Motions / Direction to Staff

I thought it might be worthwhile to share a list of motions that I’ve brought to Council (not just simply moving something that was on the agenda, but motions that I’ve written and brought forward) as well as a list of direct requests I’ve made of staff during the Council term of 2018-2022.

July 15, 2020 – Budget Consultation – Motion

That staff ENGAGE in a public consultation process that includes comprehensive education on the operations that drive the budget for the public, and includes surveys, moderated focus groups, and other appropriate communication and information-gathering methods to get feedback from the business community, including organized labour, on our upcoming budget deliberations.
— IN A RECORDED VOTE, THIS WAS DEFEATED with 3 IN FAVOUR and 10 OPPOSED

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July 15, 2020 – Referral of Motion – Direct Election of the Regional Chair – Additional Information – Past Work Undertaken on Governance Reform (follow-up from June 17, 2020 meeting)

That Correspondence Item CSC-C 11-2020, being a memorandum from A.-M. Norio, Regional Clerk dated July 15, 2020, respecting Referral of Motion – Direct Election of the Regional Chair – Additional Information – Past Work Undertaken on Governance Reform, BE RECEIVED and the following recommendations BE APPROVED:

1. That the Office of the Regional Clerk BE DIRECTED to form a citizen committee of 15 people, as representative as possible of the local area municipalities, and engage in a public consultation process;

2. That the citizen committee and public consultation process ADDRESS the following questions:

  • Should the Regional Chair be directly elected by the citizens of Niagara or appointed by Regional Council?
  • How many Regional Councillors should represent each municipality?
  • If the number of Regional Councillors that represent each municipality is suggested to be different than it is currently, should the votes of Regional Councillors be weighted? If so, how should they be weighted?
  • By which method should Regional Councillors be elected?
  • What strategies are recommended to increase citizen engagement for and following elections?
  • What strategies are recommended to get more people to consider running for elected office?
  • What can be done to have Council be more reflective of the demographic make up of the Niagara region, e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity, income status, etc.?
  • Examine options for dual duty councillors (friendly amendment)

3. That the citizen committee, with the results from the public consultation process, REPORT back to Corporate Services Committee by April 2021; and

4. That staff PREPARE a Report providing additional information respecting a public consultation process including a draft terms of reference and membership considerations for the citizen committee for the Corporate Services Committee meeting being held on August 5, 2020
— IN A RECORDED VOTE, THIS WAS DEFEATED with 2 IN FAVOUR and 11 OPPOSED

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July 14, 2020 – Basic Income for Income Security – Motion (included in staff report; follow-up from June 16, 2020 Committee meeting)

1. That Regional Council ACKNOWLEDGE the inequitable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Niagara residents, including the disproportionate burden of both illness and economic harm borne by those of lower income or in poverty;

2. That Regional Council CALL UPON the federal and provincial government to prioritize measures to reduce poverty and income inequality in our society as one of the changes that should be initiated by this pandemic;

3. That Regional Council RECOMMEND that the federal and provincial governments engage in pilot projects to study policy innovations that can address poverty and income inequality, including the study of a basic income guarantee project in Niagara region;

4. That Regional Council particularly RECOMMEND that the federal government carefully study the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for its impact on health and poverty of recipients as lessons that could be applied to a basic income guarantee pilot, or as a platform for instituting a basic income guarantee; and

5. That Regional Council DIRECT the Regional Chair to communicate these calls and recommendations to the federal and provincial governments.
— CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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June 25, 2020 – Declaration of Public Health Issues – Motion

WHEREAS racism, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, and stigma are associated with poorer physical, mental, and emotional health and greater mortality, making racism an important public health issue; and

WHEREAS Public Health has a role in promoting the health of the entire population by working with others to ensure fair opportunities for health and well-being; and

WHEREAS Niagara Region and its Board of Health is guided by Objective 2 in Niagara Region’s Strategic Plan to foster a high quality of life through safe, healthy, and inclusive neighbourhoods and delivery of quality, affordable, and accessible human services; and

WHEREAS members of the Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQQIA, and many other communities experience physical, social, mental, and emotional harms due to racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other discrimination and stigma present across sectors, including health, education, employment, housing, child care and child welfare, policing and law enforcement, and the criminal justice system; and

WHEREAS the Region of Niagara has become a member of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities and committed to appropriately resourcing the work of the Coalition;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

1. That Regional Council ACKNOWLEDGE that racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of discrimination or oppression are public health issues;

2. That Niagara Region COMMIT to using an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens in all future decision-making; and

3. That Niagara Region COMMIT to considering social determinants of health, including income, education, employment, early childhood development, food insecurity, housing, social exclusion and social safety network, health services, aboriginal status, gender, race, and disability, in all future program and budget decisions including revising the Region Budget By-Law Principles to include healthy communities; and

4. That Niagara Region RECONFIRM its efforts through the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities to promote social inclusion, human rights, and diversity, as well as eradicating all forms of racism and discrimination that continue to persist in Niagara.

5. That this motion BE CIRCULATED to the local area municipalities.
— CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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June 17, 2020 – (Follow-up on) Direct Election of Regional Chair – Motion

That the Office of the Regional Clerk be DIRECTED to form a citizen committee of 15 people, as representative as possible of the local area municipalities, and engage in a public consultation process;

That the citizen committee and public consultation process ADDRESS the following questions:

  • Should the Regional Chair be directly elected by the citizens of Niagara or appointed by Regional Council?
  • How many Regional Councillors should represent each municipality?
  • If the number of Regional Councillors that represent each municipality is suggested to be different than it is currently, should the votes of Regional Councillors be weighted? If so, how should they be weighted?
  • By which method should Regional Councillors be elected?
  • What strategies are recommended to increase citizen engagement for and following elections?
  • What strategies are recommended to get more people to consider running for elected office?
  • What can be done to have Council be more reflective of the demographic make up of the Niagara region, e.g., gender, age, race/ethnicity, income status, etc.?

And that the citizen committee, with the results from the public consultation process, REPORT back to Corporate Services Committee by April 2021.
— REFERRED FOR STAFF REPORT

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June 16, 2020 – Council Correspondence package of May 22, 2020, included a letter from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit regarding Basic Income for Income Security during Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond – Motion

You’ll recall from the letter in that May 22 Council Correspondence package that the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit pointed out the following about the need for a Basic Income for all Canadians:

  • there are still many Canadians who do not qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and it’s left them vulnerable to food insecurity, inadequate or unstable housing, and poorer mental and physical health;
  • approximately 1 in 8 Canadians experienced food insecurity, which includes 1.2 million children. As a result of COVID-19 and reduced or loss of employment, that number is predicted to increase;
  • examples of Canadian initiatives similar to a basic income that have a positive impact on health and well-being include Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Canada Child Benefit;
  • key findings from the Mincome pilot in Manitoba and the more recent Ontario Basic Income Pilot, which included Hamilton, Brantford and Brant County, and which was cancelled, include improvements in physical and mental health; increased labour market participation; moving to higher paying and more secure jobs; reduced food insecurity; housing stability; improved financial status and social relationships; less frequent visits to health practitioners and emergency rooms; improved living standards; and an improved sense of self-worth and hope for a better future;
  • the federal government taking action now to implement a basic income would provide income security to all Canadians for the economic challenges of the pandemic itself, the post-pandemic recovery, and into the future; and
  • a strong recommendation that the federal government take swift and immediate action on legislation for a basic income as a long-term response to the problems of income insecurity, persistent poverty and household food insecurity, and as a response to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Finally, this isn’t a new idea for Regional Council to endorse, as – following a motion from the City of Kingston in 2016 and a presentation from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network – the Regional Council of the day endorsed the idea of a Basic Income Guarantee for all Canadians.

All of that said, I am bringing the following motion, seconded by Councillor Butters:

That Regional Council ENDORSE the correspondence sent by Simcoe Muskoka District Health regarding Basic Income for Income Security during Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond; and

That the Regional Chair WRITE a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Finance Minister Morneau indicating that we support the recommendation from Simcoe Muskoka District Heath that the Federal government take swift and immediate action on the evolution of the CERB Benefit into legislation for a basic income as an effective long-term response to the problems of income security, persistent poverty, and household food insecurity, as well as a response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

That the letter be FORWARDED to Premier Ford, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, Niagara MPs and MPPs, Niagara local area municipalities, Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Ontario Public Health Association, and Ontario Boards of Health.
— REFERRED FOR STAFF REPORT

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February 20, 2020 – Direct Election of Regional Chair – Motion

In accordance with the notice and submission deadline requirements of Sections 18.1(b) and 11.3, respectively, of Niagara Region’s Procedural By-law, the Regional Clerk received from Councillor Ip a motion to be brought forward for consideration at the February 20, 2020 Council meeting respecting Direct Election of the Regional Chair.

WHEREAS the Province has completed its governance review and decided to leave governance reform in the purview of each municipality;

WHEREAS section 218.2 of the Municipal Act, 2001, provides a municipality the power to change the method of selecting its head of Council under section 218 of the Act for any regular election after 2018;

WHEREAS the upper tier municipalities of Durham Region, Halton Region, and Region of Waterloo directly elect their Regional Chair;

WHEREAS upper tier and single-tier municipalities in Ontario with larger populations and/or larger geographic areas than Niagara have directly elected Heads of Council;

WHEREAS Niagara is a progressive municipality with diverse interests; and

WHEREAS all of the voting citizens of Niagara deserve to have a direct say in who shall represent them as Regional Chair.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

1. That The Regional Municipality of Niagara EXERCISE its power and follow the necessary process under section 218 of the Municipal Act, 2001, to change the method of selecting the Head of Council so that beginning with the 2022 municipal election and for all future municipal elections the Regional Chair is elected by general vote by the voting citizens of all 12 local area municipalities in the Niagara region in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996.
— REFERRED TO COMMITTEE

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January 15, 2020 – Ride Sharing – Motion

That staff return to the April 8, 2020, Corporate Services Committee meeting having completed a thorough review of all of the policies related to ride sharing and vehicles for hire and bring recommendations about how those regulations can be better communicated to ride share drivers and vehicles for hire licensed to deliver service in Niagara, including regulations with respect to driver and rider safety
— CARRIED

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December 12, 2019 – Commendation – Motion

That Regional Council publicly and formally COMMEND those members of Council, staff and the public who strived to uphold the integrity of our public institution during the last term of Council; and

That Regional Council THANK the journalists at the Niagara Dailies for their integrity and professionalism in reporting on matters that were of significant community interest and changed the face of politics in Niagara; and

That a formal commendation and thank you BE ISSUED by Regional Chair Jim Bradley at the next regular meeting of Regional Council.
— CARRIED
(Councillor Sendzik and I each had motions related to this. We merged them into this motion. He moved it and I seconded it.)

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December 5, 2019 – Suicide Prevention Initiative – Motion

These are roles that were approved in principle months ago and deferred to the 2020 budget process. The community, though, certainly believes – as many of us do – that these roles are important and need to be included in the programs and services offered by Niagara Region Public Health. The more resources we have available to assist people before their stories hit the media due to a catastrophic end, the better off we’ll all be, especially when we remember how many hundreds of people are impacted by each death by suicide and the toll that takes on our economy, our healthcare system, and our community.

That the Suicide Prevention Initiative, being the addition of two Mental Health positions to increase response to suicide in Niagara, at a cost of $185,678 or 0.05% of the levy, be moved from the Programs Deferred to 2022 (Appendix 6) to New and Enhanced Programs (Appendix 3) and funded through an additional increase to the levy.
— CARRIED

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October 17, 2019 – Legal Aid Ontario – Motion

WHEREAS the Niagara Community Legal Clinic is a not-for-profit agency providing access to justice and vital service to low-income Niagara citizens in civil law matters, including landlord-tenant disputes, Ontario Disability Support Payment (ODSP) appeals, pension appeals, workplace injury/WSIB compensation, consumer law protection, refugee assistance, migrant worker support, human rights law, power of attorney matters, and wills and estates for low-income seniors;

WHEREAS the Niagara Community Legal Clinic is funded by Legal Aid Ontario, an arm’s-length agency of the Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario, which (in addition to funding the province’s legal clinics) provides much-needed support to low-income people in matters of family law, refugee law, and criminal law;

WHEREAS the two historic Niagara legal clinics – Justice Niagara, founded in 1978, and Niagara North Community Legal Assistance, founded in 1982 – merged on January 1, 2019, to form the Niagara Community Legal Clinic;

WHEREAS Legal Aid funding saves money in the overall justice system budget, in light of the evidence that the cases of self-represented parties (i.e., parties without Legal Aid support) consume significantly greater amounts of expensive court time and/or tribunal time; and

WHEREAS the Province cut approximately $70 million from the Legal Aid Ontario budget in 2019, with approximately $14.5 million of that being cut from the legal clinic system, and has indicated an intention to cut an additional $17.3 million from the LAO budget in 2020:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

  1. That Regional Chair Jim Bradley BE DIRECTED to send a letter to Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, on behalf of Regional Council, reading as follows:“The Region of Niagara is grateful for the work of the Niagara Community Legal Clinic, whose professionals provide meaningful access to justice for low-income people in Niagara. In light of the deep challenges Niagara faces in terms of poverty and lack of sufficient affordable housing, the services that the Niagara Community Legal Clinic provides are truly vital to our community.It has come to our attention that the Province has proposed additional cuts to the budget of Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), the Niagara clinic’s funder, to be implemented in 2020. Because our Council deeply values the work of our Niagara Community Legal Clinic, and the supports that LAO provides to citizens facing challenges in family law, criminal law, and refugee law, we request that you not implement any additional cuts to the LAO budget. We also ask that you re-invest in the Legal Aid and clinic systems, so as to address the many barriers to access to justice that our citizens face.Thank you for your consideration.”; and
  2. That this motion and the Chair’s letter BE CIRCULATED to municipalities throughout Ontario and to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

— CARRIED

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September 19, 2019 – Actions & Resources to Join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities – Motion (included in staff report)

1. That Council RESOLVE to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities (CIM), formerly known as Canadian Coalition for Municipalities Against Racism and
Discrimination (CCMARD) and SIGN a declaration to support the ten CIM commitments; and

2. That staff BE DIRECTED to create supporting governance structures with internal and external stakeholders to advise on internal diversity, equity, and
inclusion issues and support the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan; and

3. That the dedicated resources required for developing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan BE REFERRED for consideration as part of the 2020
budget process; and

4. That Report CAO 14-2019 BE CIRCULATED to all municipalities in the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, the local area municipalities, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
— CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

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June 20, 2019 – Response to the Proposed Provincial Restructuring of Local Public Health Agencies – Motion

In accordance with the notice and submission deadline requirements of Sections 18.1 (b) and 11.3, respectively, of Niagara Region’s Procedural By-law, the Regional Clerk received from Councillor Ip a motion to be brought forward for consideration at the June 20, 2019 Council meeting respecting Response to Proposed Provincial Restructuring of Local Public Health Agencies.

WHEREAS the Provincial Government has announced restructuring local public health agencies from 35 public health units to 10 new Regional Public Health Entities, governed by autonomous boards of health;

WHEREAS the Province expects to reduce provincial spending on local public health by $200 million by 2021-22 from a current provincial budget for local public health of approximately $750 million;

WHEREAS the Province is adjusting the cost-sharing formula with municipalities for local public health;

WHEREAS municipalities such as Niagara, Hamilton, and most others have been contributing more than their 25% share under Provincial policy for many years in order to ensure community needs are met based on the Ontario Public Health Standards, as set out by the provincial government;

WHEREAS the announcements do not contain sufficient detail to be able to fully understand the costs and implications of the proposed restructuring;

WHEREAS the scale of the proposed changes to the governance, organization and funding of local public health is unprecedented in Ontario;

WHEREAS the role of municipal councils is not clear in the proposed restructuring;

WHEREAS local public health agencies that are part of local government such as Niagara already achieve significant administrative efficiencies through the economies of scale from being part of much larger organizations than the future Public Health Entities;

WHEREAS local public health benefits from significant collaboration with social service, planning, recreation, and transportation services all of which address the social determinants of health and determine half of health outcomes;

WHEREAS separating public health agencies that are part of local government may have unintended negative consequences such as reducing municipal leadership on public health issues, reducing transparency and public scrutiny, as well as reducing effectiveness in collaboration on the social determinants of health;

WHEREAS the announcements appear to have a significant likelihood to impact on the delivery of local public health services;

WHEREAS Niagara Regional Council confirms its support of its public health staff in all the work that they do;

WHEREAS lessons from the past show that when the public health system is weakened, serious consequences occur;

WHEREAS expert reports, such as those following Walkerton’s drinking water contamination and the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have highlighted the need for a strong and independent public health sector to protect the health and safety of the public;

WHEREAS local public health has a unique mandate that focuses on upstream approaches to prevent injuries and illness before they occur, as well as health protection measures that contribute to the safety of our food, water, and environment, and protect us from infectious diseases;

WHEREAS the evidence shows that the success of prevention is largely invisible, but the social and economic returns on these investments are immense with every dollar invested in public health programming saving on average eight dollars in avoided health and social care costs;

WHEREAS to achieve health and reduce “hallway medicine” both a strong health care and a strong public health system are needed;

WHEREAS the independence of the Board of Health and the Medical Officer of Health as the doctor for the community are essential parts of a strong and transparent public health system;

WHEREAS local perspectives add value to provincial priority-setting and decision making;

WHEREAS significant advances in public health have been led through local action, such as the development of tobacco control bylaws; and

WHEREAS the Province has indicated a willingness to consult with boards of health and municipalities on the phased implementation of the proposed changes.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

1. That Regional Council THANKS the Premier and the Minister of Health & Long Term Care for responding to feedback by municipalities to delay funding changes to public health and other municipally operated health and social services;

2. That the Regional Chair BE DIRECTED to write a letter to the Minister of Health & Long Term Care and the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to request that any restructuring or modernization of local Public Health ensure adherence to the following principles:

i. That its unique mandate to keep people and our communities healthy, prevent disease and reduce health inequities be maintained;

ii. That its focus on the core functions of public health, including population health assessment and surveillance, promotion of health and wellness, disease prevention, health protection, and emergency management and response be continued;

iii. That sufficient funding and human resources to fulfill its unique mandate are ensured;

iv. That the focus for public health services be maintained at the community level to best serve residents and lead strategic community partnerships with municipalities, school boards, health care organizations, community agencies and residents;

v. That there be senior and medical leadership at the local public health level to provide advice on public health issues to municipal councils and to participate in strategic community partnerships;

vi. That local public health services be responsive and tailored to the health needs and priorities of each local community, including those of vulnerable groups or those with specific needs such as the indigenous community;

vii. That representation of municipalities on any board of health be proportionate to both their population and to the size of the financial contribution of that municipality to the regional Public Health Entity; and

viii. That any transition be carried out with attention to good change management, and while ensuring ongoing service delivery;

3. That the Regional Chair BE DIRECTED to work with MARCO/LUMCO and AMO to describe the benefits of Public Health remaining fully integrated with other Niagara Region functions;

4. That the Medical Officer of Health BE DIRECTED to continue to report to the Board of Health in a timely manner as any new developments occur;

5. That at a minimum, the Chair of the Board of Health or co-Chair (Public Health) of the Public Health & Social Services Committee PARTICIPATE in Ministry consultations with boards of health on public health restructuring, and through the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa); and

6. That this resolution BE CIRCULATED to the Minister of Health & Long Term Care, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, all municipalities, all Boards of Health, AMO, MARCO/LUMCO, and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies.
— REFERRED TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE FOR JULY 9, 2019 WHERE IT PASSED WITHOUT ANY DISCUSSION

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May 16, 2019 – (Follow-up on) Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination – Motion

At our Strategic Planning session on Saturday, there was a lot of discussion about equity (we made it one of our values for moving forward), inclusivity, diversity, and ensuring that everyone in Niagara has access to the same opportunities.

Joining the Coalition provides us with a framework, toolkits, and other resources that we can take advantage of to implement actions that are important and relevant to our communities. As you know, Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre supports this, as does the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, and it’s my understanding that everyone on Council will have received an e-mail late this afternoon from Mishka Balsom formally indicating their support and their reasons for that support, specifically related to growth and economic development.

I have a resolution moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Sendzik:

1. That Council RESOLVES its support for the goals of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination, and its intention to work towards joining the Coalition by January 1, 2020.

2. That staff BE DIRECTED to recommend to Council by September 2019 an outline of action and the attendant resourcing and funding involved with joining the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
— CARRIED

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May 16, 2019 – NPCA Board Appointments – Motion

That Regional Council APPOINT the community representatives selected by Fort Erie, Grimsby, St. Catharines, and Welland to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board effective immediately; and

That Regional Council REQUEST that the remaining eight local area municipalities submit their recommendations for representatives on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board by July 31, 2019; and

That Regional Council EXTEND the appointments of Councillors Bylsma, Foster, Gibson, Greenwood, Huson, Steele, Whalen and Zalepa, on the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Board for an additional three months from today’s date unless the local area municipality appoints another representative before that date.
— CARRIED

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May 8, 2019 – (Follow-up on) Expenses – Motion

That the current Expense Policy BE REVISED to include items 1 through 15 outlined in the Alternatives Reviewed section of the Report;

That the revised Expense Policy BE SENT to the next Procedural By-law Review Committee for a final review prior to Council approval; and

That staff PROVIDE this committee with a report comparing the first two quarters to the same two quarters of previous terms of Council to determine if there has been an increase in the mileage and other similar types of expenses, since making councillors ‘whole’ again after the federal tax policy change.
— CARRIED

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February 20, 2019 – Two-Year Terms for Committees – Motion

I know it was discussed during the Special Council meeting of December 13, 2018, though I don’t believe it was formally moved, but I would like to now move that the suggestion of two-year terms, even if renewable, for all standing, steering, and advisory committees be added to Recommendation #3 to be referred to the Procedural By-law Review Committee for consideration.
— CARRIED
{ultimately, as we went though the process, this was defeated}

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February 20, 2019 – Smarter Niagara Steering Committee – Motion

Given recent developments at the provincial level and given the committee’s declared value by both the federal and provincial levels of government to previous regional directions and policies, I move that the Smarter Niagara Steering Committee CONTINUE to meet and provide advice and guidance to politicians, developers, staff, and the public at large.
— CARRIED

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February 20, 2019 – Code of Conduct – Motion
In the draft that we are looking at, it is not specifically stated, so as we work through revising and – hopefully – ultimately adopting a more robust Code of Conduct, I move that the Code of Conduct also apply to all members of agencies, boards, commissions, and committees as well, regardless of their status as elected officials or citizen appointees.
— CARRIED
{ultimately, as we went though the process, this was defeated, and our Code of Conduct applies only to Regional Councillors and not to people appointed by Council to various agencies, boards, commissions, and committees}

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February 19, 2019 – Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination – Motion

In Canada, 75 municipalities are members of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination. Twenty-one of those municipalities are in Ontario, including Hamilton, London, Oshawa, Windsor, and Kingston. None of those municipalities are in Niagara.

There is no fee to become a member municipality, though there may be costs associated with implementing various community-specific initiatives, which can be discussed and decided upon as we move forward and don’t have to have an impact on the budget we’re in the midst of approving.

Given the Region’s work on global attractiveness, the Local Immigration Partnership in Community Services, and that membership is supported by the business community, primarily through the GNCC, I move, seconded by Councillor Butters, that:

Community Services staff investigate and report back to this committee’s April meeting about the benefits and any potential drawbacks, if there are any, of the Region becoming a member of UNESCO’s Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination as well as recommended actions with respect to initiating meaningful work in Niagara.
— CARRIED

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February 14, 2019 – Budget Review Committee of the Whole – Amendment to Motion

That Clause 7 of the motion related to Report CSD 22-2019 BE AMENDED to read as follows:

7. That any approvals related to the NPCA levy not BE GIVEN and no payments be made to the NPCA until such time as we have received answers we consider to be satisfactory to the questions that were asked at the meeting of January 31, 2019, including detailed budget information with respect to the $2.5+ million that was not reported on in the presentation made to Council on that date; {this was my amendment}

That the 2019 net departmental tax levy of $190,554,431 in addition to the ABCs of only Niagara Regional Housing, and Court Services of $27,184,113 for a total tax levy of $217,738,544 BE APPROVED; and

That the NRPS BE REQUESTED to find further cost savings related to program changes of 3.1 million dollars {this was Councillor Whalen’s amendment}

The clauses of the motion, as amended, were considered separately as follows:

That any approvals related to the NPCA levy not BE GIVEN and no payments be made to the NPCA until such time as we have received answers we consider to be satisfactory to the questions that were asked at the meeting of January 31, 2019, including detailed budget information with respect to the $2.5+ million that was not reported on in the presentation made to Council on that date.

Recorded Vote:
Yes (11): Bradley, Butters, Campion, Chiocchio, Edgar, Fertich, Heit, Ip, Redekop, Ugulini, Villella.
No (13): Bylsma, Darte, Disero, Easton, Foster, Gibson, Huson, Insinna, Junkin, Nicholson, Steele, Whalen, Zalepa.
— DEFEATED

That the 2019 net departmental tax levy of $190,554,431 in addition to the ABCs of only Niagara Regional Housing, and Court Services of $27,184,113 for a total tax levy of $217,738,544 BE APPROVED; and

That the NRPS BE REQUESTED to find further cost savings related to program changes of 3.1 million dollars.
Recorded Vote:
Yes (19): Bradley, Butters, Bylsma, Chiocchio, Disero, Easton, Fertich, Foster, Gibson, Greenwood, Heit, Huson, Ip, Junkin, Nicholson, Ugulini, Villella, Whalen, Zalepa.
No (6): Campion, Darte, Edgar, Insinna, Redekop, Steele.
— CARRIED

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February 14, 2019 – Budget Review Committee of the Whole – Motion

1. That $198,000 in adjustments to Councillor remuneration BE REMOVED from this budget;

2. That no adjustments BE MADE to Councillor remuneration until staff have developed a formula comparable to the City of St. Catharines that is tied to data from Statistics Canada or some other relevant data set; and

3. That a policy BE DEVELOPED and a By-law BE PASSED that directs how Councillor remuneration shall be automatically adjusted each year, rather than Councillors voting on their own remuneration from time to time.

Each clause of the motion was considered separately as follows:

1. That $198,000 in adjustments to Councillor remuneration BE REMOVED from this budget.
Recorded Vote:
Yes (23): Bradley, Butters, Bylsma, Campion, Chiocchio, Darte, Disero, Easton, Edgar, Fertich, Foster, Gibson, Greenwood, Huson, Insinna, Ip, Junkin, Nicholson, Steele, Ugulini, Villella, Whalen, Zalepa.
No (3): Diodati, Heit, Redekop.
— CARRIED
{ultimately, this was put back into the budget the following week, and when I tried to speak against it again at a later meeting, debate was shut down by most councillors (though staff explained why I should be allowed to speak to it and the Chair ruled in my favour)}

2. That no adjustments BE MADE to Councillor remuneration until staff have developed a formula comparable to the City of St. Catharines that is tied to data from Statistics Canada or some other relevant data set.
Recorded Vote:
Yes (6): Butters, Chiocchio, Gibson, Greenwood, Huson, Ip.
No (20): Bradley, Bylsma, Campion, Darte, Diodati, Disero, Easton, Edgar, Fertich, Foster, Heit, Insinna, Junkin, Nicholson, Redekop, Steele, Ugulini, Villella, Whalen, Zalepa.
— DEFEATED

Based on clause 2 being defeated, Councillor Ip withdrew clause three (3) of the motion.

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January 31, 2019 – Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority 2019 Municipal Levy Apportionments – Motion

That consideration of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority 2019 Municipal Levy Apportionments BE DEFERRED until the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority provides additional information requested during the Municipal Levy Apportionments presentation.
— CARRIED

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January 17, 2019 – Public Works Standing Committee Report with respect to Proposed Base Services for Next Collection Contract – Motion (Deferral)

I move that we defer any decisions to make changes to waste collection service delivery until such time as we can obtain feedback through the Accessibility Advisory Committee with respect to how these service delivery changes might impact the communities of people who live with various disabilities.
— CARRIED

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January 9, 2019 – Expenses and Code of Conduct – Direction to Staff

I would like to request a report from staff about how we can improve the expense policy specifically related to councillor expenses. I know this is part of what Professor Sancton is addressing through the Governance Review. He is an expert in governance. I would like to know what our accounting and finance professionals think should be improved with respect to approvals, spending limits, what kinds of expenses should be permitted, required back up documentation, etc. I would like that report to come to Council at the same time that Professor Sancton’s report on this issue comes to Council.

I would also like this Council to revisit the issue of the Code of Conduct. The citizens of Niagara expect – and they should expect – a certain level of decorum and professionalism from their elected officials, and the current Code doesn’t address that as fully as many would like. I recommend we start with the Code that was drafted by Mr. Mascarin and that that come back to next month’s Corporate Services Committee meeting.

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December 13, 2018 – Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 – Motion

I would like to lift Item 11.1.5, which is the memo about Bill 66.

In light of the introduction of Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018, by the provincial government, and that this Bill has implications for the Greenbelt, the Clean Water Act, childcare, long-term care homes, etc., as a follow-up to the memo from Acting CAO Mostacci, I am asking staff to review the content of the Act and provide Council with information about the potential impact of the changes, including what steps we might take to ensure that necessary protections are still in place/adhered to.
— CARRIED

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December 6, 2018 – Election of the Chair – Motion

That, in accordance with subsection 2.4 of Niagara Region’s Procedural By-law, the rules of procedure, specifically clause (e) of subsection 24.5, which states that the election of the Chair be conducted by secret ballot, BE SUSPENDED to permit Council to conduct the election of the Chair by open ballot, in that each ballot cast will bear the member’s name and the name of the nominee for whom they are voting; and

That once voting is complete, the results of each round of voting BE READ ALOUD and noted in the minutes of this meeting by the Clerk.

And I would like the vote to be recorded, please.
— CARRIED