David West
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
Monthly Newsletter
March 2020
Richmond Hill
In the last few days we have all witnessed unprecedented measures being taken in Canada and in Richmond Hill due to the COVID-19 virus. All of these measures are being taken to keep people safe and secure by trying to lower the rate of infection of the virus so that when/if infections occur they can be properly managed. This principal is becoming known as "flattening the curve". As such Richmond Hill has taken steps that are in line with similar efforts being taken by York Region, Ontario, including our public school boards, and Canada. Richmond Hill will be closing all municipal facilities to the public and cancelling recreation programs and public meetings until April 5th. For more detailed information related to these measures please see below in this e newsletter and visit https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/find-or-learn-about/novel-coronavirus.aspx .

The health and safety of our citizens is the primary goal and it is clear to me that governments around the country at all levels have a very important leadership role in keeping us all safe. It is also clear to me, now more than ever, that we are all connected across the globe, and here in Richmond Hill, and as such each and every one of us has a responsibility and role to play in keeping our loved ones, and each other safe. I would ask that everyone be sure to visit the following websites to learn what we can all do to "flatten the curve" and contribute to a positive outcome during this pandemic. Correct and accurate information is very important to guide all of our actions in the coming days and weeks.
Region of York Public Health - https://www.york.ca (click on the COVID-19 banner on the home page for daily updated information)
Ontario - https://www.ontario.ca/page/government-ontario (click on the COVID-19 banner on the home page for daily updated information)

 I would also like to add that I have had to make a decision to postpone my Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival due to the COVID-19 situation that we are currently facing. For more information on this please read the section below or visit http://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/4th-annual-maple-syrup-festival-postponed/ .

As always, and especially during the next few weeks, if you have any comments or questions please feel free to contact me at any time by email ( david.west@richmondhill.ca ) or by phone on my mobile at 416-346-3090

Sincerely,
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480
Councillor Highlights
Mosaic Interfaith out of the Cold
The Coldest Night of the Year (Richmond Hill) was a fun, family friendly winter walkathon to raise critical funds for the Mosaic Interfaith Out of the Cold program/shelters. While I was not able to participate in person when this event took place last month, I fully support the great work that Out of the Cold provides for homeless people in our community. Congratulations to the organizers of this event.
Board Of Trade - Business Achievement Awards 2020
Congratulations to all the nominees and winners for the annual Richmond Hill Board of Trade Business Achievement Awards. In particular to Ward 4 residents Glen Waugh, for his Lifetime Achievement Award, to Anders Lindfors from King Henry’s Arms for his award in the Hospitality category, and to Yellow Brick House for their award in the Not For Profit category.

Thank you to RHBOT staff, board of directors, and volunteers on organizing a wonderful event!


Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Glen Waugh

Mayor’s Award
Container Corporation of Canada

Professional Services Award
Winner: MaxPeople

Hospitality Award
Winners: King Henry’s Arms and Multi Pasta

Innovation Award
Winner: Hibar Systems Limited

Information Technology Award
Winner: MIT Consulting

Non Profit Award
Winner: Yellow Brick House

Young Entrepreneur Award
Winner: Trinity Chiropractic Heath and Wellness

General Business Award - Small Business
Winner: Signarama Richmond Hill

General Business Award - Large Business
Winner: TMS
 
For a list of all nominees please click here .
Richmond Hill Wins FEO's 2019 Municipality of the Year Award
For the second year in a row, Richmond Hill received the Municipality of the Year Award in the “over 150,000 population” category. Richmond Hill’s Canada Day celebrations and Ribfest also won the Top 100 Festivals and Events Ontario awards.

The awards were presented at the annual Festivals and Events Conference held in Richmond Hill. These awards acknowledge the finest municipalities in Ontario in terms of leadership and civic partnerships.
Yellow Brick House Gala 2020
The 15th Annual Yellow Brick House Gala was held recently. Yellow Brick House is a Women’s Shelter that provides services to women and their families that have suffered domestic abuse. Last year they provided Emergency Shelter to over 400 women fleeing domestic violence, they fielded over 3000 calls to their crisis phone line, they spoke to over 4000 high school students about domestic violence and they provided almost 2000 women with counselling services.

I have been a supporter of this organization and the long time CEO Lorris Herenda for many years and salute the great work they do in our community.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of York Region - Bowl For Kids Sake
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of York Region held their annual Bowl for Kids Sake event in Richmond Hill this past weekend. Richmond Hill staff and a team from Council attended this annual charity event. It was a great event for a great cause! Thanks to Big Brothers and Big Sisters for the great work they do in Richmond Hill.
4th Annual Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival - POSTPONED
I am sorry to announce that the Richmond Hill Ward 4 Maple Syrup Festival Committee and I have made the difficult decision to postpone the event scheduled for March 28th to a later date due to the COVID-19 situation. This decision was not made lightly as the Maple Syrup Festival has been a well-loved community event for the past 3 years.


However with the recent publication of both York Region Public Health and Canadian Public Health guidelines related to large festivals and events it has been determined that our event would not be able to satisfy a number of their recommendations related to helping to stop the spread of this virus.

The Maple Syrup Festival provides an opportunity for visitors, exhibitors, volunteers and our staff to have an enjoyable and rich experience. With the present concerns related to COVID-19, I was not confident we would be able to sufficiently deliver on this promise.
 
The Committee and I remain committed to providing a meaningful community event and I will notify you about the rescheduled date as soon as it’s planned.
 
I would like to thank the Committee for their support and to the community for their understanding and patience while our community works through this Public Health situation. 

For more information please click here .
 
Richmond Hill Council News
Important News about Richmond Hill and COVID-19
City of Richmond Hill cancellations and closures
                       
Following the Ontario government’s direction to close publicly-funded schools until April 5 and immediately suspend all public gatherings with over 250 people, and in order to support the efforts of our public health partners to break the chain of transmission of COVID-19, out of an abundance of caution, effective
immediately the City of Richmond Hill is:
 
·         Cancelling all March Break camps
·         Cancelling all recreation and culture programs, up to and including April 5
·         Cancelling all performances and facility bookings at the Richmond Hill Theatre for the Performing Arts, up to and including April 5
·         Closing all community recreation and culture facilities to the public, including all rental permits, up to and including April 5
·         Closing Main Municipal Offices at 225 East Beaver Creek and the Richmond Hill Operations Centre at 1200 Elgin Mills Rd East to the public, up to and including April 5
·         Cancelling all Council and Committee meetings and postponing City-run events until after April 5
Those impacted by cancelled programs will be contacted directly. The City of Richmond Hill will fully refund all user fees charged.
The Access Richmond Hill Contact Centre is available to respond to general inquiries by email at  access@richmondhill.ca  or by phone at 905-771-8800. In-person services will not be available until April 6, 2020.

The health and safety of our residents, program participants, visitors and staff is a top priority. The City of Richmond Hill continues to work closely with York Region Public Health to monitor COVID-19, in collaboration with provincial and national health agencies.
 
The City has business continuity plans in place to ensure essential City services continue to be delivered.
For up-to-date information and resources on COVID-19, please visit york.ca/covid19 or call Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
 
For information on the status of City of Richmond Hill programs and facilities, please visit RichmondHill.ca .
Coyotes and other Wildlife
Like any part of our natural community we share Richmond Hill with coyotes. Periodically I receive emails about this particular part of our natural world and I wanted to share two excellent resources with everyone to help to live in harmony with these animals. Toronto Region Conservation Authority has some resources about coyotes in urban areas on https://trca.ca/news/species-spotlight-coyotes-urban-areas/ .
 
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for wildlife management and has information on preventing and managing coyote conflicts on https://www.ontario.ca/page/preventing-and-managing-conflicts-coyotes-wolves-and-foxes

Coyotes are generally shy, cautious and non-confrontational unless they are sick or have been fed by humans. They are active year-round but are most often encountered at dawn or dusk especially from January to March. They are naturally carnivores based on their foraging and hunting behaviour but are sometimes considered opportunistic omnivores. Their diet consists of mainly rodents, rabbits, fruit, insects, waterfowl eggs and human sources such as garbage. It is important for people who live close to areas where coyotes are more common, such as ravines and railway corridors, to be mindful of these guidelines:

  • Keep your pets indoors, especially cats. If pets are left outside it is best to keep a close eye on them.
  • Clean up after your dog. Coyotes are attracted to dog feces.
  • Keep your dog on a leash.
  • Do not leave food waste outside and be sure to wash out your green bin regularly.
  • Carry a flashlight or noise maker (blow horn) with you when walking at night or when placing your dog in the backyard.
  • Try to avoid walking close to natural areas at dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active.
  • Do NOT feed coyotes even though they may seem hungry.
  • If you see a coyote, do not run. Back away slowly without turning your back to it.
 
If a coyote poses an immediate threat or danger to public safety, please contact the police by calling 9-1-1. If you encounter a sick or injured coyote, contact City of Vaughan Animal Services at  905-832-2281  or  1-855-227-7297 .
 
City Plan 2041 - Richmond Hill's Official Plan Update
Postponed Until Further Notice
Due to recent closures related to COVID-19 this event will be postponed until further notice. The Official Plan Open House is a very important opportunity for the public to learn about the Official Plan Review currently taking place in Richmond Hill and to provide input. As a result I will be sure to announce the rescheduled dates for this event when they are available. Please stay tuned to this e newsletter for further details.
Powell and Wright Street Reconstruction

I recently hosted a community meeting regarding the Wright and Powell Street road reconstruction. This meeting allowed residents an additional opportunity to discuss the details of this project. There will be a staff report that will be coming to Council in April about this project, but given the recent Richmond Hill shutdowns due to COVID-19 this report could be delayed. I would encourage residents to visit the City website at richmondhill.ca and click on the calendar section of the site for Council agendas in April, or alternatively call me if you have any questions related to scheduling of this item for a future Council meeting. To learn more please click the following link - Read More>
York Region Public Health COVID-19 Information

March 12 the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded the COVID-19 outbreak from a global health emergency to a pandemic. While the global situation is changing rapidly, York Region Public Health remains committed to providing residents with trusted, dependable and timely updates about COVID-19. You can find up-to-date information about Public Health preparations, symptoms and transmission, how to protect yourself and more on our dedicated COVID-19 page. 
Planning to travel over March Break?  
With March Break only days away, we know many York Region families may have upcoming travel plans. Be sure to check any travel advisories before you leave town and follow the appropriate precautions upon your return. Travellers returning from Iran or Hubei province are required to contact Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 and self-isolate for 14 days upon return.
All other international travellers should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new cough, shortness of breath) for 14 days after returning.
Break the chain of transmission  
With new emerging cases in York Region, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and common cold and flu viruses is to practice good hygiene and take steps to prevent the spread of respiratory infections.
Here are some hygiene tips:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Increase cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces like toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs and countertops using regular household cleaners
  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes, eating utensils, drinks or water bottles and towels
Learn more at york.ca/COVD19

Development Application Yeda Major Mackenzie Inc. - 58 Major Mackenzie Drive West
A request for approval of a Zoning By-law Amendment application to permit a 5-storey residential building comprised of 33 dwelling units, 1.64 FSI and 64 parking spaces has been submitted to Richmond Hill Planning Staff. This property is a just west of Yonge Street, on the north side of Major Mackenzie Drive. For the more information concerning this application please visit http://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/zoning-by-law-amendment-application-yeda-major-mackenzie-drive-west/

This development application was scheduled to come to a Council Public Hearing on April 1st but will need to be rescheduled to a later date due to the COVID-19 related shutdowns that will be in effect until April 5th. Please stay tuned to this e newsletter for further details of the rescheduled date.


Upcoming Events
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church
Pancake Breakfast
March 21

Postponed

10066 Yonge Street
Saturday, March 21 from 9:00 - 11:00


City Plan 2041
Richmond Hill's Official Plan Update

Postponed

Thursday, March 26
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
McConaghy Centre

Core Culture Connections - A Night of Music

Postponed

 Richmond Hill United Church
Saturday, March 27 from 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
For tickets click here .

4th Annual Maple Syrup Festival

POSTPONED

Elgin West Community Centre
11099 Bathurst Street
Saturday, March 28 from 10:00 - 2:00


Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra

Postponed

Creatures Great and Small
Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts
7:30 p.m.- Pre-concert talk 6:45 p.m.

Strides for Stroke to benefit Mackenzie Health

CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Saturday, May 2nd
Sign up before April 30 and save $10 on your registration fee.

Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society
Plant Sale
Saturday, May 9th
McConaghy Centre
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