Peel Municipalities Stand Together to Speak
on Critical Municipal Issues
BRAMPTON, ON. (April 14, 2011) – In an effort to get federal candidates to talk about what really matters to Canadian cities and towns in the federal election, Peel’s four municipal governments banded together and voiced their collective concerns.
“This spring campaign has remained largely silent on the key issues, such as infrastructure funding, which urban and rural communities are facing,” said Emil Kolb, Chair, Region of Peel. “We’ve heard a great deal about health care, security and the economy, but there are other pressing priorities that impact these issues and still need to be raised.”
Together with the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon, the Region of Peel jointly presented to local candidates, listing a number of key priorities for the Region – from urgently needed affordable housing to gaps in infrastructure funding and negative impacts on the movement of goods.
With 1.35 million residents – nearly 10 per cent of the provincial population – Peel’s municipal taxes are stretched, challenging the municipalities’ ability to make much needed infrastructure repairs and improvements in key areas like housing.
“We have over 15,000 families and individuals currently on our wait list for affordable housing; the wait time is unacceptable. As well, our homeless shelters are needed to provide emergency and temporary housing to thousands of children and families,” said Chair Kolb.
Peel’s partnering municipalities are calling on the federal government to lead a national housing strategy with long-term and flexible funding and to manage mortgages to enable reinvestment of funds into areas where they are most needed such as new housing, maintenance of existing buildings and additional program support.
As a significant transportation hub for the movement of goods and services across Canada, billions of dollars worth of cargo make their way daily along busy Regional arteries. However, growing congestion is slowing this vital economic flow, affecting the manufacturing sector and Peel’s unemployment figures.
While the Peel Goods Movement Task Force – a private and public sector partnership – addresses these challenges, local leaders agree that the federal government must be more active and engaged in this work, in order to improve the overall intermodal transportation system.
“Our economic potential is being choked by gridlock,” said Chair Kolb. “We encourage the federal government to take ownership of long-term infrastructure planning and to fund municipalities so that they can plan more effectively for these critical public services.”
Among a number of other issues raised with the federal candidates was the need for Ottawa, through Industry Canada, to dedicate radio frequencies for the exclusive use of public safety agencies so they don’t need to compete for broadband access with the public, as is currently the case.
“We fully recognize that reducing the infrastructure deficit facing our communities calls for the commitment of all levels of government, but we believe that the federal government has a key leadership role in building the foundations for a solid, sustainable infrastructure,” said Susan Fennell, Mayor, City of Brampton.
“Long wait times for affordable housing and the lack of subsidized rental units mean that low income residents may have no alternative than to live in over-crowded and potentially unsafe housing,” said Marolyn Morrison, Mayor, Town of Caledon.
“We need to work with the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec to expedite the Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy and ensure long-term federal funding for improvements to the transportation system in Peel and across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area,” said Hazel McCallion, Mayor, City of Mississauga.
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than one million residents in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon.
For more information on the Region of Peel, please call 905-791-7800, or visit peelregion.ca.