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Newsletter: February 19, 2016

This week, London welcomed Fierté Canada Pride — a national, volunteer run association of Canadian Pride organizations. 

The Fierté conference and AGM brought over 100 people together in our Forest City. We were so pleased to host  this conference. Premier Kathleen Wynne delivered an inspirational message as the keynote speaker.  Congratulations to all volunteers and organizers, including Pride London Festival, for continuing to break barriers and advocate for equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Also this week, I joined Londoners to pay respects to a local leader, who had a tremendous impact on local and provincial politics, Joan Smith. In a political career that lasted more than two decades, Joan served on London City Council and on the Board of Control. She went on to make significant contributions to Ontario as the province’s first ever female Solicitor General.

A trailblazer in so many ways, Joan was an inspiration to individuals across the country. She will truly be missed.

As always I look forward to hearing from you. You can connect with me via email:  and/or follow me on Twitter@MayorMattBrown and on Facebook



Mayor Matt Brown

PS:Women and Politics is looking for new members for their Board of Directors. If you or someone you know is looking for an opportunity to get involved with this great organization, learn more  here.



This week, I would like to introduce you to my staff members. Lead by my Chief-of-Staff Corrine Rahman, this dynamic team is passionate about  helping Londoners. Neale Carbert, Shobhita Sharma, Corrine Rahman, Jessica Farmer Bosma and Nick Steinburg: Team members of Mayor Matt Brown’s Office

Celebrating Londoners

  • Congratulations Western University Students’ Council President-elect Eddy Avila and VP- elect Jamie Cleary on winning the 2016 USC elections. We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months
  • Congratulations to the London Region Branch Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) on celebrating 50 years in our community
  • London Elgin Middlesex Crime Stoppers were recognized as the Featured Community Organization at Council. Thank you for all that you do in our community

crimestoppers.jpgMayor Matt Brown with Hellen Taylor,D’Arcy McFalls, Krista Mejia and Nancy Downard of London Elgin Middlesex CrimeStoppers.The organization was recognized as the Featured Community Organization at Council on February 16, 2016.


Mayor Matt Brown with   Maggie Whalley, Sharon Lunau, Sandra Miller and Sylvia Chodas of the Architectural Conservancy Ontario London on February 16, 2016. The organization was recognized at Council that day as part of Heritage Week in Ontario and for celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Around London

  • Meeting with Zoe Ritchie, a political science student from the University of Toronto
  • Meeting with Shawna Lewkowitz, Chair, London Diversity and Race Relations Advisory Committee
  • Meeting with Chief Leslee White-Eye, Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Deputy Mayor Cassidy
  • Meeting with Martha Powell President and CEO, London Community Foundation and London Community Foundation Board Chair Fred Galloway  
  • Meeting with 15-year-old Tiernan Davies and 16-year-old Nigel Davies along with their grandfather Paul Mansell as well as 9-year-old Olliver Lamport and 13 year-old Mya Lamport
  • Meeting with local business leaders regarding the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty
  • Visitation and Celebration of Life of Joan Smith
  • 9th Annual London Heritage Awards with Councillor Squire
  • Opening reception for Fierté Canada Pride Interpride Region National Conference and Annual General Meeting
  • Fierté Canada Pride Interpride Region National Conference and Annual General Meeting keynote with Premier Wynne, Deputy Mayor Cassidy, Councillor Helmer and Councillor Zaifman
  • Lewis Coray Trailblazer Award Ceremony with Deputy Mayor Cassidy and Councillor Hopkins


Mayor Matt Brown with Premier Kathleen Wynne, Deputy Mayor Cassidy, Councillor Helmer and Councillor Zaifman at the Fierté Canada Pride’s National Pride Conference on February 19, 2016.



Mayor Matt Brown and Deputy Mayor Cassidy with Chief Leslee White-Eye of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation on February 17, 2016.



Mayor Matt Brown with Shawna Lewkowitz, Chair of the London Diversity and Race Relations Advisory Committee and board member of Women and Politics on February 17, 2016.

London in the Headlines

Council Briefs

  • Council endorsed plans resulting from an environmental assessment to preserve Blackfriars Bridge, and to rehabilitate it so it will be open for use by pedestrians and cyclists, as well as one lane for vehicular traffic heading eastbound towards the downtown core. The overall heritage look of the bridge will be maintained. Use for vehicles will maintain some flexibility for traffic flow into the downtown core over the Thames River. A preliminary cost estimate for the project is $4.6 million. Work could begin in 2017.
  • Council confirmed that a public participation meeting will be held on March 8, at the Civic Works Committee to discuss the potential to combine three projects under a ‘One River’ umbrella into one environmental assessment to address the three related projects: the Springbank Dam project with the Back to the River initiative and the West London Dyke Integration project.
  • The City will no longer provide free parking in December for Downtown London and Richmond Row, a move which has the support of the Downtown London Business Improvement Association. The intended benefits to area businesses were no longer being realized. People who were not customers were using the parking, creating access problems for people planning to shop and dine in the area. Free December parking will continue to be available in Old East Village.
  • Council decided it was not necessary for the corporation to issue credit cards for members of Council. Council members will follow current practices to be reimbursed for appropriate expenses.
  • Council endorsed action to seek a heritage designation for the King Street Bridge for its cultural and heritage value. Spanning the Thames River, it was constructed in 1897. The King Street Bridge is a rare example of a nine-panel, single-span, pin-connected, Pratt through truss bridge.
  • Council endorsed a plan to review the Community Improvement Plans used by the City, as well as potential new options to determine which may better serve London’s needs in the years ahead.

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