We Love Oakville – WHRA supports efforts to stop almagamation.

Dear Neighbour,

 

Recently your WHRA Executive Committee, along with other Oakville Residents Associations, joined the grassroots organization We Love Oakville, which has been formed to Stop Amalgamation and we are appealing to you to support this campaign.  

 

As you have chosen to make Oakville your home, we would like to make you aware of the Province’s announcement on January 15, 2019 to conduct a Regional Government Review of eight Regional Municipalities (including Halton Region, Simcoe County, and several lower-tier municipalities) “to ensure that Regional Governments are working efficiently and effectively.” A two-person advisory body was appointed to submit recommendations from the review and their consultations to Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

 

The Regional Government Review is a flawed process. Engaging two advisors to review not 5 but 82 municipalities in less than six months and making any credible recommendations is beyond superficial. Our regional governance structure works well, so our focus should continually be on improving rather than destroying it.  

 

One of the possible, and many say probable outcomes from this review is a proposal for Oakville to be amalgamated with the other Halton Region Municipalities, i.e. Burlington, Milton, and Halton Hills, to form a large regional bureaucracy, The City of Halton. What will this mean for you and our community?

 

The Municipalities within Halton Region have very different fundamental characteristics and needs. To name but two: compare the low population density of Halton Hills to that of Oakville which is 6 times higher and compare a population growth rate of 30% in Milton that is 7 times higher than that of Burlington. Each of our Municipalities has developed and evolved differently based on its own needs, vision, character, culture, and priorities.

 

Forced amalgamation will therefore be extremely costly in financial, social, and human terms. All of this will be compounded by years of disruption, confusion, and conflict, as each Municipality has its own unique vision, character, and set of issues. The financial cost of forced amalgamation will be enormous. A large Regional bureaucracy will be more costly to operate than our current decentralized government system. Studies by respected organizations on previous Ontario amalgamations conclude that they did not result in cost savings, lower property taxes, or any tangible benefits. The authors of the 2015 Fraser Institute report, for instance, found that “in each case, we see significant increases in property taxes, remuneration, and long-term debt.”

 

Forced amalgamation will not produce benefits. While counterintuitive, multiple studies throughout the world have shown that municipal amalgamations rarely work. Benefits are very hard to get and, where they are realized, they take very much longer to appear.

 

Forced amalgamation will mean a loss of our voice. A large Regional bureaucracy will be more removed from the citizens it serves, more difficult to govern and control, and less responsive to local needs of the residents. Under jeopardy is Oakville’s Official Plan that protects the character of our stable neighbourhoods and our environment and which directs growth to appropriate areas.  

 

Forced amalgamation is trying to fix a system that is not broken. Our two-tier (local and regional) government in Halton efficiently and effectively serves the residents of Oakville and its other municipalities at the local level, while providing coordinated planning and shared services across the region as evidenced by these indicators:    

 

  • Oakville and Regional property tax increases have been kept at or below the rate of inflation.
  • Halton has a AAA credit rating and consistent job growth.
  • All four municipalities in Halton Region are ranked amongst the best places to live in Canada. (MoneySense 2018)
  • Halton is considered to be one of the safest regions in Canada.
  • Throughout Halton, 98% of residents rated the quality of life very high and 97% are satisfied with the quality of all services.

 

Bottom line:

Forced amalgamation will have serious financial, social, and human consequences. Property taxes will increase and the level and quality of services at the regional and local levels will likely be negatively impacted – everything from policing, fire protection, waste collection, snow removal, community centres, and libraries. AND within a large bureaucracy, our voices will be lost. These are risks that we should not be prepared to take.

 

If you support STOP AMALGAMATION, we encourage you to act:

 

 

Thanks for your consideration.

 

Your WHRA Executive

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Town of Oakville opts out of retail cannabis stores

Decision to be reviewed in December 2019
The Town of Oakville decided at its Council meeting Monday night that it will opt-out and not allow privately-operated cannabis retail stores in Oakville.
“Town Council’s vote to opt-out reflects what we have heard throughout our community,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We are supporting a wait and watch approach at this time. Municipalities just don’t have enough input into cannabis retail stores when it comes to notice, location, zoning and licensing.”
Council will reconsider its decision in December 2019 when staff will bring forward a new report once more information on retail cannabis is available.

Town votes on allowing Cannabis Retail Stores tomorrow – input wanted

January 14, 2019 — Council to vote whether to opt-in or opt-out of allowing retail cannabis stores in town.

Share your thoughts

The town wants to hear what residents have to say on this matter.

Attend Planning and Development Council on January 14, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Halton Regional Centre – Council Chamber
1151 Bronte Road, Oakville

Residents are welcome to share their opinion at the Council meeting on January 14 and can register as a delegate by emailing the townclerk@oakville.ca or call 905-815-6015.

Remember to vote! – October 22 : Ward 2 and Mayor of Oakville

Please remember to vote this Monday, October 22nd for Ward 2 and Mayoral candidates. Voting is a key civic responsibility for all members of the community; we can only keep the West Harbour area such a great place to live through our civic engagement.

More voting information can be found here:

https://elections.oakville.ca/

Another Successful WHRA AGM

Once again, the West Harbour Resident’s Association has had a successful, entertaining evening at our Annual General Meeting. Resident’s took the opportunity to enjoy socializing over beverages and snacks prior to the meeting, and had the opportunity to meet candidates for Ward 2 and the Mayoral candidates.

A big thank you to all of the residents, Mayoral candidates, and Ward 2 Candidates who attended our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday.  Special thanks to the Oakville Yacht Squadron, who hosted us in their lovely facility right in the harbour and within the West Harbour area itself.

Bill Ardell did a wonderful job as MC, keeping the evening flowing, and maintaining decorum amongst all of the interested parties during the evening.

Cathy Duddeck, Ward 2 and Regional Councillor, spoke to issues of importance to the West Harbour Residents’.  Her presentation spoke to a great variety of topics, highlighting what a big task all Councillors undertake representing Oakville and our West Harbour area.  She has done a great job representing our neighbourhood over the years and was acclaimed in this years elections.

Ward 2 Candidates Ray Chisholm and Fraser Damoff made impassioned speeches about the issues of concern, followed by Mayoral Candidates Rob Burton, Julia Hanna and John McLaughlin. It was an interesting and informative evening as each candidate outlined their positions.

Resident’s had the opportunity to ask questions of all of the candidates, with candidates being given a time limit for responses. 20181016_202523

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND PUB NIGHT – Tuesday, October 16

WEST HARBOUR RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND PUB NIGHT

 The Mayor and Councillors will be in attendance as well as the candidates for the upcoming Municipal Election.

If you have specific questions that you would like to add to the agenda, let us know

Tuesday, October 16th 2018

At The Oakville Yacht Squadron

West side of the river at Oakville Harbour

Doors open 6:30 p.m. Social until 7:30 p.m.

 Cash bar

Light Refreshments provided

Come, meet your neighbours and find out what is happening in your community!

Thank you to all who attended the annual WHRA BBQ

Once again the WHRA BBQ was a roaring success.  Thank you to all who attended, brought salads, good cheer and merriment to our neighbourhood gathering. Special mention to Mother Nature, who held off with the rain until the last neighbours went home.

If you are missing trays or containers, please drop by 56 Kerr Street to pick up your items.

Attached are photos from this highlight of the WHRA Social Calendar.  IMG_6626

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West Harbour Resident’s Annual BBQ- September 9th

We will once again host the annual WHRA BBQ on the verdant lawns of Jenn and Stephen’s home, at 56 Kerr Street on September 9th. The BBQ begins at 5pm. All WHRA resident’s are welcome to attend this fun filled annual event.

The WHRA Executive will be providing hamburgers, hot dogs and sausages. Resident’s are requested to bring a side dish for the communal table. Chairs and tables will be available, but resident’s are encouraged to bring one or more folding chairs with them if possible.

Please RSVP to Lesley Henshaw or Carole Gilbert so that we may estimate numbers for food at:

lesley.henshaw@sympatico.ca

Or

carolegilbert@sympatico.ca

 

Oakville Named Best Place to Live in Canada

It will come as no surprise to most West Harbour Residents, nestled as we are between Kerr Village, Downtown Oakville, and Lake Ontario, but the Town of Oakville recently earned MoneySense Magazine’s coveted “Best Place to Live in Canada” for 2018.

Considering that Canada ranks at or the near the top of most every list of the best countries to live in the World, and that West Harbour can arguably boast more advantages than anywhere in Oakville, you have a very nice place to live, regardless of where you compare.

Link to article:

https://www.moneysense.ca/spend/real-estate/canadas-best-places-to-live-2018-winner/

Oakville’s Canada Day celebration

Canada Day Celebration
Bronte Heritage Waterfront Park
July 1, 2018, 6-10 p.m.

New this year – the celebration will be an evening event starting at 6 p.m., with the fireworks show starting at 10 p.m. (weather permitting).

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and get to the park early to ensure a great seat for the fireworks over the water.

Family activities, music and food trucks will start in the park at 6 p.m.

Road closures and parking restrictions will be in effect before and during the event.

 

https://www.oakville.ca/events/canada-day.html