Brampton’s newly minted council has only just been sworn in and they are getting to work immediately. While this council shows way more promise of getting along than the previous one, there are some hot button topics on the agenda this week.
Appointing a 6th Regional councillor
On Tuesday Brampton Council is slated to appoint a sixth regional councillor to sit with them at the regional council table. Six Brampton councillors represent the city at regional council, as well as the mayor. Five of those councillors are elected, but the sixth is appointed by the rest of council.
This has long been a difficult decision for council because most city councillors want to be appointed.
Private Cannabis Stores
Council will also discuss private cannabis stores in Brampton. The city, along with other Ontario municipalities, has until January 22, 2019, to decide whether to allowing legal cannabis stores in the city.
At least one city councillor has already said she is against cannabis stores in the city. Charmaine Williams, City Councillor in wards 7 and 8, has launched a campaign to ban pot shops.
On Wednesday councillors will receive a report from city staff, who are recommending the city opt in. They may choose to vote on the issue at that time or save the decision for a later date that falls prior to January 22.
Light Rail Transit
Arguably one of the most contentious issues in the past term of city council, the LRT, is about to come back up for discussion.
Council voted back in 2015 to stop the LRT from Port Credit at Steeles Avenue and not take it into downtown Brampton, effectively forfeiting close to $400 million in provincial funds.
They also voted to study alternate routes on Kennedy Road and McLaughlin that would loop into the downtown Brampton terminal.
The LRT is on the table as an agenda item on Wednesday and council could do a number of things — they could vote to maintain the status quo and continue with the current studies, they could vote to stop the current studies, which are costing the city $4.4 million or they could decide to continue the studies but throw the LRT down Main Street back into the mix.
The Brampton Beast bailout was yet another controversial issue in the past term of council. The majority of council voted to give the Brampton Beast $1.5 million in public funds to help keep the hockey team afloat.
The money was supposed to roll out over a three-year period, and presumably, it’s on the agenda so city councillors can gauge the success, better understand what the city has gotten for its money and measure the return on investment.
Check out this week’s council roundup to see the full list of important issues council will discuss this week.