President’s Report – June 18, 2022

Thank you for your Association’s membership in FUN and for your (virtual) attendance at this year’s AGM on June 18.

While we are still meeting virtually we are seeing some semblance of normality, despite the changed behaviour regarding work and home. The long-term implications for neighbourhoods can be no more than conjecture.

The events of the past (over) two years reinforce the critical role of residents associations at the local level, and federations of residents associations, at the regional and provincial level, to address policy issues. The mantra “municipalities are a creature of the province” is regularly demonstrated in decisions, and legislation introduced and passed by the provincial government, some positive, but many with long term negative implications for such areas as cultural heritage, urban sprawl, and climate change.

So what has FUN been doing about these issues?

  • We have submitted briefs to consultations (where these were provided) and comments to the Environmental Register;
  • We have written letters to the Premier, the Ministers, MPPs and municipalities, regarding new legislation and programs impacting on land use and communities, e.g. the GTA West Highway (413), and the reduced powers of conservation authorities;
  • We have communicated and promoted action locally through e-blasts to our members, and we have made our website a “go-to” resource about these matters

We have also, where possible, worked in coalitions with not for profit organizations such as Environmental Defence, Nature Canada, David Suzuki Foundation taking advantage of their skills, expertise, and good reputation.

The above is external activity, but internally there has been lots of activity also.

The web site has been upgraded, expanded and modernized.

The Executive is indeed fortunate to have Sheila Harrison (working with Paddy Duncan, web specialist) to thank for these achievements, both in expansion and modernization, and in posting relevant events, and FUN submissions and letters.

To expand our website content and communiqués to our members require funds. Your donations over above the membership fee would be much appreciated.

During the past year the Executive has met monthly and we have reach out to residents associations across the province, again with the incredible leadership of Sheila Harrison. We want to increase our network of urban neighbourhoods, locating additional organizations and increasing communication. Anyone who is interested in volunteering with us please let us know.

We are wish to thank Bill Phillips (Vice-President), Don Stewart (Treasurer), Sheila Harrison (Membership), Archie Campbell (Past President) and Members-at-Large Robert Murray and Jeff Levitt for their support and efforts throughout the year.  (Bios of our directors are on the web site).

FUN’s niche is proving to be critically important and a major opportunity. However it is also a major challenge for an organization whose raison d’être is to link organizations which tend to be focussed on their own issues, and relies for support on people who are already locally engaged in resident association activities. We need everyone’s ideas and help to do so.

It is a work in progress and we look for ideas and help from all.

Respectfully submitted

Geoff Kettel,

June 8, 2022

Geoff Kettel

Geoff Kettel

Geoff Kettel is a community connector and advocate for “making places better”, active in land use planning, heritage preservation, active transportation, and community development. Geoff had a 33 year career in the Ontario public service serving in various ministries. Prior to that time he was a Land Use Planner in private practice.