New Year, New Goals for Cornwall City Council’s Pivotal 2024 First Meeting

New Year, New Goals for Cornwall City Council’s Pivotal 2024 First Meeting
Mayor Justin Towndale (Photo : Jason Setnyk)

Jason Setnyk

Cornwall, Ontario – Cornwall City Council convened for its inaugural public meeting of 2024 at the Council Chambers in City Hall on January 8, marking the beginning of a year filled with ambitious goals and strategic planning. The meeting focused on three critical action reports.

The first, titled “2023 Accomplishments,” presented by Chief Administrative Officer Mathieu Fleury, outlined significant milestones achieved by the city last year. A major highlight was the city’s staffing changes. In addition, city staff played an active role in community events, such as the Cornwall Pride Parade, showcasing a diverse representation from various municipal departments.

Furthermore, the city demonstrated a strong commitment to modernizing its infrastructure, with substantial investments in roads and sidewalks. Collaborative efforts with non-profit organizations also marked strides in addressing housing and homelessness challenges. A landmark achievement was the completion of a new housing development at Ninth Street East and McConnell Street, featuring 77 one-bedroom units and a commercial space now occupied by the Housing Services Department.

The second report, focusing on the Council’s Strategic Priorities, laid out a visionary four-year plan. This plan aims to align Cornwall’s efforts with its overarching mandate and vision, featuring four foundational pillars: Housing for All, Community Connections, Achieving Net Zero By 2050, and Preparing Cornwall for the Future.

City Councillor Claude E. McIntosh emphasized the urgency of the housing situation, advocating for proactive measures in securing properties for subsidized housing to accommodate the influx of new Canadians and asylum seekers.

“Housing, housing, and housing. It’s almost a crisis situation right now. So many new Canadians are arriving. Over 600 asylum seekers at Dev Core, and we don’t have the housing for them. We need help from the Feds. The key to subsidized housing is ready properties. When you get the money, you can’t look for the properties; it takes time, so the idea is to have it in place, get the money for housing, and boom, it’s ready to go,” said City Councillor Claude E. McIntosh before the meeting.

City Councillor Sarah Good expressed optimism and a forward-looking stance regarding the city’s new strategic priorities, including environmental action.

“I’m looking forward to us adopting the new strategic priorities. The four pillars sound good, but we might have a couple of questions and some suggestions regarding tweaks. But I’m happy about Net Zero By 2050. I think that’s a big goal and target that we set and has been set by the Federal Government. We need to do our part, and we’re going to have some big changes on the way and hopefully be very positive for our residents,” said City Councillor Sarah Good before the meeting.

The final report, titled “2024 Priorities,” built upon the previous year’s successes and outlined the council’s forward-looking agenda. This agenda includes ongoing projects like the Art Centre and new initiatives, particularly infrastructure investment, signaling a year of continued growth and development for Cornwall.

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