Renaissance Brandon chair Shaun Cameron addresses city council at its Feb. 4 meeting.
The following is a summary of the items addressed at the Brandon City Council meeting, held on Feb. 4.
• Julia Stoneman, president of the Brandon University Aboriginal Student Council, along with other members of the BUASC, made a presentation to council on the local activities of the recent Idle No More movement. Stoneman shared with council the reasons behind the rise of the cross-Canada movement, which began at the grassroots level out of concern for the federal government’s Bill C-45. Stoneman also touched on the federal bill’s potential impact on the Brandon community, including the effects on local land and waterways. The presentation urged all indigenous and non-indigenous people to work together, not oppose each other, to further protest Bill C-45.
• Council received a presentation from Tina Cochrane de Monroy, who is a local representative of the Fruit Share Manitoba program. The program was founded in Winnipeg in 2010 and relies on volunteers to collect fresh fruit that may be unwanted or is going unharvested in the community and "share" it with those in need, via organizations like soup kitchens. Cochrane de Monroy reported that in the three years since the program has been in existence in Winnipeg, it has garnered more than 300 volunteers and gathered more than 10,000 pounds of fruit in 2012. The group would like to start pilot projects in Steinbach and Brandon and requested that city council provide a letter of support to enable them to secure federal funding, which was granted by council. More information on the provincial program can be found at www.fruitshare.ca.
• Council received a presentation from Shaun Cameron, chair of Renaissance Brandon, regarding its activities in 2012. Cameron’s report highlighted a number of successful programs and initiatives of the organization in the previous year, calling it the "most active year" in the group’s five-year history. Cameron listed among 2012’s highlights: the adoption of the Downtown HUB secondary land use plan; the acquisition of the former Brandon Inn parking lot property and the former Brandon Real Estate Board property; a renegotiated agreement with the Brandon Folk, Music and Arts Society to allow for the completion of their federal funding application for the Strand Project; an attraction of more than 4,500 users of its free wireless Internet service in the downtown, and strengthened outreach through its Downtown HUB flyer and website.
Cameron also noted that the continued development of the HUB created a ripple effect for several other business ventures downtown that were undertaken independent of Renaissance Brandon funding.Cameron reported that Renaissance Brandon is now shifting its focus to "driving" the development of the Ninth Street land assemblage, development of the Arts and Entertainment district, stimulating vacant, upper floor, residential development, implementing parking assessment strategies, continuing to assist significant downtown development projects through its incentive programs and enhancing its marketing and communication strategies.
• Council received a verbal report from Coun. Shawn Berry (Linden Lanes) on behalf of the Keystone Centre board of directors. Berry reported that along with hosting two successful concerts in January, capital projects are ongoing at the centre; with hopeful completion on budget by March 31. Berry also reported that the board has two new members — Derrick Turner and Darlene Paquette. Coun. Garth Rice (South Centre), who also sits on the board, added that the Keystone is currently undertaking a land use survey among its stakeholders.
• Coun. Jeff Fawcett (Assiniboine) provided a brief verbal report on behalf of the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council, who will be meeting soon with the Centre for Health Policy around the issue of youth. Fawcett added the committee continues to focus on employment, healthy child development, promoting a positive image for aboriginal people, education and exploring federally supported initiatives.
• Council approved an amendment to City Council Motion No. 854 with respect to the city’s borrowing authority for 2013. The change increases the approved borrowing authority for the City of Brandon from $5.35 million to $10.35 million, which was recommended by both the city’s treasury department and the city’s bank to allow for a better comfort level when making required progress payments on the Water Reclamation Facility project in 2013.
• Council gave first and second reading to a bylaw to change the boundaries of the Linden Lanes and Meadows wards and the rename the Meadows ward as the Meadows-Waverly ward. The proposed changes to the Linden Lanes ward are needed to reflect the recent annexation of land south of Maryland Avenue and west of 26th Street, which would then necessitate a boundary change for the neighbouring Meadows Ward. The new boundaries, as proposed, would be: The north limit of the Linden Lanes Ward returning to be the Canadian National Railway Right of Way and the east limit returning to be 26th Street; The boundary of the Meadows Ward extend west of 34th Street into the Waverly Subdivision between Park Avenue and the CNR right of way to the west limit of the city. Subsequently, such ward changes would require a name change to the Meadows ward.
• Council gave final approval to a bylaw to decrease the term of the debt for the construction of the new Brandon Police Service building from 20 years to 18 years, due to favourable pricing. The change in the term of debt and interest rate will result in a savings of approximately $2.5 million.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 16, 2013