More Sprawl

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) lays the foundation for decisions on where land, which is either natural & wild or farmed for our food, is developed for housing or business or roads.  The Province is proposing an amendment to the Plan about which I am very concerned.

.One of the proposed changes is to have municipalities plan out till 2051. Given that statistics from Ministry of Finance indicate that there is adequate land zoned appropriately to meet forecasted needs through to 2041 (the current planning horizon) I don’t know why we would take the risk of municipalities developing Official Plans (OP) out to 2051.  The pandemic has forced a significant portion of the working population to work at home.  (The simple confirmation of this is to look at the empty GO train parking lot in King City Monday-Friday.) The number of companies announcing that employees may work remotely permanently is growing. Today I would not want to make any significant decision with assumptions as to how much (more…)

Mandatory Masks in YR July 17

Effective Friday, July 17 face masks are required in indoor public spaces in York Region; outdoor spaces and indoor spaces not open to the public are excluded from requiring masks.   Business owners and operators are required to have a policy in place on Jul7 17 to prohibit people from entering if they are not wearing a mask.  Here are all the details of the bylaw which was passed unanimously at a York Region Council meeting on July 9.  I know that some argue that the rates of COVID-19 are so low that this is not required.  Here is my response to this .  This is simply another preventive measure we can all take. The other ones of social distancing the frequent thorough hand washing continue to be crucial.   The social and economic costs of this virus merits the inconvenience of donning a mask.

Face Masks/Coverings in York Region

Thursday, July 9 York Region Council is having a special council meeting to consider reports about mandating masks for indoor public spaces and for outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.  Here is the notice for this meeting.  I don’t believe face coverings are perfect; and they will not solve our collective problem of this easily transmitted virus of which the effect can be very serious.  But I do believe they are a very effective tool for reducing risk of transmission. In case you are in the camp of doubting the need for putting on one every time I will relate my practice.  Until recently I have been personally making a choice every time I go inside somewhere; I assess whether I think I can enter & leave and accomplish what I want without being too close to people.  In the last couple days I have stopped asking myself that question; I just put a mask on.  Makes my day much more simple.

Canada Day Reflections

Canada Day inspires reflection about our country.  For some, Canada has provided refuge from hostile places for themselves & family.   For many it provided to our ancestors a refuge and an opportunity for a better life.  Events this year has surely caused everyone to think about we expect from our government so that actions are consistent as to what we think Canada is and should be; specifically I think of  the actions in response the to pandemic, continuing social inequity and inadequate reconciliation with the First Nations.     And finally, along with others who have enjoyed so many wonderful Canada Days at Tyrwhitt Park in Kettleby, I enjoy memories of those fun events made possible by wonderful volunteers, generous support from businesses and Township Staff.

Re-opening of King

King is cautiously opening up and we are starting to resume some of our rituals.  I have enjoyed a visit to my stylist.  And I see  terraces opening up for dining etc at tables that are appropriately spaced.  And, more amenities in are our parks are being made available:  splash pads in the 3 villages , shade structure and skate parks are open. Targeting to open soccer fields for organized sports (training only) by 6/29; baseball diamonds for training only are being considered for opening by July 7.   For all these activities we must continue to be cautious:  hence the spaced tables on the terraces, only training on the fields and not fierce competition during which one might forget to stay apart.

But….there are still important constraints.  Township has announced a tough decision:  facilities will remain closed until labour day at least. Here is media release with this information.