to reach a breaking point when things just start to fall apart.”

Organizer and Ward 6 Councillor Mike Cluett took some time to dispel common rumors circulating about the MDH expansion.

Pointing to the new north Oakville hospital, Cluett said: “The Oakville hospital is designed for Oakville’s growth, not for other communities. We need a made-in-Milton hospital expansion for Milton’s needs now.”

Cluett added that he’s unfazed by naysayers.

“We’ve heard, ‘It’s great you’re doing this but it’s not going to make a difference.’ Well we’d rather go down swinging than not do anything at all. We want to let the provincial government know that it starts with them. Give us the go ahead, and we’ll figure the rest out.”

Playing MC for the event, Scott Fox of Z103.5 said when he moved to town seven years ago he would brag to his friends about the zero wait times at MDH.

“Now the tables have turned,” he said.

“All you have to do is look around at a town that’s bursting at the seams and a hospital that was built decades ago. The fact that people are waiting, they’re being sent to other communities for critical care, surgeries are being postponed because there’s not enough beds — this screams expansion.”

Chudleigh said he hopes the message comes through loud and clear at Queen’s Park. The petition was delivered mere weeks before the Province is expected to release its 10-year infrastructure list for high-priority projects.

Despite what transpires in the next few weeks, Cluett said the momentum for the expansion won’t slow down anytime soon.

“It doesn’t end today. It’s going to continue until the spade is in the ground and we have our hospital.”