March Newsletter

Dear friends,

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Family Day and everyone is looking forward to a lovely March Break! I know we are! For March break this year we will be staying close to home and participating in events and outings around the city.

Let’s talk about possible changes to the way London votes!
The City of London is hosting community conversations to provide the public with information on a proposed by-law for a ranked ballot election. At these talks, you can review and ask questions about how the current First-Past-the-Post system works, how a ranked ballot system works, other alternative ways to vote, and an estimate of the costs involved in holding ranked ballot elections. These events are a great opportunity to ask questions and have your voice heard by city staff and members of your community!

Two of these events will take place at the same time on Wednesday March 8th and Thursday March 9th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. On Wednesday, the two locations are the North London Optimist Community Centre (1345 Cheapside Street) and the Medway Community Centre (119 Sherwood Forest Square). On Thursday, the two locations are the Earl Nichols Arena Meeting Room (799 Homeview Road) and the Stronach Community Centre (1221 Sanford Street). For more information, visit www.london.ca/elections.

Thursday February 23rd was an eventful night for Public Meetings! There was a great turnout at the LTC Community Meeting and the Sanctuary City Community Consultation. I understand many residents went to both events!

The Sanctuary City Community Consultation was a way for the City of London to receive feedback from the public while providing information on what a sanctuary city would look like in our city. On the consultation guides provided at that meeting, the definition of a sanctuary city is a “city where all residents have full rights to access all City Services and City Administered Services without fear, regardless of their documentation.” Since law enforcement activities related to immigration falls under federal jurisdiction in Canada, the policies discussed are only those related to the areas of access to municipal services under the jurisdiction of the city. If you had any questions relating to immigration law and its enforcement, you can contact your Federal MP representative. Please visit this link to determine who your MP is.

In the near future, the other City Councillors and I will vote on whether London will become a sanctuary city. Although Londoners will not be voting, I still want to make sure that I am informed of your diverse perspectives as Londoners and/or members of Ward 10. Even if you attended the event and completed the feedback forms, I am still interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter! I invite you all to provide me with input so that I can better represent my Ward in Council and other city meetings.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to evaluate my performance as your representative! In addition to my personal reflection, I am glad that I created this opportunity for you to reflect on my performance and voice your thoughts! While I am still receiving responses, this survey has already been helpful in increasing my awareness of the positive and constructive feedback about my growth areas.

The links to the short (est. 3-5 minutes) and longer (5-10 minutes) are on my website. To receive a hard copy of the survey, please contact Ashleigh Griffiths from the City Councillors Office at 519-661-5095. To return your survey by mail, address your letter to: 300 Dufferin Ave, Suite 314, London ON N6A 4L9. You can return your survey in person at Westmount London Public Library, 3200 Wonderland Road South.

I will be sure to work on areas of improvement and use this feedback to better serve our Ward and our City. For example, the evaluation reported that 33.4% of the survey participants ranked my ability to align my priorities with your expectations with a score of 5 out of 10 or lower. If you would like to discuss your expectations, or give feedback after I vote on a Council decision, you are always welcome to contact me.

Last night at council, a motion put forward by Councillor Helmer and I to prepare an amended bylaw that will increase the funding percentage under the basement flooding grant program passed. This is not yet approved, but on it’s way. The amendment will allow those impacted by basement flooding to access up to 90% of the remediation costs, and to finance the remaining 10% via their property tax bill over a ten year period. I know that basement flooding has had a significant impact on Ward 10 residents, and that sometimes the costs to disconnect the weeping tiles, or to tie in your sump pump to the storm drain are prohibitive. I feel passionately about helping you to solve these issues, and am thrilled that council supported the drafting of a new bylaw which will go to council in the near future for approval. If you require information about the basement flooding grant program, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

My newsletter subscription is increasing, but there are still many people I’m not reaching. Please forward this email to your neighbours, or if you have the time, contact my office to make arrangements to receive paper copies to share with your neigbours. I mail out packages of 10-30 newsletters for those who are willing to share with their neighbours. I appreciate any help in distributing that you are able and willing to offer.

Kind Regards,

Virginia Ridley
Councillor
Ward 10

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