How to protect yourself from phone scams

The following is advice from the Halton Regional Police Service:

  • Identify the individual. Ask for photo identification. Get their name, name of the company or charity they represent.
  • All utility companies will send correspondence or book an appointment prior to accessing your home to do work.
  • Do not let them into your home unless you are sure they represent a reputable utility company.  If you are unsure, contact the company prior to permitting them into your home.  Have the individual wait outside while you contact the company.
  • When calling the company, look up to company’s contact information in the phone book or online.  Do not use contact information provided by the individual as it may be fake.
  • Never share personal information such as date of birth, banking information, credit card information, or Social Insurance Number.
  • Do not show them copies of bills or financial statements.
  • Never respond to unsolicited offers of service.
  • Research the company they represent.
  • Ask the person to leave their information and return next week. This will give you plenty of time to verify their credentials and the validity of the visit.
  • Never give cash to door-to-door people who are offering a service or demanding payment.
  • Be cautious of people that demand immediate and up-front payment.
  • Do not sign any contract unless you read the fine print.
  • If a contract is signed within the home, you have a cooling off period. For example, in Ontario consumers have the right to cancel a contract for any reason within a 10-day cooling off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling off period.

Notice to Designate Glen Abbey as a Cultural Heritage Landscape Approved

Council Chambers of Oakville filled up with residents and quickly overflowed into the atrium to hear if the decision by Councillors would be to issue a notice to designate the Glen Abbey Property as a cultural heritage landscape, which was recommended in a staff report of August 10, 2017.

Speaker upon speaker urged councillors to accept the staff report to designate the Glen Abbey as a cultural heritage landscape as outlined under Section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Ontario Cultural Heritage Landscape Designation

Under the Ontario Heritage Act, Oakville can pass bylaws to formally designate properties of cultural heritage value or interest. Formal designation of heritage properties is one way of publicly acknowledging a property’s heritage value to a community. At the same time, designation helps to ensure the conservation of these important places for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

There are six key steps to designating the Glen Abbey property under section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act. These include:

  • Identifying the property as a candidate for designation;
  • Researching and evaluating the property;
  • Serving Notice of Intention to Designate, with an opportunity for objection;
  • Passing and registering the designation bylaw;
  • Listing the property on the municipal register; and
  • Listing on the provincial register.

The next step in issuing a notice to designate Glen Abbey as a Cultural Heritage Landscape the following has to happen:

  • Oakville must notify the owner as well as the Ontario Heritage Trust, and
  • Publish a Notice of Intention to Designate in the Oakville Beaver, and hopefully in OakvilleNews.Org.

Under section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, the notice to ClubLink and the Ontario Heritage Trust must include the following:

  • The Description of the Glen Abbey Property so that it can be readily ascertained;
  • The Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest, which identifies the Glen Abbey property’s heritage significance;
  • The Description of Heritage Attributes outlining the particular features that should be protected for the future; and
  • A statement that notice of objection to the designation must by filed with the municipality within 30 days after the date of publication of the newspaper notice.

ClubLink will likely file an objection to the notice of designation with Oakville within the 30-day requirement. Oakville council must refer ClubLink’s objection to the Conservation Review Board (CRB) for a hearing. After the hearing, the CRB will provide a recommendation to either the Oakville council or the Honourable Eleanor McMahon the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, who have the final decision.

Town Councillors have started the process to designate the Glen Abbey Property as a cultural heritage landscape. However, ClubLink will go to extreme lengths in order to rezone the property as a subdivision. Their application was forced to a stay of one year, and then to a second year as the town prepared studies needed to make a decision. They appealed the first stay, and went to the OMB to appeal the second stay, which ClubLink lost. Then, they went to the OMB in order to force the town to make a decision regarding ClubLinks Application for Development. The OMB agreed that the application was complete. This has forced the town to consider the application on September 26, 2017, with out fully completed studies.

On August 21, 2017, the Town of Oakville Council unanimously decided to issue a notice to designate the Glen Abbey property as a cultural heritage landscape. After the decision was made Council Chambers filled with applause. However, this is not over yet.

– Nolan A Machan, Oakville News

Annual report highlights Oakville council achievements for 2016

The Town of Oakville is inviting residents to check out its latest report card.

Oakville’s 2016 Annual Report is now available for viewing on the town’s website.

Town staff said the report highlights key achievements the town has made in delivering on goals outlined in the 2015-18 Strategic Plan.

“Providing the public with a ‘report card’ on the projects and issues affecting their community is one critical way council and staff work to engage with residents,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“Council is proud to share some of the key accomplishments of 2016 in this year’s annual report.”

The report noted that an audit performed by the external auditors KPMG found the financial statements prepared by the town to be a fair presentation of the financial position and financial results for the past year.

Town listed as its key successes in 2016, including:

  • Efforts to move forward in revitalizing the historic downtown through the Lakeshore Road East Reconstruction and Streetscape Project. In consultation with the community, a traditional streetscape furniture theme will be incorporated once the project begins in 2019.
  • Public input helping to shape the future use of the former hospital site lands, with demolition set to begin this fall and a new community centre scheduled to open in 2020.
  • The introduction of the Public Engagement Hub, Livable Oakville Performance Dashboard, launch of Oakville Transit’s real-time bus tracking app, and additions to open data sets all helped to advance the town’s web and digital strategies.
  • Continued partnership with Oakville’s three Business Improvement Areas helping these business districts move forward on their retail action plans with the implementation of the patio and parking strategy.
  • Several reviews of the town’s Livable Oakville Plan, which took place in 2016 to explore how the town will accommodate growth and development in the years ahead.

To read Oakville’s 2016 Annual Report visit www.oakville.ca.

– Oakville Beaver, July 28 

Oakville’s 2016 Annual Report now available Report highlights the Town of Oakville’s accomplishments and commitment to fiscal stability

The Town of Oakville is pleased to release the 2016 Annual Report, highlighting key achievements in delivering on the goals outlined in the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan and continued success in maintaining Oakville’s fiscal health.

“Providing the public with a report card’ on the projects and issues affecting their community is one critical way Council and staff work to engage with residents,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “Council is proud to share some of the key accomplishments of 2016 in this year’s Annual Report.”

The town’s external auditors, KPMG, have again provided an unqualified audit opinion on the Consolidated Financial Statements. An unqualified, or “clean” audit opinion indicates that the financial statements prepared by the town are a fair presentation of the town’s financial position and financial results for the past year.

The report also outlines some of the town’s key successes achieved in 2016, including:

  • Efforts to move forward in revitalizing our historic downtown took shape with progress on the Lakeshore Road East Reconstruction and Streetscape Project. In consultation with the community, a traditional streetscape furniture theme will be incorporated once the project begins in 2019.
  • Public input also helped to shape the future use of the former hospital site lands, with demolition set to begin this fall and new community centre scheduled to open in 2020.
  • The introduction of the Public Engagement Hub, Livable Oakville Performance Dashboard, launch of Oakville Transit’s Real-Time Bus Tracking app, and additions to open data sets all helped to advance the town’s web and digital strategies.
  • Continued partnership with Oakville’s three Business Improvement Areas helped these important business districts move forward on their retail action plans with the implementation of the patio and parking strategy.
  • Several reviews of the town’s Livable Oakville Plan took place in 2016 to explore how the town will accommodate growth and development in the years ahead, ensuring that Oakville continues to thrive as premier community to live, work and play.

To read about these and other accomplishments visit oakville.ca to view the 2016 Annual Report.

Municipal Info Network, August 8

Former Oakville Hospital Site’s Demolition Begins

The Former Oakville hospital site’s demolition is to start on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 . The Town of Oakville indicated that the deconstruction work will be done safely. The scope of the demolition not only includes the former hospital but also includes the Helen Lawson building, located at the corner of McDonald and Allan.

As such, a Demolition Strategy was developed to guide the process. The overall demolition and site remediation will take approximately 12 months to complete.

This will mean that there will be increased construction traffic on Reynolds, Allan, and MacDonald, which is something to be mindful of when driving, biking and walking around the former Oakville Hospital site.

Former Oakville Hospital Site’s Demolition Update – August 2017

The town has awarded the Former Hospital Site’s demolition contract to Delsan-AIM, a company highly skilled and experienced at demolitions of this size in urban settings.

  • Starting Tuesday, August 8,2017 the contractor will begin mobilizing on site and we wanted to give you an update what you can expect over the next two weeks.
  • Minimal noise and dust
  • Flatbed trucks delivering the site office trailer and materials, and other heavy equipment
  • Construction workers entering and leaving site
  • Set up of the site office trailer
  • Installation of a three metre (just under 10 feet) solid wood fence
  • Minimal demolition work

Please note: The site is now a demolition/construction zone and is strictly off limits. This is done for the safety and protection of the community.

The former Oakville hospital site’s demolition is planned to be completed by the end of 2018, with the construction of the new community centre starting shortly before the end of of 2018. The public park and the community centre are planned to be completed between the middle to end of 2020. The residential land is planned to be up for sale in 2019 after all town approved and controlled new zonings are in place. There will also be ongoing discussions with the LHIN, to see if some form of medical facility could be incorporated into the new site.

The Former Hospital Land Master Plan was presented to Town Council on June 27, 2017.

Nolan A Machan, Oakville News, August 7

Glen Abbey Property: Notice of Intention to Designate – Heritage Committee Mtg. Aug. 15

report recommending that the Glen Abbey property be designated a Cultural Heritage Landscape under s. 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act will go to Heritage Committee on August 15, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. in Council Chamber at Oakville Town Hall.

The public is invited to attend and provide comment and feedback on the proposed heritage designation.

The task before the Committee is to review and consider the information and comments provided by staff and all delegations and to provide Council with advice regarding this proposed designation.  A staff report will then go to Town Council for consideration on August 21, 2017.

The Glen Abbey property is already designated under s. 29, however the existing designation is limited to the Raydor Estate House.  On May 15, 2017 Council recognized the Glen Abbey Property as a significant cultural heritage landscape and directed staff to proceed to Phase Three of the Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy Implementation. The new designation would expand the designation to include the entire property as a significant cultural heritage landscape.

It is important to note that the recommendation to designate Glen Abbey as a significant cultural heritage landscape is based on the cultural heritage value of the property, which has been assessed by the town through its Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy. This proposed designation is separate from the applications filed by ClubLink to allow the redevelopment of the property for residential and commercial uses, which are not before the Heritage Committee on August 15 or Council on August 21. It is proposed that the ClubLink development applications will be considered at a future meeting of Council on September 26, 2017.

The Committee welcomes all information on the cultural heritage issues, including comments in support of, or in objection to, staff’s proposal to designate the Glen Abbey property.  If you want to register as a delegate for the Heritage Oakville meeting or want to provide written comments to the committee, please contact the Clerks department at townclerk@oakville.ca or by phone at (905) 815-6015.

Town Council approves new private tree protection by-law (Municipal Info Net)

Efforts to preserve Oakville’s tree canopy received a significant boost Monday night (May 1) as Council unanimously voted to adopt a new private tree protection by-law in an effort to curb the unnecessary removal of healthy trees. Under the new regulations, property owners who wish to remove trees from their property will need a permit and may also be required to plant new trees to replace the lost canopy.

“Oakville’s urban forest provides incredible environmental, economic and health benefits to our community,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “It is critical that we protect and grow that urban forest for future generations, which Council is seeking to do by strengthening Oakville’s existing private tree protections.”

The new by-law requires residents to have any trees greater than 15 centimetres or 6 inches in diameter assessed by a town tree inspector to determine if the tree should be removed. Once approved, property owners will be required to have a permit and pay the applicable fee prior to the tree’s removal. In addition, any healthy trees above 15 centimetres in diameter removed from private property must be replaced with new trees.

Dead and hazardous trees, ash trees and the invasive buckthorn require an inspection and permit but are exempt from fees and replacement plantings.

A new online form makes it easy to apply for a permit and assessment.

“Homeowners and arborists can easily apply online for a tree removal permit and receive an on-site consultation from one of our tree inspectors. The consultation process will respect homeowner’s desire to make home and landscaping improvements, but we can help them to do so in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Chris Mark, director, Parks and Open Space.

The town first adopted a private tree protection by-law in 2008. It regulated the removal of trees from private property but allowed property owners to remove as many as four trees per year, measuring up to 76 centimetres in diameter each, without a permit and without the condition of replanting. In 2014, Council directed staff to undertake a review of the by-law to identify stronger protections for the urban forest. Town staff reviewed other municipal private tree protection by-laws and held public meetings to gather feedback from residents and stakeholders over the last few years to develop the new regulation.

The private tree protection by-law is one of a number of programs the town has implemented to manage, protect and renew the urban forest to reach a 40 per cent canopy coverage goal. The town’s current canopy coverage is 27.8 per cent.

New lLocal expertise available to help municipalities take action on climate change (Municipal Info Network)

The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced a new initiative connecting municipalities with local environmental experts.

The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) regional climate advisors offer a range of services and direct, on the ground support tailored specifically to the needs of municipalities locally.

Advisors will support a number of activities, including: developing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories and local action plans; assisting with GHG emissions target setting; identifying and applying for project funding; fostering network building; and providing access to peer learning opportunities.

With this initiative, regional climate advisors will help municipalities reach their goals towards becoming low-carbon resilient communities, through the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Milestone program. Over 300 municipalities of all sizes are already participating in the PCP program, a partnered program between FCM and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability. PCP is open to Canadian cities and communities and is free to join.

Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change. They are working to build more climate-resilient communities, often in partnership with the federal government. With influence over half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, municipalities are also seeking opportunities to scale up local green infrastructure solutions that bring emissions down.

Funding for regional climate advisors is provided by the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.

Quotes

“We are proud to partner with the FCM to support local governments across Canada in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Innovative green infrastructure projects contribute to a clean growth economy and strengthen the middle class by ensuring communities are healthy and productive places to live.”

-The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Municipalities influence half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so local action is vital to addressing our country’s climate challenge. That’s why FCM is so proud to connect local climate experts with municipalities, to build more climate resilient communities and scale up local solutions that reduce emissions.”

-Jenny Gerbasi, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Quick facts

  • Regional climate advisors are located in five regions across Canada: Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador; New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Ontario; Prairies; and, British Columbia and Yukon.
  • Regional climate advisor assistance is available to members of the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. The PCP Milestone program is a performance-based model of five national milestones for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. PCP is a partnership between FCM and ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability.

The Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP) is a five-year, $75-million program that helps municipalities prepare for, and adapt to, climate change, and to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and funded by the Government of Canada, MCIP is available to all municipalities and their partners.

Outstanding volunteers honoured at 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards

Oakville’s best and brightest volunteers were celebrated for their exemplary contributions to the community at the 16th Annual Community Spirit Awards held last night at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre.

2017 Community Spirit Award recipients:

  • Bingo Rivera, Access Award sponsored by Access Abilities
  • William Smith, Arts Award sponsored by the Oakville Beaver
  • The Oakville Rotaract Club, Group Volunteer Award sponsored by the Town of Oakville
  • Mary Davidson, Heritage Award sponsored by Genworth Financial Canada
  • Jan Tingle, Individual Volunteer Award sponsored by Paradiso Restaurant
  • Peter Lowes, Senior Award sponsored by Chartwell Waterford Retirement Residence
  • Aiza Abid and Marica Pinnock, Youth Award sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

“On behalf of Council, I offer all the nominees and award recipients our sincere gratitude for your dedication, for inspiring others with your commitment, and for elevating the entire Oakville community with your spirit,” said Mayor Rob Burton.

Chris Mei, television host of the Weather Network, was the emcee for the evening, entertaining the audience while sponsors handed out the awards. Each recipient received a one-of-a-kind award created by local illustrator, designer and portrait artist Emily Soden.

Since 2002, Oakville’s Community Spirit Awards have recognized individuals and groups for their outstanding contributions to the community.

Visit oakville.ca for more information about the awards and this year’s recipients.

Media contacts:
Nancy Beddoe
Manager, Adult and Senior Services
Recreation and Culture
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3976
nancy.beddoe@oakville.ca
Janine Ivings
Marketing Supervisor
Recreation and Culture
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3080
janine.ivings@oakville.ca

Ontario to overhaul land use planning appeals system (Municipal Info Net)

Ontario is taking action to overhaul the province’s land use planning appeals system to give communities a stronger voice and ensure people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings.

In the coming weeks, legislation will be introduced to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which would, if passed, replace the Ontario Municipal Board. The new tribunal would be mandated to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future. This would be achieved by eliminating lengthy and costly “de novo” hearings for the majority of planning appeals. The term “de novo” has been used to describe how the Ontario Municipal Board deals with appeals of municipal land use planning decisions, by considering the same issue that was before the municipality as though no previous decision had been made.

Ontario would also make planning appeals more accessible to the public by creating the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, a new agency that would provide free information and support, which may include representation at the tribunal for citizens who want to participate in the appeal process.

The new legislation would include additional measures to transform Ontario’s land use planning appeals system, including:

Exempting a broader range of major land use planning decisions from appeal, including new Official Plans, major Official Plan updates and detailed plans to support growth in major transit areas.

Establishing a mandatory case conference for complex hearings to encourage early settlements, which would help reduce the time and cost of appeals and create a less adversarial system.

The proposed changes follow extensive public consultations, beginning with the release of a consultation paper in October 2016. The government received more than 1,100 written submissions and held 12 town hall meetings across the province that were attended by more than 700 people.

Improving the land use planning system is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal would be an independent tribunal that makes decisions at arms’ length from the government. If the legislation passes, it would replace the Ontario Municipal Board, which began in 1906 as the Ontario Railway and Municipal Board.
  • In 2015-2016 (the most recent year for which data is available), 1,460 matters were referred to the Ontario Municipal Board from across the province.

Background Information

Ontario’s Proposed Changes to the Land Use Planning Appeal System

Quotes

“We want to ensure the land use planning system is working effectively for everyone. Our proposals would empower communities and municipalities to better determine how their neighbourhoods develop in the future.”

-Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs

“Land use planning directly impacts Ontario families and their communities. And so, it is important that residents feel empowered and supported in the decision making process. We want to make sure that the voices of Ontarians are heard by all levels of government and that is why we will soon introduce reforms that would put people and communities first.”

-Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario