Today, Mississauga City Council reviewed and approved initiatives in relation to COVID-19 including: Community and Economy Pillar Recovery Plans, restarting the Community Recognition program, cashless payments at cashiers and supporting the creation of a national urban cycling infrastructure fund as part of a COVID-19 economic response.
“Mississauga has taken a strategic and thoughtful approach to our recovery efforts, which are well underway. Our goal is to ensure residents and businesses continue to have the supports they need and the ability to access networks and resources to thrive,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “Working with our BIAs, community service organizations, youth and older adult groups, ratepayer and resident associations, our business community and many, many more, we are actively engaging our community to ensure our recovery efforts meet their needs and that how the City conducts business meets the demands of a changing environment. By working together, we will recover from this pandemic and be in a better position than we were before. We are Building Back to Better.”
Economic Recovery Framework
The framework of the Economic Pillar from the Council endorsed “COVID19 Recovery Framework” on May 13, 2020 will serve as a guiding document for five industry specific plans (Major Business, Small Business, Creative Industry, Tourism Industry, and Land Development.) The framework reflects the challenges heard through stakeholder engagement and consultation with more than 600 organizations and businesses from all sectors. Underpinning the framework is a campaign – Building Back to Better – which is a sustained and coordinated effort by the City over the next two years. It will be organized around three phases of recovery, and guided by an overarching set of eight principles and 10 strategic goals, supported by a series of tactics deployed in each phase. According to the report, as the City moves into a more mature state of recovery and gains a full understanding of the longer-lasting impacts to the business community, five industry plans outlining specific tactics for recovery will be brought forward for Council endorsement.
Economic Recovery Plans Phases
Three key phases will guide activities and provide milestones.
Mitigate: Mitigation efforts in the initial impact and transition through the re-opening phases of the economy and any future restrictions.
Reboot: Economic recovery in this phase of virus containment measures, including physical distancing, testing, and contact tracing. is focused on assisting businesses, workers, and residents to adapt and innovate within the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19.
Grow: Post-COVID-19 vaccine or effective treatment period. The growth priorities outlined in the Economic Development Strategy 2020-2025 will be used to inform priorities within this phase.
The City’s focus on recovery will be guided by the City’s Strategic Plan and the five pillars – green, prosper, move, belong, and connect – as well as master plans and strategies which have been adopted by Council. For each of the five industry-specific plans that will be developed, the following goals serve as a basis for the development of future goals, objectives and tactics:
Goal 1: Meet Employment Needs
Goal 2: Develop Talent
Goal 3: Attract Innovative Business
Goal 4: Create Partnerships for Innovation
Goal 5: Strengthen Art & Culture
Goal 6: Build Healthy Communities
Goal 7: Ensure Affordability & Accessibility
Goal 8: Provide Quality Programs & Services
Goal 9: Make Informed Decisions
Goal 10: Practice Fiscal Prudence
Mississauga Economic Recovery Taskforce
One of the key deliverables is to create the Mississauga Economic Recovery Taskforce (MERT) under the fourth goal. This taskforce will be comprised of key stakeholders in the community, City staff and Council. It will act as an enhanced and focused Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) that is specifically focused on economic recovery. This group will advise Council and staff in the short term and over the entire recovery period. The MERT will have representation from the business sector, creative industries, academia, public health, Toronto Pearson, and the small and independent business sector, among others. It will be designed as a working committee with the goal of addressing the needs of each sector in our City.
Community Pillar Recovery Plan
An overarching plan for the Community Pillar will focus on public-facing services, tactics and programs. The first major phase of recovery entails the reopening and restoration of services to the community and involves detailed operational plans to ensure they are restored in a safe manner. Recovery planning will also involve a review of the Culture and Community Grants program for 2021.
Next steps in the Community Pillar Recovery Plan:
- Continue to reopen services and facilities as regulations permit, developing plans to ensure compliance with new public health guidelines
- Consult and communicate with groups and stakeholders impacted with each reopening plan
- Begin the review of key strategic plans and community support programs to identify changes or additions based on recovery impacts
- Fall 2020 follow-up engagement with community groups once recovery is further underway, to understand longer term issues and opportunities
- Identify opportunities to continue supporting the community through partnerships – leverage existing organizations, funding sources and people resources – to advance recovery and return to ‘normal’
- Incorporate longer term initiatives with financial impact into future budget and planning
Community Recognition – Restarting the Program
Council approved lifting the suspension of the Community Recognition Program to begin receiving community requests on August 1, 2020.The clock tower lighting will remain yellow on days that do not have Community Recognition lighting booked once the program resumes. For community requests that were cancelled or not processed due to the suspension, groups will be offered a new date for their flag raising or lighting after August 1 (pending program availability).
Cashiers Services – Elimination of Cash Transactions
As part of the reopening of the Civic Centre, Council approved discontinuing cash payments at Cashiers. Cash transactions processed by cashiers represent less than two per cent of total revenue processed and there is a trend to fewer cash transactions. Cash payments for property taxes can be made at any financial institution. Other forms of payment are accepted for all transactions processed at cashiers.
National Urban Cycling Infrastructure Fund
Council approved a motion supporting the creation of a national urban cycling infrastructure fund as part of a COVID-19 economic response.
The motion included that the Mayor on behalf of the City of Mississauga write a letter to the Federal
Government supporting the creation of a national urban cycling infrastructure
fund of at least $265 million as part of a COVID-19 economic stimulus package
to be distributed over the next two years to Canadian cities.
To stay informed on COVID-19 impacts on City services, please visit: mississauga.ca/recovery or call 311.