The City of Brampton released an official statement last week outlining its key priorities, calling on the city’s provincial election candidates to advance initiatives that will help the city.
The city has identified infrastructure, education, innovation, health care and regional governance as its main priorities, stating that they will be the key to easing current pressures and meeting the future demands Brampton will inevitably have as it continues to grow.
Brampton has seen unprecedented growth in transit, so the city wants ongoing funding for additional buses, new technology and a new storage facility to maintain Brampton Transit’s growing fleet.
For months the city has explored the Riverwalk project, which would provide flood protection around the Etobicoke Creek in downtown Brampton, and create a beautiful community space for residents. The project will cost hundreds of millions to build, but has no funding commitment from the province, and Brampton may look to its elected MPPs to lobby for funding.
The Wynne government committed $90 million to Brampton’s future university, which should make a dent in the costs to the city, but Brampton is also requesting continued funding support as the campus grows and student enrolment increases.
Health care has been a big topic of conversation. Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath just announced she would immediately fund a third hospital for Brampton if elected and the Liberals funded some new beds back in the fall to deal with the massive overcrowding at Brampton Civic.
“We are a rapidly growing city and unfortunately this rapid population growth is a contributing factor in health care service shortages. We need the Ontario Government to expedite the funding to support and operate Brampton’s current healthcare system,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey.
The city is requesting immediate investment in Brampton’s health care to address patient volumes at Civic, the expediting of plans to build a third hospital, as well as expansion of Peel Memorial.
The final on the city’s list of priorities is regional governance and adequate representation for Brampton.
As of this writing only six of Brampton’s councillors, as well as the Mayor, have regional seats, leaving Brampton’s population underrepresented in relation to its population.
Broken down, Brampton’s seven councillors represent about 84,000 people each, Mississauga’s 12 councillors represent 63,000 constituents and Caledon’s five represent about 14,000 people each.
To ensure Brampton’s population is fairly and adequately represented, the city wants all 10 Brampton Councillors to be on the Region of Peel Council in addition to the Mayor, just like Mississauga.
The city is encouraging residents to advocate for these key priorities by speaking with party candidates and by using #timeforbrampton on social media when posting about these issues.