Regional Council received a report providing an update on the Region of Peel Emergency Management Plan.
The updated Region of Peel Emergency Management Plan incorporates the Incident Management System which is recognized as industry best practice; continues to meet legislated requirements of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and Ontario Regulation 380/04 Part II Municipal Standards, as well as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; and provides flexibility to support and assist with conformity of the area municipalities' emergency plans
The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management recommends incorporation of the Incident Management System (IMS) into all municipal emergency plans. Regional Emergency Management has a broad-based education strategy to orient Regional staff to IMS. This has included classroom instruction, emergency exercises, an orientation session for the Executive Leadership Team, plus development and promotion of on-line training modules.
The updated Region of Peel Emergency Plan ensures regulatory compliance and provides a predictable and common platform to coordinate Regional activities that align with any emergency event. It is flexible and adaptable and consistent with the partnership requirements with the area municipalities.
At its meeting held on December 3, 2015, Regional Council approved the 2016 Operating and Capital Budget which includes a 0.8 per cent property tax increase, representing an increase of $35 on the average residential home (assessed at $452,500) and a $61 increase for the average small business. Regional Council also approved a 9.0 per cent increase in utility rates representing an increase of $47 for the average household and $120 for the average small business.
Highlights of the 2015 Budget include 38,000 more Regionally controlled trips for accessible transportation services; operation of the new paramedic reporting station and three additional satellite stations; two additional ambulances, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to address an increase in 9-1-1 calls; additional support to the not-for-profit sector to support organizations in their overall sustainability and operational health; an additional 142 housing subsidies to help individuals and families obtain affordable housing; and 20 additional front-line Peel Regional Police officers.
The 2016 Budget is aligned with the Region's Strategic Plan that was recently endorsed by Council and allows enough flexibility to adapt resources appropriately and advance Peel towards its new 20-year vision and Term of Council Priorities.
Regional Council received an overview of the Traffic and Road Safety Performance Report 2015, based on 2013 statistics.
In 2013, there were 6,682 reported traffic collisions occurring on Regional roadways. The overall number of reported motor vehicle collisions in the Region of Peel indicated a 9.7 per cent increase in the number of collisions from the previous year. Fluctuations in the number of collisions can be the result of changing traffic volumes, weather and road conditions, number of daylight hours, and roadway congestion.
Safer Regional Roads are identified in the Region's Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The development of performance objectives around the reduction of injuries and fatalities, in addition to balancing goods movement and the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and accessibility is key to this initiative.
Red Light Camera (RLC) sites have experienced a 72.7 per cent reduction in fatal and injury collisions and a 96.6 per cent reduction in property damage only collisions, attributed to right angle collisions. Cameras have been installed at the two roundabouts on the Emil Kolb Parkway to monitor the operation and safety of the new roundabouts.
Going forward, the Region of Peel will be embarking on the development of a Transportation Safety Strategic and Operational Plan to further identify and address the most critical road safety issues within the Region. The Plan will set out the targets, policies, actions and implementation strategies that will guide and further assist the Region in the development, funding, and prioritization of multi-modal transportation safety programs.
Regional Council received an oral update from Gayle Bursey, Acting Commissioner of Human Services regarding the Region of Peel's plan for the arrival of Syrian Refugees.
161 Syrian Refugees arrived at Lester B. Pearson International Airport on the first official flight to Canada the evening of December 10th and were greeted by Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Wynne, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Some of the newcomers will meet family and private sponsors and stay in the Region of Peel while others do the same with sponsors from neighbouring cities and regions. Additional flights are arriving at both Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport several times a week since this first flight. By the end of December, the Region of Peel will be home to at least 83 Syrian newcomers and potentially more as they make their way through the Toronto-based Refugee Assistance Program.
A meeting was co-hosted by the Region of Peel and the United Way; and more than 200 people attended from approximately 100 different agencies across the Region of Peel. The needs identified at that meeting fell into two categories - immediate and long term. Immediate needs include easy access to information on services for food, shelter, language supports and mental health services because many of the first Refugees are family sponsored.