Modular housing not popular with Peel staff, other ideas proposed for shelter space ahead of winter; Public health funding continues to fall short of need
Joel Wittnebel/The Pointer

Modular housing not popular with Peel staff, other ideas proposed for shelter space ahead of winter; Public health funding continues to fall short of need

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: October 24 - 7:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


National Wildlife Centre seeks fee exemptions for new facility 

The National Wildlife Centre (NEC) is building a large new field hospital in Caledon to help sick and injured animals. The organization is seeking exemptions from development fees and cash-in-lieu payments required for new construction projects. Caledon bylaws allow for exemptions to be granted in certain circumstances. The NEC hopes to receive the exemptions in order to pour the foundations for the first phase of its field hospital before winter arrives. 

Letters from the organization’s executive director can be read here and here


Past reporting:


Committee of Council

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


Housing support for women fleeing violence

Jannies Le, executive director of Armagh, along with the organization’s program supervisor, Samiya Kebir and board president Rashmi Khosia will delegate to Brampton councillors about transitional housing to support women fleeing violence. The delegation request form does not include any details about a potential request for funding or ask of council. 


Past reporting: 


City seeking consultant to assist with new Brampton Arts and Culture Centre 

The City of Brampton is looking to hire a consultant to assist with the creation of its new Brampton Arts and Culture Centre announced as a last minute addition to the 2023 budget. 

The consultant will “further develop a detailed building program, and design of the facility to meet Council’s direction,” the staff report states. 

The report includes no details about the cost of this consultant. The 2023 budget included $2.6 million for demolition of the existing building on the site at the Brampton Flower City Community Campus at 8990 McLaughlin Road. 

Construction on the facility is anticipated to begin in 2025 with completion scheduled for 2027. 

The full staff report can be found here


Past reporting:


Young infrastructure assets remain in good condition 

The City’s annual State of Local Infrastructure report for 2022 states that the majority of Brampton’s $9 billion worth of infrastructure assets are in “good” to “very good” condition. Despite this, the City is failing to adequately plan for the replacement of these assets in the future. 

“A growing community such as the City of Brampton faces the challenge of rehabilitating or replacing existing infrastructure while at the same time, investing in new infrastructure. Like many municipalities across Canada, the current levels of financial contributions fall short of the optimal level of capital requirements which contributes to the infrastructure gap,” the report states. 

This problem could be greatly exacerbated by the looming dissolution of the Region of Peel which will download a significant amount of roads and wastewater infrastructure onto the City of Brampton. 

“This transition will necessitate a comprehensive re-evaluation of our asset management strategies and practices to ensure a smooth and effective integration of these new assets into our portfolio,” the report states. 

The staff report can be found here

The full 2022 State of Local Infrastructure report can be found here.


Past reporting:


Brampton turns 50 in 2024

Plans to celebrate 50 decades since incorporation of the City of Brampton are underway with a City event scheduled for June 29, 2024 at Chinguacousy Park. 

More details about the celebration and other events next year can be found in the staff report here.


Pilot program to assist those with disabilities find employment 

The City of Brampton is proposing partnerships with two local organizations— March of Dimes and Ready Willing and Able (RWA)—to create a supported employment program to facilitate the hiring of persons with disabilities. 

“The City of Brampton is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce that reflects the values and needs of our community. As a public sector employer, we recognize the importance of providing equal employment opportunities for all individuals, including persons with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this proposal is to outline a strategy and action plan to establish an employment program designed to support and empower persons with disabilities,” the report states. 

Read the full staff report here


Past reporting


Regional Council

Date: October 26 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


2024 budget to prioritize infrastructure in high-growth areas to trigger development—but comes with risk

To meet the unprecedented growth demands created by the PC government’s questionable housing legislation, Bill 23, the Region of Peel is accelerating efforts to prepare the necessary infrastructure to support the 250,000 new homes allotted to Peel. The Region estimates this will cost over $20 billion between now and the 2031 deadline. 

In order to fund the number of capital budgets proposed for 2024, Region of Peel staff have been forced to research “alternative capital project delivery approaches”. 

“There are risks with accelerating capital spending to support provincial housing targets, carries the risk of higher debt and debt servicing costs if the anticipated high-growth scenario does not materialize or if Peel Region cannot recover costs due to development charge exemptions,” the report states. 

Further, delivering what the report describes as an “exceptionally ambitious” plan will require a large contingent of dedicated staff members. However, with the ongoing dissolution of Peel, it’s uncertain how many staff will be willing to continue this vital work with the potential of losing their job in January 2025 looming over them. 

Read the full staff report here.


Past reporting:


Boosting housing subsidies in Peel

The Region of Peel is proposing a series of five new tactics to boost the amount of housing subsidy supports available to those in need. The Region estimates there are approximately 91,000 households in core housing need and they are currently only able to help 19 percent of them. 

The new measures include increasing rent subsidies to 150 percent of the average market rent to keep pace with the rising rental rates in Peel; open subsidies to those living in Peel owned affordable units (which can be unaffordable for those in the lowest income brackets such as those surviving on Ontario Disability supports alone); and create a subsidy program for non-profit community agencies to provide aid to their clients.

The regional report states that with these new measures, along with a $6 million ask coming forward as part of the 2024 budget, it will be able to assist an additional 300 to 400 households in Peel. 

Read the full staff report here.


Past reporting: 


Region not moving forward with modular housing proposal

Region of Peel staff are recommending councillors not move forward with a proposal to build temporary modular housing units for the region’s houseless population. Staff state that due to the lack of available permanent affordable options, it's incredibly likely that these modular homes could have people living in them long-term, “creating unsuitable permanent living conditions in spaces constructed for short-term use, without the protections of the Residential Tenancies Act,” the report states. 

The proposal was first brought forward by Mississauga councillor Joe Horneck in July. 

Instead of temporary modular homes, the Region is recommending the pursuit of “higher quality, temporary modular units in Peel that are non-cabin style, connected to Peel’s water and wastewater system, as a way to expand the number of emergency shelter beds.”

Because this will take longer to establish, staff are proposing other options to boost support for Peel’s houseless population and the increasing number of asylum claimants. 

“As winter approaches, staff recommend securing an alternate site outside of Peel’s emergency shelter system to support asylum claimants, establishing more homelessness respite / drop-in programs throughout the community, and investing more resources in portable subsidies and supports. Collectively, these solutions support the homeless while alleviating system pressures relatively quickly,” the report states. 

The full report can be found here


Past reporting: 


$36.6M needed for hotel space to house shelter overflow in 2024

Peel’s shelter system is in crisis mode, operating 270 percent above capacity as the cold months of winter approach. To address this growing need, staff are looking for council to approve nearly $37 million in contracts with local hotels to house the residents in need who can not fit in existing shelter spaces. In addition, staff are looking for council to give them the authority to add new hotels as the need requires (pending budget availability). With the addition of catering and security services, the total overflow cost is approximately $42 million, a drastic increase from the projected $26.9 million in 2023, and a staggering rise from the approximately $2 million required in 2019.
“Significantly more resources that are well beyond the limited revenue-generating capacity of Regional or local government are required to operate at a scale that will effectively reduce and eliminate homelessness in Peel,” the report states. “Ongoing advocacy is required to influence policy and program change, and to secure significantly more funding from federal and provincial governments.”

The full report can be found here


Past reporting:


Public health funding boost still falls short

In August the provincial government announced a number of initiatives to bolster public health agencies across Ontario. This led to the allocation of an additional $500,000 a year for the next three years for these agencies.

However, due to the historic underfunding of Peel’s public health unit, the meager 1 percent increase to its budget is barely enough to keep pace with the growing population the unit serves. 

“The Provincial one per cent funding increase is welcomed; but will not address Public Health’s 2023 cumulative funding shortfall of $9.5 million. The one per cent increase in funding over the next three years is equivalent to approximately $500,000 per year, which does not address annual inflation, cost-of-living increases, and population growth needs,” the report states. 

The full staff report can be found here


Past reporting:


Update from Peel Transition Board

In closed session, regional councillors will receive an update from Peel’s Transition Board. The agenda does not detail whether this update is written or will be provided in-person by the panel tasked with dissolving the Region of Peel. 


Past reporting: 



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