The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), at its annual inaugural meeting held last week in Kingston, appointed City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham as the 2020 chair and warden Rick Phillips as the 2020 vice-chair.
Lindsay Transit will be updating its fleet, adding a new route, creating bike racks on buses and upgrading transit software, among other changes after the Province announced new infrastructure funding.
Laurie Scott, minister of infrastructure, announced Kawartha Lakes has been nominated for funding under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). Ontario will be investing upwards of $790,000 to go towards new transit infrastructure projects.
The project is being nominated under the Public Transit stream of the ICIP, a 10-year, $30 billion fund created by Federal and Provincial levels of government to provide support to help municipalities repair or build critical infrastructure.
Members of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC) held a meeting with their provincial counterparts recently to discuss issues of interest for Eastern Ontario such as affordable housing, health care, emergency services and financial impacts on municipal service delivery.
The meeting, co-hosted by EOWC Chair Andy Letham and MPP Todd Smith (also Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), is an annual gathering of Provincial MPPs and the heads of Council from across the region.
The Ontario government is investing $71 million to improve mobile broadband and reliable cellular coverage across eastern Ontario, through the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).
The project will help residents, visitors and businesses get the broadband and cellular connections they need no matter where they are in the region.
About 10 per cent of rural eastern Ontario has no mobile broadband connection, leading to dropped calls, missed emergency services and a lack of opportunity.
At today’s Committee of the Whole meeting the first step was taken that could eventually see development fees relaxed for property owners who may wish to upgrade their buildings and turn them into livable spaces.
Mayor Andy Letham presented a memo to Council requesting that the Task Force currently reviewing development charges consider the following issues when writing a new by-law for January 2020:
On January 15, the province released proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a key document that governs growth within the municipality of Kawartha Lakes.
City staff and Mayor Andy Letham have been involved in ongoing consultation with Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and his staff. In August 2018, Letham and partners from Northumberland and Peterborough County led a delegation at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa to put forward local concerns. Other meetings and discussions have taken place throughout the last several months.
The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), at its annual inaugural meeting held last week in Kingston, elected City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham as the 2019 chair and Warden Jennifer Murphy as the 2019 vice-chair. Murphy is warden of the County of Renfrew and Mayor of the Township of Bonnechere Valley.
The role of the EOWC chair and vice-chair, elected on an annual basis, is to provide the main point of focus and contact for the Caucus and ensure that the key priorities move forward.
A week after being sworn-in, City of Kawartha Lakes Council assembled around its custom-designed triangular conference table in the heart of the refurbished chambers. They gathered to hear a presentation on retail cannabis sales and to approve appointments to boards, committees and CHEST Fund disbursements.
Cannabis Retail Storefronts
By the Jan. 22 deadline set by the Province, council must make a decision on whether to opt-in or opt-out of having private recreational cannabis retail storefronts in Kawartha Lakes.
CAO Ron Taylor and Senior Licensing Officer Alix Scarr, provided a presentation that served as an overview of federal, provincial, and municipal responsibilities and powers with respect to cannabis and outlined the financial implications for the decision council will be making.
On December 10, Mayor Andy Letham was invited to meet one-on-one with Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park. The meeting was one of seven held with mayors of municipalities across Ontario including Mississauga, London and Guelph.
Among the themes discussed, according to a City press release, were common goals of providing efficient and effective services. The premier recognized Kawartha Lakes’ early adoption of a restructured, streamlined council size. He also expressed approval for the municipality’s long-term financial planning and ability to tackle sizable infrastructure deficits. They discussed how Kawartha Lakes is taking proactive steps to ensure sustainability of the services and amenities its residents value most, as uncovered in core service reviews.
In his inaugural remarks at the City of Kawartha Lakes’ first council meeting, Mayor Andy Letham said he will convene a “community council advisory group” to get more public input.
It is imperative we do this, says the mayor, to uncover “vital local knowledge” that many people hold and which can be shared for the betterment of the community.
The mayor also envisions a committee of the whole meeting about once a month, done in a more informal way so as to be inclusive of community members who want to participate. He sees these meetings moving around Kawartha Lakes’ communities to avoid being so Lindsay-centric.