Currently Browsing: The Issues

What I Heard at AMO

I attended the virtual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference for Aug. 17-20.  As I found these conferences in past years to be worthwhil I looked forward to it and was curious as to how effective it would be as a virtual experience.  Again, there was some good content; and the virtual experience was excellent.  As is the case in any profession, there is value to get out of one’s own “sand box” and hear what others are doing.  And what is really valuable in this conference is hearing experts and people with deep experience on topics of interest. (more…)

Redside Dace Habitat: threat

In a recent post I expressed great concern about a proposed amendment to the Growth PlanMore Sprawl for Greater Golden Horseshoe which, as is, will enable more sprawl and increasing risk on the habitat of endangered species. There are unfortunately too many of the latter; one which always attracts my attention is the redside dace.  As a layperson I think of this little fish as an indicator of a stream or creek health. I am fortunate to have the Kettleby Creek running through my property; several times Lake Simcoe Conservation Property have visited to assess fish diversity and to date they have always found redside dace in to. Given this personal interest I was impressed with a feature in one of the complimentary magazines delivered with one of the local papers:  well written, informative information about several species at risk, including redside dace.  Describeswhy development threatens it; how building new subdivisions and roads affects its habitat.   You can read it below.

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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…)

COVID Announcements and Stats

Below is  Mayor Pellegrini’s Facebook posting on Sunday May 3

KEY UPDATES

FEDERAL

The Prime Minister announced:

  • A $240 million investment to bring health care online for primary and mental health care; funding will increase access and resources for Canadians by supporting the implementation of online tools and virtual appointments
  • $175.6 million to Vancouver-based biotech firm AbCellera Biologics, which researches and discovers next-generation antibody drugs to fight infection and disease
  • AbCellera has identified over 500 antibodies directly from a patient who has recovered from COVID-19
  • Funding will help accelerate and expand AbCellera’s capabilities to combat COVID-19
  • AbCellera and its partners expect human clinical trials to begin in July 2020 or earlier
  • A new COVID-19 Supply Council has been formed and tasked to find vital supplies to keep Canadians safe
  • A one-time top-up to the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) – eligible families will receive an extra $300 per child as part of their regular May payment to help deal with added pressures of COVID-19

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COVID-19: working through unique situation

March 19 the province introduced new legislation to help protect jobs, keep store shelves stocked and give municipal councils the flexibility to continue operations while maintaining social distance
o The Employment Standards Amendment Act, 2020 provides job-protected leave to employees in isolation or those who need to be away from work to care for children or other relatives
o The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 will ensure the delivery of goods to Ontario businesses and consumers is not impacted by municipal noise bylaws, and gives municipalities the ability to fully conduct Council, board and committee meetings electronically

The Township Staff continue to be focused on delivering core services while there is priority to protect the health of all staff members and to respect their individual needs to look after their own families.  As I think is true for all businesses, the overall (more…)