"Taxpayer affordability has been a theme throughout the 2006-2010 term of Council. We have managed the Region's finances prudently to keep tax increases low. Including the zero per cent tax increase that residents will be receiving this year in 2010, we have managed to hold our tax increases to an average of just over one per cent per year for the past five years - a significant achievement given ongoing financial pressures."

- Peter Partington, Regional Chair

 

President John called the meeting to order at 12:15 p.m.

National Anthem: Paul Monaghan
Toast to the Queen & Canada: Peter Snodgrass
Invocation: Jim Howes

INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS AND VISITING ROTARIANS

Norris introduced our guest speaker, Mr. Peter Partington, Chairman of Regional Council and former member of theb Rotary Club o St. Catharines South.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS

Matt Taylor, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms accepted happy dollars from:

John Teibert - thanked everyone for coming to his Christmas open house on Sunday and thanked the Foundation Committee for hosting such a tremendous Paul Harris Fellowship award luncheon;

Matt Taylor - enjoyed the open house at John's home and fined Norris for calling his moustache "scruffy";

Sheila Bristo -thanked Cathy for hosting the fireside at her home on Thursday evening; and enjoyed John's open house on Sunday; Thanked Sheree, Beth, Roseanne, and June for assisting at Bingo on Friday evening;

Ernesto Carrillo - his wife is feeling much better after her surgery;

Peter Partington - looking forward to his first grandchild in early December and he will be unemployed for the second time on December 9th;

Jim Howes - enjoyed the open house at John's; his granddaughter is dancing with the National Ballet in The Nutcracker; and his team won the rotary bonspiel;

Jim Hooper - enjoyed the open house at John's and was happy to be on the winning team for the Rotary bonspiel. 
  
ANNOUNCEMENTS

December 8, 2010 Donation Committee meeting at Keith Shaver's house.

December 9, 2010 Board meeting at 5:30 at Crawford, Smith and Swallow.

December 9, 2010 "Bigger Better Bolder Clubs" Membership forum. Sole Restaurant, 5110 Main Street, Williamsville, NY. Dinner 6:00 p.m. Forum 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. $20 per person.

December 11, 2010 Bingo - Jim, Jean, Matt and Georgette will asist.

December 20, 2010 Club Christmas Luncheon - family including children and grandchildren are welcome. If you're bringing children and want them to receive a gift from Santa please bring it with you.

Request from Salvation Army - Salvation Army is seeking a sponsor for its Community Christmas Dinner on December 15th. $5,000 is needed to over the cost of the dinner and toys. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Approximately 850 low-income individuals and over 300 children participate. Contact Dan Millar, 905-521-1660, ext. 125 or email dan_millar@can.salvationarmy.org  

Keith Shaver announced that Mimi Massuet would be having surgery to her ankle on Friday morning.  
  
EARLY LEAVERS

None to report.

50/50 DRAW

$2/ ticket - Christopher Michael drew the 2 of clubs.

GUEST SPEAKER

Ed Telenko introduced Regional Chair Peter Partington.

Ed and Peter have been friends for many years, and Ed recounted some stories of rather good parties at his home. He mentioned that Peter has been a member of our club - twice.

Peter is married to Betsy and they have two sons - Peter Jr. and Robert.

Peter was called to the Bar in 1976; appointed Queen's Counsel in 1975; elected to the Ontario Legislature in 1985, serving as party critic for Municipal Affairs and Solicitor General; Elected to Regional Council in 1994 and became Chairman in 2003. He was Director of the Association of Municipalities 1999-2000 and Director and President of the Ontario Great Lakes Foundation from 2000-2003. Peter is the Charman of our Regional Council until December 9th and will relate what has happened under his watch for the past two terms. 
 
Peter spoke of the successes, challenges and the future of Niagara. Working with a very strong council with long-term planning, partnerships, and vision, the Region celebrated its 40th anniversary throughout the year.

In 2011, Niagara will host the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance Conference, promoting Niagara as an economic gateway for international trade. With Toronto receiving the 2015 Pan Am Game, Niagara will be hosting canoeing, kayaking, and swimming in Welland, and St. Catharines will host the rowing. The games will see significant investments in our venues that will benefit everyone.

The Region will be hosting the annual conference of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in 2011.

The Bicentennial of the war of 1812 will showcase what Niagara has to offer. Ontario's Lietenant Governor - David Onley - will host his 2012 New Year's Levee in Niagara-on-the-Lake to help kick off the activities.
 
As Niagara is located a day's drive from half the population in the United states and Canada, we are ideally positioned  as a place to do business.

Another priority has been the creation of an inter-municipal transit system. Operations will begin in 2011 between St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, and Welland and enhancing the transit services between Fort Erie and Port Colborne.
 
Infrastructure Renewal will be a high priority. The Bill Burgoyne Bridge, social assistance case loads, mobilizing public health response teams, mid-peninsula corridor, expansion of Highway 405 to east Main in Welland with completion in 2013, Convention Centre, upgrade to the airport on Highwy 55, the new Health complex, waste water plant in Grimsby, as well as Brock University and Niagara College expansions.

The region has kept tax increases to an average of one per cent for the past five years. All in all, a tremendous growth and exciting times for the Niagara region. 
  
Keith Shaver thanked Peter for the extremely informative and exciting vision for the future of Niagara and what we have accomplished over the years. 

ATTENDANCE REPORT

Norris Brown reported 18 members, one guest, and seven make ups for 70 per cent attendance.

ADJOURNMENT

President John asked if there was anything further for the good of Rotary, wished everyone a good week in Rotary and, before adjourning the meeting at 1:30 p.m., left members with this thought for the day:

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you have forgotten how it goes."  ~ Author Unknown