Police board to address auto thefts; Caledon to form aggregate-industry working group; Mississauga searches for new integrity commissioner
The Pointer graphic Joel Wittnebel

Police board to address auto thefts; Caledon to form aggregate-industry working group; Mississauga searches for new integrity commissioner

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. 


Caledon Planning and Development Committee  

Date: March 21 - 2:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


Proposed aggregate resources policy study and working group

Staff are recommending to the Caledon planning and development committee on Tuesday that the proposed terms of reference for an aggregate resources policy study and aggregate resources community working group be approved. The report comes after residents have heavily criticized elected officials for a lack of action to safeguard the town from the growing aggregate industry. A special meeting called days before the October municipal election led to the unanimous passage of a new interim control bylaw that freezes applications for new quarries or pits in specific areas of Caledon for one year. The request was made by former councillor Jennifer Innis, who has been questioned for her support of the aggregate industry, and councillor Lynn Kiernan despite pressures of the aggregate industry having existed for more than a decade.

The recommendation report being presented Tuesday for the aggregate study will determine how aggregate policies in the town’s Official Plan may be improved. The purpose of the study is to consider how the mineral aggregate policies and mapping of the new Caledon Official Plan and specific zoning standards may be improved and updated. The role of the community working group will be to provide a forum for community resident perspectives to inform the study, and for public agencies to review, comment and provide data input to the study process. Following a staff organized recruitment campaign, council will select and appoint individuals to participate in the community working group. 

The full staff report can be viewed here


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Caledon Special Council Meeting 

Date: March 21 - 5:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Caledon’s housing pledge to the province 


Caledon council is calling a special meeting to undergo a final review of the Town’s housing pledge to the province. The pledge demonstrates alignment with the housing target assigned by the province through Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, which requires Caledon meet a housing target of 13,000 new homes by 2031. The province has requested Caledon sign a “housing pledge” reflecting the target, and explaining the initiatives the Town will undertake to meet it, and the barriers Caledon could face in the process. If approved by council, the updated housing pledge and the joint asks will be submitted to the province by the new extended deadline of March 22.

Caledon’s housing pledge lists the various initiatives the Town is committed to, how each of these will support housing growth and the risks and considerations it is faced with due to the lack of comprehensive planning, infrastructure as well as the disproportionate impact of Bill 23 on the Town’s finances. A large portion of Caledon’s growth is greenfield, and is contingent on essential infrastructure being in place – roads, transit, utilities and water and wastewater servicing. The housing pledge requests the province’s support in completing comprehensive planning in new growth areas and respecting the way Caledon would like to phase its future growth to create new communities in greenfield areas.

Preliminary analysis of Bill 23 reported by staff indicates financial implications for the Town through the changes to development charges and cash in lieu of parkland will create a gap between the cost of growth infrastructure and the Town’s ability to fund this infrastructure. Staff have anticipated a property tax increase of at least 20 percent or $414 a year for the average residential taxpayer. The province has indicated that there will be a connection between the housing pledges and provincial support for housing-enabling infrastructure funding, but it remains unclear what that funding will look like.


The full staff report can be found here


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Mississauga City Council 

Date: March 22 – 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Delegation on the City’s green development standards 


Future Majority Mississauga is calling on the City of Mississauga to demonstrate climate leadership by making sure all new buildings in the city are energy efficient. The City is reviewing its current green development standards, which have been collecting dust since 2012, a part of its Climate Change Action Plan. These standards are the tool used by the planning and building department to promote environmentally friendly development through the City’s site plan process.

Currently, buildings in Mississauga are responsible for roughly 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Since this infrastructure is the top emitter in the city, the nonprofit organization will be advocating to council on Wednesday for Mississauga’s updated green development standards to be sufficiently strong to meet climate emissions targets, and to ensure new buildings aren’t going to require costly retrofits in a decade.

To learn more about the City’s green development standards update, visit here.


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City council to pledge support on Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative for strengthened freshwater action plan 


A motion coming to Mississauga City Council on Wednesday is calling on the federal government to commit $1 billion in funding over five years for a strengthened Freshwater Action Plan in the 2023 budget. The call to action is coming after the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, a binational coalition of over 230 members working toward environmental and socio-economic health of communities along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basins, communicated with its partner municipalities to show support for the lack of follow through from the current government. So far, over a dozen municipalities located within the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basins have passed, or have committed to pass the resolution recommended by the group.

Municipalities across the country were asked to pass a resolution to remind the federal government of its promise to invest $1 billion toward a Freshwater Action Plan. In 2021, ahead of that year’s election, the Liberals made a campaign promise of $1 billion over ten years toward the development and implementation of a Freshwater Action Plan. But immediately after winning the election, support for freshwater action began to wane. When the 2022 Budget was released, it only included two percent of the promised funds ($19.6 million) for freshwater action.

Mississauga’s Wednesday motion calls not only for the federal government to commit $1 billion in funding over five years for a strengthened action plan, but also requests that the government guides its Freshwater Action Plan funding to implement recommendations in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Collaborative’s Action Plan 2020-2030 and that the government focuses more on “actual projects” and less on administration.


The full motion can be found here


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City to appoint new integrity commissioner 


The City of Mississauga is looking to appoint a new integrity commissioner following the resignation of Robert Swayze earlier this month citing “workload concerns.” He noted in his resignation letter that while he is appointed as integrity commissioner by 30 municipalities in Ontario, he has been the most active in Mississauga. Swayze served the City as external legal counsel for six years and subsequently as integrity commissioner for seven years. Staff will now engage in a competitive procurement process for the selection and appointment of a new integrity commissioner for the City, for a term ending June 30, 2025. In the meantime, the firm Principles Integrity will be appointed integrity commissioner on an interim basis to carry out the role.

Swayze’s resignation comes at a particularly critical time for the City. The former integrity commissioner has been the center of attention in a lawsuit filed last year by former councillor Karen Ras, who resigned in early 2022 following her allegations that former councillor Ron Starr had repeatedly harassed her throughout much of the previous council term, and allegedly scratched her car multiple times in a City Hall parking lot. Swayze, who mishandled the case, eventually found Starr, on a balance of probabilities, according to available evidence, scratched her car on one occasion (he did not make a determination on other alleged incidents involving the car).

The lawsuit filed at the end of 2022 by Ras alleges that, “Feeling frightened, concerned for her safety and entirely unsupported by City Management… Ras reached out to the Integrity Commissioner, Robert Swayze (“Mr. Swayze”), to speak to him about the alleged harassment that she had experienced by Mr. Starr over the course of several years.”  Swayze determined the scratching of Ras’ vehicle by another councillor was not a violation of the Code of Conduct and he advised the former councillor that if a complaint were to be filed, he would be required to dismiss it in confidence, the lawsuit’s statement of claim explained. 


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Regional Council

Date: March 23 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Funding update on Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy 


The Region will be provided with an update Thursday on the projects being funded through the federal Reaching Home program in 2022/2023. The Region of Peel is the designated fund administrator for Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, a federal program that supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy.

The total funding amount for 2022/2023 is over $12.9 million which includes a $1.2 million carry over amount from 2021-2022. From April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, the funding was used to extend 14 previously approved projects for another year, which support the transform service strategy in Peel’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan, while adding five new projects that will increase permanent housing units in the region and support community need for additional housing services. Some of the big ticket items included $1.4 million towards the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peel Halton for permanent housing units and women’s shelter supports, $2.7 million towards Services and Housing in the Province for permanent housing units, and $1.4 million for overflow shelters in Peel.

Although the pandemic has pushed shelters and social services beyond their limit, the region has been battling a homeless crisis for years. Its current services continue to be notoriously overburdened, and the situation has become increasingly severe in recent years. According to Regional numbers previously reported by The Pointer, approximately 17,700 households live in the affordable housing system in Peel and an additional 11,500 receive emergency shelter, financial assistance and other supports. But the gap between current service levels and the need is large and growing. 

The report notes “the capital investments will add much needed new affordable housing stock and will support the goals of both the Region’s Peel Housing and Homelessness Plan and the Government’s National Housing Strategy, to reduce chronic homelessness nationally by 50 percent by 2027/2028.”


The full report can be found here.


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Peel Police Services Board

Date: March 24 - 10:00 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Auto theft summit recap 


Peel Regional Police deputy chief Nick Milinovich will be providing a summary of the findings and recommendations from an auto theft summit, hosted by Peel Regional Police and Police Services Board, that took place on March 10 to try and address the disturbing rise in auto thefts across the Region of Peel.

The summit revealed that from 2018 to 2022, auto theft across the province increased nearly 90 percent. In the Region of Peel alone, there was a 118 percent increase during the four-year period. Similar surges can be seen in other major jurisdictions across the province including Durham, Halton, Toronto, and Ottawa. Police say these spikes are partially attributed to the strained supply chain and economic hardships — a byproduct of the pandemic years. In Peel, auto theft increased nearly 30 percent in 2022 with more than 5,500 vehicles stolen. Across Ontario, over 27,800 vehicles were stolen last year, representing an average of 75 vehicles per day.


To watch the full 2023 Auto Theft Summit, click here.


Past reporting:



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Twitter: @mcpaigepeacock

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