Greenspace Alliance Met With Josh Morgan

On September 26th, Greenspace Alliance issued our list of endorsed candidates for the October 24, 2022 election.  We had pushback from some GA members who asked why Josh Morgan is not on the list.

(Josh is currently London Ontario’s city council representative for ward 7 and London’s Deputy Mayor. He is campaigning to be mayor of London, Ontario.)

We did not endorse Josh because we did not know his position on tree canopy and greenspace issues. As with all candidates, we sent him an email with an invitation to talk.  We had not received a reply before announcing our list. 

Josh subsequently contacted us. He said he had not seen the email invitation from Greenspace Alliance. He said his staff had “filed it”. He wanted to meet and talk about the issues. So Josh and I met this morning at the Angelo’s on Wonderland.

Meeting With Josh Morgan

During our meeting, I told Josh about Greenspace Alliance’s agenda. I laid out the five commitments that a candidate had to make in order to get our endorsement. Those five  commitments are:

Five Commitments Asked of Candidates

    • To increase London’s tree canopy targets and decrease the timeline for meeting those targets


    • To establish residential tree planting programs


    • To establish mandatory minimum canopy requirements in new residential developments


    • To keep the city’s greenspace property on River Road (instead of selling of it) and to solicit community input in regard to how to use that property


  • To establish a greenspace council, committee or commission that will be tasked with protecting/preserving public greenspace and providing input for future greenspace use

Josh Morgan And Tree Canopy Goals

Josh came across as enlightened about environmental issues. He was enthusiastic about commitments #1 through #3. He had good ideas about how federal money can be used to strengthen London’s tree canopy. We agreed that London’s tree canopy goal must be increased, and that the time frame for increasing it must be reduced. Long story short, tree planting must speed up. So it felt as though we were aligned in regard to tree canopy goals. I also liked his ideas about creating accessible greenspace for various activities.

Morgan Amenable To Keeping River Road

We then discussed River Road. Josh, at one time, seemed to favor disposing of the property, which the city ran as a golf course. I suggested that a feasibility study – in regard to keeping the property and exploring its possible uses – should be done before selling it. Josh said he could get on board with that.

We then discussed the types of groups who might be interested in giving input to help determine the best use(s) for the property.  Josh seemed genuinely interested and had some ideas.

My overall impression was that Josh Morgan is agreeable to retaining the River Road property. He is also open to getting input from community groups in order to identify the best greenspace use(s) for it.

Morgan Aligned With Most GA Goals

Josh Morgan seems aligned with #1 through #3 of Greenspace Alliance’s commitments. He is agreeable to attempting #4, which is to find a way to keep the River Road property while identifying the best use(s) for it. In regard to #5, he balked at the word “commission”,  but many of the candidates have. I feel he is on the same page as Greenspace Alliance members and told him so.

Regardless of the alignment of our goals for London’s greenspace and tree canopy, I said that Greenspace Alliance could not formally endorse his candidacy. If we endorse his candidacy it would discount the endorsement  we gave to Khalil Ramal, and Khalil really deserves our endorsement.

Khalil didn’t just say that he was in favor of increasing tree canopy and greenspace. He followed up, to make his commitments clear. He told me that he would incorporate Greenspace Alliance ideas and issues into his campaign, and he did, on his campaign website.

Josh said he understood my reasoning. He inquired if I would informally portray him as supporter of Greenspace Alliance – and vice versa – If I had the opportunity. I said I would.

Summary of Morgan Meeting

I think that Josh Morgan has a grasp of the environmental emergency at hand. He seems genuinely to believe we must expand London’s tree canopy and greenspace. I believe he will agree to a feasibility study for keeping River Road. If he is elected mayor, I do not think he would push to dispose of any public greenspace.

Greenspace Alliance Endorses Candidates For London Municipal Election in Oct. 2022

We sent out a press release today, listing the candidates we endorse for the upcoming election. A copy was sent to each of our endorsed candidates.

Greenspace Alliance Endorsements for London Municipal Election 

Greenspace Alliance is an environmental advocacy organization. We are dedicated to protecting greenspace and expanding forest canopy. In regard to the upcoming October 2022 election, We endorse the following candidates for London city council:

Ward 1: Hadleigh McAlister

Ward 2: Mike Yohnicki

Ward 3: Prabh Gill and Bob Wright

Ward 4: Matt Nicolaidis and Susan Stevenson

Ward 5: Connor Pierotti

Ward 6: Sam Trosow and Mariam Hamou

Ward 7: Corrine Rahman and Evan Wee

Ward 8: Steve Lehman

Ward 9: Anna Hopkins

Ward 10: Paul Van Meerbergen*

Ward 11: Skylar Franke

Ward 12: Alex Main

Ward 13: John Fyfe Millar

Ward 14: Steven Hillier


For the office of mayor, we endorse the candidacies of Khalil Rhamal and Sean O’Connell.

Our sincere thanks to every candidate who took the time to talk with us.

Confirmed by Angus Johnson, Director Greenspace Alliance (

* Paul Van Meerbergen is running for reelection. He did not meet with us, but sent an email saying that he endorses the goals of Greenspace Alliance. He voted to retain River Road when the issue first came up. He agrees that closing River Road Golf Course and allowing that asset to lose its value through neglect was “a big mistake”.

Ward 13 City Council Candidate John Fyfe-Millar Meets With Greenspace Alliance

John Fyfe-Millar is London’s City Counsellor for Ward 13. John was a city council candidate for this ward in 2018 and came in second. When the first-place winner vacated her London City Council seat, John was appointed to represent Ward 13. John has been Ward 13’s city counsellor since October 26, 2021.

John is a candidate for London City Council in Ward 13. He is seeking to be his constituents’ first choice this October and retain his seat.

I met with John and we discussed issues related to London’s downtown and need for more greenspace.

Fyfe-Millar Focused On Downtown Core

John is focused on London’s core, where most of his constituency lives. He has a good grasp of the challenges of growing London’s forest canopy in the downtown core, and he was eager to to talk about solutions.

For example, John said routine pavement renewals could be used as opportunities to identify locations for new trees. (Pavement renewals involve replacing or restoring broken, degraded, crumbling, or sunken sidewalks and parking lots.) While parking lots and sidewalks would still be replaced as needed, trees would be integrated into their restorations.

The first win for Londoners with this strategy will be economic. The City will save some of the cost of replacing pavement.  The second win will be more shade for those using our sidewalks and parking lots. The third win will be that adding trees will expand our overall urban canopy. Growing the urban canopy will be crucial to keeping our city’s core from becoming dangerously hot in the future, and John seems to understand the urgency.

I like John and enjoyed speaking with him. As a constituent in his ward, I can attest that he is accessible, respectful, and eager to find solutions for our city’s problems. I look forward to hearing more from him and his campaign to retain his City Council seat in Ward 13.

Public Service Announcement

Because homelessness is of such concern to John – and to all downtown Londoners – here is his advice about dealing with encampments, taken from John’s government webpage on which he discusses the issue at length:

“Attempting to remove an encampment or individuals can be tricky at the best of times. I can’t stress enough that should you or someone you know be affected by an encampment or individual, contact and ask for assistance. Please visit the Service London portal to report needles; or contact Dispatch at 519-661-4965. This phone number is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. City staff, in co-ordination with the relevant city partners, will work together to respond.”

Ward 4 City Council Candidate Susan Stevenson Meets With Greenspace Alliance

I met with Susan Stevenson, a candidate for London City Council in Ward 4.

Susan is Certified Public Accountant and has an extensive business background. She is focused on insuring financial and fiscal responsibility in city hall government.

Susan expressed enthusiasm for strengthening London’s greenspace. She conveyed herself as a strong supporter of growing London’s tree canopy. She appeared keen to redress the injustice that she said had been done to Ward 1 through the closing of River Road Golf Course.

I liked Susan. Her manner was positive, yet down-to-earth. I look forward to hearing more from her and her campaign for the City Council seat in Ward 4.

Ward 5 City Council Candidate Jerry Pribil Meets With Greenspace Alliance

I met with Ward 5 Candidate for London City Council, Jerry Pribil.

Jerry owns and operates the much-loved Marienbad Restaurant as well as Chaucer’s (my wife’s favourite pub), both of which are located downtown on Carling Street. He is well-known as an advocate for London’s hospitality and restaurant industries.

Jerry ran as the PC party’s MPP candidate for London North Centre in the June 2, 2022 provincial election. His run was unsuccessful. He is now running for London’s City Council seat in Ward 5.

Jerry impressed me as being concerned primarily about supporting business in London.

I liked Jerry and enjoyed speaking with him.

Ward 7 City Council Candidate Corrine Rahman Meets With Greenspace Alliance

On August 12th I met with Corrine Rahman, who is a candidate for London City Council in Ward 7.

Corrine was a schoolboard trustee. She was also a member of Matt Brown’s staff while he was London’s mayor.  She is currently a professor in the Business Management program at Fanshawe.

Corrine is a person with a lot of government experience.  She impressed me as being a good person to answer questions about the ins and outs of city government. She seems to know the process of how to get things done in London’s city government.

We met in Corrine’s ward and, as she looked around, she expressed concern about what we perceived to be “treeless sprawl”. Corrine expressed concern about trees being removed in her ward. She struck me as a person with great passion about protecting and expanding London’s tree canopy.

I liked Corrine and enjoyed speaking with her. I look forward to hearing more from her and her campaign for the City Council seat in Ward 7.

Ward 7 City Council Candidate Tommy Caldwell Meets With Greenspace Alliance

Tommy Caldwell is a candidate for London City Council in Ward 7. Tommy is an entrepreneur who has been involved in a number of businesses. He is the founder of Hybrid Fitness. He impressed me as being very enthusiastic about being an entrepreneur.

Tommy gave me the impression that he believes that the primary function of a municipal government is to encourage and foster business in the local community.

I liked Tommy and found him to be a very nice guy. I look forward to hearing more from him and his campaign for the city council seat in Ward 7.