Regional Councillor

Brampton Wards 1 & 5

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Regional Councillor Brampton Wards 1 & 5

Calvert and Duggan Parks Community Update – Apr 12 2024

The City of Brampton recently completed a significant cleanup process in the Calvert and Duggan Park areas along the Etobicoke Creek. This area is the only site in the Region of Peel where encampments were established directly adjacent to residential neighbourhoods. Health and Safety concerns for both local residents and those in the encampment are of paramount concern.

Unfortunately, we continue to see new tents being setup in the area. This is particularly concerning as the flood risks in the area are high (see previous update). Further, residents are rightfully concerned for their own safety and the affects on their businesses in the area due to the encampments.

Councillor Santos continues to work with city staff in Brampton and at the Region of Peel to champion solutions and immediate action. Regional staff responded to her concerns during the Region of Peel Council meeting on Thursday April 11,2024. Watch below. Updates follow.

Councillor Santos continues to urge city and regional staff for expedited local solutions to the homeless crisis. 

Update from City of Brampton

  • 3 fires have been reported (April 5, 6, 8)
  • Fire Services and Security Services conducted their weekly visit to engage with individuals and remove fire hazards.

Starting from April 2nd, City Security Services provided additional messaging to individuals living in encampments along the Etobicoke Creek trail on the following: 

  • Inform them of the pending heavy rainfall.
  • Inform them they are encamped in a flood zone.
  • Inform that significant rainfall could cause flooding, potential personal safety risks, and damage.
  • Remind them of existing resources and offer to connect the occupants with the Region of Peel for Shelters or temporary housing if applicable.

The City of Brampton is also engaging with the City of Toronto’s Encampment Office to learn more about their processes related to encampments and the removal of encampments due to significant safety hazards.

Next Steps

  • The City of Brampton is developing a maintenance plan to ensure the parks in the area remain clean and safe for all users.
  • Another major clean-up event similar to last month is being scheduled 
  • We are developing an interim solution for the area to action changes and increase coordination and communication.

Please note that inaccurate information being shared in the area. Given the human rights challenges associated with encampments and homelessness, please make sure you are receiving accurate information. Blanket statements or misinformation in this circumstance is highly inappropriate. Please refer to these updates as your primary source of information.

Update from Region of Peel / Peel Outreach

Peel Outreach interacts with the homeless living in encampments at and around Calvert Park multiple times per day. Since April 2nd, outreach has had 49 interactions with the homeless at Calvert Park and are actively talking to the homeless living along the Etobicoke Creek Trail about the flood plain and associated safety risks and encouraging people to leave the area. Regeneration has also been briefed to disseminate information to the homeless who use their services While there are usually no beds available in our shelter system / overflow hotels due to the asylum claimant crisis, homeless residents living in this area are granted priority access if a bed becomes available.  Further, to remove barriers to shelter use, we have temporarily permitted dogs in our shelters/overflow hotels, making decisions on a case-by-case basis. In addition to priority access to available shelter/overflow hotel spaces, all encampment residents are being referred to Housing Support Workers (HSW). Housing support workers help clients access permanent housing, subsidy and other supports. It’s important to remember that our system is funded to meet about 20% of our community’s need for affordable housing and related supports, so immediate solutions aren’t always readily available. We are currently planning for the transition of up to 700 asylum claimants out of Peel’s shelter system/overflow hotels and are also looking into other ways to add capacity into our shelter/overflow system quickly. We are moving as quickly as we can to explore options.

Kick-off meeting on Encampment Policy and Protocols Held Today

The Encampment Policy and Protocols kick-off meeting was held with the City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon, CMHA, TRCA, OPP, Peel Regional Police, MOYO, Regeneration and other stakeholders .
  • The working group begins their bi-weekly meetings next week.
  • An update report to Regional Council is expected before the summer recess
  • A community workshop for residents impacted by encampments along the Etobicoke Creek Trail is confirmed for May 9th, 2024.