International Day of Disabled Persons – December 3, 2007
Regional Council proclaimed December 3, 2007 “International Day of the Disabled Persons” to recognize the contributions persons with disabilities make to our community, as entrepreneurs, decision-makers, employees, musicians, artists, volunteers, parents, and grandparents. The disabled community in Canada exceeds 13 per cent of our population. Recognition of this day calls attention to the ability and willingness of persons with disabilities to contribute to Canada’s economic, political and social communities, including the important work of the members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). Since 2004, the Region of Peel has been observing this day to show its support to staff and citizens with disabilities and issues important to them.
For more information about International Day of Disabled Persons please visit the website.
Regional Council proclaimed the week of December 10 – 16, 2007 “9-1-1 Awareness Week” to recognize the importance of the Emergency Communicators who demonstrate their dedication and commitment to public safety. In 2006, the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Emergency Communicators received 265,480 calls for assistance through the 9-1-1 Emergency Number Service. 9-1-1 Awareness Week activities will be celebrated in Peel focusing on educating the public about the appropriate use of the 9-1-1 emergency system.
For more information about the 9-1-1 emergency number service please visit their website.
Peter Dundas, Director, Paramedic Services, Peel Regional Paramedic Services, Recognizing the Paramedics who Received the Governor General’s Award for Exemplary Service
Regional Council received a presentation by Peter Dundas, Director, Peel Regional Paramedic Services, recognizing the Paramedics who received the Governor General’s Award for Exemplary Service; they are Bob Arthur, Dave Smiley, Gord Walton, David Woodcock, Glenn Woodhouse, John Flynn, Clark Kooning and John Thompson. Glenn Woodhouse, on behalf of the award recipients, thanked Regional Council for their recognition and highlighted the commitment of Peel Regional Paramedics to serving the residents of Peel.
Regional Council received an update on the Peel Outreach Program and the valuable contributions it makes to strengthening individuals and the community well-being by delivering a mobile, community-based, client-focused programming. The Program operates through the partnership of three divisions within the Region of Peel – Ontario Works, Housing and Peel Health, and four community partners – the Canadian Mental Health Association (Peel Branch), Catholic Cross-Cultural Services, St. Leonard’s Place (Peel) and Peel Addiction Assessment and Referral Centre.
Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) Report on Waiting List Statistics for Ontario
Regional Council received information on the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s (ONPHA) August 2007 report on waiting list statistics in Ontario. The ONPHA commissions an annual survey to record waiting list statistics for all of Ontario’s 47 municipal service managers. The recorded number of households looking for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing increased slightly from last year’s survey. Contributing factors to the wait list data include the effect of the Special Priority Policy category which allows victims of family violence to jump to the top of the Centralized Waiting List; high demand for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing and the low turnover of existing social housing units in Peel.
Peel’s efforts to deal with this problem include: the Region’s participation in the Affordable Housing Program which includes among other things, plans to build 465 new affordable rental units and its work in advocating with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Proposed Name for the John Street Apartments Project – City of Brampton, Ward 3
Regional Council approved the naming of the new John Street Apartments Project as “Chapelview.” Construction is well underway on the John Street apartments and municipal parking garage. The name was selected based on the Region’s ongoing commitment to recognize local heritage. The name Chapelview will help remind residents of the early Methodist settlers of this area and the two chapels that will be visible from their new home.
Regional Council received information about staff participation in the “World Record Walk” and other efforts to promote physical activity in the community and among staff and to improve health and increase participation in active transportation. On October 3, 2007, 200 Regional staff participated in the World Record Walk, an initiative of Green Communities Canada aimed at breaking the existing Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous one kilometre walk. The World Record Walk supports goals of the Region’s Strategic Plan (2007 to 2010) and demonstrates the Region’s leadership role in achieving a healthy, vibrant and safe community.
Resolution regarding the Impacts of Immigration on Municipalities
Regional Council passed a resolution to address the significant increases in the number of people claiming refugee status in Canada due to the enforcement of immigration legislation in the United States. The increased numbers of refugee claimants are adding significant costs to Ontario municipally-delivered social assistance and homeless shelter services. These costs to municipalities are increasing due to the length of time it takes the Federal government to adjudicate refugee claims. The Provincial Government is responsible for sharing the cost of social assistance program administration costs, and both the Federal and Provincial Governments continue to enjoy significant budget surpluses while municipalities struggle to meet the needs of their communities. Therefore Regional Council requested the Provincial government to provide full funding for social assistance, shelter, basic needs, health care, settlement and increased administration costs related to the influx of these refugee claimants and the Federal government to expedite immigration processes for refugee claimant meetings, refugee hearings, health clearance and work permits.