Councillor Highlights

1.  Indigenous Water Day Event at Beynon Fields Public School
In celebration of National Indigenous Month in Canada (June), a local Richmond Hill group that I helped form, called Pathways Towards Reconciliation, sponsored an event at Beynon Fields Public School where approximately 180 grade 5 and 6 students where treated to a presentation by local Indigenous leader Suzanne Smoke and a number of her guests. 
The event featured Jacob Charles leading the big drum, and a traditional dance presentation by Cedar Smoke who also lead the students in a traditional ro und dance. Ms. Smoke’s group spoke about the rich culture of First Nations people in York Region and North America, and addressed some of the important issues of Reconciliation with First Nations people that we are presently working through in Canada. A number of excellent questions were asked by the students and answered by the Indigenous leaders in attendance.
It was an honour and privilege to support this work. Meegwetch to Suzanne Smoke, Jacob Charles, their crew, and the teachers at Beynon Fields Public School for the wonderful learning that was brought to our youth.
2. Mayor’s Monarch Pledge partners with Bee City Canada
During the last term of Council I introduced two motions that directed staff to help protect pollinating insects such as bees while also helping to protect the threatened Monarch Butterfly. As a result, in an effort to protect our “bee-sy” pollinators, Richmond Hill partakes in the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and partners with Bee City Canada! 
To learn more about the two initiatives and the City’s pollinator commitments, visit: #PollinatorWee k

As a part of the Mayor’s Monarch pledge, Richmond Hill is encouraging citizens toplant milkweed on their property. Milkweed is the only food source for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars and is essential to their survival. 

Last year I planted milkweed in my front yard garden and this year I noticed a Monarch Butterfly caterpillar that  appreciated my effort! This caterpillar’s offspring will be the ones that make the flight in the fall back to Mexico. 

I have noticed a real rebound in the number of Monarch Butterflies across Ontario and I am proud of the efforts made in communities like Richmond Hill, with the signing of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge several years ago. 
We are all doing our part to make a positive difference!
3.  The Stanley Cup came to Richmond Green
If you were born after 1967 you know that seeing the Stanley Cup in the Toronto area is a rare occurrence! This is a real shame. Richmond Hill was able to fix this problem in July when our native son, Jordan Binnington, the rookie goalie for NHL Champion St. Louis Blues, brought the Stanly Cup to our community.  
The parade route around Richmond Green was packed with fans cheering for Jordan. On behalf of Richmond Hill Council , Mayor Barrow presented Jordan with the key to the city. Jordan is only the second athlete to be presented with this honour (the other was Elvis Stojko).  
Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues and a big thank you to a real class act, Jordan Binnington, for remembering his home town and sharing this honour with all of us!  Click here to read an article by on the event.
4.  Richmond Hill Art School Art Expo
Thank you to Natasha Tolub from the Richmond Hill Art School for inviting me to enjoy the annual Richmond Hill Art School Student Art Expo. It is always a pleasure to see such creative and beautiful  work from Richmond Hill’s young people.  
David with School owner Natasha (Photos courtesy of snapd Richmond Hill)
David with some of the talented artists (Photos courtesy of snapd Richmond Hill).
5. Yonge North Mitsubishi Grand Re Opening
Congratulations to Yonge North Mitsubishi on the Grand Re Opening of the Yonge North Mitsubishi automotive dealership. It is always exciting to attend events that support the local businesses in Ward 4 and Richmond Hill. I wish them all the best in their future endeavours and thank them for their investment in our community.
6. Times Square Summer Music Festival 
Thanks to the businesses of Times Square and to the organizers of the annual Times Square Music Festival. The event featured a number of very talented Richmond Hill and York Region artists as well as a number of businesses offering great food and an excellent cultural experience. 
It is clear that music is alive and well in Richmond Hill and it is really great to see local businesses supporting this talent. The whole community benefits from partnerships like this.
7. Congratulations to All of this Year’s Graduates
Late June is a time of change and new beginnings for many school age students. As a parent I know the excitement and promise that graduations bring to exciting new beginnings. Congratulations to the many students that graduated various stages of their school life this past June. In particular I would like to congratulate the hundreds of students that graduated from all three Ward 4 High Schools, Alexander Mackenzie High School, St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School and École Secondaire Norval-Morrisseau. 
I was proud to be able to attend the the St. Theresa of Lisieux CHS graduation ceremony and present the City’s Ann Gold Scholarship award to two deserving graduates.
8. Towards a Plan – Strengthening Canada’s Position in the Arctic 

I was recently honoured to be invited to a conference titled Toward a Plan – Strengthening Canada’s Position in the Arctic. The conference was hosted by Richmond Hill resident Irvin Studin, in partnership with Global Brief and the Institute for 21st Century Questions. Discussion centered around going beyond the Arctic stereotypes of Inuksuks, Polar Bears and Northern Lights, and toward a better understanding of the importance that this vast part of our country plays in our collective future.
As Northwest Territory Premier Bob McLeod said, the future of the Arctic is of national concern.  Nunavut Premier Savikataaq made the point that there is a great need for infrastructure investment in order to realize a future benefit for the region.  It was a great pleasure to meet both NWT Premier McLeod and Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq. Both of these leaders are of Inuit heritage and it was interesting to discuss these issues from their perspective. The challenges that both of these leaders face are daunting, but are important to Canada.
Climate Change is currently bringing changes and opportunities to the area with increased demand for shipping and resource exploitation, as well as issues with sovereignty. These issues need to be discussed and responsibly acted upon. The point was made that the Arctic region is bigger than the European Union but the population is only about half that of Richmond Hill.
 Nunavut Premier Savikataaq (L) and NWT Premier McLeod (R) 
Conference organizer Irvin Studin
9. Ribfest Richmond Hill 2019
Richmond Hill’s annual Rifest was a fun community event again this year. Ribfest is a three-day outdoor festival that features professional rib teams travelling to Richmond Hill from across North America. Ribbers cook and compete for various awards including Best Sauce and Best Ribs as decided by honorary judges. As always guests enjoyed great food and fun activities as well as great live music in Richmond Green Park.