November 2017
Newsletter
Councillor David Pickles
New Seaton Community Taking Shape
Travelling along Taunton Road, you can see that over 100 homes are under construction on the south side of the road. Residents will start moving in during the spring of 2019.  What you can't see is the trunk sanitary sewer pipes and water distribution pipes that are being installed deep underground throughout the Seaton lands. You will notice periodic road closures to accommodate this servicing.
Water and sewer trunk mains are also being extended north to allow servicing of the Employment Lands.

The Employment Lands include over 800 acres that are located on either side of Hwy 407ETR. Most of the lands are located in the Pickering Innovation Corridor neighbourhood. The City is currently in discussions with a number of businesses who are interested in acquiring land in the Innovation Corridor to bring their businesses (and jobs) to Pickering.

A priority of mine, and of the City, has been the attraction and retention of businesses and jobs in Pickering. Besides bringing needed jobs and opportunities to Pickering residents, businesses provide revenue to the City to support infrastructure, facilities, and delivery of services to residents. Such revenue from business can help offset revenue that would otherwise come from property taxes from residents such as you and me.
Touring the Seaton Construction Site
Councillor Butt and I had a tour of the major infrastructure and home construction in Seaton south of Taunton Road recently. Part of our tour included viewing the over 100 foot excavation for storm sewer outfall and the new water pumping station and reservoir.
Hwy 407/Whites Road Interchange
The Hwy 407ETR and Whites Road interchange is one of two new interchanges planned for in the Seaton community. This interchange will provide safe, reliable and convenient access to the Seaton employment lands (Innovation Corridor). The other interchange will be at Sideline 22.

The province, 407ETR, the Region of Durham, and the City of Pickering are working together on the construction of the Hwy 407ETR and Whites Road interchange, the construction of Whites Road from the interchange to Hwy 7, and a new intersection at Whites Road and Hwy 7. Construction is currently underway and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.

The Seaton Landowner Group is responsible for constructing the extension of Whites Road (generally along Sideline 26) from the south end of the new interchange to Taunton Road with a similar completion date. 
Amazon HQ/Pickering Airport
At the October Pickering Council meeting, Council considered an economic development department report on attracting Amazon and other major businesses to Pickering. Amongst the staff recommendations was a recommendation to support an airport in North Pickering, subject to a federal aviation needs study and the applicable environment assessments. The Amazon report, including the airport recommendations, passed at Council in a 5 to 2 vote with fellow Ward 3 Councillor Shaheen Butt and myself voting against it.
 
I support the attraction of business to Pickering, including possibly Amazon, to bring jobs and revenue to Pickering. There are many cities pursuing Amazon and it would be great if we were successful but it is not the only possibility; there are also other businesses that we are working with to come to Pickering.
  
In 2014 I brought a motion at Pickering Council, which was adopted by Council, which requested a business case, an environmental assessment (EA), and a public consultation process be completed prior to any decision by the federal government on an airport. Although the federal aviation study is under way, it has not been completed; as well, an EA and public consultation process has yet to begin.

It was with this in mind that I did not feel it was necessary to address the status of an airport in the Amazon report, nor to support the Amazon report airport recommendation.
 
The responses I have received from residents have been interesting. Most residents support attracting Amazon and other businesses for the jobs and revenue to offset property tax increases. On the airport itself, the residents' response has been quite curious. Some are unhappy the recommendation passed but happy I voted against it, while others are unhappy that I did not support it, but pleased it passed.
 
Ultimately it is the federal government that will make the decision on an airport. It is my view that all residents should have the benefit of all pertinent information available to them - the business case, the EA, results of public consultation, and any other available information - to assist them in taking an informed view before the federal government makes a final decision on whether or not to proceed with a Pickering airport. 
Access to Council Agendas
Did you know you can view Council agendas on the City website and even subscribe to get email alerts of the posting of agendas? The public can view Council agendas on the City's public website calendar page when they are normally posted by the Friday prior to the Monday council meetings.

To receive notification of upcoming Council meetings, there is an electronic service that organizations and residents can subscribe to that will automatically send an email to the subscriber alerting that the agenda has been posted. Visit pickering.ca/eNews to access this helpful City service. While there, subscribe to receive other City news, alerts, and eNewsletters by email.
Out and About
I was delighted to spend time in Claremont recently celebrating the renowned Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson. Did you know he was born right here in Claremont?
I was pleased to join the Diwali celebration and recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month with Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham and other community groups.
As Deputy Mayor, I, along with fellow Ward 3 Councillor Butt, was happy to recognize members of the Century Club Challenge, including Member of the Year Fred Dizig.
Connect With Me
Thank you for taking the time to read this eNewsletter - and I welcome your feedback and comments. You can reach me at 905.420.4605 or by email at dpickles@pickering.ca. To continue the conversation between eNewsletters, I invite you to connect with me on Facebook or through my website

And while I am always available to help, please keep in mind the Customer Care Centre who provide an important link between you, the Mayor, Members of Council, and City of Pickering municipal departments. Their main priority is to ensure that you, the "customer," receive prompt attention and service regarding any municipal concerns you may have. Reach the Customer Care Centre from Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, by phone at 905.683.7575 or by email at customercare@pickering.ca