Doing What I Said Id Do

lisa round tableContinuing with my meetings with senior staff at the Region of Halton and other levels of government. Earlier this month I was able to take part in Halton (Milton MP) Lisa Raitt’s pre-budget round table.  In that meeting I brought up a number of concerns for the Town of Milton.  Many of them included infrastructure issues and looking at getting some financial support from all levels of government, including the feds.

As a fast growing municipality, we are faced with many issues and restrictions that other “slower growing” regions do not.  Minister Raitt seemed very enthusiastic about some of the ideas brought forward that will help in the moving of not only regular traffic, but to help reducing gridlock on the highways, where most of our good and services are transported through.  

There were also a number of other Milton area stakeholders in attendance from both the business community and important social services as well.  I look forward to hearing back from Minister Raitt on future proposals from the federal level of government.

Today’s meeting was with Public Works to discuss issues that have been brought up to me over the last 4 plus years on council as well as during the campaign.

The number one issue I brought up was Fairness for Milton and the breakdown of Halton Region and the number of councillors per municipality. All have agreed so far that this is something that needs to be addressed in this term and we’re working on ways to bring this to the forefront.

I also talked about improved synchronization of the traffic lights along regional roads like Derry and Britannia, blue box improvements, waste collection-bag limits, park dumping and of course working on regional road projects to ensure they are on time and limited displacement of Milton residents.

After every meeting I hand them a copy of my platform piece so they know where I and the voters of wards 1,6,7 & 8 are coming from.  So far they have all been in agreement with the priorities you raised during the last election campaign.

I’ll be providing some more updates as these meetings continue and if anyone has feedback or concerns, dont hesitate to email me mike.cluett@milton.ca or call me on my cell 647-888-9032.

This coming Wednesday is the public roundtable for the Halton Region Strategic Plan at Halton Region HQ.  The meeting begins at 630pm so if you haven’t already RSVP’d please do so here.

The strategic plan sets the course for Halton Region council to help build a Complete Community.  As you will remember during the election campaign, a Complete Community is something that we all need to work towards.  We need as much input from the public as possible and its meetings like this that are very important.  If you can’t make it, have a look on the site about the questions that will be asked and send me your input.

mike.cluett@milton.ca

I’ll see you at the doors.

There Was A Miracle On Main Street

Yesterday was the 4th annual Toy Drive in Milton put on by the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation and supported in a large part by Troy Newton of Troy’s Diner.  As Ive said many times before, you dont have to be in Milton very long to know about Troy’s.  Great food, great service, amazing staff and Troy’s impact on our community can not be measured.

I was happy to help out in supporting the Miracle on Main Street this year and every year it just gets bigger and better.  There were reindeer, Santa Claus himself came down from the North Pole to say hi to the kids, live entertainment by Milton’s own Jon Abrams as well as Prita Chhabra, a merry go round, silent auctions, the worlds most famous hockey dad Walter Gretzky and thousands of toys for the toy drive.

On a personal note, Ive known Troy for as long as I’ve been a Miltonian and he does have a heart of gold.  He was asked by Jennifer Valentyne from BT yesterday why does he do this and his reply is simple but very telling of who he is.  Isnt it what we should be doing?

Troy and his team help out at so many community events and when called upon, he’s there no questions asked.

I havent heard an official total yet from the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation of what the total amount raised but I heard yesterday from Mayor Gord Krantz that the total was close to $200,000!!!! WOW! That will bring more smiles to kids faces this Christmas than before. An outstanding effort by a group of outstanding volunteers. The team should be commeded for their efforts yesterday.

And to top it all off, yesterday morning in front of the diner Troy was presented with the Queens Diamond Jubilee award for his years of community support.  It gets said so often but its so true with this…there is no other person that deserves this honour more than Troy.  Congratulations and Im very proud to call you my friend.  Check out the video below of the presentation live on Breakfast Television.

Potential CP Strike Will Affect Milton & GO Transit

This will be an updated blog post as more information comes forward on this issue.

As you might have heard, CP might be going on strike midnight tonight which will cause some disruptions to transit riders who use the GO Train.  Here is what we have received so far from Milton Transit.

Milton Council,

GO Transit staff have recently notified Town Staff of a potential strike situation that would impact GO Transit’s Milton Rail corridor service. Effective 12:01 am on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, the Teamsters Union representing Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) train crew and rail traffic controllers will be in a legal strike position. GO Transit’s Milton Corridor is owned by CPR and will be directly impacted by any strike action. CPR and Teamsters will pursue a negotiated settlement right up until midnight, Tuesday May 22, 2012.

In the event of a CPR train crew and rail traffic controller strike, there will be no GO Transit Milton Corridor Train service effective midnight, Tuesday May 22, 2012. All current passengers will be encouraged to find alternative transportation methods starting Wednesday, May 23, 2012. All other GO rail corridor and bus services will continue to operate based on their public timetables.

Town Staff will be working with GO Transit officials on providing updates to customers. In the meantime, we will continue to support all GO Transit Bus services as per Milton Transit schedules, where possible.

I will provide further updates as they become available.

Thank you,

Tony D’Alessandro, M.E.Des, MCIP, RPP

As more information comes in I will post as soon as possible.

Here is the lastest from the National Post & Scott Deveau 

scdeveau@nationalpost.com

Commuters in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal could face disruptions Wednesday morning with a potential strike looming at Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which represents roughly 4,800 CP engineers, conductors, yardmen and rail traffic controllers, served strike 72-hour strike notice over the weekend warning its members were prepared to walk off the job as early as 12:01 a.m. Wednesday morning if a new labour agreement could not be reached by then.

Both sides in the dispute continue to meet, but were also called to Ottawa Tuesday morning for a meeting federal labour minister Lisa Raitt to discuss what would happen in the event of a strike.

“Our government is concerned that a work stoppage would have a negative effect on Canadian businesses, families, and the economy,” Ms. Raitt said in a statement. “That’s why I have invited both parties to attend a working summit in hopes that we can avoid any disruption of services.”

If a labour disruption were to occur, it would not only halt CP’s freight rail service in Canada, but also potentially disrupt the morning commute of thousands of VIA Rail, GO Transit, West Coast Express, and AMT passengers on routes that pass over CP’s lines.

Contingency plans are being put in place, but customers are being encouraged to check the website of the various rail companies for updates.

VIA Rail said it expects service between Toronto and Ottawa, Toronto-Kitchener-London, and Sudbury to White River to be impacted by the strike because its trains on those routes pass over CP lines.

Malcolm Andrews, VIA Rail spokesman, said it was still being determined what mitigating measures would be put in place and to what extent its operations would be affected.

“We will be putting updates on our website,” he said. “Should this all come to pass, we’ll keep that updated as the situation evolves.”

GO Transit said it expects there will be no rail service in its Milton corridor and that its service originating from Hamilton station to be impacted outside of Toronto in the event of a strike.

All GO bus service will continue to operate out of Milton, however, and all four trains originating in Hamilton will depart from its Aldershot station instead with bus service between those stations.

Meanwhile, West Coast Express said it was working with CP and its partners at Translink on contingency plans for the Vancouver area in the event of strike.

“These contingency plans include a number of options: expanded Train Bus services; bus shuttles to SkyTrain Stations; and, encouraging West Coast Express passengers to ride share or telecommute when possible. In the event of any job action, we will act on these plans when possible and provide updates for customers as soon as they come available,” it said on its website.

AMT said its service from Blainville to Saint-Jerome, Candiac and Vaudreuil to Hudson would be impacted in the event of a strike and that it continues to monitor the situation.

CP’s talks with the TCRC has been held up on numerous issues including work rules, fatigue management, and changes to the pension plan proposed by CP’s management, which the TCRC claims will be cut by 40%.

The TCRC sent a letter to CP’s management over the weekend committing to keeping commuter rail service running in the event of a strike in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

But it is likely that management would lock out the TCRC workers in the event of a strike.

Ed Greenberg, CP spokesman, said the railway wouldn’t have the resources to staff the commuter or inter-city passenger rail lines in the event of a labour disruption.

 

Chris Wattie/Reuters files

“I continue to encourage the Canadian Pacific Railway and the TCRC to either reach a deal or agree to submit to a binding process to settle their dispute and avoid a work stoppage,” federal labour minister Lisa Raitt said in a statement over the weekend.

“Should there be a work stoppage, we have indicated that we would be proceeding with a safe and structured shutdown of our freight and commuter train operations,” he said. “Without the resources in place, it is simply not possible to run reliable and safe commuter service. We would hope if the union is interested in running commuter rail and inter-city passenger rail that they would agree to an extension to the negotiation talks or reach an agreement to the company.”

He said the railway would also be willing to enter into binding arbitration with the union in order to ensure rail service continued.

Ms. Raitt said she is monitoring the situation closely and encouraged both sides in the dispute to continue to negotiate.

“Today, I will remind the parties that the best solution is the one they reach themselves,” Ms. Raitt said. “I encourage both parties to continue negotiating and reach a prompt resolution to this dispute.”

Some of the railway’s customers are already calling for back-to-work legislation in the event of a strike.

Ms. Raitt has demonstrated a propensity to intervene to prevent labour disruptions in the past, including the tabling of numerous back-to-work bills to prevent work stoppages at Air Canada and Canada Post.

The threat of a strike at CP comes less than a week after its chief executive Fred Green resigned under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management L.P., which has been pushing to see him replaced with Hunter Harrison, the former head of rival Canadian National Railway Co.

Stephen Tobias, an industry veteran and former chief operating officer at Norfolk Southern, has been named interim CEO of CP while the search for a successor is conducted.

Report on Cell Tower Expected Soon

Looking at the upcoming reports listed on the Town of Milton website recently shows that there is a report on the Bell cell tower proposal at New Life Church is expected to be presented to the members of the Administration & Planning standing committee (of which I am a voting member) on May 14th.

There has been an exhaustive amount of information presented during this process.  If you remember back on March 1st, I was the first to point out this potential development in our area.  From that point on, I have done extensive research in this field and believe me, my eyes are bleary with the sheer number of reports out there, and talked with residents in the immediate and surrounding areas to get their views on the proposal.  You can also contact Halton MP Lisa Raitt’s office by going to http://www.lisaraittmp.com/?page_id=12 and sending in your comments & concerns.

The most vocal have been those who oppose the tower in our area, but I have discussed this with a number of residents who are in support of the tower and allowing the New Life Church to move forward with it.  I will be the first to admit there is a lot of information on both sides of this, and as I mentioned in a Champion article, this debate is very similar to the debate the Region of Halton recently had regarding fluoride in the water.  Emotions have been running high as the process moved forward.

I await the receipt of this report, as many residents in our wards are and as soon as its made available I will have a link to the report here.

So mark your calendars for May 14th at Milton Town Hall.  The meeting starts at 7pm and if you would like to speak on the report, you can register as a delegation for the meeting.  I will have all the information available when the report is ready.

Until then, I’ll see you at the doors.

Federal Election Today – Please VOTE!

Today marks the end of several weeks of campaigning for the federal election.  The polls have risen for some parties and fallen for others.  There have been many ups and downs over the last couple of weeks, which makes it interesting to say the least.

It was reported recently in the Milton Canadian Champion that the turnout in Halton for the advance polls was higher than ever…which is a GREAT SIGN!

Now we need to ensure that the voter turnout in Halton is the highest yet.  If you havent already done so, please take the time today to go vote.  The campaign in Halton has been a much different one than in other years.  Gone is the personal attacks and other shenanigans that make people turn away from federal politics.  This time around there has been a good debate on issues and party platforms.  Each of the all candidate meetings in Halton has been well attended, great questions asked and a good discussion of issues that are important to people in our riding. 

The polls are open until 930PM tonight so after you get home from work, please take the time to head to your local polling station and cast your ballot.  Elections are an important part of our democracy.  You do have a voice, and despite some peoples feelings, your vote does indeed count.  Many elections in this area have been decided by a very narrow margin and it would be a waste if your voice wasnt heard today.

Each one of the candidates have been working hard going door to door, speaking with residents of Halton and talking about issues important to you.  Its a testament to the great people we have running in this riding.

Take some time today if you already havent to view the websites of the candidates to see where they stand on issues, look at the party platform and make an informed choice for today.

Click here to find out where to vote in Halton.

Here is a list of the candidates and links to their websites for more information.

Pat Heroux – NDP

Connie Laurin-Bowie – LIBERAL

Lisa Raitt – CONSERVATIVE

Judi Remigio – GREEN PARTY

Tony Rodrigues – CHRISTIAN HERITAGE PARTY (no website for candidate) www.chp.ca

Hope to see you at the polls!