Regional Council received a delegation from Ronnie Gavsie, President and Chief Executive Officer, Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) and Josie St. Hilliare, Volunteer, Peel Region Gift of Life Association, requesting that Members of Regional Council champion a campaign to encourage people to register their consent to be an organ and tissue donor.
Josie St. Hilliare shared her families' experience with organ failure and transplant and highlighted the need to increase donor registration.
Ronnie Gavsie stated that 24 per cent of Ontarians have registered their consent to donate however, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) that number falls to 14 per cent. The TGLN has set an aggressive target to reach 1 million registered donors in the GTA by 2015 and will host a donor registration challenge for all three municipalities in Peel Region to encourage people to register their consent to be an organ and tissue donor.
Regional Council passed a resolution in support of the campaign which is scheduled to run between February 24 and March 7, 2014.
Update on the December 2013 Ice Storm and Clean Up
Regional Council received an update from David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), on the December 2013 Ice Storm and Clean-up efforts. The CAO advised that the estimated cost to the Region of Peel, including costs to date and projected costs, is $5 million for a combined total with the three area municipalities and conservation authorities of $83.1 million and that amount is expected to increase as the clean-up continues.
The Region of Peel's continuing role in the ice storm response includes initiating an early start to the yard waste collection program for the pick-up of yard waste debris following area municipal storm clean-up efforts; assisting the area municipalities with the removal of chipped debris, as required; coordinating the request for emergency funding from the Provincial and Federal governments, in collaboration with the area municipalities; and, determination by the Regional and Area Municipal Treasurers as to how to incorporate tree removal costs related to the ice storm as an eligible deduction in determining eligibility for the Tax Assistance Program for Eligible Low Income Seniors and Disabled Taxpayers.
Regional Council passed a resolution requesting the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to declare the Region of Peel a "disaster area" for the purpose of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) or alternatively, provide another source of emergency financial assistance, given the particular severe nature of damage in the Region of Peel. The Resolution also requests the Federal and Provincial Governments to initiate emergency funding programs to mitigate environmental and infrastructure damages resulting from climate change.
Regional Chair Kolb announced that 2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Region of Peel. He reflected on the unprecedented growth experienced by the Region of Peel over the last 40 years, which has averaged 25,000 residents per year. Mayor McCallion added that she is proud of the Region of Peel's accomplishments and highlighted resident surveys which indicate a high level of satisfaction with services.
Regional Chair Kolb announced that the Region of Peel would be hosting a Spring Levy at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives (PAMA), that will feature exhibits highlighting the Region's history and accomplishments. The 40th Anniversary will culminate with the swearing in of the Regional Councillors for the 2014-2018 term, in December.
Region of Peel Accessible Transportation Master Plan
Regional Council endorsed the recommendations contained in the Region of Peel Accessible Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) to: appropriately resource TransHelp; revise taxi and service provider contracts; support a Travel Training Program; support a Public Education Program; and, develop a Transition Plan for the first one to four years.
Mark Castro, Manager, Accessible Transportation, noted that stakeholder engagement would continue through the gathering of feedback from clients as the new policies are introduced; the hosting of an annual open house; and, through existing channels including the website, phone line and Call Centre. A report will be presented to Regional Council in spring, 2014 with a summary of the process, operations review, trip demand, vehicle inspection, financial model and stakeholder engagement that led to the recommendations. The recommendations for the Region's ATMP were referred to 2015 Budget meetings for consideration as part of the annual budget approval process.
Regional staff expects trip demand to increase by 2031 and the forecasted cost to provide the service under the Region of Peel's current service delivery model would be approximately $115 million in gross expenditures. Upon implementation of the recommended service delivery model, that amount is expected to decrease to $75 million.