Decades-old images of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in blackface and brownface have rocked his election campaign.
But in Mississauga and Brampton, cities where two-thirds of residents are visible-minorities, attitudes seem largely unconcerned. Predictably, candidate responses broke along party lines.
A recent settlement in Oklahoma awarded the state $572 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson, in response to misleading marketing of highly addictive and often fatal opioids. The award marks one of the largest successes in the fight by governments to hold opioid makers accountable for their role in the addiction crisis.
Now, the City of Brampton is looking to join the fight.
Brampton and Mississauga, which host an increasing number of foreign students every year, are grappling with the effects of an aspect of immigration policy largely overlooked in federal election platforms: student visas.
One international student laid out his concerns to The Pointer.
Mississauga’s draft climate change action plan has a greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 percent by 2050. But that strikes Mayor Bonnie Crombie as not good enough.
She wants to reduce net emissions by 100 percent come 2050. Is this attainable? Or is it just city hall blowing hot air?
Independent MP Raj Grewal, who officially resigned from the Liberal caucus this year among swirling controversy surrounding his gambling problems, has reportedly decided he will not be seeking re-election in October.
The decision, coming less than two weeks before the official registration deadline, is not a surprise to many in his Brampton East riding, who watched scandal after scandal unfold around their elected representative over the course of 2018.
Neighbourhoods in Mississauga and Brampton are in crisis. A mass shooting in Malton Saturday was followed by two more gangland-style ambushes, one in north Brampton Monday and one in central Mississauga Tuesday. In total, two people were murdered and seven others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds.
While the bloody attacks and their alarming details are consumed as attention-grabbing headlines by millions across the GTA and, increasingly, around the country, for frustrated local politicians and trembling residents caught in the criminal web, the situation has reached a tipping point.
With typical speeds often reaching dangerous levels, the city is looking into implementing further traffic calming measures to put a leash on Brampton’s speed demons. The move could help bring down the city's sky-high auto insurance rates, which are partly due to the large number of accidents here involving high speeds.
A report will go to council on Wednesday detailing what those projects will entail.
Complaints about unregistered basement apartments and the like are down in Mississauga this year. And while that sounds like good news, Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr says data from the city’s planning department suggests there may be 20,000 to 30,000 secondary units throughout the city.
The number actually legally registered currently stands at 847.
Gunfire erupted outside a busy Mississauga apartment building on Saturday leaving one 17-year-old bystander dead and several others with gunshot wounds.
The fatal act of violence has shaken the city and drawn the attention of federal politicians early in the election campaign, with mixed messages from the party leaders about how to address violent crime, which has spiked dramatically across two of the country's largest cities over the last five years. Local Councillor Carolyn Parrish has for years demanded more resources for policing in her ward.
Sven Spengemann says his concerns stem from the belief that communities are judged by how they treat the most vulnerable, and the fact his riding has its share of poverty.
The Liberal says representing a lakeside riding also makes being a champion for the environment especially important. He would, among other things, restore funding for the original plan for Mississauga’s LRT.
Two major shooting incidents in as many days, both of which left victims dead and wounded, have rocked residents of Mississauga and Brampton.
Concerned Residents of Brampton hosted a Sunday townhall on the topics of public safety and housing. All five federal incumbents were invited but disappointed organizers with their failure to attend. This despite the fact that national leaders have been commenting on the tragedy.
Provincial backpedalling will spare the Region of Peel some pain, but funding will still shrink by $39 million over three years. The chaos at Queen’s Park, with stark cuts being ordered without much detail and then mitigated or delayed in response to public outcry, is creating no end of headaches for the region’s financial staff and planners. Not to mention councillors forced to decide whether to reduce services residents have come to count on or hike their property taxes — just to keep things as they are.
Saranjit Singh launched his campaign Sunday to win the riding of Brampton East from independent incumbent Raj Grewal. At an event seemingly powered by young people, Singh promised to “fight” for would-be constituents in his longtime hometown.
Speaking to The Pointer after the event had finished, he pointed to ways federal attention to the riding could make life better there — including funding a new community centre to supplement the single one Brampton East’s 120,000-plus residents share.
The reasons aren’t entirely clear: Are voters unaware? Don’t care? Or just focused on the national race, with little regard for the local candidate? Whatever the reasons, scandals over offensive social media posts and the like have done little to budge the needle on polls as the federal election campaign wears on.
Brampton North candidate Arpan Khanna and Streetsville candidate Ghada Melek, both Conservatives, are among those who seem to be weathering the storm after controversy.
In the wake of a mass shooting in Malton that killed a 17-year-old, Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish wishes the community police station at Westwood Square Mall was still open.
So do some local residents who feel unsafe and dispute the impression that crime in the area had decreased enough to warrant shutting it down. It was closed to cut costs in February 2018, despite Parrish’s battle to keep it open.
International recognition of a climate emergency has offered the Greens a boost for the upcoming federal election. However, while the party seems to be on the upswing across Canada, the message continues to struggle in Brampton and Mississauga, where the car reigns.
With just over a month to go, local candidates of varying professionalism are working to open the eyes of the electorate to an issue they have been campaigning on for years.
British technology expert Sam Jeffers told a Brampton audience this week that our upcoming federal election might be riddled with security worries, as waves of disinformation from unchecked social media sites spit out cyber advertising and fake news that have plagued campaigns around the world, and could rear their ugly head here. Over the next few weeks in our hyperactive news environment that will fill the cybersphere ahead of October 21, “Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour” will again become a sign of our times.
News swirled Friday of Conservative candidate Arpan Khanna’s homophobic social media post almost a decade ago. But there was no mention of that at a campaign rally in the Brampton North riding featuring party leader Andrew Scheer, despite mounting calls for Khanna to step out of the race.
Nor did Scheer or Khanna talk about any of the local challenges facing voters, such as a crisis in healthcare — in contrast to NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s pledge a day earlier to fund a new hospital in Brampton.
The province has reversed course on a controversial decision in May to freeze funding for paramedic services and will now provide a small boost into next year.
The flip-flop epitomizes the confusion experienced by municipalities across Ontario as the Doug Ford PCs continue to make cuts, only to reverse them in response to public outcry. One regional councillor tells The Pointer that Peel is in a “holding pattern,” waiting for a semblance of certainty.
Though the incumbent for Mississauga–Erin Mills has made a mark in Parliament in the area of human rights — drawing malicious backlash at times — she’s counting on her focus on seniors and other local concerns to persuade voters to keep her in Ottawa.
She sat down with The Pointer to talk about the issues that most concern residents of her riding.
Arpan Khanna, who secured his candidacy a year ago, is the latest parliamentary hopeful to be dogged by his past comments posted on social media, as the theme has dominated the federal election campaign over the first few days ahead of the October 21 vote. He used homophobic language years ago and is now facing mounting pressure to step down.
A number of controversial remarks captured in the cryptic space of the internet have forced party leaders to stumble off their policy platforms, while having to address a growing list of questionable past remarks made by candidates.
Ten years. That’s all it took for fentanyl to go from a potent painkiller used to manage only the most serious post-surgery pain to one of the most deadly street drugs in the country.
In Peel, opioid-related deaths involving fentanyl have skyrocketed, leaving the Region of Peel and community organizations struggling to tamp down the problem — a task made even more difficult by the region’s underfunded public health budget.
Brampton is home to a pool of floating voters ahead of every election. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his Brampton candidates have laid out priorities in healthcare and affordable housing, while drawing attention to unfulfilled Liberal promises.
Given that the city is chronically forgotten after elections end, The Pointer asked what guarantees they would make to Brampton if elected.
In 2016, the federal government’s national action plan to combat human trafficking expired. For three years, service providers and community organizations have been pushing for Ottawa to step up and once again make human trafficking a priority.
Days before Parliament was officially dissolved, signalling the start of the federal election campaign, the Liberal government finally took that step.
With the 905 set to be a key battleground this federal election, major party leaders should pay attention to Peel’s rapidly growing infrastructure needs.
With 12 seats up for grabs, two fewer than each of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the booming region becomes a hotbed of election activity every four years, but the question is, what are party leaders and elected MPs doing for residents in between?
In Marysfield, a neighbourhood founded in the 1950s as one of Canada’s first housing co-ops, tensions are rising. Some residents hope to split their property, often as much as two acres, into smaller lots to allow redevelopment, while others favour preserving the historic character of the area.
The broader issues are familiar to citizens across Brampton as the city grapples with sometimes conflicting desires for affordable housing and heritage preservation.
The killing of a fawn, allegedly by a dog, raises concerns that too many people are ignoring the signs reminding pet owners to leash their dogs — and cyclists to get off their bikes on the conservation area’s trails and boardwalks.
The petition signers want more prominent signage and stronger enforcement against practices dangerous to wildlife.
Chronic underfunding of Brampton’s infrastructure has put the city at the heart of Canada’s hallway healthcare crisis. Population growth led to record wait times in June of 21 hours for emergency room beds, well above the Ontario average.
On the second day of the official campaign, New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh was in Brampton to pledge funds to build a new hospital in the city, as well as a promise to roll out free pharmacare to all Canadians by 2020.
Suicide attempts have risen by half among Peel youth in the past seven years. That’s just one of the saddening statistics that motivated a new multi-agency partnership called Project Now, with a goal of fostering hope and resiliency and better coordinating services to help troubled kids in Mississauga, where the rate of youth suicide has seen a dramatic rise in recent years.
Rates of anxiety among youth in general have increased sharply over the last decade.
With council clearly divided on the biggest transit issue facing the city, a remnant of the heated debate that derailed the previous group of local leaders under former mayor Linda Jeffrey, Patrick Brown wants his colleagues to come together in support of an underground option for the Main Street LRT. But with some members on council aligned closely with Jeffrey and her vision, to build a surface LRT through the entire length of the Main Street route, it remains unclear if the mayor can avoid a repeat of the 2015 battle that created a deep schism in the previous council.
The Ford government’s pointed attack on our conservation authorities is short-sighted and will result in this province paying a heavy ecological price over the next few years. The green movement can work in concert with the business community, and the best example is an ongoing reclamation project on the old Ontario Power Generation lands in the southeastern section of Mississauga. This Lakeview miracle could remake the city. But any possible divinity, in Mississauga and Brampton and beyond, lies in the hands of citizens, including those in the seats of power, who can stare down the premier.
Khalid Nazim owns a second house as an investment property. He hopes to rent out a secondary suite in the house, but registering it means expensive renovation work to satisfy inspectors.
Disputing that it’s all really necessary, he went to City Council asking for relief.
Sometimes it’s not the wheels on the bus but the endless quest for transit cash that keeps going round and round. The country’s sixth and ninth largest cities are at a watershed: get the funding to get residents out of their cars and into public transit, or continue the suburban trends of the past few decades.
Representatives of 22 of Canada’s biggest cities, including Mississauga and Brampton, want to end the cycle of transit funding dependency on the federal government that Ottawa ignores. They have a plan to make sure good transit keeps being built in places large and small until at least 2038 — if the feds will only sign on.
Mississauga is swimming in policy reports about environmental issues, cycling and transit. But a recently commissioned study now on the desks of city planners offers a revolutionary approach that could greatly reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, in keeping with the climate “crisis” city council declared in June.
Adopting it would mark a huge step, one that some wonder if Mississauga is capable of making.
Ambitious internal planning at City Hall dating back to 2012 has provided Brampton with a strong environmental plan — on paper.
However, stalling on major infrastructure projects in favour of small energy-saving tweaks has left the city behind, treating climate change as just another policy area — not the emergency it declared in June.
Campaign kickoffs, speech-making and canvassing are going on all over Peel Region as the federal election season goes into high gear.
But why are local candidates, often little known to their prospective constituents, being shielded from media questions?
Whispers of strikes and job action abound among educators. So far, the teachers’ unions have been opaque about how negotiations with the province are going.
In Peel schools, much depends on how those higher-level talks proceed.
The GTA, including Peel Region, welcomes nearly eight of every 10 immigrants arriving in the province, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada. That means other centres, despite efforts to attract newcomers, are missing out on the economic benefits immigration brings to an aging population. There may be strategies to change that.
The numbers don’t look good just days ahead of the expected federal election call. Jagmeet Singh’s NDP stands a good chance of losing a significant number of seats. Procrastination in naming candidates and internal strife have given the NDP an air of disorganization — not least in Mississauga, where only one NDP candidate has even been named, as of Saturday.
The Liberal Leader made a surprise fundraising visit to Brampton Thursday. Strangely, the event was for an Oakville candidate, but it’s clear Justin Trudeau is looking to consolidate the 905. The country’s sixth and ninth largest cities, which the party swept in 2015, will be the key. The evening gave some of the incumbents a moment in the spotlight, including Mississauga Centre’s Omar Alghabra, who said residents in his riding have one clear message about the type of leader they don’t want to see.
Count Brampton resident Frank Murphy as one of those not fazed by the news that the average waiting time for a hospital bed in Ontario recently hit 16 hours — a signal of a worsening trend. But then, he once spent three days in a Brampton Civic Hospital hallway waiting for a bed after he injured a leg.
Civic’s average remains higher than the provincial one.
Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish is proposing rules that would put Peel Region councillors in charge of approving all regional contracts over $50,000 — much lower than the current $250,000.
The move follows revelations that senior regional staff quietly hired and directed a consultants’ report to prove that Peel Region should stay intact — while undermining Mississauga’s bid to secede.
The popular festival highlights Mississauga’s vibrant Muslim community and bridge-building with others, in contrast to the heightened suspicions and discrimination in evidence of late at the U.S. border, where numerous Muslim men on family trips report being turned away for unknown reasons.
A move to buy 11 more of the less-polluting buses marks another step toward an inevitable transition to all-electric, says the commissioner of transportation.
Currently, MiWay’s fleet is the City of Mississauga’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, higher even than city-owned buildings.
Work is underway at Brampton city hall to host a multidisciplinary arts festival as early as October 2020, as a means of boosting the city’s neglected arts scene.
Championed by Councillor Charmaine Williams, the event would build on the popularity of the all-night festival in Toronto and other cities, in keeping with the city’s ambitious Culture Master Plan.
A trio of property owners at Wednesday’s committee meeting took councillors to task about the significant hidden expenses involved in registering a basement apartment.
The inspection and renovation requirements can be complicated, costly and intimidating. But balancing the needs of the city and landlords isn’t easy, especially when there is safety to consider.
Poll averages suggest much of the city is sticking with the party in power, with the NDP slow off the mark even to name candidates. Navdeep Bains, the highest-profile incumbent, is leading the pack in a riding that poll aggregator 338Canada deems “safe” for the Grits.
But voters may be paying much more attention to the two-way race among national party leaders than their local candidates.
Contrary to the last federal election, when all five of the city’s federal seats flipped from one party to another, it looks like voters may be sticking with the Liberals come October.
At least, that’s what the polls seem to be showing. Here’s a look at where things stand across the city as the campaign gears up ahead of the fall sprint to the federal election.
Darren John, who raps under the name Avalanche the Architect, is appealing a 2015 conviction for uttering threats contained in the lyrics of one of his songs, following a feud with his former music promoter.
As that case is set to be heard in December, two judges and a judicial body have identified issues with John’s treatment in court during other legal matters, pointing out bias and prejudice against him. It’s a systemic issue that John says has plagued him over the past two decades while he’s been forced to deal with a justice system that only sees him as a big, bad Black man, not a person.
Emails and documents obtained by The Pointer show an external analysis quietly ordered by senior regional staff to study possible scenarios for the future of Peel was preordained to favour the preservation of regional government.
Top region executives Nando Iannicca (chair/CEO), Stephen VanOfwegen (CFO) and David Szwarc (former CAO), working with an outside consultant without regional council’s knowledge, took steps to ensure the outcome while undermining the credibility of a financial report Mississauga used to back its claim that the city would be better off as an independent municipality.
Court documents allege that a group of doctors with the Brampton-based Wise Elephant Family Health Team may have misappropriated $700,000 or more from the organization's funds.
Dr. Andrew Johnson is suing doctors Sanjeev Goel and Lopita Banerjee, among other physicians, accusing them of misusing the funds, including for expensive trips to Peru and India, breaching their contract with him, and defamation.