This week I travelled to the Big City Mayors’ Caucus in Winnipeg to bring London’s priorities to the national stage.
The BCMC is a prime platform to discuss topics such as transit funding, affordable housing and poverty reduction with Federal leaders.
Council made the best decision at the best possible time when it comes to rapid transit. We were able to present our Bus Rapid Transit business case just two days after final Council approval.
This is the largest infrastructure project London has ever taken on. The City is putting $129-million toward the $500-million price tag. That means we need to secure additional funding from both our Provincial and Federal partners.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to meet with several ministers, including Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, to discuss London’s rapid transit plan.
The business case was also delivered to all local MPs and MPPs this week, so we can work in concert to improve public transit in our city. On Saturday, I’ll meet with London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos and representatives from MP Kate Young’s office as part of an infrastructure consultation.
Getting our business case in the hands of these decision makers is so important. The 2016 Federal Budget has earmarked $60-billion in funding for new infrastructure projects. As Canada’s largest city without a rapid transit program I am certain our project will garner attention from decision makers.
Another significant priority for London is to improve our social housing.
I met with Karen Vecchio, MP for Elgin-Middlesex London and Critic for Families, Children & Social Developmentand Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development at the BCMC.
Right now, we have 3,261 units maintained by the London-Middlesex Housing Corporation, 4,394 units run by non-profits or co-operatives and 411 families receiving a supplement for their rent.
Despite those numbers there are still over 2,300 in need of affordable housing. The wait list is over a year long. This is unacceptable and these people need help now.
The City puts $2.2-million towards our Public Housing Capital Reserve each year and each year it is used in full.
This is why we made poverty reduction a priority in London. We made the bold commitment to wipe out poverty in London in one generation. However, we cannot do it alone. It will require all levels of government and that is why meetings such as the BCMC are key.
Earlier in the week the London Knights returned from Red Deer, Alberta with the Memorial Cup. It was fantastic to see so many fans, young and old, there to greet the team at the London International Airport. The crowd awaiting the team at Victoria Park was amazing. Thank you to everyone who came out and congratulations to the London Knights on their stunning season and Memorial Cup win.
Mayor Matt Brown
PS: The London Lightning are taking on the Halifax Hurricanes in the NBL final. Good luck!
Welcoming the London Knights home with the MasterCard Memorial Cup
Watching the London Knights bring home the MasterCard Memorial Cup
EVENTS AND OCCASIONS:
Hockey Night in Canada: Play On! Tournament
Met with Patricia O’Doherty regarding her petition against sidewalk chalk ban at local apartment buildings
Celebrated London Knights Memorial Cup Win at London International Airport and Victoria Park with other excited Londoners
Spoke at Director’s Club, a business networking club of business owners and senior managers of London and area businesses
Met with members of Downtown London
Travelled to Winnipeg for Big City Mayor’s Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to deliver SHIFT business case to other Municipal leaders and Federal Ministers
Presenting the SHIFT Bus Rapid Transit business case at the Big City Mayors' Caucus
Speaking at the Directors Club monthly meeting
Council approved a $500-million Full Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system for the city. The business case for the project will now be presented to the Federal and Provincial Governments to discuss funding partnerships. The City has committed $129 million to the project, largely covered by development charges.
Council approved the demolition of a residential building located at 529 Philip St.
Council received for information and update regarding community support for Syrian refugees.
Council approved a management and administrator services contract for The Dearness Home.
Council requested the Mayor to draft a letter to the Minister of Education regarding the City’s support for the continued operation of the Amethyst Demonstration School as well as the Robarts Provincial School for the Deaf.
Council asked staff to bring forward and present at a public participation meeting on June 21, 2016, an amendment to the Special Events Policies and Procedures By-law to exempt outdoor concerts associated with the 2016 Country Music Week to allow the concerts to be held until 1:00 AM instead of the required end time of 11:00 PM.
Council voted to adjust the sale prices of city-owned industrial land.
Council voted to increase the engineering fees in regards to the Southeast Pumping Station and Reservoir.
Council approved the painting of “Rainbow crosswalks” at two intersections in advance of the 2016 Pride London Festival.