I am delighted to welcome you to my 1st newsletter since inauguration! As a member of this community and Ward 7 Town Councillor, I want you to be in the loop on what is happening at the Council and latest developments on town-wide initiatives and news. That is why I have created this e-newsletter as a platform to connect with all of you.
Together, we can work towards building a better community. I strongly believe that by collaborating and sharing ideas, we can make a positive impact in our neighbourhoods. Through this newsletter, I hope to keep you informed about key updates and events, as well as share stories about the great things happening in our community.
What’s Happening in Town
Oakville Town Council Approved 2023 Budget
I am pleased to share some key points from Oakville's latest budget meeting. The Council
approved a budget that includes funding for the newest community center and library in Ward 7. This community centre and library will be a great addition to our community and provide more opportunities for residents to engage in recreational and educational activities. More details will be provided over the coming months as the construction continues to make progress.
In addition, the budget includes funding for various other important projects, including improvements to roads, parks, and infrastructure. The council is committed to making Oakville a great place to live, work, and play, and these projects are part of that commitment.
Knowing the tax implication and a concern all may residents, the Council has worked hard to keep tax increases as low as possible while still funding important projects. The tax increase for this year will be 3.79%, which is well below the Consumer Price Index and the lowest in comparison with the town’s neighbours.
Our Transit is Going Greener
Hopping on a bus that is entirely electric powered? Definitely yes in Oakville. Oakville Transit's new electric buses, which are a part of the town's climate change policy is coming to live. At the recent unveiling event, we were joined by all three levels of government, including Mayor Rob Burton, MP Anita Anand, MP Pam Damoff, MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, and MPP Crawford to showcase the first electric bus for specialized services in Oakville.
The Council has been working hard to adopt green technologies and climate change policies, and this electric bus is just the beginning. As more buses are delivered, Ward 7 residents and commuters will benefit from a greener transit for years to come.
The Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and the Town of Oakville have jointly contributed funding to support the electrification of Oakville Transit buses, with the federal government contributing nearly $5.3 million, the province contributing $4.4 million, and the town contributing over $3.5 million. This funding will support the first phase of electrification of approximately 50% of the town’s transit fleet.
We are proud to be part of a community that values sustainability and is taking action to address climate change. Thank you for your continued support as we work towards a greener future for Oakville.
Seniors Ride Free - Promise Made and Promise Kept!
Right from campaign trail and on my platform, I proposed complementary bus ride for seniors (65+) town-wide. With the immense support from Mayor Burton and many of my fellow council colleagues, we took swift action to chart a viable pathway at numerous council meetings in coordination with all stakeholders and thanks to all the collective effort to push forward this move, such proposal was finally approved by the Council within the new budget for 2023. It is a significant step-up in providing equitable access to public transportation for our senior citizens.
Starting May 2023 – all seniors in Oakville can ride public transit free of charge. No blackout dates thereafter. Period. As a furtherance of this initiative, all teenagers (up to 19 years of age) in Oakville are also to receive free bus ride along with senior riders. This unprecedented benefit is a demonstration of collective support from the Council following the hard-fought effort, which greatly advanced the service standard for commuters in town.
Road Safety Updates
Road safety at Ward 7 has been top of my priority list and improvement plan is underway to improve the traffic flow and pedestrian safety. Please note the following pedestrian crossings will be completed by spring 2023:
1. George Savage Avenue at Wisteria Way
2. North Park Boulevard at Trail Crossing (east of Trailside)
3. Post Road at Fowley Park
4. Postridge Road at William Rose Park
A pedestrian crossover is a new type of crossing where drivers and cyclists are required to stop for pedestrians intending to cross the road.
Drivers and cyclists must allow pedestrians to cross the full width of the road before proceeding.
Pedestrian crossovers are marked by signs and pavement markings. In some cases, they may also have pedestrian-activated flashing lights.
Celebrated Lunar New Year 2023
The first-ever town-wide Lunar New Year Celebration was held at the town hall since the pandemic. As an important festival celebrated by many here in Oakville, this event has seen a great turnout and drawn attention from the community. MP Anita Anand and MP Pam Damoff, Mayor Burton and 6 of my Council colleagues attended this great event with residents and extended their heartfelt wishes to those celebrating. It was a milestone for many with Asian heritage here in Oakville to gather and celebrate this important occasion that marks the beginning of the new year and reunion of family and loved ones. More than 200 guests cheerfully attended the event, along with internationally renowned vocalist, cultural performers, local talents and many homegrown teen musicians. It was a memorable piece that touches truly on diversity, cultural richness, and the very spirit of community in Oakville. As an advocate and champion on multiculturalism, I look forward to organizing and coordinating more great cultural events celebrating pluralism in Oakville in the coming months.
Listened to What Matters to YOU
Have your say and your voice matters! On February 2, 2023, Regional Councillor Nav Nanda and I held the first in-person town hall since inauguration at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. The turnout was huge, and many residents had direct communication with the Halton Police Chair, senior officials from the Oakville Fire Department, and trustees from Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board. It was a great opportunity for residents to relay their concerns and suggestions directly to stakeholders, and our democracy was in full display. It is indeed heartening to see such community engagement, and we look forward to more direct engagement with residents and stakeholders.
In Solidarity with Ukraine
On February 24th, I had the honor of attending a deeply moving event at St. Joseph's Ukrainian church, where we gathered to remember the one-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In the company of my council colleagues and members of the Ukrainian community, we stood together in unwavering solidarity with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
As we solemnly remembered the countless victims of this brutal conflict, we reinforced our unbreakable commitment to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Knowing residents from all walks of life stepping forward to support Ukrainian in their own way, and witnessing the unbreakable spirit and powerful bonds of the Ukrainian people was truly heartwarming and inspiring. As we commemorate this painful anniversary, we must all come together to support Ukraine's path towards peace and prosperity. The Ukrainian people have shown incredible resilience and strength in the face of unimaginable adversity, and we owe it to them to stand with them in their time of need.
Let us continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people, as we work towards a better future, where peace, justice, and prosperity prevail. Together, we can make a difference and bring hope to those who have been suffering for far too long.
Standing with Türkiye and Syria Earthquake Victims
In light of devastating earthquake in Syria and Türkiye, AC Vote Earthquake Taskforce spearheaded the town-wide commemorative action to support victims and their extended families. On February 28th. My colleague Regional Councillor Nav Nanda and I co-hosted an event of solidarity at Oakville Townhall with our council colleagues, Members of Parliament Pan Damoff and Anita Anand, and our Canadian and Oakville Arab community. The event was a tremendous demonstration of support and solidarity for the earthquake victims in Syria and Türkiye.
We along with our council colleagues and stakeholders, came together with all levels of government to express our unified support for the victims of this earthquake. Over 50,000 people have been killed, over 2 million people have been displaced, and over 30 million people have been directly affected in Syria and Türkiye. Many of our Oakville Arab residents, including those from Ward 7, have been directly impacted by this catastrophe.
We would like to thank the Turkish Consul General, Syrian and Turkish community leaders, and everyone that came out to show their support. Oakville has acted as a hub for humanitarian relief to Syria and Türkiye, and we are proud to be part of a community that comes together to support those in need.
Residents invited to online coyote information session
The Town of Oakville is hosting an online Coyote Information Session on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 to provide residents with a better understanding of coyotes, tips on how to respond to coyote sightings, and how to coexist and reduce coyote conflicts.
Learn about hazing (aversion conditioning) how to discourage coyotes from entering your property, how to keep your pets safe and resources that are available. Residents will also have the opportunity to ask questions.
More details : https://rb.gy/ycdnvd
Development of Oakville's Long-term Vision Underway
The Town of Oakville is in the process of developing a long-term vision and a 2023-2026 Business Plan, and they are seeking community input. Deloitte Canada will conduct a phone survey starting in March, and an online survey will also be available. Additionally, there will be community open houses in each of Oakville's seven wards. The feedback gathered will inform the Council Strategic Plan and help identify areas of focus for the first draft ossf the 2023-2026 Business Plan. The draft plans will be ready in June, with a final report for Council review in July.
More details: https://www.oakville.ca/townhall/nr-23mar08.html
In closing, I would like to thank all residents for your support and input to the new council and remain confident that many improvements and initiatives are aking place in different sectors here in town. We are optimistic that those actions will greatly benefit Oakville Ward 7 residents, and we look forward to more such developments in the future. We encourage all residents to take advantage of the various initiatives and engage with their Councillor to make Oakville a better place to live.