• Ward 2 Townhall Meeting

     

    Wednesday October 2nd

    6:30-8:30pm at the East London Library

    Join me and City Staff from the Budget team to discuss the upcoming multiyear budget, get an update on the community centre construction, and discuss the issues important to you.

     

  • Bringing Affordable & Public Housing Under Direct City Leadership

    Councillor Shawn Lewis speaking about the challenges facing social and affordable housing in London, and the need to bring the direction of London Middlesex Community Housing and the Housing Development Corporation under a single leader accountable to city council.

  • Ward 2’s Vimy Ridge Park Becomes Official

    More than two years after it was opposed by the former Ward 2 Councillor and referred back to city staff to review other options, the Community and Protective Services Committee of London City Council unanimously endorses the motion by new Ward 2 Councillor Shawn Lewis to officially designate Vimy Ridge Park. Continue Reading

  • Multi-year Budgets and Provincial Uncertainty

    I recently had the opportunity to speak with London Free Press columnist Chip Martin about the city’s next multi-year budget cycle.

    Already the Ford Government in Ontario has downloaded or cut services that will add at least $4 million to the city’s budget costs. Staff have already told council just to stay on track next year we need to raise property taxes another 2.7%.  And of course we have a federal election looming this year that could result in more changes to affordability for Londoners. That concerns me a great deal. Seniors on CPP and OAS benefits aren’t able to keep pace with those kind of increases and stay in their homes. The rising costs of groceries, hydro bills, and everything else is making it harder and harder for people to make ends meet, and property taxes are the LEAST FAIR form of taxes possible.

    People should make no mistake, decisions of senior levels of government have profound financial impacts on municipal governance. Continue Reading

  • Time to Say No to a Bridge to Nowhere

    The 2014-2018 Council (including the former Ward 2 Councillor), set aside $5 million to potentially fund the “Ribbon of the Thames” portion of the “Back to the River” project.

    What has become known as the “bridge to nowhere”, a suspended lookout bridge and river facing amphitheater space, has already ballooned in cost from $2 million to $7 million, with additional costs for shoreline work, excavation, and flood mitigation measures coming in at another $3-4 million.

    Staff pegs the cost of the “Ribbon of the Thames” at a minimum of $12.8 million dollars, with only $2 million in private donations from the London Community Foundation, leaving the project with at least a $5 million funding gap even if we spend all $5 million of the public dollars set aside.

    And that’s without spending a penny on the removal of the decommissioned Springbank Bank that has gates and hydraulic systems currently sitting at the bottom of the river. Continue Reading

  • An Inside Look at Construction of the East London Community Centre

    Opening in the fall of 2019, even if it might not appear so from the roadside, construction of the East London Community Centre is moving along well.

    Continue Reading

  • Ward 2 Gets $6 Million Infrastructure Renewal Approval

    During the election campaign one of the things I promised to do was to make the renewal of the Calgary, Churchill, Edmonton, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Whitney Street area of Ward 2 a priority.

    I was sworn in as your Councillor on December 4th. Getting started on this was my first priority and on December 5th I sat down with our City Engineer, Manager of Roads, and Director of Water and Wastewater. As you know, it is not just the roads that are in bad shape, sewer and drainage upgrades are needed as well, Whitney and Calgary Streets shouldn’t flood every time it rains. It was at this meeting that I learned that some of the drainage in the area dates back to the 1920’s and the City of London’s infrastructure renewal for this neighbourhood was not in the plans to be completed until 2029- 2030!!!

    I made it clear that wasn’t good enough. Not only had residents been led to belief for years that improvements were “just a couple of years away”, but the city was constructing a $20 million community centre in East Lion’s Park with no plan to upgrade the roads around it for another decade!

    Continue Reading

  • The BRT Vote and Better Transit, What Does It All Mean?

    After almost 4 years of the Matt Brown led council insisting that their BRT plan absolutely had to be an all or nothing decision, staff clearly indicated to the new council that not only could the BRT plan be broken up into pieces and still be viable, but that other options besides the old BRT plan were available which could qualify for provincial and federal funding.

    A list of 19 projects came to council to decide which ones to submit for federal and provincial funding approval. These included; 5 component pieces of the old BRT plan, an intelligent traffic signal management system, bus stop amenities including 60 new bus shelters, the purchase of more buses, a portion of the Adelaide St. underpass design, an intersection improvement project for Wharncliffe & Oxford, Thames Valley Parkway connections, pedestrian connections to the transit network, new sidewalks, and three different cycling proposals along with a couple of others.

    What changed from the old BRT plan? Continue Reading

  • In Debate on BRT: The Argyle View

    Discussing in the first video how Argyle residents feel about always being left out when it comes to service and investment from city hall.

    In the second video, presenting an amendment to the East London Link rapid transit proposal to include improved service to Argyle, the airport, and employers along Veterans Memorial Parkway to get people to jobs.

  • Listening to Londoners Frustrations on Snow Removal

    From the London Free Press:

    Coun. Shawn Lewis spent much of his long weekend listening to Londoners voicing frustrations about city hall’s snow-removal service.

    The rookie Ward 2 councillor says he received a flood of complaints from his constituents and residents of other wards after a weekend snowfall blanketed streets and sidewalks that were already covered in ice.

    “I was actually hearing from people from wards all across the city,” Lewis said Tuesday.

    “Pretty much everything I heard this week from constituents was about how bad the roads were. I had people tweeting me about it, I had Facebook messages, phone calls, emails, the whole gambit.”

    Making snow removal one of his priorities, Lewis last month suggested city hall should lower its minimum threshold for sending plows into the streets…

    Read the full story at:

    Snow-removal complaints piled up over wintry long weekend: Politician