Find our Council Agendas online at the following links:

Council of the Whole

Presentation received by Niagara Health – March 7

  • We heard a presentation from Niagara Health about the future health care and changes to health care delivery now and up to implementation of a new 3-site model in 2028.
  • The 3 site model includes St. Catharines, Welland and the new Niagara Falls hospital.
  • This evolution includes transitioning and reorganizing services primarily due to the ability to staff and resource sites while trying to maintain a high level of health care delivery. Niagara Health has been significantly impacted by the shortage of family doctors in Niagara while also having difficulty recruiting for a number of health care positions.
  • Niagara Health is delivering presentations across Niagara on the plan. The public is encouraged to attend their public engagement sessions to learn more about their organizational changes and also provide feedback.

Poverty reduction strategy – March 7 

  • Niagara Region developed a poverty reduction strategy approved by Council which engaged with over 1000 community members.
  • The plan incorporates Niagara specific data into an overall strategy that aims to reduce poverty and increase well-being in Niagara, including Indigenous well-being.
  • This means we can focus operationally on aligning service access, coordination and capacity with community resourcing but also leverage and empower some of our advocacy efforts and funding requirements for things like housing, mental health and food security and more.

Regional Council 

1. Motion to Support for the decision of the OEB to end the Gas Pipeline Subsidy

Ontario Energy Board Ontario Energy Board (“OEB”) decided to end a subsidy for methane gas pipelines to be built in new construction developments, effective 2025, finding that this would lower energy bills for existing gas customers and improve affordability for new homebuyers. The Province introduced legislation, Bill 165,  to intervene in the decision and currently is calling for input. I brought this forward for 3 reasons:

    1. A dispute mechanism exists which Enbridge has already engaged with. They are appealing this decision with the Courts
    2. This is an intervention in the market. The market can determine how it responds and consumers should have choice. The Province doesn’t need to intervene here.
    3. Climate change is a reality. The global economy is shifting towards being greener and cleaner. Ontario will fall behind if it doesn’t embrace this. We need to mitigate the effects of climate change with urgency. That includes the way we heat our homes. This is not something we can put off on the next generation.

2. Motion to support Federal Infrastructure Funding and the Canadian Community-Building Fund

All municipalities are struggling to provide the infrastructure investment required to enable new housing while at the same time replacing infrastructure that was largely built in the 1970s. The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program has come to an end and the federal government is currently renegotiating the Canadian Community-Building Fund to make it more restrictive when traditionally municipalities have used the fund for a number of infrastructure needs that are connected to things like roads, bridges and waterways and wastewater projects. It’s the single most reliable capital funding mechanism for municipalities and essential that we continue to have access to it for our capital planning needs.