London is a different place than it was a year ago.
It’s a better place. Political discourse in this city is relevant and respectful again. We’re thinking long term about quality of life. We’re taking action to boost the economy. We’re making investments in our shared future.
Not because of me. Not because of any single member of council. But because of you, all of you.
You elected us to turn the page on leadership and progress in this community.
Today, I am proud to report that we’re accomplishing the mission you entrusted to us one short year ago.
We’ve worked collaboratively to make significant progress on many of the campaign promises that resonated with so many of you. Here’s how we’re doing on some of them….
Our promise to invest in London for the quality of life for our children and grandchildren:
We took important steps towards finalizing a rapid transit system with SHIFT, fulfilling a commitment to break ground on rapid transit within this term of Council.
We are closer than ever before to implementing the London Plan and we approved the Downtown Plan, including a Dundas Flex Street, adding further momentum to a revitalized downtown core. The LTC added two express routes, and increased the frequency of one to move people in and out of our Downtown better and more quickly.
Our promise to boost our local economy, in particular to boost support for local small businesses:
We completed London’s first Economic Roadmap, with a clear course of action to breakdown silos and kick start our economic revival.
We supported the position of Business Connector within Service London to streamline processes and ensure a more welcome environment for businesses to thrive.
We partnered with the LEDC and Downtown London to launch the “Last Mile Fibre Optic Incentive Program” to ensure downtown businesses can have the modern connectivity they need to do business around the world.
Our promise to implement more accountable, strategic and long-term budgeting:
We took the necessary steps to implement multi-year budgeting beginning in 2016, and to ensure more effective management of the city’s bank account, and your taxpayer dollars.
We developed a 4 year Strategic Plan within the first 100 days of taking office. This plan will link directly with the new multi-year budget so that we can align our priorities with the resources required to execute on them.
Our promise to reestablish trust and integrity in civic leadership:
We laid the groundwork to fill the role for an Integrity Commissioner, in 2016 they will be entrusted with maintaining public trust and upholding the Council Code of Conduct.
Our promise to never leave behind our community’s most vulnerable:
We established the Housing Development Corporation to provide access to better, more affordable housing units.
I established the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty, the work of which is underway and focused on tackling a challenge that too many Londoners face.
I partnered with faith groups to make commitments and preparations to welcome and deliver much needed support to Syrian refugees, maintaining our role as a caring and compassionate Canadian community.
Our promise to restore thoughtful, collaborative leadership to Council:
Aside from Andrea and our boys, I can say, without hesitation, that this Council is the best team I have ever worked with.
I am extremely proud of how my colleagues, who work hard here everyday, have embraced change and transformed approaches. We don’t always get it right. We try new things, we make mistakes, and to me, that’s all part of a modern leadership process.
Realizing the potential of our city requires patience, a mutual respect, resilience and grit. It doesn’t require one loud voice or competing agendas. There’s a quiet but consistent movement on our team to embrace change and work together to find solutions. We’re striving to do what’s right, not what’s easy and it’s helping to revitalize the quality of public conversation and engagement in our city.
Together, we’re beginning to realize what can happen with a new style of leadership.
Of course, none of this would be possible without the incredibly talented and committed
employees of the City of London. I thank each and every one of them for their work toward a better London. We have accomplished much in a short time and will accomplish so much more in the years to come.
I campaigned on the promise of change. You believed, like I do, that our city would be better when we worked together. We have finished a rewarding and challenging year - doing just that.
As we prepare to start year two, I can promise you today, as I did during the campaign, that I will wake up each and every day excited about carry these commitments forward. I will continue to stay focused on strengthening London’s economic and social fabric - not just for the next four years, but for the next twenty. So that our children and grandchildren can live across the city, instead of across the country.
One year in, we’re better and we’re stronger. We’re inspired and we’re hopeful. We’re committed to the future of our great city.
Because of you.
And the best part is? We’re just getting started.