In response to Councillor Parrish's inquiry regarding messages displayed on MiWay buses, Geoff Wright, Commissioner, Transportation and Works, confirmed that further to direction at a previous General Committee meeting, MiWay buses will no longer display messages such as: Merry Christmas and we stand with Ukraine. MiWay resumed with the days of significance that Council approved.
Employee Engagement Survey
In response to Councillor Parrish's inquiry regarding the employee engagement survey and whether there are any questions in the survey pertaining to working remotely, Shari Lichterman, Commissioner, Corporate Services advised that the employee engagement survey has commenced, and noted that although there are no specific questions relating to remote working, there is a space to add your own comments. Ms. Lichterman, further noted that there has been a number of surveys conducted relating to working in a hybrid format for employees who have that option available.
Bill 23 and Development Charges
Councillor Parrish spoke to statements made on a fund raising letter by the Provincial Conservative Party stating that Development Charges (DC) are being waived but further in the letter state that DC's are being frozen at 2022 rates, statements made regarding the accumulation of Reserves, and requested staff issue press releases to counter such statements.
Shari Lichterman, Commissioner, Corporate Services explained the requirements under Bill 23 pertaining to phased in new Development Charges.
Councillor Mahoney spoke to the increase of calls to his office from residents confused about the content on the card that was distributed to residents regarding the impacts of Bill 23.
Robert Trewartha noted that over 80,000 cards have already been distributed with the remaining lot being distributed in the next couple of days, and that there has already been over 9,000 visits to the webpage with 1,600 residents pledging to send a letter to their Minister of Provincial Parliament (MPP). Mr. Trewartha noted that Members of Council were provided with a standard response to their residents, however, staff could also provide a standard email to advise residents that these changes were not implemented by the City but rather the Province and the they need to reach out to their MPP.
Councillor Parrish requested that staff send out a letter or a phone call to the CEO of Habitat for Humanity to address the statements he made that Bill 23 is a great benefit to Habitat for Humanity to build more houses, and have him retract his statement.
Mayor Crombie advised that staff would follow up.
Councillor Dasko spoke to the feedback he has received regarding the automated speed zones at 30KM only applying during school hours for example 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and directed staff to report back on a review of the feasibility of adjusting speed to perhaps 40KM's after school hours.
Councillor Kovac spoke to the Motion he introduced a few years back to reduce speed limits in school zones, recognizes the issues that have been raised since the introduction of Automated Speed Enforcement cameras in which residents are being ticketed off school hours, and agrees that staff should review this matter.