Regional Councillor update — July 16 2019

Summer has finally arrived — between the rain, cold, lateness of things — it was not a fun Spring.  However, Lincoln’s bounty is now starting to come in, the farmer’s markets now have great things to offer, and all of us can finally enjoy the warmth of the season.

A fair bit has happened to me personally over the past couple of months.  The biggest change, I decided after long consideration to retire from my daytime job.  As some of you know, I was a manager of software development for a large private healthcare company, but it was time to make a change.

I am now on all four of the standing committees at Niagara Region — I joined the Public Health committee recently as it was an area of least knowledge for me and it would help me as I look at budgets to understand the full breadth of issues in that area of Niagara Region business.

Traffic changes for improved safety

As most of you who have followed my political career know, I have been an advocate for road and traffic safety improvements.

Recently, we made changes to the speed limit on Ontario Street in Beamsville to 50 km, with the goal of making the stretch between the railway tracks and the QEW ever more safe. I am also advocating for future structural changes to that stretch of road — a centre turning lane should have been developed originally (we had asked for it from Lincoln Council) but now it is time to get the changes into our capital forecast(s).

The Region is also moving forward with a community safety zone in and around Twenty Valley School along Victoria Road in Vineland. This provides an additional tool for police when it comes to ensuring our youngest in the community have a safer environment for walking to school.

At our last public works meeting, we also looked at Red Light cameras and what it would take to move forward with them in Niagara. I immediately thought of Victoria and King in Vineland as an appropriate pilot site as we move down the line with this type of technology. I speak from personal experience, not receiving tickets but in seeing how the cameras affect traffic, in my travels, particularly in Vancouver and Surrey in BC. I actively support this initiative.

See St. Catharines Standard article: https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9497498-regional-staff-gets-committee-support-to-study-red-light-cameras/.

SWIFT, AMO and other boards

A lot of recent announcements have come out around SWIFT and the moving forward or providing high speed internet services to rural south western Ontario. The Board, which I was elected to from Niagara Region Council, has announced several projects that are commencing this fall.

For more information, see https://swiftruralbroadband.ca/.

Also, I am back on the AMO Board of Directors and, as an organization, we are looking to continue dialouge with the provincial government on items of importance. While the current Government has thrown a few challenges, it has also started to look at important areas for municipalities. The conference this year is in Ottawa in mid August, so I will be reporting to you some of the key items of interest.

As for NPCA, I will be doing a separate article sometime soon on that organization.

And finally …

I don’t have an official budget for things like promotion — however, I have created the following to help get messaging out:

https://politicsniagara.ca
https://facebook.com/robertfosterniagara
https://twitter.com/rjfoster7777

Please visit these and like or follow.

You can also click here for my Niagara Region website page.

I look forward to continuing with you on this journey.

Thank you.