Saturday December 3 @ 10:00am
Westmount Public School, 1011 Viscount Road
MPP Peggy Sattler and Councillor Virginia Ridley held a combined meeting to:
provide residents with updates of what has been happening this year in their respective offices;
provide information to residents about how these two levels of government work together;
provide information to residents about how the respective elected official can provide assistance, and;
hold a general question and answer period.
Updates and general overview of how government works.
‐ Province governs the Municipalities
Has been a Hydro One advocate. Advised that 30% of hydro shares have been sold to the
Health Care Update
‐ Advocating for change
‐ A high area of concern includes the wait times for surgeries, specifically knee and
hip replacement wait times are very lengthy.
‐ Nursing cuts are not the answer.
Jobs and Unemployment
‐ Lay‐offs are an artificial reflection of the unemployment rate
‐ Food bank use has gone up 11% over one year
‐ It is presumed that Food Bank use has increased due to utility bills increasing
‐ Programs offered include Ontario Works (OW), Ontario Disability Support
Program (ODSP), assistance with identification (drivers licence, birth certificates).
‐ OW and ODSP are Provincial programs but are administered by the respective
‐ Parental Leave
o Has been pushing for parental leave for Members of Council. Currently
there is nothing in place to allow a member of Council time away for
parental leave, which could be an influencing factor when a member of the public is considering to run for City Council. City of London Council
has supported this motion, and has been put forward to Queen’s Park for
‐ Rapid Transit
o A Rapid Transit Implementation Working Group has been established and
will coordinate the city’s move to rapid transit. More can be read about
this group on the City of London website here.
o There has been a ‘bus only’ lane installed on Sarnia Road at Wonderland
Road. This is designed to allow London Transit buses priority when
turning left at the westbound traffic signal. More can be learned about
this bus only lane on the City of London website here.
‐ Standing Committee Appointments
o Every year Council selects and appoints members to the various standing
committees. The duration that members of council sit on the committee
is from December 1, of one year, to November 30, the following year.
o For the 2016/2017 year, I will be sitting on Civic Works Committee. For
details of what topics the Civic Works Committee hears at the meetings,
please visit this page on the City of London website.
Q & A
Q: What is being done to address the housing needs?
A: Province mandates what programs are in place to assist the low income and vulnerable
persons and the Municipality administers these programs. This is a similar arrangement
as assistive child care.
Currently in London there is a 10 year wait list to get into affordable housing, and this is a
grave concern. The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has been recently
established to provide further assistance to manage the shortage and to find other
manners in which to assist persons in need of housing arrangements.
NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo has taken on the task to table a Private Member’s Bill that will
allow inclusionary zoning.
“If passed, the proposed legislation for inclusionary zoning would help to achieve a
number of outcomes:
‐ Serve more people: inclusionary zoning would create affordable housing that
serves the needs of low‐ to moderate‐income families and individuals.
‐ Increase the supply of affordable units
‐ Meet local needs: inclusionary zoning would help municipalities meet affordable
housing objectives and targets set out in their housing and homelessness plans
and official plans.
More information about Inclusionary Zoning can be read here,
Q: There are areas east of Kitchener that have housing for persons in need – when will
we see similar programs here in London?
A: There are programs available in London now, such as Community Living London.
Q: There have been talks of privatizing Hydro One – can you provide comment to this?
A: Generally speaking, MPP Sattler and Cllr Ridley want to keep hydro companies within
the community. Surveys show that 81% of residents are opposed to privatization.
Premier Wynne has agreed that past mistakes have been made and will be addressing the
issue of increasing hydro rates.
Keep Hydro Public is a London Chapter that is aimed at bringing awareness to the issue of
Q: It has recently been indicated that London Hydro is talking of merging – can you
provide comment to this?
A: Talks are still confidential so comment is quite limited. Councillor Ridley is interested
and looking forward to reviewing the report that is brought forward to Committee
Q: What is the current status of the High Speed Rail?
A: City of London Council is very optimistic for the installation of High Speed Rail.
However, Queen’s Park has not seen progress through the budget process. This project
will require significant resources and work.
There is concern with the growing GTA and that this area will be the main area for the
resources and funding that becomes available to the high speed rail, which would limit
the resources and funding that is available to the remainder of SouthWestern Ontario.
Q: Why does Policy / Law change take so long and is there a way to speed up the length
of time the changes take?
A: On a Municipal level, the speed of policy / by‐law changes is highly dependent on
colleague support. If everyone is in support of a policy / by‐law change, then changes
could be seen as early as 3‐4 months. However, delays could be seen if there is
requirement for a Public Participation Meeting.
On a Provincial level, speed of changes can vary with which party holds the most seats.
One example includes the majority government brought a motion forward for
consideration, within two hours it was seen at committee with little to no time for other
party members to review.
Q: What is the current standing of the Pipe Line (line #9)?
A: As this is a Federal project, the Provincial government has little involvement and no
current information. More information can be found here, http://www.neb‐
Q: What is the Ideology of the NDP? It seems to be wavering, despite continued verbal
A: The NDP historically and continues to be, a social democrat, “Everyone deserves a
chance”. The decisions that the NDP have made are available to the general public.
Q: What is being done to address the Health Care wait times?
A: When the Conservatives were in power, a freeze was placed on the Health Care
budget system. This caused a hiring freeze, and has negatively affected the health care
system. During the last budget (2016), the Liberal government increased the budget by
1% and has also placed a moratorium on nurse cuts. Priorities are placed on Acute,
Primary, and Community Care.