Trends and Issues
- By the year 2021, forecasts for the Region of Peel indicate that about 15 per cent of the population will be aged 65 or older. Within Canada this number will reach about 6.7 million or about one-fifth of the Canadian population. Of this 6.7 million it should be noted that 40.5 per cent of people aged 65 and above have disabilities
- Incidence of disability increases significantly with age, which indicates that the number of persons with disabilities and the related needs to access Regional services is expected to increase by 75 per cent from 2001 to 2021.
- The highest rate of growth in Peel is the population of seniors, which currently makes up about 19 per cent of the total population. According to Stats Canada this number is estimated to increase to about 33 per cent by 2031.
- Due to the above increases, it is apparent that there will be an increased demand for adequate transportation for persons with mobility disabilities.
- According to Stats Canada, Peel’s population is expected to increase to 1.64 million by 2031. Therefore, Peel will experience rapid population growth and development.
- Citizen/client/customer focus creates expectations of rapid response to accessibility issues
- More seniors and people with disabilities are living in family structures
- Expectations from compliance agencies (such as Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have increased.
- Expectations for municipal governments to serve as delivery agents for provincial policies have increased.
- Plans to address the large number of people with mental health issues who do not seek a health professional must be established and implemented. It is estimated that only 21 per cent of people who needed help actually obtained such help.
Please refer to Appendix IV.
Key Strategic Issues
Compliance with existing and new legislation (ODA, AODA, Planning Act, OHRC, Ontario Building Code, United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons With Disabilities)
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07
Growing expectations for municipal governments to immediately respond to the accessibility needs of its customers, clients, citizens and employees
Planning for Peel’s rapidly growing population and aging citizens
Establishing an effective accessibility planning program infrastructure within the Region, including development of efficient and effective processes
Building and maintaining momentum among staff and AAC for addressing foundational issues for a sustainable and meaningful change
Creating collaborative internal and external partnerships to identify and address current and emerging accessibility issues
Level of awareness and understanding of: different types of disabilities; the identification, removal and prevention of barriers; and the ODA and AODA requirements among staff, Regional Council and the public