From the Desk of Mayor David West
November E-Newsletter 2022
Dear Neighbours, In November we celebrated the Inauguration of the new Richmond Hill. As I listened to the Council speeches, I was struck by the reoccurring theme of collaboration, gratitude, and mutual respect each Member expressed. My initiative to kick start our new term was to introduce a Richmond Hill Council Pledge capturing our commitment to Richmond Hill and each other. I was delighted that my colleagues were quick to agree and at the Inauguration all Council Members all signed the Richmond Hill Council Pledge. This is the inclusive Council conduct our City and our residents expect of us. I am taking that spirit of inclusivity and collaboration with me into the new term of Council. In December we will celebrate Hanukah, Shabeh Yalda, Christmas, Kwanza, and New Years Eve. I hope that you find moments to enjoy family, friends, fellowship, and the best of the season. May 2023 be filled with laughter, health and goodwill for you and yours, sincerely from the West Family. Sincerely, Mayor David West City of Richmond Hill
Winter Fun in Richmond Hill – December Community Events
December is a busy month, as many faiths recognize important holidays and Canadians rush to embrace all that winter offers. In Richmond Hill this month there are so many ways to have fun that I won't be able to capture them all, but let's try!
As thoughts of holidays and celebrations enter our minds, please remember that this year more than ever the Richmond Hill Food Bank is in need of our support. Many Richmond Hill events, schools, and groceries stores are accepting donations. You can also visit the Food Bank in person with your donations. Thank you #InclusiveRH
There are excellent performance opportunities planned for the month of December and I hope you will be able to appreciate that we have this diversity of Arts entertainment available, right here in Richmond Hill.
The first Council meeting was productive and rewarding.
I was happy my Member Motions were so well received by my colleagues and passed unanimously. The two motions I am most excited about are:
- reinstating the Committee of the Whole meetings
- reinstating the Community and Cultural Grant Program
I believe these are great first steps to reinvesting in our community and democracy.
It was also a pleasure to present Larry Li with the William F. Bell Young Entrepreneurs Award.
Please continue to stay informed and connected to our Council meetings – you can attend or watch them on the City YouTube channel.
Bill 23 More Homes Built Faster
At the first Council meeting, Richmond HillCouncil joined with other municipalities in voicing our request to the Province to pause proposed Bill 23 and engage in meaningful consultation. It is disappointing that so many citizens’ and municipalities voices have been ignored with the passing of this controversial bill on November 27th.
I’ve been unwavering in my response to this legislation and I have made my stance known in two interviews:
I continue to have many concerns about the impacts of Bill23 to our community. While I am encouraged by the province’s objective in presenting the Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, my main concerns are the environmental impact and the Municipal financial impact of this Bill.
1. Removing Development Charges (DC) for builders simply passes the financial burden of creating necessary infrastructure to support the new homes on to Municipalities and ultimately, tax payers. Additionally, the assurances that these reduced DCs will equate to more affordability for home buyers need to be baked into the legislation to ensure tax dollar subsidies are being effectively spent otherwise these discounted DCs are just a gift to developers.
2. I believe that we need to work collaboratively with environmental experts when building new homes. The TRCA has been a longstanding environmental advisor, protecting our communities, ecologically speaking. Why is this government changing their role?
At York Region Council, I seconded a motion tabled by my colleague from Markham, Mayor Scarpitti, to pause this Bill until a fulsome consultation could be completed to address the concerns of Municipalities. https://conta.cc/3UZTF7z
I have been working closely with my Municipal colleagues at the Ontario Big City Mayors to share our input and concerns with the Provincial government.
Media outlets are continuing to talk about this legislation and its’ broad implications for citizens. I was recently quoted in this Toronto Star article.
Now we will have to turn our attention to working with the Province to address the ramifications of their Bill23 to the best of our ability. I am cautiously optimistic but in the end our message is clear – if growth does not pay for growth, our taxpayers will be forced to pay for it or we will do without critical related infrastructure. Both consequences are unacceptable.
I will continue to fight for what is best for Richmond Hill; affordable housing that does not compromise services, our environment, or our pocketbooks.
Follow my social media and the Ontario Big City Mayors for the latest news about Bill 23.
December Heritage Dates
Canada has three heritage dates in December:
- December 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- December 10 Human Rights Day
I continue to make note of Federal and Provincial Heritage Dates because as Canadians, we celebrate each other, our diversity, and our inclusive attitudes. I hope to cultivate awareness in our City as we continue to grow and diversify.
Let’s continue to SHOW our diversity, our equity, and our inclusive attitudes through actions.
Mackenzie Health Telephone Town Hall
There will be a telephone townhall on
Wednesday, December 7th
at 7 p.m.
All residents will receive a call on their landline. If you wish to receive the call on another number, please register it here.
Christmas Trees, Yard Waste and Snow Removal
Yard waste collection is almost over, scheduled until December 9 on your regular waste collection day.
And when the time comes for taking down the Christmas tree, you can visit the City website for the collection dates in your neighbourhood.