Misuse of 911 on the rise in Peel; Mississauga moves forward with plan to grow urban agriculture sector
Peel Democracy Watch is The Pointer’s weekly feature aimed at increasing the public’s awareness and political involvement in the Region of Peel by highlighting key agenda items, motions and decisions.
Environmental Action Committee
City finalizing urban agriculture strategy
With food bank usage on the rise across the city—increasing 167 percent between 2020 and 2021—Mississauga is looking for new ways to implement and motivate community projects that work to grow food within the urban landscape. The strategy, which has been in development since January of last year, looks to expand the City’s community garden program.
“Urban agriculture is also a key way that cities can prepare for and combat climate change,” Mayor Bonnie Crombie states in the report's intro. “This is a critical time for the City to invest in and increase our capacity to not only grow food locally for the environmental benefits, but also for the economic benefits and to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents.”
Read the proposed Urban Agriculture Strategy here.
Shifting to zero emissions vehicles
As part of the Peel Climate Change Partnership, each of the Region’s municipalities is required to follow a number of tasks in order to contribute to Peel’s shared climate goals. One of those is to encourage a shift for residents to zero emission vehicles in order to decrease emissions from the transportation sector. Mississauga is currently working on a strategy to do this. Consultations with the community have shown that while many agree pulling down emissions is good, doing so through ZEVs has its barriers, including cost, lack of charging infrastructure and a lack of trust in the technology. Mississauga’s strategy will look to bridge these gaps, focusing on: expanding access to charging stations; enhancing ZEV education and awareness; enhancing private investments into ZEVs and charging infrastructure; and embedding ZEV infrastructure considerations into the planning process.
The committee presentation can be viewed here.
Business owner warns about impacts of encroaching residential growth
The owners of Mother Parker’s are concerned that changes to the employment area surrounding their Stanfield Road business, currently under consideration as part of the Dundas Connects plan, could bring residential homes closer to their operations, creating a significant conflict with noise and traffic.
“Mother Parkers does not oppose other parts of the Dundas corridor from being converted from Employment lands to residential; however, we would suggest this is not appropriate here where the Employment Lands remain functionally and economically viable. That is why we suggest a localized exception to the conversion recommendation,” a lawyer’s letter from the company reads.
The company's concerns illustrate a growing problem as Mississauga, with nowhere left to sprawl, attempts to make the best of the infill opportunities it has left.
Read the full legal letter here.
Planning and Development - Public Meeting
Industrial rezoning application
Residents will have a chance to comment on a request to rezone a portion of land on the northeast corner of Airport Road and Mayfield Road in Caledon. The applicant is looking to build a pair of buildings, combining for nearly 480,000 square feet of industrial space. The proposal is located within the Tullamore settlement area.
Brampton Transit Advisory Committee
Operations update from Brampton Transit GM
According to a presentation from Alex Milojevic, the general manager of Brampton Transit, operations have returned to approximately 90 percent of pre-pandemic service hours, while ridership levels have recovered to 85 percent of what they were before COVID-19. Milojevic will also be providing updates on the City’s efforts surrounding electrification of the transit fleet, senior and summer transit passes and the City’s third transit maintenance facility.
View the full presentation here.
Emergency Management Program Committee
Calls to 911 on the rise, nearly 40 percent not valid emergencies
Emergency call-takers and dispatchers in Peel continue to deal with an overwhelming number of calls to 911 that do not qualify as emergencies, according to a recently released report. Overall, calls to 911 increased 11 percent between 2020 and 2021, with the number of misuse calls (237,631) climbing by six percent, test calls (1,067) increasing 12 percent and hang-up calls (115,609) by two per cent.
“Mobile technology is a contributing factor, as it provides more opportunities for inappropriate 9-1-1 use, such as pocket dialing and short-duration calls,” the report states.
Read the full staff report here.
Preparing for Next General 911
Next General 911 will enhance the ways call-takers and dispatchers receive information from the public, creating the potential for people to send video, or even provide medical records to first responders. Under new provincial guidelines, all 911 service providers must upgrade their existing systems to include these capabilities by 2025.
It’s unclear how much this transition will cost the Region of Peel, which in partnership with Peel Regional Police, manages the operating costs for 911.
Read the full staff report here.
Health System Integration Committee
Improving racialized health inequities in Peel
According to new data from the Region of Peel, cases of COVID-19 among the region’s Black population accounted for 18.5 percent of Peel’s total cases, despite the Black population only accounting for 9.5 percent of the population.
The Region has launched a number of programs in an effort to address this disparity, including the launch of a Black, African and Caribbean (BAC) Communities Vaccine Strategy.
The presentation coming to the committee can be viewed here.
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