May 12/04 Report
Present: Mayor DiIanni, Dave Braden, Phil Bruckler, Chad Collins, Murray Ferguson, Andrea Horwath, Tom Jackson, Bill Kelly, Margaret McCarthy, Brian McHattie, Sam Merulla, Bernie Morelli, Dave Mitchell, Maria Pearson, Russ Powers, terry Whitehead
Media : Grant Ranalli, Kevin Werner (Brabant), Eric McGuinness (Spectator), Doug Cameron (K-Lite), Ken Mann (CHML), Matt Jehle (independent)
Changes to Agenda :
- item 6.6 deleted
- added communication item 5.4 - petition re lease from Dundas Arts & Craft Association which operates at the Carnegie Gallery - recommend that it be received and referred to the general manager of planning and development fro report back to the Planning & Development committee
- palliative care in Ontario - item 7.3
- motion introduced by Councillor Pearson re Red Hill Valley projects 5 & 6
- 2 private and confidential matters - 10.1 and 10.2, dealing with a contractual and personnel matter
DiIanni: Any declarations of interest?
Ferguson: Could I just get some information on the motions on the Red Hill contracts?
DiIanni: The motions are before you. Councillor Whitehead?
Whitehead: Could I ask you why it's coming in this form?
DiIanni: We'll deal with that when we get to the motion and you can ask that question.
- Presentation by painter, David Magder, of painting done in 1952 of old city of Hamilton to Mayor on behalf of City - appropriate to be hung in the Farmers Market
- presentation to Chaplain Peter Wall , recognizing his work with city emergency workers
- recognition to 3 fire safety officers and staff of immigration and settlement services who translated home fire safety pamphlets into 10 different languages for use in the home
- award to Levitt Safety for support of programme that trained civilian volunteers in managing emergencies
- award to auto extrication team (volunteer firemen) who have competed at very high levels throughout North America
Minutes of council meetings April 28 & 29 approved and carried
Communications : moved by A.Horwath/seconded by M.Ferguson that items 5.1- 5.3 be received and accepted and item 5.4 be referred to Planning and Development Committee
Whitehead: on 5.3, it appears to be a payment in respect to SARS from the province of Ontario. It talks about non-public health related costs incurred by municipalities in response to SARS. I'm just curious, there's an amount of $34,671.86; where is that going to be allocated to?
DiIanni: Mr. Treasurer?
J. Rinaldo: Basically these are cost recoveries on the funding that we received last year so I would assume that the funding would be allocated against the costs that we incurred. It may have been accrued last year for the costs.subject to be looked into further, that's what I think it is
Staff: We submitted all the costs and rolled them up for the entire corporation and submitted them through finance, some of which have been covered through the ministry. I suspect that this will go toward, to help us meet the bottom line ;;we're not getting back everything we lost..(unable to hear)..it will be a contribution toward the deficit..
DiIanni: You say it will go toward the bottom line ..councillor.
Whitehead: I don't know if that's clear. I'm hearing that we've already recovered some of the costs; this is something new and I don't know if this is something we've been expecting over and above what we've received to date; can I ask that question?
Staff: I don't know whether the finance general manager was expecting it; I wasn't expecting it ..whether this is a contribution toward all the lost revenues that we had through our cultural facilities, our tourism, etc. , I don't know what the terms and purpose was
J.Rinaldo: If we can provide that information tomorrow - we don't have that information. Certainly we can send a communication to council tomorrow, clarifying whether this is unexpected revenues or revenues we were counting on that we had set up as recoveries from the province
Whitehead: I'd appreciate a report, thank you.
DiIanni: Councillor McHattie
McHattie: I'd like clarification on item 5.2, we're communicating with Indian affairs and northern development concerning drinking water quality issues up at Six nations,I guess it is. Could you or staff clarify what that is about? What are we offering?
DiIanni: I can tell you that just today, it's on my desk, I did receive communication from the minister, Andy Mitchell, but it's on my desk and I can make it available to council members as well, tomorrow. I just glanced at it so I'm not even sure of the content. Can anyone on staff add anything else? Jim?
Staff(Jim): I'm not aware of the letter and what its contents is right now but I can get that information for you
DiIanni: I'll make sure that people here see it.
6.1 Public Works, Infrastructure and Environment Committee - all items carried without discussion
Acceptance of report CARRIED
6.2 Planning and Economic Development Committee - items 1 to 8 carried without discussion
item 9. Bruckler: With respect to item 9, the Stoney Creek Dairy,as recent as this afternoon, some additional information came forward. I would like to have this tabled until the next council meeting if I could.
DiIanni: I have a seconder for the tabling motion, Councillor Kelly - moved and CARRIED to table the motion at next meeting
Go ahead, Councillor Whitehead
Whitehead: I was looking at item 8 and I know there are a number of people in the audience in respect to Veterans' Park and I just want to make it clear that we just addressed that issue
Report ACCEPTED & CARRIED
6.3 Corporate Administration Committee - items 1 to 8 carried without discussion
Report ACCEPTED & CARRIED
6.4 Strategic planning & Budgets Committee -
item 1 - Collins: We had some discussion of item 1 at the committee in regards to the capital budget surplus for the year 2003. In additions to that it included the closing of some accounts prior to 2003. If I could get some clarification from Mr. Rinaldo, I believe that the levy-supported variance was $165,000 ; I just want to clarify that number.
J. Rinaldo: Actually, Councillor Collins, it's actually $185,208, I found it in the reort.
Collins: Mr. Mayor, there was some discussion at that time, I don't think we had this number but it was clarified after by staff. I would like to look at placing the 185, instead of in the general levy, into some public works programmes that have substantial waiting lists. #1, the new sidewalk replacement programme, which is an annual account, has a waiting list that is literally hundreds of locations long and it's a very small dollar amount, I believe, that we currently provide on an annual basis.
Second to that, the stump removal programme, while we did address the whole issue of the planting of new trees, that waiting list is 500 homes long and we're only dealing with 2002 requests at this point. So we're 2 years behind in that and I would ask Mr. Mayor, that instead of putting the 185 into the reserve, to support these 2 programmes that seem to have some backlogs associated with them. We could split it evenly between those two, and I would put that amendment at the appropriate time if there is support for that.
DiIanni: I'll take some other questions on number 1,if not I'll take the amendment. Councillor Kelly?
Kelly: just a question -actually we talked about this as Councillor Collins alluded to, at the committee level and I think there's a lot of merit to catch up on the backlog. The question I have though is that with the best of intentions we've tried to do these things in the past, and for a variety of reasons, whether it's scheduling, or staffing situations, are not able to complete these works anyway. If in fact, we were able to move this in, can we , in fact, make a dent in the backlog in some of these thing, with our current staffing levels? Through you too, Mr. Harnham. Sorry, Jim, in 25 words or less (laugh)
DiIanni: (in background) and it better be good!
J. Harnham: We can attempt to do that. What I would have to do is bring back some more information and look into the amount of resources that would be required to do that.
Kelly: Mr. Mayor, I have great faith in our staff to be able to that and I would happily second Councillor Collins' motion at the appropriate time.
DiIanni: Well, the motion has been made and I'll accept it now. Moved and seconded. Any questions, comments? All in favour? CARRIED.
Numbers 2 to 5 CARRIED without discussion
Number 6 - Councillor Collins
Collins: I just want to say a few words on this. I know staff is coming back with a report but I guess the issue that I wanted to deal with and highlight tonight is the whole fact that currently we do not have a unified tax rate in this municipality. One of the complaints I often get from the residents who live in my area is just that. When we start comparing values and tax rate and the bottom-line taxes between the old City of Hamilton, for instance, and some of the other former municipalities, we find that there are great discrepancies. I would like to ask our staff, in addition to the direction that was given in the "G" part in the information section, that talks about area-rating being addressed by our staff, I know there was some discussion around a harmonized tax rate as part of that but I'd like to point out that there may be some support even if we look at an urban and rural split, because I think there was some merit to that in the discussions at committee and I don't think it was highlighted in the direction to staff and so when we are coming back to talk about the 111 million dollars worth of levy-supported budget allotments that we deal with on an annual basis under area rating, that we look into having a separate rate for both urban and rural. So, if I could add that direction, it's not in the information section. I think there'd be some support based on the discussion we had.
DiIanni: Do we need a formal ..?
Christenson: No, I think the staff direction would be sufficient, given it's in the background information
DiIanni: Alright, so staff has been directed then. All in favour of "6" as amended
Acceptance of report - moved by T. Jackson, seconded by B. Kelly
6.5 Social and Public Health Services Committee Report
Numbers 1 to 3 CARRIED without discussion
McHattie: I chair the pesticide bylaw committee for the City, the pesticide sub-committee and I became aware of an email that was going around to some members of Council today and telephone calls as well, from WeedMan, Hamilton which outlined some concerns about the approach that we're taking with the committee. I wanted to briefly touch on what the approach is that we've decided to take. The approach was originally considered 2 years ago, 2002, when this committee was first thought about, and it didn't actually move ahead because of SARS, West Nile virus, and a number of other important public health issues that came up in the meantime. So we're just at this point, for the last couple of months or so, re-establishing the committee. Of course, throughout that 2 year time period, other parts of Canada, in terms of how pesticides are dealt with on a municipal basis have moved ahead and are up to about 60 bylaws across the country now that address pesticide issues in municipalities in various provinces. We wanted to be in a position to look at, do our homework on this issue and work with staff to look at all those different bylaws and different approached that are used across the country. For that reason we decided to alter the design of the committee, from one that has a number of citizens on it from different points of view on the subject, to a committee that has 3 councillors; Councillors Jackson Mitchell, and myself to work with staff on the different bylaw options and different educational approaches that various municipalities have put together. You should know that the City of Toronto has a pesticide bylaw, the City of Perth, Cobalt, Ontario has a bylaw , as well as others throughout the country. That's where we're at. We've established a committee with the 3 councillors to consult, put together some ideas on this and the important discussion we had at the committee level, is that we consult as widely as possible across the City of Hamilton on this issue. It's an issue that's very important to all Hamiltonians; one that we need to talk to various sectors affected by this and various people across the geographical range of the city. Those are the important things. I won't go too much further with the WeedMan's comments. We spoke to some of the legal issues on the subject and the City of Toronto bylaw has been through the courts and has come out the other side intact. I've got a report, or a communication by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario that outlines that case (the City of Toronto pesticide bylaw) which was upheld by the Superior Court in Ontario in December and outlines the number of reasons why the court decided it was very much in the purview of the municipalities in Canada, in Ontario, specifically, to pass such a bylaw. It goes into some detail that I won't go into here. I'll speak to it if anyone wishes. The Weedman companies and pesticide companies have decided to appeal that and are suggesting that we wait until that appeal is heard, which may be in the fall sometime. I'd like to suggest that this has been established very clearly in the decision upheld by the Superior Court in Ontario and we may be in a situation that no matter what the decision of some court is, the chemical companies may continue to appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, perhaps. I don't want Hamiltonians to be in a position to be left behind on this. We know just within the last week or so, the family physicians of Ontario, through the College of Family Physicians produced a very comprehensive report (I've got it right here) which outlines a lot of details on the research associated with the human health effects and other wildlife that are affected by pesticides. We had another article in the Hamilton Spectator this morning about that. I'd like to set Council's mind at ease, if I can, that it's through the good discussion with my colleagues (Councillors Mitchell and Jackson) that we decided to go in this direction and assure everyone that full public consultation is the intent .In fact, this is absolutely mandatory from our perspective and we want to move ahead so that Hamiltonians are protected in this way and have an opportunity to discuss this in a public manner.
DiIanni: Thank you. I do have some other speakers. Councillor Ferguson.
Ferguson: to Councillor McHattie, I heard him say public debate will indeed be encouraged. Can I also hear you say that agricultural application will not be part of this study?
McHattie: That's very much true that agriculture won't be part of this committee. It's focused on the cosmetic use of pesticides and there are other venues that address issues around agricultural practices which are doing a very good job at working with and by farmers. Farmers have taken the lead on this in many cases, particularly here in Ontario.
DiIanni: Councillor Powers
Powers: I offer the services of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This item was discussed at the environmental committee within the last couple of years, so we dealt with it on both the national, provincial and territorial, so the resources are there. We had intervener status at the Hudson, Quebec hearings in which the appeal was upheld and certainly, any of our resources are available to your committee.
DiIanni: And Councillor Mitchell
Mitchell: I brought a copy of that email in that most of the councillors have and just ask staff to keep us updated, and a general request, maybe to all councillors to what happens with the Toronto bylaw.I think it has a big bearing on what Hamilton is going to prepare, so if they could keep us individually updated when they receive things, it would be greatly appreciated.
DiIanni: Number 4, all in favour of number 4?
Merulla: I move myself and seconded by Councillor Horwath, the next MPP for HamiltonEast, that the seventh report of the Social and Public Health Services committee be adopted and the information section received.
DiIanni: Members of Council, we're on Motions now. Item 7.1, noted under the motions section, is an item which was tabled at the last Council meeting, respecting the alignments of the Hamilton Waterfront Recreational Trail extension, including trail sections at the Leander Boat Club. First, we need a motion to lift this item from the table. Moved by Morelli, seconded by Merulla
The motion to approve the site before you is item 7.1b. What is your pleasure with this item and I do have some speakers, or at least, a speaker, Councillor Whitehead.
Whitehead: I'd like to further table this with direction, so I would like to move that.
DiIanni: Sorry, we moved to lift it, and we did that, now we need a motion to actually put it in front of us. I need a mover and seconder, then I'll take your tabling motion. Moved by Morelli, seconded by Merulla, all in favour, CARRIED
Now, I have a tabling motion, moved by yourself, seconded by Councillor Merulla, no discussion on tabling, you just want to give direction.
Whitehead: The direction would be to staff to do a full analysis of the current operations down there, as I think there's some conflicting information relative to the activity. So over the next number of months, I'd like to see a full report come in respect to the analysis and at that time we lift the motion and deal with it then. That's regarding the activity at Leander Boat Club.
DiIanni: OK, and staff understands that? Debate on the tabling motion?
Horwath: Clarification, Mr. Mayor. Does that then presuppose that the other portion of the trail, the 3 meter bypass portion will then be built in the interim? Alright, thanks..(mumbling heard in the background)
DiIanni: Councillor Collins
Collins: On the direction, doesn't the current staff report include a full analysis of the operation of that area? Just to clarify..or are we looking for additional information that's not included in the report?
DiIanni: I think we'll let the mover speak for himself.
Collins: I'd ask staff that question; they wrote the report
DiIanni: Go ahead, staff
Staff: Yes, we did provide an evaluation at Leander Boat Club as part of the overall study of the trail
Collins: Secondly, I have a question with regards to what we are actually dealing with. As I understand it, when we put the motion at the last meeting, we talked about the contentious area around that area of the harbour. I'm wondering if that would include the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club where we have a buy-in from the stakeholders in that section. Is it just the area we're dealing with around Leander, or is it actually in front of the yacht club as well?
Whitehead: The direction is, I believe,.....(end of tape)
..the activity that currently takes place on the water's edge, so I'm looking for a full report analysis of the type of activity that takes place, how often and frequent it is, so I have an understanding whether or not there is a sincere, or certainly an effect on their operation, that the trail goes through.
DiIanni: We're straying into debating the process and we have a tabling motion. Councillor Pearson, I'll recognize you, but just on the direction.
Pearson: It's just a question. I recall when we dealt with this at the last Council, the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club was also included in there. The direction to staff was that it was included; that they address both the Leander Boat Club and the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. So if I could ask for clarification of that..
DiIanni: Again, Councillor Whitehead, you're meaning to not include the yacht club in this new direction, or are you?
Whitehead: It's my understanding that the Royal Yacht Club is satisfied with the proposed trail so I don't think that's an issue. I'm just dealing with the contentious portion of the trail and that is in front of Leander Boat Club.
DiIanni: That's the direction given so we'll deal with the tabling motion and the direction which is clear. All in favour? Against? That CARRIES.
The next matter is item 7.2a, another item which was tabled at the last Council meeting, respecting a land lease agreement with the Leander Boat Club for the premises at 477 Bay St. North. May I have a verbal motion to lift this item from the table? Moved by Collins, seconded by Ferguson, all I favour of lifting it? CARRIED
I now need a motion indicating what it is that you would like done with this issue. Councillor Ferguson
Ferguson: To the staff, what's the difference between a and b? I don't see anything..is there? There's no difference between a and b, correct?
Staff: "A" is the terms that we're recommending and "B" is the direction to have the Mayor and City Clerk execute the agreement. I go on to say that we should not go on to deal with this report at this time because of the trail issue. It would have a conflict for the City later on.
DiIanni: So we really need to table this one as well until we resolve the otherone; they do go hand in hand.
Staff: that's right
DiIanni: I'll accept a tabling motion at the appropriate time. You have a question?
Collins: I have a question with regards to the useable space ,I don't believe this issue was discussed at committee and I have a question to make sure staff are following up on this in the interim. My question is, does this include the useable space outside? And I know Mr. Watson...Again, to Mr. Watson, does the current lease arrangement that's before us, include the physical space outside the building?
Staff (Watson): The current proposal before you is the water lot in front of the building, the side compound, as well as the building itself.
Collins: Thank you, that's all the questions
DiIanni: Any other speakers? Councillor Ferguson
Ferguson: I'd just like to question tabling this. Does the trail location impact the lease? Is that what you're saying?
Staff (Watson): If you approve the lease you could have difficulty recommending the trail going in front of the building after you have approved the lease.
Ferguson: Or does it reduce ..(unable to hear)..
DiIanni: The point is that if you table one, you have to table two because they are intertwined. So, I will accept a tabling motion. Councillor Morelli, seconded by councillor Whitehead . All in favour? That's CARRIED
7.3, Councillor Pearson, may we have your motion respecting 100% funding for hospices and palliative care in Ontario?
Pearson : It's been moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Kelly that the Mayor be authorized and directed to forward correspondence to the Premier of Ontario, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-term care and the Ontario Minister of Finance, on behalf of Council to request that the province include funding for the operation of community residential hospices in Ontario. And that a copy of this letter be forwarded to our local members of provincial parliament , the management board of cabinet, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies, and all other Ontario Boards of health for information.
If I could just speak to it, Mr. Mayor, to give some information. Actually, this came in light of a news article which was in the paper today with regard to Minister George Smitherman's announcement that there is going to be more funding for long-term care facilities in Ontario and with that, also is the need for seniors who are living longer and who are affected by long-term care and the need for hospices in our community. Hospices provide palliative care and quality of life for terminally-ill patients in their last days. They also provide physical, emotional, social, and spiritual care for patients and their families. Hospices started in the 1960's in London, England and they have patients of all ages. In the year 2000, the Canadian Senate stated that quality end-of-life care must become an entrenched core value of the Canadian health care system. Every person is entitled to die in relative comfort, and as free as possible from physical, emotional and psycho-social and spiritual distress. And every Canadian is entitled to access to skilled, compassionate and respectful care at the end of life. Existing palliative care wards within the health care system are already overburdened and in hospital settings they're focused on acute care and not end-of-life care. Not all individuals want to die in a hospital. Average cost of hospital palliative care is about $830.00 a day and costs of residential hospice palliative care is approximately $270.00 a day. This also frees up hospital beds for other uses. Today there are over 90 hospices, residential hospices, that manage a force of almost 14,000 volunteers and over 600,000 hours of palliative care is given in more than 400 communities in Ontario. There is a definite need for 100% funding from the province to residential hospices and it is required in Ontario as our population ages and our dollars could be spent more cost-effectively. That's my motion, Mr. Chairman. I would also like to welcome Beth Ellis who is the director of the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice in Stoney Creek, who is here this evening.
DiIanni: Very good. Any other questions or comments? Councillor Kelly
Kelly: I'm pleased to be seconding Councillor Pearson's motion. I think many of us around this table and certainly in this community are aware of the great work the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice does. One of the things we have always been concerned about when a previous provincial government back in the mid- 1990's decided on hospital reform and health care reform and closing of hospital beds , and the closing of hospitals, backlogs in emergency rooms, etc, etc was because we pleaded at the community level that if you're going to go through that process, there has to be support services. That includes palliative care, that includes care for the frail and elderly, and of course, in the hospice situation, as well. That government, sadly, did not seem to get the message and caused a great deal of consternation right across the province. We're hopeful that the current provincial government will hear this and understand the importance of hospices in the health care system. It's a great support service and will obviously relieve a lot of the angst and frustration that is happening at the primary care level. I'm happy to support this and hope that the provincial government will listen to this as well. Thank you.
DiIanni: Seeing there are no other speakers, all in favour? That's CARRIED.\
7.4, motion respecting Red Hill Valley project contracts 5 and 6 and it's been moved by Councillor Pearson, please
Pearson: It's moved by myself and seconded by Councillor Mitchell that the General Manager of Public Works be authorized and directed to award contracts 5 and 6, pertaining to the Red Hill Valley project. And, b, that following the award, that those aspects in the contracts that are currently subject to government review not be undertaken until such time that formal comments are received.
DiIanni: Thank you. Councillor McHattie.
McHattie: I just need some clarification on this. Can I ask staff to describe briefly the contents of contracts 5 and 6? Please provide us with a dollar figure as well, that's my first question.
C.Murray (staff): Contract 5 deals with the mainline grading of Red Hill Expressway from approximately 700 meters south of Greenhill Avenue and to approximately to about 700 north of Queenston. The dollar value of that contract is $35, 532,212.24. Contract 6 deals with again, mainline grading of the Red Hill Expressway from Mud St. interchange to Greenhill Avenue. The dollar value of that contract is $21,954,768.75.
DiIanni: Before you continue, Councillor Ferguson has just declared, now hearing the details in its clarity, a potential conflict. Councillor Ferguson, I think you have to say this, not me, so I'll just give you a chance to say it.
Ferguson: I'm out of here! Conflict of interest. ..a family member is an employee of one of the (mumbled ) - (left Council chambers)
McHattie: Mainline grading, is that the term? I just want to get perhaps a little more in explanatory terms what that means, and maybe just a clarification. Does this mean that we're going ahead at this point in time with these contracts with the largest cut in the history of the Niagara Escarpment? Is that included here as well?
C.Murray: Certainly there will be a cut in the Niagara Escarpment , whether or not it's the largest, I'm not sure of that particular fact. It is an improvement over what was conceived in the eighties, when there was going to be 2 cuts to the escarpment, now we're only dealing with one.
McHattie: I just want to make that clear; it is the largest cut in the history of the Niagara Escarpment, we've got the history on that and it's definitely the case. I represent the City on the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the NEC is essentially not in favour of the expressway but has been forced to issue a development permit through the 1987 cabinet decisions, so the Niagara Commission's hands are tied on this issue, but it's clear that this is in the City of Hamilton, the largest cut in the history of the Niagara Escarpment. It's a sad day for the environment here in Hamilton and right across the whole length of this World Biosphere Reserve, United Nations-recognized World Biosphere Reserve. Mr. Mayor, if I can ask a question on "B". It speaks to perhaps concerns that some levels of government with approval capability on the expressway, appear to have some concerns still in place here. Can I ask Chris to outline for us which Ministries or federal departments have concerns, and please describe the nature of those concerns.
C. Murray: The issue here doesn't really have anything to do with concerns expressed by government agencies. It has everything to do with the process that we have been following in the timing of the work that the government has been doing over the last several months. We met with government agencies, specifically the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources and Niagara Escarpment Conservation Authority, back in January to make clear what our construction schedule was and to ensure that whatever detailed information they required in order for them to fulfill their obligations was provided to them in ample time for them to consider and reach some conclusions. Earlier this week, through telephone conversations that occur almost on a weekly basis from our office to the government agencies, we were informed that rather than DAYS away from receiving letters that would support what we're doing, in terms of the detail, the word is that it may take longer, as a result of the backlog of work that they're dealing with, which obviously extends beyond Red Hill. And so, in light of that, we do have a situation where we would like to respect our goal which is to complete this project by the fall of 2007. In keeping with that goal, we would like to proceed with what would amount to, in this case, pre-construction related activity, which would be surveying, fencing, and work of that nature. The issue here is not one of IF the approvals or the support will come, it's a question of WHEN. As I say, we've been working with them for some time and we hope that we're a day or two away from having what we have been asking for, and it looks like it may take a little bit longer.
McHattie: Just a clarification, again. Chris, please, which ministry is it and what approval is it?
C. Murray: We'll start first with the federal government, specifically the Department of fisheries and Oceans. We received authorization from DFO back in November of last year and that was subject to providing them with details concerning our project, and certainly, the details associated with contracts 5 and 6. They've had that information for some time. They've received additional information that they requested several weeks ago and they are working through this; it's obviously consistent with the concept they approved. Again, we're dealing with the situation where, because of the backlog of work they're dealing with, they're not able to fully meet our timeline. So, it's not so much a question of "if" again, but a question of "when". The other government agencies we're dealing with include Ministry of Natural Resources, Lakes and rivers, similar situation. The concept has had approval for some time; the details have been in their hands and the discussion I had with the director, I believe it was on Tuesday. In fact, yesterday, was that it would be likely be toward the end of the month before they would get back with the necessary formal support for what we are doing. We had been, of course, talking to them repeatedly, hoping to get this sooner rather than later but that seems to be the best they can do in light of the process they have to follow. Ministry of the Environment; we're dealing with our storm water management system and that approval is, I think, much closer, likely either tomorrow or Friday or early next week. Conservation Authority has provided us with a letter indicating that they'll be issuing permits subject to conditions which we've responded back to and we're satisfied that is all in hand. We have approval, obviously as you know, from the Niagara Escarpment. That's pretty much what we're dealing with in terms of government approvals.
McHattie: Mr. Mayor, it really disturbs me that we're going ahead with the project without final approvals from these agencies. It's one tactic to go ahead and start building parts of a project and then it becomes very difficult for any Ministry or other department to withhold an approval if the project is already underway. That's the concern I have. We pushed ahead with this project during the time of the election when the results were still uncertain as to the make-up of this council. We did that without apparently a number of approvals that I just heard about right now, that Council just heard about now. I don't think this is really the way the municipality, the quality of the city of Hamilton should be proceeding on a project. Obviously, it's a project the majority of this Council has expressed approval of. I stand by democracy in recognizing that but I'm very disturbed that this project is moving ahead in such a way as we don't have the approvals yet. We've already done a lot of work already in the valley and I'm finding out just today, just now, that there's at least 4 approvals that we don't have in hand. It's extremely disturbing and for a project this size, in terms of the environmental damage, but very much in terms of the dollars that are being spent; 46 million dollars plus in a city that is in difficult economic times. We're also aware of a possibility of a court case involving the 1701 Nanfan treaty, which I won't go into detail about, but it may be a lawsuit in the range of 100 million dollars or more associated with that. There's a number of tremendously concerning economic aspects to this project. Monies that are outstanding and if we go ahead and certain things happen, the Nanfan treaty challenge goes ahead, and is perhaps successful, the 4 approvals we heard about tonight are not in place, we're really putting ourselves in financial risk, as well, I think, moving ahead in bad faith to move ahead with a project of this magnitude without these approvals. Again, I emphasize the construction of this project has been underway, in a significant way in terms of clearing all the trees in the valley since last fall, late last summer, last fall. Tremendously bad form in the way the City is operating in this case and I'll certainly be voting against this, Mr. Mayor. (applause heard in the background)
DiIanni: Councillor Braden
Braden: I agree fully with the previous speaker and he said this so well. I just want to say that I've been complaining to the Clerk about late reports. We've been having this problem; we've got to be consistent. Why is it that this wasn't sent to the appropriate committee? And why again are we getting this at the last minute? We know that they've been up for tender, councillor McHattie's put this up. Why are we doing this now, without any sort of warning it was going to be here tonight? Is there a reason?
DiIanni: It's not clerks, for sure.
Braden : I'm not blaming clerks, clerks have been telling us and I'm using the clerk to get a little credibility from the clerks' office to say, "Look , why is this sprung on us now, why can't we just deal with this normally. It's the only project that basically crosses all the rules. I'm looking for a credible answer.
DiIanni: Mr. Murray
C.Murray: I think as far as the conversation we've been having with the government agencies for some time, if we felt that this issue is going to be resolved in the next few days, as was our expectation, then we wouldn't be having this discussion right now. We're talking about weeks, 2 or 3 weeks and given that through the course of the year, good weather is precious and we're able to continue on with the construction which was re-commenced last year, it's in our interests to try to take full advantage of that. What we have here is not .What is being suggested here isn't that work which is directly related to the government matters is going to go ahead without the government matters being dealt with here. We're talking about work that is beyond the government matters. What we're talking about is work that deals with, in most cases, what some would describe as pre-construction, which is survey work and fencing work for health and safety reasons, matters of that nature. It makes sense to get on with that work , in light of what the overall schedule is. So if we were faced with something that wasn't ...if something was days as opposed to weeks, then this wouldn't be an issue.
Braden: My real question is, why are we getting the report late? I'm in construction, I understand that, but why isn't the report..why didn't it go to committee 2 weeks ago? Why can't we have enough time to be informed and have a debate?
DiIanni: He has an answer to that.
C.Murray: The situation is upon us, as of the last couple of days. As I say, at this time last week, based on conversations that we have repeatedly with government agencies, we felt we were pretty close to having this resolved. And again, we're competing with a bunch of other projects in this province with very low resources. And so, we felt it's important if we wanted to take advantage of the time that we have right now with the good weather to move on with what aspects we can, that we do it now. So, that's why we're here.
Braden: Mr. Mayor, we've had this talk about not having our reports late and this isn't a report. I mean this is just the motion. Let me say, we won't debate this and I accept the will; I don't accept the project because I just am very sad to be part of this thing, to look at such shortsightedness but I just want to say we had a motion 20 minutes ago about having an in-depth, comprehensive analysis for a boat club, for a trail and we're a little bit paralysed. Maybe that's too strong a word because we really want to know. In 25 years we never got a comprehensive analysis on this project. The one that that was supposed to be this thing, by Simpson from Hempson, you know, when he was here he just told us. It wasn't a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis at all. It was a bad whitewash. I use that term but it was poor. You'd think for the biggest project in the history of this city, we would have had the courtesy to ask ourselves for an independent analysis. That's what I'm sad for because we're going in here absolutely blind, based on propaganda. I'm just sorry we're not going, based on fact. It's just a bad day for all of us.
DiIanni: Thank you. No other speakers? Coucillor Whitehead
Whitehead: Actually, Councillor Braden has sort of touched on what I was going for, the question I was going to ask. Whether I'm for or against a project, is not the line of questioning I have, it's more process. Every time I come across something I see that is not following due process, I have concerns. This report I'm hearing from the discussion through staff in fact could have gone to committee 2 weeks ago because the argument was they were waiting for approvals and they're imminent but they might take a little longer than expected, so if that was the case, I guess my question is why wouldn't we ...because we would have been in the same position last week as we are this week ,why this couldn't go to committee?
DiIanni: In fairness, we've heard the answer to that question, whether you like the answer or not, is another matter, but Mr. Murray is just going to repeat what he said before. He thought the approval would be here by now and it wasn't. In fact, what I heard him say is that the approval, or at least the final ..the approvals have been given; it's the signing off, the formal letters are coming a little later, maybe at the end of the month. If we want to take advantage of the construction time, give them a chance to move ahead with the pre-construction work. To do that they actually have to ..the contracts have to be finally approved. We have given leave for staff to do that; they could have done that without even coming before us, but they wanted to highlight these nuances. So, it's our decision, do we want to delay this?
Whitehead: My point is, though, the reason why it is in front of us tonight is because.I guess the definition, is it emergency under the definition of the municipality? I think not. Is it urgent under the municipal act of urgency? I think not. Is it optimal? Perhaps. But I have real concerns when we bypass the committee structure. We have committee process, reports go to and debate it and discussed and it comes to Council. And whenever I see something that sidesteps that process, I'll bring it to light and challenge it because that's my issue. Thank you
DiIanni: We have a motion duly moved and seconded. All in favour? Against?
Please record as opposed, the individuals.(5 opposed - McHattie, Braden, Horwath)
Members of council, is there any information you wish to convey to members of council or the general public. Oh, my gosh, a whole bunch of people! Start here with Councillor Collins
Collins: I actually had something under motions that wasn't included on the agenda and it relates to item 7. I could have put this as an amendment but I thought I'd wait until motions to put the motion. Do I need to waive the rules through you first, to introduce the additional item?
Collins: If we see fit during the debate to refer this back to committee, I don't mind doing that..
DiIanni: Let's hear what you have in mind
Collins: At the Conservation Authority