Regional Council received a delegation from Winston Meyer, Board Chair, Community Door who provided an overview of the Community Door, which was established to address gaps in the social service sector, in an increasingly complex community.
Regional Council approved an investment of up to $500,000 per year, over a two year period (2015 - 2016) to support Community Door's long term sustainability and service enhancement. The Region of Peel's investment will assist Community Door in achieving greater impact in addressing the changing needs of the community and improve collaboration and partnerships between agencies to improve the client experience and outcomes.
Regional Council received a presentation from Norman Lee, Director, Waste Management, who provided an update on the Bi-Weekly Cart-Based Collection Project that included the rationale for the adoption of bi-weekly cart-based collection in the Region of Peel, its implementation in 2016 and progress to date.
He also addressed concerns raised by residents and Council with respect to the use of the March of Progress Graphic in communication material; cart storage and size selection; odours from diapers and pet waste; seniors ability to maneuver carts; long driveways in the rural cart area; fees to exchange carts in 2016; comparison with Toronto's Bi-Weekly Waste Collection Program; green cart size and what to do with old blue boxes and green bins.
Norman Lee provided an overview of the communications objectives, tactics and outreach to support residents' cart selection and noted that as of February 10, 2015, 88,000 households had selected carts, with 94 per cent completed online.
Regional Council received a presentation from Dr. Eileen de Villa, Acting Medical Officer of Health, advising that measles is the leading cause of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. She noted that Canada has been free of endemic measles since 1998. Dr. de Villa outlined the symptoms of measles and the way it is spread, as well as complications that can arise.
Dr. de Villa advised that the current vaccination rate in Peel children (ages four to 19 years) is 96 per cent, which is a high enough rate to help protect those who cannot be immunized. She noted that to date in 2015, there have been no cases of measles in Peel.
At its meeting held on February 19, 2015, Regional Council approved the 2015 Operating and Capital Budget which includes a 0.8 per cent property tax increase, representing an increase of $33 on the average residential home (assessed at $452,500) and a $58 increase for the average small business. Regional Council also approved a 7.0 per cent increase in utility rates representing an increase of $39 for the average household and $98 for the average small business.
Highlights of the 2015 Budget include 19,500 more Regionally controlled trips for accessible transportation services; an additional 2,555 paramedic service hours to address an increase in 9-1-1 calls; implementation to extend Battleford and Brampton Community Recycling Centres' (CRCs) operation hours; 200 additional child care subsidies; and, 100 additional housing rent subsidies.
The 2015 Budget adheres to the financial principles outlined in Peel's Long Term Financial Planning Strategy which provides a consistent lens to help evaluate the long-term financial impact of proposed changes to services and service levels to the community, in addition to identifying and managing the risks to the Region of Peel's long-term financial sustainability.