It’s been a busy month for the Flamborough Chamber of Commerce.

On March 31, another sold-out crowd ‘went wild’ at the African Lion Safari to ‘recognize, honour and celebrate the very best in corporate excellence and community service’ at the annual Outstanding Business Achievement (OBA) awards gala. CHCH anchor/reporter Nicole Martin emceed ‘the social event of the year in Flamborough’ where the FCC presented its most prestigious award – the Lifetime Achievement Award – to former Flamborough Councillor Gerry Aggus.

Another item high on the FCC priority list is the ongoing debate regarding Hamilton’s proposed $1 billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Because of unanswered questions regarding the LRT’s operating and maintenance costs (that will spell out the implications for all taxpayers across the entire ‘new’ City of Hamilton), the FCC Board of Directors (BOD) has not endorsed the project.

By far the biggest development of the past month is the fate of many landscapers located in rural Flamborough and Ancaster. The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB – the ‘supreme court’ of planning decisions) recently ruled that 61 rural landscapers who applied for a ‘special exemption’ would be allowed to continue at their current locations.

Much credit goes to Flamborough Councillors Judi Partridge and Robert Pasuta who initiated a ‘special exemption’ provision. Their extraordinary efforts stand in sharp contract to those of Glanbrook Councillor Brenda Johnson, who not only opposed the ‘special exemption’ provision but was also able to convince her Council colleagues to authorize $150,000 for enhanced bylaw enforcement in her ward.

While the 61 landscapers are breathing a sigh of relief, there are still over 100 landscapers in rural Flamborough and Ancaster who did not apply for the ‘special exemption’ status. Their futures remain uncertain.

It really is quite simple. If Hamilton is to meet its many fiscal challenges, it needs more commercial and industrial assessment. The FCC is passionately committed to helping to make that happen!