From childcare to policing, and public health to zoning applications, the price is rising for London city hall.
City officials are warning politicians that property taxpayers will be shouldering a heavier burden thanks to millions in provincial downloading – and not just the $4 million hit to the bottom line expected this year, but mounting costs that could add $6.6 million to London’s budget each year by the end of 2023.Read more
Listen to the interview on London Morning here
With the city set to look at lower speed limits on neighbourhood streets, one London councillor says he's in favour of considering limits as low as 30 kilometres an hour.
Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner worked for 10 years as a paramedic on London streets. During that time, he saw his share of vehicle vs. pedestrian and vehicle vs. cyclist injuries. Many of the victims suffered fatal or life-changing injuries.
"Those collisions can cause a lot of damage," said Turner.Read more
City politicians will mull reducing speed limits across London, especially around schools, next week as a council committee debates using municipal tools to crack down on drivers.
Forget the baseline 50 kilometres an hour — that’s the speed limit on all city streets, unless signs show otherwise. One politician wants to bring that down as low as 30 km/h.
Coun. Stephen Turner said speeding on residential streets is the No. 1 concern he hears from constituents and expects that holds true for every member of council.Read more
At least one member of London city council says the cost-benefit cases for five transit projects — submitted late Friday afternoon to the province and the feds for approval — demonstrate the city has traded down to a less beneficial system.
“Where we could have had an outstanding transit system, we’ll have a better transit system,” said Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner.
“I think we had a significant opportunity. I think that was an opportunity lost,” he added, saying the city will have to make the best of the improvements it can get funded.Read more
It’s about vision.
Where do you see our city in 50 years? As Londoners, we might have passing thoughts about our future. As councillors, the road ahead needs to be front and centre in all of our decisions.
And so, we found ourselves in a lengthy discussion as a community about how we should map out the next 50 years. Significant public consultation went into both the London Plan and our transportation master plan. Through some of the largest municipal public discussions in Canada, Londoners said clearly they wanted to decrease sprawl, protect our environment, improve mobility through the city, enhance affordability, and revitalize our downtown.Read more
It's been generating revenue for less than three months, but already London's Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) is spurring arguments over how the money should be spent.
Coun. Stephen Turner is questioning a request from the city's Juno bid committee for $150,000 to pay for a temporary outdoor fan area at Budweiser Gardens during the Junos, saying the money should instead come from Tourism London's share of the MAT.
To back his argument, the Ward 11 councillor points to a staff report presented earlier this year, when the city agreed to contribute $500,000 toward the city's Juno bid. Turner believes council was promised the city's contribution would be capped there.
"The expectations were laid out pretty clearly to us in the beginning," said Turner. "That they wouldn't be seeking any further funds and that when the accommodation tax was proposed to us, [their fund] would be the source of financing for any future bid asks."Read more
Politicians on city council’s planning committee will be asked to start crafting an affordable housing plan to help fill the gaps in the market and spur developers to build places where more Londoners can afford to live.
A hot-button election issue, London’s affordable housing — or lack thereof — generated interest at debates and cracked a number of candidates’ election platforms.
The city is already facing a long wait list and backlog of needed repairs for its public housing stock — rent-geared-to-income properties — but there are also thousands of other residents struggling to keep up with the prices of apartments and homes.Read more
A London city councillor seeking re-election is calling on the province to change the way it creates municipal voter lists, arguing the system unintentionally suppresses citizens who rent their homes.
Ward 11 Coun. Stephen Turner said he was canvassing apartment buildings this week, only to find that a large number of people living in rented units weren’t on the London municipal election list and had little information about how or where to vote.
“My concern is that this doesn’t happen to anywhere close the same degree with homeowners,” he said.Read more
It's slated to cost the average London household an extra $36 a year, but Coun. Stephen Turner says it's high time the city accept the added expense of a green bin program.
"We're certainly the largest municipality in Canada that has not yet adopted one," said Turner, a member of the city's civic works committee. "It's showed to be tried and true tech and it would be fairly easily implementable for us because everybody else has gone through the growing pains of trying to make sure they get it right."Read more
The cancellation of Ontario’s cap and trade program whisked away more than $9 million for social housing in London, in the same week Premier Doug Ford scrapped welfare hikes and pilot projects to boost the income of Ontario’s most vulnerable.
Two programs to help upgrade social housing to greener units – including heating and cooling system updates, new windows and doors, and conversion to LED lights – were axed by the provincial government.
The housing funds, one expected to deliver $8.1 million during the next three years and the other offering $1 million to London this year, are the latest initiatives funded by cap and trade revenue to collapse after the emissions pricing program was cancelled.Read more