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Finally, 2020 is behind us and we can all look forward to the hope and opportunities ahead in 2021.



The last two months have seen Niagara-on-the-Lake welcome a new CAO to the organization, and our volunteer Fire Department has provided outstanding response to some very unusual and dramatic situations. The business community continues to perform to the best extent possible amid COVID-19 restrictions, and Niagara-on-the-Lake remains a highly desirable place to be despite the inability to see our friends and family as we normally would.


In addition to our normal meeting schedule posted at notl.org/calendar, Council will meet on January 27 to finalize the 2021 budget after months of review and deliberations at the Audit and Finance Committee. While it will be a difficult financial year, the Town is well-positioned to make the decisions necessary to continue providing municipal services under remarkable pressures.


With the new year my contact information has changed, with a new mobile number. To reach me directly via phone or text, please use 905-658-4637.


Email contact remains clare.cameron@notl.com and you can share opinions or views to all of Council at any time to council@notl.com.


In another change for 2021, this is the last time I will be sharing news and updates through email.


All of the agendas and documents for Council are available through the Town's website at https://domino.notl.com/sites/notl/NOTLCOTW.nsf/webCOTWFiles?ReadForm and related tabs for Committee of the Whole, and Advisory Committees.


I will continue to update the News section of clarecameronnotl.com periodically through the year, and maintain a Twitter account @theClareCameron, Facebook through Clare Cameron on Town Council in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Instagram @niagaraclare.


For the quickest response possible, please connect via phone or email above.



In this very unusual time, I am wishing you and family, loved ones and friends all the best possible health, safety and comfort. Community is so often built on people meeting together. While we can't do this in person right now, even a simple phone call can make a big difference. Stay safe, be well, shop local and please continue sharing your thoughts, experiences and ideas for how to continue making Niagara-on-the-Lake such an amazing place to live.

As we are in the Thanksgiving season, hello and best wishes for a happy October with good food and connections to friends and family.


Tourism Grant

The Town has launched a tourism grant program to assist businesses that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.


October 15 is the last date to apply and the full application form is available online here:

https://www.notl.com/feddev-apply


Council and Committee Business

Committee of the Whole for Planning met on October 5, and COTW General will meet on October 19. Matters discussed on the 5th included:

  • Konik Estates (Line 1 and Concession 6, Virgil)

  • 455 William Street, Chautauqua

  • 129 Johnson Street, Old Town

The agenda for October 19 will be available on October 15.


Anyone who wishes to delegate to Council or Committee can find more information on the process and apply with a form available here:

https://www.notl.org/content/delegation-requests


Niagara's Female Leaders Series

It was a pleasure to speak with Matt Holmes and Laura Ip on CKTB in September about women in politics in Niagara. Listen to the interview here:

https://www.iheartradio.ca/610cktb/audio/niagara-s-female-leaders-series-1.13521204?mode=Article


Service Request Form

For any complaints or concerns related to the Town and municipal services, please use the Service Request Form online to get started. Find the form here:


https://www.notl.org/content/service-request


Wishing you all the best for a bright and happy autumn.



Summer is nearly over (impossible to believe), and Council in Niagara-on-the-Lake is back in full swing. Advisory Committees are also gradually starting to meet again online, which is great news for all of our volunteer members and for Members of Council who will benefit from this additional input from the community.



Council and Committee Business


In August, Committee of the Whole addressed reports and information items related to the following:


August 10 - Planning

  • Glendale District Plan update from Niagara Region

  • Queenston Mile Vineyard Site Plan Agreement

  • Virgil Skate Park project

  • New Tourism Management Advisory Committee for Niagara-on-the-Lake

  • Chamber of Commerce regarding Tourism

  • Proposal to permit A-frame signage temporarily in the Queen-Picton Heritage District


August 17 - General

  • Replacement of volleyball courts at Memorial Park with two additional tennis courts

  • Updates from Councillors Cheropita and Burroughs on their work to coordinate a COVID-19 Ambassador program

  • Presentation from staff on the Town's new "eRigation" app to assist users of the local irrigation system, including active pump volumes

  • Proposal for the Town to offer new pay parking options through the Honk mobile app

  • Reduction of speed on Concession 6 section


On August 24, Council heard delegations, discussed reports, by-laws and Notices of Motion regarding:

  • Official appointment of Sandra O'Connor as Municipal Councillor

  • Initiating a long-term Tourism Strategy

  • New route for the Pedal Pub in the remainder of 2020

  • Presentation on the future restoration of 240 Centre Street

  • Receipt of the 2019 Integrity Commissioner's report

The CAO Selection Committee met on September 2 and will reconvene on September 9 for further discussion. The competition for this position closed on July 31 and the Committee is now reviewing a long list of applicants provided by the recruitment firm.


The agenda for September 14 Committee of the Whole - Planning will be posted on Thursday, September 10 and can be found at the following link: https://domino.notl.com/sites/notl/NOTLCOTW.nsf/webCOTWFiles?ReadForm


Masks and Face Coverings


In response to COVID-19 Council approved a temporary mask and face covering by-law for indoor public spaces in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I had the opportunity to speak with Matt Holmes at CKTB in advance of this decision and you can listen to the full interview here: https://www.iheartradio.ca/610cktb/audio/notl-council-to-discuss-whether-or-not-to-make-masks-mandatory-1.12989982?mode=Article




Helping Local Businesses


I have received a lot of feedback this month from local businesses in the Queen-Picton Heritage District who want more signage to draw visitors in to their shops, which are easy to miss if located off of the main Queen Street route. These are requests for creative solutions and temporary relief from the Sign By-law, which is very restrictive in the District.


On August 10, Committee of the Whole moved the creation of a temporary signage permit process to assist local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lord Mayor and CAO are now working on this process, and the CAO indicated on August 24 that it should be in place soon.


Thank You to the Joyners


I've had the pleasure of getting to know Geoffrey Joyner through the Riverbrink Art Museum Board, and he is an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience on art and material culture. His wife Lorraine is equally engaged in the community and an absolutely lovely person. It was so wonderful to see recent coverage of the Joyner's gift to the Pumphouse Art Gallery, and read about their accomplishments and contributions in print.


Find the full article below, and thank you to the Joyners for being such an engaged and active part of our arts and culture community.


https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/entertainment/art/2020/09/02/niagaras-joyners-love-their-art-now-have-a-gallery-space-named-after-them.html

Announcing Crossroads Radio


I'm very happy to announce the launch of Crossroads Radio, a new podcast for conversations on local issues and topics related to life in Niagara-on-the-Lake.



Episode One is about Leadership Under Pressure, and features perspectives from Gary Zalepa, Donald Ziraldo and Cindy Grant.


Episode Two will focus on Tourism through interviews with Lezlie Harper, Tim Bala and Wendy Cheropita.


Listen to Crossroads Radio on Stitcher and through clarecameronnotl.com


Stay well, Niagara-on-the-Lake!


© 2020 Clare Cameron

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