Currently Browsing: The Issues

Stateview (High Crown Estates) Project

On February 22 Council agenda there is a report on the Stateview (High Crown Estates) development on east side of Keele south of Dennison. As I review below this application has been active for 2 years.  The timing for this report is that a LPAT (local planning area tribunal) is scheduled for June 2021; hence it is appropriate to advise the public as to how the proposal has evolved and to hear comments.   To access the report and all appendices see the meeting agenda and scroll down.  There was a public meeting for this application in March 2019.  At that point I expressed serious concern about the intensity and the encroachment into the buffers.  Two years later I still have those concerns.  If you want (more…)

LTC at Marylake Monastery

On Feb. 8th Council agenda there is a staff report recommending a strategy for moving forward on the previously expressed interest of the Augustinian Fathers (Ontario), Inc (AFOI) to have a long term care facility (LTC) at Marylake.  The recommendations have surprised me; and given the information provided in the report I have signifcant concerns.  To recap history:  in December there was request for endorsement by Council to endorse a MZO to enable creation of a LTC, along with other facilities  (e.g. hotel, retirement village) at Marylake.  Council rejected with a 6/1 vote endorsing a MZO and recommended the estalishment of a roundtable to consult and discuss details of potential future uses and options.   (click here on minutes and go to page 4.)   As reviewed in the report, the latter has not occurred; and what we, Council, are now being asked is the following: i) accept that an LTC can be built there and be in compliance with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP), ii) delegate authority to Director to approve the site plan application when it is submitted.  The significance of the latter is that neither Council nor Public will know the basis for determining that the impact on the environmental features at Marylake are insignificant and hence that the LTC should be permitted.

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2021 Budget

On January 25 Council agenda there is Staff report presenting the draft 2021 operating budget and 2021-2022 capital budget.  As indicated these budgets MAY be approved at this Council meeting or approval may be defered until Feb. 8th.   The proposed increase on the Township portion is .81%; total increase (i.e. Region and Education) is an increase of 1.89%.   The 2021-2022 capital budgets total $48.8 million.   For properties with an assessed value of $1 million the increase in total tax levy is $149.88. As I discuss further below I am comfortable to support the program changes (which is the means by which a service level change is proposed).  I believe very tough choices have been made:  current service levels are maintained and appropriate increases proposed.

Justifications for all 7 program changes are in the budget binder in the sections of the department which is proposing it.  Below are my comments about the 3 with the highest impact on budget.

One of the program changes is for a Climate Change Co-ordinator.  (For last 2 years this role was funded by a grant.) To my mind, this role is not discretionary.  The Council has acknowledged the there is a Climate Emergency with our resolution in July 2019. Modifying the way the municpality delivers services such that our emissions are reduced is critical; to do so effectively we need focus on it to deliver and execute the plan.  The Township also has a responsibility to work with community at large to reduce emissions.  I believe that our proposed incremental increase in expenses is too  modest but given the financial impact of pandemic I think this increase is appropriate; and indeed the Co-ordiantor will be working to ensure that any initiatives funded for other reasons/purposes will be executed with a climate lense.  An example of this the renovation of the Schomberg Community Hall.  (For more information see budget binder page 64 of 280.)

Another program change is a supervisor for Service King.  I have been less certain about the wisdom of this but with questions and looking at the data on usage levels I have come round to seeing it as appropriate.  Current residents, current businesses and those thinking of moving to King should be able to assume that good, accurate answers will be provided and that they will be directed to the right departments in a timelymanner.  Today  Service King is providing much better service than previously but a higher level can be achieved.  Anecdoral evidence that service is better:  it has been a long time since a constituent has called me to complain that they are not getting an answer; now, its more that they don’t like the answer and wonder if i can influence.  (For more information see budget binder page 82 of 280.)

There is a program change for disposal of ditching materials.  Our ditches need to be cleaned out.  Unfortunately we may not be able to continue previous method (disposal at our own landfill)  as it is at capacity; hence we may need to transport it to a site where there is potential to have the “waste” cleaned.  (For more information see budget binder page 145 of 280.)

As you work through the budget binder there are a couple projects which do not appear  but which are of great importance to some Ward 5 residents.  Namely phase 2 of Kettle Lake Park and the playground in the green space at the Heritage and Culture Centre.  Both of these projects were funded last year and are scheduled for execution in 2021.

More Flooding Ahead with powerless Conservation Authorities

There is an adage that you don’t recognize the value of something until it is gone.  We are on the verge of losing something which effectively reduces flood risks and is instrumental in having clean drinking water.  I am speaking of the attack on the Conservation Authorities (CA’s).  Within a bill of budgetary measures in response to COVID-19 there is a schedule 6 which essentially emasculates the CA’s.  If you agree that the CA’s are important you need to make your opposition known quickly as  Bill 229 is being rushed through given the urgency of the budget; further (more…)

Climate Change Action Plan in King

The second webinar about the King Climate Change Action Plan is Thursday, Oct. 22 at 6 pm.  You can register just before joining in but if you register now you will get a gentle reminder in your email closer to the date.  The first one was on 1o/19 and was taped; it is to be made available for viewing but at time of writing this post it has not been done so.  You will find it and more background here.

  • Information covered includes data on where emissions in King are coming from; #1 source is transportation at 44% and #2 is residential dwelligs at 27%
  • Perspective offered includes implications of the longer growing season and the few frost days
  • Possible actions citizens can take to make a difference

There is a role for each of us in responding to the impacts of climate change.  Hope you can join the webinar.  Format of the 1st one included opportunity for listeners & viewers to ask questions, make comments.

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