Milton Town Council Meeting July 16, 2012

The next meeting of Milton Town Council is on Monday July 16, 2012 starting at 7pm at Milton Town Hall.

The governing body of the Town of Milton is Town Council, consisting of the Mayor and 10 Councillors who represent Milton’s eight wards.  Milton residents elect members of Council for a four-year term of office.  You can find a link to watch the Town Council meetings here.  The meetings are also broadcast on TV Cogeco (Channel 14).

Town Council deals with:

  • Matters requiring policy direction
  • By-laws or by-law amendments
  • Responses or actions to pertinent issues

Council also makes decisions on the recommendations of Milton’s two Standing Committees of Council:

  • Administration & Planning Committee
  • Community Services Committee

The link to the agenda can be found here.

Some of the highlites in the agenda are as follows:

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me mike@mikecluett.ca You can also go to the Watch Online link on my page to view from the comfort of your home.  I look forward to seeing you there.

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.

Milton Transit Fares for 2012

The Town of Milton has announced new fares for Miton Transit for 2012.  They can be found here.  Included in the link will be locations where you can purchase your transit tickets and passes.

Effective January 1, 2012 the cost for a cash ride for adults and seniors will be $ 3.00.  Adult 10 ticket pass will be $ 24.00 and $ 64.00 for a monthly pass.  Seniors will see the cost of 10 tickets be at $ 17.00 and a monthly pass $ 45.00.

Children under 6 will be free.  Children 6-18 years old (need school ID) will be $ 17.00 for 10 tickets and $ 45.00 for the monthly pass.

For GO Riders, the cost per ride will be $ 0.60 and a monthly pass will cost $ 24.00

If you have any further questions please email transit@milton.ca

Transit Information Sessions

Last night was the first two of four information sessions put on by Milton Transit at the Seniors Activity and Milton’s Sports Centre.  According to Transit Coordinator Tony D’Alessandro the first session was well attended with over 25 people showing up.  Last nights session at the Sports Centre had roughly 10-15 people attend to find out about the newly designed routes through town (the files are about 3MB so if you have a slower internet connection be warned) and the plans for the future.  Jan Mowbray, one of our current town councillors who is an advocate of transit in Milton, was also in attendance last night

There are two more sessions tonight (Thursday August 19th) and they will be held at the Milton Public Library (Beaty Branch on 4th line) from 2-4pm and Town Hall will host the final one from 7pm to 9pm.  If you have time, make sure you come out.  There will be lots of people from Milton Transit, the transit advisory committee and the company who runs the buses and they’ll love to answer any questions you may have.

As I brought up before here on the blog, I told Tony some of my concerns about each of the routes.  The routes that run through Hawthorne Village, while they cover the area very well, all revolve around the GO Station as the main hub.  For instance if someone from Ward 6 wanted to go downtown Milton to shop or eat would have to take the bus to the GO Station, transfer there (waiting approximately 10-15 minutes) and then take the bus to downtown.  Going through the schedule that trip would take roughly 30-35 minutes if everything is running on time.

The alternative is someone from Ward 6 getting into their car and driving downtown Milton which at non rush hour times takes roughly 10-15 minutes.  Where is the incentive from a time and convenience aspect for someone to say “I’ll take the bus instead of my car.”  Nothings perfect of course and the transit system is still in its infancy but these are concerns that are brought up at the door when speaking with voters.

These routes are constantly being reviewed and alternatives can be considered depending on usage.  Tony mentioned that ridership is up 15% since the new routes were put in place which sounds encouraging but I’d like to look at the numbers from a paid ridership point of view.

As our town continues to grow over the next several years, the need for a vibrant and efficient transit system is a must.  If we get the Wilfrid Laurier campus on the west end of town and as the Derry Green Corporate Business Park is developed there will be added pressure to ensure the transit system works, is efficient and able to meet the needs of the public.

I won’t be at the Transit meetings tonight as there is another public meeting at the Sports Centre about Milton Hydro’s proposal to install 2 vertical wind turbines in front of that same sports centre.  I was the first to bring up the meeting back in July and while I have been out at the doors the last few weeks, this issue has been on the mind of many voters.  They have concerns about how they will look, possible sound pollution and what benefit the Town of Milton will get from such a proposal.

There will be a presentation made followed up by a question and answer session where members of the public will have an opportunity to get answers.  Following this public meeting a report will be sent to council for review and approval.  I don’t know about the timing of the report and when the decision will be made, so it might be this council that makes that decision or it could be the next after Oct 25th.

I hope to see some of you out at tonight’s meeting and at the transit meetings later today.  This is an opportunity to have your say…so get out and speak.

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