Overdose deaths in Peel have risen 249% since 2014, Region prioritizing efforts to battle opioid crisis; lack of funding for mental health supports has left a deadly gap
Feature illustration from Joel Wittnebel/The Pointer

Overdose deaths in Peel have risen 249% since 2014, Region prioritizing efforts to battle opioid crisis; lack of funding for mental health supports has left a deadly gap

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. 



Committee of Council

Date: May 25 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Brampton looks to modernize parking in the city 

A plan that has been in the works since a council recommendation in 2018, the City of Brampton is considering ways to optimize its on and off-street parking in the city, as well as developing policies to modernize the use of these facilities. This includes the potential removal of parking minimums which require developments to include a certain number of spaces, as well as things like increasing the supply of electric vehicle charging stations. 

The full staff report can be read here


Previous reporting:


Planning and Development Committee

Date: May 30 - 7:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Brampton Official Plan update

Following the approval of the Region of Peel’s official plan, which unlocked nearly 11,000 acres of farmland and greenspace in north Brampton and Caledon, the City of Brampton is now in the midst of finalizing its own official plan to align with its upper tier municipality. Brampton’s planning and development committee will receive an array of reports and updates in regards to the “Brampton Plan” relating to land needs analysis, arts and culture, environmental considerations and transportation. 

Read the staff report here


Previous reporting: 



Date: May 24 - 6:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


Union contract negotiations could put Town work at risk 

Five unions responsible for work across the Town of Caledon, including masons, carpenters, ironworkers, labourers and operating engineers are all up for contract renewals this spring. The unions representing skilled equipment operators and carpenters have already initiated strike action. According to a report from Town staff, this could impact a number of projects, including renovations on a trio of fire stations and the expansion of Rotary Place.

“Staff will continue to work with the general contractors on these capital projects to monitor impacts and mitigate them wherever possible to keep projects on track and within budget,” a staff report reads. 

Read the staff report here. 


Regional Council

Date: May 26 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


With overdose deaths on the rise, Peel prioritizes three pieces of Opioid Strategy 

Since 2014, overdose deaths in the Region of Peel have increased 249 percent with 606 lives lost over those years. To try and push back against the opioid crisis and make up for lost time as a result of the opioid crisis, the Region is prioritizing a trio of projects to move forward, including efforts to establish safe consumption sites in Peel, involvement in the discussions around potential drug decriminalization in Ontario and what it would mean for Peel and work to create a broader drug strategy to address substance use in Peel. 

Read the full report here.


Lack of funding for mental health and addictions in Peel leaves a deadly gap

According to the Region of Peel, only one in three residents who need mental health or addictions support will receive it when they need it. This is the result of a significant gap in funding for these supports. On average, the Province provides approximately $88.10 per capita to public health units in Ontario for mental health and addictions programming. In 2021, the two Local Health Integration Networks that serve Peel, Central West and Mississauga Halton, received $51.35 and $35.94 respectively. 

“Despite ongoing advocacy, COVID-19 and its impacts from various response measures have continued to amplify existing disparities for those facing mental health or addictions challenges. The rates of depression, anxiety, substance related harms, and opioid related deaths in Peel have increased. These challenges impacted Peel’s pandemic experience and response and emphasize the urgency and need for sustainable funding,” a staff report reads. 

Read the full report here


Past reporting:


Regional Watershed Alliance

Date: May 25 - 6:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live

Update on habitat connectivity Meadoway Project 

The TRCA is working to rejuvenate a 16-kilometre stretch of hydro corridor in Scarborough into “one of the largest urban linear greenspaces in Canada,” which could help numerous species whose habitats have been fragmented by urbanization in the GTA. 

Read the full report here


Past reporting:


Board Meeting

Date: May 25 - 7:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Integrating human trafficking awareness and training 

The PDSB has taken a number of steps to try and ensure educators are trained on how to identify signs of human trafficking, and to educate young students about what human trafficking is and how to avoid becoming a victim. In an update to board members, PDSB staff explain that a number of steps have been taken since February 2020, when the board committed to addressing human sex trafficking in Peel, including: training and public awareness materials for students and staff, developing a response protocol for suspects occurrences of sex trafficking, and making connections to other service providers in the community. 

Human trafficking occurs in Peel at nearly twice the rate of the national average. 

Read the full staff report here


Past reporting:



Police Services Board 

Date: May 27 - 10:00 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Deputy Chief to present on intimate partner violence

The Peel Police Services board will hear a presentation from Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich related to intimate partner violence, a crime that has been on the rise across the region for the last several years, and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Few details are available on the agenda with regards to what information will be presented. 


Past reporting:



Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoeljWittnebel

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