Council endorses province’s Bill 5, Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act, 2022

Aurora Town Council on Tuesday adopted a motion to endorse the Ontario Government’s proposed Bill 5, Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act, 2022. Bill 5, if passed, will implement a requirement for municipal councillors and members of local boards to comply with workplace violence and harassment policies. Importantly, it gives municipal integrity commissioners the ability to apply to the Superior Court of Justice to vacate a member’s seat if the member has failed to comply with the workplace violence or harassment policies. The of Town of Aurora has implemented a Violence and Harassment Free Workplace Program and a Code of Conduct for Council and local boards to address issues of workplace violence and harassment. The Town of Aurora joins other municipalities that have formally endorsed Bill 5 in light of numerous incidents involving workplace violence and harassment across the province.

Affordable Housing Action Plan

Aurora Town Council adopted a motion put forward by Mayor Tom Mrakas that directs staff to include modernized housing policies in the Town’s Official Plan that clearly articulates and defines the Town’s strategies and actions on affordable and attainable housing. The motion also directs staff to develop an Affordable Housing Action Plan (AHAP) in collaboration with the community, local partners and housing providers. The AHAP, the motion says, will be used to guide decision-making on how to address affordable housing and promote attainable housing options, with monitoring and measuring tools to ensure successful implementation to 2051 and beyond. The motion notes that while the Town continues to successfully implement provincial and regional growth targets, affordable housing has reached a crisis level in communities across Canada, and proactive and strategic planning on housing is vital to the economic strength and overall livability of the Town.

Expanding pickleball opportunities

A motion put forward by Councillors Rachel Gilliland and Ron Weese was adopted by Town Council that directs staff to explore ways to increase the number of pickleball courts in Aurora, possibly for this coming season, and ultimately to report back with a future pickleball development plan with recommendations and future budget considerations through the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Exploring permanent liquor license at Aurora Community Centre

A motion put forward by Councillor Gilliland and adopted by Town Council directs staff to report back on the feasibility of a permanent liquor license for the Aurora Community Centre (ACC). The motion notes that a permanent liquor license at the ACC would be in line with the Town’s Sport Tourism Strategy that aims to enhance the visitor experience, bring new events into the community, highlight hometown athletes, and incorporate cultural experiences for the community and visitors. The motion also notes that Aurora has many high-level hockey games and tournaments that play out of the ACC – including the Jr. A Aurora Tigers and U18 Women’s International Silver Stick Tournament – while the cost to attend an NHL game continues to be unaffordable to many residents. Other municipalities have been successful at licensing certain facilities, including the City of Barrie and the Town of Collingwood. 

Motion on 672 and 684 Henderson Drive

Town Council also adopted a motion put forward by Mayor Mrakas that requests that the Ontario Government support the Town’s position, as well as an Ontario Land Tribunal ruling, and not permit residential development as of right at 672 and 684 Henderson Drive. An applicant has made requests to the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing to permit residential development as of right on the subject lands. The motion notes, however, that if the province were to honour this request, it would circumvent the Town’s existing approval process while also forgoing an assessment of potential environmental impacts of proposed development.