Hurontario LRT on track for 2024 completion; TRCA identifies aging flood infrastructure at risk of failure;  PC housing plan could create ‘significant revenue shortfall’ for Peel
Feature illustration from Joel Wittnebel/The Pointer

Hurontario LRT on track for 2024 completion; TRCA identifies aging flood infrastructure at risk of failure;  PC housing plan could create ‘significant revenue shortfall’ for Peel

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. 


General Committee

Date: April 26 – 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Hurontario LRT on track for “substantial completion” in 2024 

Mississauga councillors will receive an update from staff during Wednesday’s committee meeting regarding the Hurontario LRT project. According to the staff report, Metrolinx, the provincial agency spearheading the project, has given assurances it will see “substantial completion” in 2024. Currently, 15 areas along the 18-km route are seeing active construction. City staff are in the final stages of reviewing submitted design packages by the contractor, Mobilinx, to ensure they align with the City’s existing infrastructure. 

According to Geoff Wright, Commissioner of Transportation and Works, all set deadlines in the agreement between the City and Metrolinx have so far been met following the shifting of the initial timeline from a completion date in 2022 to the current 2024 finish line. 

The full staff report can be read here.


Past reporting: 


Regional Council

Date: April 27 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Oral health in Peel

Although dental diseases are largely preventable, low-income Peel residents, as well as seniors and new Canadians, are much less likely to visit a dentist. Regional data show approximately 30 percent of residents may not have visited a dentist in the last year. This lack of available or affordable dental care creates approximately $4 million in preventable costs to Peel’s healthcare system each year. 

Inequities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting those most in need of care, particularly the seniors population. The provincially-funded Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP) has underestimated the need in Peel Region, not only putting further pressure on Community Health Centres (CHCs), but leaving many who can’t afford dental care to simply go without. 

“Not only are there more seniors seeking OSDCP services than initially estimated, but those accessing the OSDCP have high dental needs that often require multiple appointments to resolve. As a result, the overall demand for the OSDCP services in Peel exceeds the service capacity of the CHCs,” the regional report reads. 

The staff report on the overview of the oral health system can be read here.

The staff report on children's oral health can be read here.

The staff report on senior's oral health can be read here.


Past reporting:


Urban growth below target in Peel in 2022

A report from Commissioner of Public Works, Kealy Dedman, states growth in the Region of Peel was below forecasted levels in 2022, raising significant questions about how Peel will reach its new provincially-mandated housing targets under Bill 23. 

“As previously reported to Council, the Province’s Bill 23 housing targets are significantly higher than historic growth levels in Peel and are nearly 2.5 times the current Regional Official Plan forecast to 2031,” the report states. 

This growth also raises financial risks for the Region as Bill 23 also limits the ability of municipalities to collect development charges to help pay for necessary infrastructure to support the new communities. The Region collected approximately $409 million in development charge (DC) revenue in 2022—exceeding annual averages of previous 5 years, but still below the Region’s projections. 

“Bill 23 and the accelerated timing for the 2031 housing targets present significant challenges to the Region in delivering the required infrastructure to support growth in Peel. Staff recommendations on accelerating infrastructure to support housing growth will include an assessment of the required investments to minimize financial risks. If expected housing growth does not materialize in anticipated timeframes, the Region may face significant revenue shortfalls”

The full staff report can be read here


Previous reporting:


Peel’s strategy for meeting super-charged housing targets set by PC government

Regional staff admit the consistent changes coming out of Queen’s Park as it pertains to planning for future growth in Ontario are dizzying, and creating mass uncertainty in regional offices. 

“The introduction of legislative and provincial policy changes continues to create uncertainty and significant delays in several initiatives related to infrastructure planning,” a new report states. 

To try and work around these constant changes, and meet the infrastructure needs of the accelerated growth targets imposed by the PC government, which includes the construction of hundreds of thousands of new homes in Peel, staff are implementing a series of new planning tactics. 

These include working to align new growth with existing infrastructure; working closely with Peel’s local municipalities to identify “strategic growth areas for infrastructure acceleration”; and the completion of master plans to guide future infrastructure growth. 

The full report can be read here


Previous reporting:


Board Meeting

Date: April 26 - 6:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


Suspensions, workplace violence, increasing in Peel secondary schools 

Suspension and expulsion rates are rising in Peel secondary schools according to a new report from Associate Director, School Improvement and Equity, Harjit Aujla, and Director of Education, Rashmi Swarup.



The number of violent incidents involving education workers has also returned to pre-pandemic levels, reaching a total of 3,286 so far in the 2022-2023 school year, a 19 percent increase over the year before. This includes all incidents of workplace violence, such as verbal and physical abuse and sexual assaults.

The full report can be read here.


Previous reporting:


Meeting Cancellation

Date: May 23 | Meeting Calendar


No meeting until June for Peel Police Services Board

The Peel Police Services Board has cancelled the upcoming meeting planned for May 23. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held June 23. The cancellation comes after a contentious vote at the Region of Peel to appoint Len Carby as a board member—the first Black man put in the position—and former board chair Ron Chatha was removed from the Province without explanation. 

Regional Chair Nando Iannicca was recently appointed as Chair to replace Chatha. 

The lengthy delay will impact the critical work of the board in addressing issues of systemic discrimination and racism in the region’s police force. 


Previous reporting:


Board of Directors

Date: April 28 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


Aging flooding infrastructure at “very high” risk

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has detailed the current state of flooding infrastructure within its jurisdiction and found many pieces will require significant repair between now and 2025. 

Due to limited funding options, the TRCA admits the necessary projects must be prioritized to fund those in need of critical work. 

Two dams in Toronto, two in Peel and two in York Region are listed as at “very high” risk. According to the TRCA this means if the infrastructure fails it could lead to the deaths of 11 or more people and “extensive” damages in excess of $30 million, which “Typically includes destruction of, or extensive damage to, large residential, institutional, concentrated commercial and industrial areas and major infrastructure and services, or land identified as designated growth areas as shown in official plans”. 

“There are many forces and natural stresses acting upon these structures that reduce their effectiveness in preventing flooding. TRCA is monitoring these structures and performing capital improvements as they become necessary,” the report states. “Flooding is a serious threat to the GTA. Weather is unpredictable and extreme events can happen at any time. Climate change science projects a future increase to extreme precipitation events in Canada. Extreme events combined with the dense urbanization of TRCA's watersheds increase the stresses placed upon TRCA’s flood infrastructure.”

The full report can be read here.


Previous reporting:


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