Caledon to create Indigenous engagement plan; Peel provides update on overburdened paramedic services; Brampton assesses LRT route options
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 10 - 9:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Hurontario LRT update
Brampton Council will receive the results of the pair of preliminary assessments of extending the Hurontario LRT from Steeles Avenue to Queen Street in the city’s downtown core, which studied the feasibility of having either a surface route or underground tunnel option.
The study concludes that both options are feasible for the city, but each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks including cost; travel times for both transit riders, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists; and operational risks. The cost estimates for both options have increased substantially over the past few years, but the underground option is exceedingly higher in cost ($2.8 billion versus $933 million for the surface option).
Read the full report here.
Date: May 10 – 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Joint use facility for Cooksville
Mississauga council will be presented with the results of a joint-use feasibility study for a multi-use area located at T.L. Kennedy Secondary School in Cooksville. The purpose of the facility is to accommodate the recreational needs of one of the fastest growing communities in the city, including a library, community centre, park and new secondary school.
The Peel District School Board and the City previously agreed upon a sight plan, which now has two iterations ranging in different sizes for the various amenities. Both options include a track and field, a parkade below the raised track and field, and a secondary school with an approximate 1,500 student capacity.
The cost of the multi use facility will be shared by the PDSB and the City with each fully funding costs for its respective buildings and a 50/50 share for the gym and track and field. The estimated costs for the City range between $72.3 million and $43.7 million, depending on the chosen facilities.
Read the full report here.
Date: May 9 - 2:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Indigenous engagement work plan
In March 2022, Council approved the Indigenous Community Engagement Protocol (IEP), which was co-developed by Town staff and representatives from the Mississauga’s of the Credit First Nation. Following that, Town staff formed the Indigenous Engagement Staff Working Group to further explore opportunities for collaboration and consultation.
In 2023, staff are working to complete the following initiatives:
- Advancing progress of the IEP with further consultation from the MCFN and other Indigenous groups
- Create a toolkit for staff on how to approach engagement in a culturally appropriate manner
- Providing staff members and the public with further opportunities for education on Indigenous communities (including the impacts of the residential school system) and reconciliation
- Acknowledging September 30 as the national day for Truth and Reconciliation
In addition, staff are recommending that the Town provide spaces for Indigenous communities to host events, suspending fees for such events. The Town is proposing to provide in-kind rental related support that would be limited to $1,200 per Indigenous group or individual, per year.
Read the full report here.
Priorities for AMO
Municipalities can apply to delegate at the annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in London this August. Staff are seeking council recommendations for which Ministers to meet with given the swath of legislative changes that have occurred at the provincial level in the past year, specifically in relation to growth and development.
Proposed recommended delegations currently include the topics of regional governance, greenfield growth/local planning, Caledon-Vaughan GO rail stations and aggregates. In recent conversations regarding the aggregate industry in Caledon, Mayor Groves has made reference to potential conversations with Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Graydon Smith.
Caledon running out of time to complete critical studies for attest blasting quarry proposal, environmental lawyer says
Dark sky bylaw
Ward 3 Councillor Doug Maskell will be bringing forward a motion Tuesday focussing on light pollution from various sources, which can result in potentially hazardous conditions for all modes of transportation and can impact the circadian rhythm of both humans and animal species.
Caledon prides itself on being a rural community separate from its far more urban neighbours to the south. Under Section 129 of the Municipal Act, a municipality has the right to prohibit and regulate outdoor lighting and prohibit illumination unless a permit is obtained from the municipality and may impose conditions on holding and renewing such a permit.
If the motion is passed, it will require staff to investigate and report back on the feasibility of implementing a Dark Sky By-law in the town.
Lobbyist registry and appointment of Lobbyist Registrar
Under the Municipal Act, municipalities are able to develop a lobbyist registry and appoint a Lobbyist Registrar to provide transparency and regulate communication between individuals and groups who lobby municipal leaders and the municipal leaders themselves. Lobbying is a legitimate and legal activity that occurs in all political settings, but the Town of Caledon is the sole outlier in the Region without such a registry (Brampton, Mississauga and the Region all have a registry).
The Town has recently been experiencing community backlash over a lack of transparency on major projects that will have a significant impact on the Town. Councillor Doug Maskell said he hopes that the registry will help the Town adhere to stricter protocols leading to enhanced transparency for the public.
Provincial audit of municipal finances
In November, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark announced the Province would be auditing the finances of select municipalities in order to help them achieve the housing targets enshrined into legislation late last year. The Town of Caledon has been chosen to participate in this process.
The audit will investigate the financial impacts Bill 23 will have on the town as well as an overview of how to optimize municipal resources (using an assessment of the last five years).
“We will use the audit process to get the facts on municipal finances, including municipal reserve funds and development charge administration,” the letter from the MMAH to the Town of Caledon states.
The cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Region of Peel have also been chosen for third-party audits.
Peel needs over $20 billion to service Doug Ford’s housing explosion which could force more sprawl
‘This is a poorly thought plan’: Bill 23 makes sustainable, complete communities nearly impossible
Bill 23 will remove at least $164M for affordable housing in Peel; loss of developer fees will impact other major capital projects
Date: May 11 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Delegation regarding improving international student experience
Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor of Sheridan College, will be making a presentation to regional council regarding goals for improving the experiences of international post-secondary students across the Region. These goals include ethical recruitment standards, academic supports, safe housing, legal and reliable work, and well-defined pathways to citizenship.
The Region of Peel welcomes a significant number of international students each year, but previous studies have found that they face significant pressures including racism and isolation, financial stress, and mental health and addictions.
Next steps include endorsing a community charter, establishing partnerships for advocacy across the Region and aligning the charter with the Peel Safety and Wellbeing Table.
Advocates push for action to help struggling international students in Peel
International Student Crisis: Funeral home sending alarming number of bodies back to India
Enhancing support for homelessness
In June 2021, Council approved the ‘Welcoming Streets’ Pilot Program in downtown Brampton, funded by the Region of Peel and operated by the City of Brampton to provide those experiencing homelessness in the city with further support.
Staff are now recommending that this program be scrapped and replaced with a Regional Outreach Program that targets all of Peel. Along with the expansion of the program, they are recommending an increase in financial support for the Canadian Mental Health Association to allow for the provision of an additional mobile team to provide outreach services for Peel’s homeless population.
In the interim, staff are recommending a second temporary outreach team servicing Mississauga and additional neighbourhood security surrounding Wilkinson shelter in Brampton.
Read the full report here.
Ontario government announces 38% funding increase to combat rising homelessness in Peel
‘I lost $1,500 of camping gear’: Houseless encampment in Brampton raided
Paramedic service update
Over the course of the pandemic, hospital capacity limits and increased call volumes have put increased pressure on the Regions paramedic services.
Pressures from the pandemic, as well as a significant increase in offload delay (the time a paramedic spends with the patient at the hospital before they are transferred to a bed), has led to an increase in response times and has not allowed Peel Paramedics to reach its response times targets.
Peel Paramedics are examining service costs and have acknowledged that an increase in demand will require an increase in funding.
Clogged hospitals, surging demand: Peel Paramedics can’t meet critical response times; 10.6% budget increase is the ask
Overwhelmed Peel hospitals leave paramedics stranded with no place to transfer patients
Climate Change Master Plan progress report
The latest corporate greenhouse gas emissions inventory has shown that the Region has remained stagnant at 33 percent below 2010 levels and that unless significant investments are made, the Region will fall short of its 2030 climate targets—a 45 percent reduction in emissions below 2010 levels. While Peel is making progress, it is offset by increased pressures for growth, making emissions reductions more difficult.
The Region has concluded that the majority of emissions reductions have been the result of the coal phase out in 2014. Currently buildings remain the greatest source of emissions, making up almost half the total across the Region.
In the 2023 budget, the Region invested $40 million in climate action; however, it is estimated that $300 to $400 million will be needed to reduce emissions to the set 2030 target.
Credit Valley Conservation Authority Board Meeting
Date: May 12 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Agenda not yet posted
Email: [email protected]
At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you
Submit a correction about this story