1 PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION DATE: January 20, 2014 REPORT NO. PW TO: FROM: Chair and Members Committee of the Whole Operations and Administration Geoff Rae, MBA, P.Eng. General Manager, Engineering & Operational Services 1.0 TYPE OF REPORT CONSENT ITEM [ ] ITEM FOR CONSIDERATION [ X ] 2.0 TOPIC Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network (WGHMN) - Charter 3.0 RECOMMENDATION A. THAT Report No PW , Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network (WGHMN) - Charter BE RECEIVED; and B. THAT the Council of the City of Brantford DIRECT staff from Public Works, Community Services and Economic Development to remain involved in the WGHMN as stakeholders status and provide updates to City Council. 4.0 PURPOSE This report has been prepared to advise Council of the Vision and Charter for the Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network (WGHMN) and request that the City of Brantford remain involved with stakeholder status. 5.0 BACKGROUND On December 3, 2012, a meeting of the Chief Administrative Officers, City Managers, Public Works Commissioners, General Managers, senior transportation staff and economic development officers was held to discuss their municipal perspectives on inter-regional corridors and gateway issues, as they relate to the NGTA and GTA West Corridor projects. Staff members represented six municipalities, including the City of Hamilton, Halton Region, the City of Burlington, the Region of Waterloo, the Region of Peel and Niagara Region. The Southern Ontario Gateway Council also participated.
2 Date: January 20, 2014 Page 2 At this inter-regional discussion on Corridors and Gateway Connections, the municipal group (or Caucus) explored areas of mutual interest and support. The group also adopted its collective position on strategic transportation corridors to be presented for consideration to the Provincial and Federal Governments. The discussion focused on the strategic connection between the proposed GTA West Corridor and the NGTA West Area transportation link to a new Mid-Pen corridor alignment, connecting to the Eastern Seaboard gateway of the USA. It was agreed that Provincial and Federal support for the strategic integration of these highway projects would significantly improve goods movement, logistics and access to markets. The meeting agenda and a list of attendees are appended to this report. Representatives at the meeting endorsed the need for on-going staff discussions and a future meeting of political leaders from each municipality to further the group s principles and vision. Of primary interest is the integration of various transportation studies (NGTA, GTA West, and others) to create a Greater Golden Horseshoe corridor. This corridor would serve as a ring road, providing relief to the existing QEW/Highway 403 and Highway 401 corridors, a strategic economic link to markets and an effective route for goods movement traffic. The group s view of the benefits of a Greater Golden Horseshoe corridor circling Highway 401, Highway 403 and the QEW aligns with MTO s Vision, as follows: To be a world leader in moving people and goods safely, efficiently and sustainably and support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life. In October 2013, staff from the City of Brantford Public Works Commission, Economic Development and Community Services met with Jill Stephens, Public Works Strategic Projects of Niagara Region to discuss how the City and County may be involved with this initiative. Staff of the City of Brantford Public Works Commission continued to be involved with the Municipal Caucus meetings in November and December 2013 as the charter for the WGHMN was finalized. 6.0 CORPORATE POLICY CONTEXT The City s involvement in this Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network reflects the Goal of Managed Growth and Environmental Leadership in the City s Strategic Plan. One of the strategic actions of this goal is to work with other levels of Government to improve regional transportation links. 7.0 INPUT FROM OTHER SOURCES This report has been reviewed by staff in Community Services.
3 Date: January 20, 2014 Page ANALYSIS The City of Brantford has been identified as one of the fastest growing communities in the Province of Ontario. Some of this growth can be attributed to the growth in the adjacent municipality of Waterloo Region and the municipalities in the GTHA such as Hamilton, Niagara, Halton and Peel Regions. The City is also strategically placed along Highway 403 which is a vital goods movement corridor connecting the City to the markets in the east, through GTA and Niagara, as well as to the west to London and Windsor. In order to maintain the City s status as a growing community and to take advantage of the economic benefits of the adjacent communities, it is important for the City to remain involved with the developments in the transportation/transit sector through alliances with these communities. Currently, both the County of Brant and the City are involved with the Waterloo, Wellington, Brant (WWB) Strategic Transportation Initiative, which has been working with the MTO to examine the travel characteristic in this area and co-ordinate plans for improvements to the inter-regional networks for goods and people movements. Maintaining involvement with the WGHMN as a stakeholder will permit City staff to monitor the provincially significant developments and be able to keep Council apprised of these developments. The Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network vision is as follows: To advance the common perspectives regarding the need for transportation/transit infrastructure and a more efficient and connected network for the movement of goods and people. The Network will be a leader in establishing and using cross-boundary, multi-governmental, multi-disciplinary partnerships to advocate for the infrastructure needed for the region (area), recognizing benefits of working together and with the private sector. The ultimate goal is to establish an integrated multi-modal transportation network that will achieve the following: Address existing highway capacity issues Maximize the potential of other goods movement modes Provide efficient connections to employment lands and markets Incorporate an inter-regional multi-modal transit network Respect the importance of sensitive natural heritage, social, cultural and environmental areas, and Plan cooperatively, with participation by municipalities, the province, the federal government and the private sector.
4 Date: January 20, 2014 Page 4 The Charter for this organization (provided in Appendix A ) will take a broader view of transportation and planning issues, focusing on and promoting the prosperity of the greater region and province. The five member municipalities will be taking the Charter to their respective Councils to be signed in January Each municipality will keep other members and key stakeholders involved in achieving the municipal network s objectives. The stakeholders include the following: Local municipalities within the boundaries of the members jurisdiction Neighbouring single-tier and regional municipalities Ministries of the provincial government, including those with responsibility for an oversight of transportation, land use planning, economic development, the environment, natural resources, infrastructure planning and funding, approval process and finance; Departments of the federal Government, including those with responsibility for an oversight of railways, ports and airports; economic development and trade; the environment; natural resources; infrastructure planning and funding; approval process and finance; and The private sector, including local Chamber of Commerce, groups such as the Southern Ontario Gateway Council, and goods movement and logistics companies and carriers. 9.0 FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS There are no financial implications for participating in the WGHMN with stakeholder status. Staff will attend monthly meetings held at occasions within the area and will periodically report to Council on activities CONCLUSION The City of Brantford continues to be involved with transportation planning initiatives that impact the movement of goods and people beyond the City s boundary. Involvement in the WGHMN will help keep the City advised of transportation initiatives that impact economic needs of the community. Russ Loukes, P.Eng Director, Engineering Services Geoff Rae, MBA, P.Eng., General Manager, Public Works Commission Attachments: Appendix A : Western Golden Horseshoe Municipal Network : Charter (2013)
5 Date: January 20, 2014 Page 5 In adopting this report, is a by-law or agreement required? If so, it should be referenced in the recommendation section. By-law required [ ] yes [ x ] no Agreement(s) or other documents to be signed by Mayor and/or City Clerk [ ] yes [ x ] no Is the necessary by-law or agreement being sent concurrently to Council? [ ] yes [ x ] no