Our 2015 Goals!

2015

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2014 Community Conversation!

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Southdale Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market 2014

 SFAM Large Logo

The Southdale Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market had its fourth successful year this summer! We were excited to be back, bringing fresh local food and artisan products to the Westminster Neighbourhood.

For those of you who may not know, the Southdale Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market is an initiative run by the Westminster Working Group, a group of residents living in the Westminster Neighbourhood in London, Ontario who are dedicated to helping children, youth and families live a healthier life. Without a grocery store in the immediate area, the Westminster Neighbourhood is considered a food desert. Recognizing the need for better food accessibility the Market was born. This year, under the new management of Courtney Bertens the market doubled in size!

The Market, held every Thursday in August and September from 3:30 – 7:30pm on the corner of Southdale and Adelaide, had a little something for everyone. From local fruits, vegetables and honey, to homemade pies, dried spices, and teas. We also received great support from local Service Providers and Not-for-Profit Organizations from within the community. Each came out over the course of the eight weeks to share their organizations work, and provide fun engaging activities for Market goers.

For the children who attended the market a new craft table awaited! Each week featured new crafts inspiring the inner artist, creating a new masterpiece for the fridge. Families, Food, and Fun became this year’s focus and a catchy new tag line.

New this year, we held our first Pet Day on September 4th. Pet Day was an opportunity to bring the furry-legged family members to experience the market. We had eight specialty vendors on top of our ten regular produce and artisan vendors. Demonstrations and free product samples made it a real treat for all who attended!

September also marked Yoga month! From 6:00 – 7:00pm, Market goers could try Yoga free! Natalie Coles from Wildflower Yoga and Jennifer Surerus from The Peaceful Path took turns leading each session.

A BIG Thank You goes out to all our vendors. We saw some familiar faces and made new friends too. Without these great individuals, the market could not have been as big a success.

Thank You  Vendors

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a vendor for the 2015 Market please contact: southdalefarmersmarket@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter @SouthdFarmMkt and Like us on Facebook: Southdale Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market, for the most up-to-date information and news about the Market.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year. See you at the Market!

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It’s Your City. Vote.

If voting...

Voting makes a difference. In order to make Westminster the best possible community, we need to have the best possible representation at the municipal level. On October 27th make sure your voice is heard!

A message from your Ward 14 City Council Candidates…

Steve Hillier…

I am a lifelong Londoner and a 20 year resident of beautiful Ward 14.  I’m your neighbour, a husband and father of 2 sons, one 4th year Western and one 2nd year Fanshawe.  I am a Manufacturing Engineer by trade, I’ve worked at McCormicks, VariForm and many other factories, I am also the owner and creator of Canada Comfort Foods 7 years ago.  I speak the language of the types of employers we need to attract.  Proud to be 1 of 7 founding vendors of The Western Fair Farmers and Artisans Market at The Western Fair Grounds. Together we’ve created a focal point for improvement in the old east village that is creating real change in the area.  These last 7 years have allowed me to speak directly to real Londoners about concerns that don’t always show up on a survey.

This election ask yourself, does the candidate represent the people of the Ward they are trying to get elected in.   I’m one of you, and we need people that look at this as a calling, not a career, real people that have shared in life’s problems and created practical solutions.  I have not gone to school for a life in politics, I am running because right now I have the skills London needs and now is the time to step up.  My children are grown and this allows me to focus on building a better Ward 14. If you know me you will understand that I have a unique perspective on life and it has taught me life is short, it can change in a flash and as Londoners we can’t afford to put things off.  We need Councillors that are able to think on their feet and work on citizens’ real concerns, not their own. Please ask around, I like to help, it makes me feel good.

London, Employment is our biggest obstacle, it’s the reason people stay or leave here. Once, we were the Manufacturing Capital of Canada and large manufacturing was a massive employer.  Times have changed dramatically and we have to change with them.  Small to medium sized businesses are the areas we have to focus on, with emphasis towards inner city redevelopment projects that include the Mom and Pop style businesses so they don’t get lost as we grow.  Here in Ward 14 we have real problems to investigate like our growing Retail Deserts and how to get those spaces filled, Addressing Rapid Transit past the 401 and the VMP to the developing industrial areas would allow people without cars a chance at a job.  We need to foster a positive environment for future Employer opportunities. More bike paths and protecting our Environmentally Sensitive Areas have to be considered in all the new developments.  In Ward 14 we have a delicate balance between Residence, Highways and Industry.  We also have more available industrial land on the 401 corridor than any other Ward so an aggressive strategy to develop these lands quickly must be created.

Not a Platform, the heart of what needs to be done by everyone on council, as we are one vote each, and 1/15 = 6.7% of the vote each on any issue.  For people to put forth platforms assuming everyone else will follow their lead is very presumptuous of them.

I will be working to increase the Opportunities for Employment in Ward 14, Looking at long term Debt Reduction, Enhancing our City Services and Responsibilities, Reducing Retail Sprawl, Helping Reclamation and infill Projects, and Helping Small Businesses Develop.

Like I have said all my life,

“Practical Ideas = Real Solutions”

Steve Hillier
21 Oregon Road
London, ON
Home telephone:  519-668-1604
Business phone:  519-636-1345
E-mail:  stevehillier@rogers.com
Find Steve Hillier on Facebook
Follow Steve on Twitter @StevenHillier14

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Sean M. O’Connell…

Dear Ward 14 Residents,

I enjoyed attending the debate for Ward 14. It was an important moment for most of us candidates, especially me. It allowed us the chance to demonstrate who we are and what we stand for. The day after I had hoped to see some coverage of the debate in the news but became disappointed that once again our ward is overlooked. This is precisely why I spoke about inclusion. We are very much a part of the fabric that is London and we need to ensure our voices are heard.

I have lots of ideas and would like the opportunity to enact upon them as much as utilise the feedback I have received from residents. London has many challenges ahead but I am not a stranger to challenges. For me, this is the second time I have had to start over my life, once upon entering England, and now, when I moved back to my home town. I have many work and life experiences to draw upon, particularly in the realm of politics. I studied and received my Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Political Science and I have travelled extensively all over Europe. I wanted to see how people live in other parts of the world and experience it firsthand. I took the time to learn about their histories, political systems, and culture as much as I understand my own. It is what has broadened my horizons and shaped me into the person I am today.

I have searched for the opportunity to grow and demonstrate my abilities. This election has provided that opportunity and I have not wavered in my commitment to it. I thank every resident who has taken the time to listen and become engaged. I hope everyone will vote on October 27th. Your voice does count.

Sean M. O’Connell
66 Snowdon Crescent
London, ON
N6E 1G4
Home Telephone:  519-668-2585
E-mail:  wodanis@hotmail.com
Find Sean M. O’Connell on Facebook
Follow Sean on Twitter @Wodanis

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Allan Tipping…

Westminster Friends

I am sure my name may ring a bell for a few. (Hopefully good memories)

I was born on Wellingsboro Rd 1n 1965 and have lived my entire life in what is now ward 14. I have played in the Fish and Game ponds as well as the Westminster ponds, Played Man Hunt behind Nicholas Wilson P.S and cheered on the Laurier Rams athletic teams during my high school years. Being a long time resident, I have seen our great part of the city neglected by city hall. I hope to change that. I am a hard working person, who is passionate about all the challenges I take on.

I believe that we need to get the city working as a team to bring jobs here. One idea is to make development fees refundable. If we allow tax rebates over the 10 to 15 years following, we give the business a reason to stay and keep jobs here. Another is a Youth Council at city hall. (Mentored by all councillors) Unlike the one now, this council will sit as a council, have agendas, debate actual issues facing the city and present solutions to council. We need a strong understanding from our youth on how they would run the city. Thirdly, I would like to see children able to go to our parks on summer break, where qualified councillors are there with balls, bats and other games that are structured allowing all kids to play and enjoy the activates as we did when we were young.

Municipal elections are the ones that affect you the most, so please get out and vote and help me make a difference.

“Tipping the Scales in our Wards Favour”

Allan Tipping
2809 Dingman Drive
London, ON
N6N 1G3
Home telephone:  519-685-9364
Campaign Office:  519-636-3270
E-mail:  allantipping1@gmail.com

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Sandy White…

It has been a privilege and honour to represent the people of Ward 14 as your councillor over the last four years. We have so much to be proud of and to celebrate in Southeast London: the people, the parks, the events and our neighbourhoods. Ward 14 is one of the most unique and diverse places in our city.

We have reached so many milestones over the last few years including: growth in the industrial park, protection of environmentally sensitive areas, culture and heritage and strengthening our many great neighborhoods.

I get so excited looking back at what we’ve accomplished in a such a short time: the jobs that were created; the new recreational facilities, improved services to seniors, community connections across the ward and exciting summer and winter events, improvements to our pathway connections and so much more.

It has been a very exciting four years serving the Southeast Community of London. We have accomplished a lot together and there is so much more that we can do to continue making Ward 14 the best to be in our City.

On The Move-

Industrial Park Economic Growth & Development

Old Vic Road Residential Development

Glen Cairn Seniors Satellite Centre

Glanworth Library Restoration & Heritage Designation

Glanworth Traffic Calming

Meadowlily Bridge Restoration and Heritage Designation

South East Summer Fest (Pond Mills)

South East Winter Fest (Glen Cairn)

South East Recreation Centre Approval

Southdale Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market

Summerside Spray Pad

Summerside Traffic Calming

Westminster Bike Lanes

Westminster Connections Project Approval

Westminster Skate Board Park Approval

Westminster Small Business Growth

Westminster Swimming Pool & Play Ground Restoration

Sandy White
737 Deveron Crescent
London, ON
N5X 4X9
Home telephone: 519-719-3223
E-mail:  Sandy-white2@hotmail.com
Visit Sandy White’s Website
Find Sandy White on Facebook

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Jared Zaifman…

I am running now for the same reasons I ran four years ago when I lost by 116 votes. Londoners deserve a council with fresh perspectives, strong government and business experience, and the conviction to make decisions that are best for the city. As a young person myself (age 27) I believe our prosperity is linked to investing in youth and our community, and I will support and build on relationships with existing business, as well as create a friendlier environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses. To make sure we have the best city for ourselves and business, we must also make sure we are investing in our infrastructure now to avoid massive costs in repairs and slowdowns in the future. I want to help London shed its image of being a conservative town and help it become a city that is known for its jobs, talent, ideas and innovation.  I know that London can realize its potential as a great city for everyone to live.  For more information check out www.votezaifman.com

Jared Zaifman
900 Adelaide Street S.
PO Box 37029
London, ON
N6E 3T3
Home telephone:  519-671-0410
E-mail:  votezaifman@gmail.com
Visit Jared Zaifman’s Website
Find Jared Zaifman on Facebook
Follow Jared on Twitter @JaredZaifman

Click here for voters information

Click here to ensure that you are on the voters list

Click here for info on the Voter Notification Card

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Click here to find out who your Mayoral Candidates are

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Volunteering in Westminster!

Volunteering counts

Getting Involved in Westminster!

Have you been wondering how you can get more involved in your community? The Westminster Working Group has compiled a list of volunteer opportunities right here in our community!

@ the Neighbourhood Resource Association of Westminster Park (NRAWP)
*Contact Kelly at 519.680.0991 or nrawp.volunteers@gmail.com

Opportunities include:

  • Event Planners
  • Painters
  • Cooks
  • Cleaners
  • Program Assistants
  • Breakfast Club
  • Board Members
  • Fall Community Clean Up
    • Thursday, October 9th @ 5:30pm – pick up supplies at the Westminster Optimist Centre (650 Osgoode Drive)

@ the London Community Chaplaincy
*Contact Yordanos (Program Director) at ywoldema@londoncommunitychaplaincy.com OR Crystal (Community Builder) at crystal@londoncommunitychaplaincy.com

Opportunities include:

  • After School Programs
  • Community Events
  • Summer Programs
  • Fundraising

@ Westminster Park Optimist Club
*The Westminster Park Optimist Club owns and operates the Westminster Optimist Centre and supports programs for the youth in our community

Opportunities include:

  • Board Members

@ Westminster Working Group
* The Westminster Working Group is a group of residents living in the Westminster Neighbourhood in London Ontario who is dedicated to helping children, youth and families live a healthier life — contact Shannon Sinclair at westminster.london.on@gmail.com for more information!

Opportunities include:

  • General Members
    • Come join the conversation at our next meeting on Wednesday September 24th @ 6-8pm at the Westminster Optimist Centre (650 Osgoode Drive)

** Check back here for more opportunities that we learn about!

Volunteer

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It Takes a Village: Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities

According to recent studies, kids today are facing greater health risks than ever before – on average, children are not eating enough fruits and veggies, 1 in 5 kids are dealing with a mental health issue, there is a growing proportion of overweight and obese children, and this generation of children are the first ever to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

It is clear that something needs to change, not just in our homes, but within our communities… Because as we have all heard before, “It takes a village to raise a child”

It is because of this need that Ophea Canada, a not-for-profit organization that is “led by the vision that all kids value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy active living” has created their Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities initiative (http://www.ophea.net/about-us).

Ophea Canada believes that “creating healthy schools and communities is a shared responsibility. Educators, students, families, and community partners (including public health, sport and recreation providers and others) all have a role to play in creating healthy active environments for our youth and children” (http://www.ophea.net/healthy-schools-communities)

Ophea Canada provides us with six pillars to help us begin our journey towards healthier schools and healthier communities:

  1. FoundationKnow the issues that exist in your community, ask yourself “what do our children need?”
  2. Quality programs that meet kids’ needsSupport the programs that exist and ensure that they are meeting the needs of the children in our community and provide input and support for new and necessary programming
  3. Physical Environment Ensure that the physical aspects of our community allow and promote healthy eating and healthy physical activity
  4. Social environmentProvide and support positive social outlets for children — seek out opportunities within our community and get involved!
  5. PartnershipsCreate positive, mutually beneficial relationships with businesses and organizations in the community so that we can constantly support one another
  6. ConversationCreate and maintain a dialogue between community members, stay connected and work together!

Check out Ophea Canada’s short video on Healthy Schools, Healthy Communities to learn more about this wonderful initiative and how YOU can make a difference! 

To find out more about Ophea Canada or the Healthy Schools and Communities initiative check out their website at http://www.ophea.net/

If you’re interested in taking part in creating a healthier, happier community for yourself and your family, join the Westminster Working Group on Wednesday September 24th from 6 – 8pm at the Westminster Optimist Centre (650 Osgoode Drive)

*For more information please email us at westminster.london.on@gmail.com

To find out about volunteer opportunities and/or youth programs in the Westminster neighbourhood please contact Kelly Clark-Emery at nrawp.volunteers@gmail.com or stop by the Neighbourhood Resource Association of Westminster Park located in the Westminster Optimist Centre!

Together we can build the healthiest neighbourhood in the city!

Ophea Health            Ophea Community     

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Play Your Way in Westminster!

“The City of London provides affordable, accessible and equitable opportunities for you and your family to try new activities that we hope will interest and engage you…The City of London is committed to offering a full range and variety of recreation opportunities for all Londoners to develop the body, mind and spirit.”

Interested in learning a new language, joining a dance class, getting fit, getting creative or just getting active and involved? Be sure to check out the 2014 Fall/Winter Spectrum Recreation Activity Program Guide for you and your family!

Spectrum provides introductory, recreational level programs that represent a “Spectrum” of choices for you and your family. In the Spectrum guide you’ll find a variety of programs for the whole family, preschool age children, children, teens, adults, older adults as well as day camp programs and aquatics programs! There are also a variety of programs including arts, crafts, language, cooking, music, dance, drama, computers, fitness, sports, wellness, and general interest programs!

Interested in programs taking place in Westminster?

                                        Westminster Fall 2014 programs

To register for a Spectrum program in Westminster, or to check out the online interactive catalogue, click on the link below!

Spectrum Registration and Catalogue  

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Just Say Hi!

Say Hi

One of the things that people value most in their community is safety. It is important to know that your community is safe and it is important to always feel safe. There are a variety of measures that we can take to ensure the safety of ourselves, our families and our neighbours and friends and we see people taking these steps all the time! Whenever we see a Neighbourhood Watch sign or a Block Parent sign, we know that there are members of our community that have committed themselves to making Westminster a safe neighbourhood. But what can we do on a daily basis to ensure Westminster stays safe for everyone?

The Answer:

Just Say Hi!

The Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council has come up with a fantastic initiative to ensure that communities all over stay safe! “Say Hi” is a community campaign that focuses on taking small steps to build safe communities.  The “Say Hi” campaign is based on the concept that acknowledging and connecting with your neighbours nurtures a sense of belonging and responsibility, and strengthens relationships between neighbours.

By reaching out to your neighbours you will:

  • Get more connected with your community
  • Remove barriers that separate people
  • Nurture a sense of belonging and inclusion
  • Have the opportunity to start a dialogue about community safety

Saying Hi to your neighbours is a small, easy step that we can all take towards ensuring the Westminster community stays strong, happy and safe!

The Challenge:

When you are out in the community this week, say Hi to your neighbours! Take that first step to building a stronger community!

For more information about the “Say Hi” campaign, check out their website at Say Hi Campaign

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Parks, Parks and More Parks!

We are halfway through the month of July and many children, youth and their families are looking for fun ways to spend their summer days! It has become all too common during the summer months to spend most of our time indoors – but it is so important to get out and get active! What is an affordable way to have fun in your own neighbourhood, you ask?!

The answer is Parks, Parks and more Parks! Did you know that the Westminster neighbourhood has EIGHT different parks!? The parks in Westminster have amenities for everyone, from toddlers to adults. There is play equipment, a variety of courts, diamonds, fields and tracks to play sports, a community pool and lots and lots of green space to relax, read a book, stare at the clouds or even have a picnic!

Check out the following information to find out what parks are near you, and what they have to offer!

Past Presidents Park – Millbank Dr @ Leicester Cres

–          Play structure with slides
–          Swings
–          Climbers
–          Activity panel
–          Paved path for accessibility

Shaftesbury Park – @ Shaftesbury Ave  (Arthur Stringer P.S. and Sir Wilfrid Laurier S.S.)

–          Three different playgrounds
–          Play Structures with slides
–          Climbers
–          Spring seesaw
–          Baseball diamond
–          Soccer field
–          Football field
–          Running track
–          Basketball courts
–          Paved path for accessibility
–          Open green space!

Heritage Park – Bexhill Dr @ Rostherne Cres 

–          Play structure with slides, stairs and a flex climber
–          Soccer field
–          Basketball court
–          Baseball diamond
–          Paved path for accessibility

Westminster Optimist Park – Osgoode Dr @Snowdon Cres (St. Francis C.S. and Wilton Grove P.S.)

–          Westminster Optimist Centre
–          Community Pool
–          Brand new play structure with slides, climbers and swings
–          Baseball diamond
–          Tennis courts
–          Basketball courts
–          Soccer fields
–          Paved path for accessibility

Ebury Park – @ Ebury Place/Cres

–          Play structure with climbers, swings and slides
–          Paved path for accessibility

Nicholas Wilson Park – Osgoode Dr @ Willow Ln (Nicholas Wilson P.S.)

–          Play structures with slides, activity panel and climbers
–          Baseball diamond
–          Soccer fields
–          Basketball courts
–          Community Garden
–          Paved path for accessibility

Wellingsboro Park – Willow Dr @ Willow Ln

–          Play structure with slides, climbers and activity panel
–          Paved path for accessibility

St. Stephen Park – @Mitchell St.

–          Play structure with slides, activity panel and climbers
–          Soccer field
–          Basketball court
–          Paved path for accessibility

Now that you know where all the parks are, and all the awesome things they have to offer, grab your equipment, a healthy snack, a friend and enjoy the summer sunshine in one of Westminster’s wonderful parks!

Don’t forget to tweet about your awesome Westminster adventures (and share your pictures)! @WestminsterLdn

 Park 2

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