Annual General Meeting
November 2, 2009
- John Sankey, President
- Alan Asselstine, Treasurer
- Peter Brimacombe, Secretary
- Fred McLennan
- Gisèle Loiselle-Branch
- Liz Russell
- Jerry Beausoleil
- Maria McRae, Councillor
- Nichole Hoover, Assistant to Councillor
- John Fraser, Executive Assistant to Dalton McGuinty
- Eli Mikhael
- Peter Foulger
- Anne Kennedy
- Terry Kennedy
- Ian Schumacher
- Sheena Bolton, The News EMC
John Sankey: Introduced the Board of Directors. In the last year our focus has been on the Pathway to South Keys and traffic especially on Riverside Drive. We have supported the rezoning of the Taggart Property near Quintera but we need to alleviate the traffic problems. We have followed the development of the T&T Supermarket at 300 Hunt Club Road. Extra stop lights for the development are proposed and will probably be installed even though they will disrupt the traffic. Cost is the over-riding consideration: The developer will pay for the lights now but if the traffic increases then the City may have to pay for them. The Hunt Club In-Service Review looked at Hunt Club Road between the Airport Parkway and Bank Street. The Review should have also dealt with pedestrians and cyclists. Thanks to Liz Russell for her commitment to cleaning up McCarthy Road and thanks to the IBM employees for helping to clean up Uplands Drive and Uplands Park.
Ian Schumacher: He saw one accident near 300 Hunt Club already. Hunt Club doesn’t need any more stop lights. Will the new Strandherd Bridge relieve traffic on Hunt Club Road?
John Sankey: The Strandherd Bridge will relieve less than 10% of the traffic over Hunt Club Bridge. Access to developments on the Airport Land should be via a small road south of Hunt Club Road that leads to a few intersections with stoplights.
Eli Mikhael: Every day there are accidents at Hunt Club and Riverside. If every new business requires its own stoplights then congestion is going to increase. What about the proposed development of the Southern Corridor behind his house?
John Sankey: Hunt Club Bridge is at double its designed capacity. The Southern Corridor is on hold but will come back.
Jerry Beausoleil: Extra stoplights will disrupt Hunt Club Road. We have presented this fact at City Hall and submitted our objections in writing. The over-riding fact is that the developer will pay for the lights. The issue will raise itself again when the DND property is sold and developed.
Alan Asselstine: The City is aware of our objections and hopefully it will make a road south of Hunt Club to provide access to existing lights.
John Sankey: On the issue of extra stoplights on Hunt Club Road, it would be helpful if you could write letters of support to the City. He introduced John Fraser, Executive Assistant to the Premier Dalton McGuinty and asked him to explain the stimulus plan.
John Fraser: He would first like to encourage nominations for the Celebration 2010, Award for Community Sports Volunteer. Deadline for nominations has been extended to November 23, 2009.
Stimulus projects must be new projects not previously planned but which can be completed by March 2011. The Ontario Government will invest in health care, education and transportation in Eastern Ontario. The stimulus will provide for expansion of post-secondary institutions such as Algonquin College and Cité Collégiale. The knowledge economy is the future, Ontario must have the smartest and brightest. $189 million has been assigned to the Ottawa Convention Centre. It will attract more conventions.
In Ottawa, priority is on transit, pathways and integrated road and sewer. We really believe we have to build more transit. Riverside South is only going to get bigger. In terms of recreational infrastructure, Terry Fox Field will be rehabilitated. The Rideau Canoe Club, the RA Centre and the YMCA will receive stimulus money.
Eli Mikhael: The east-west transitway is the bottleneck. All the buses cannot get through downtown.
John Fraser: As far as partnership with the City, the Province is not walking away from the table. The City must deal with two major projects: Lansdowne Live and Light Rail.
Peter Foulger: The Province gives more funding to Toronto for its transit projects.
John Fraser: In Toronto, the Province pays 2/3 of the costs of transit because it owns Metrolinks which provides transit service to 27 separate municipalities around Toronto.
Peter Brimacombe: Is concerned that the stimulus is creating debt which our children and grandchildren must pay. Infrastructure projects have to work!
John Fraser: The Ontario Canada Infrastructure Plan is a reaction to a global crisis. The increase in taxes from the Harmonized Sales Tax is offset by a personal income tax cut on the first $36000 of income, one time payments to qualifying families and individuals and business tax cuts. It is revenue neutral.
Jerry Beausoleil: There is a transit problem in the City. The proposed Light Rail Transit will result in substantial increase in property taxes. Can the taxpayers afford it?
Alan Asselstine: His doctor is 68 years old and will retire soon. There is shortage of nurses. What is the Province doing to provide health care workers?
Eli Mikhael: His daughter had high marks but was turned down for medical study. Why?
John Fraser: The Ontario Government has taken steps to improve health care. It has expanded the medical facilities in Ottawa. We are trying to repatriate doctors to Ontario. The Ontario Government has moved to end sole sourcing of contracts and restricted the expenses that consultants can claim.
John Sankey: Thanked John Fraser for his presentation and introduced Councillor Maria McRae:
Maria McRae: Presented her report. We are behind the 8-ball on transit.\ We need to ask, “What can we afford and what can we build?”
Jerry Beausoleil: Is concerned about cost to the Ottawa taxpayer
Maria McRae: Cost is a major concern. On October 23, 2009 the City released a more detailed costing information for the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (DOTT) and light rail transit (LRT) system. The refined cost estimate for running LRT between Blair Road and Tunney’s Pasture, including the construction of the tunnel, is $2.1 billion. City staff also provided Council with a detailed analysis regarding the City’s financial capacity to fund its share of the cost of the project. Next decision point is December 2009 which must address the final design: What are the plans for north-south traffic? How will the O-Train connect to the LRT system?
Alan Asselstine: Presented the Treasurer’s Report. Assets increased from $8500 to $8700. Revenue was $300 while expenses were only $100.
Motion: To approve the Treasurer’s report. Moved by Peter Foulger, seconded by Jerry Beausoleil, carried.
Fred McLenon presided over the election of officers, they are:
John Sankey President
Alan Asselstine Treasurer
Peter Brimacombe Secretary
Motion: To close nominations. Moved by Liz Russell, seconded by Alan Asselstine, carried.
John Sankey: In the last year we have focused on the Pathway to South Keys and traffic on Riverside Drive. The Southern Corridor will be an issue in 2011.
Gisèle Loiselle-Branch: I read that there are medics sitting and waiting to be called overseas that would love to help by inoculating people with vaccine. That’s what they’re trained for.
Motion: We encourage the Province and the City to use all available resources including DND medics, dentists and other medical professionals to expedite the inoculation of the citizens of Ottawa. Moved by Gisèle Loiselle-Branch, seconded by Alan Asselstine, carried.
Ian Schumacher: Pull-off lanes for the buses are being removed. The O Train is empty.
John Sankey: OC Transpo is a law onto itself. They are filling in the pull-off lanes despite the new law which gives priority to the buses.
Alan Asselstine: The O Train is full but it loses $5 million a year.
Next Meeting: Tuesday December 7 at 19:30