Although about 50 registered to join the Zoom Town Hall by Councillors Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau, there were at most 35 who were actually online. Several people complimented Nicole and Adam on organizing it and would like to have it be a regular occurrence. Most of the questions were not new and subscribers to this blog would already know most of the answers. The most popular subject raised by maybe 3 or 4 participants was the issue of affordable housing but other issues were also raised which indicates what people want to know even if there is little new information to know. Some just wanted to vent and both Nicole and Adam were clear that they want to know what people are concerned about.
Q. Will the beach be open this year? A. This will be decided in about May. The report on what citizens said in the beach survey is now available on the Town’s “Engage” site. The Parks and Recreation advisory committee will be having a meeting to work on this on March 9. They will then make recommendations to Council.
Q. With Greenbacks closed, are there any plans to rejuvenate Downtown? A. the DBIA runs programs and in fact although 3 stores have closed, there are few vacancies and there have been 7 grand openings in the past year. Covid-19 has been a problem but “we have made it over the hump”.
Q. Can we have more trees – e.g. at the East end of the Beach in Victoria park? And (separately) why did the condo development south of the recently demolished property not include trees? A. There is extra money for trees in the 2021 budget and people should attend public meetings held for new developments to push for trees.
Q. What’s happening at the mall? A. Although Councillors ask the developer, they don’t really know.
Q. What’s happening with the trial sidewalk snow clearing project? A. Staff are working out details for a possible expansion of existing sidewalk snow clearing.
Q. What happened to idea for outdoor skating at Sinclair park? A. As described here (halfway down page).
Q. What are Adam’s and Nicole’s 2 top priorities in the next 18 months? A. A number of items but primarily affordable housing and Nicole wants to know “what kind of Town we want to be”.
Q. Will there be a Waterfront Festival this year? A. No. There will be a Press Release on this in the next week or so.
Q. Why does the Town allow 3 Cannabis stores Downtown? A. Actually it’s 4 – there’s one at Strathy Road. And once the Town agreed to permit them (which it has), it has no say – it’s decided by the Province.
Q. With Liberals proposing to allow municipalities to ban handguns, what do Nicole and Adam think about this? A. Both don’t like handguns.
Q. What’s happening about possible waterfront dining at the Yacht Club per Letter to the Editor here? A. Council and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee are considering the idea.
Q. Why not have Town merchandise for sale – e.g. T-shirts, ball-caps etc? A. It has already been available in Vic Hall in normal years.
Q. Has Town provided input on what should be done at Brookside? A. Not yet. That’s a Provincial matter.
Q. What’s happening with the East Medical building opposite the High school? A. Nothing – pending a review of bylaws (details here). Nicole said that there has been no follow up from the proponent.
Q. Not much is happening on Climate Change actions. A. Actually there has been and Community engagement is coming.
Several people talked about the need for subsidized and low cost housing but I did not notice any actual question (except for concern about transition issues at the County’s Elgin/D’Arcy property. These concerns should be directed at the County). Both Nicole and Adam were strongly supportive of the Town being involved.