Posted on Jun 11, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership Chair Rick Frasso introduced the Mayor, Bryan Paterson, noting that Bryan is "a really nice guy". Mayor Paterson donated this breakfast through our Community Auction.

Mayor Bryan Paterson:

Would like to share City Council’s priorities for the next 4 years.

 

Smart Growth.  Kingston is one of the fastest growing communities in the country in 2018 according to Stats Canada.

Smart Growth means to us:

Strengthen economic development opportunities:

    • Work to attract new companies, jobs, opportunities

    • Innovation hubs:  healthcare, biotech, areas where we already have competitive advantage

    • Workforce development:  working with schools that we have the right programs; also need to attract appropriate, skilled workers from elsewhere

    • Expand business parks:  we’re running out of industrial space in the community and don’t want to say no to new businesses.  Looking at space north of the 401 and also expanding Innovation Park.

    • Establish a downtown campus for St. Lawrence College:  take tourism and hospitality programs and move them downtown into the heart of Kingston Tourism

    • Develop a deep water dock to support Great Lakes cruising.

    • Improve air and rail transportation links.  Want to move beyond the 401 as the best way to get here.  New and improved airport opening in a couple of weeks and we can talk to other airlines about coming into Kingston.

 

Increase affordable housing:

  • A big part of this is increasing the amount of available housing.  We want to accelerate the building of several thousand housing units in the next few years.

  • Build different types of housing:  tiny homes; homes geared to students, seniors; affordable housing – housing geared to below market rate rents.  (Princess next to Sisters of Providence is one site.)

  • Focused on intensification and recommitting to that.  Taller buildings in the downtown is the most controversial issue that we’re dealing with.  Where should they be? How awesome can we make them look?

 

Improve Walkability, Roads & Transportation:

  • Repair and improve roads and sidewalks.  Don’t want to just throw more money at it, but want to investigate new technologies, approaches to do this in a smart way.

  • Strong focus on active transportation:  biking, walking, bus

  • Efficient travel in general – creating north/south and east/west corridors and construct the 3rd crossing (in water work starting shortly, will take about 3 years.)

 

Demonstrate Leadership on Climate Action:

  • Testing first 2 electric buses

  • Electrifying city fleet

  • Invest in and protect green spaces, wetlands and tree cover

  • Expand recycling – now diverting 60% of waste from landfill.  Increasing target to 65%. Looking to improving this in apartment buildings.

  • Embrace the use of technology to reduce energy use across the community.  Looking at biogas as an alternative to natural gas.

  • Hoping this will help improve our quality of life.

 
Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces:
  • Continuing to invest in our waterfront

  • Revitalize brownfield properties along the Montreal Street corridor and elsewhere

  • Facilitate the potential for an Indigenous cultural space (could be a meeting place for everyone and help improve understanding.)

  • Look into fluoridation of the municipal water supply as a way to improve dental health, particularly amongst the financially challenged population.

All of these priorities fit together.
 

Key success factors are:

  • Embrace technology

  • Be fiscally responsible and try to reduce mill rate

  • Community partnerships – we will all need to work together to achieve these goals.

Questions:
Rick F – Concern re: our tenuous relationship with China.  Things tense at a national level. However, locally we have good solid relationships and we’re still full steam ahead in Kingston.  We’re not AS focused on China at the moment though…

Concerned about the lack of new schools downtown.  They seem to be disappearing to the burbs. Excellent point.  Talk about controversial issues! It is always unfortunate when you have a lack of co-ordination between levels of government.  The School Board has very tight financial boundaries that can force them into decisions that are not great in the long run. An obvious challenge we have.  Challenges that come with a growing community are great compared to the challenges of declining communities and we’re growing!

 

Murray C – Construction overpass for train station.  Soccer fields are gone. How will those 4 fields be replaced?  The plan is to replace as many fields as we can in that space. I don’t know if we can accommodate all 4 in that exact spot.  We will look at alternative spots if need be.

 

Rick F – Wellington St extension not needed?  Collision between loss of waterfront green space and infrastructure required to facilitate development of brownfields and housing.  Compromise is that we will not build that extension, but we will extend some other streets in an east/west direction and connect them to Montreal Street – like Russell Street and River Street.

 

John Gale – Who’s coming here?  Anecdotal evidence says we’re getting a mix.  We are seeing lots of Torontonians coming here and getting equivalent housing at ½ the price – which is ok if you’re retiring.  But not so much if you’re still working, so a good mix is critical.

 

President Rick Fiedorec thanked the Mayor on our behalf, and President Elect Ana Sutherland thanked Don Amos and the Seniors Centre for hosting us today.

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