M I N U T E S  IRAC-2012-1

The Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee (IRAC) met on February 2, 2012, at 11:14 a.m. in the Council Chamber, 5th Floor, Regional Administrative Headquarters, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Suite A, Brampton.

  P. Foley; R. Paterak; P Saito; R. Starr; A. Thompson; J. Tovey
Members Absent:
E. Kolb, due to vacation; S. Hames, due to other municipal business; G. Miles, due to other municipal business; E. Moore, due to vacation; J. Sanderson, due to other municipal business
Other Regional Councillors Present:
  B. Crombie; C. Fonseca
Also Present:
  D. Szwarc, Chief Administrative Officer; N. Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services; D. Labrecque, Commissioner of Public Works; J. Menard, Commissioner of Human Services; J. Smith, Commissioner of Health Services; C. Reid, Regional Clerk; D. Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy and Government Relations; L. Rubin-Vaughan, Senior Advisor, Government Relations; C. Thomson, Committee Clerk

Chaired by Councillor A. Thompson.

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That the agenda for the February 2, 2012 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting include an oral update from Councillor Fonseca, regarding the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Advocacy Days, to be dealt with under Item 5d;

And further, that the agenda for the February 2, 2012 Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee meeting be approved, as amended.

See also Item 5d


a) Jagmeet Singh, Member of Provincial Parliament, Bramalea-Gore-Malton, Regarding Opportunities for Collaboration on Issues within the Bramalea-Gore-Malton Riding


Jagmeet Singh, Member of Provincial Parliament, Bramalea-Gore Malton, advised that his area of representation does not have many community centres or youth programs and that he is working on a pilot program to demonstrate the benefits of such programs to the community. His constituency office includes a large area of open space which he has made available to youth and also plans to pilot a drop-in program for seniors.

Jagmeet Singh reiterated the three priorities identified through his election campaign; addressing auto insurance rates; the creation of permanent jobs through tax incentives to job creators who create permanent positions as opposed to temporary or contract positions, and; the revitalization of Peel Memorial Hospital. He further recognized the challenges faced by municipalities to provide services for which they have limited revenue sources.

In response to a question from Councillor Tovey, Jagmeet Singh advised that funding for the constituency office drop-in programs is available through his MPP office budget, noting that rather than spend the budget on events, he has chosen to direct the funds for use by the community. He stated that it is his hope that the initiative grows into a program that will attract other partners.

Councillor Saito expressed concern with respect to the provincial governments’ progress on implementing the recommendations indentified in the Roots of Youth Violence report released several years ago and inquired if Jagmeet Singh plans to advocate for their implementation and serve as a champion for youth at Queen’s Park.

Janette Smith, Commissioner of Health Services, noted that several Ministries are involved in setting policy and funding services for youth however, the definition of “youth” differs among them. She emphasized the need to implement the recommendations from the Roots of Youth Violence report related to a youth policy framework that crosses Ministries.

Councillor Saito also noted that the after hours opening of schools was a recommendation put forward to assist agencies who are willing to provide community programming but are unable to find affordable space, noting that it is important to provide youth programming in areas that are easily accessible to the youth.

Jagmeet Singh confirmed his commitment to youth and undertook to work with the Peel Youth Violence Prevention Advisory Committee to advocate for more of the recommendations from the Roots of Youth Violence report to be implemented.

Councillor Fonseca suggested that consideration be given to enabling high school students to have input as to the areas they would prefer to complete the required 40 hours of community service.

Jagmeet Singh stated that volunteer work should be recognized as previous work experience in order to help students secure jobs and that more apprenticeship opportunities are needed in order to support Canada’s economy and the manufacturing sector.

Councillor Tovey suggested assigning a monetary value to the community service hours completed by high school students that could be used to reduce post-secondary tuition rates based on the number of hours completed.

Janet Menard, Commissioner of Human Services, stated that the Families First initiative provides sole support parents on social assistance with access to a Public Health Nurse, employment services and other supports, including connections to recreation for children. A researcher was commissioned to investigate how a comprehensive approach to supporting mothers and children makes a difference in their lives. The research confirmed that the approach resulted in better outcomes for parents, with more parents returning to school, securing employment and getting off assistance sooner. Children were more successful at school, were less isolated and more involved in physical activity. She stated that the Region of Peel hopes this approach will be incorporated in the work being done by the Commissioners conducting the provincial Social Assistance Reform.

Janet Menard also highlighted the Summer Job Challenge which places 60 youth in job placements throughout the Region of Peel during the months of July and August. Participants do not have to be students and job postings are placed in affordable housing buildings and at community agencies. The Region of Peel conducts sessions for the youth in areas such as health and safety and she invited Jagmeet Singh to speak at the 2012 session.

Councillor Saito requested that staff provide Jagmeet Singh with details related to the Seniors’ Dental Program, which currently has a waitlist of 5,000 people and has helped thousands of seniors access urgent dental care, fully funded by the Region of Peel. She challenged Jagmeet Singh to join the stakeholders team and be involved in the program.

Councillor Saito further highlighted the Task Force of Council that will be meeting to deal with child care centres in the Region of Peel, as a result of provincial program changes affecting municipalities, without sufficient funding to support their implementation.

Councillor Paterak highlighted the low minimum wage, stating that there is no point in having a minimum wage that people cannot live on, even if working full time. He noted that when workers are paid more, they put more money back in the economy and if the minimum wage is too low, more money is spent on support programs such as social assistance.

The members of the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee extended their appreciation to Jagmeet Singh and commended him for his commitment to youth and to improving the community.


a) PeelAsksWhy, 2011 Provincial Election Strategy Close-Out Report


Councillor Thompson commended staff for their efforts on the provincial election strategy, Peel Asks Why, noting that the infrastructure built for the website can be utilized for future elections as well as for other advocacy initiatives.

David Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy, noted that staff were pleased with the engagement and awareness components of the Strategy, however more work needs to be done on the “action” component.

Councillor Saito requested that Members of Regional Council be provided with a monthly listing of information that has been posted to the Region’s website, along with links to the information that may be of interest to constituents that could then be linked to Councillors’ websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Discussion led by Lowell Rubin-Vaughan, Senior Advisor, Government Relations, Office of Strategic Innovation and Policy

a) Federal News
b) Provincial News
c) Local News


Additional Item – Item 5d:

d) Federation of Canadian Municipalities Update (Oral)


See also Approval of Agenda

Councillor Fonseca advised that she recently participated in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Advocacy Days in Ottawa, where she met individually with eight Members of Parliament. She stated that the key messages highlighted from FCM were the need for municipalities and the federal government to work together for Canadians to protect the economy; communities and taxpayers in the years ahead; build a long term infrastructure plan and; look to cooperate beyond infrastructure and build support for other issues such as housing, crime and goods movement. She noted the overall experience was good however, would have been more effective if she had been partnered with MPs from the Region of Peel area.


a) Winter 2012 MP/MPP Advocacy Update


b) 2012 Federal Pre-Budget Submission


David Arbuckle, Manager, Public Policy, indicated that federal pre-budget presentations made by Peel MPs at their public consultation sessions are available to members of IRAC upon request.

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The next meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:00 a.m., Council Chamber, 5th floor, Regional Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario.

Please forward regrets to Christine Thomson, Committee Clerk, (905) 791-7800, ext. 4582 or at


The meeting adjourned at 1:08 p.m.