The Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee (IRAC) met on April 8, 2010, at 11:07 a.m. in the 5 th Floor Boardroom, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Suite A, Brampton.
E. Kolb; E. Moore ; M. Morrison; M. Prentice; P. Saito; A. Thompson
P. Mullin, Regional Councillor; R. Paterak, Regional Councillor; D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; N. Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services; D. Labrecque, Commissioner of Public Works; J. Smith, Commissioner of Health Services; J. Menard, Commissioner of Human Services; C. Reid, Regional Clerk; G. Malhotra, Director, Strategic Planning, Policy and Partnership, Human Services; D. Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy; S. Mistry, Senior Policy Advisor; L. Rubin-Vaughan, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor; C. Thomson, Committee Clerk
Chaired by Councillor A. Thompson.
1. DECLARATIONS OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST - Nil
2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
That the agenda for the April 8, 2010 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting, be approved.
a) Charles Sousa, MPP, Mississauga South, Regarding Opportunities for Collaboration on Issues within the Mississauga South Riding
This item was dealt with later in the meeting
a) Processes for Communicating Advocacy Initiatives and Public Policy Positions with Regional Council
a) Provincial Policy and Background on Hospital Capital Funding
Regional Chair Kolb inquired if municipalities are responsible for the costs of land for new hospitals and if those costs are included in the 10 per cent share of total hospital costs that is the local responsibility.
Dan Labrecque, Commissioner of Public Works advised that the requirement for a local contribution of 10 per cent for hospital costs is a method of managing community demand for hospitals. He noted that municipalities are not responsible for payment of the 10 per cent share but rather, the community that supports the hospital must raise the funds, as hospital services are funded by the Local Health Integration Networks which do not align with municipal jurisdictions.
Janette Smith, Commissioner of Health Services, stated that the land for the Brampton Civic Hospital was donated and was considered to be part of the 10 per cent community share.
Norma Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services, undertook to report to a future meeting with information regarding the inclusion of land acquisition fees in the 10 per cent community funding share of hospitals.
Councillor Prentice inquired about the funding of re-developed hospital sites, such as the former Peel Memorial Hospital in Brampton.
Councillor Moore advised that it is an investment in health capital and since the former Peel Memorial Hospital site will be equipped with a lot of advanced technology, the local share will be substantially higher than if the site were used for patient beds.
Councillor Prentice suggested that the term “local share” should not be used as it implies that it is the portion funded by municipalities and that “hospital share” or “community share” would be a more appropriate term.
Janette Smith noted that “local share” is the term used by the province and that in future reports, staff will use the phrase “community share”. She advised that staff will be reporting to the April 15, 2010 General Committee meeting on the redevelopment plans for the former Peel Memorial Hospital site and recommending that the Region of Peel provide capital funds for the redevelopment, based on the achievement of established reduction targets related to paramedic offload delays.
Councillor Morrison requested that staff report to a future Committee meeting with information regarding the future funding of hospitals over the long term, noting that long term financial planning will be required.
David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer, noted that hospitals are responsible for raising the community share of funding, and that the Region of Peel and municipalities assist the hospital in achieving their goals.
Councillor Morrison requested that the future report to the Committee include details regarding the potential future role of the Region of Peel in assisting hospitals secure the community share funding.
Regional Chair Kolb suggested that staff investigate other jurisdictions, such as Durham Region, where funds for future hospital funding are collected through taxes.
Councillor Saito cautioned that collecting taxes for future hospital funding is another example of municipalities looking after provincial responsibilities, without having any say in how the funds are utilized.
David Szwarc stated that staff will report back to the Committee with a discussion paper to examine the role of the Region in funding hospitals and suggesting an advocacy position.
Councillor Prentice questioned whether the funding of hospitals is an area the Region wants to be involved in, noting the challenges faced by previous Councils in allocating funds to the various hospitals that serve Peel residents. She stated that in her opinion, the issue of hospital funding is a provincial responsibility.
5 . GOVERNMENT RELATIONS STATUS REPORT AND CURRENT ACTIVITIES
Discussion led by Lowell Rubin-Vaughan, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, Office of Strategic Innovation and Policy
a) Federal News
b) Provincial News
c) Local News
Lowell Rubin, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, advised that Navdeep Bains, M.P., Mississauga-Brampton South, has confirmed his attendance at the May 20, 2010 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting.
6 . COMMUNICATIONS - Nil
7 . Other Business or Current Issues to be Discussed
Additional Items – Item 7a:
a) Hospital Operating Funding(Oral)
Councillor Thompson inquired how many additional beds could be opened at Peel-area hospitals if provincial funding was available.
Regional Chair Kolb stated that between the three Peel-area hospitals, more than 300 beds remain unfunded. He further stated that staff will report to a future meeting with proposed strategies for lobbying the provincial government for the funding of those beds.
Councillor Thompson inquired if Peel is still below average with respect to the ratio of population versus hospital beds.
Janette Smith responded that the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) catchment area is the lowest funded LHIN for most services. She noted that if the beds that are currently idle were funded, there would still be challenges with respect to Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients who do not require to be in a hospital setting however, there are no other facilities available to them.
Councillor Saito noted that she recently learned of a new service, covered by OHIP, that allows patients to stay in their home while being provided with essential medical services and home care, including cooking, cleaning and 24 hour on-call service.
Regional Chair Kolb advised that these services are funded through the LHINs aging at home funds.
8. NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee is scheduled for Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. in the 5 th Floor Boardroom, Regional Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario.
That the July 15, 2010 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting be rescheduled to take place immediately following the July 8, 2010 Regional Council meeting.
Committee recessed at 12:12 p.m.
Committee reconvened at 12:16 p.m.
Members Present: E. Kolb; E. Moore ; M. Morrison; M. Prentice; P. Saito; A. Thompson
Members Absent: J. Sanderson
Item 3.a was dealt with.
a) Charles Sousa, MPP, Mississauga South, Regarding Opportunities for Collaboration on Issues within the Mississauga South Riding
Charles Sousa, MPP, Mississauga South, stated that in his capacity as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, he has been focussed on meeting with the manufacturing sector to identify ways to assist and ensure these businesses can continue to remain competitive in Ontario. He noted that one of the challenges faced by government is implementing strategies to support the rapidly growing advanced manufacturing sector while finding ways to accommodate the automotive sector. He further noted that the provincial government is trying to inspire investment in green energy technologies in Ontario to help maintain the manufacturing sector.
Councillor Thompson noted that one area of technology that is lacking, particularly in Caledon and north Brampton, is the availability of high speed internet and that the support of the provincial government in this area is needed.
Charles Sousa responded that this is an important issue, particularly since the provincial government is trying to market Ontario’s post secondary educational facilities which requires better broad-banding.
Councillor Morrison expressed concern regarding the provincial legislation which requires linking residential and businesses to 50 persons per hectare. She noted that Caledon is attracting high-tech manufacturing firms that are fully automated and therefore do not have high employment opportunities. If the employment targets are not met, then the residential component increases. She stated that the Town of Caledon has asked the province to exclude the residential component from the employment targets and requested Mr. Sousa’s support on this matter.
Councillor Saito departed at 12:34
Councillor Prentice stated that the notion that residential development pays for itself is a fallacy and if the Town of Caledon develops its residential base but not its industrial base, it will be a burden to the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga. She noted that Mississauga has a land use mix of 60 per cent residential, 40 per cent industrial, which is ideal.
Councillor Morrison stated that Town of Caledon staff advised her that under current provincial policies, the Town will never get above 18 per cent on the business side.
Councillor Paterak noted that up until the Common Sense Revolution of the 1990’s, farmers would pay 100 per cent of their property tax bill and would be reimbursed 75 per cent from the province. Currently, farmers pay 25 per cent of their property tax bill and the Town absorbs the rest which is a considerable burden.
Councillor Morrison noted that the Greenbelt plan has had an adverse affect on the agricultural community and that incentives need to be revised to make agricultural operations viable.
Charles Sousa advised that the locally driven issues he is working on include keeping his constituents informed about TransCanada receiving approval to construct a power plant in Oakville.
He cited the redevelopment of the Mississauga waterfront as another priority issue noting that the project encompasses approximately 400 acres of vacant land.
Councillor Mullin stated that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has taken the planning authority from area municipalities and that in her opinion, the OMB is not required. She informed that municipalities have Official Plans but do not have the mechanisms to implement them. She suggested that the provincial government examine other areas in Canada where there is no OMB equivalent.
Charles Sousa advised that the OMB has been directed to take primary consideration of municipal Official Plans in its decision-making and stated that the OMB should not override local plans.
Councillor Moore inquired as to how the province and local municipalities could work together in partnership to best represent the community. She suggested that each of the three area municipalities provide Charles Sousa with examples of OMB rulings that have compromised local objectives and are contrary to the Official Plans.
Councillor Paterak expressed interest in working with the province to develop creative options for the development of aggregate sites, upon completion of extraction work.
Councillor Moore noted that the Region of Peel has been inundated with requests for funding from community agencies whose provincial funding were reduced. She noted that the Region’s Grants ad hoc Committee uses strict criteria for approving funding requests and suggested that the province examine Peel’s funding model and consider utilizing the Region as a funding allocator.
Charles Sousa inquired how municipalities expect to be affected by the harmonized sales tax (HST).
Councillor Prentice noted that final figures are not yet available, however, the City of Mississauga anticipates a cost of approximately $1 million per year as a result of the HST. She noted that she has received a lot of complaints from residents with respect to the HST.
Councillor Paterak suggested that municipalities should be exempt from the HST, similar to their GST exemption. However, he noted that the filing requirements with respect to the GST exemption are cumbersome and costly and suggested that if exemptions are granted to municipalities, the filing requirements should also be eliminated.
8 . ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.