Early warnings that the Doug Ford government and his supporters in the development industry would have their way with Ontario’s protected Greenbelt, the world’s largest ecologically sensitive area covered by special conservation legislation, are coming to fruition.
On Tuesday, Caledon council’s pro-developer members paved the way for a provincial planning veto that would allow the construction of a 2.2-million square-foot warehouse in the Greenbelt without the usual local approval process.
The staff who work in Brampton’s communications department take home hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money every year. Public servants, their job is to protect the city’s hard-working residents, not their boss, Jason Tamming, recently fired from Niagara Region after his corrupt behaviour there.
With corruption allegations now swirling inside City Hall, they have worked against the public interest, to protect the very bureaucrats named in the accusations. The department, under Tamming’s control, has morphed into a spin-room, working furiously to protect those accused of wrongdoing.
As Canadians struggled with the discombobulating waves of the COVID pandemic, many Albertans said welcome to our world. The province over the past decade has seen its economic engine seize, tens of thousands of workers thrown into the unemployment lines and a boom and bust cycle that has turned everything from real estate to municipal planning and projections for future infrastructure into a rollercoaster from hell.
Two men, Don Iveson and Naheed Nenshi, were instrumental in pulling two of Canada’s largest cities through a tumultuous time, and as they officially pass the baton today, their vision should serve as a guidelight for Mississauga and Brampton.
A survey of staff at the Region of Peel shows that they, like the cities of Brampton and Mississauga, do not look like the diverse residents of the region.
A census, that polled half of the Region’s staff, shows the majority of employees are white in a region where around two-thirds of residents are visible minorities. The predictable and discouraging findings were received by councillors (80 percent of whom are white) Thursday without barely any comment.
The Ontario PCs have allowed the widespread killing of the recently endangered double-crested cormorant for two seasons now. Wildlife experts say there is no evidence to support the need to destroy these animals.
Putting hunters ahead of our natural world is another sign the Doug Ford government is a danger to the environment.
Brampton City council has delayed the decision on a $35-million cricket stadium after members expressed concern the project is being rushed through without proper information.
Mayor Patrick Brown appears to be circumventing proper council decision making while critics accuse him of vote pandering at a time when the city desperately needs a second hospital, a university and other key pieces of infrastructure.
A hastily arranged special council meeting on the future growth of the Town of Caledon has blocked members of the public from taking part.
Originally a planning workshop, all but one council member refused to allow public deputations, before heading behind closed doors for almost an hour. Key matters on the table included advocacy for the controversial GTA West Highway. The lack of transparency prompted one resident, who ran in the recent federal election, to report council members to Ontario’s municipal watchdog.
Evidence brought forward by the whistleblower who triggered the Brampton City Hall corruption investigation shows Mayor Patrick Brown used City resources to campaign for Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay in 2020. At the end of the same year, months before being retained to conduct the investigation into the allegations, Deloitte hired MacKay.
The firm’s final report makes no mention of the allegation, which it did not investigate, or the evidence of misconduct by the mayor, and there is no mention of a possible conflict.
Vaccine certificates and passports have been implemented across Canada and the Region of Peel. After protests at some hospitals and other public places, those screaming the loudest seem to be part of a vocal minority.
Peel residents and businesses have been, for the most part, respectful of the rules while others have been a minor inconvenience for bylaw and police officers, as new case numbers are on the decline, possibly in part because of the new rules.
Dr. Emmett Brown in the famous Back to the Future movie had it right: “We don’t need roads.” For him it was because he built a flying car that used waste to fuel it through time, something our technology hasn’t achieved yet. But scientists have come up with ideas on how to maximize roads and mitigate many effects of climate change.
There might be some truth in Doc’s claim.
In a historic move, the Peel District School Board became the first—not only in the Greater Toronto Area but in the entire province—to call for an anti-Islamophobia strategy.
The move follows a successful motion by board Trustee Nokha Dakroub and the work of community leaders like Samya Hasan.
Kevin J. Johnston has been sentenced to 18 months in jail after breaching a defamation lawsuit. The Islamophobe regularly participates in misinformation and online hate against Muslims on his website.
The case is being seen as an example of the potential consequences for those who participate in extremist groups and online hate.
An investigation into Peel Children’s Aid Society launched by the Province shows an organization where out-of-touch leaders take credit for the work of frontline staff whose discrimination complaints are dismissed.
The deeply disturbing findings suggest a need for swift action to fix an organization that cares for vulnerable children across the region.
An investigation into Peel Children’s Aid Society, triggered by complaints of anti-Black racism, has revealed its CEO, Rav Bains, spent taxpayer dollars on a trip to San Francisco.
He was also given exorbitant salary increases of five percent a year, on average, pushing his compensation way beyond what other CAS heads make.
Parvasi Radio, a current events show hosted by founder and CEO Rajinder Saini, which reached thousands of Punjabi-speaking Canadians over CJMR airwaves, was suddenly removed by the station after 17 years, over a financial misunderstanding.
Saini says a new deal with a different radio licence holder has been struck but the drastic move highlights how precarious things are for ethnic media sources that play a crucial role in Peel.
An investigation into explosive corruption allegations at the heart of Brampton’s local government has been swept past the public by democratically elected council members and the top bureaucrat at the centre of the accusations. A publicly funded report into allegations levelled mainly at CAO David Barrick was barely discussed in public, after hours of private discussion that taxpayers were locked out of. Councillors Jeff Bowman and Martin Medeiros say the matter is not over.
Mississauga’s bus system is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic more than a year and a half later. MiWay has a plan to move forward but inconsistent ridership and lack of funding is holding it back. The frustrating combination threatens ambitious transit expansion plans that are key to the city’s future. Creative marketing could help draw eyeballs… and commuters.
Peel’s Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is unable to provide support to as many families. Hiring specific public health nurses and training them to assist vulnerable residents is something the program wants to do but cannot because of the current nursing shortage. These highly trained professionals are needed on the frontlines to deal with the lingering pandemic. Behind the scenes many of our youngest residents are suffering due to the lack of help for babies and toddlers in need of support.
Vaccination rates are plateauing in Ontario and Peel Region is trying to push the number of fully vaccinated residents as high as it can. Creative efforts including the Region’s Vax Bus and a similar one provided by GO Transit are just some of the initiatives to reach specific communities that could be facing barriers preventing inoculation. Mandates and the vaccine passport have increased take-up rates but what more can governments do to entice residents to get the jab?
A report into wide-ranging corruption allegations at the City of Brampton has been published, after months of waiting. The investigation, completed by Deloitte, clears inexperienced CAO David Barrick of wrongdoing under the technicalities of Brampton’s disorganized internal policy documents.
It also offers glimpses of an administration in disarray.
A dedicated stadium in Brampton could accelerate cricket’s growth in the city, bring international tournaments to Canada and nurture domestic talent.
But with the city still reeling from the pandemic and its mayor forcing tax freezes, is a legacy sports facility a priority for many struggling taxpayers?
An investigation into allegations of corruption within Brampton City Hall, implicating Mayor Patrick Brown and his handpicked CAO David Barrick, has finally been published, the evening before councillors must discuss and scrutinize its findings.
Now, with no chance for the public to review it, some councillors want to defer debate on the report to allow elected officials and residents time to digest its contents.
Once again, the Peel police services board, which includes no Black members, has displayed an alarming lack of awareness toward issues faced by Black residents in two of Canada’s most diverse cities.
Friday, board members were presented with a history of racial profiling by school police officers but instead of offering leadership to restore trust, they remained silent.
In 2015, Darren John, aka Avalanche the Architect, was convicted for uttering threats after releasing a song that included controversial language following a falling out with his former music promoter.
John is appealing to the Supreme Court pointing out that evidence used against him in the case was lost and has yet to be found, evidence he says could have made a difference in his initial trial.
There are more roads in a single square kilometre in Southern Ontario than in any other part of Canada. It means the natural world is slashed, paved over and divided, leaving very few corridors for wildlife to migrate, search for food or suitable places to breed.
Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause of species decline, and now the Ontario government wants to build a 400-series highway along the edge of the Greenbelt, compromising the homes of countless animals, and the province’s fight against climate change.
A rush of delegations and advocacy demanding more be done to help international students is gaining traction.
After pressure and a comprehensive report on the problem, Brampton City Councillors have agreed to address the issue but remain reluctant to take a true leadership role. The city is home to thousands of foreign students hoping to live and study in Canada. All arrive expecting the Canadian dream, but too many see it morph into a nightmare.
The court case for a horrific Brampton crash that left a Caledon mother and her three daughters dead is set to resume November 1. The trial will determine if 21-year-old Brady Robertson will be convicted of impaired driving causing death. The Judge ruled Wednesday that critical evidence showing THC and fentanyl in Robertson’s system, along with drugs police seized from his car, will be admissible in the case.
A third-party investigation into allegations of corruption and fraud at the very top of Brampton City Hall has, once again, been delayed, raising concern over possible staff involvement in the final report. And it’s unclear why the findings apparently were going to be kept from the public ahead of a council meeting to discuss the accusations levelled by a senior staffer.
Confusion around its publication caused by Brampton’s chaotic governance is just the latest twist since Mayor Patrick Brown directed the hiring of senior staff with a scandalous past in Niagara region.
For the past two government cycles, the City of Mississauga has been represented by six Liberal MPs who were part of the ruling party.
With more than $1 billion in unfunded projects across the next decade and aging assets, Mississauga has looked to Ottawa for desperately needed help. However, over the past six years, infrastructure funding to prevent catastrophic damages related to climate change and to move the booming city into the future has not flowed from the highest level of government. Meanwhile, Mississauga taxpayers continue to subsidize other parts of the country.
Between 2015 and 2019, Brampton received almost no funding from Ottawa to help with its crumbling infrastructure and aspirational projects. Despite having five governing MPs, just $40.3 million was sent back to the city, barely one percent of its per capita share of available federal infrastructure dollars.
This improved slightly over the last two years under a Liberal minority, but Brampton is still getting grossly shortchanged by federal leaders.
Under a partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission Peel Regional Police is turning to the community for help to address systemic racism within the force.
Data on the targeted carding and use of force against Black residents already shows Peel police what it needs to know, activists say.
Turnout will be a key factor in Canada’s 44th federal election.
Initial estimates show early voting turnout is down in several key ridings in Peel Region, particularly Brampton East where a glitch in the Elections Canada system delayed 52,000 voter information cards.
Voters in the Flower City have once again placed their trust in five Liberal MPs to advocate for their interests in Ottawa. Four Liberal incumbents were sent back to the House of Commons, while the newly nominated candidate for Brampton Centre secured his first term as an MP.
The result leaves Brampton in practically the same political situation it was in when the election was called five weeks ago.
Perhaps the most dynamic, and crucial theme that unfolded during the election campaign is how to balance the country’s economic interests with the need to shift our thinking about climate change.
The Green Party has pushed a more sophisticated idea—that Canada can have its cake and eat it, too: A cleaner future and massive economic returns from creating the technology and jobs of the future.
A couple of the Liberal names in Parliament representing Mississauga will be different. But like the national headlines, the city’s 2021 election result is the same as 2019, raising more questions about why Canadians were forced to the polls for a campaign that did not offer voters enough information to change their mind at a time when many are still anxious about the future.
Human trafficking has been a taboo subject this election campaign.
While this type of crime has continued in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of Canada’s big political parties have a comprehensive plan to tackle forced labour or sex trafficking if elected. Why?
Maxime Bernier, Leader of the People’s Party of Canada, visited Port Credit Thursday to meet supporters. The former Conservative MP arrived at his event more than three hours late, jogged in, then greeted supporters while pushing a range of debunked theories, including a questionable understanding of vaccines and climate change.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has only visited Brampton twice this election, a significant drop from his rookie national campaign in 2019. At a rally in Brampton East Wednesday he didn’t make any new promises to residents, but told The Pointer another local hospital would only be built if he wins Monday’s election.
Mississauga Centre Green Party candidate Craig Laferrière is running for parliament with a formidable resume. He has a PhD in chemistry, alongside a career in vaccine research and development and a range of non-profit experience on top of an impressive history of volunteer work.
He hopes to take that experience, and a passion for the environment, to Parliament Hill with a win on Monday.
Peter Fonseca was extremely vocal throughout his last two years in office for Mississauga East—Cooksville.
He consistently brought up the riding and fought for issues his constituents pushed to the top of the local agenda. Routinely debating in the House made Fonseca stand out from many of his colleagues in Parliament.
She may have limited resources and time, but Sarah Walji is determined to give Mississauga—Lakeshore constituents tired of the Conservatives and Liberals another viable option.
As an emergency psychiatric nurse doing shift work, she somehow manages to prioritize the requests of residents looking for someone to advocate on healthcare, education, housing and climate action.
Kaukab Usman is running to change the fortunes of many newcomers to Mississauga–Erin Mills. The Pakistani-Canadian believes incompatibility between immigration rules and employment standards is holding her community back.
If elected, she has promised to reform Canada’s immigration and settlement system to unleash the potential of well-educated immigrants, some of whom work in low-skilled jobs that do not take advantage of their education and experience.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has put forward a broad platform for the ongoing election campaign, vowing to continue and expand childcare plans already signed with seven provinces and one territory, while addressing the ongoing affordable housing crisis.
But like other commitments in the plan, the full assistance for some struggling families might not arrive until after the next term of government.
The Green Party places the environment and climate crisis at the heart of its plans for Canada. With a small percentage of support from Canadians, it’s unlikely Leader Annamie Paul will become Prime Minister.
However, with the Party’s plans for the climate crisis, and expanded support for municipalities, it deserves a second look from many Canadians, while serving as a bellwether for other parties.
Over the past two years, the Brampton North Liberal incumbent seldomly spoke about problems directly affecting her constituents and instead focused on larger issues impacting Canadians generally.
Added parliamentary responsibilities likely played a role, but the fierce Brampton advocate still made her voice heard while fighting for her city.
A longtime labour union leader, community advocate and NDP campaign staffer, Jim McDowell is now holding his own party banner, as the candidate for Brampton Centre.
After watching what his city has suffered through during the ongoing public health crisis, he vows to represent neglected workers in Ottawa, while getting Brampton taxpayers the healthcare they have been denied for decades.
Iqra Khalid may not have always mentioned Mississauga—Erin Mills by name in Parliament, but she focused on the members of her community and issues they face every day. A strong advocate on women’s rights and other human rights issues, Khalid rose many times during the past session of Parliament, continuing to build on the work she began after first being elected in 2015. She chaired one of the highest profile committees, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which did the heavy lifting on many of the issues closest to her heart.
With days until the polls close, candidates are making their last pitches to voters. Messages are printed on pamphlets, plastered over social media and repeated on thousands of doorsteps.
The Pointer visited one Mississauga—Streetsville neighbourhood and spoke to residents about how the end of a short campaign at the local level, far from the cameras and charter planes for the party leaders, is playing out.
The career environmentalist has worked in the public and private sector to push sustainable practices, and has spent much of his life over the past decade in the political realm, running for office to educate the public and keep green values in the discourse around election time.
His strong stance against the GTA West Highway reflects the platform of his party.
Jermaine Chambers has run to represent Bramptonians at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. His current campaign, to unseat Liberal incumbent Kamal Khera in Brampton West, hinges on his ability to work across all three levels of government, to finally get Brampton taxpayers what they deserve.
Cooperation would be a cornerstone of his advocacy as an MP, to maximize investment in Brampton’s infrastructure, housing and healthcare. Lowering auto-insurance rates in the city is a key issue.
An Elections Canada glitch means around 52,000 electors in Brampton East have not received voting information in the mail, even as advance polls close.
The cards were supposed to arrive in mail boxes no later than September 10, when advanced voting began, but with the four-day early polling ending today, tens of thousands of Brampton residents relying on their information cards will now be forced to wait until September 20. Elections Canada says it hopes the information will arrive soon and is urging locals to search on its website for instant instructions on how and where to vote.