Councillor Ferguson’s December Column

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OMB ruling ‘disappointing’

                      … Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 

The ruling by the Ontario Municipal Board to change ward boundaries in our region is not a Christmas gift delivered to residents of our City. I am disappointed by this unnecessary move that will change the balance of power on Council.

While my ward will include more rural areas like Copetown, Jerseyville and Lynden up to Rockton – areas I look forward to representing given my farm upbringing – the loss of a rural seat in favour of an urban one will prove costly when there are controversial votes that are divided along urban/suburban lines.

City Council will be deciding if it will appeal the ruling so I will keep you informed as the new boundaries are slated to come into effect for the 2018 municipal election.

A topic you have read a lot about in recent weeks has also wrapped up, as the public is now able to access the artesian well operated by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. On January 1, a swipe-card entry system will be put into operation where, for a one-time fee of $10, you can obtain a card that grants you access to the well. This means the public will continue to have access to the well.

In other news, I want to thank everyone involved in the preparation and event-day organizing of A Village Christmas held in the core December 7. While I will always know it as the annual Christmas tree lighting, the event continued to thrill families and showcase the uniqueness of our village.

Held outside Old Town Hall, A Village Christmas featured wagon rides, live reindeer and music, the police mounted unit, fireworks, and of course the arrival of Santa on a fire truck escorted by one of the police department’s new stealth vehicles. The donation of new unwrapped toys and cash were also welcomed gifts for Ancaster Community Services.

I want to thank this year’s title sponsor, StoneRidge Insurance Brokers, and event co-chairs Nancy Benedict and Aaron Gerrard, for hosting the thousands of us and kicking off the holiday season. A big thank you also to the Ancaster Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City’s Public Works staff for once again making our core so beautiful for the holiday season.

A Village Christmas was also a time to celebrate the newly completed renovations to Old Town Hall, featuring a new kitchen, washrooms, and flooring. Thanks to federal funding through Canada 150, we were able to do these much-needed upgrades to one of our special buildings in our community.

Finally, I want to invite everyone to enjoy a free skate at First Ontario Place (formerly Copps Coliseum) on December 31 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This family fun event for Ancaster and Dundas residents sounds like a good opportunity to end 2017 with family and friends.

In closing, on behalf of Kathy Bishop and myself, we want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your incredible support over the past year. There have been difficulties along the way, but I am proud to serve you and want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a most healthy and prosperous New Year.

As always, if you need to reach me for any reason, please contact my office at City Hall at 905-546-2704. You can also contact me by e-mail at Lloyd.Ferguson@hamilton.ca.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 15, 2017