Oct 26, 2015 - The One with voting rights for permanent residents
October 31, 2015
Council Highlights – October 26 & 28 Happy Halloween weekend everyone! Seems like a good time for some highlights from this past week’s Committee of the Whole meetings.
1. Voting rights for permanent residents 2. RCMP Budget 3. Department Reports – Codiac Transpo 4. Friends of Mill Creek Committee 5. Lions Park Master Plan 6. C.O.W – October 28 – Community Presentations
1. Council received a request from Thomas Raffy (3+), Moncef Lakouas and Alex LeBlanc (Executive Director of the NB Multicultural Council) to provide our support for a change in legislation that would allow those people given “permanent resident“ status the right to vote. Many municipalities in NB have supported this and it was even presented to the Union of Municipalities in New Brunswick where a motion was passed to support this initiative. Council passed a motion that “the Committee of the Whole recommend to the Council that the Town of Riverview pass a motion to support this project, which is in alignment with the Immigration Strategy, as it provides for civic inclusiveness of permanent residents through their participation at municipal elections and further that Council pass a motion to submit a letter of support for reforming the Municipal Elections Act to Premier Brian Gallant and Minister Brian Kenny to allow permanent residents to vote at municipal elections.” Motion carried 6-1.
2. RCMP Superintendent Paul Beauchesne and CRPA Treasurer Paul Van Iderstine presented the 2016 budget and RCMP overview to Council. The RCMP reported on the costs of the shooting in June of 2014, and presented on the great programs being offered, including a partnership with Horizon and Vitalite where mental health professionals have a team that can accompany RCMP on calls where mental health illness is involved. These professionals can make assessments on the scene and has proven to be very effective so far. RCMP have done great work in their youth division as well. It shows us that policing is about more than simply patrolling the streets. As far as the RCMP budget goes, they are looking for an increase from Riverview of $293,000.00. This cost does not include projections for a new RCMP building.
3. Department Reports – Directors presented their reports for the month. One of the biggest items discussed was the feedback on new routes for Codiac Transpo. As you are likely aware, we had released a survey on these new routes and had a variety of initiatives to gather different views on the service. Generally speaking, residents were happy with the new proposals for the West end of Riverview. Service improves as does frequency. In the East, stats show that ridership is lower and the proposal to Council was to adopt a shuttle service, like the service used in Dieppe, which has proven to be effective. The suttle would connect East residents to a transfer point in Riverview taking them to Moncton. Survey results indicated that residents weren’t overly warm to that idea. However; in person surveys on the bus itself had the opposite reaction and residents were open to it. What do you think? Should Council adopt the new routes including the shuttle service in the East end even though there is a split among residents who are/aren’t in favour? No financials were presented with regard to route upgrades but it would likely be in the ballpark of $100,000.00.
4. Council passed a motion that “the Committee of the Whole recommend to Council that the Town of Riverview endorse the Terms of Reference for the Mill Creek Nature Park Advisory Committee or “Friends of Mill Creek”. The committee will act in an advisory capacity to the town on matters related to the provision of community-based nature park programs, services and capital initiatives. So basically, the ball is rolling on Mill Creek Park development which will be incredibly beneficial to the town’s growth in the future, not to mention all of the great opportunities for residents!
5. Council passed a motion that “the Committee of the Whole recommend to Council that the Town of Riverview accepts the Riverview Lion’s Community Park Master Plan as presented and directs staff to utilize the proposed allocated Capital funding from the five year Capital Program to secure additional funding from other levels of government, not-for-profit organizations (including foundations), the private sector, and individual citizens, with the goal of proceeding with each of the four projects, either in total or as individual projects as indicated in the Master Plan 2015”. So we had a committee of residents, Lion’s Club and a few Councillors that developed a plan for Lion’s Park on Buckingham. It needs upgrades (as do several of our playgrounds, and P&R is working to address all of them) and the new plan will provide residents with a central attraction to the town, that will hopefully draw in non-residents as well! The Lion’s Club has committed $5000/yr for five years and Council has also included funding in our Capital budget. This motion asks staff to go and find additional funding so that we can try and reduce the costs to the town.
6. Committee of the Whole – October 28. Council heard presentations from community organizations who receive funding during the budget process. The organizations were:
Riverview Public Library Riverview Arts Centre Capitol Theatre Trans Aqua Boys & Girls Club of Riverview 3Plus Codiac Transpo
I should note, due to a conflict of interest, I stepped out of the chambers during the Boys & Girls Club presentation as they are my employer. This means that during any budget deliberation I will not be present while the Club is discussed.
These groups all presented on their 2016 budgets and amount requested from the town. Any debate on their funding will take place during budget deliberations at the end of November.
As always, should you have any questions, please drop me a line. You can check out previous highlights on my website www.andrewjleblanc.com.Happy Halloween! Stay safe and respectful…also, I’m accepting donations of candy at your convenience!