Below is the summary of Mayor Crombie's teleconference meeting with the Rate Payer Associations in Mississauga on April 2, 2020.
Hello Ratepayer and Resident Associations,
Thank you for participating in yesterday’s discussion. Your input helps us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 in local communities and neighbourhoods.
I also appreciated hearing your proposals and suggestions on how to address these challenges. I want to thank our Councillors, Dr. Lawrence Loh and representatives from Peel Region for participating in the discussion. We had well over 50 Resident and Ratepayer organizations that participated on the call.
Below is a summary from our discussion and attached you will find a list of community resources available to provide immediate support to seniors and others in your community who are in need. Please feel free to share this information with your members.
Resident Associations raised the following key themes:
• Many expressed concern about public disregard for social distancing at local parks, lakes, trails and other public areas. With parking lots locked, people are now parking cars on residential roads to access public spaces. To address this the City has installed signs in park facilities, removed basketball backboards and contracted security teams to patrol key park locations.
• Participants thanked Councillors and the Mayor for their approach and initiative on containing the spread of COVID-19. One participant said that there is comfort in knowing that all levels of government are cooperating and supporting each other.
• Resident and Ratepayer Associations are playing a leadership role when it comes to supporting seniors and vulnerable neighbours. Many have volunteers on hand to help deliver groceries and medications to their neighbours.
• Resident Associations continue to communicate (i.e. newsletters) with their membership, and in cases where residents don’t use internet or have email accounts, some RAs are reaching out by phone or dropping off letters.
• Residents recognized the strain and need for social services such as food banks and access to mental health resources. Some wanted to volunteer to help those in most need.
Those interested in volunteering can sign up to help at Volunteer MBC: https://volunteermbc.org/ .
Those in need of mental health supports can access resources from the Region of Peel’s site: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/social-support/#well
• To help with mental and physical health while staying indoors, the City’s Recreation department has posted exercise videos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MississaugaRec/ .
• Participants flagged the potential increase in domestic violence issues and they specifically asked for Police to undertake wellness checks.
• There was a recommendation to develop a system to check in on neighbours. One way would be to post coloured flags in home windows. Green means ‘all is well’, yellow would alert ‘caution’ and red flags signal a ‘call for help’.
• Members expressed concern over increasing incidences of vandalism and speeding on the roadways. A suggestion included increasing Police patrols.
• There were many health-related questions asked about disinfecting groceries, wearing masks in public, holding community tree planting events or how to care for someone with COVID-19. Dr. Loh cautioned against tree planting and park clean ups as they encourage prolonged interaction.
• For members who are small business owners, the City’s Economic Development Office offers free webinars: https://www.thefutureisunlimited.ca/event-tag/small-business/ as well as a Business Relief Portal https://www.thefutureisunlimited.ca/covid-19/ where businesses can use the selector tool to discover which federal and provincial supports apply to them. I encourage you to join us for the next Teletown Hall meeting on Wednesday, April 8th at 7:00pm.
Residents who wish to participate in the session can do so by registering in advance at: www.mississauga.ca/townhall .
You can join the session online by clicking the following link: www.mississauga.ca/livestreamevent or you can listen by telephone. Please dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter ID number: 115911.
Here are several resources you will find helpful:
• City of Mississauga COVID-19 site: www.mississauga.ca/coronavirus • Region of Peel COVID-19 site: www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus
• Region’s Social Services listings: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/social-support/
• Food Resources: www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/social-support • Resource for health and mental wellbeing: https://www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus/social-support/#well
In terms of next steps, staff will be working towards actionable items to address the concerns raised. We plan to continue this dialogue with you and will look at organizing follow up conversations in the weeks ahead.
In the meantime, if you have any further concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out to my staff: Natasha Mistry, Stakeholder Relations Senior Advisor at: Natasha.firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie Crombie Mayor of Mississauga
Best wishes, Natasha Mistry On behalf of Mayor Crombie