Regional Council received a presentation from Andrew Kett, Education Specialist, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) regarding the accomplishments of CVC’s Public Education Program as well as an overview of CVC programs. The departments within CVC include Restoration and Stewardship, Water Resources, Lands and Natural Heritage, Planning, Corporate Services and Field Operations. CVC hopes to expand community partnerships to meet the high demand for multi-cultural programs and to encourage more students to get involved in environmental learning outside the classroom.
Regional Council nominated Councillor Ron Starr, for the position of Region of Peel representative on the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) Board of Directors for the term 2012-2013. The OGRA Nominating Committee will meet in November to recommend a slate of Officers and Directors to the membership.
The mandate of the OGRA is to represent the infrastructure interests of municipalities through advocacy, consultation, training and the delivery of identified services.
Regional Council received a report regarding the Provincial Ten Year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy and Recent Service Announcements for Peel. In June 2011 the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) released the Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. The needs of children and youth are the focus of the first three years of the Strategy.
The MOHLTC has announced funding for new mental health and addictions nurses in School Boards. For Peel this will translate to 10 new full-time equivalent nurses.
In October 2011, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced $3.6 million per year in additional funding to hire an additional 16 mental health workers in schools as well as 32 additional community based mental health workers (FTE) to reduce wait lists and wait times for existing counselling and treatment programs, and to establish several walk-in clinics for youth in Peel.
Regional Council approved increasing eligibility screening for the Peel Seniors Dental Program. The program was launched in late 2008 and has an annualized budget of $1.2 million. Relative to the budget, the demand for the program has been and continues to be high with a current waiting list of 5,000 seniors and a wait time of approximately 12 months to receive service.
Program feedback from dentists, denturists, hygienists and community stakeholders was solicited and there was unanimous agreement to include formal confirmation of income and citizenship status to enhance the screening process.
Social Housing Capital Maintenance Strategy Update
Regional Council received an update on the federal and provincial governments’ capital funding programs directed at social housing; specifically the Social Housing Capital Repair Initiative and the Social Housing Renovation and Retrofit Program (SHRRP) and Renewable Energy Initiative (REI).
Housing providers in the Region of Peel received $31 million under SHRRP (Year 1 & 2) and 4.2 million in REI funding. All projects are on track and expected to be completed within the timelines of the program.
Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) technology provides a means of integrating existing and future computer systems. This solution to integrating computer systems has been adopted by other municipalities with similar requirements, including the cities of Mississauga and Brampton.
Regional Council awarded the contract for the supply of an Enterprise Services Bus Middleware Tool, including the initial installation of the software, support and professional services to Software AG (Canada) Inc. in the estimated amount of $500,000. Upon successful installation of the software there is an option to renew for two additional 12 month periods of annual maintenance and support in the estimated amount of $23,335.
The results of Peel’s Client Satisfaction Survey remain positive. Peel’s client satisfaction index currently stands at 7.9 out of 10, an increase of 1.5% over 2009 and 4.9% over 2008. Peel compares favourably with other public sector organizations in Canada in the areas of Health, Human Services and Public Works Services.
The findings of the survey validates that the direction set by Council and carried out by staff through the Term of Council Priorities are the right directions.