John Sankey: He presented the agenda for the meeting and asked for any additions. He welcomed Shirley Seward, School Trustee of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
Shirley Seward: She handed out written remarks. The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is rolling out full-day kindergarten in our schools. She is centrally involved in a review of secondary schools, including Brookfield. She discussed the transfer policy at the School Board. She brought a motion to make the transfer policy more transparent and equitable. The motion was passed unanimously
John Sankey: The community service centres are able to help immigrant families better than the recreational associations because they are more racially diverse.
Yacoub Abu-Al-Hawa: Muslim women expect that recreational activities be segregated between men and women but most activities have men and women together.
Shirley Seward: The Public School Board tries to make all religions feel comfortable in the schools. There are rooms set aside and time allowed for Muslim students to pray.
Peter Foulger: His wife feels that Christianity is actively suppressed in the Public School System.
Issie Berish: The staff and teachers at Bayview Public School do a good job of meeting everybody's needs.
John Sankey: Introduced Eddie Rwema, the EMC reporter.
Eddie Rwema: Eddie spoke briefly and asked that his e-mail address be included in the minutes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion: To approve the January 2012 minutes. Moved by Issie Berish, seconded by Dominic Lozada, carried.
Angela Ryan: Handed out the Councillor's Report.
John Sankey: At our January meeting, we passed a motion supporting the City's proposal to build affordable housing. At our December meeting, we passed a motion that Bronson remain an arterial road and that extra lanes be provided for left-hand turns. We sent an e-mail to the City (attached) but the City just approved the plan for major reconstruction of Bronson without the extra lanes. Prince of Wales will be widened from two lanes to four between Hunt Club Road and Hogs Back. There will still be a two-lane section between the Greek Church and Baseline. The two-lane section will prevent traffic from using the Heron Road Bridge rather than the Sheflin Bridge to reach Prince of Wales South. In January, the City informed us of its initiative to tighten the regulations concerning residential pools. Board members were not enthusiastic. John asked if the Board wanted to formally oppose the initiative? Answer was no. We received a request from Ecology Ottawa for municipal support of home upgrades.
Motion: That the HCCO does not support Ecology Ottawa's proposal for a feasibility study on municipal financing for energy retrofits. Moved by Peter Brimacombe, seconded by Peter Foulger, carried.
Peter Foulger: The Municipal Taxpayer Advocacy Group has pointed out that the water and sewer rates for Ottawa have gone up a lot.
John Sankey: Rates have gone up because Ottawa in the past, has spent too much on services and not enough on maintaining infrastructure. Ottawa has the purest water in the Province but is adding chemicals to delay corrosion of old water pipes. It's going to take years of extra spending to restore the water and sewage systems.
Peter Foulger: We have one of the highest water costs of any city in Ontario.
Next meeting: Monday, March 5 at 19:00