David West  
Richmond Hill Ward 4 Councillor 
Monthly Newsletter 

September 2019






                         Phone:  905-771-2480      Mobile Phone:  416-346-3090       Email -  david.west@richmondhill.ca

Access Richmond Hill:  905-771-8800 -  After Hours Emergency Number:  905-884-8013

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Newsletter At A Glance
In this Issue
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EnviroFest In Richmond Hill

Bringing people together to build our community, and a working towards a clean and healthy environment have been two things that I believe are important in Richmond Hill. It is for this reason that I will be hosting an event that celebrates our local Richmond Hill 
enviro nment by bringing people together to learn more about how we can all work together toward a green and sustainable natural environment. On October 5th at the Mill Pond Park I will be hosting the first annual EnviroFest (complete information can be found below). 

At the EnviroFest there will be activities for young and old to enjoy and plenty of opportunities to learn about what both our municipality and individuals and groups are doing to care for our environment.

There will also be a number of businesses in attendance that promote environmentally focussed products and services. These experts will be there to speak to residents about these products and how they can help create a cleaner environment for us all.

Today across our country, municipalities like Richmond Hill are facing some daunting and complex challenges around climate change, waste disposal and single use plastics to name but a few issues. I believe we need strong leadership from governments at all levels to effectively tackle these problems. There are  also many actions that we we can all take individually to effect positive change. There is also no doubt in my mind that information related to what is already being done and what still needs to be done in our community is a key to success. The EnviroFest is designed to help to bring our community together to work toward this goal. 

I hope that you can join us for a fun and educational afternoon. I look forward to seeing you there.

Additionally, in this e newsletter there is information about two important development related issues currently taking place in Richmond Hill. A public Open House will be hosted regarding future plans for the The Downtown Local Centre Plans (near Highway 7 and Yonge St.), and a bylaw update will be the subject of a Council Public meeting in the coming days. More information related to both of these issues is contained below. Finally, news about some work that has just been completed on the newly acquired parkland at 71 Regent St., as well as information about future rehabilitation work being proposed to the Twickenham Storm Ponds is included below. 

As always I welcome your questions, comments and feedback about any information contained in this e newsletter.
David West 
Ward 4 Councillor Richmond Hill
Cell 416-346-3090
Office 905-771-2480

Banner Photo -Dancing to the great sounds of the Bee Gees Tribute Band - what a way to end the Summer Concerts in the Park Series at Mill Pond Park.  Photo courtesy of Chris Robart.
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 Councillor Highlights 

1.  Association of  Municipalities  of Ontario Conference 
AFN Grand Chief Perry Bellgard addressing AMO delegates
I was excited and proud to join over 2400 delegates from across Ontario at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. At that conference we discussed municipal issues and the future of municipalities in Ontario.

We kicked off the convention by singing O Canada and joined Ottawa Mayor Watson reciting a Land Acknowledgement honouring the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan. It was also great to listen to Chief Kirby Whiteduck of the Algonquin of Pikwakanagan, and Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Perry Bellgard, outlining their thoughts on successes and challenges that First Nations people have in our Country.

All of the municipal delegates have so much in common across this province and it was inspiring to share our challenges, great ideas, and learning to make our home towns the best they can be!
Kristin Murray and myself at AMO
Hazel and I speaking about Regional Governance
During the event we discussed Climate Change, Indigenous issues and reconciliation, recycling and municipal waste reduction, including reducing plastics, Opioids in our communities, sustainable and sta ble provincial funding for local governments. We also discussed issues around ensuring appropriate jurisdiction for municipalities to match resident expectations, Innovation and Economic Development, protecting against cyber attacks, providing affordable housing, Greenbelt preservation, and building liveable 

communities, to name a few topics of discussion.

I was honoured to speak to many more experienced colleagues about these important issues, like Mayor Hazel McCallion, and a number of less experienced colleagues like Kristin Murray, the first elected female Indigenous Councillor from Timmins. All colleagues shared valuable perspectives on successes and challenges in their communities.  Great work is happening in communities across the province and municipalities like ours are on the front line of this great work!

2.  Running to Save Monarchs and Pollinators
On September 20th in Toronto, marathon runners participating in a 4000 km relay race called the Monarch Ultra, arrived from the race starting point in Peterborough. This relay race will end in Mexico in about 2 months, and will trace
Cutting the Ribbon to some beautiful Pollinator themed art in Toronto 
the migration route that Monarch Butterflies use to get to their overwintering grounds near El Rosario, Mexico.  
Along with Toronto Councillor   Mike Layton I had the honour to speak to the gathering about the work Richmond Hill is doing to help protect the Monarch Butterfly and pollinators. E vent Organizer, and "Monarch Crusader",  Carol Pasternak, along with Jode Roberts from the David Suzuki Foundation organized this event. 

Several times during each of talks we were interrupted when live Monarch butterflies flew overhead, seemingly on cue, to receive cheers and applause from the kids (and adults) in attendance.  

While tackling most environmental problems it is crucial to remember all efforts count, and work being done by individual municipalities like ours across North America are collectively making a difference in the rebound of Monarch Butterfly numbers. I am proud of the role we are playing for pollinators and Monarchs in Richmond Hill!   To learn more about the Monarch Ultra Relay please click here .

3.  Tzu Chi Foundation Canada - Vegetarian Lunch
Tzu Chi Foundation was at The Richmond Hill offices recently to promote the healthy human and environmental benefits of increasing our consumption of plant based food relative to meat based food. It was a pleasure to speak to members of this group and enjoy the delicious vegetarian dishes. 
Tzu Chi Foundation Canada has had its own North Toronto Mission based here in Richmond Hill for over 20 years. They have brought the essence of Buddhism into practice by delivering charitable, humanitarian and environmental protection projects here in Canada and throughout the world.

3.  Terry Fox Runs in Richmond Hill
Excellent Volunteers at the Mill Pond Run

A number of members of Council joined Mayor Barrow to support the Terry Fox Run at the Mill Pond this past weekend. Each year we have two runs in Richmond Hill - the other was held at the Oak Ridges Community Centre. Terry's historic Marathon of Hope ran through Richmond Hill many years ago and our community continues to honour his legacy. 

I will forever remember as a young child, seeing him running on a remote part of the Trans Canada Highway in Northern Ontario and thinking this was something special! At the time I could not have known the huge impact that this courageous Canadian would have worldwide in promoting Cancer research. Thank you to the participants in both runs, and the Rotary Club and  Glemena Bettencourt for hosting these events each year.

4. Richmond Hill Focussed Events on  Reconciliation with First Nations in Canada
Bernie Farber presenting at RHCPA
I had the pleasure of attending two events in one week focussed on our Country's efforts around Reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. The first event featured a talk by Bernie Farber and a number of his guests, entitled A Canadian Genocide: Canada's Historical Treatment of its Indigenous People. The second event was hosted by the Richmond Hill Historical Society featuring Suzanne Smoke from Alderville First Nation, speaking about the historical treatment of First Nations in Canada. 

Both events were very well attended and were poignant and moving presentations about the history of Canada's treatment of First Nations People, the harm that this treatment has caused, and most importantly, what we can do as individuals and as a  country to move along a path to reconciliation. I was proud to attend and was very pleased to hear so many people in attendance asking excellent questions of the presenters.

Historical Society presenter Suzanne Smoke and friends

5. Moon Festival Festivities
Traditionally the Moon Festival, or Mid Autumn Festival marks the end of the summer harvest and has been celebrated for many  centuries in China, other parts of Asia, and the world. It is one of many celebrations that citizens of Richmond Hill, no matter what their cultural background, have an opportunity to celebrate. 

It continues to be a pleasure for me to attend these celebrations each year. I would like to thank MPP Daisy Wai for inviting me to her festivities and also to the newly formed Mill Pond Community Organization for their invitation. Happy Moon Festival to all that celebrate! May the round moon bring you a happy family and a successful future. 


6. 2019 Ontario Provincial Novice Lawn Bowling Championships in Richmond Hill
Jean giving me tips on Lawn Bowling
I was proud to bring greetings from Council to open the Provincial Novice Lawn Bowling Championship hosted by the Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling Club. I had a chance to speak to competitors  from across the province and also to speak to long term Richmond Hill Lawn Bowling club member, past provincial Champion, and  Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame,  Jean McCron.  
Jean performing the Ceremonial First Bowl with competitors in the background

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Ward 4 Development Applications

There are a number of development applications active in Ward 4 that continue to generate significant interest from residents.  This newsletter section is intended to keep everyone informed and updated about the status of these applications. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all active development applications in the ward, but a brief synopsis of select applications. Please feel free to contact me at david.west@richmondhill.ca if you have questions about applications described below or questions about an application that is not included here. 

A good general resource related to Land Use Planning can be found on the Minstry of Municipal Affirs website at  www.ontario.ca/document/citizens-guide-land-use-planning

1.  Omnibus Zoning By-law  Amendments - Downtown Area 
On October 16th there will be a Council Public Meeting to discuss a proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment for the Village Core in order to help facilitate revitalization of the area, new development, and business uses. This will assist landowners in the area to have more choices that are available to them when leasing out their spaces and is intended to open up opportunities for a more streamlined process to promote a greater variety of businesses to locate in the Village Core. Combined with the newly expanded Community Improvement Plan that gives owners financial incentives to complete facade improvements to their properties, it is hoped and expected that much needed and overdue revitalization of this area may happen at a faster pace than in the past. 
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First Richmond Hill Ward 4 EnviroFest
The 1st Ward 4 Richmond Hill Environment Festival will be taking place at the Mill Pond Park on October 5th from 1-4PM. Bring the whole family for information, activities, and displays about our Natural Environment as well as an opportunity to speak to experts in various environmental fields. 

We will also be hosting a Water Talk from an Indigenous perspective. We hope you and the whole family can join us for a fun and educational afternoon at the Mill Pond!

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Targeting Climate Change - Mobilizing Richmond Hill for Action!

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71 Regent Street Park Improvements

I was pleased that our Parks staff have now completed some interim work on the site of the parklands at 71 Regent Street. These lands previously housed a now demolished building. The foundation area of this building has been regraded and seeded in order to better open up the area to residents. A pathway through this newly renovated area was also installed. 

The next step will be to determine, through the Mill Pond Park Master Plan process, what additional future work will be done in order to achieve the final form of this parkland. I expect that decisions in this regard can be made in the near future so that the additional work can be completed.

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Richmond Hill Secondary Plan Study

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Twickenham Pond Rehabilitation Project
In an effort to ensure that our residents are properly protected from flooding during storm events, and to ensure our future capacity to deal with larger storms it is important that our stormwater ponds operate at peak efficiency. As a part of this process work is commencing to provide rehabilitation of a series of ponds in the Twickeham Park area. Anyone living in this area is invited to join the meeting described below.

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Richmond Hill Art and Studio Tour 2019

The Art & Studio Tour showcases many different disciplines of art, providing visitors the opportunity to meet the artists in their homes, studios, or at community spaces. Historic and city venues such as the Richmond Hill United Church, Heritage Centre, Elgin Barrow Arena and Boynton House provide unique backdrops for the artist's exhibits. The Curtain Club Theatre and Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts add a creative atmosphere for the Tour. The Mill Pond Card and Gift Store and the OceanArt Gallery, pair the artists with creative industries in Richmond Hill. 

The connections made between the artists, community and local businesses builds support for the arts and demonstrate that Richmond Hill is a vibrant city. Be sure to enjoy this self-guided free tour throughout Richmond Hill and visit as many sites as possible. If you prefer  book your spot for $20  on one of three art buses running during the Tour and leave the driving to someone else. The artists are looking forward to meeting you!  

For more information please click here or call 905-787-1441 ext. 222.
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Yellow Brick House
Break the Silence - Step in My Shoes!

Again this year, I will be walking in support of the work that Yellow Brick House has been doing around the elimination of domestic violence in our community. This year's walk will be hosted at St. Andrew's College in Aurora on November 3rd. I hope you can join us. For more information or to register to participate please visit yellowbrickhouse.org
Myself and Markham Councillor Don Hamilton at last year's walk

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Snow Windrow-Clearing Program
New this winter, Council has approved a driveway snow windrow clearing program. There are some important changes that residents will need to know related to this program, including on street parking restrictions during a snow clearing event, and slightly modified requirements for residents when a snow fall event occurs on a waste collection day. For all information related to snow removal please visit the City's Website .   On this site you can register for email notifications  when a snow clearing event is occurring .

Also available,  RH Plows , is an  online app that allows you to track the snow removal activities in your neighbourhood. It shows where our road and sidewalk plows are working and where they've been. It also provides other important details, like dash cam images from the plows and weather data from Environment Canada.

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Climate Change
Together Let's create a Resilient Richmond Hill

To learn more about what Richmond Hill is doing around Climate Change please visit this booth at the EnviroFest ,or visit online at 

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My Waste is now Recycle Coach

If you are like me and sometimes have trouble remembering when various types of waste are to be picked up, and the recycle calendar is not always handy. I think that this free Recycle Coach App is for you. It is a very simple app that can be set to remind citizens about waste collection days at any address in the community. No more looking out the window at your neighbour's garbage set out to determine what waste collection day it is!

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Neighbours for the Planet
I wanted to introduce my readers to a really great grass roots initiative taking place in Richmond Hill. Neighbours for the planet is a new group that has formed to further discussion and action at a grass roots neighbourhood level. This group is made up of neighbours living in our community and they have quickly taken a leadership role in advancing issues related to Climate Change in Richmond Hill. It is clear that residents are concerned about climate change and are willing to take action even though our elected officials are sometimes not as bold. If you are interested in this issue I would encourage you to reach out to this group.

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RHCPA Speaker Series

Thursday September 12, 2019 - 7:30 pm ( only evening talk) ~ Bernie Farber : A Canadian Genocide: Canada's Historical Treatment of its Indigenous People
Thursday, September 26, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ James Lockyer: Wrongful Convictions in Canada
Thursday, October 3, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ Helena Moncrieff: Discovering the Urban Orchard
Thursday, October 10, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ John Lorinc: The Ward
Thursday, October 17, 2019 (10am to 12pm)  ~ Dr. Aurel Braun: Assessing the Middle East Chessboard
Thursday, October 24, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ Carolyn Harris: Royal Parenting from Medieval to Modern Times
November 7, 2019   (10am to 12pm) ~ Ted Barris: The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

To purchase tickets click on your preference.  Or call the box office at 905 787-8811
  • Speaker Series (all 6 daytime talks) - $70 . click HERE
  • Bernie Farber - $20  Click HERE
  • Speaker series + Bernie Farber - $85. Please call the box office to purchase this discounted package

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Great Things To See And Do Around Town

Looking for interesting things to do this month in our Community? Look no further - below is a listing of various community events that I would like to promote on behalf of the various organizers                                                                                                              

Curtain Club Theatre -  Weekend Comedy
September 13-28

Tickets at www.thecurtainclub.org - 905-773-3434

Hill House Hospice 
Catch the Ace Proressive Lottery

What is Catch the Ace?
Catch the Ace Lottery is a Progressive Lottery.
Each week tickets are sold for the opportunity to select the Ace of Spades from a deck of 52 regular playing cards. Prior to the draw, each of the 52 playing cards were placed in brown envelopes. The envelopes were shuffled and numbered 1 to 52.

When tickets are purchased the buyer chooses an envelope number  from a list of available numbers, then enters the number on their ticket.

Each week one ticket is drawn. The holder of that ticket automatically wins 20% of that week's sales. The envelope number noted on the ticket is opened. If the card inside is not the Ace of Spades the card is destroyed and is no longer available for future draws. If the envelope selected is the Ace of Spades then the lottery is finished and the ticket holder wins the weekly prize plus the Ace of Spades pot.

Each week the Ace of Spades progressive pot grows by 30% of the weekly sales.   Each week the lucky winner of the draw receives 20% of the weekly sales.   50% of the weekly sales will go to Hill House Hospice.

TRCA Fall Events

FALL 2019
Saturday October 5 and Sunday October 6
9 AM - 4:30 PM
LOCATION:         Delmanor Retirement Residence
                           80 Elgin Mills Road E.Richmond Hill, ON  L4C 0L3
                           Lunch included courtesy of Delmanor Retirement Residence
Saturday November 30 and Saturday December 7
9AM - 4:30 PM
LOCATION:          Richmond Hill United Church
                            10201 Yonge St. Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3B2
COST:                     $195.00 per person. Includes MHFA manual
One in five people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime. As a result, this course was developed to help people provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health problem or is experiencing a mental health crisis. This 12 hour course teaches mental health first aid skills.

MHFA training will teach the participants to:
  • Recognize the symptoms of mental health problems
  • Provide initial help
  • Guide a person toward appropriate professional help
  • Provide help to prevent the mental health problem from becoming more serious
  • Reduce stigma towards those experiencing mental health problems
Who should attend?
Everyone can benefit from MHFA Canada training - members of the general public, teachers, health services providers, university students, emergency workers, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resource professionals, employers, community groups.
To Register Contact:
Susan Kagan - kagan_51@hotmail.com or by calling  416-458-0326

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Ward 4 Community Corner - Your Shot

Last Concerts in the Park Summer Series
Bee Gees Tribute Band entertain the crowd August 22

Photos courtesy of Chris Robart

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