It’s hard to believe it’s 2023! The end of 2022 saw a big milestone for me personally, the eighth consecutive time residents elected me as their Councillor, it is both an honour and honourable to continue serving our community on Pickering Council.
An even bigger blessing in November was the birth of Brenda‘s and my first grandchild, Asher, to loving parents, our daughter and son-in-law, Alison and Cooper. Our daughter Amanda and Stephen became engaged and are currently having an adventure living and working in Vancouver.
One of the early challenges facing the city is addressing the many changes the provincial government has announced and implemented to land use planning and housing with the intention of providing more housing, more quickly, and more obtainable. Many municipalities (including the City of Pickering), municipal organizations, and other agencies have raised concerns ranging from mayoral powers, impacts on taxpayers and city finances, environmental protection, and the loss of development charges for important community amenities. This along with recent high inflation and the increases in construction costs is going to make for tough city budget meetings.
Planning continues at the Region of Durham to bring lands in Northeast Pickering on either side of Highway 407 into the urban boundary as a new community known as Veraine. It is proposed to be a completely mix-use community to live, work and play. I have supported a much-needed new hospital in Pickering in this area, and I also recently supported in this area an applicant’s request for a provincial MZO for a new 128-bed Long Term Care facility and affordable housing, but it was not supported by a majority of Pickering Council.
For those of you using FaceBook, you will know that I continue to visit and promote our many small business and talk with owners about the challenges and opportunities. Friend me on FB, if you have not already, to hear about these businesses and other interesting spots in Pickering.
I am hopeful this year will see several final plans and capital projects: a downtown centre with youth and seniors centres, a new library, a performing arts centre, and a public square, the first new school in years Creekwood on Dersan Road, a new fire station on Brock Road, and other roads, recreational and municipal amenities. Stay tuned for more news.
Our city will always be a work in progress and I hope you will continue to work constructively with me to make our community great.
Regional Councillor, Ward 3