English as a Second Language Week in Peel Region – October 23 to 29, 2011
Regional Council proclaimed October 23 to 29, 2011 “English as a Second Language Week” in the Regional Municipality of Peel. The Week “English as a Second Language” (ESL) was established by the Association of Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Ontario. For thirty-nine years, TESL has celebrated the ESL Week along with their Annual Conference.
ESL Week was designed to help Canadians understand the critical role of ESL education in our society, and it is also an opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of ESL instructors and teachers and how they positively impact the lives of new Canadians.
Regional Council proclaimed October 1 to 7, 2011 “World Breastfeeding Week” in the Regional Municipality of Peel. This year’s theme, “Talk to me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience” strives to encourage communities and health facilities to incorporate new media technology as a means to reach a wide range of people. Communication is a vital part of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding.
Peel Public Health achieved the internationally recognized “Baby Friendly” designation in 2009. With an annual birth rate of 16, 080 in 2009, Peel Public Health has the highest birth rate of any Community Health Service in Canada to achieve Baby Friendly designation.
Breastfeeding is an essential part of child health promotion and is recognized in the Term of Council Priority # 10 “Optimizing early child development”.
Regional Council received a report regarding the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update. On November 29, 2010, the Province of Ontario released, “Building Foundations: Building Futures – Ontario’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy” (LTAHS). LTAHS and the related enabling legislation, Bill 140 – Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) streamlines the administration of affordable housing in Ontario and allows for greater program and policy flexibility and decision making at the local level.
LTAHS, inclusive of the Ontario Housing Policy Statement, HAS and supporting regulations, and the recent IAH funding announcement, will ultimately result in fundamental changes to the affordable housing system in Ontario and in Peel Region. It completes the housing devolution process that began in 2000 and establishes a framework that will allow for integrated human services delivery in ways that allow the Region to respond to the local and specific needs of our community.
Regional Council received an update on the Region of Peel’s Credit Rating. The Region is currently rated by both Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Services which are the two largest rating agencies. The Region has received the highest possible rating (Triple A with positive outlook) available to municipalities by both agencies. The credit rating agencies have acknowledged the Region’s high level of cash and investments, its relatively low level of debt, prudent fiscal policy and the diversified Peel economy as major attributes. The high credit rating provides access to lower long-term borrowing costs for the Region of Peel and the area municipalities. Regional Council has adopted, as a Term of Council Priority (#17), the development of a long-term financial plan and a related outcome of ensuring a sustainable long-term financial outlook for the Region.
Regional Council received an update confirming that Peel Long Term Care is progressing well in the implementation of new expectations under the LTC Homes Act. A new point of care electronic documentation system is being introduced; new requirements in the regulations have resulted in extensive revision of policies and operational practices, including education of staff on the changes. As the level of medical, cognitive and personal care needs of existing residents in our homes increases, and as new residents are admitted with higher needs, the Homes are well suited to deliver medical care and supportive services.