May 25, 2010 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC)
Page Content:
1. Call to Order
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Approval of Agenda
4. Communication Items
5. Presentations
6. Reports
7. Other Business
8. Next Meeting
9. Adjournment

 

REGION OF PEEL

ACCESSIBILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (AAC)


MINUTES


AAC-2010-5

 

The Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee met on May 25, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, Region of Peel Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton.

Members Present: H. Bajwa; G. Barnes; W. Goursky; S. Hames; N. Husain; E. Kolb¨; R. Paterak, M. Tymkow
 
Members Absent: S. McFadden, due to other municipal business; J. Spry
 
Also Present:

Region of Peel: N. Trim, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services; D. Labrecque, Commissioner of Public Works; C. Reid, Regional Clerk and Director of Clerk's; J. Payne, Manager, Regulatory Compliance; M. Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist; H. West, Legislative Specialist; V. Montesdeoca,

Committee Clerk Community Stakeholder: M. Singh Sandhu, United Way of Peel Region

_____________________________________
*See text for arrivals
¨See text for departures


William Goursky, Chair, presided.


1. CALL TO ORDER

William Goursky, Chair of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone present.

 

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES

RECOMMENDATION AAC-11-2010:

That the minutes of the April 27, 2010 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC-2010-4) meeting, be approved.


3. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

RECOMMENDATION AAC-12-2010:

That the agenda for the May 25, 2010 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting, be amended to include a Review of Outstanding Items Related to the April 27, 2010 AAC meeting, to be dealt with under Other Business - Item 7a;

And further, that the agenda for the May 25, 2010 Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting be approved, as amended.

See also Other Business - Item 7a

 

4. COMMUNICATION ITEMS

a. Toronto Star, Article dated May 6, 2010, titled "Unkind cut for disabled"

Received

Jeff Payne, Manager of Regulatory Compliance provided clarification regarding the Provincial funding cuts to organizations that support people with developmental disabilities. He indicated that the funding level is being adjusted as a consequence of the public sector wage freeze imposed by the Provincial government. He noted that it was a complex matter that involved other factors but the wage issue was a significant part of the $22 million funding adjustment. Jeff Payne suggested that this issue be brought to the attention of the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee (IRAC) so the matter can be brought to the attention of the Province.

The following recommendation was put forward:

RECOMMENDATION AAC-13-2010:

Whereas, the 2010 Budget for the Province of Ontario effectively froze funding increases for programs in support of persons with developmental disabilities;

And whereas, the availability of support programs is of particular urgency in Ontario for many Ontarians, including seniors, who are the primary care givers for adult persons with developmental disabilities;

And whereas, the Region of Peel continues to be a rapidly growing jurisdiction that is struggling to provide services to all residents in need because of chronic underfunding;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Province of Ontario be requested to consider increasing funding to support programs for persons with developmental disabilities;

And further, that any additional funding provided by the Province of Ontario to support programs for persons with developmental disabilities include consideration, on a priority basis, of high growth areas that are already experiencing significant underfunding;

And further, that Regional Chair Kolb, through the efforts of the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee, bring the matter of underfunded support programs for persons with developmental disabilities to the attention of the Provincial Government and the leaders of the opposition parties.

 

5. PRESENTATIONS

a. Mark Castro, Manager, Accessible Transportation, Public Works Department, Region of Peel, Providing an Update on His New Role in the Accessible Transportation Office

Received

Mark Castro, Manager of Accessible Transportation informed the Committee of his new role as Manager of Accessible Transportation. He stated that the huge demand for accessible transportation services continues to be a challenge. Mark Castro provided a brief summary of the projects and services currently underway at the Accessible Transportation Office as follows:

  • The implementation of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) which includes the installation of automatic locators on buses and full computerization of the dispatching function.
  • The launch of an on-line reservation system that will allow clients to book rides 24 hours a day.
  • Evaluation of the Community Bus Passenger Assistance Program and the Taxi Scrip Program.
  • Continued work with area municipalities to ensure an integrated transit system.
  • Continued work with the AAC to continually remove transportation barriers for persons with disabilities.

William Goursky congratulated Mark Castro on his recent promotion and thanked Mark for his dedication while assisting with transportation needs for persons with disabilities.

Naz Husain, Committee Vice-Chair concurred with William Goursky and offered her assistance in testing the on-line booking application.

Maureen Tymkow, Committee Member, commented that the TransHelp vehicles are very noisy and bumpy. She inquired if anything could be done to address these issues. Mark Castro responded that one of the vehicles being considered for purchase this year is a low floor bus with a complete air ride suspension system that would reduce noise.

Councillor Sandra Hames inquired if there are any terms in the TransHelp taxi contract that stipulate the number of accessible taxi cabs available at any given time. She noted an instance where only one taxi cab was available to make various trips after a late evening event. Mark Castro responded that taxi cab availability would form part of the requirement during the contract renewal process. He indicated there is a new pilot project to extend the bus service hours in the evening which may accommodate some late functions.

Regional Chair Kolb asked Regional staff if there was a protocol in place that allows TransHelp to service areas beyond Regional boundaries. Chair Kolb emphasized that good customer service should not be restricted to municipal boundaries.

Dan Labrecque, Commissioner of Public Works responded that the Region of Peel has a protocol in place that allows TransHelp to travel beyond Peel boundaries. He pointed out that the Region of Peel is working with adjoining boundary municipalities to provide an optimum service level.

Councillor Paterak inquired if a similar reciprocal agreement was in place with the boundary municipalities. He commented that Peel's efforts should be brought to the Province's attention so that certain criteria could be set when determining eligibility for funding. Dan Labrecque stated that a collaborative approach is being taken with other municipalities. He indicated that the intent of Metrolinx is to provide efficient transportation with seamless borders. Dan Labrecque noted that accessible transportation is of high priority in the Region of Peel and offered to report back with updates as they become available.

b. Joanne Pattison and Karen MacGougan, Human Services Department, Region of Peel, Providing Information on the Region of Peel's United Way Campaign First 5K Run/Walk and Roll Event

Received

Joanne Pattison, Supervisor Community Programs Unit provided details of the Region of Peel's first five kilometre Run/Walk and Roll event benefiting the United Way of Peel Region. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 30, 2010 featuring a five kilometre route along Queen Street in Brampton and a one kilometre kid's fun course. Karen MacGougan, Project Manager encouraged everyone to participate in the event and requested the assistance of the AAC in the following areas:

  • Conduct a site audit;
  • Provide planning feedback, and
  • Promote the event.

William Goursky inquired if participants would be able to use their wheelchairs on the course. Karen MacGougan indicated that the route is wheelchair friendly. She indicated that a Run/Walk and Roll Committee is being formed and requested volunteers from the AAC to join the Committee. William Goursky volunteered to be on the Run/Walk and Roll Planning Committee as the AAC representative. Naz Husain and Harvinder Bajwa offered to work as advisors.

Councillor Sandra Hames pointed out that the event suggests closing a portion of Queen Street in Brampton and inquired if public transit providers have been consulted since the event will impact public transit routes. Dan Labrecque advised that the Region is working with all concerned parties regarding the logistics for the event.

William Goursky requested that the Run/Walk and Roll Planning Committee meeting dates be communicated via the Clerk's office to members of the AAC.

c. Andrew Graham, Manager, Employee Relations, Employee and Business Services Department, Region of Peel, Providing an Update on Employment Practices in the Region of Peel

Received

In response to questions raised at the April 27, 2010 AAC meeting, Andrew Graham, Manager of Employee Relations provided information regarding the Region of Peel's hiring practices as they concern persons with visual disabilities. He noted that the Region of Peel receives applications through Workopolis, an on-line recruiting tool. Andrew Graham indicated that Human Resources staff has the ability to assist an applicant who requires accommodation.

Glenn Barnes inquired how these services are communicated and how individuals would know of the availability of such accommodations. Andrew Graham undertook to see how accommodation is communicated and report back to the AAC.

Naz Husain noted that there are resources and technologies available to assist persons with visual disabilities when applying for work. She commented that a collaborative approach must be taken between employers and potential employees and emphasized the need for individuals to be vocal about any special needs and requirements.

Regional Chair Kolb departed at 1:48 p.m.

d. Harvinder Bajwa, Committee Member, Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee, Providing an Update on the Upcoming Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion Event, City of Brampton

Received

Harvinder Bajwa, Committee Member, Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee provided information on the 8th Annual Brampton Wheels in Motion event scheduled for Sunday, June 13, 2010 at Professor's Lake Recreation Centre. Harvinder Bajwa provided a brief history of the event which was founded by Rick Hansen.

William Goursky commended Harvinder Bajwa for all her hard work in coordinating the event and encouraged everyone present to attend.

Naz Husain also congratulated Harvinder Bajwa for all her efforts in pulling the event together and inquired if there were accessible walking routes at this year's location. Harvinder Bajwa responded that walking trails around Professor's Lake are accessible.


Items Related to Other Business - Item 7a was dealt with.

7. OTHER BUSINESS

Additional Item - Item 7a:

a. Review of Outstanding Items Related to the April 27, 2010 AAC meeting (Oral)

Update by William Goursky, Chair, Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee

Received

See also Approval of Agenda

William Goursky reviewed the outstanding items related to the April 27, 2010 AAC meeting. A group discussion took place relating to the staff direction regarding the number of supportive housing projects in Peel. Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist requested clarification of the staff direction. It was agreed that as part of the 2011 budget process, staff would be requested to consider developing an inventory of the Regional Municipality of Peel social housing units, including documentation of their accessibility features, and the identification of agencies that provide programming or services to those buildings.

 

6. REPORTS

a. Region of Peel Accessibility Planning Specialist Activity Report and Update (Oral)

Update by Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist, Region of Peel

Received

Meenu Sikand, Accessibility Planning Specialist reviewed upcoming events that the Accessibility Program is involved in. She commented that more volunteers would be appreciated to assist with the Peel Children's Water Festival Family Day event taking place on May 29, 2010. She reminded Committee members of the Region's National Access Awareness Week (NAAW) event on May 31, 2010 featuring keynote speaker David Shannon. This event is open to all Regional staff and members of the AAC. Meenu Sikand also noted that the City of Mississauga is holding its National Access Awareness Week event on June 1, 2010. Anyone interested in attending any of the events or participating as a volunteer is encouraged to contact Meenu Sikand.

b. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Standards and Legislative Updates (Oral) - Nil

 

7. OTHER BUSINESS

a. Review of Outstanding Items Related to the April 27, 2010 AAC meeting (Oral)

Update by William Goursky, Chair, Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee

This item was dealt with earlier in the meeting

 

8. NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Region of Peel Accessibility Advisory Committee is scheduled for Tuesday, June 29, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., Council Chamber, 5th floor, Regional Administrative Headquarters, Suite A, 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario.

Please forward regrets to Veronica Montesdeoca, Legislative Technical Coordinator, (905) 791-7800, ext. 4384 or at veronica.montesdeoca@peelregion.ca.


9. ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 2:37 p.m.