David West
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
Monthly Newsletter
May 2021
Spring has Sprung
The weather is getting warmer and more people are getting back outside to enjoy the parks and trails that Richmond Hill has to offer. I have never seen so much interest in our green spaces, trails, and parks. For those looking for a new park to explore or a new trail to walk, a great listing of these parks can be found at https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/Parks-Trails-and-Natural-Areas.aspx.

Richmond Hill paid tribute to an honoured past councillor this month. The flags at municipal facilities were lowered to half-mast this past week to honour the life, and mark the passing of longtime Richmond Hill Councillor Lois Hancey.

I had the honour to meet Lois for the first time in 2014 at the screening of the film Lois Hancey, A Stubborn Politician (to view the film please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKo3bB3PYQ. For me, however her reputation preceded her. I had heard many times before our meeting of the dedication she showed for her community and her persistence in achieving what she knew to be the best thing for Richmond Hill. This reputation began long before she was first elected to Council in 1964 and served until 1978. During her time on Council she continued to fight hard to make Richmond Hill a great place to live. Like today, her time on Council saw significant growth pressures in our community. During that period Lois and her Council colleagues navigated all the challenges that go along with growth.

After having the honour of meeting her I did receive periodic calls from Lois in her role as a citizen. It was always a pleasure to hear her perspective and her advice given her long and accomplished track record as a great community advocate. I have been reflecting on her passing and am pleased with the tribute from both Richmond Hill and the Liberal Newspaper in her honour. To view the Liberal article about Lois visit https://www.yorkregion.com/opinion-story/10389423-community-remembers-richmond-hill-s-longest-serving-female-councillor-lois-hancey/

Later this month I will be hosting another important meeting for area residents regarding a development proposal at Arnold Crescent and Major Mackenzie Drive West. This meeting will take place on May 26th by Zoom. Details of the meeting and registration are outlined in the e newsletter below. I would encourage all area residents to attend this meeting to make their views known about this application.

Finally, Council had an interesting and informative discussion last week regarding a report back from the results of the online voting that Richmond Hill Clerks Staff ran on behalf of the the York Public School Board last year. This was the first time that an election in Richmond Hill was conducted online.

Council heard from an expert on this subject, Dr. Nicole Goodman, who was commissioned by the city to study the online vote last year, and to draw conclusions related to a number of aspects of the process. During the Council meeting I asked Dr. Goodman how her findings from Richmond Hill compared to findings in other municipalities that have employed online voting. Dr. Goodman generally found an overwhelming satisfaction with the online voting process that was used in our past School Board election in Richmond Hill, and similar satisfaction levels in other jurisdictions that have used online voting. She also identified a few items of interest that we can improve upon in the use of online voting in future elections in Richmond Hill.

At this meeting the Richmond Hill Clerk also mentioned that a staff report will be brought forward for Council's consideration proposing a hybrid online and traditional ballot model for the 2022 municipal election. I look forward to this report and appreciated the information supplied at the meeting by Dr. Goodman and our staff. I truly believe Richmond Hill needs to join over 177 other municipalities in Ontario that are already employing online voting technology for our voters. To view the video of this Council discussion visit https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ps0YoiOdQ-4 between time stamp 0:16:15 and 1:30:00

As always, I welcome a call or an email from anyone if they have any comments or questions about information contained in this e newsletter or any other issue about our community. My email is david.west@richmondhill.ca and my mobile phone number is 416-346-3090.
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480
Councillor Highlights
COVID-19 - Message from Mackenzie Health CEO Altaf Stationwala
Lately the province wide COVID-19 infection numbers are moving in the right direction but hospital admissions are still too high. Here is an important message from Mackenzie Health CEO Altaf Stationwala -

"During the third wave, we’ve been seeing between 15 to 20 #COVID19 patients being admitted to our hospitals every single day. We keep fighting hard to keep our community safe, but we can’t do it without your help".

Hear from our President and CEO Altaf Stationwala about what you can do to help flatten the curve once again.

We still need to work together to help our community get through this 3rd wave! Help our healthcare workers help all of us.
Richmond Hill Board of Trade Business Achievement Awards
Last month I was pleased to attend the Richmond Hill Board of Trade Business Achievement Awards like I have done for so many years. I really love this event as it celebrates excellence in our business community. During this pandemic time, more than ever this excellence needs to be celebrated!

There were many winners this year who spoke during their acceptance speeches, of business agility and creativity as they have navigated this very difficult year.

This year the event was held virtually due to the pandemic so we were all attending from home. I want to congratulate all the winners and nominees! I look forward to celebrating live and in person next year.

Professional Services Award
Pivot Award
General Award
Non-Profit Award
Hospitality Award
Mayor's Award
People's Choice Award
Virtual Volunteer Achievement Awards 2021
The 56th Annual Volunteer Achievement Awards was held virtually on Tuesday, April 20. I was very pleased to be able to present to two very deserving recipients.

It is truly inspiring to hear the stories of some of our deserving citizens who give selflessly of their time and passion to all of us in Richmond Hill.

We heard from so many of these award recipients that they get as much as they give! I know as a volunteer myself that is true, but their contribution delivers so much value to so many and it makes Richmond Hill a vibrant community.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to all award winners! For a complete list of winners visit - https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/volunteer-achievement-awards.aspx

Highlights from this year’s virtual ceremony are now available on the City’s YouTube page for your viewing. Enjoy!

Congratulations to all of the recipients and thank you for your dedication and kindness especially during this unprecedented past year.
Ward 4 Community Conversations
’'Community Conversations' was an idea I implemented to engage our residents in meaningful conversations and to provide useful information while we continue to grapple with the physical distance regulations that the pandemic demands of us.  
Thank you to the many residents who tuned in to the April Community Conversations event that we hosted. Our guest speaker, Metrolinx provided detail regarding the plans for the Yonge North Subway extensions that will end with 2 stations in Richmond Hill in the Yonge and Highway 7 area.

This plan has been a long time coming and is still a number of years away from completion but the plans are progressing. There are many exciting opportunities included in this plan for Richmond Hill but there are also a number of issues that our community needs to discuss.

I appreciated the many questions that participants were able to ask and receive answers at this virtual meeting.

We hope that you can join us for all of our future Community Conversations starting with the May meeting. Did you know that Public Works week is May 16-22 this year? Join me in celebrating all that the Richmond Hill Public Works team does by participating in the next Community Conversation, May 27th, 7:30-8:30pm. 

We will host Richmond Hill Public Works staff and hear about "A Day in the Life" of Public Works. From Richmond Hill's roads & parks to our water & trees, you may be surprised at the many different ways we are all supported by the Public Works team!  

The Community Conversations tentatively scheduled for the next four months include:

May 27th: A Day in the Life of Richmond Hill Public Works;

June 24th: Considering "Local Food";

July 14th: Launch of The 2nd annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Monarch Butterfly Tagging Challenge with "Monarch Crusader" Carol Pasternak

To register for the above sessions please visit https://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/ward-4-community-conversations/
Richmond Hill’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan Making News beyond our Boarders
Richmond Hill is embarking on a journey to become more resilient to the effects of climate change. The Community Energy and Emissions Plan will guide our efforts to reach net zero emissions by 2050 by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), conserving energy and exploring related economic opportunities. 

Please see the attached April 14th Novae Res Uris (NRU) article "Roadmap for Resilience" which I feel is a truly excellent article that captures Richmond Hill's collective efforts.

TRCA Webinars and Workshops
Looking for activities to do from May through to October that are fun for the whole family?

From across the watershed, TRCA hosts exciting webinars and e-learning activities, guided hikes, festivals and other seasonal events, educational workshops, and public consultations. Come explore nature, culture, and the environment in Toronto and the GTA!

To find out more and to register please visit their events page Events Calendar - Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
How's The Climate? - Making Waves RH Interview
As a celebration of Earth Day I was delighted to be interviewed recently by a very talented young lady named Emiko on behalf of the organization Making Waves RH which is a group bringing environmental education to Richmond Hill.

The episode is about environmental action that Richmond Hill has taken and the role of young people in environmental action in our community.

How’s The Climate?, Emiko meets David West, City of Richmond Hill’s very own Ward 4 Councillor. In this conversation, Councillor West provides insight into the role of politicians in climate action, why getting involved is so important, and how his early environmental exploration fuels him today. Additionally, listen in to hear about all the great strides that Richmond Hill is taking towards environmental milestones!

Here are a few ways you can access the podcast.

Catch this episode on apple podcasts, spotify, or on RSS.com:

 Hike for Hill House Hospice
Join the Annual Hike for Hill House Hospice! From Sunday May 2nd to May 31st, virtually join us hiking, jogging, biking, stretching or even climbing stairs to remember our loved ones and help raise money to support Hill House Hospice.
Register online, gather sponsors, complete Hike Home Edition Part II or simply donate to support the event. Registered participants to raise $250 and more will be entered into a draw for great prizes.
Strides For Mackenzie Health Walk/Run
Join the Strides for Mackenzie Health Youth Council (14-21 year old applicants) or the Strides for Mackenzie Health Committee (18+ year old applicants) and get involved in the 16th annual Strides for Mackenzie Health, our largest, longest-running and most beloved annual community event, raising more than $2 million since inception.

Save the Date for the Strides for Stroke 5K walk/run which is open to all ages and fitness levels, and will take place on Saturday, September 25, 2021.
Major Mackenzie Drive West Watermain Replacement
The scope of work includes replacement of watermain, disconnection and reconnection of existing services and side street watermains and replacement of hydrants and valve chambers.
The construction is scheduled to begin in May 2021 and be completed by the end of 2021, weather permitting.

Project Location: Major Mackenzie Drive from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street, includes work on Elston Court, Don Head Village Boulevard and Bathurst Street.

To read the full notice please click here Major Mackenzie Drive West Watermain Replacement.
Temporary Road Closure of Arnold Crescent
High Point Place Laurier Homes (Richmond Hill Inc.) has requested a road closure of Arnold Crescent from 20m East of Elizabeth Street to 70 m West of Elizabeth Street South between May 17 to 31, 2021.         
The requested closure is necessary as part of development of lands owned by High Point Place Laurier Homes (Richmond Hill Inc.) known as Subdivision file 19T- 15006. This closure is necessary to allow the construction of new municipal services and road reconstruction within the Arnold Crescent road allowance. The subdivision is located at the south west corner of Arnold Crescent and Elizabeth Street South.
The Developer’s Consulting Engineer will provide an acceptable Traffic Control and Detour Plan and will be posting required signage indicating the dates of the proposed road closures. All efforts will be employed to minimize inconvenience to the public during this time. All emergency services, parking enforcement, schools, and transit services will be notified of this closure.
The closure is recommended to expedite the construction of municipal services and to provide a greater degree of safety to both the general public and contractors during the construction period.
Controlling Gypsy Moth in Richmond Hil
To minimize tree damage and reduce the spread of Gypsy Moth in our community, staff have removed 65,281 egg masses from City trees so far this spring. Reducing the number of hatched Gypsy Moth caterpillars will help protect our tree canopy. Learn how to protect your trees at RichmondHill.ca/GypsyMoth.

The following article about this subject "Richmond Hill combating invasive European gypsy moth and you can help" appeared in the Richmond Hill Liberal recently.
Richmond Hill Council News
Resident's Meeting for Proposed Development at Major Mackenzie Drive West and Arnold Crescent
Important Community Meeting
Scheduled for May 26th to discuss
Proposed Development at Major Mackenzie Drive West and Arnold Crescent
(City Files: D01-20014 and D02-20028)
As I reported in previous letters to the community there is a development application pending for the southwest corner of Major Mackenzie Drive West and Arnold Cres. (129-147 Arnold Crescent and 190-230 Major Mackenzie Drive West). This application consists of 4 apartment buildings (10, 12, 14 and 19 storeys in height) with at-grade townhouse dwelling units. The proposal includes a total of 790 dwellings units, 63,102 square metres of Gross Floor Area (GFA), a Floor Space Index (FSI) of 2.35, a total of 838 parking spaces and vehicular access from Major Mackenzie Drive and Arnold Crescent. 
As it stands, under Richmond Hill’s Official Plan this proposal greatly exceeds the development permissions for the lands in the area and as such, I feel it is not at all appropriate in size, scale, or built form for the community in that area. I have made my concerns with this application clear to the applicant during the recent Council Public Meeting that was held in March.
During that Council Public Meeting, clear comments in opposition to this current proposal were also heard from members of the community. However, there are still a great number of concerns and many questions from the community that remain to be answered. As a result, I have scheduled a Community Meeting to give members of the community an additional opportunity to discuss their views regarding this application and an opportunity to ask questions of the applicant and myself about this proposal. This meeting will be held virtually by Zoom on Wednesday May 26th starting at 7PM until 9PM.
No Council decisions have been made up to this point in time regarding this development so the Community Meeting on May 26th will be an important step in making clear the views of the community to our planning staff, and members of Council who are in attendance, as well as the applicant. At this meeting, there will be an opportunity for the applicant to present the details of this application with the majority of the time scheduled for questions from the public and discussion. 
I would encourage you to attend the meeting and I would also encourage you to ask any questions you may have. You can sign up in advance to speak at the meeting and we will also take questions from the floor. We will do our best to cover all questions during this time. To register for the meeting please visit https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eyDRRSWATpenk_EnkCnQgg.

To register in advance to speak at the meeting please email one of my team members at kate.davey@richmondhill.ca . If you have any questions or comments for myself please do not hesitate to contact me by email at david.west@richmondhill.ca or by phone at 416-346-3090.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the meeting.

If you would like to view the staff report from the March 24th Council Public Meeting please visit https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=39423

To view the video of the meeting on March 24th visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFyKW3kgy9

Finally for area residents interested in joining a group of neighbours that are interested in speaking about this application and to support local residents I am providing the following information.

The VCRA needs you !

Our association was formed in response to major development changes which have the potential to permanently change the character of the Village, the oldest established community in Richmond Hill.
Our association seeks to:
• Oppose development proposals which are inconsistent with the Official Plan, such as the multi-tower ACORN proposal at the corner of Arnold Crescent and Major Mackenzie.
• Provide constructive input to the current Official Plan update process to reflect the vision of the residents who live here.
• Provide feedback to members of Council and hold them accountable to their constituents.
Your input and support can help make a difference! We are looking for assistance with lobbying, recruitment, and fundraising. To find out more, e-mail us at VRCA2021@gmail.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!
Brian Chapnik
Chair, Village Core Residents Association
Municipal Council Code of Conduct Review 
The Ontario Provincial Government is currently working to provide more guidance and update the regulations relating to requirements for Municipal Codes of Conduct. I am very much in support of this work and believe that a tightening and updating of our own Richmond Hill Code of Conduct is very much in order.

It is my understanding and expectation that the result of the recommendations from the provincial process will be enshrined in regulation and ultimately lead to a better Code of Conduct for all 444 Ontario municipalities, including Richmond Hill.

There are clear and very legitimate expectations from the public around behaviour, transparency and accountability of the elected representatives and these expectations must be met.

I would encourage everyone to participate in the provincial survey and the link to the webpage explaining all the details of this process can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-strengthening-accountability-municipal-council-members. The link to the survey is at the top part of this webpage and is open until July 15th.
Greenbelt Protected Land Motion at Council 
I remain concerned that Richmond Hill Council has passed a motion that I am quite convinced from the council comments during the Council meeting, and wording in the motion itself, will ultimately lead Council to ask the provincial government to allow housing development on protected lands in the Oak Ridges Moraine. 
There have been a couple motions passed by this Council where I have interpreted similar intents, and I have consistently voted against such motions. I remain firm in my understanding and belief that allowing development on these Oak Ridges Moraine protected lands is bad environmental policy, bad fiscal policy, and it represents a significant lack of visionary thinking by Council on behalf of the residents of Richmond Hill. The lands in question are protected for a number of reasons and removing these protections is not good for the community.
I have sent the following letter to Premier Ford to confirm his government’s commitment that removal of protection for these Oak Ridges Moraine lands in Richmond Hill will not be allowed by the province. To date I have received a response from the Premiere's Office that The Minister of Municpal Affairs and Housing will respond. I look forward to Minister Steve Clark's response. 
I would expect, the Ontario Government to remain consistent in its position that these lands should remain protected, We are in the midst of an Official Plan review in Richmond Hill and spending time, money, and energy studying opening up the Greenbelt when we know the answer is “no” regardless of how many times we ask it, is, in my view an inefficient use of our staff resources.
To read a good article from the Liberal Newspaper on this issue visit 
Dear Premier Ford,
I continue to appreciate your firm and consistent stand that no lands that are currently protected under the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine legislation will be allowed further development permissions and/or conversions to a Settlement designation. I also appreciate you have initiated a process whereby your government is looking for ways to expand this protected area, not reduce it.
As you likely know, there was a recent motion passed by Richmond Hill Council to direct our planning staff to study an area (approximately 500 acres) in the north east corner of our municipality currently designated as protected, primarily “Countryside” designated lands. I believe that a good part of the intent of this Council motion is to ask your government to ultimately allow removal of protection, allow conversion of some or all of these lands to settlement lands, and eventually allow for houses to be built on those currently protected lands.
I have heard you say many times that removing lands from protection will not under any circumstances happen under your leadership. Given this passed Council motion I would ask you to confirm that your government will remain firm in its commitment to disallow this type of conversion in Richmond Hill’s protected Oak Ridges Moraine. I would ask that you once again let me and the constituents of Richmond Hill know your thoughts on this question.
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill 
Secondary Suites in Richmond Hill Adoption of Amendment 23 to the
Richmond Hill Official Plan
Additional residential units (ARUs) are now permitted in the City of Richmond Hill, subject to zoning requirements and restrictions, including a building permit.
Visit the city's website for more information. Below is an official announcement with more detail about this change.
The Council of The Corporation of the City of Richmond Hill adopted Amendment No. 23 to the Richmond Hill Official Plan on the 23rd day of March, 2021 through the enactment of By-law 25-21 and in accordance with Section 17 of the Planning Act (the Act), as amended.

An explanation of the purpose and effect of the Amendment describing the lands to which the Amendment to the Richmond Hill Official Plan applies is set out below. A complete copy of Amendment No. 23 to the Richmond Hill Official Plan, including all background materials, is available by contacting Chun Chu, Senior Planner, phone number 905-771-5493 or by e-mail at chun.chu@richmondhill.ca.

Dated this 1st day of April, 2021
Stephen M.A. Huycke, City Clerk
The Corporation of the City of Richmond Hill
225 East Beaver Creek Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3P4
Phone 905-771-8800
Fax: 905-771-2502
Amendment No. 23 to the Richmond Hill Official Plan

1.1 Purpose
The purpose of this Amendment to the Richmond Hill Official Plan is to permit an additional residential unit within a ground-related dwelling and in a structure ancillary to the ground-related dwelling on the same lot. The amendment would effectively allow up to a maximum of three dwelling units on a ground-related residential property. The intent of this amendment is to conform with Provincially legislated requirements and to facilitate housing diversity. The amendment will also help to increase the supply of affordable housing to meet the needs of Richmond Hill residents.

1.2 Location
The Amendment applies City-wide to all lands where ground-related dwellings are permitted. The permission would not apply to existing ground-related dwellings located in: hazard lands and hazardous sites, lands within the Greenbelt Plan Natural Heritage System, and lands within the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan's Natural Core and Natural Linkage areas.

1.3 Basis
This amendment updates the Richmond Hill Official Plan 2010 policies that permit secondary suites in single detached, semi-detached, and townhouse developments. Since the time of adoption of the Official Plan, several changes to the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020, and several other provincial plans have come into effect which require local official plans to permit additional residential units (secondary suites) within both a ground-related dwelling as well as a structure ancillary to it. This would in effect allow up to a total of three units on a lot.
The proposed amendment is considered by Council to be appropriate for the following reasons:
·        the amendment implements the direction in the Planning Act, which requires Official Plans to contain policies that authorize the use of two residential units in a detached house, semi-detached house, or row-house (townhouse), and within a building or structure ancillary to a detached house, semi-detached house, or row-house (townhouse);
·        the amendment implements the Ontario Regulation 299/19 Additional Residential Units, which prescribes requirements and standards in order to reduce barriers for the approval and construction of additional residential units;
·        the amendment is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (PPS), which directs municipalities to accommodate appropriate affordable and market-based range and mix of housing types, including "additional residential units" and to facilitate all types of residential intensification. Further, the amendment aligns with the PPS by directing developments away from areas of natural hazards;
·        the amendment conforms to A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2020), which requires municipalities to meet minimum intensification targets and to create a range and mix of housing options and densities, including the provision of additional residential units;
·        the amendment conforms with the Greenbelt Plan, 2017, which permits a second dwelling unit in single dwellings or within existing accessory structures on the same lot, where the lot is located outside of the Natural Heritage System;
·        the amendment conforms with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, 2017, which permits a secondary dwelling unit in single dwellings located outside of a Natural Core Area or Natural Linkage Area; and
·        the amendment conforms to the York Region Official Plan (2010), which directs municipalities to provide a minimum of 25 per cent of all new housing units to be affordable and identifies the provision of secondary suites as a means to achieve this target, and as such, requires local municipalities to adopt official plan policies and zoning by-law provisions to authorize secondary suites.
Community Road Safety 
At a recent Council meeting I moved a motion to have our staff come back to Council with the results of a Town wide Traffic Operations Study that would recommend ways that our Traffic Engineering staff can enhance, and be more proactive regarding community safety on our roads. I believe the results of this study will be important now and as we grow.

At a Council meeting in April, Council passed two interim measures that are consistent with enhancing community safety. The first was to add a pedestrian crosswalk on Rollinghill Road in the area of two local schools, St. Marguerite d' Youville
and Moraine Hills Public School. The thorough analysis by our traffic engineering staff led to this safety enhancement.

The other change that was recommended by our Traffic Engineers was to make Lucas Street from Trayborn Drive to Mill Street a Community Safety Zone. There are a number of requirements that needed to be met in order to qualify as a Community Safety Zone but through the study, staff was able to confirm that this was an appropriate change to apply to this area.

There is no question that there is more work to be done to address traffic issues as we grow as a community, and I am looking forward to the results of the Traffic Operations Study to determine what other changes are appropriate and effective to increase road safety.
Official Plan - Upcoming Workshops and Surveys
The City of Richmond Hill is updating the current Official Plan to guide land use and development to 2041. This update will continue to help transform our suburban communities into a more vibrant, complete community that serves the needs of all residents, businesses and visitors in Richmond Hill. City staff are hosting a number of virtual workshops.

The first such virtual Business Focused Workshop took place April 27 regarding business parks and intensification areas with five other public workshops taking place in May:

Advanced registration is required and all workshops will run from 7 - 9 p.m. For more information and to register please visit the city's website.

Finally, a report was released summarizing results of public input and survey results from the first phase of the Official Plan Review Process. The document can be found here https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/shared-content/resources/documents/City-Plan-2041---Phase-1---What-We-Heard-Report.pdf
Richmond Hill’s Draft Affordable Housing Strategy considered at Council
The City of Richmond Hill’s Affordable Housing Strategy will provide guidance and tools for the City to work with the building and development sector to create affordable housing in the private housing market in Richmond Hill.

Please click Affordable Housing Strategy Council Education Session - May 4th.pdf for the Presentation to Council on Tuesday, May
May 4
Council Event Policy Review
It has always been important to me that any funds that Council as a whole, or individual Council members spend is done with the interests of the community in mind and with full transparency.

To that end I was happy to support a motion that required further steps to enhance the reporting, rules, and limits around fundraising and spending related to Councillor Hosted Events.

A 2018 audit and recommendations for changes to the existing policy regarding spending on Council Hosted Events, that I fully supported at the time, failed due to lack of support from the rest of Council.

I am pleased however that more recently a new report with recommendations was put forward to add stronger rules around how much money can be raised by Council Members from sponsors, as well as added policy around transparent reporting of these activities.

This recent set of policy changes passed. I would like to have seen this policy go further than it does but given the vigorous debate that ensued at the Council meeting I am at least thankful that improvements to the existing policy did pass and is now in force which will lead to increased transparency and accountability from all members of Council when hosting Councillor Events.
Richmond Hill Appoints New Integrity Commissioner
Richmond Hill Council has appointed Charles A. Harnick Q.C., of ADR Chambers Inc., as its new Integrity Commissioner effective May 12, 2021.
The Integrity Commissioner's duties include providing impartial, third party, professional advice to Council and responding to any compliance issues and matters relating to their ethical responsibilities and obligations under the Council Code of Conduct.
Mr. Harnick is a mediator, arbitrator and investigator with ADR Chambers. He served as Attorney General of Ontario from 1995 to 1999 and Minister Responsible for Native Affairs. He was an elected member of the Ontario Legislature from 1990 to 1999. In 1991, Mr. Harnick was certified as a specialist in civil litigation. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1992 and in 2005, he was awarded the Law Society Medal. He currently also serves as Integrity Commissioner for the Municipality of Leamington, City of Kawartha Lakes, Haldimand County, Township of Larder Lake and the County of Dufferin.
Council considered the applications for the appointment during the Closed Session portion of Special Council meetings held on April 19 and 21, 2021, and formally appointed the Integrity Commissioner during a Special Council meeting on May 5, 2021.
Under the Municipal Act, 2001, all municipalities are required to appoint an Integrity Commissioner to promote accountability and transparency between Members of Council and the public. Richmond Hill has retained the services of an Integrity Commissioner since 2010. For more information, visit RichmondHill.ca/Integrity.
Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plan Study Public Open House
Have your say and learn more about what’s coming up next for Richmond Hill Centre located at Yonge and Highway #7.

This discussion will be an important part of the Official Plan Update process which will help to guide the future of this important part of our community. As was reported recently the Yonge North Subway extension will terminate in this area with two stations located within the Richmond Hill Centre area.

Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Time: 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Location: Virtual public meeting (via Zoom) Register today at RichmondHill.ca/RHCentre
Upcoming Events
Nourishing York Region featuring Joshna Maharaj

On May 17th from 12pm-1pm, join the Social Planning Council of York Region, York Region Food Council and York Region Food Network for ‘Nourishing York Region’, featuring Joshna Maharaj. This exciting event will explore how we can use food as a tool for a just recovery in York Region. Engage with us about meaningful solutions to food and income insecurity, so we can nourish our communities in more ways than one. Please click on the Learn More button to register.
Ward 4 Community Conversations

Please join me at 7:30 p.m. to learn more about “A Day in the Life of Public Works” in Richmond Hill From the roads and parks to the water and the trees, you may be surprised at the many different ways we are all supported by the Public Works team.
Please click the Learn More button to register for this informative conversation.

Ward 4 Community Conversations

Please Save the date! June's conversation will be - Considering "Local Food." To register, please click the Learn More button and scroll down.
Ward 4 Community Conversations

Please save the date! Launch of The 2nd Annual Richmond Hill Ward 4 Monarch Butterfly Tagging Challenge with Monarch Crusader Carol Pasternak. To register, please click the Learn More button and scroll down.

Contact Me
Phone: 905-771-2480
Mobile Phone: 416-346-3090
225 East Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill,
ON L4B 3P4, Canada. 905-771-8800
To sign up for this e-newsletter, click here.