Tag Archives: Mayor Robin Jones

Federal government releases its plan for the refugees

I have attached the announcement sent to me from AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) for your information


November 25, 2015

Federal Government Announces Plan to Resettle Syrian Refugees

Yesterday, the federal government released its plan to resettle 25,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict. The government will identify all 25,000 refugees who will come to Canada by December 31, 2015. The target is to have 10,000 refugees arrive by the end of 2015 with the remainder arriving by the end of February 2016. The government will invest up to $678 million over six years towards resettlement and integration support. The goal is to have relatively even distribution of refugees across Canada. While the destination communities are not yet confirmed, the Province is asking the public to identify available housing in Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, and Windsor.

For its part, the provincial government has established a Ministers’ Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees in order to coordinate support for the federal government’s plans for resettlement. The committee is co-chaired by the Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, and the Honourable Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The Province has indicated that it will provide $10.5 million over two years to promote refugee sponsorship and deliver immediate and future support for refugees.

AMO is supportive of the resettlement efforts and stands ready to assist with communicating the federal and provincial plans to our membership. Many municipal councils across the province are already in various states of planning for the reception of refugees. Municipal governments and District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSABs) can play a role to ensure that their services are accessible to refugees (i.e. childcare, housing, public health). Coordination and planning will be required with the other two orders of government in order to make this a successful resettlement effort. An assessment will also be needed to gauge the potential fiscal impact to municipal governments and DSSABs and the ensuing discussion with the provincial government on the assistance needed to meet these costs. More information is expected from the federal and provincial governments on the municipal role in the days ahead.

AMO will continue to play a leadership role as our members stand ready to assist refugees in any way they can. AMO will be working closely with municipal staff associations, including the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) and the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), on planning for the successful settlement of refugees.

AMO will monitor developments and provide further information to members when it becomes available.


CIC Newsroom:
Canada Offers Leadership on the Syrian Refugee Crisis
#WelcomeRefugees to Canada

Ontario Newsroom:
Ontario Preparing to Welcome Syrian Refugees
Ontario Forms Ministers’ Ad Hoc Committee on Refugees
Syrian Refugees: How You Can Help


Six Month Update

It has been 6 months since the new Council began its term and I was sworn in as your Mayor. The new Committees of Council were established in February and by March meetings were taking place. Many residents of Westport are members of the committees and I expect amazing things to occur with their valued input and efforts.  The Committee of the Whole is a new monthly meeting of Council, a little less formal than Council meetings and is generally the 4th Tuesday and yes, it is open to the public.

Westport Snowfluent Waste Water Treatment Plant
Westport Snowfluent Waste Water Treatment Plant

In regard to the waste water plant, I am happy to report that we did not need to transport any effluent this year.  Although we had a winter of freezing nozzles and pipe breaks, we processed enough effluent that our lagoon levels were lower this spring than in 2014. We monitored the lagoon levels daily and had a contingency plan in place to transport effluent if the lagoon levels rose beyond predetermined levels during the winter.  We are in the process of getting the summer application equipment set up and will be operating under a Ministry of the Environment Emergency Order again this year to lower the lagoons to where they need to be for next winter.

Follow me on Twitter or find me on Facebook for real-time updates and announcements of meetings and all things Westport.
Follow me on Twitter or find me on Facebook for real-time updates and announcements of meetings and all things Westport.

The Village is also moving forward in providing a climate-proof, dependable waste water system and one that will allow growth for the Village.  The first step is a process called a Municipal Environment Assessment (MEA).  This is a prescriptive process, which is led by an Engineering firm with the assistance of a technical steering committee, which includes several Village residents.  The Project Coordinator reports to Council on the progress of the MEA at each Council meeting this year.  Please consider joining us at Council meetings to hear what is being proposed.

Council worked with a consultant this winter and spring to develop a Village Strategic Plan, a first for Westport.  Many members of the business community and public were interviewed by the consultant for their input.  A strategic plan helps Council prioritize its goals in line with the budget. The final plan will be shared with Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on June 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Winter turned into spring slowly this year so our “Pulling Together in Westport” spring clean up was held on Saturday, May 9th.  Over 40 community members volunteered their time, effort and rakes to get the Village ready for the May long week-end and summer.  Thank you to everyone who helped out.  Watch for this to repeat in 2016.

Recently, village residents Bob Scott and Mark Herlehy approached me with a proposal to help the arena. They had done a review of repairs and improvements that need to be done. The “wish list” was well thought out, however as the Village has many other pressures, there is only a small amount of money set aside in the budget for repairs to the community centre.  And this is when Bob and Mark offered their suggestion, which I accepted!

Those now using the facility or who have fond memories of time spent on the ice or in the stands might consider becoming a “Friend of the Arena” by making a donation.  Donations made to the Village of Westport for arena improvements qualify as gifts for income tax purposes and the Village would issue receipts.  All donations will only be used for this purpose. For further information contact Mark Herlehy at mherlehy@rideau.net. or Frank Huth at fhuth@villageofwestport.ca.

I hope you enjoy a long, hot summer and that you spend time with loved ones.  As always, if you have any questions, please contact a Councillor or myself.


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