London News & Search
London could be the third Canadian city to join the UN Women’s Safe Cities initiative. The community and protective services committee unanimously supported a plan from Mayor Matt Brown and ANOVA to address the issue of sexual violence against women in London – especially in public spaces. AnnaLise Trudell and Jane McGregor from ANOVA suggested the city may have an issue with sexual assaults on London transit, among other places, and said the safe cities work would allow their agency and other experts to work on sexual violence intervention strategies. If approved by council, ANOVA will put together a team of experts to begin a survey and look at creating a five-year plan.
Rail trail excites politicians
Coun. Jared Zaifman’s proposal for a rail trail link between London and St. Thomas earned praise from city politicians on Tuesday. Zaifman hopes to create a path for pedestrians and cyclists along the CN Talbot Spur Rail Line, one that would also allow Londoners to connect to the Trans Canada Trail. Politicians supported his motion that the city begin discussions with CN, the City of St. Thomas, and Elgin County, as well as investigate cycling grants that could provide funding.
Cash for neighbourhood projects
The city will designate $250,000 each year for community-directed projects through the neighbourhood decision making program. Residents can begin submitting ideas for all sorts of projects on Friday, when the project goes live. The idea was piloted last year in two areas and generated ideas like a free “little library” and outdoor ping-pong tables. The annual budget will be divided between five parts of the city – $50,000 each for the north, east, south, west and central areas. Coun. Josh Morgan, a supporter of the program, said it empowers citizens. “This is one of the ways to give residents that decision-making power and ability to shape their neighbourhoods,” he said. More information at getinvolved.london.ca/NDM.
The community and protective services unanimously endorsed a campaign from the London Homeless Coalition to lobby the provincial government for an increase to the Ontario Works rate. The coalition is pushing for a $245 increase to shelter allowance for single adults, arguing that’s the minimum bump that would allow recipients to pay rent in the London area. Politicians also added a request to have the mayor send a letter to the provincial government urging a raise – the same effort London council has tried in past.
London News & Search