What a week! It started off with tricks and treats celebrating Halloween, and eased into the month of November, which at the City of Brampton and the Region of Peel, means the start of budget time.
My weekly roundup usually starts with happenings at the City of Brampton and then the Region of Peel, but we’re going to change it up this week and get to some of the details of this week’s Regional budget meeting first.
Regional Council received an Economic Update Prior to beginning our 2018 budget process. Here are a few facts about Peel you might find interesting:
• Peels population is now 1.44 million
• Median age is 38.1 years old, the youngest population in the GTA
• We have 177,000 seniors, and this number will grow by 134% to 415,000 by 2041.
• Peel’s Economy is strong and growing, with 155,949 new businesses started in June, with an 11.7% growth in the business sector. Housing starts are higher and the average residential resale for a single family home is up by 25.6%, or $766,111.
The Regional Budget process began on Thursday with a staff recommended budget of $3.1 billion invested in services that support strategic priorities adopted by Council. The overall impact on your property tax bill is 1%.
A utility (water and waste water) rate increase of 6.5% is recommended. 5% of this is to keep our underground infrastructure in a state of good repair. Peel still has the lowest rates is the GTA.
Regional Budget discussions will continue throughout the month of November. City Budget discussions will also commence this month and you can expect to hear more about what is proposed in my weekly roundups.
At The City of Brampton, Council was presented with an update on the City’s Economic Development Master Plan. A Steering Committee comprised of leaders from the Corporation, along with representatives from local businesses and agencies, are leading the project.
The consulting firm on Ernst & Young will be working with the committee members. They will be focusing on major economic trends and key technology and socio-economic changes, including local business and post secondary responses. In the last year, Brampton has seen an economic shift of 15% in business and employment growth. Council will receive ongoing updates on the work of the committee.
HR staff at The City of Brampton have been updating and modernizing our Human Resource policies. A key component is building trust and confidence through consistent, transparent and accountable human resource policies, practices and procedures. The new policy will also tighten internal controls over salary administration and Council policies. People have to be our focus as it takes city staff to move our city forward by focusing on our operations, programs and services.
With so much going on this week, I’d also like to share two good news stories with you.
The first is that the Brampton’s Brilliant Future campaign came to an end earlier in the week and as staff reported in Committee of Council on Wednesday, it was highly successful! This 6-week campaign was the city’s largest engagement campaign and we received feedback from residents throughout Brampton – young and old – with thousands of submissions, all to be recorded and analyzed over the coming weeks. This engagement campaign comprised of social media outreach, street team visits and a lot of logistical organization. I’d like to congratulate and thank staff for a job well done!
The second good news story is about Brampton Transit. Did you know that ridership on Queen Street is 25,000 people per day? That’s not all. Brampton Transit’s growth is at 18-20% compared to the GTA, which has not shown the same growth. More residents are taking advantage of Brampton’s public transit system, which is a definite plus as we move forward as a future-ready city.
I’d like to share information about upcoming learning opportunities with you. Are you interested in applying for a part-time or summer job with the City of Brampton? Take advantage and sign up for a free workshop to learn more about the skills that will help you succeed: http://ow.ly/H1Uq30gkBoC
Interested in something geared towards the entrepreneurial side instead? Are you an entrepreneur? Do you have an idea and need that little push to get started? The Brampton Economic development office invites you to Learn, Network, Create and Build Something Great by joining the Startup Weekend in Peel, from November 17-19th. Register now at http://ow.ly/6juc30fHrsq and use the following code for 50% off: BLTECHFAIR.
My weekly roundup is not complete without some information about what’s going on in The City of Brampton this weekend. This Saturday is the last day of the Harvest Market so make your way over to Downtown Brampton from 8:00am to 1:00pm for one last time before next summer’s Farmer’s Market: http://ow.ly/Zpqg30g9ado
While you’re at the Harvest Market, make sure you stop over at the Laneway Lab on McArter Lane to “experience the spaces between” for some art, music, conversation and entertainment.
This Saturday is also the 7th Annual Information Fair to learn more about services that are available for people living with disabilities. The fair will take place from 9:00am to 2:00pm at Century Gardens, is free, and comprised of valuable resources, all in one place. For more information about which organizations will be there, take a look: http://ow.ly/hKLV30gbWx3
Next week is Remembrance Day, when we honour our veterans, who served to protect the freedoms we have today. The poppy campaign was launched last week at a Flag Raising ceremony at the City of Brampton, with members of the Royal Canadian Legion. For Remembrance Day service and information updates, go to the following site: http://ow.ly/vyKC30gkAYz
It was definitely a busy week, however I was lucky enough to take a break and enjoy Halloween with my beautiful granddaughters and I look forward to a couple of days ahead of more family time. I hope you have the chance to do the same.
Stay safe and have a great weekend, Brampton!