Council Connects - April 11, 2023

Posted on Tuesday April 11, 2023

This update will connect residents to important discussions and decisions made by Cambridge City Council. The Mayor and Council make up the local government for the City of Cambridge. They develop laws and policies, which the City's administration implements. 

Citizen committee reviews compensation for councillors

The Citizen Committee for Council Compensation was established with a mandate to review the compensation of the current term of Council as well as to review a proposed expense policy for the term of 2022-2026. The Committee was tasked with reviewing best practices for council compensation, reviewed a draft council expense policy and gave feedback on the use of a Deputy Mayor for future consideration.

Following the Committee’s review, Council received the report and recommendations and has proposed that the Council Expense Policy be deferred to September, 2023

Council also directed the City Clerk to prepare the necessary by-law for the Remuneration of Mayor and Members of Council to be presented to Council on April 25, 2023 to be effective the same day for the term of 2022 to 2026.

It was also recommended that members of Council salary increase by 3.59% percent annually in addition to the annual cost of living adjustments.

Greener Development Standards for Waterloo Region

The City is working with Waterloo Region Community Energy and other local municipalities to advance a Green Development Standard. This standard is an important planning tool that supports environmental and climate change design. This collaboration will encourage consistency for the development community working within the region while also contributing to climate action targets.

Acknowledging major economic activity in 2022

Council received the Economic Development Annual Report for 2022 which reflects on major economic activity across the City. The report also looks at the economic health of the Core Areas and provides a review of the thriving film industry in the City of Cambridge.

Some of the highlights from the report included $659,895,140 dollars spent in construction value according to building permits. This amounts to a 28% increase over 2021. The commercial vacancy rate across the Core Areas has dropped by over 6% since 2019, and there were 75 days of filming in 2022 which ties with the most days filmed in 2021.

Exploring opportunities to develop infrastructure to charge electric vehicles

A significant percentage of greenhouse gases (GHGs) causing climatic change are emitted from the internal combustion engines of automobiles.

In an effort to reduce GHG emissions and stave-off the worst effects of climate change, a global movement in the automobile sector is occurring, to design, build, and sell zero- emission electric vehicles (ZEVs), electric vehicles, (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid vehicles, that produce far less GHG emissions than internal combustion engines, with 7.8 million units sold globally in 2022, up 68 percent from 2021.

Tonight, Cambridge City Council directed staff to examine the possibility of mandating that all new developments, retail locations, and city parking lots, possess a certain number or percentage of parking spots for Electric Vehicle charging stations including those spots designated as accessible.

As well, with a projected growth of 70,000 residents over the next 30 years, the percentage of EV spots and charging stations rise in accordance with federally mandated numbers of electric vehicle ownership rates to ensure that the City can provide future-proofing for green infrastructure that is able to meet consumer demand for electric charging stations while helping to fight climate change by encouraging the removal of internal combustion engines from our roadways and parking lots.