Doug & JoAnn Dickerson

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Doug in a media scrum!

First Election Piece

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News

A Message from - Doug Dickerson

Pickering Retail Pages - September 2010

IMAGE IS EVERYTHING CAMPAIGN
A new hospital campaign has been launched during the heat of the summer months. And residents, along with the development and business community, have really warmed up to it.

The new campaign, code named "Image is Everything", seeks our local Ajax/Pickering Hospital's first MRI Scanner. To think someone has to wait 5-8 weeks to get an MRI in Toronto or save a little time by traveling to Cobourg just didn't sit well with local business-woman, Sherry Robinson. She is on a mission!

Gathering the support of the Rouge Valley Hospital Foundation and armed with the financial support of Tribute Communities and the many hospital volunteers,

Sherry has set out to raise the $5 million needed to purchase the MRI. Enlisting the high powered likes of Lucy Stocco of Tribute, Kathy McKay of the Board of Trade, Myrna Picotte of Rotary and Legion, Maureen Farmer of everywhere - you know success will not be far behind.

I was pleased to represent Pickering, along with Mayor Ryan, at the campaign's launch and to participate in a number of fund-raising events (including giving up my tips as a celebrity (hic) bartender) that have been going on for over a month now at different watering holes around Pickering & Ajax.

The MRI will produce detailed, clear images of the body for improved diagnoses.

Besides having no side effects, the MRI provides greater patent comfort and allow for some freedom of movement during a much quieter, shorter scan.

If a prediction is allowed, I would suggest Pickering & Ajax will each contribute about $500,000, spread out over 4-5 years. When you realize the importance of an MRI in early detection, you quickly come to support such a needed resource at our local hospital. As a City, we invest in our hospital - in the hopes we will never need it - but with the knowledge that usage is high amongst our residents; and our medical practitioners need the best technology available to correctly diagnose, and inform, their patents. As a Councillor, and a resident, I fully support the Image is Everything Campaign.
 

PICKERING VS YORK REGION LAWSUIT
 

As most readers are likely aware, the City launched a suit against York Region with respect to the construction of a sanitary pipe and an odour control facility location (OCF).

From the outset, I was unable to support the proceeding because I believed there was little chance of success and outlined my reasons during the initial, closed session of Council. Being the only dissenting vote, the action then required ratification in open session. There, I supported my colleagues because, if they were insistent on proceeding, only a unanimous vote ought to be viewed by the Court.

Some $320,000 later, the legal opinions outlined to Council indicated little chance of success, in large measure because the Minister of the Environment had subsequently approved the Environmental Assessment - but not before adding new measures to save Pickering harmless. It is also noted that the OCF was moved out of Pickering & Durham Region, exactly as requested in motions endorsed unanimously by both Pickering and Durham Regional Council.

The legal opinion also noted that York would not only seek legal costs but also hold the City liable for millions of dollars in lost permit and tax revenue due to construction delays within York Region. York's sanitary capacity is virtually hitting the ceiling at present.

When it came time to decide on moving forward, or burying Pickering in debt for years to come, I voted to end the challenge provided York reinstate the compensation package I had helped to negotiate. York did so, added new dollars for community projects, and we will see close to $12 million to enhance our infrastructure, including along the Waterfront Trail. Two Councillors, McLean & O'Connell, however, still voted to continue the lawsuit.

SUMMER'S END

Summer's end is usually signaled by the CNE's closing on Labour Day. But what a gorgeous summer it has been. We've had it all - from thundering rain storms and flooding to record high heat temperatures. But for the vast majority of days, it was absolutely delightful.

You have witnessed construction taking place all across the City - from sidewalks & roads to playgrounds and tennis courts. The construction and permit values continue to hit new year-to-date totals - from $23 million last year at this time to $72 million this year, so far. Some 4,000 added new jobs continue to push our employment figures higher. Not bad considering we've just come through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Seaton continues to inch forward. I convened a meeting in August including the Province, the landowners' group, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Ontario Power Authority, Ontario Realty Corp., Enbridge, Veridian, the City and Councillors O'Connell and Johnson. The meeting was called for two primary purposes: 1) is there a commitment to district energy including heating and cooling; & 2) is there a commitment to a sustainable Seaton as being truly sustainable, or were the words simply fluff?

I am pleased to announce much progress was made on the entire issue of district energy, heating & cooling and we are moving forward with investigating the most appropriate methods of achieving our common vision. Through the leadership and urging of Sustainable Pickering, ORC has prepared a report which should be finalized, as you read this, on the sustainable elements which will be mandated during the construction of this greenfield community and employment area.

Doug Dickerson
City Councillor, Ward 2
City of Pickering