PICKERING: Kudos to kouncillors BRENNER & ROBINSON


Kudos and compliments
to Kouncilors Maurice Brenner and Lisa Robinson!




Promise made, promise kept. During the election campaign, the promise of keeping the electorate informed via town halls was made. On Jan. 16, Councillors Brenner and Robinson came through.

More than two hundred Pickering residents packed the Eastshore Community centre meeting hall anxious to voice their concerns and to question the councillors regarding issues relative to WARD 1.

The first half of the meeting dealt with the City planning department’s activities and operations. Residents expressed fears that Pickering could become a mini-Toronto with its associated problems: high-rises, traffic congestion and large expenditures. Planning department spokesperson, Nilesh Surti, was masterful in explaining the ins and outs of the planning department’s work in dealing with the many varied applications and submissions it receives. He further expanded that the planning department was dealing with many concerns: parking problems, jobs creation, traffic congestion, commercial space, business reallocation, parks development, ethnic needs, and even celebrations and festivals such as the Santa’s parade and celebratory events at the city’s parklands and waterfront.

The residents expressed serious concerns about traffic congestion, noise pollution, towering condominiums, the din of Hwy 401, wind and blocked sunlight issues and the costs of development. Surti explained these concerns have been and still remain priorities as the city proceeds with its development plans initiated more than a decade ago. Many in the crowd feared that the highrise condos would destroy the tranquil character the city now enjoys. The anxieties being voiced seemed endless, but Surti and the two councillors responded with patience, understanding and empathy.

The authoritarian legislative superiority of the Ontario government was criticized by many of the attendees, to which Councillor Brenner responded with sympathy and compassion explaining that “We are very aware of the power of the Ontario government, but municipal authority is trumped by the provincial one.”

Costs, financing and potential revenue issues were tabled by another resident, “I would like to know how the city will manage the $20 million annual revenue it will be receiving from the casino.” Again, the councillors dealt with the issue as well as they could saying, “that revenue will be on council meeting agendas in the upcoming year,” so there was no definitive reply to the question.

The meeting seemed to generate more questions and concerns than productive answers but as Councillor Brenner underlined, many of the concerns were being tabled at council meetings and were currently in abeyance rather than forgotten conclusions. The meeting concluded after two hours of debate. Brenner, Robinson, and Surti responded with respect and appropriate recognition to every question, never being evasive or dodging a particularly tough question.

This town hall was a great success. Lisa Robinson displayed herself as a sympathetic and respectful politician who cares about her constituents. Maurice Brenner demonstrated patience, perseverance and understanding with each of his careful, comprehensive, and detailed responses.

Most of the departing Ward 1 residents likely left this meeting feeling they were not just heard by their elected representatives but that these politicians really listened.

The success of this town hall bodes well for future ones in Ward 1.

Councilors Brenner & Robinson

City Planning committee sits w councillors

Coiuncillor Brenner explains issues

Just a few VIPs in attendance


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