Councillor Highlights

1.  Stop Bullying Day – Blue Shirt Day 

October marked international month to raise awareness to stop bullying at work.  We observed this event on Fri d ay, October 18, by raising the flag at the City of Richmond Hill – the first town to declare Stop Bullying Day – Blue Shirt day since 2010.  The blue flag, which is the colour for communication, was raised.  Proper communication is important to solve any problems at work.
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. York Region Official Plan Review Vision 2051
In preparation for the Region of York’s Official Plan update, called Vision 2051, local councillors from the nine municipalities in York were invited to the Regional Council Chambers to hear from two experts about the future of cities and urban planning. Nik Badminton, a futurist specializing in trends that impact communities, and Joe Berridge, an Urban Planner and author of the Perfect City, were the experts presenting their ideas on the future of Canadian Cities. These two gentlemen offered an interesting presentation that touched on a myriad of issues that cities face currently, and in the future.

 
There are many components that must converge to make cities great. Among those discussed were arts and culture, heritage built assets, libraries, parks, recreation programs, and the existence of universities.The challenges of Climate Change and energy use, as well as the related economic opportunities that the development of new green technologies represent, as well as future innovations in transportation technology and future needs related to urban form. In both presentations the important point was made that York Region is building for today but also for the future.
 
It was also pointed out that about one half of the economic activity in Canada happens in cities in Canada, and the GTHA accounts for about half of this half. It is clearly important that York Region, including Richmond Hill gets this planning exercise right. This is important, for not only for our citizens, but also for the wider population of our country. 
Richmond Hill is also beginning a process to update our own Official Plan and I look forward to engaging with citizens to hear from them as we move through this process. I will be reporting progress on this important process in my e newsletter soon.
 
3. Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2019
Josh Binstock
Richmond Hill recently honoured a number of deserving inductees into the Richmond Hill Sports Hall of Fame. People such as:
Blaine Angus an NHL Referee,  Bill Armstrong an NHL Hockey Player and Stanley Cup winning St. Louis Blues Assistant General Manager, 
Tommy Griffiths a Toronto Argonauts Football Player,  Josh Binstock an Olympic Beach Volley Ball player,  and the late Ed Santi a Sports Builder for his many contributions to amateur sport in Richmond Hill.  All of these individuals were honoured for their accomplishments and contribution back to their hometown of Richmond Hill.
 
As the various inductees spoke, it was interesting how many spoke of the value of growing up in Richmond Hill and the fond memories that they carry as they compete around the world!  The class of 2019 joins a growing and impressive group of past inductees who have accomplished great things in sport with their career starting in  our community. For more information about the Sports Hall of Fame please visit  www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/Sports-Hall-of-Fame.aspx
 
Bill Armstrong

 

 

 

4. Hispanic Heritage Month
One of many talented performers
Norma Trivino – Organizer of the event
October was declared Hispanic Heritage Month in Richmond Hill. 
 
Thanks to Richmond Hill  Norma Trivino  for hosting a celebration of Hispanic, art, music, dance and culture at Cosmo Music. We are lucky in our community to have the Hispanic culture, and many others, to enrich our lives.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5.  Break the Silence for Yellow Brick House
On October 2, citizens from across York Region came to Break the Silence toward ending violence against women and their children in our community. Yellow Brick House hosted their second annual Break the Silence fundraiser and walk. As an organization, Yellow Brick House has been providing Emergency Shelter and counselling for victims of domestic violence for many years. Today’s event was hosted by the boys and faculty of St. Andrews College. As Yellow Brick House Executive Director  Lorris Herenda  said “the young people in attendance today are the leaders of tomorrow and will speak the language of equality”. 
 
It was great to be joined by a number of other York Region Councillors including  Rachel Gilliland  and John Gallo from Aurora, Mayor Taylor from Newmarket, and Deputy Mayor Hamilton from Markham.
 
 
 
6.  Remembrance Day
I can think of no better opportunity to reflect on what is important in our lives and the life of our community than the Annual Remembrance Day Services at our Richmond Hill Cenotaph. Together with the community we expressed our thankfulness for the service of the brave men and women who fought for (and continue to fight for) our freedom and democracy. We honour and thank them and their families for their sacrifice. Lest We Forget.
 
 
 
7.  The Climate Crisis and Municipal Leadership
Climate Change is clearly an important issue that is presently being discussed at all levels of government in Ontario across Canada. Earlier this year I presented a Member Motion to Richmond Hill Council to declare a Climate Emergency in Richmond Hill and join a growing list of other municipalities in Ontario that have taken this action as a first step that would lead to further real action. Unfortunately the motion was deferred with a staff report scheduled to come back to Council early next year. Hamilton Council was recently successful in declaring a Climate Emergency and is now looking at taking further steps to address Climate Change and its impacts in their community.
 
I was able to attend a meeting hosted by Hamilton Councillors Wilson, Farr, Nann and Danko for residents of Hamilton, entitled The Climate Crisis and Municipal Leadership. The event featured a frank presentation by Diane Saxe, the former Environmental Commissioner for Ontario, and a panel discussion with Hamiltonians about the work that Hamilton is about to embark upon to respond to Climate Change in their community, and to work towards transitioning Hamilton to a lower carbon community.
 
I always find it interesting to see the similarities and differences between communities and I also find it interesting to learn from the experience in other municipalities. I look forward to seeing a report back from our Environmental Staff on what Richmond Hill is already doing, and can further accomplish in this regard. I also look forward to using learning from across the province to make further actions a reality in Richmond Hill.
 
8. Richmond Hill Launches Community Engagement Phase of Resilient Richmond Hill
A good crowd came out to the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts to help launch our Climate Change Initiative called Resilient Richmond Hill. This ongoing initiative will help Richmond Hill deal with the impacts of Climate Change as well as work towards making our community more carbon neutral. The audience heard from our Environment staff about Resilient Richmond Hill but was also treated to a screening of the award winning film Anthropocene : The Human Epoch. The Canadian film maker Jennifer Baichwal was on hand to answer questions after the film screening.  For more information and details on how you can be involved visit  www.richmondhill.ca/en/find-or-learn-about/Climate-Change.aspx  
 
 
9. Richmond Hill Innovators of the Year Awards
Congratulations  to four leading Richmond Hill Companies for being the first award recipients of the Richmond Hill Innovators of the Year Award. Amico is a medical healthcare products company, Edsby is an educational software company , iSign media is a public security software creator, and Opus1 Solutions is a digitized energy delivery solutions company working in the field of renewable energy and towards a decarbonized planet. In their acceptance speeches, all the recipients spoke of the great value of locating in Richmond Hill.  Congratulations  to all the winners!