PUBLIC INFORMATION CAMPAIGN AD HOC COMMITTEE
Regarding the Public Information Campaign (PIC) Ad Hoc Committee meeting scheduled for November 1 , 2007, at 10:00 a.m. in the Chair’s Boardroom, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.
G. Carlson, C. Parrish, A. Thompson
|Members Absent:|| |
E. Kolb , due to other municipal business, A. Groves, J. Sanderson, due to other municipal business
D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; R. K. Gillespie, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Regional Solicitor; D. Labrecque, Chief Financial Officer; J. Menard, Executive Director, Human Services; M. Hood, Director, Communication Services; E. Zamparo, Manager, Financial Policy and Strategic Analysis, Finance; C. Thomson, Committee Clerk
In accordance with section III 4 (d) of Region of Peel Procedural By-law 57-2006, no quorum was present 30 minutes after the time approved for the meeting (10:30 a.m.) at which time the Committee Clerk recorded the names of the members present as:
In accordance with section III 4 (g) of the Procedural By-law, the members present received information and no minutes were kept. The following are summary notes of the information received.
Bob Richardson, President, The Devon Group, provided an overview of the recent provincial cabinet shuffle which resulted Peel having two representatives in Cabinet – the Honourable Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Honourable Peter Fonseca, Minister of Tourism.
Several existing Cabinet members were assigned new portfolios and it was suggested that they and their key staff members be briefed on the activities of the Public Information Campaign and provided with copies of the workbook that was distributed to all provincial election candidates.
Bob Richardson suggested that the three new Members of Provincial Parliament from Peel – Sylvia Jones, Dufferin-Caledon; Charles Sousa, Mississauga South; and Amrit Mangat, Mississauga-Brampton South should also be apprised of the work of the Public Information Campaign Ad hoc Committee, before the Legislature returns.
Bob Richardson advised that the legislature will likely not meet again until January or February of 2008 with pre-budget consultations beginning around that time. He suggested that over the next six weeks would be a good time to send out the Region of Peel’s message regarding the underfunding of Human Services, so that measures to address the underfunding may be included in the provincial budget, prior to the public consultation period.
He further noted, during a recent conversation with Jim Watson, the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, he perceived that the Minister would be discussing further opportunities for uploading of funding responsibilities with his colleagues.
Councillor Parrish suggested a meeting be scheduled with the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Minister of Finance as soon as possible, to review the information contained in the workbook and to reiterate the willingness of the Region of Peel Council and staff to work together with Provincial representatives to find solutions to provincial underfunding. Councillor Parrish further suggested that a meeting be arranged with all of the new members of provincial parliament from the Peel area, Peel area cabinet ministers and their executive assistants, to help them understand issues facing the Region of Peel and to provide them with the written material that has been compiled by the Committee.
David Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer suggested that meetings be held four times per year with provincial representatives from the 905 area to review issues that are affecting the area. Bob Richardson noted that it is important to first meet with the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to understand his vision.
The Committee concurred that these meetings should be scheduled as soon as possible and that Regional staff be invited.
Councillor Parrish suggested that a room be rented at Queen’s Park when the Legislature is in session.
Bob Richardson suggested that such a meeting should be held when the Legislature is in session in February or March of 2008, and that the Legislative Cafeteria at Queen’s Park is often used for such events. Meetings in Peel could be hosted in Peel at a central location.
The Committee concurred that the first meeting with local representatives should be held at the Heritage Complex and that a second meeting to include the Premier, Provincial Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Members of Provincial Parliament, Leader of the Official Opposition and third party leaders, along with their key staff and Regional staff be held close to Queen’s Park. It was suggested that the meeting with all provincial representatives be followed by a short reception. Councillor Parrish noted that Wednesdays have traditionally achieved the highest attendance at Queen’s Park.
Marilyn Hood, Director, Communications Services suggested, and the Committee concurred, that congratulatory letters be sent to all of the new Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentary Assistants. Congratulatory letters were already sent to re-elected members and new Members of Provincial Parliament.
Councillor Thompson stated that the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) annual conference will include delegations by Provincial Ministers and may provide a good forum to highlight issues regarding provincial underfunding.
David Szwarc advised that Regional staff have traditionally tried to build strong relationships with Provincial Deputy Ministers and Assistant Deputy Ministers but relationship building with political staff has not been a focus and suggested that it could improve with the assistance of the Committee.
Bob Richardson undertook to provide the Chief Administrative Officer with the names of two or three key staff persons in each Ministry.
Marilyn Hood suggested that the information contained in the workbook be reviewed to ensure it remains accurate and that select pages be printed in large poster format to provide a visual reference at the meetings.
Councillor Parrish noted that there have been recent media articles regarding the $45 million for dental care pledged by the Liberal party as part of their election platform. She suggested that the Devon Group, when speaking with provincial officials, highlight the Region of Peel’s desire to host a pilot project for a seniors’ dental program. Marilyn Hood undertook to provide the Devon Group with previous staff reports and decisions of Regional Council on the subject of a seniors’ dental program which clearly indicate that Peel is ready to move forward with a pilot project.
The Committee concurred that the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) should be advised of the establishment of the Inter-Governmental Relations and Advocacy Committee and Peel’s efforts to secure a pilot seniors’ dental pilot program to fulfill the commitment by the Committee.
Councillor Parrish suggested that consideration be given to inviting key stakeholders, such as the United Way, to the meeting at Queen’s Park to keep them apprised and involved in the undertakings of this Committee.
The next meeting of the Public Information Campaign (PIC) Ad hoc Committee is scheduled for November 29, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. It was suggested that the first meeting of the Inter-Governmental Relations and Advocacy Committee be held immediately following the PIC meeting.