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M00022 | November 2016

MiNews MISSISSAUGA

ISSN# 2368-8130.

IN THIS ISSUE

CALEDON

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Brampton to Change Culture, Arts and Recreation Approach

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Mississauga Is Prepared To Celebrate Canada's 150 Anniversary The City is prepared to showcase its most successful and important features as part of the country’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

reation centres and everything in between have joined together to celebrated “this significant milestone in Canada’s history.” A Mississauga Canada 150 website will be launched this December with the purpose of showcasing all the Canada 150 themed events and venues that will be organized next year as well as highlight ways in which residents can take part in the festivities.

By Edward Smith

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Mississauga Aims To Further Strengthen Its Information and Communications Technology Sector

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Brampton Receives Financial Reporting Accolades And Starts Work On 2017 Budget

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AUnder the Brilliance Together Theme, Mississauga will celebrate its rich diversity, culture, heritage, people and public spaces to mark the country-wide anniversary. The year-long celebration will begin just as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s and will be made up of 63 initiatives. Mayor Bonnie Crombie declared that Canada’s 150th Anniversary is a “tremendous opportunity” as well as an important milestone to celebrate the City’s diversity and the “great cultural mosaic of Mississauga.” The mayor added that 2017 will be a year to remember due to the significant legacy projects for the City as well as numerous other celebrations that everyone can join in. Mississauga will officially celebrate the unique occasion with three main events which will be hosted at Celebration Square. The events are New Year’s Eve 2016 (December 31st), Canada Day

2017 (July 1st) and Light up the Square 2017 which will take place on November 25th. But while these are the major events meant to celebrate the 150 years of Confederation, numerous other activities, events and cultural venues will make 2017 a truly remarkable year for Mississauga residents. In January, for example, the City will start two engagement activities as part of the 150 for 150 program. They will be the Mississauga Volunteer Challenge and Mississauga’s Biggest Birthday Card. The 150 for 150 Program encourages residents to volunteer in

their community for 150 minute over the course of 2017. Mississauga’s Biggest Birthday Card will include “page panels” which will travel throughout the city in 2017. The panels will be available at City museums, libraries, community centres and arenas, allowing all residents to share their birthday wishes. The Biggest Birthday Card will be assembled and displayed at Mississauga Celebration Square on July 1st – Canada’s Birthday. Paul Mitchum, Commissioner of Community Services said that all institution under his supervision, including museums, community centres, parks and rec-

Legacy Programs Are Also a Big Part of the Anniversary A number of legacy projects will also be completed next year. The programs received funding of up to $2.1 million from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150). Of the legacy programs we can mention the 14 trails and 9 playgrounds that will be rehabilitated as well as two renovation projects at Lake Aquitaine Park and Riverwood Park. Funding was also received from the Government of Canada for a Public Art Installation. The installation will be created for Mississauga’s Celebration Square and will engage locals and visitors on issues of identity, culture, and the place of indigenous people in present society.

Mississauga Receives March of Dimes Canada Award of Merit For Meadowvale Community Centre Renovation

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Following Provincial Funding, Brampton Elaboretes On Post-Secondary Education Plan

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Caledon General Committee Discusses 2017 Budget Plan

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The City of Mississauga has been awarded the 2016 March of Dimes Canada Award of Merit for Barrier Free Design this November.

By Amir Ali The City won the award for the renovated Meadowvale Community Centre and Library. The award is given out for buildings or facilities that are designed or renovated to provide maximum accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. It is also a way to recognize and reward accessibility design excellence while highlighting the importance of barrier-free design. The Meadowvale Community Centre and Library was officially reopened to the public this October. The building underwent a two-year renovation process that made it entirely accessible for all categories of people. The most interesting and important accessible features include: a therapeu-

tic pool, a 25 meter lap pool with ramp access, automatic doors, tactile panels and universal washrooms. Gary Kent, Commissioner of Corporate Services declared that improving accessibility in the City’s facilities means going above and beyond basic building code requirements and is one way to continue realizing the City’s Accessibility Vision which aims to remove all berries for every single resident. Mr Kent went on to offer congratulations to all staff that worked or were involved with the project. This isn’t the first time when the March of Dimes Canada acknowledged Mississauga’s efforts for increased accessibility in its public buildings. The City also won the award back in 2011 for the Malton Community Centre Pool. The Meadowvale Community Centre The Meadowvale Community Centre was built in 1973. It includ-

ed a pool, a fitness centre with racquetball and squash courts, a lobby space as well as a number of meeting rooms and a large auditorium. The Centre hosts one of Mississauga’s most frequented aquatic programs and boasts one of the highest memberships, dropin swim programs and rentals. March of Dimes Canada March of Dimes Canada is a charitable organization that offers support services for people with disabilities, their families and caregivers. The organization is nationally registered and offers its services throughout the country. More information on the organization, its awards and its work for and with people with disabilities can be seen by visiting their official website at www.marchofdimes.ca Mississauga’s Accessibility Plan The City’s Multi-year Accessibility Plan was approved on March 7th, 2012 by the local Council and

is designed to last through 2017. The plan has focused on improving accessibility in all City owned buildings, offering all residents easy access to all services regardless of their disabilities. While the Plan was approved in 2012, the City has been rehabilitating a number of public buildings with the intention of increased accessibility for some time. Since 2009, the City has rehabilitated seven outdoor pools. The Accessibility Plan is part of the Mississauga Strategic Plan and will ensure that all future construction in the city will be fully accessible. Numerous City-Wide planning projects are reviewed annually under the Strategic Plan’s pillars which are: Move, Belong, Connect, Prosper and Green. The pillars ensure that everything from public squares to infrastructure investments such as the Hurontario LRT and everything in between takes into consideration accessibility as an important factor in a project’s success.


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Mississauga

Mississauga Aims To Further Strengthen Its Information and Communications Technology Sector Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie declared this November that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector remains one of the most important contributors to the local economy and one of the City’s top four key industry sectors.

College as the most important post-secondary institutions from which the ICT sector draws its workforce. In recognition of the good results and strong cooperation between post-secondary programs and the ICT business environment, Mississauga Council has also committed to invest $10 million towards developing UTM’s new Innovation Complex, which will house the Institute for Management & Innovation. The Institute will prepare students for a number of demanding fields such as the ICT sector.

By Grindu Vlad Bonnie Crombie made the statement during the Mayor’s Roundtable Information & Communications (ICT) Sector Roundtable, which she mentioned first during the Mayor’s 2016 State of the City Address back in September. The roundtable allowed numerous specialists from different fields to meet and discuss about the latest technological and market developments. Among participants there were business representatives, academia, industry associations and government members that discussed ideas and solutions to strengthen what already is one of the most competitive sectors in the City. Mayor Crombie said that the technological innovations in this

field “have and will continue to change the global economy.” She added that it is important for the local government to stay connected and ensure the creation of the right type of environment for ICT companies, an environment that would allow them to invest, expand and compete at a global level. Mississauga is located in the Kitchener/Waterloo-Toronto Innovation Corridor which is the 2nd largest ICT cluster in North America. It accounts for over 60% of all innovative activity

in Canada. Mississauga is even more connected with the ICT field as it has a larger base compared to other area municipalities, in terms of total employment as well as the number of businesses. Bonnie Crombie said that the City’s ICT companies are vibrant and diverse and range from huge multinational corporations to small innovative firms that are “leading the way in an increasingly digitized and interconnected global market. The Mayor also added that a reason

for the growth of the sector and its prosperity is the “talented, educated and hardworking population.” She went on to say that Mississauga has a highly skilled talent base with over two-thirds of residents boasting post-secondary education and with a number of people having graduated in demanding fields of sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine (STEMM). The Mayor also praised the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) as well as Sheridan

The City’s Roundtable Strategy November’s ICT roundtable was created after the success of the City of Mississauga’s Economic Development Office’s Life Sciences Strategy Roundtable, which was hosted over this summer. Mayor Crombie ended her intervention by saying that she is encouraged by the engagement in the process. She added that she is excited and confident about the “promising future of the business, entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are driving the continued success of the ICT sector.”

Mississauga Adds New Stormwater Subsidies For Property Owners A report presented before the City’s General Committee proposed an extension to the stormwater charge subsidy program for eligible low-income seniors, low-income persons with disabilities as well as working farms.

By George Burke All eligible property owners will receive the subsidy backdated to January 1st, 2016. The report was approved during the Wednesday, November 9th Council meeting. Helen Noehammer, Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Planning said that City staff works across departments to carefully create new subsidies that will ensure greater accessibility for residents as well as affordability, particularly for vulnerable groups. Mrs Noehammer also added that the Transportation and Infrastructure Planning office’s goal is to offer residents the most accurate, fair and efficient way to identify eligible properties. All financial assistance that will be given to low-income seniors as well as low-income persons with disabilities will be based on the City’s Tax Rebate Program. City staff will use the existing property

tax rebate process and eligibility in order to automatically identify all property owners who can benefit from the subsidy. Another category that will receive the stormwater tax subsidy will be made out of working farms or properties that have received the Farm Property Class Tax Rate as determined by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). When it comes to estimating cots, staff

prediction will be based on the number of properties and addresses currently in receipt of the property tax rebate. The estimated subsidy cost for lowincome subsidy will be $107,000 in 2016 while the cost for the working farm subsidy will be approximately $22,000 in 2016. Stormwater Charge The stormwater charge is a new source of funding that

was added this year to the Region of Peel’s water bill. The tax will be used as a dedicated source of funding to ensure that stormwater drainage systems are maintained and improved when needed. Mississauga’s stormwater drainage system protects water quality while also lowering the risk of flooding, which can damage property and the environment. The City is constantly investing

in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and renewal as well as by-law enforcement activities in order to keep the system in perfect working condition. Mississauga residents can learn more about the stormwater charge by visiting stormwatercharge.ca. With Mississauga being one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country, both in terms of demographics as well as economic development the built environment is also increasing. This leads to larger amounts of water running off hard surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, roads and so on. Add to this the effects of global warming and how it can produce heavier rainfall or faster melting snow and it results in the City of Mississauga’s stormwater drainage system having to deal with more water than it ever dealt with before. The stormwater tax is a way to fund the maintenance and replacement of aged piping, preventing flooding or serious damage to the system which will require costly repairs. The tax was implemented after the City conducted a study to find the best solution for the issue, one which would be backed by specialists and residents alike.


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Mississauga

Mississauga Increases Open Data Program By Publishing The 2016 Budget Data Set The City of Mississauga stayed true to its commitment to be an open, tech friendly municipality and increased its Open Data base by publishing the 2016 Budget data set.

By Amanda Lee This brings the total of open data sets for the municipality of Mississauga to 32, with local leadership working to further increase Open Data sets and the rate at which they are added in future years. Gary Kent, Commissioner of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer said that the release of the City’s 2016 Budget data set is a “modern way to show our commitment to being open and accountable.” Mr Kent added that the City and his office will continue to find new ways to connect with citizens and allow them to understand all the decisions that are being made at the city level and how they are being made. The 2016 Budget data set allows all those interested the opportunity to use and publish the information in new, creative and innovative ways.

What Data To Expect From the 2016 Council Approved Budget The 2016 Council approved Budget provides a collection of financial data that works to implement the City’s Business Plan and Budget. It includes: the 2016 Approved Budget Changes including all Council changes to the budget; 2016 Approved Operating, which details the full City budget and the individual budget for each service area; 2016 Approved Capital, which details the City’s capital projects along with their budget, impact and funding sources; 2016 Approved FTE Summary, which details the number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees approved by the local Council as well as projected FTEs for the

upcoming two years. This November’s addition to the City’s data sets marks the first time Mississauga published its financial data sets. There are plans to publish this information annually, increasing transparency, while also joining other large municipalities throughout

North America that have made their budget data available and accessible to anyone on Open Data portals. Shawn Slack, Director of Information, Technology and Chief Information Officer said that his office and all City services that deal with data are always looking for opportunities to include new data sets that are valuable and useful. He added that the data sets currently published by Mississauga are available for public research, analysis, reporting as well as the development of mobile applications. Mr. Slack also said that open data is about collaborating with the community and “sharing information in meaningful ways with different audiences.”

City Open Data Policy from 2015 Onwards Last year, local Council approved a new corporate policy and procedure for the City’s Open Data program. Those changes have allowed new data sets to be added regularly in such areas as Arts, Culture and Tourism, Business and Economy, Local Government, Infrastructure, Environment, Land Use and Development, Transportation and Parks and Recreation to name just a few. More information on the City’s data sets, on Mississauga’s open data policy and on other areas where residents can find open data can be found on the City’s official website at data. mississagau.ca.


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Mississauga

National Town Hall Challenge Declares Mississauga's Civic Centre As the Winner ties to save energy and reduce the impact on the environment by promoting green policy. She encouraged residents to follow local leadership’s example and take action where they can, when they can, reducing energy consumption both at home as well as in the workplace.

Mississauga’s Civic Centre was declared the winner of the 2015 national Town Hall Challenge.

By Karen Leone The award was offered by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and presented to the City Council on the 21st of November, 2016. The Town Hall Challenge’s goal was to reach a lower en-

ergy intensity level, ensuring a greener, eco-friendly utilization of the building. The intensity level that the Hall aimed for was of 20 equivalent kilowatt-hours per square foot by the year 2015. The City managed to achieve this goal two years earlier than it initially planned to, reducing energy intensity further to 17.2 equivalent kilowatt-hours per square foot by 2015. In total, between 2012 and 2015, energy

intake in the Civic Centre building was reduced by 17 per cent. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that she and the entire City’s staff take their pledge of sustainability seriously. Mrs Crombie added that she is proud of the team and the “energy saving initiatives we achieved at our Civic Centre.” Mayor Crombie went on to say that the City is leading by example, by continually seeking opportuni-

Technical Improvements And Staff Awareness Played A Huge Role Raj Sheth, Director of Facilities and Property Management said that some of the major improvements made to the Civic Centre building during the course of the challenge included upgrading building automation systems, maintenance programs as well as training. Mr Sheth also declared that besides the numerous technical improvements, City employees played their part by participating in energy awareness programs and including an energy saving approach to their daily routine. Mr Sheth concluded that these combined measures helped the City “significantly conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases.” Among the most interesting technical improvements made to the building in 2015, a realtime energy saving dashboard pilot was launched at the Civic

Centre. The dashboard provided staff and visitors to the Civic Centre with daily, weekly and monthly energy and water use stats. These stats further helped raise awareness on the importance of energy conservation and motivated City employees to be even more conscious of their energy consumption. Mississauga’s Civic Centre The Mississauga Civic Centre is located at 300 City Centre Drive and is home to the City’s municipal offices, the Central Library, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, a conservatory as well as a wedding chapel. Other facilities of the building include an outdoor ice rink and underground parking. The Town Hall Challenge The Town Hall challenge was led by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and was conducted from 2012 to 2015. Municipalities across Canada were invited to reduce their energy use towards a target of 20 equivalent kilowatt-hours per square foot (68kBtu/ft2) by 2015. The Challenge led to outstanding energy efficiency improvements for all participating buildings, several of which, including the City’s Civic Centre, met and exceeded the target.

November Marked The First Lighting Of Celebration Square For The Holiday Season With the holiday season being eagerly anticipated by young and old residents alike, this November’s Light Up the Square event was certainly a must see.

will also be featured in the Holiday Street Market along with numerous other surprises that will unwind as the season progresses.

By Dominic Mainella Reindeer also known as Santa’s helpers were present in Mississauga’s Celebration Square on November 19th, much to the delight of children who attended the event. But the event was certainly not a petting zoo, with visitors enjoying numerous fun, festive and family friendly activities. Among the favourites we can mention Carousel rides, skating as well as a headline performance by Stella Rio. The event was the official debut the of holiday season in the city with numerous other fun, themed events following suit. During the official ceremony, the scene was made alive by Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Members of the Local Council as well as other special guests, including Santa himself who had the important job of lighting up the Christmas

tree and the entire Square’s decorations. While past editions of the event created the same amount of jolliness, this year’s Light Up the Square also included a Holiday Street Market which was pre-

sented in partnership with Mississauga Celebration Square. The market will feature a number of artisan vendors who will be selling one-of-a-kind, handmade goods. A series of food trucks as well as a game board competition

More Details on November’s Event The event was organized Saturday, November 19th, 2016 between 05:00 and 09:00 p.m. The official ceremony was organized at 06:45 p.m. while the Holiday Street Market opened its doors from Noon to 11:00 p.m. All the events took place in Mississauga Celebration Square. The event was MC’d by Liem Vu, Weather Reporter for Global News Toronto and the jolly bearded man himself, Santa Claus as well as a band of his elves. Other activities that took place throughout the day included a DJ Skate Party; a Culture Dance Pak Performance; a Stella Rio Performance; The Fritz of Art; as well as family programming which includes carousel rides, photo opportunities with Santa and skating. Light Up the Square 2016 as well as other holiday events

were organized thanks to the City’s official partners like Rabba and Global News. More information on Light up the Square 2016 or other events organized in Mississauga’s Celebration Square can be found visiting mississaugacelebrationsquare. ca. Residents can also follow the City on Facebook and Twitter for more updates on Holiday themed events and what to expect during this year’s giving season. New Year’s Eve 2016 Residents of Mississauga are also expected in Celebration Square to celebrate the passing of the year. The show is expected to be particularly impressive, celebrating the beginning of Canada 150 which promises to make 2017 a truly unforgettable year in terms of cultural events. The show will feature Dj Steph Honey, Sickick live on stage, DiRTY RADIO live on stage, the Glowing Hearts Drumline, Coleman Hell and a fireworks show that will light up the night sky.


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Brampton

Brampton Receives Financial Reporting Accolades And Starts Work On 2017 Budget The CD Howe Institute has awarded the City of Brampton with the A- rank, the highest awarded to any municipality in Canada.

By Steve Moukas Brampton is part of an exclusive club of cities with only 5 other Canadian municipalities receiving the rank. Brampton’s recognition is based on the 2016 budget presentation. The CD Howe Institute ranks cities based on how well they manage to create budget plans and go through the approval process. Among the most important aspects that the Institute looks at there is the speed with which a city approves its budget, ideally before New Year’s, the presence of useful reconciliation between budgets and financial reports as well as the transparency of single gross expenditure totals as the overall fiscal footprint. The City of Brampton managed to improve its budget presentation and approval process on a yearly basis. While it

currently boasts the highest ranking in the country, among an exclusive list of other cities, back in 2011 the city earned a mere D rank, improving it to a B- only be 2013. Harry Schlange, Brampton’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) said that the latest ranking is “exciting news” as the city and leadership on all levels are working “to modernize our corporation and become more businesslike in our practice.” Mr Schlange

added that the validation received through the CD Howe Institute’s ranking is encouraging as “we move towards building a future-ready Brampton.” Brampton’s 2017 Budget Process Is Already Under Way Brampton’s 2017 Budget process has already started with the main commitment from City leadership for this year being to engage the local community on an even wider level. In order to

achieve this, the City provided a huge number of possibilities for residents to give their feedback and thoughts on the budget process. All Brampton residents are encouraged to leave their opinions, feedback or priorities for the new budget and where their tax dollars should be spent. This year, the City interacted with the local community via a Community Forum, which was organized November 22nd at

Brampton City hall between 06:00 and 08:00 p.m. Residents who couldn’t attend the Forum could take part in Budget Committees and Council Meetings throughout the month of November and up to the 14th of December. Budget committee meetings were organized on November 28th, 29th and 30th between 09:30 – 10:00 p.m. and on December 1st between 03:00 and 10:00 p.m. The special Council for Budget 2017 Approval will be organized on December 14th, between 07:00 and 10:00 p.m. The City’s official website also provides a Budget Toolkit that allows resident to get an in-depth look at how property tax is calculated and distributed. Residents can also find more information on the budget process and key dates by following the City’s website at www.brampton.ca/budget or by following the City’s official Twitter account @CityBrampton. This year, Bramptonites also had the opportunity to leave their input and priorities via an official online survey which was open on the City’s website until November 30th.

Brampton to Change Culture, Arts and Recreation Approach This November, Brampton leaders in Community Services and Economic Development announced a change in the way the City delivers recreation, culture and arts.

By Sophia Akram The change aims to position these service areas as contributors to the local economy by improving and repositioning them as community oriented and customer focused. The City’s Arts and Culture, including the Rose Theatre are now part of the newly named Economic Development and Culture team. The team also includes tourism, festivals and special events as well as sponsorship. The change aims to align investments and resources for these areas and to create a number of strategic and sustainable arts and culture programs. The Change Marks a Trend In The Greater Toronto Area The change in the City’s approach has been spurred by a growing trend within the Greater Toronto Area, where municipalities seem to no longer view art and culture as mere quality of live aspects but view them as in-

vestment and economic drivers with a strong community impact. Bob Darling, the newly appointed Director of Economic Development and Culture declared that “adding a cultural lens to economic development will contribute to Brampton’s economy” while also strengthening community ties and increase the vibrancy and appeal of the city. Mr Darling added that both he and his office is committed to building partnerships throughout the community that will help both business and culture thrive. The Recreation Division Also Underwent Major Changes The change in the City’s service structure resulted in a new approach for the Recreation division as well. By moving arts and culture programs the now standalone Recreation division is much better suited to focus on its principle function, that of offering exceptional recreational services for Brampton’s growing number of residents. The Recreation division has changed its structure too in order to streamline decision making and improve customer service. The structural changes led to a permanent reduction of 13 positions.

Al Menses, Commissioner of Community Services declared that his office has “clarified roles and reduced duplication.” Mr Menses’ approach aims to replace confusion in the division with “a laser focused approach” that allows staff to deliver the very best recreational services in the community. Mr Menses added that he and his office have listened and will continue to listen to feedback and the community in general, understanding thus

that recreation plays an important role in the health and wellness of Brampton’s residents. Canada 150 Anniversary Brampton’s change in terms of arts, culture and recreation plays right into the busy calendar for the Canada 150 Anniversary that will mark Canada’s 150 years of Confederacy. The yearlong celebration will ensure that Brampton has sufficient chances to try out its new approach with

these areas and determine how it can grow economically while also creating a vibrant, well connected community. Numerous events have already been planned for 2017 with all new updates or changes being presented on the City of Brampton’s official website at www.brampton.ca. Residents can also stay in touch with the cultural and artistic life by following the City’s numerous social media channels.


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Brampton

Following Provincial Funding, Brampton Elaboretes On Post-Secondary Education Plan the EDC have found a “core team of highly qualified staff” that can and will focus on finding the right university partner for Brampton. Mr Schlange added that establishing a university is Brampton is a “foundational priority” of the City’s Strategic Plan. He also mentioned that Brampton is one of the youngest, most diverse and fastest growing cities in Canada. He ended his intervention by saying that the ECD along with Brampton Council and all local institutions will work to transform the City into an innovative player on the global stage. Brampton’s work plan in regards to implanting post-secondary education has a number of essential components:

Local leadership is working to plan the next steps in implementing post-secondary education in the City of Brampton.

By Bruce Wright The move comes after this November, Minister of Finance Charles Souse announced that provincial funding will be provided for the project. Mayor Linda Jeffrey declared that Brampton Council “re-affirmed their gratitude” for the

efforts made by the Blue Ribbon Panel. She also said that Council and City staff are working on the next steps needed to ensure a university partner that meets “the needs of our residents and the business community” while also meeting all specified criteria of the call for proposals. City staff presented the basic framework for the City’s plans during the November 16th session of the Economic Development Committee. City Chief Administrative Office Harry Schlange said that

Connecting Business With a New University One of the City staff’s most important jobs will be to connect with the local business community and start a relationship with the future university. The aim is both to allow access to the future talented work force while also collaborating on research, innovation and commercialization. Another key aspect will be to work on the already strong partnership with other post-secondary institutions that are already in Brampton such as Sheridan College or Algoma University. City Staff will be working with these institutions in order to create the plan for a new university in Brampton. Establishing a Clear Set of Goals and Expectations an All Levels of Government A number of meetings have already been set with leadership

from all levels of government in order to best understand the expectations and goals for the City’s new university. The full details of Province expectations for the new project will only be communicated after the call for proposals is set in place. In the meantime, city staff have met or will be meeting with Sean Conway, Chair of the Province’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel. The Panel’s report, which was released in June, 2016, was a key document in the City ‘s university plans. City staff will reach out to Sean Conway and his the Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel to get an even better understanding of what direction the federal government will take the project in and what roles the Regional and Municipality leadership will take. Finding a University Partner The City’s Blue Ribbon Panel has already established contact with several universities in an effort to secure a suitable University partner. The City now anticipated a more detailed conversation with Provincial and Federal representatives that will indicate the preferential program focus as well as a clear commitment to invest in Brampton’s higher education sector. For the time being, no further decisions such as location or financial support can be taken while the university partner is not secured. All detailed options will be analysed once the successful university partner has been identified and its needs as well as the details forthcoming in the Province’s call for propos-

als have been studied. The Provincial Government will launch a call for proposals in January 2017. All Ontario Universities will be encouraged to participate and partner up with local communities, businesses and other institutions to create proposals for the new Brampton facility. The current plan, as stated by the Province’s government is to create new post-secondary facilities that will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as art. The popular set of skills is often referred to as STEAM and is designed to be important for all future employees in Brampton. In 2015, Brampton had over 4,000 residents enrolled in universities 63 per cent of which were enrolled in STEAM programs. Currently, the City of Brampton is the 9th largest municipality in Canada and the only one in the Top 10 without a major university campus. Even more so, the City’s projected increase in population age 18 to 24 between 2011 and 2021 will be of 35,400 people. More demographic data projects that Brampton will have over 5,000 students accepted in universities each year from 2021 through 2041, making an even stronger case for a better educational offer in the City. The economic repercussions of a new post-secondary facility in Brampton are also optimistic, with an impact study suggesting that the construction process would add 1800 jobs to the local market while on-going operations would add a further 1500 jobs.

Brampton to Change Culture, Arts and Recreation Approach This November, Brampton leaders in Community Services and Economic Development announced a change in the way the City delivers recreation, culture and arts.

By Julia Spencers The change aims to position these service areas as contributors to the local economy by improving and repositioning them as community oriented and customer focused. The City’s Arts and Culture, including the Rose Theatre are now part of the newly named Economic Development and Culture team. The team also includes tourism, festivals and special events as well as sponsorship. The change aims to

align investments and resources for these areas and to create a number of strategic and sustainable arts and culture programs. The Change Marks a Trend In The Greater Toronto Area The change in the City’s approach has been spurred by a growing trend within the Greater Toronto Area, where municipalities seem to no longer view art and culture as mere quality of live aspects but view them as investment and economic drivers with a strong community impact. Bob Darling, the newly appointed Director of Economic Development and Culture declared that “adding a cultural lens to economic development will contribute to Brampton’s economy” while also strength-

ening community ties and increase the vibrancy and appeal of the city. Mr Darling added that both he and his office is committed to building partnerships throughout the community that will help both business and culture thrive. The Recreation Division Also Underwent Major Changes The change in the City’s service structure resulted in a new approach for the Recreation division as well. By moving arts and culture programs the now standalone Recreation division is much better suited to focus on its principle function, that of offering exceptional recreational services for Brampton’s growing number of residents. The Recreation division has

changed its structure too in order to streamline decision making and improve customer service. The structural changes led to a permanent reduction of 13 positions. Al Menses, Commissioner of Community Services declared that his office has “clarified roles and reduced duplication.” Mr Menses’ approach aims to replace confusion in the division with “a laser focused approach” that allows staff to deliver the very best recreational services in the community. Mr Menses added that he and his office have listened and will continue to listen to feedback and the community in general, understanding thus that recreation plays an important role in the health and wellness of Brampton’s residents.

Canada 150 Anniversary Brampton’s change in terms of arts, culture and recreation plays right into the busy calendar for the Canada 150 Anniversary that will mark Canada’s 150 years of Confederacy. The year-long celebration will ensure that Brampton has sufficient chances to try out its new approach with these areas and determine how it can grow economically while also creating a vibrant, well connected community. Numerous events have already been planned for 2017 with all new updates or changes being presented on the City of Brampton’s official website at www.brampton.ca. Residents can also stay in touch with the cultural and artistic life by following the City’s numerous social media channels.


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Caledon

Caledon General Committee Discusses 2017 Budget Plan ment were present and answered all question in a one-onone discussion format. Another way residents could learn more about next year’s budget is by attending a Coffee with Council meeting, where Mayor Allen Thompson and Town Councillors addressed municipal and budget matters. The meetings Caledon’s 2017 Operating and Capital Budget were presented and discussed during a General Committee meeting held this November.

By Jennifer D’Cousta The discussions on the budget set the stage for several capital projects that range even beyond 2017 as well as the state of Town services. A general theme emerged during the meeting which dictated that the 2017 investment budget should be aligned with the priorities of the Council Work plan in order to ensure that allocations are equitably assigned on a town-wide basis. Mayor Allan Thompson said that the proposed 2017 Budget is a good starting point to continue to build and maintain a strong and prosperous Caledon. Mayor Thompson went on to declare that he and several members of the council are looking forward to engage with residents and discuss the budget, particularly at the Coffee with Council session that will be organized throughout the Town and at the budget open house at Town Hall. Caledon 2017 Budget Proposal Highlights Below you can find a list with the most significant highlights of the 2017 Budget Proposal: • A slight tax increase will be implemented for the average homeowner with a property worth $522,000 according to the Municipal Property Assessment. The increase will be of about $10 per month for the duration of 2017.

were organized on November 18th, 19th and 22nd at the Mayfiled Recreation Centre, Lloyd Wilson Arena, Caledon Centre for Recreation & Wellness and the Bolton Rotary Senior’s Club. Caledon residents can also follow the Town’s official Twitter account for live information on any municipal matters.

• A proposal also states that the newly opened Belfountain community centre will have to include book lockers. • The budget proposal also discusses the requirements that Caledon’s growing community imply. The plan states the need for a new community centre, a new fire training centre as well as a new park. The plan also proposes further investments in upgrades and improvements to existing infrastructure. • A continuation of the Town’s responsible financial management which in the past decade has managed to close the gap when it comes to funding for capital infrastructure. • The 2017 Budget Plan also proposes to complete the Challenger Baseball Diamond at the Bolton Camp. The baseball diamond project is developed in partnership with the TRCA and has progressed thanks to the generous grant funding provided by the Jays Care Foundation. Where to Learn More about Caledon’s 2017 Budget All the 2017 Budget documentation as well as any related materials are available on Caledon’s official website at www. caledon.ca/budget. Starting with this year, Caledon residents that have a question regarding the budget as a whole or any individual proposal can find answers by emailing city at budget@caledon.ca Residents also had the opportunity to take part in the Open House organized Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 at 07:00 p.m. at Town Hall where Town staff from each depart-

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