David West
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor
Monthly Newsletter
December 2020
Season's Greetings!
As we find ourselves in December of a very unprecedented year, I think we can all agree that we are, more than in past years, collectively in need of a reason to celebrate. While these holiday celebrations will need to look different this year, I hope that everyone still takes a moment to connect virtually with those that they hold dear. Along that line, like many families The West family is looking forward to celebrating our Christmas day family traditions by Zoom this year (on the bright side this beats the year we celebrated Christmas with no power or heat due to the 2013 Ice Storm).

To make our community just a bit more joyous, Richmond Hill is sponsoring an initiative called Light Up Richmond Hill that encourages residents to decorate their homes with lights this holiday season. I have already noticed many houses that have really gone all out and made our community just a bit more cheerful! Full details of this program are included below.

I also wanted to let residents know that the volunteer Richmond Hill Winter Carnival Committee is working on plans for a virtual Winter Carnival this year. Like so many well loved community events, we will not be able to host the Winter Carnival in person like it has been for more than 50 years, but our committee is working hard to keep the Winter Carnival spirit alive nonetheless. Details of these plans should be available in the next edition of this e newsletter.

I think we will also agree that as we look back on the year that was, we likely all have a common feeling that the pandemic of 2020 can't be over soon enough, so we look with hope for a brighter 2021! I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you the best of the holiday season and a great New Year!

Making a positive difference to our corner of the world has always been my passion and motivation for being on Richmond Hill Council. On that note, Council recently approved a number of important motions for which I am particularly proud because they will help to make Richmond Hill an even more environmentally sustainable community.
 
Council passed a new Climate Change Framework that sets a path for Richmond Hill to reduce GHG emissions. The framework sets a mandated improved way of considering Council decisions by applying a “Climate Lens” to those decisions. This Framework was in no small part initiated by a motion that I put forward in February of this year to give staff specific direction in their efforts to reduce our collective GHG emissions. Most importantly it sets the stage for a more coordinated effort to reduce GHG in Richmond Hill. On a related note, I look forward to a directions report for the Community Energy and Emissions Plan coming to Council on December 9th which will be a further step that we will take in making Richmond Hill more environmentally sustainable.
 
I was also proud that Council passed the Single Use Plastics Reduction Strategy. This motion was the result of a member motion that I introduced earlier this year to ask staff to research a recommendation to reduce the use of Single Use Plastics in concert with efforts from York Region, the Federal Government, and the Province of Ontario. The motion's approval is a positive step in the right direction.

At that same Council meeting I attempted to further strengthen our commitment to reduce Single Use Plastics in the future, but was disappointed that council voted to not accept my further amendment intended to direct staff to continue to actively monitor and report back on future opportunities to further reduce single use plastics. This would have been an important addition to the motion because the legislative landscape for Single Use Plastics is changing with other levels of government adding, or about to add, overarching further regulations on single use plastics. It will be important for Richmond Hill to continue to closely monitor these changes to determine where opportunities for future further reduction will lie. Despite Council not accepting this amendment I will be on the lookout, as I expect staff to be as well, to find future opportunities.
 
There is ongoing work to continue on our path to become an even more sustainable community in Richmond Hill. I am proud of that progress and look forward to discovering more opportunities to further walk down this path in the future.

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.

Banner photo - Councillor West at this year's drive through Santa Claus Parade courtesy of Chris Robart.
Sincerely,
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480
Councillor Highlights
Light Up Richmond Hill & Make Spirits Bright...
Share some Joy this Season and Help Light Up Richmond Hill. 

Join the fun decorating your home or business, submit a photo for a chance to win a $50 gift card.  Visit https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/stay-active-at-home.aspx for complete guidelines. Deadline for photos is December 11, 2020.  


Richmond Hill Holiday Donation Drive
This important annual initiative is back with curb side drop off at the Operations Centre, 1200 Elgin Mills Road East until December 15th.

We are accepting donations of:
  • non-perishable food items (to be forwarded to the Richmond Hill Food Bank)
  • new toys (no stuffed animals, please), book, gift cards, toiletries and new clothing for children and especially teens. (distributed to Yellow Brick House).

Hours and full details are available here:

The need this year is great, so please support our community in any way you can.   
A COVID-19 Afghan - made in Richmond Hill
Congratulations to fourteen knitters in Richmond Hill who came together to create a beautiful COVID-19 afghan to thank and honour our amazing front line workers. This project represented an act of kindness, incredible work, and dedication. It is currently displayed in the window of Knitters Attic (10119 Yonge Street).

The knitters did not want our front-line workers nor all of those who contributed to various activities during this pandemic to be forgotten. Thank you knitters!
Richmond Hill Volunteer Achievement Awards - Submit a Nomination or Certificate Request Today
Richmond Hill is accepting nominations for Richmond Hill’s 56th Volunteer Achievement Awards!
 
Volunteers play an important role in Richmond Hill, dedicating their time to building a stronger community.
 
Award Categories and Certificates:
 · Achievement Awards
· Citizen of the Year Award
· Community Organization of the Year Award
· Naim Malik Award for the Promotion of
Intercultural Friendships
· Senior Award
· Youth Award
· Milestone Anniversary Certificate for clubs, organizations and associations who are celebrating the completion of 10, 15, 20 or 25+ years of service
 
To submit a nomination or certificate request, visit RichmondHill.ca/VolunteerAwards
 
Deadline for submissions is Friday, December 18 at 4:30 p.m.
Two Hospitals to Serve our Community
When it opens in early 2021, Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital will join Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital and double access to safe, quality care in southwest York Region. These two hospitals will work together to provide care to our growing community.

Each hospital will offer a full-service emergency department, core services and some specialized programs in addition to Mackenzie Health’s community-based services. 

With a fully integrated Electronic Medical Record and expert staff, physicians and volunteers across both sites will work in tandem to provide quality care.

For more information and to track the progress, visit mackenziehealth.ca   
Remembrance Day In Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill's Remembrance Day service was different this year due to Covid-19 but still hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 375 at the Richmond Hill Cenotaph - McConaghy Centre. It was a beautiful sunny day, however there was no parade or public laying of wreaths - but a somber and poignant service just the same. A video of the service can be viewed here. And photos can be viewed here.

Each year at this ceremony I can't help but think how fortunate we are in Canada that we had governments, but most importantly, citizens, that stood up to the tyranny in the world, especially in 1939 and 1914, and fought for the freedom that we hold so dear today.

My Uncles Angus and Leonard were two of those brave young men that served during World War 2 in the Royal Canadian Air Force. They came home after the war but so many of their colleagues did not.

As I reflected on this day, like I do each year, I couldn't help but think how thankful we all need to be for their sacrifice but also how precious and fragile our freedom and democracy really is.

On all days, not just on Remembrance Day, we all have a responsibility to speak up when we see erosion of our freedom. To fail to do so would fail to honour those that gave so much for our peace, freedom, and prosperity. Lest we forget.
COVID 19 Support From Richmond Hill and York Region
York Region, including Richmond Hill, moved into the RED-Control Zone on November 16, 2020. For more details about what this means, visit: 

The City of Richmond Hill is working closely with York Region Public Health to monitor COVID-19 (formerly called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV).

Both levels of Municipal government are committed to working together for the health and safety of all our residents. There are many resources available to you as we navigate changing COVID19 restrictions. Comprehensive information can always be found on the City of Richmond Hill's website here  or the Community Support page on the Region of York's Website click here.  We would like to offer you a 'quick reference' list of some of the content.

On the City of Richmond Hill's website, you will find:
·      lists of what's open, closed, changed or cancelled including City programs and services
·      the current recommendations to keep yourself safe and healthy
·      information about the current data relating to York Region, flu shots and Community supports
·      lists of resources for local businesses

On York Region's Community Support website, some of the information you can find includes:
·      information for tenants, homeowners, landlords and property owners
·      links to many supportive organizations for those experiencing significant barriers such as poverty, homelessness and food insecurity
·      to access or information on social and community supports and services, visit 211oncovid19.ca
·      support and information for seniors, care givers, newcomers and disabled individuals.
·      links to many Provincial and Federal programs designed to support and assist in these challenging times.
Council Meetings, Agendas and Minutes
As we have recently witnessed in the USA, citizens who are engaged and active in their democracy can effect tremendous change. 

I encourage all the residents of Richmond Hill to be educated, engaged members of your City. 

Join our Council meetings which are streamed on YouTube, and get to know the issues Richmond Hill Council is discussing. 

You can also view previous meetings in the archives:  https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/our-services/Council-Meetings-Agendas-and-Minutes.aspx
TRCA: Fall and Winter Online Learning Opportunities and Programs 
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has new e-Learning resources available this fall, along with engaging online seminars, family programs, and volunteer opportunities! 

TRCA has always been a great supporter of our local environment and environmental education. During the COVID pandemic these educational opportunities continue with online offerings. I would encourage everyone to check them out!

To learn more and to sign up please click

Virtual Learning Opportunities are also available for Teachers and Home Educators.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) offers a variety of fun and interactive programs that bring nature education to you at NO COST.

Watershed On Wheels (WOW) brings all the necessary equipment to engage students in a variety of fun, half day, learning experiences. You’ll be WOW’ed with these programs!

To learn more and to sign up please click here.
Winter is Here! - No Parking on the Street During a Snow Event
Please note that you cannot park on the street when the City of Richmond Hill has declared a winter event which is expected to require snow clearing.

Parked cars seriously inhibit the urgent job of our plow operators to clear the snow for the benefit of the whole community.

If your vehicle is parked on the road, you may receive a ticket even if you have a permit. If your vehicle is in the way of our plows, salters or emergency vehicles, it could be towed.

For up to date snow clearing news and notices visit the city's website here.
Santa's Workshop Drive-Thru in Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill's Annual Santa Claus Parade took on a different look this year. Staff from our Community Services Department, Special Events Section, are to be commended on a job well done and for bringing the first ever drive-thru holiday experience held on November 14 to Richmond Green Park!

The weather was perfect and the turnout was wonderful. The route was lined with beautiful lights, decorations, floats, animated characters and performers. Our MPs and MPPs along with Members of Council were in attendance to greet everyone as they drove by.

It did the heart good to see the smiles on the faces of so many children (and parents) even if it was through a car window!

If you were unable to attend, click on the flickr link below and enjoy the drive-thru parade from your home as captured by Ward 4 resident Chris Robart. Thanks so much Chris!
Winter Fun in Richmond Hill
Walk, skate or ski in a winter wonderland. Serve up some winter tennis. Keep your mind and body active with us in person or at home. Check out 11 fun things to do in Richmond Hill this winter by clicking here.
Stay Active At Home
We are #DoingOurPart to help stop the spread of COVID19 and here are some recreational program updates for your family to keep active and creative at home or in a safe, physically distanced environment. Click here for more information.
Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital
I had the exciting opportunity to tour the new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital. This second Mackenzie Health Hospital is close to completion and will be open for the public in early 2021.

It has been a long journey to open this facility but it will provide much needed capacity for delivering excellent medical services for Richmond Hill and all of Southern York Region.

Both hospitals will offer a full suite of medical services between the two sites, but perhaps most importantly will include emergency services at both sites. For an excellent video describing the new hospital please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYpvRmvMqSQ&feature=youtu.be

During the tour I found it remarkable the care, attention to detail, and planning that has gone into this new facility. I have no doubt that excellent care will continue to be provided when residents of Richmond Hill and York Region need that care. This what matters most to all of us!

Thanks to Vaughan Councillor Alan Shefman for joining me on the tour, and Hospital president Altaf Stationwala and Vice President David Stolte who acted as our guide.
Richmond Hill Council News
Richmond Hill Council Charts Course for Next Two Years
Council has confirmed its priorities for the next two years, reflecting the evolving needs and interests of the community and building on the great work of the City to date.
 
Richmond Hill’s Council Strategic Priorities 2020-2022 set the City on a solid path to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, minimizing the financial impact on residents while continuing to emphasize environmental initiatives, community building and transportation.
 
Council endorsed four key priority areas at a Council meeting on November 25:
 
Balancing Growth and Green
Recognizing the critical balance between economic development and environmental protection, this includes stewardship of green spaces such as wetlands, parks and trails and longer-term sustainability planning and climate action initiatives, alongside decisions that promote responsible economic intensification and prosperity.
Examples of major projects: Official Plan Update; Resilient Richmond Hill; Parks Master Plan; Urban Forest Management Plan; Climate Change Framework; Comprehensive Zoning By-law

Fiscal Responsibility
Council will endeavour to keep tax increases to a minimum in order to emerge from COVID-19 in a strong financial position.
Examples of major projects: Financial Sustainability Strategy; Revenue Generation Initiative; Asset Management Plan; City Transformation Project
 
Strong Sense of Belonging
This is a placemaking priority that combines a desire for everyone to feel welcome in Richmond Hill and a commitment to community building in places like the downtown core, Lake Wilcox and the Richmond Hill David Dunlap Observatory.
Examples of major projects: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative; Age Friendly Community Initiative; Recover Richmond Hill Action Plan; Affordable Housing Strategy

Getting Around the City
Council will prioritize ease of movement around the city by promoting Richmond Hill’s multiple transportation interconnections, being well-positioned for the Yonge subway extension and improving active transportation networks for cyclists and pedestrians.

Examples of major projects: Richmond Hill Centre Secondary Plan; Yonge North Subway Extension project; Transportation Master Plan
 
These priority areas align with the feedback received by more than 800 residents through a community survey run in September 2020. The top five areas of concern identified by residents were protecting the environment, keeping tax increases low, maintaining and enhancing infrastructure, advocating for the subway extension into Richmond Hill and improving transportation networks. A comprehensive list of projects planned to support the priorities can be found in Appendix B of the staff report.

I am pleased that this project is now complete and the Plan is in place, but as I said at Council, I also expect that we can use this Plan as a foundation to go further on a number of of these key areas. Stay tuned for further updates.
Minister Zoning Order -1577-1621 Major Mackenzie Drive East
Richmond Hill Council recently passed a motion to formally request the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to issue a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to enable implementation of a development proposed for 1577-1621 Major Mackenzie Drive East. This proposal includes mostly residential development with a small part being a Long-Term care facility.

I voted in opposition to this motion becasue I have serious concerns about this proposal. I believe that the use of an MZO, which significantly bypasses important due process, input from our Planning Staff, and input from our residents, was inappropriate and not in the overall best interests of the community.

I did speak in favour of the Long Term Care part of this plan. This facility is needed and important to our community. However, the component of the plan that includes the care facility represented a very small part of the overall plan and I believe that this part of the plan could have been easily achieved without an MZO.

Had we gone through the normal Planning Process we could have had the benefit of a full consultation with the community and our Planning Staff to achieve a good overall plan and design.

Since passing this Council motion the MZO has been approved by the Provincial Government. As it stands the plan now calls for primarily residential use on this land including buildings up to 40 storeys along the Highway 404 frontage of the property.

This land was originally designated to be important employment land and I am very disappointed, given the mostly residential permissions outlined in the MZO, that the quantity of jobs that will be provided now is a fraction of what it could have been under the original designation.

Providing lands like this for employment is important for Richmond Hill and will be more important in the future as we grow. These lands would have been most suitable for employment lands especially given they are surrounded by other employment lands and also they are situated along highway 404.

On a related note, the Region of York Council recently moved to re designate this land from employment land to primarily residential use, and ironically at the same meeting passed a motion to ask the provincial government to open up additional lands along 400 series highways in York Region that are currently protected as Oak Ridges Moraine lands, using the rationale that we have a shortage of Employment Lands.

It is clear to me that converting these lands to residential use only makes this shortage worse and puts undue pressure on protected environmentally sensitive land. To learn more view (https://davidwest-richmondhill.ca/york-region-council-approves-greenbelt-development-request/ )

In combination with the York Region Council's actions and this MZO, it is my concern that the permissions now in place for these lands represent a significant waste of potential for our community.

An article "Richmond Hill moves to fast-track development at Major Mackenzie, Hwy. 404" appeared in the November 5 edition of The Liberal following the October 28 Council Meeting. To read it click here.
The Yonge St. vivaNext Bus Rapidway Opens for Service Soon

The Rapidway on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill is 6.5 kilometres long with seven new viva stations and runs from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive and from Levendale Road to 19th Avenue/Gamble Road. 
 
The end of December will mark the overall completion of nearly 34 kilometres and the $1.8 billion investment in the first phase of bus rapid transit in York Region, supporting inter-regional travel across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including the future Yonge North Subway Extension, GO train & bus routes, and commuter parking lots. 
 
This vivaNext bus rapid transit project is more than dedicated bus lanes, it also includes pedestrian-friendly boulevards, attractive landscaping & greenery (spring 2021) and bike lanes (spring 2021). Bus driver training has begun for the new rapidway. Watch in the coming weeks for signage to promote awareness and safety education.
Richmond Hill to Invest $38 Million in the Community
Richmond Hill Council is working to revitalize and update the City’s infrastructure to ensure continued smooth delivery of services to residents without placing additional burden on taxpayers.
 
After a year of opening modern, cutting-edge community amenities such as the state-of-the-art Oak Ridges library, the expanded Ed Sackfield Arena, redeveloped David Hamilton Park and the 130-metre long Lake Wilcox boardwalk, the City’s 2021 capital budget brings renewed focus to updating essential infrastructure such as roads and watermains as well as improvements to existing facilities. The $38 million capital budget prioritizes the improvement of City assets and infrastructure to support a modern, sustainable municipality.

In addition, Richmond Hill will invest in updating two existing community parks. Design work for the revitalization of Dove Park and Bridgeview Park are included in the 2021 capital budget.

Did you know?
·        the majority of the $38 million budget is funded by non-tax sources, such as Federal gas tax grants, the stormwater rate and development charges.
·        Richmond Hill Council set a maximum of $15 million that could be funded by property tax-supported reserve funds to ensure wise use of all resources available to the City.
·        earlier this year, Richmond Hill Council set a maximum 0.5% municipal property tax increase for the 2021 operating budget, the lowest in more than 15 years.
·        The Capital Budget outlines the financial needs for growth and maintenance of existing infrastructure, such as community centres, fire stations, pools, parks, trails, arenas, roads and sidewalks.
·        Capital project work plans typically span two to four years as they often include multiple stages such as feasibility studies, environment assessments, functional and detailed design and construction. 
 
Additional Links
News
Expanded Permissions for Additional Residential Units (Secondary Suites)
At the December 2nd Council Public Meeting residents were invited to comment on changes mandated by the Provincial Government that compel municipalities to allow zoning permissions for secondary suites (basement apartments etc.) in residential areas.

This change would expand the availability of more forms of affordable housing and is in keeping with the general principals of Richmond Hill’s wider strategy of increasing housing that is affordable to more people.

I am quite interested in hearing from the public on this issue because I believe this is an idea that has potential to benefit our community. However to realize this potential we must also take the opportunity to get the details right and community input is important to getting this right.

The number of members of the public that participated in this meeting was surprisingly low and I am concerned about that. No decisions were made at this Public Meeting so there is still an opportunity for residents to provide comment, including a survey that can be found at

David Dunlap Observatory Park Woodlot Restoration Update
Phase one of the David Dunlap Observatory Park woodlot restoration work is now complete. This work took place between 2017-2020 and involved hazard tree removals, treatment and removal of invasive trees and plants, as well as tree planting. City staff, together with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will continue to monitor the plantings and conduct required maintenance within the Phase one area over the next two years.
 
Phase two Restoration Activities and Planting Activities will commence shortly. Preserving and enhancing natural areas is one of eight key principles in the DDO Park Master Plan.

In order to fulfill this principal Richmond Hill is carrying out a multi-phased long-term plan to restore and create healthy woodlands throughout the park. Through this work, the DDO Park woodlands will be enhanced and expanded in order to create beautiful, accessible and diverse natural spaces that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
For more information, visit RichmondHill.ca/DDOprojects
Ford Government Proposal to Weaken Conservation Authorities Mandate
I am very concerned about the Ford Government's plans to change the powers and mandate of Conservation Authorities in Ontario regarding Planning Applications in wetland and flood prone areas. There are many such environmentally sensitive areas in Richmond Hill so the proposal is of particular importance for our community.

I have always felt confident that the input myself and Council receives from the Toronto Region Conservation Authority related to planning matters near wetlands and flood plains was based on sound and well researched science, but also based on considering the impact that a development application may have on the watershed as a whole, not just on the site specific area.

Watersheds are what TRCA and other conservation authorities look after and they have been performing that task well since Hurricane Hazel in the 1950's! The impact that a development has on a site or on a specific creek can have an impact all the way across the watershed and over several municipalities.

If anything, as we grow as a community, we need stronger Conservation Authorities, not weaker. This proposed change would make Conservation Authorities weaker - this is not acceptable as we are trying to build more environmentally sustainable and resilient communities!

To learn more:

Environmental Defence News Release:
Livable Communities - November 06, 2020
The 2020 Ontario budget accelerates attacks on the environment on behalf of special interests - please click here to read it.

A video of an Environmental Defence Webinar is now available at https://cela.ca/we-need-our-conservation-authorities.../

The following article appeared in the November 11 edition of the Toronto Star,

Council To Reduce Single Use Plastics
As part of its ongoing commitment to Climate Change, Richmond Hill is working to reduce reliance on single-use plastic items across the community.
 
Single-use plastics refer to plastic products and packaging designed to be used only once before they are discarded. Examples include disposable cutlery, straws, stir sticks, shopping bags, single-serve condiment packets and take-out containers. Most of these items are not recyclable and too often end up as litter in the community or contamination in the City’s blue box program. This litter has consequences in our natural environment, harming wildlife through entanglement, direct consumption or by entering the food web in the form of micro plastics upon breaking down.
 
At the November 25 meeting, Council endorsed the City’s three-point plan to encourage the reduction of single-use plastics within the community. The following initiatives will be implemented starting in 2021:
 
1) Corporate Waste Reduction and Diversion Policy. Leading by example, the City will develop a corporate policy to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastic items at all City facilities, including the main Municipal Offices, as well as at City-run events. Reusable alternatives would be substituted wherever possible.
 
2) Public education campaign for residents and businesses. The City will work to increase the community’s general awareness and understanding of the environmental impacts of single-use plastic items and encourage the use of more sustainable options such as reusable shopping bags and masks.
 
3) Business recognition program. Many businesses in the community are already making positive, voluntarily changes. The City, in collaboration with York Region, will create a program to identify and recognize businesses who have made proactive commitments to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic items and have other waste reduction and diversion initiatives in place.

This plan will work in concert and support broader direction from the Federal and Provincial governments, both of which have committed to introducing bans on certain single-use plastics in the near future.

Member Motion - Controlling Traffic on Local Streets

Traffic issues on local roads are the single most frequent concern that I receive from residents. As Richmond Hill has grown over the past 7 years the frequency of these concerns has also grown. I think it is very important that our Traffic Engineering Staff be supplied with the tools, policies, and procedures that are up to date and available to reactively but also proactively respond to traffic related concerns.

To respond to this need I presented the following motion to Richmond Hill Council in October and it was passed this month.

To view the Traffic Safety in Richmond Hill Staff Report SRPI.20.037 please click here.

Councillor West Member
Controlling Motion Traffic on Local Streets

Whereas traffic safety is an important issue in all Greater Toronto Area (GTA) communities including Richmond Hill;

Whereas Richmond Hill’s population is growing and with this growth comes a commensurate increase in traffic volumes, it is therefore very important that municipalities like Richmond Hill are able to manage these increased volumes and respond to traffic issues when they arise over time;

Whereas there has been a noticeable increase in traffic related concerns from residents in the recent past, and especially during the current COVID-19 shut down period;

Whereas to address these increases in traffic concerns, Richmond Hill traffic staff and Council must be properly resourced to deal with the issues and meet the expectations of our residents;

Now Therefore Be It Resolved:
That Council send a letter to the Ministry of the Attorney General and to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario to expedite the permissions from the Province that need to urgently be put in place to allow the revenue from photo radar devices placed in school zones to be a part of the municipal Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) program so that the cost of this program will not be prohibitive to local municipalities like it currently is;

That the Traffic Safety Supervisor position that is already approved in a previous budget be hired immediately.

That as soon as this position is filled, Council direct staff to complete the long scheduled but not yet started, Traffic Operations Study which will bring forward sound and updated policies to expand and guide the range of traffic safety, traffic management and traffic calming measures that can be used as appropriate, and when necessary, to better control traffic on municipal roads.
Richmond Hill Makes Positive Strides on Climate Change
Richmond Hill has won two awards recognizing its efforts to creatively educate residents about the local effects of climate change and engage them in the development of the City’s climate change plans: 
-      an Award of Distinction from the So(cial) Good Design Awards for the Resilient Richmond Hill video. This animated video takes viewers on a journey through the city to learn the importance of climate change actions, including the Community Energy and Emissions Plan.
-      the Best Web GIS Award by BeSpatial/URISA Ontario, the premier geospatial and information non-profit organization in Ontario, for the Resilient Richmond Hill Story Map. This online resource features local climate data and creatively captures stories and feedback from the community.
 
At the November 25 Council Meeting, Council also endorsed the City’s new Climate Change Framework. This internal framework will position the City to manage climate change more effectively by:
 
·        Applying a climate change lens to how we manage the organization and its assets and how we plan for land use and development
·        Creating climate change action programs that lower climate risks and increase green infrastructure in our communities
·        Fostering collaboration and innovation by engaging with our residents, businesses and partners
 
The Resilient Richmond Hill program, including the Climate Change Framework, is just one of the ways Richmond Hill is working to protect our natural environment and lead the way towards a more sustainable future.

The next step in our efforts include the Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP). One of the final steps in passing this plan is consideration by Council of a staff report on December 9th. To view this staff report please visit - https://pub-richmondhill.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=37248 

To read an article written by Sheila Wang following the Council Meeting on November 25 entitled "Richmond Hill adopts climate change framework, starting single-use plastics reduction" please click here.
 
Upcoming Events
Mill Pond Gallery Art Show and Sale
Saturday, December 5 to Sunday, December 20
 
The month of December features original artwork by 8 of our talented members.

For more information click the Learn More button. Visit us Live or Virtually at rhga.ca

City of Richmond Hill's First Night Event 


Planning for Richmond Hill's First Night event is underway. Subscribe to receive email updates by clicking the Learn More button...Happy New Year!




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
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