Abused women around the world suffering horrifically from our planet’s worst pandemic

Abused women around the world suffering horrifically from our planet’s worst pandemic

Canada has often led the world in the criminalization of family violence, but the problem has gotten “out of hand” says the federal ombudsman for victims of crime. The killer virus is delivering another deadly lesson, and this one is aimed directly at men.



A return to reading: people escaping into the stories they love  

A return to reading: people escaping into the stories they love  

With the overwhelming volume of COVID-19 news, and the uncertainty that has taken over daily life, many have been hunting for ways to escape. 

Whether that’s through new hobbies or old passions, the Brampton Library system has seen a serious spike in people looking for books and materials to help keep them occupied at home. 



While city starts to reopen, ICU at Brampton Civic nearing capacity

While city starts to reopen, ICU at Brampton Civic nearing capacity

Brampton’s only full service hospital is the poster child for hallway healthcare and has struggled with capacity issues for years.

Now, while the city begins a process of reopening, critical care beds are running out fast. 



COVID-19 could finally haul Ontario’s chronically backlogged court system into the 21st century

COVID-19 could finally haul Ontario’s chronically backlogged court system into the 21st century

Barely a step above stone tablets, Ontario’s court system has long been in need of an innovation upgrade to ensure timely access and get the wheels of justice moving properly. 

The global pandemic could be the jolt it needs.



With screams to reopen, Mississauga and Brampton’s high COVID-19 numbers put them between a rock and a hard place 

With screams to reopen, Mississauga and Brampton’s high COVID-19 numbers put them between a rock and a hard place 

Leaders in both cities are grappling with an increasingly complex dilemma: infection rates are higher than in many parts of the province and most of the country, forcing officials to use localized data from public health officials and more caution when deciding when and how to reopen their communities. Meanwhile, frustration among many in the public, especially the business world, is mounting. 



Almost a quarter of Ontario’s new COVID-19 cases last week happened in Peel, raising concern about reopening too soon while testing is inadequate

Almost a quarter of Ontario’s new COVID-19 cases last week happened in Peel, raising concern about reopening too soon while testing is inadequate

As the Province begins to ease measures under the state of emergency, the Region of Peel is not following suit, exactly. Officials are taking a more localized approach to reopening as new cases in Peel mirror a pattern similar to the start of the pandemic. The Region’s top public health official says more testing is needed if Peel expects to prevent continued transmission within local communities.



Development along the Hurontario LRT will change Mississauga forever 

Development along the Hurontario LRT will change Mississauga forever 

As Mississauga’s first light rail system moves closer to its launch in 2024, developers are flocking to the city. New proposals for six towers at Eglinton Avenue and Hurontario Street are among the boons the project has attracted.



School year and summer camps cancelled but more workplaces are opening, creating confusion for parents

School year and summer camps cancelled but more workplaces are opening, creating confusion for parents

With the provincial announcement that schools will not return at least until September, other learning options are being put on the table. Plans to “more than double” summer schools and allow some day camps have been laid out, but with the uncertainty caused by an unpredictable problem there are more questions than answers for parents trying desperately to keep their children engaged and occupied. 



The mental toll on frontline healthcare workers could outlast the killer disease

The mental toll on frontline healthcare workers could outlast the killer disease

As the spread of the novel coronavirus lives through another week, more professionals need mental health support. But is there enough available?

It’s a question that will likely loom for years, as our healthcare networks face a prolonged crisis that could overwhelm an already stretched system. 



Councillors in Peel have ignored the affordable housing crisis; COVID-19 has forced their hand, now taxpayers face a $36M deficit

Councillors in Peel have ignored the affordable housing crisis; COVID-19 has forced their hand, now taxpayers face a $36M deficit

For years, the Region of Peel has passed the buck on housing. Every budget sees councillors favouring lower tax increases and sharp hikes for policing, over subsidized housing and shelter support.

In the face of COVID-19, the Region has finally been forced to act and faces a major hit that could have been avoided.



Brampton’s Fiat Chrysler plant reopens Tuesday as businesses across Peel prepare for a very different work environment

Brampton’s Fiat Chrysler plant reopens Tuesday as businesses across Peel prepare for a very different work environment

After almost two months of inaction, the Fiat Chrysler assembly line in Brampton is set to get rolling again. Some workers are already inside as preparations take place for a full reopening after the Victoria Day weekend. With a killer virus still an invisible threat, the workplace, like all others in Ontario and around the world, is undergoing some serious changes. 



Signs the apocalypse is upon us

Signs the apocalypse is upon us

The greed and irrelevance of sports shows no signs of abating during the toughest days of the 2020 pandemic.



UNDEFEATED

UNDEFEATED

A perfect record on the gridiron didn’t lead to fame and fortune in the NFL, but Brampton’s Chuck Ealey came north to Canada to use his skills as a quarterback and “pass” along some important lessons in life to his high-achieving children. They continue the fight for justice and equality in Brampton and Mississauga.



Chief recruits reinforcements from Halton to help fix issues that plague Peel police

Chief recruits reinforcements from Halton to help fix issues that plague Peel police

Nishan Duraiappah has a tall task. The man who took over as the head of Peel police in the fall has to turn around one of the country’s largest departments.

Police culture is traditionally a hard thing to change, with entrenched institutional attitudes. The chief now has at least two more allies from his old force to help rehabilitate a department that many in the community had lost faith in.



A month after Osler declared an outbreak, patient still has not been tested

A month after Osler declared an outbreak, patient still has not been tested

A regular patient in the renal program at Brampton Civic Hospital is worried he will never be tested for COVID-19, even after the organization told The Pointer testing for people who might have been exposed during an outbreak among staff working in the program would be implemented. 



Food security for thousands of families in Peel still a concern

Food security for thousands of families in Peel still a concern

Large anchor organizations in Mississauga and Brampton are offering supplies to food banks and community organizations across both cities.

But as the pandemic continues to cause economic upheaval, which could last for months, a more coordinated and sustained plan to ensure the safety of residents is needed.



Is Mississauga in danger of sinking $7.1 million into a transit terminal that could be replaced in under two years?

Is Mississauga in danger of sinking $7.1 million into a transit terminal that could be replaced in under two years?

In January, Mississauga proudly said it would be putting millions of dollars into renovating its City Centre Transit Terminal.

However, even as the work begins, plans are afoot for a new Downtown Terminal that will replace the current setup altogether.



Spike in street racing and stunt driving show the problem with Peel’s empty roads

Spike in street racing and stunt driving show the problem with Peel’s empty roads

As the majority of the population stays home to stop the spread of COVID-19, a small minority are flouting the rules.

Some reckless drivers are risking their lives and the lives of others in harebrained attempts to push their cars to the limit.



Another PDSB meeting centred on its culture of discrimination sees trustees pass up opportunities to learn

Another PDSB meeting centred on its culture of discrimination sees trustees pass up opportunities to learn

A virtual PDSB meeting saw action on two more directives from the Ministry of Education.

Despite this, board members continued to demonstrate they don’t — or don’t want to — understand the issues at the heart of the ministry’s review, which revealed widespread problems with equity in one of the country’s most diverse school systems.



A month of COVID-19 losses show Mississauga’s projections are on track as city pleads for bailout

A month of COVID-19 losses show Mississauga’s projections are on track as city pleads for bailout

Financial troubles in Mississauga have been piling up since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief financial officer Gary Kent says the projected losses would equate to a cancelled community centre and park.



Minister Lecce’s call for more video learning met with questions from teachers, union

Minister Lecce’s call for more video learning met with questions from teachers, union

A message from the Ministry of Education to school boards made it clear: “synchronous” learning, including the use of popular video platforms, has to be implemented by all schools. The announcement has forced school boards in Peel to revisit their position on the use of innovative online tools and develop better solutions to ongoing issues.



Cancer patients and others in agonizing pain in limbo as hospitals plan to restart elective surgeries

Cancer patients and others in agonizing pain in limbo as hospitals plan to restart elective surgeries

After hospitals across the country cancelled elective surgeries to make capacity for the fight against COVID-19, many Canadians were left to deal with a range of maladies on their own.  

The province has now created a framework for how some hospitals can begin to schedule procedures, but many suffering in Peel could be waiting a long time.



Peel trying to meet contact tracing, testing benchmarks to speed up reopening across the region

Peel trying to meet contact tracing, testing benchmarks to speed up reopening across the region

Premier Doug Ford and many in the public are breathing down the neck of health officials responsible for novel coronavirus testing across the province.

The faster places like Peel can meet requirements, the faster life will return to a closer version of normal.



America is spiralling into a black hole

America is spiralling into a black hole

This pandemic has clearly shown the cost of playing politics with the facts just to feed the markets and get elected. The inability to grasp the current crisis shows the fault lines within the world’s superpower, exposed after four decades of the worst excesses of a-social individualism.



Reflecting on 15 years at the top of Canada’s sixth largest city, Janice Baker prepares to step aside

Reflecting on 15 years at the top of Canada’s sixth largest city, Janice Baker prepares to step aside

After a decade and a half at the tiller, Mississauga’s CAO and City Manager is retiring. Speaking to The Pointer, Janice Baker reflected on growth, public transit and what she hopes her legacy will be. On this Mother’s Day, she can rest assured, knowing that her place in the city’s history will be forever remembered.



Cities need more power and a better funding formula to help them ‘prepare for the unexpected’

Cities need more power and a better funding formula to help them ‘prepare for the unexpected’

Cities like Mississauga and Brampton are mandated to balance their budgets, meaning COVID-19 will ratchet up the pressure to be fiscally prudent, when they need to be bold. They need more power and proper ways to raise money so they can prepare for the knowns, and unknowns.



Politicians can be heroes when they use their powers, but imposters are still a threat on local councils

Politicians can be heroes when they use their powers, but imposters are still a threat on local councils

You wouldn’t guess by looking at the turnout for municipal elections, but councillors hold a lot of power. Local representatives are in charge of everything from safety, public health, crime and public transit to the way we grow and plan for the future. However, there are limits too. Councillors who do things like pretend they can change immigration policy or gun laws are fooling their residents and wasting valuable staff time, often to score cheap political points or plot for future careers.



Brampton and Mississauga businesses impatient to reopen

Brampton and Mississauga businesses impatient to reopen

As Ontario looks to slowly ease lockdown measures, many local business owners are raring to go.

In Peel, a variety of stores and services say they have already considered the precautions needed to stay safe and are desperately waiting for the green light.



If COVID-19 disrupts key Brampton projects, city’s future vision could be set back for years

If COVID-19 disrupts key Brampton projects, city’s future vision could be set back for years

When the pandemic ends, physical distancing measures will fade away and people will slowly return to their normal lives. 

For City Hall, with a staff that has been mostly working from home in recent months and projects pushed aside to deal with the ongoing emergency, the impacts could be felt for a long time.



‘You can’t hide behind a Twitter account’ — Peel realtor and school chair fired after Islamophobic tweet

‘You can’t hide behind a Twitter account’ — Peel realtor and school chair fired after Islamophobic tweet

A Peel resident has lost his job and position as a school council member after using intolerant language in response to Brampton’s decision to allow Mosques to broadcast the call to prayer.

Ravi Hooda’s reply to Mayor Patrick Brown on Twitter was met with widespread condemnation.



Mississauga doubles down on motion to let the Azan play

Mississauga doubles down on motion to let the Azan play

After approval last week, the decision was met with mounds of criticism from residents in the city, demanding the broadcast of the sunset call to prayer from Mosques be stopped. A motion on the matter was suggested Wednesday, but was never put forward because of questions around its purpose.



Two of Brampton’s biggest employers continue to grapple with COVID-19

Two of Brampton’s biggest employers continue to grapple with COVID-19

Two anchor employers in Brampton are grappling with the impacts of COVID-19. 

One, Maple Lodge Farms, is the latest big company in Brampton to have the novel coronavirus slip through its doors while Fiat Chrysler employees prepare to get back on the assembly line later this month.



‘You don’t think of protecting something you don’t love’: reconnecting with nature could trigger a wider movement

‘You don’t think of protecting something you don’t love’: reconnecting with nature could trigger a wider movement

Putting a bird feeder in your backyard not only helps our feathered friends, but studies show it could improve our state of mind, too.

With COVID-19 keeping everyone penned up and mental health concerns on the upswing, finding ways to ease stress is essential. One way is to reconnect with Mother Nature. The benefits could be long-lasting, especially after the lockdown ends.



Mississauga firefighters won’t ask for top-up pay during pandemic

Mississauga firefighters won’t ask for top-up pay during pandemic

At the end of April, Premier Doug Ford announced frontline workers would be receiving an extra $4 per hour until August. A variety of groups have asked to be added to the list since the announcement, but Mississauga’s firefighters say they’re already fairly compensated.



PDSB moves on provincial directives to address anti-Black racism after weeks of turmoil 

PDSB moves on provincial directives to address anti-Black racism after weeks of turmoil 

Despite a long list of binding directives handed down in March from the province to eradicate systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism within the Peel District School Board, little progress has been seen.

That was, until Education Minister Stephen Lecce ordered another investigator to step in. Since the move the school board seems to have been jolted into action. 



Brampton and Mississauga join historic movement allowing Mosques to broadcast the Azan

Brampton and Mississauga join historic movement allowing Mosques to broadcast the Azan

The call to prayer is a staple in every Muslim’s life, announced five times a day to mark the five daily prayers. But existing noise by-laws made the broadcasting of the Azan outside of Mosques illegal, until temporary exceptions were recently made for Ramadan during an exceptional time when religious gatherings are not allowed.



Provincial changes will slash public parkland, Brampton and Mississauga warn

Provincial changes will slash public parkland, Brampton and Mississauga warn

New development rules being floated by Queen’s Park could dramatically reduce the amount of new greenspace in cities.

Calculations made by staff in Brampton and Mississauga paint a dire picture of revenue lost to the development industry, increasing the burden on taxpayers.



Mississauga moves to re-introduce fares on buses, but riders might stay away until they feel safe

Mississauga moves to re-introduce fares on buses, but riders might stay away until they feel safe

As it continues to hemorrhage money, the City of Mississauga has started to consider charging riders for transit again. The installation of plexiglass shields on all MiWay vehicles will allow councillors to consider making riders pay once more as soon as the end of June.



Peel providing millions of dollars to struggling community groups but some might not survive

Peel providing millions of dollars to struggling community groups but some might not survive

Thanks to federal and provincial assistance, more than $11 million has been allocated to community organizations serving vulnerable populations in Peel.

But with the impact of the pandemic likely lasting for months, even years, it’s not clear if that will be enough.



The decades-long anxiety among PDSB's trustees and executives over demographic change should no longer be tolerated

The decades-long anxiety over demographic change among PDSB’s trustees & executives should no longer be tolerated

Leaders in the Peel District School Board have long been unresponsive to the wants and needs of the students and parents they serve. They oversee an organization rife with systemic discrimination.

How long can harm to students be tolerated, justified by the fear and confusion some feel when confronted by change? The Pointer thinks it's way past time to remove this failed group of so-called leaders.



Hard to remain inside with beautiful summer weather, while country’s top health official urges cautious optimism as Ontario begins to reopen Monday

Hard to remain inside with beautiful summer weather, while country’s top health official urges cautious optimism as Ontario begins to reopen Monday

The first warm weekend of the season has Ontarians dreaming of the outdoors. Maybe, just maybe, the virus will cooperate. 

That feeling was bolstered by a statement from Canada’s public health officer who says the country is winning the battle against COVID-19.



Brampton’s COVID-19 tele town halls offer a sense of comfort to residents 

Brampton’s COVID-19 tele town halls offer a sense of comfort to residents 

The phone updates have been a fixture in the city’s response to the novel coronavirus and are used as opportunities to share information. Many participants aren’t just keen residents; the virtual gatherings allow people to 'rally round the flag' during a crisis that's enveloped most of the world.



Update: Developers agree to shell out $366,000 for temporary fix to Lakeview’s issue with 'foul odours'

Update: Developers agree to shell out $366,000 for temporary fix to Lakeview’s issue with 'foul odours'

Lakeview Village, one of the most anticipated projects in Ontario, is downwind from a sewage plant. After discussion with the Region of Peel, the consortium behind the massive redevelopment has agreed to pay for an interim solution, but issues remain about who will foot the bill for a costly fix in the long-term.



For families with loved ones in long-term care the slow drip of information is agonizing

For families with loved ones in long-term care the slow drip of information is agonizing

Families with parents or grandparents in vulnerable situations are growing more desperate for news from care facilities.

Some understaffed private homes, conscious of their company’s image, appear to be resisting calls for transparency, leaving worried children and grandchildren in the dark.



NDP says PDSB leaders who have harmed Black students can’t be trusted to hold themselves accountable

NDP says PDSB leaders who have harmed Black students can’t be trusted to hold themselves accountable

The Peel District School Board is under increasing pressure since a provincial review of the troubled organization was announced in November. Now, Queen’s Park has had to hire an investigator because of concern the board will not adhere to all 27 mandatory directives under its probe, which found alarming evidence of widespread discrimination. The Opposition NDP, including its Peel MPPs, has lost faith in trustees and in a blistering letter is demanding even stronger action against the board's negligent leaders. 



The next wave of vulnerable victims will be those ill-equipped for the post-virus blues

The next wave of vulnerable victims will we be those ill-equipped for the post-virus blues

What happens in the short term or when we work our way through this pandemic and a second plague of mental health concerns impacts our healthcare system? Governments and private sector agencies are stepping forward to respond, while a poll released this week shows half of Canadians said their mental health has worsened from the impact of this pandemic.



Municipalities can’t generate massive revenues through income tax, but are losing billions providing essential services 

Municipalities can’t generate massive revenues through income tax, but are losing billions providing essential services 

The call for desperately needed aid from Ottawa comes as estimated losses in Brampton and Mississauga continue to grow with no guarantee of help in sight. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is counting on a bail out after he froze the city’s tax revenues two years in a row. 



Latest PDSB meeting further evidence of a board unwilling to confront issues of systemic discrimination

Latest PDSB meeting further evidence of a board unwilling to confront issues of systemic discrimination

Peel District School Board Chair Brad MacDonald and Director Peter Joshua spent much of Wednesday evening deflecting and shutting down questions from Trustee Kathy McDonald, who tried in vain to get answers and take action on issues related to systemic racism within the board, which was forced to admit it has a problem after a damning provincial review revealed a culture of widespread discrimination. The meeting provided more proof of this.



Only one new case of COVID-19 reported in Peel over 24-hour period, but don’t go running out the door yet

Only one new case of COVID-19 reported in Peel over 24-hour period, but don’t go running out the door yet

The virus’s spread in the community appears to have slowed. However, it's a different story in the region’s long-term care homes.

Grace Manor, Brampton’s hardest hit long-term care facility, has reported another resident’s death.



Ford’s decision to release dire COVID-19 modelling spurred Ontario into action

Ford’s decision to release dire COVID-19 modelling spurred Ontario into action

For weeks, the rate of COVID-19 infections in Ontario sped up, each day bringing worse news than the last. At the beginning of the month, modelling was released showing just where the pandemic was leading.

However, updated numbers two weeks later showed things were looking up. While public officials can’t play around with numbers and facts, it’s clear the public responds when the data is scariest.