CFBB OPINION:   Avoid any Sister City Agreements

For the Mayors’ staff not to communicate properly with the rest of Council is unacceptable.   The December 20th press release was a clear contravention to Council’s resolution and could very well be in violation of the City’s own Code of Conduct.  Mayor Jeffrey and Councillor Medeiros are the architects of this controversy and should make a formal apology to Brampton’s Tamil community for misleading  them to think a Sister City agreement was forthcoming.  Just like the recent Sister City Agreement with the Town of Ribeira Grande , Sao Miguel, Portugal,   CFBB feels that there has been little evidence over the years of any real economic benefit to the City of Brampton with these types of arrangements.  In our opinion, these politically motivated sister city agreements are just vote pandering and an excuse for Council members to take junkets at the taxpayers’ expense.  In our opinion, the best policy moving forward should be to avoid any new sister city agreements entirely.   Don’t we have more important matters for our Mayor and Council to focus their attention on?

Chris Bejnar and Doug Bryden

Co-Chairs CFBB

OPINION – CFBB supports Durham Health Coalition’s call for the Province to address Hospital bed shortages

We would like to share an Editorial from Durham (Oshawa This Week) with our followers.
The editorial highlights a serious issue that CFBB has raised repeatedly over the past few years, that Brampton is the most underserviced Top 10 city in Canada with less than 1.0 bed per 100,000 residents. It is also the ONLY city with ONE ER department, an unacceptable situation! (National average is approximately 2.3 beds per 100,000 residents)
In 2017 we will be opening  a new healthcare facility with NO additional beds,  and we just recently received $6 million of funding to FINALLY open all 608 promised  beds at Brampton Civic.  The additional beds, CFBB have confirmed, will take anywhere from 6-9 months before fully operational, a full decade since Brampton Civic opened its doors!
Once again, we are calling upon Mayor Jeffrey, Council, and all of our Liberal Brampton MPP’s to demand that Peel Memorial Phase 2 planning commence immediately which will include a second ER with a minimum of 200 inpatient beds.

Chris Bejnar and Doug Bryden

Co-Chairs CFBB

January 13, 2017

CFFB Opinion – A “confusing” Sister City Agreement with Vavuniya , Sri Lanka.

It looks like Professionalism, Accountability and Transparency might have been good New Year’s resolutions that should have been made by our Mayor and her staff for 2017.

In the attached Media Release issued by Mayor Jeffrey and Councillor Medeiros dated December 20, 2016, (since removed from the city’s website), the Mayor officially extended an official invitation to His Excellency C.V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, to visit Brampton to sign a “Sister City” agreement with Vavuniya, a city in Sri Lanka with approximately 70,000 residents. She did so without an approval by Council. Now, given the backlash, she has had to backtrack, resulting in considerable embarrassment to herself and the City.

Why does the City not have an established policy on not only what qualifications would be necessary to consider a potential Sister City relationship, but what are the economic and social benefits that would result from that relationship? To date, sister/friendship agreements from the past have yet to show any measurable economic benefits to our city. Why spend staff’s and Council’s time on such wasteful initiatives?

This matter surely does not rank very high on the list of important matters to spend precious time and energy on, given the significant outstanding issues to which the Mayor should be turning her attention.

Link to December 7th, 2016 Economic Development meeting minutes:

Doug Bryden and Chris Bejnar

Co-Chairs CFBB

January 11, 2017

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CFBB Opinion-  $6 million Funding Announcement for Brampton Civic Hospital.

William Osler Health System Press release:

December 2, 2016  at 1:00pm

We’re pleased to announce that we received an extra $6 million to support the opening of all 608 funded beds at Brampton Civic. This means we can improve access to care and reduce the length of hospital stays for those we serve.

Just over a week ago,  Brampton Springdale MPP Harinder Malhi joined Mayor Jeffrey and other distinguished guests to accept a funding pledge of $6 million dollars to William Osler Health System.  The funds would be to support the opening of all 608 beds at Brampton Civic Hospital.

To most this announcement was greeted with great enthusiasm.  I however felt a great sense of relief, followed shortly by anger. Anger that it took several years to get this last stage of funding!  Funding for beds that were promised over 9 years ago! To make matters worse, this is a hospital that not only had the busiest ER in the Province, more recently had become the busiest in the country!  In a city that has seen explosive growth surpassing 600,000 residents, making it the 9th largest in Canada!

Why did it take several years to obtain this last $6 million dollars of funding?  Why weren’t alarm bells ringing at Queen’s Park?  Over the summer both the leader of the PC party Patrick Brown and NDP leader Andrea Horvath addressed the overcrowding at Brampton Civic Hospital in the Provincial Legislature.  Overcrowding that had patients strewn in hallways on stretchers, waiting for beds that were not available.  It was impacting the quality of healthcare in our city and putting an unnecessary strain onto the front line staff.  The lack of bed space prolonged  ER wait times and frustrated patients and their families. All it took was an additional $6 million dollars to finally complete our hospital almost a decade after opening its doors.

With what seems like weekly funding announcements emanating from Queen’s Park, the countess scandals that have wasted billions of tax dollars and a civil service  “Sunshine List” that’s out of control,  it’s SHAMFEFUL that Brampton residents have had to wait this long!  Only $6 million to finally open all 608 beds!  Where were our Brampton MPP’s  to openly and aggressively lobby for this urgently needed funding?

I believe it’s time to call out this Provincial government on its poor planning for Brampton’s healthcare needs.  It’s time to say that it’s unacceptable to play politics with our healthcare!  It’s time to get what this city urgently needs and deserves, a second full service hospital.

We urge all Brampton MPP’s and Mayor Jeffrey to demand that Peel Memorial Phase 2 planning begin immediately.  Planning that includes a second ER for Brampton and 200+ in-patient beds. We simply can’t wait another decade for additional healthcare services.

We are the only Top 10 City in Canada with one emergency room and one full service hospital.   A Top 10 Canadian city with less than 1.0 bed per 100,000 residents,  whereas the national average is more than double that at 2.3 beds per 100,000 residents.  Earlier studies had shown that Brampton would need 930 beds back in 2008,  yet we will only have 608 beds fully open in early 2017.

I acknowledge that the opening of Peel Memorial Phase 1 and its Urgent Care Centre will help relieve some of the pressure from Brampton Civic in the short term. However, planning for only one ER Department for our fast growing city , simply put , is inconceivable and irresponsible.

Chris Bejnar

Co-Chair CFBB