By: Surjit Singh Flora
The Annual Mayor’s New Year’s Levee is a longstanding tradition that provides an opportunity for the public to meet their elected representatives and celebrate the start of the New Year together. On Thursday, Jan 2, from 4 to 7pm, was alive and flourishing in Brampton, it was open to the public.
The word Levee comes from the French verb “lever,” which means to rise. The term refers to the practice of early Canadians who rose on the first day of the year to pay their respects to the master of the fort or government representative.
The first recorded l Levee in Canada was held in 1646. To this day, successive governors-general, provincial lieutenants’ governor, military establishments, and some municipalities still open their doors to receive the public.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown addressed the Bartonian’s and said, we would like to acknowledge that we are gathering here today on the Treaty Territory of the Mississauga’s of the New Credit First Nation, and before them, the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee Huron and Wendat. We also acknowledge the many First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and other global Indigenous people that now call Brampton their home. We are honoured to live, work, and enjoy this land.
It was led by Brad Clark into the atrium and Town Crier, Andrew Welsh, for his welcoming remarks.
We are proud to be your elected leaders, and we are working hard for you each and every day.
We have had a terrific first year. Council is working closely together and with City staff as “Team Brampton,” and we are getting results for our residents.
Brown also said in his speech that the People are at the heart of everything we do. We are energized by the mosaic of our city as one of Canada’s most multi-cultural cities. And that is one of our greatest strengths.
Brown highlights some of the work progress from the first year in office: such as first-time property tax freeze in 19 years. We launched the Fair Deal for Brampton campaign on healthcare to increase the support and funding we get from the Province.
We opened new cricket pitches & brought the hugely successful GT20 to Brampton. We – together with many of you – raised $411,000 for our hospital with Hockey Night in Brampton.
We just had the ground-breaking ceremony for the new fire campus and memorial for fallen heroes. We brought in $15 seniors’ transit passes and passed a motion to bring free transit for seniors.
Council declared a climate emergency, and then followed up with important sustainability projects, including a plan to clean up local water bodies and improvements to our active transportation network
Brown also mentioned in his speech that the Brampton is one of the youngest cities in Canada, and we’re committed to providing our young people with opportunities to learn, grow, play and launch their careers. This year we’ve done more to support Brampton youth, introducing the first Youth Strategy, and more is coming in 2020
This past year we introduced BramptonU, a movement to launch Brampton’s own fully accredited university. We are working to bring more postsecondary options to Brampton, and you can get involved, so be sure to check out BramptonU.ca
Council’s priorities for this term of office are focused on making Brampton a better place for you. And I trust you’ll see this reflected in what we did in 2019, and what we plan to do in the coming few years. We are creating a health and safe city. We are creating a green city. We are creating a city of opportunities. We are celebrating the vibrant mosaic as one of Canada’s most multi-cultural cities. And, we’re doing it in a responsible, efficient way that respects ratepayers and demonstrates we are a well-run city.
There was a complimentary refreshment from a selection of Downtown restaurants such as Dolcezza Custom Cakes, Gusto Pizzaria, DasBretzelhaus, and Segovia Coffee.
Parking was free downtown at the city underground and at on-street meters.