Council's Strategic Priorities were set in place for the next four years. And partisan alliances seem to have returned, disappointingly.
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/yNXRBVZMw2k
After the recognition of the 2022 Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Campaign, Major Bruce Shirran from the Barrie Bayside Mission was able to address Council about the services provided by the Salvation Army and partners – hopefully it helped Council understand how great the needs are in our city.
Other than some changes to the street names proposed for the Mattamy Homes (Lockhart) Subdivision in Ward 9, Council moved quickly through the Agenda items. So it was a bit surprising to hear the Mayor call for a 10-minute recess! It turns out there was a "Motion Without Notice" regarding Bill 23 – which it appears the Mayor thought would take much more time than it did (not that there wasn't a certain amount of heel-digging).
Councillors Riepma and Nixon had put forward a motion to ask the Province to fund the expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Facility ($250 million) to help meet the housing targets outlined in Bill 23 – especially since Bill 23 also significantly reduces the development charges and parkland levies available to the City for construction of this infrastructure, and the City is projected to have a $90 million reduction in funds to invest in infrastructure for affordable and attainable housing over the next 5 years. There was a time factor, as Mayor Nuttall would be attending the Big City Mayors conference on Friday, and wanted to have this motion in hand.
The Mayor was correct in his assumption that there would be push-back – Councillors Harvey, Harris and Morales jumped in quickly to obstruct, with Morales even claiming the wording wasn't factual, but Nuttall clarified that the facts in the wording were from the report received, and the motion was defended well. There was a concession to take out two "whereas" paragraphs, to help push this motion through. It was disappointing to see those three Councillors fighting on behalf of the provincial government, instead of fighting for the City – especially considering that the $250 million for the Waste Water Treatment Facility and the projected $90 million in lost revenue will ultimately be coming from Barrie taxpayers – who are the people our City Council is supposed to represent. Despite their recent "refresher session" regarding the City's Code of Conduct, they seem to have already forgotten sections 5.2, 5.8 (a), and 5.11.
In the end, though, the motion (as amended – which was only some of the "whereas" wording, none of the proposed actions) was carried, it didn't take more than half an hour to get it passed, and Mayor Nuttall was able to take that motion to the Big City Mayors conference. Whether the City's request is honoured, time will tell.
Strategic Priorities Session
Watch Online: not available
The Strategic Priorities were set for the coming term! They are:
Affordable Place to Live
Encourage a range of housing options to make housing attainable
Open for business environment to help encourage job creation
Develop and attract talent to support our employers
Support neighborhood safety and crime prevention
Address speeding and aggressive driving to ensure street and pedestrian safety
Work with our partners to implement the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan
Support community-based policing initiatives
Champion equity, diversity, and inclusion
Create and foster programs and opportunities to support community wellness
Foster growth in arts and culture
Expand and maximize access to parks and recreation opportunities
Continue to support a vibrant downtown
Make it easier to move around the city
Fix roads that need attention
Update and improve infrastructure
Support active transportation and pedestrian connections
Implement climate action plans
Support the services our community needs while keeping tax increases low
Maintain focus on city core services
Financial stewardship which includes finding efficiencies and innovation
Advocating to other levels of government for support
Ensure accountability and transparency (this is, of course, a favourite of ours!)
Watch Again: https://youtu.be/MbNAAFlJGbY
Two Public Meetings – the first concerning a proposed residential development in Ward 4 (for which Morales declared a potential pecuniary interest), and the second to extend Liquidation Nation's temporary use bylaw while we wait for the new Official Plan to be approved.
The Zoning Bylaw Amendment for HIP Barrie Central was approved on consent, as was the Site Plan Control Application for 10-24 Grove Street West (both in Ward 2).
The main focus of this meeting was a presentation by Michelle Banfield, Director of Development Services, regarding the work being done on the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, designed to implement the vision and policies of the recently adopted Official Plan (still pending provincial approval). She gave Council a bit of background, and the strategic direction and vision for the City's Official Plan and new Zoning Bylaw.
The six themes of the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw are:
Urban Growth Centres, Waterfront Allandale GO Major Transit Station Area, and
Form-Based Zoning and Urban Design
Downtown Barrie BIA
Agenda: not provided
meeting not held, due to lack of quorum