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City of Brantford Council Notes for November 28, 2023

City of BrantfordCity of Brantford Council Notes for November 28, 2023

Wall of Recognition Awards

Chris Friel – Modern

Chris Friel was one of the youngest Mayors in Canadian history. After being first elected at the age of 27 in 1994, Friel was subsequently elected for four more terms in 1997, 2000, 2010 and 2014.

Throughout his time as Mayor, Friel oversaw the establishment of Brantford’s Wilfrid Laurier University and its YMCA, established a boundary agreement with the County of Brant in 2016, procured federal and provincial funding to improve the Mohawk Greenwich Brownfield site, championed the City Accommodation Strategy to renovate 58 Dalhousie Street (the current City Hall), and led efforts in bringing GO Transit to Brantford.

The former Mayor also worked to build relationships with local Indigenous groups and developed initiatives such as Smart Brantford, Safe Brantford and Healthy Brantford.

“I feel a lot of gratitude for Chris in terms of him really devoting the better part of his working career to politics and serving our city,” said Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford. “There’s no question in my mind that he is a well deserving candidate for admission to the Hall of Recognition.”

John Utley – Modern

John Utley was first elected as a Ward two councillor in 2010 and served 12 consecutive years.

Utley worked on numerous committees and task forces, including the Finance Committee, Economic Development Advisory Committee, Brantford Power Board and Library Board, and the Downtown Brantford Business Improvement Area Board of Management.

Utley has long been involved in community development including acting as the President of the Kiwanis Club of Brantford, he was a founding member Kids Can Fly and served on the Brantford United Way Campaign Committee for 12 years. He was also Rotary Sunrise Club honourary member and is a recipient of the Queens Jubilee medal and Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.

Utley was also part of two Economic Development missions to Mitsui operations in Kitakyushu, Kyushu Island and the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, paving the way for Mutsui High-tec Inc. to grow North American operations in Brantford. He was also a keynote speaker at a Sino-Canadian Education Forum in China, to promote Brantford as a place for senior students to learn Canadian culture at Victoria Academy.

“I have known John personally for many years, we have both been involved in one of the local Rotary clubs,” said Davis. “So before I even served with John, I understood and knew him quite well to be the wonderful, even-tempered, and compassionate person he is. He brought to council a certain calmness that would often bring the temperature down in the room which is very important to have members council do that.”

Councillor John Sless, who worked alongside Utley in serving Ward two for eight years, also shared words about his time with Utley.

“If you have a wardmate that you don’t get along with, or you don’t see the world the same way… it’s a very long four years,” said Sless. “John’s eight years flew by, and we became not just wardmates, but we became friends. I think that is so important and so valuable to the City because it makes things work better and things could just happen that wouldn’t happen if you didn’t have that type of relationship with your wardmate.”

Walter J. Bragg – Historical (early to mid 1900s)

Between 1912 and 1948, Walter Bragg served as alderman (councillor) for Ward four for a total of 13 years.

Bragg was a member of the Board of Works, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Fire and Light Committee, Railways Committee, Finance Committee, Industrial Committee, General Executive Committee, Children’s Aid Society, Housing Commission, Home of the Aged and Infirm Committee and spent eight years as Representative to the House of Refuge.

Bragg was also the Chairman of the Railways Committee in 1915 to 1916, Chairman of the Fire and Light Committee in 1919, and Chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee in 1917, 1918, and 1926.

John Wedgewood Bowbly – Historical (early to mid 1900s)

John Wedgewood Bowlby served as a lawyer for over 60 years and was first elected as alderman (councillor) in 1971, and served a total of five non-consecutive years for East Ward.

Bowlby also served Ward four as of 1982 and served sporadically for six years before serving as Mayor in 1907, 1908, 1916 and 1917.

On Council, Bowlby was also Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee as well as Chairman of the Finance Committee. During his time as Mayor, Bowlby was a member of the Bell Memorial Association when it was unveiled, and in his last year as Mayor, he was the one member of council to sit on the Board of Health.

Charles H. Hartman – Historical (early to mid 1900s)

Hartman was elected as the Ward four alderman in1903 and served for six years until 1911.

During his time on Council, he served on many committees and was Chairman of the Fire, Light and Sewers Committee, and Chairman of the Board of Works.

In 1911, Hartman was elected Mayor for the City of Brantford and served for two years.

1928, Hartman was elected alderman for Ward three and served for four years.

During that time, he was Chairman of the Relief Committee and Chairman of the Board of Works.

Hartman was also on the first board of the Brant Sanitarium, and after starting as a torch boy, he continued on to be a 25-year member with the old volunteer fire brigade. Hartman was also a member of the Fireman’s Drill Corps and Drill Instructor for the Hook and Ladder Fire Company as drill instructor.

John H. Matthews – Historical (early to mid 1900s)

Matthews was a long-time alderman and two-time mayor for the City of Brantford.

For 13 years, Matthews served as a Ward two alderman. His committee work included the Fire and Light Committee, Railways Committee, Buildings and Grounds Committee, and the Board of Health.

By 1930 he sat on the Relief Committee, which was formed in response to the economic downturn of the 1930s.

His interests were most-notably directed to finance as well as committees relating to the health and welfare of Brantford’s citizens.

At the end of the second World War, Matthews served as the City’s Mayor in 1946 and 1947. He was an active member of the Board of Governors of Brantford General Hospital and was a member of the mechanical staff of the Brantford Expositor for 41 years.

Major Sports Teams Liaison Committee Report

On Tuesday evening, Council received a report from Staff titled, “Current and Prospective Major Sport Teams and Local Sport Facilities.”

The Chair of the Major Sports team Liaison Committee (councillor Dan McCreary) and the Manager of Economic Development and BRC CONSULT will work together to gather feedback from current major league sports teams about their experiences with the City of the Brantford, and will report back to the committee.

Staff has also been directed to prepare a report related to Brantford’s sports facilities and will include information regarding seating capacity, parking review, general overview of the state of the facilities, as well as future plans for the facilities.

McCreary said that the committee has been hard at work.

“We’ve met with a number of major sports teams, and they have provided us with input and are quite forthcoming in small groups. Staff have taken to heart some of the comments we received, and we are underway with approvement’s,” he said. “I couldn’t speak more highly of our staff and of our sports partners in this community. … We’re also going to be looking at attracting other sports, as well as supporting those that make Brantford their home, among them, basketball and perhaps things like ladies hockey.”

Bylaw Restrictions for Copper and Metal Theft Occurrences

Council received another report titled, entitled “Bylaw Restrictions for Copper and Metal Theft Occurrences.”

In the Committee of the Whole – Planning and Administration report, there was a recommendation that a by-law be enacted to amend chapter 326 of the City of Brantford Municipal Code and will be presented to Council for adoption.

The City intends to send a letter and a copy of the report to Will Bouma, MPP for Brantford Brant, as well as the Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, with a request to maintain and supervise salvage yards throughout the Province of Ontario, similar to Alberta’s Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act.

Chris Gauthier, City Clerk was also directed to forward a copy of the resolution to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

However, during the Council meeting, councillor Brian Van Tilborg moved to have the item referred back to Staff, in order to make by-law amendments that will be in line with the Alberta Court of Justice’s decision in R v. Khairullah, 2023 ABCJ 235.

Staff will then report back to Council in March. and that Staff REPORT BACK in the March meeting cycle.

The referral comes as Justice Heather Lamoureaux, ruled Alberta’s Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act as unconstitutional as of November 8, 2023.

Amrullah Khairullah, a Calgary scrap dealer was charged with 12 counts of failing to provide seller information within 24 hours of purchasing restricted metal in 2021. The province defines that as an offense that could result in a maximum fine of $50,000 and/or up to a year in jail.

He later challenged the act in court and Lamoureux said that the act intruded on federal authority of criminal law.  

“The legislation does not truly regulate trade and does not address property and civil rights or administration of justice in a public manner,” said Lamoureaux in her ruling. “The regulations, promulgated pursuant to the statute, falls solely within the federal criminal law power.”

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