President’s Report Fall 2010
As you may already be aware, on October 25 we will have a new councillor since Clive Doucet is running for Mayor. I wish him all the best in this endeavour and I think we would be extremely well served if he became Mayor, but at the same time it will be very sad to lose him as councillor. Clive has worked hard for us over the years and without his support we would not be where we are today. City staff and many other councillors have been rather unsupportive of small urban communities over the years, and Clive has constantly had to struggle against this resistance on our behalf. City staff priorities have been to build mega-structure recreational facilities, mostly in the suburbs where development charges go to pay for much of the infrastructure. Even getting windows in our community centre was a hard-fought battle. Obtaining funding for improvements to the playstructure in the park was another big victory that Clive worked for vigorously. City-wide, Clive has fought for many years against urban sprawl and in support of “smart growth” that makes the city run more efficiently and more economically. Sadly, Clive and the city as a whole have lost many battles on this front over the years, most notably the disastrous decision to cancel the north-south light rail plan, a mistake that we are paying for today with the huge increase in car traffic through our area from Riverside South as well as with the $37 million cost of the Siemens law suit settlement. On a personal note, let me say that Clive has been very supportive of my own work for the community and has been a good friend over the years. I wish Clive every success in his campaign – we would be very lucky if he became our Mayor on October 25th!
As of this writing we have five candidates for councillor, and in this issue of the Herald you will find information about them that we hope you will find useful in making your decision. Whomever you vote for, please be sure to vote on October 25th. Municipal politics is very important to all of us, and the city council makes decisions that greatly affect our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of those decisions have been made pretty badly in the last few years, and it is up to us, the voting public, to examine the issues and the candidates and make sure we are electing the best councillors that we can. There will be an all-candidates meeting on October 7 at Glebe Collegiate Institute Auditorium. The exact details of how this will unfold are still to be decided. It will definitely involve the councillor candidates, but it remains to be seen whether Mayoral candidates will be invited as well; it is difficult to plan these events when there are so many candidates (fifteen!).
By the time you read this, two developments in the community that we have been working on for a long time will have come to fruition. Firstly, we will have a sidewalk on Data Centre Road! No more risking your life going to Billings Bridge! The second is that the new play structure in Heron Park should be completed. All our fundraising efforts, combined with money that Clive was able to get for us from a city cash-in-lieu of parking fund, means our park will have much more equipment than we originally thought we could afford. There will be fitness equipment for teens as well as play structures for elementary-school age children and younger kids too. It will be a wonderful improvement to our community. Thanks to Maritala Robinson and Leo Derome for their tremendous work in leading the fundraising and planning effort! They have also lead the effort to spruce up the equipment that won’t be replaced, such as repainting the swings, along with a lot of other volunteers. Kudos, everyone!