If you missed our Burlington City Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 28, here are some of the highlights of what we did — for a full recap of all the recommendations carried by Council from the Oct. 7 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, please click the links: Post-Meeting Minutes – Committee of the Whole_Oct07_2019 / Post-Meeting Minutes – Regular Meeting of Council_Oct28_2019.
• EPINEPHRINE AUTO-INJECTORS ON FIRE APPARATUS — Burlington Fire Department report, moved by me at committee
Approve the addition of epinephrine auto-injectors on fire emergency response apparatus. Report: BFD-03-19 epi pens on fire apparatus.
The most compelling piece of the report is that 85 per cent of epinephrine-related events happen outside of the home, meaning there is a need for community assistance. I thank Burlington Fire Chief David Lazenby for bringing this forward. This will be good step forward in taking care of our community.
• FIREWORK PERMISSIONS TO ADDITIONAL RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL EVENTS — Mayor’s Office report, moved by me at committee
Direct the Director of City of Building and the Fire Chief to review related bylaws (including but not limited to those listed below) to account for the expansion of permission to discharge and sell fireworks to include a broader range of religious and cultural celebrations:
- 125-1992 Regulating the sale and use of fireworks;
- 49-2008 Nuisance and noise control bylaw;
- 42-2008 Business licensing bylaw; and
Authorize the Fire Chief to immediately be able to grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The staff direction was carried unanimously. Report: MO-16-19 – fireworks for religious events.
This is here to recognize we don’t have a process where the Fire Chief can exercise discretion related to when fireworks can take place. This would allow us to be more responsive when there are community events, such as Diwali, which just recently passed. We’re changing it for the short-term and the overall policy itself. We’re not breaking any new ground here — other municipalities have done this and this is a delegated authority that we can take back if need be at any time. This is also about good governance and has been scoped to religious and cultural events. We need to give our Fire Chief the discretion moving forward and he will build the criteria in changing the overall policy.
• INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING — City Manager’s report, moved by Councillor Shawna Stolte at committee
Receive and file city manager’s office report CM-22-19 regarding infrastructure funding. Report: CM-22-19 Infrastructure Funding.
What is laid out in this report is an example of why cities need predictable funding — we’re an independent level of government that is capable of making decisions for the well-being of our city. We always ask to hear feedback from residents, who let us know every step of the way if they don’t approve of those decisions.
• STAFF DIRECTION REGARDING FREE LITTLE LIBRARIES — brought forward and moved by Councillor Rory Nisan at committee
Direct the Director of Recreation Services to work with roads, parks and forestry department staff to develop a policy for the installation and upkeep of ‘Little Free Libraries’ and to report back to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee in 2020 with the proposed policy. The policy will address possible installations on private properties and city-owned parkland/open space, and the use of the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund (SD-30-19); and
Invite interested members of the community to apply to the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund in the short term while a policy is being developed. The staff direction was carried unanimously. Memo: Memo to Chair Members of COW re Free Little Libraries Oct 1 2019.
I support implementing some form of policy for this because the Council that comes after us will benefit from our discussions and won’t have to discuss this after us. Because the Free Little Library crosses several City departments, I think it would benefit from policy. The Matching Fund is so broad that people don’t necessarily see themselves in it. I’d prefer to have it in writing, so everyone knows what is required. I think it is its own thing — we need stronger parameters around it that will outlast us and the conversation around it. It’s also an opportunity to do some public communication on it.
• CITY-WIDE PRIVATE TREE BYLAW IMPLEMENTATION — Staff report, moved by me at committee
Council voted to table the staff report on a city-wide private tree bylaw in order to protect and increase our local tree canopy and bring the coverage to 40 per cent.
This preliminary report was intended to be tabled for review and discussions of the options it lays out. Public input is still needed and valued on shaping the bylaw. It will be brought back for a decision on a recommendation by committee on Dec. 2 and voted on during the regular meeting of Council on Dec. 16. I fully expect we will have a bylaw in place by then.
Full motion: Table roads, parks and forestry report RPF-15-19 regarding a proposed city-wide private tree bylaw to be considered at the Committee of the Whole meeting to be held on Dec. 2, 2019 for approval; and
Consider the potential operating and capital budget impacts for the administration of a private tree bylaw through the budget process. Council voted unanimously to carry the full motion. Report: RPF-15-19 City-Wide Private Tree Bylaw Implementation.
What I am looking for (when the report comes back on Dec. 2) is a reduction in the diameter, and a way to prevent clear-cutting, particularly ahead of a development application. I think the people have spoken. This is the third term of council we’ve had this discussion…. There is no room for ambiguity. We’re following what our public has asked us for, for a very long time. I have heard discussions around where would we put all these trees to get to 40% tree canopy. Along our highways, roadways would be the first place to start and exactly where we need it — kilometre after kilometre of asphalt that we can extend the life of that land. There are a lot of places, even just in the downtown, where we can be planting. There are individual property owners we can ask to plant trees. I’ve had people contacting us saying they would volunteer to plant a tree on their property or that they would be interested in sitting on a task force that decides where trees go. This city-wide bylaw is the right thing to do. I want to thank all of our community partners, we’ll need their help in paying for trees and planting them. We know what we need to do. I also want to thank staff on their work on this. I 100 per cent support this initiative.
— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist