The Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee (IRAC) met on September 2, 2010, at 11:10 a.m. in the Council Chamber, 5 th Floor, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Suite A, Brampton.
E. Kolb; M. Prentice; P. Saito; J. Sanderson; A. Thompson
E. Moore, due to personal matters; M. Morrison, due to other municipal business
R. Paterak, Regional Councillor; D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; N. Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services; J. Smith, Commissioner of Health Services; C. Reid, Regional Clerk; G. Malhotra, Director, Strategic Planning, Policy and Partnership, Human Services; S. Hewitt, Director, Operations Support, Public Works; S. Davis, Director, Strategic Innovation, Executive Office; D. Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy; S. Mistry, Senior Policy Advisor; Kara Morgan, Program Support Coordinator; L. Rubin, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor; V. Montesdeoca, Legislative Technical Coordinator; 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 September 2, 2010 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting, be approved.
3. DELEGATIONS - Nil
a) Draft: A Better Peel for a Better Province – Provincial Party Platform Submission
Discussion led by David Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy, Office of Strategic Innovation and Policy
That the proposed policy position statements and requests, as outlined in the draft submission to the four (4) Ontario major political parties titled “A Better Peel for a Better Province – A Provincial Party Platform,” and as presented to the September 2, 2010 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting, be endorsed.
David Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy, advised that the draft Provincial Party Platform submission was developed with input from Regional staff that assisted in identifying specific priority issues, as well as broader municipal issues. The submission was designed to target decision makers at the political level and to engage secondary audiences, including external stakeholders and community partners. The submission utilizes positive language and is solution-oriented to provide opportunity for political representatives to adopt good policy initiatives.
The draft submission was reviewed by the Region’s Executive Management Team (EMT) and David Arbuckle highlighted a few of their recommended changes. For example, it was suggested that the section titled Water, Wastewater and Waste Infrastructure, on page 14, be amended to present a Regional perspective as opposed to being specific to an area municipality.
Councillor Paterak noted that provincial funding for wastewater infrastructure is only available to lower tier municipalities with wastewater systems and suggested that population density should be considered when determining funding levels. He noted that rural municipalities that are part of a regional municipality, such as the Town of Caledon, are behind on wastewater infrastructure in their villages and settlement areas and attention needs to be brought to this inequity.
Several Committee members suggested that the submission be printed in bolder colours to help capture the attention of its audience.
Councillor Saito stated that in her opinion, the section dealing with poverty and Families First does not adequately portray the current situation that has resulted in a significant increase in the number of people utilizing area food banks and suggested that those statistics be included. She further suggested that information be obtained from “Fair Share for Peel” to demonstrate that Peel is impacted more by rapid population growth but funded less per capita, particularly in social services.
Councillor Saito also suggested that the issue of Children and Youth Violence should be included in the submission, noting that the Roots of Youth Violence report remains on the provincial shelf and that the success of the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Network’s efforts relies on provincial funding and implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.
Councillor Prentice suggested the section on the Environment should be expanded to address waste management issues, noting that municipalities require that decisions be made at the provincial level in order to be able to plan waste programs and budgets.
Regional Chair Kolb suggested that the submission include an acknowledgement that provincial funding is impacted by the level of funding provided to them by the federal government and that the Region of Peel is a willing partner in advocating for sustainable federal funding.
Councillor Thompson concurred with Regional Chair Kolb and suggested that the submission include Peel’s commitment to help the province get the right level of federal funding.
David Arbuckle advised that the draft submission would be amended as a result of the Committee’s discussion and the amended version would be distributed to Regional Council with the Committee minutes. It is expected that the final submission will be distributed at the end of September, 2010.
b) Draft: MP/MPP Advocacy Update, Fall 2010
Lowell Rubin, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, noted that the MP/MPP Advocacy Update will be distributed at the end of September, 2010. The draft Advocacy Update will be distributed to Regional Council with the Committee minutes.
c) Summary of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) 2010 Annual Conference
Councillor Thompson stated that the meetings held with Ministers at the AMO Annual Conference were successful and that a key topic of interest at each meeting was the Families First initiative. Peel’s leadership on the issue of Goods Movement was also recognized. He commended staff from the Office of Strategic Innovation and Policy for their support at the conference.
Councillor Sanderson noted that at each meeting, comments were made about the unique characteristics of the Region of Peel and the pleasure of working with its staff and representatives.
David Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy, advised the Ministry of Transportation staff noted that they are impressed with Peel’s efforts to break down barriers and bring parties together.
Regional Chair Kolb advised that Wal-Mart extended an invitation to the Region of Peel to attend their staff Goods Movement Summit on November 3, 2010 at the main Wal-Mart warehouse in Mississauga.
d) Feasibility of Research Study of Seniors’ Dental Program
Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health, suggested that if the Committee wished to pursue the research project on the impacts of dental health on overall health, that he contact the Chief Dental Officer of Canada to determine the willingness to take on the research at the federal level.
Councillor Saito noted that the expected results of such a study are not the desired results so it would not be prudent for the Region to spend $3 million to undertake the project however, she supports the suggestion to contact the federal and provincial governments to determine their interest.
Councillor Saito stated that efforts should continue to mobilize seniors groups to demand that their needs be a provincial priority, noting that they comprise a large number of voters and that if the seniors’ dental program were funded by the province, there would not be a cap on the fees.
Councillor Prentice suggested that Edna Toth, Fair Share for Peel, could connect with Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long Term Care to provide information on the needs of seniors.
Councillor Prentice noted that she has received many comments from residents of her ward who oppose the use of property taxes to fund the seniors’ dental program and suggested the issue be taken directly to the Office of the Premier.
5 . GOVERNMENT RELATIONS STATUS REPORT AND CURRENT ACTIVITIES
Discussion led by Lowell Rubin, Intergovernmental Relations Advisor, Office of Strategic Innovation and Policy
a) Federal News
b) Provincial News
c) Local News
A copy of the Government Relations Status Report will be distributed to Regional Council with the Committee minutes.
6 . COMMUNICATIONS - Nil
7 . Other Business or Current Issues to be Discussed - Nil
8. NEXT MEETING
To be determined.
8 . ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.