From the Mayor’s Chair – December 20

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the December 20 Council meeting included approval of exploring alternative uses for Belle Park which will include public consultation before the 2018 season, approval of a motion to explore a partnership with the west-end Boys & Girls Club to deliver recreational programming, and Council passed a motion declaring the Countryside District Council seat vacant and asked staff to report back on options, timelines and costs for filling the council seat. 

Watch the December 20 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

From the Mayor's Chair -

For previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this website 

Thanking Councillor Allen for his work

As mayor, I want to take this opportunity to thank Councillor Allen for his dedication to representing the people and interests of Countryside District. He has become a strong voice at council and his leadership and ability to consider all sides of an issue will be missed.

In his time on council, Richard worked to raise the profile of rural businesses and advance Kingston priorities as a board member for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

Although we are sad to see Richard leave the Council horseshoe, we wish him well in his new position and his growing family.

In terms of next steps, I would like to see us move quickly to fill the vacancy and representation for Countryside. My number one priority is to have as little disruption to the residents of Countryside as possible.

I have consulted the City Clerk about the process for filling a vacancy on Kingston City Council. As a first step, I will be bringing a motion to council tomorrow evening to formally declare the Council seat for Countryside district as vacant. The motion will also request that city staff provide a report back to council on January 24th outlining the process for filling a vacant seat, according to the Municipal Act.

Based on preliminary discussions with staff, I understand the Municipal Act provides three options for filling a vacant seat;

  1. Fill the vacancy by appointing the individual who received the second highest number of votes for councilor of Countryside District in the 2014 municipal election.
  2. Fill the vacancy by an appointment process, allowing any interested and qualified person to submit an application for appointment to council.
  3. Fill the vacancy by holding a by-election in the Countryside District.

I look forward to receiving more information about these options from staff so that Council can make an informed decision and act quickly to fill the vacant seat.

In the interim, I invite residents in Countryside to contact my office directly with any issues or concerns until their new councillor is set in place. Residents can contact my office at mayor@cityofkingston.ca or 613-546-4291 ext. 1400.

From the Mayor’s Chair – December 6

Check out the latest version of From the Mayor’s Chair, where I break down the decisions of Council in 3 minutes or less.

Highlights from the December 6 Council meeting included Council support for Innovate Kingston’s Breakout event set for May 2017, Council approved a plan to support the relocation of the Alexander Henry to a new home in Thunder Bay and Council endorsed the continued relationship with Correctional Service of Canada and the St. Lawrence Parks Commission for the continuation of Kingston Penitentiary tours for the 2017 tourism season

Watch the November 1 edition of From the Mayor’s Chair HERE

From the Mayor's Chair -

For previous From the Mayor’s Chair segments visit the media tab at the top of this website 

KP Tours Re-Launched in 2017

Earlier this week I was thrilled to announce, after an incredibly successful 2016 season, Kingston Penitentiary tours will continue for 2017! The KP tours this past summer were a huge catalyst for tourism in Kingston, helping to make this the biggest year for tourism in our city’s history.

In total, the KP tours welcomed over 60,000 visitors, brought over $5 million in economic benefit, and more than $300,000 for our local United Way. Next year promises to be even bigger and better, with tours running 7 days a week from May to October. This means even more visitors coming to Kingston and an even bigger boost to our tourism sector.

I cannot say enough about the amazing partnership that the City of Kingston has formed with both the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) the St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) to make these tours a reality. With CSC opening the doors of the KP site and SLPC taking care of running the tours, both of these great organizations have demonstrated their incredible vision and commitment to our community.

Looking ahead to 2017, we can anticipate not only a great season of KP tours, but also the results of the current visioning process that will lay the foundation for the future of the Kingston Penitentiary and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour sites. There is tremendous potential for some exciting redevelopment on these properties and, in my view, there is no doubt that tourism should be a key part of the future for Kingston Penitentiary.

Announcing one of the Biggest Economic Development Deals in Kingston’s History

Today I am absolutely thrilled to announce one of the biggest economic development deals in our city’s history!

Feihe International has selected Kingston as their Canadian base of operations, investing an enormous $225 million in Kingston! With this investment Feihe will be opening a state-of-the-art 300,000 square foot  processing and research and development (R&D) facility on 40 acres of land in the Cataraqui Estates Business Park, located in our west end.

Feihe International is a China based producer of infant formula, known for their technologically advanced manufacturing facilities producing high quality infant formula for North America and Chinese markets. Once constructed, their processing and R&D facility will create 200-250 good paying manufacturing and research jobs in our community. In addition, we expect that over 1000 indirect jobs will be created through the economic impact of their operation here in Kingston. And this impact will extend well beyond Kingston into the entire Eastern Ontario region, as Feihe plans to establish an entire local supply chain of dairy and goat milk producers.

To help put this news into perspective, this represents one of the largest foreign direct investments in Canada, and it is happening right here in Kingston. I especially want to thank and congratulate KEDCO on their tremendous work over the last number of months bringing this deal to Kingston. KEDCO and city staff were instrumental in showcasing why Kingston was the right choice for Feihe International.

Right now the plan is to have a shovel in the ground by next spring, which alone will create 400 construction jobs over the next 2 years as Feihe’s facility is constructed. I look forward to building relationships with our new Chinese business partners and friends, so that we can explore further economic development opportunities from China and help put Kingston on the map globally!