Melissa Merritt, previously found guilty in the murder of her husband Caleb Harrison, has been granted a new trial.
The Ontario Court of Appeal found the trial judge made errors when directing the jury on how to handle critical pieces of evidence that were used against Merritt. Within four years, three members of the Harrison family were found dead in the same Mississauga home.
Peel Paramedic Services is failing to meet nearly all of its provincial and regionally set response times for medical emergencies.
Clogged local hospitals, a surge in demand for service and a strained workforce are all being blamed for the lagging performance.
The service is requesting a significant increase to its budget to hire more staff and buy more ambulances to keep Peel residents safe.
Brampton councillors will be reviewing data this week which clearly shows residential development continues to overshadow employment and commercial growth.
The City of Mississauga is set to approve its 2023 budget while the Region of Peel will hear from its trio of conservation authorities about funding required to perform valuable environmental work in the face of Premier Doug Ford’s disastrous Bill 23 which strips them of numerous powers.
Impacts to business owners and cultural celebrations following the recent Diwali festivities were at the forefront of City Hall debate recently as councillors reviewed a motion brought forward by Ward 5 representative Carolyn Parrish.
It calls on staff to review the City’s current fireworks by-law before considering stricter restrictions on their use—a move others have criticized for its potential impact on community members and businesses; while Parrish has said she is simply trying to avoid an all-out ban like the one Brampton passed following the recent Diwali celebrations.
Population, employment and municipal infrastructure will all need to be rethought according to a Brampton staff report to Council after the passing of the Doug Ford PC government’s hyper housing legislation, Bill 23. Brampton’s future is now in limbo, as planners and elected officials decide how to move forward with a recently designed growth strategy (created with the help of thousands of residents) that might have to be torn up.
The Mississauga Food Bank recently wrapped up its annual holiday food drive, a yearly campaign that jump starts the organization’s resources for the new year.
While ambitious goals set for the annual effort were exceeded, chronic food insecurity across the city might be the reality going forward as incomes fall further behind the cost of living.
Mississauga Council has voted to provide free transit for children under 12 and expand the current $1 seniors program to all hours during workdays — a decision some councillors fear is being made at the wrong time, given the City’s challenging financial reality.
Housing and transportation are the focus of climate change-related funding included in the proposed 2023 Region of Peel budget.
The funding of initiatives in other sectors may provide more funds toward mitigation and adaptation.
Peel’s police chief is arguing a significant increase is needed to his budget for more officers to meet the overwhelming demand.
But money poured into policing, instead of housing or community support programs, could actually increase the police workload as it takes funding away from the “upstream” initiatives that prevent crime before it happens.
Despite creating their own problem, regional councillors appear ready to rubber stamp the chief’s request.
Brampton Council made waves with its motion to ban outdoor election signs after the by-law department was swamped with violation complaints in the recent municipal election.
Data obtained by The Pointer show the same members of council who voted unanimously for the ban, had their names on 1,083 signs that violated the very rules they claimed to be concerned about. Mayor Patrick Brown was the worst offender with 333 signs that broke the rules.
The PDSB trustee who led the internal fight to transform the troubled board, says she is glad the province has restored the governance powers of elected officials, but many Black families are voicing disappointment over the lack of community consultation before the decision by the Province to end its supervision of Ontario’s second largest school board.
The Ministry of Education took over governance from trustees two-and-a-half-years ago after disturbing discriminatory behaviour by members who caused irreparable harm to students.
A new partnership between the Peel Regional Police and Timea’s Cause, a survivor-led organization at the forefront of pushing policies to better support those who have experienced human trafficking, will see thousands of Peel officers trained to spot the signs of this pervasive crime.
It makes Peel police the first law enforcement agency in Canada to implement such training. It’s a significant step forward to raise awareness and knowledge about a crime that disproportionately impacts women and girls in Peel.
The TRCA has elected Toronto City Councillor Paul Ainslie as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. The decision comes as conservation authorities are increasingly under fire from the Doug Ford government, which has stripped away many of the powers that previously allowed CAs to safeguard ecosystems against development. They will need to find new and creative ways to continue protecting watersheds across the province.
At a council meeting Tuesday, Caledon Mayor Annette Groves brought forward a motion to eliminate a pay raise for council positions that was voted through in July of last year. The drastic pay raise caused outrage in the community while so many are struggling to make ends meet due to crippling inflation. Despite Groves’ best efforts to keep the conversation civil, the debate quickly became heated.
A staff report presented by the Region of Peel to council this week analyzes the impacts of Bill 23 on individual capital projects. The PC government’s housing legislation will make it more difficult to provide housing in Peel for those most in need.
The loss of revenues (under the Bill) that developers have traditionally paid will put pressure on water, wastewater and other key services.
Patrick Brown and the Doug Ford PC government continue to play chicken with their constituents’ healthcare, and the Region of Peel is not prepared to step in. It is not in a position to fund part of the local share requirement for the redevelopment and expansion of Brampton’s Peel Memorial healthcare facility or a new cancer centre.
Brown unsuccessfully opposed a special City of Brampton hospital levy last year, despite the dire need for hundreds of new beds in the community where hallway healthcare is the norm.
After voting against allowing cannabis stores within the municipality, Mississauga City Council is being asked again to reconsider its previous decisions. The request came in a letter from the Mississauga Board of Trade, which calls on local elected officials to review their current policy that forbids cannabis retail and asks the City to pass a resolution in 2023 to “opt in” to the province’s cannabis industry to displace the unregulated, illicit market.
Housing minister Steve Clark is officially under investigation by the provincial government’s integrity commissioner over his role in legislation that removes 7,400 acres of Greenbelt land for future development.
If the investigation finds wrongdoing, it’s unclear what the outcome will be as any penalty or reprimand against Clark must be approved by a strong PC majority within Queen’s Park.
After decades of tax freezes under former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, compounded by recent hyper-inflation, impacts of the pandemic and a provincial government downloading tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs developers traditionally paid for, the City of Mississauga has its hands tied as the latest municipal budget season kicks off.
With few initiatives proposed under the 2023 budget, the City will be gearing its capital spending toward maintaining crumbling infrastructure and trying to stay ahead of climate-related needs.
For three seasons, any hunter with a small game licence and a shotgun has been allowed to kill up to 15 double-crested cormorants a day between September and December.
The PC government, which approved this hunt in 2020, says it is a sound wildlife management practice. However, a closer look at the science behind the decision, or lack thereof, and the near total absence of monitoring of cormorant populations, raises significant concern about the Ford government’s reasons for targeting a native Canadian species.
As the Town of Erin continues to push forward with pre-construction on the wastewater treatment facility, set to be fully operational by 2028, residents of the Town and nearby communities are rallying against the project.
Citizens within the Town are concerned about connection costs while those on the outskirts are worried about depreciated property values. Many are also worried about the threat caused by sending effluent discharge into the West Credit River and what it will do to the surrounding ecosystems.
The City of Mississauga is making a name for itself as a sustainable municipality by investing more than half of the funds in its capital budget toward green initiatives.
The majority is to transition to cleaner transit alternatives—hybrid electric buses and both bus rapid transit and light rail transit lines. Other initiatives include the expansion of parks and trails, management of invasive species and improvements in stormwater infrastructure.
Peel police have struggled with mental health calls that have escalated into violent interactions. Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams and Crisis Outreach Assessment Support Teams have helped immensely, but the complexity of cases continues to pose a challenge.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Peel Dufferin is adding another layer to crisis response in Peel with the launch of its new pilot program, aimed at providing support to individuals in mental health crisis before police intervention is required.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is once again fighting to pull the City out of Peel Region, a crusade that’s been mired in controversy over the years and was previously turned down by the PC government in 2019.
After once again centering her October reelection campaign on the promise of Mississauga’s independence, making it a single-tier municipality like many cities much smaller than hers, Crombie has made it clear she is not backing down.
The consequences of the PC government’s plan to build 1.5 million new homes, regardless of the environmental impacts—driven by the legislative engine known as Bill 23—have been well documented.
But in Niagara, a region flanked by two Great Lakes, the geographic reality means accommodations for development will trigger a domino of impacts in the unique watershed.
Two former Peel Children’s Aid Society employees have been charged with numerous offences in relation to an alleged purchase and reimbursement scheme, which allegedly defrauded the child welfare organization of more than $250,000.
The former employees were expected to make their first appearance in court on January 9, but the date has now been pushed to February to allow for more evidence to be gathered.
At a time when the online exploitation of children is reaching historic levels, a new report details how schools across Canada are failing to protect kids from potential abuse by those who are meant to be mentors in their lives.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is calling on governments of all levels to implement new systems to protect children from abuse by educators at school.
When the announcement broke recently that scientists had achieved “ignition” for the first time ever, creating more energy output than the energy used to create the gain, physicists around the world heralded the dawn of a new era in our fight to prevent catastrophic climate change.
As the initial euphoria around nuclear fusion has worn off experts are reminding the world that renewable sources of energy are still the key to dramatically reducing carbon emissions. Fusion should be added to our toolbox for emissions free energy but it might not reach our grid for decades.
The National Wildlife Centre is set to start construction on its first permanent medical facility in Caledon East in 2023. Dr. Sherri Cox co-founded the organization nine years ago, building a vast network of professionals throughout Canada and beyond. In phase one of the construction, a fully operational field hospital will be built for surrounding wildlife centres and the public.
Phase two will come later, with a focus on providing a cutting-edge facility for teaching wildlife medicine to veterinarians and rescuers across the world.
During a press conference late last year, Peel police celebrated the success of Project Zucaritas, an 11-month investigation that led to the seizure of $25 million worth of illegal narcotics – the largest drug bust in the region’s history, police said.
Officials claimed the bust will significantly disrupt the region's drug trafficking networks; it was the latest proof that these insidious criminal organizations have a growing presence in Peel.
Driven by his authoritarian tendencies and disdain for urbanites, Ontario’s Premier is determined to wrest power from large municipalities. Former Brampton councillor Terry Miller warns Peel and other regions that local decision making based on community values is under threat by a man who has his own agenda. He does not care about what the people want.
A recent report from Niagara Region’s planning commissioner, Michelle Sergi, and the subsequent Council decision on it, were a disturbing start to the new municipal term of office. She failed to represent the voices of residents fighting to protect the Greenbelt, instead supporting the Doug Ford government’s desire to remove Niagara portions of the protected land, and even recommended two more parcels of the Greenbelt in the region also be removed for sprawl-style development.
Through a partnership between Osprey Valley and Golf Canada, Caledon will become Canada’s new home for the sport’s national headquarters.
But public and private courses and those owned by municipalities are facing unique challenges, from the demands of the game in a time-starved world to the impacts on greenspaces at a time when sustainability is crucial to the planet’s future.
Countless stories of love, loss and politics are encased within a historical building in downtown Brampton. Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives (PAMA) collects and preserves the Region’s history to ensure the stories of the past are never lost.
Staff work tirelessly to showcase the rich culture that has shaped Peel over more than a century. The work can be tricky, requiring a gentle hand to preserve historic documents vulnerable to the vagaries of time.
The slew of legislation imposed by the Ford government, in its effort to push the subdivision development industry’s agenda, will cause wide-ranging damage to the various natural water systems across Ontario.
The consequences to ecosystems and the human population that depends on them will be devastating.
It’s not Minority Report, but a reality for specialized police officers across the country trying to catch child predators in an increasingly vast and secretive online world.
Two landmark rulings from Canada’s most powerful court—one at the end of November—have helped level the playing field, giving detectives the green light to continue luring those seeking to do irreparable harm to children.
Canada’s first fully electric vehicle manufacturing plant opened its doors two weeks ago after receiving significant funding from both the federal and provincial government. As the pace of EV take-up seems poised to dramatically accelerate, municipalities need to invest in infrastructure so the public can shift away from carbon-based vehicles.
In March 2020, the provincial Ministry of Education issued a report containing 27 directives, with over 54 actions, intended to hold Peel District School Board accountable and restore good governance while eradicating anti-Black racism and other systemic discrimination embedded in the board after years of harmful inaction by senior educators and upper-level decision makers.
Nearly three years later, the board has shown a commitment to complete these directives and create a new culture in the province’s second largest school board with 17 of the 27 directives completed and the remaining 10 slated to be finished by the end of the school year.
As COP15 came to a close, nearly 200 nations signed onto the Kunming—Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework which lays out four broad goals and 23 specific targets to achieve worldwide by 2030.
While the 30 by 30 goal — 30 percent of the Earth’s land, oceans, coastal areas and inland waters protected by 2030 — is being celebrated, many remain skeptical about the political and corporate will to achieve the targets.
As public uproar continues in opposition to Bill 23 and changes to Greenbelt legislation, the head of Ontario’s government agency responsible for protecting species at risk has resigned.
It is the latest message aimed at Doug Ford and his PC government, which continues to push aside environmental safeguards to make way for sprawl-style development.
Brampton residents will no longer be allowed to display outdoor election signs, an unprecedented move by Council, led by Rowena Santos, who tried a similar move in 2019, but after failing to do her homework the decision was widely criticized as an underhanded attempt to stifle future candidates.
The councillor, who received less than ten percent of the eligible vote in October, had her outdoor election sign ban passed recently, but the by-law is now being challenged.
Bill 23 has upended urban planning in Ontario, forcing municipalities to take action against legislation aimed at usurping their authority over local land use.
Environmental organizations and other advocates are trying to fill the knowledge gap so local officials can make the best decisions to protect the province’s remaining greenspaces.
Just weeks before the holidays, 15 CUPE emergency dispatchers employed by the City of Mississauga were told they were immediately being laid off as a private company has been given a contract that replaces them.
The ex-dispatchers are reeling from the news and questioning how it will impact the City’s response to emergency calls.
One of the key themes of COP 15 in Montreal is the role that cities can play in protecting biodiversity. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante formed the Montreal Pledge encouraging cities to take action to protect the natural environment instead of waiting for direction from higher levels of government.
Every day, the human trafficking unit of the Niagara Police tries to find a needle in a haystack. Traffickers, bringing their victims to Niagara to cash in on the transient, bustling tourist scene, are easily able to blend in with the crowd, using one of the region’s hundreds of hotels or motels to conduct their illegal business.
It will take buy-in from across the region and its many tourism sector stakeholders to stop the scourge.
After two years of internal strife and damning allegations about the mismanagement of Peel’s child welfare organization, the Peel Children’s Aid Society board of directors has discreetly announced Rav Bains is retiring from his role as CEO.
The move comes over a year after the former CEO was placed on administrative leave following a provincial review that revealed a toxic work environment and financial mismanagement.
While some residents have framed their opposition to the proposed addition of the new Brampton and Regional Islamic Centre as a safety issue—citing concerns about traffic and noise—Muslim residents say they just want a peaceful place for families to practice their faith, free from the intolerance being expressed mostly by residents with the same background.
The Province has confirmed to The Pointer that no Record of Site Condition report was submitted by the developer prior to the residential zoning switch last year. The report is required before land-use is changed for a former industrial property, and is supposed to ensure contaminants are identified as part of work to remediate the land to keep the public safe. The Ministry of Environment has confirmed earlier findings of high levels of toxic PCBs leaking from what was formerly a 50-acre manufacturing site.
After the land was bought in 2014, the property owner is finally proposing to mitigate the contamination and limit further leakage from the former GM site, but no official record of the property’s condition has been submitted to the Province.
The Liberals held onto their seat in Mississauga—Lakeshore following Monday’s byelection.
Former MPP Charles Sousa, who served as Ontario’s finance minister and is widely known in the South Mississauga community, will now join the federal government. As is the case in many byelections, voter turnout was low.
It has been an inspiring December for sports devotees in Brampton, with the Honey Badgers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League moving to the CAA Centre, and Council launching an expression of interest for a world class cricket stadium on the same property to host professional tournaments and matches.
As The Mississauga Food Bank hits the halfway mark of its annual holiday food drive, CEO Meghan Nicholls says the demand for assistance to feed families is starting to outpace the organization’s ability to meet increasing needs.
Recent reports reveal skyrocketing food bank use not only in Mississauga but across the country. People here might be turned away or given less food this holiday season.