Local support worker hailed
At Tuesday’s (Nov 22) Perth council meeting, the Perth Medal was awarded to Jackie Hart. The Medal is awarded by the Mayor annually to a person who has shown the greatest distinction in a number of endeavours to benefit the community as a whole with no monetary gain to themselves. This may be in the fields of community work, fundraising, volunteerism, etc. Jackie who works at Tayside Community Support Services has a long list of volunteering and fundraising accomplishments for a number of area organizations and was accompanied at the council chambers by her family and friends. Jackie’s day job with Tayside focuses on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities but her efforts go far and beyond office hours and she continually organizes activities and outings that benefit both her clients and those they connect with in the community.
Public feedback reverses panel disbandment
Perth council did an about-face on at their Tuesday meeting when it came to the municipal climate advisory panel. At a committee of the whole meeting held earlier in the month, councilors voted to disband this volunteer group in favour of working with Lanark County’s climate change initiatives. The consensus around that table was that supporting efforts across a larger area with a larger population would bring more results than simply working through a small municipality. But according to almost every councilor, the public feedback they received was plentiful and unanimously in support of keeping Perth’s panel in place. Councilor Gary Waterfield put forward a motion to extend the term of the climate panel by one year, after the motion to disband it was defeated. His motion passed and staff will bring back revised terms of reference to a December meeting for discussion.
Perth council voices concerns with Ontario’s Building More Homes Faster Act
Perth council joined the growing list of Ontario municipalities expressing their concerns with the province’s Bill 23; Building More Homes Faster Act. At their council meeting they discussed and approved sending a letter from the mayor to Premier Ford and MPP Steven Clark, minister for municipal affairs and housing. In it they opposed the proposed increased ability to build on wetlands, when everyone is increasingly dealing with the effects of climate change at the local level. They noted concerns with the elimination of development charges on certain projects which would put financial burdens on existing taxpayers to cover new infrastructure related to growth. In addition they expressed their displeasure with the planned decrease in the percentage of affordable/attainable housing required in new developments compared to the town’s current Official Plan (down to 5% from 30%). Finally they took exception to the plan to remove the municipality’s ability to request a site plan for new housing less than ten (10) units. They noted that this hinders the ability of the municipality to have any oversight over proper storm-water management, landscaping, green space, etc. Council endorsed the letter which was forwarded before Queen’s Park’s deadline for comment on the legislation.