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Newsletter: November 13, 2015

This was a big week for London.

As a community, we took significant steps towards building a better city for generations to come because two strategic projects – our Rapid Transit initiative, called Shift, and our five-year Community Economic Road Map – both reached significant milestones.

This was a big week for London.

As a community, we took significant steps towards building a better city for generations to come because two strategic projects – our Rapid Transit initiative, called Shift, and our five-year Community Economic Road Map – both reached significant milestones.

First, Council decided on a preferred preliminary option for Shift. It is a hybrid between Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT). We know congestion hurt our economy, our public safety and our quality of life. London is the largest city in Canada without a Rapid Transit Program and we’re going to change that. We have identified an ambitious, forward looking option that will change the way we move across the city for decades to come. Rapid transit is fundamental to how we will grow as a community. It is a key element to our London Plan and there is no London Plan without Rapid Transit. Over the next two months, we will be embarking on our final round of public consultation, including community partners and other levels of government. This represents one of the final steps in the decision making process and by early next year we should be in a position to make a final decision on the right Rapid Transit program for London.

Second, Council approved our five year Community Economic Road Map, which identifies five key strategic priorities that will move our local economy forward:

  • A city of entrepreneurs
  • A supportive business environment
  • An exceptional downtown, a vibrant urban environment
  • A top quality workforce; and
  • A national Centre of Excellence for medical innovation and commercialization

This plan represents thousands of hours of volunteer work. It is the single largest effort our community has taken to break down silos, reach out to business, not-for-profit, community and academic leaders to come up with an economic development plan we can all get behind.

Also this week, on November 11, we joined millions of Canadians from coast to coast to coast to honour and remember our veterans. Many of my Council colleagues, Police Chief Pare and I together with thousands of Londoners met at the cenotaph in Victoria Park, while other Council colleagues participated in events at other ceremonies held across the city. My grandfather, John Brown, served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Queen’s Own Rifles during the Second World War. Although he never talked about the war, it was a very difficult time for him, I clearly remember him saying to me - time and time again - that when you meet a veteran or a person who has served in the military, you say “Thank You”. The ceremonies held in London and those held right across Canada provided a powerful way for all of us to do exactly that.

As always I look forward to hearing from you. You can connect with me via email: mayor@london.ca  and/or follow me on Twitter @MayorMattBrown and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MattBrownLondon

Sincerely,

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Mayor Matt Brown

PS: Joy-Full Socks is a great initiative that encourages Londoners to donate socks and grooming products for clients at the Men’s Mission and the Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter. You can learn more about Joy-Full Socks at https://www.facebook.com/JOYFullSocksLondon/?fref=nf or via email: mailto:Joyfullsocks@outlook.com

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 Mayor Matt Brown with Shaun Elliott, CEO of the YMCA of Western Ontario, Herald Krimmer, chair the YMCA of Western Ontario board, YMCA board member Marjie Macoun and Wilda Thomas from Pillar Non Profit Network on November 10, 2015. YMCA of Western Ontario was recognized as a featured community organization that day.

Celebrating Londoners

  • Londoners came together on Remembrance Day to honour and remember Canadians who served and those who continue to serve our country with courage and valour
  • Congratulations to 3M Canada, Labatt, Digital Extremes and Western University on  being named Top 100 employers in Canada
  • YMCA of Western Ontario was recognized as a featured community organization by City Council on November 10. Thank you for building a better, healthier community
  • On November 12, many of my Council colleagues and I took the annual Pledge to End Bullying. This is an important initiative and I hope everyone takes the Pledge because all Londoners deserve to feel safe in our community. To take the Pledge and register please visit http://ctvnewslondon.ca/ThePledgeToEndBullying/london/

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Mayor Matt Brown with representatives from Western’s University Students’ Council – President Sophie Helpard, Vice President External Lindsee Perkins, Associate Vice President External Jamie Cleary and Nick Soave, Manager, Advocacy and Government Services on November 12, 2015.  

Around London

The Mayor had the opportunity to attend the following events: 

  • The Manor and Highland Park War Memorial Service
  • Annual Byron-Springbank Legion’s Remembrance Day Parade
  • Country Classic Auction in support of the London Health Sciences Foundation
  • Lambeth Legion Remembrance Day Service attended with Councillor Hopkins
  • Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph at Victoria Park with Police Chief John Pare, Deputy Mayor Cassidy, Councillor Morgan, Councillor Usher and Councillor Zaifman
  • Remembrance Day Service at Parkwood Hospital attended with Deputy Mayor Cassidy
  • Doing Great by Doing Good Breakfast
  • Pledge to End Bullying kickoff at Covent Garden Market with Deputy Mayor Cassidy, Councillor Helmer and Councillor Zaifman
  • Global Ivey Day with London Chamber of Commerce recognizing Trudell Medical International’s  Joaquim Balles as the recipient of the Impact Award presented at Global Ivey Day
  • Meeting with Western University Students’ Council President Sophie Helpard, Lindsee Perkins, Vice President External, Jamie Cleary, Associate Vice-President External and Nick Soave, Manager, Government Relations,  as part of Local Advocacy Week
  • Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty – Community Conversation at Goodwill Industries
  • Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario meeting in Guelph to discuss various LUMCO priorities

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Mayor Matt Brown with members of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus at a meeting in Guelph, ON. on November 13, 2015.

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Mayor Matt Brown with Deputy Mayor Cassidy, Councillor Helmer, Councillor Zaifman and members of the London Lightning Basketball team at the kickoff of Take The Pledge to End Bullying campaign at Covent Garden Market on November 12, 2015.

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Mayor Matt Brown addressing a gathering during Global Ivey Day on November 12, 2015. Joaquim Balles of Trudell Medical International was recognized with the London Chambers of Commerce's Impact Award for his contributions to the business community.

Celebrating Londoners

  • Londoners came together on Remembrance Day to honour and remember Canadians who served and those who continue to serve our country with courage and valour
  • Congratulations to 3M Canada, Labatt, Digital Extremes and Western University on being named Top 100 employers in Canada
  • YMCA of Western Ontario was recognized as a featured community organization by City Council on November 9. Thank you for building a better, healthier community
  • On November 12, many of my Council colleagues and I took the annual Pledge to End Bullying. This is an important initiative and I hope everyone takes the Pledge because all Londoners deserve to feel safe in our community. To take the Pledge and register please visit http://ctvnewslondon.ca/ThePledgeToEndBullying/london/

London in the Headlines

Council Briefs

  • Council directed staff to use the Hybrid Network, which uses a combination of bus and light rail vehicles, as the preliminary preferred alternative for the next round of community engagement and public input for the Rapid Transit Environmental Assessment.  The light rail/fast bus option will now be circulated for public feedback and a final recommendation will be presented to council early in the New Year.
  • Council endorsed a Community Economic Roadmap that was created by local business leaders and community partners in conjunction with the City, LEDC and the Chamber of Commerce. The roadmap identified five economic priorities for the City: Build a city for entrepreneurs; create a supportive business environment; create an exceptional downtown and a vibrant urban environment; ensure a top quality workforce; and develop a national centre of excellence for medial innovation and commercialization.
  • Council requested staff to report back with a process for evaluating the City’s asset portfolio as part of the multi-year budget deliberations.
  • Council appointed Deputy Mayor Maureen Cassidy for a second term as Deputy Mayor.
  • Council approved new committee chairs for next year: Coun Helmer (Civic Works); Coun. Ridley (Community and Protective Services); Coun. Squire (Planning and Environment); Deputy Mayor Cassidy (Corporate Services).
  • Council referred to staff an enquiry redeveloping a webpage where London taxpayers could input their property tax amount in order to see how their money is allocated to various City services.
  • Council voted to consider winter maintenance improvements as part of the 2016 multi-year budget and asked staff to speak with the School Board Liaison Committee about snow clearing around schools.
  • With the agreement of the Downtown London Business Association, Council voted to end free parking in the core in December. Free parking will remain in Old East Village for December. Free parking downtown remains for evenings and weekends. A Downtown London request for additional funding was referred to the 2016 budget.
  • Council directed staff to assist with the historical interpretation of the Thames Street neighbourhood through signage of commemorative monument to recognize the area as “The Hollow” and site of the former fugitive slave chapel.
  • Council approved demolition of a cottage at 759 Elizabeth Street to permit an infill residential development and directed that that the interior and exterior of the building be photographed.
  • Council voted to advise the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that the City would like to participate in FCM’s standing committee on increasing women’s participation in municipal government.
  • Council voted to participate in the Compact of Mayors.

 


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