By Isaac Callan – Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
March 8, 2022 – Brampton, Mississauga
Each week, The Pointer checks the agendas of public institutions involved in decision-making that impacts the citizens of Peel. This feature is designed to serve as a guide for local residents, unlocking the often tedious and byzantine process of local government.
Accessibility Advisory Committee
Last-Minute E-Scooter Discussion and Opponent Presentations
Weeks after the City of Brampton decided to move forward with plans to introduce electric scooters, the city’s Accessibility Advisory Committee will have its say. David Lepofsky, chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance and a vocal opponent of e-scooters, will introduce, alongside Bernard Akuoko, the program manager for accessibility advocacy and community engagement.
The 6:30 p.m. timing of the meeting will come up against an e-scooter consultation in Mississauga.
You can view the staff slideshow the committee will examine here.
Lawyers call on Brampton to clean up its pension fund
Representatives from Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health will be calling on the City of Brampton to make changes to its pension plan to better align with investments that will help mitigate climate change. The group asks the City “to urge AMO to formally ask OMERS [pension fund] implement clear and measurable goals that fully align OMERS investment strategy with the Paris Agreement goals to limit global warming to 1.5°C, including a measurable timeline to phase out investments related to fossil fuels.
You can read the minutes of the Brampton environmental committee, which has already discussed the issue, here.
Brampton nears major deal to fund electric buses
Brampton Transit is almost ready to sign a historic agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank to fund a transition to electric buses. The agreement allows Brampton to borrow the price difference between diesel and electric buses at an interest rate of 1%. The loan can only be repaid from the fuel savings resulting from the transition and, if they do not occur, it will be forgiven. The deal could pay for 450 new zero-emission buses by the end of 2027.
You can read the detailed staff report, including loan conditions, here.
Brampton is working to keep car manufacturing jobs in the city
A staff presentation will outline the steps Brampton is taking to keep the Stellantis car assembly line in the city. The plant, which was previously owned by Fiat-Chrysler before a historic merger, makes gasoline-powered cars and is a major employer. Uncertainty hangs over its future, with the current collective agreement set to expire in 2023.
You can see the presentation of the staff here.
Brampton seniors worry about budgeting
A letter from the Brampton chapter of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) raises a series of concerns about the way the City sets its budget and the unsustainable practice of zero per cent tax increases. “We are concerned that Brampton City Council is unwittingly replicating past municipal experiences of, for example, the cities of Toronto and Mississauga,” the letter states. CARP’s criticism echoes harsh words the Brampton Chamber of Commerce shared in December.
You can read the letter from CARP here.
Brampton to discuss Integrity Commissioner
Councilors will discuss the City’s Integrity Commissioner at the request of Councilor Martin Medeiros. It comes exactly a week after councilors voted to refer Councilor Rowena Santos to the Integrity Commissioner over links to a consultant who received City Hall funding in relation to the failed BramptonU project. The current Integrity Commissioner, Muneeza Sheikh, has ties to Mayor Patrick Brown.
Councilors to reconsider canceled capital projects and hospital funding
A separate discussion proposed by Councilor Medeiros will focus on unfunded projects and the expansion of the Brampton Hospital. Council voted during the budget process to delay funding for a range of projects, including the Center for Innovation. The funds saved were invested in expanding the hospital to avoid any tax increases.
Questions about legal services offered to Brampton advisors
Counselors will also discuss Justice Risk Advisory Services, a legal hotline provided to counsel. The company appeared in Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s 2019 expenses of $44,000. “This agreement is a fixed monthly charge that would be incurred regardless of usage and is a service available to all Council members,” Brown told The Pointer last year, saying it was a legal advice for all Board members.
Special Board Meeting
Brampton will hold a special board meeting to ratify various decisions of its committees before a recess. Councilors will no longer meet on March 16 and 23. The next full board meeting is scheduled for April 6.
Mississauga needs 84 hectares of additional parkland
A park strategy for the city of Mississauga notes that it has a park deficit. In 2021, there was a deficit of 36 hectares in urban growth centers and major nodes and 43 hectares in other areas of the city, for a total of 79 hectares across Mississauga. This deficit is expected to increase to 84 hectares by 2041. The Parks Strategy is required under the Planning Act.
You can read the Mississauga staff report here.
Malton Youth Hub is set to open in 2023
A project led by Mississauga Ward 5 Councilor Carolyn Parrish will be ready to open in the third quarter of 2023. The Malton Youth Hub will be a space for local youth to meet, create and learn. The City is currently looking for service providers who can offer programs free of charge to youth.
You can read the timeline and staff report here.
Mississauga needs 66 electric buses by 2030 to meet climate goals
The City of Mississauga’s transition to an emissions-free future depends heavily on how it builds and maintains its transit fleet. A new staff report outlines a timeline needed to meet its climate targets with an electrified bus garage and vehicles by 2028 listed as must-haves. All new buses starting that year must be all-electric for Mississauga’s goals to be met. “MiWay’s plan is to accelerate the fleet replacement program with a target fleet mix of 391 hybrid buses (nearly 80% of the entire fleet) and 101 diesel buses by the end of 2027,” the report explains.
You can read staff report and timeline here.
Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
An update on diversity and inclusion inside City Hall
A KPMG presentation details equity, diversity and inclusion recommendations for the City’s recruitment and succession planning. A damning audit last year found that just 0.6% of Mississauga employees between the ages of 50 and 69 were racialized. KPMG’s work makes several recommendations, including adding a dedicated resource to support talent diversification efforts.
You can see slideshow here.
Peel considers Brampton’s request for assistance to fund Peel Memorial expansion
A briefing report from Region of Peel staff provides context for a request by the City of Brampton for Peel to contribute $62.5 million towards the hospital expansion. Regional staff say there are no earmarked funds available for the request, which means the Region of Peel would have to raise taxes, incur debt or delay other projects to meet the request of the Brampton Hospital.
You can read the staff report and his funding suggestions here.
Peel considering incentives to encourage new long-term care homes
Peel Region staff are recommending a financial program to encourage new long-term care and palliative care projects in the region. Staff are proposing extended deferrals for the payment of development charges and grants in lieu to help support new long-term care homes and hospices. The program would only be open to not-for-profit organizations.
You can read full staff report here.
Special Board Meeting
Board seeks new ways to fund facility upgrades
Trustees from the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board will meet to discuss pressing financial matters. The council has about $6.2 million in funds from the sale of surplus land, according to a staff report. It also has “several urgent facility renewal needs” that the Department of Education will not fund. Staff recommends requesting an exception to the traditional financial rules that would allow council to redirect its surplus land funds.
A full list of urgent repairs and details on how they might be funded can be read here.
The Peel Regional Police Services Board has canceled its March 25 meeting. The next meeting will be on April 29.
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 647 561-4879
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