My Record 2014-2018 – extra

Outside the usual focus areas of a Municipal Councillor I have worked on the following initiatives

For several years I lobbied Provincial Government to pass legislation to discourage strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP). I was thrilled when Bill 52, known as the Protection of Public Participation Act passed third reading October 28, 2015.  This protection is needed to ensure that citizens are secure in expressing opposition to development applications (or any other proposals) put forth by corporate entities who have the financial capability to threaten law suits.

Supported the Lake Simcoe Coalition effort to lobby Provincial Government to ban union and corporate donations to candidates in municipal elections. This was included in Bill 181, The Municipal Elections Act. This is the first election with this restriction.  I believed this change was required to level the playing field.  I have never taken such donations.

I proposed to my fellow Council members that the Township should offer rebates to Township citizens who make donations to individuals running in a municipal election campaign. Donations made to candidates in Federal or Provincial election campaigns receive a tax receipt which ultimately reduces the “cost” to the donor.  Despite lobbying to do similar for municipal elections, the Province did not include this in Bill 181.  I believe providing some level of rebate will encourage more citizens to get engaged in the election by selecting a candidate to financially support.  This is turn would help candidates to get needed funding. Accomplishing the latter is daunting.  Much to my regret my Council colleagues did not agree.  Accordingly, neither my generous donors, nor the donors to other candidates, will be receiving a rebate.

I lobbied against the GTA West Corridor (Hwy 413) as I did not believe it would solve the identified problem: congestion. The nature of my lobbing was attending meetings hosted by Ministry of Transport (MTO), asking questions, challenging assumptions.  At Council, when there were reports on the topic I raised issues as to the impact on King.  I was relieved in February 2018 when MTO halted the environmental assessment (EA) for it and said they would look at other options.

I participated in the review of the Conservation Plans and Growth Plan conducted by the Crombie panel. The recommendations made in February 2016 entitled Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041 is critical for King’s future as 99% of our land is in Greenbelt.  Furthermore, the report includes recommendations targeted to improve the capability of our farmers to prosper.

I responded to the migration crisis in late 2015 and became a volunteer in King for Refugees. The latter is a unique grass roots organization as it was formed with an objective of helping not just one Syrian refugee family but to continue helping future ones, limited only by volunteer and funding capacity. I am currently one of three Directors.

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