Region prioritizing staff mental health during Peel dissolution; Caledon needs ‘drastic’ shift to achieve climate goals
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.
Date: June 6 - 2:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
“Drastic” GHG reductions needed to meet town climate targets
As the ground shifts beneath Peel’s three municipalities, the Town of Caledon is pushing ahead with its strategy to address the impacts of the changing climate. The Town declared a climate emergency in 2020, setting a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. A presentation planned for councillors Tuesday afternoon notes that “drastic” reductions in community and corporate emissions are necessary to meet the ambitious target. The largest sources of emissions in Caledon come from commercial and private transportation.
(Town of Caledon)
View the full staff presentation here.
Administration and Finance Committee
Date: June 6 - 7:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Enrolment continues downward trend
The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is once again recording a decline in the number of students enrolled at its schools, continuing a trend that has been impacting public boards in Ontario for several years. According to a report from DPCDSB staff, the board saw a decrease of 990 elementary students (-2.27 %) and a decrease of 234 secondary students (-0.78 %) since March 31, 2022. The decline comes despite the fact that Peel is one of the fastest growing regions in the country according to census data. The declining student enrolment is a concern for the DPCDSB, as provincial funding is tied to student numbers and the board is already receiving less than the provincial average of $13,058 for the 2022-2023 school year.
The full report can be found on Page 49 of the agenda.
Date: June 7 – 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live
Study recommends bike lanes for Bloor Street
A multi-year study along Bloor Street in Mississauga to determine the best methods for creating a “complete street” is recommending the installation of bike lanes on both sides of the thoroughfare at a cost of approximately $27 million.
“By applying a Complete Streets and Vision Zero approach, it will provide choice and comfort to active transportation users and, most importantly, decrease the risk of serious injury or death resulting from road-related collisions,” the staff report reads.
The staff presentation can be viewed here.
The staff report can be found here.
City plans to “Build Beautiful” with updated stormwater management plan
Being located directly on the shore of Lake Ontario, the City of Mississauga holds a significant responsibility for managing its stormwater as the majority of it will end up flowing into the Great Lakes. It means having a clear strategy for managing the existing system, while also being prepared for the changes on the horizon due to global warming is crucial. The City of Mississauga plans to do this using its Build Beautiful Stormwater Master Plan.
The updated document being presented to council Wednesday outlines how the City plans to address the myriad of challenges affecting stormwater, including aging infrastructure, climate change and intense urban growth.
A summary of the report can be viewed here.
Date: June 8 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live
Region battling “complexity and anxiety” as Province dissolves Peel
The decision by the PC government to dissolve the Region of Peel over the next two years has sent a shockwave through the organization, leaving many of the thousands of staff members uncertain about what the future will hold.
A report going before regional council Thursday notes that holding onto staff through the transition process will need to be a top priority.
“Navigating this change and transition is a significant task,” the report states. “Everyone agrees that maintaining services is critical and that ensuring the well-being of staff who deliver and support the delivery of those services is of utmost importance. Retention of knowledgeable, trained staff will be in every institution’s best interests to ensure any timely transition will carry with it, not just well functioning programs, and assets, but trained, professional staff that the community recognizes and values.”
To assist staff during the process, the Region is increasing the mental health benefits for staff in 2023.
The full staff report can be found here.
Crucial health babies program underfunded and understaffed
Through funding from the provincial government, the Region of Peel delivers the Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) program, which connects with new families to assist with crucial needs during a baby's early months of life, including parent-child attachment, positive parenting, breastfeeding and nutrition, and mental wellbeing.
The program’s $6.9 million budget has been frozen by the provincial government since 2008, and with the rising costs associated with inflation, this has resulted in a “growing level of underfunding,” region staff state in a new report.
The pandemic significantly impacted the program’s ability to meet necessary performance requirements.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, more than 80 per cent of the HBHC workforce was redeployed, and a brief virtual version of the program was implemented. By the end of February 2023, HBHC had restarted its home visiting program, but as one of the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, Peel’s HBHC is among the last to fully recover,” the report states.
Shortages in the healthcare workforce have not helped matters as overburdened hospitals do not have the time to adequately screen for families in need of assistance, and the nursing shortage makes it difficult to find qualified staff to implement the program.
“Already in 2023 there has been significant turnover. Therefore, ongoing staff recruitment is underway to ensure we meet our service commitments and the needs of families,” the region states.
The full report can be read here.
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