GOVERNMENT RELATIONS COMMITTEE
The Government Relations Committee (GRC) met on December 18, 2008 at 11:08 a.m. in the 5 th Floor Boardroom, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.
E. Kolb; G. Miles; A. Thompson
J. Sanderson; G. Carlson; S. Fennell; A. Groves
D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; C. Clifford, Director, Strategic Innovation and Policy; J. Smith, Commissioner, Health Services; K. Ward, Commissioner, Human Services; J. Menard, Executive Director, Human Services; L. Rubin, Project Leader, Strategic Projects; N. McLeod, Manager, Strategic Social Policy; D. Hodkin, Public Affairs Associate; R. Martin, Committee Clerk
Chaired by Vice-Chair Councillor A. Thompson
In accordance with section III 4(d) of Region of Peel Procedural By-law 57-2006, as amended, no quorum was present 30 minutes after the time approved for the meeting (11:00 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 57-2006, as amended, members present received information and no minutes were kept. The following are summary notes of the information received.
Tom AppaRao, Director, Transportation Planning, and Murray McLeod, Manager, Modelling Goods Action, provided an overview of the challenges faced by the transportation industry and its importance to the economy in the Region of Peel.
Tom AppaRao reported that delays in the movement of goods in and out of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) cost businesses over six billion dollars annually.
Murray McLeod stated that the Region of Peel is the freight hub for southern Ontario and is the third largest freight cluster in North America. The transportation industry employs over ten per cent of the workforce in the Region. The Region of Peel is ideally located relative to North American markets. Fifty-one per cent of the American market is within a two-day drive from the Region. The province of Ontario is responsible for fifty-two percent of Canadian exports with an average of over $1.5 billion dollars worth of goods moving through the Region of Peel every day in 2008.
Murray McLeod reported that the GTA is currently the fourth worst metropolitan area in North America for transportation congestion. A major contributing factor to this situation is thirty years of investment shortfall in transportation infrastructure in southern Ontario. Murray McLeod provided an outline of the key barriers which impede goods movement in the GTA. These barriers include segments of the 400 series expressways; a lack of collaboration between trucking companies and rail service; need for more central dispatching to improve truck load efficiency; need for logistics hubs; a lack of data on freight movements and the need for a comprehensive goods movement study of the region.
Murray McLeod outlined current goods movement initiatives including the Ontario-Quebec Gateway and Trade Corridor study and the Metrolinx Goods Movement study. Murray McLeod suggested that the Region of Peel establish a taskforce that would develop a goods movement strategy and plan. The taskforce could include a wide range of both public and private sector stakeholders who will focus on maximizing the existing transportation system as well as planning transportation network improvements. The taskforce could also support the improvement of integrated logistics hubs in the Region of Peel and support the goods movement survey program. The taskforce could work towards the development of the Peel Region trucking map which would provide detailed information on height and weight restrictions on roads in the region, along with contact information to assist private sector transportation companies in doing business in the area.
Murray McLeod reported that the environment assessment process continues to delay much needed improvements to transportation infrastructure. He urged the committee to work with the provincial and federal governments to streamline the process.
Murray McLeod suggested that the Government Relations Committee (GRC) should continue to lobby the federal and provincial governments for infrastructure investment in the GTA that would reduce the goods movement bottlenecks on the 400 series highways and assist the development of logistics terminals such as the Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian Nation (CN) railway hubs.
Councillor Thompson suggested that Murray McLeod present to Regional Council on the goods movement issue.
Chair Kolb proposed that the Region of Peel host an open house in February/March, 2009 to bring together public and private sector stakeholders to discuss the goods movement issue.
Murray McLeod undertook to arrange a tour of the Canadian Pacific intermodal facility in Vaughan for Regional Council members.
Councillor Miles stated that the Regional staff should assist in the development of a goods movement taskforce but the public and private sector stakeholders should take the lead in order for the taskforce to make substantive progress on this issue.
Having regard that a quorum of voting members was not achieved, in accordance with section III 4(f) of the Procedural By-law 57-2006, as amended, items not dealt with during this meeting will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the Government Relations Committee scheduled for January 29, 2009.