Peel Region has been struggling with overwhelmed healthcare resources and inadequate staff numbers for years, resulting in lengthy wait times and hallway care long before COVID hit.
With the third wave of the pandemic crashing over the province, hospitals have been asked to ramp down elective surgeries, causing a domino effect in Peel’s already overburdened healthcare system.
Between the beginning of May and the end of September, the City of Mississauga will introduce harsh fines for those caught parking illegally near the lakeshore. The move addresses concerns of Ward 1 and 2 residents, but raises broader issues around accessibility for those not fortunate enough to live beside the Great Lake.
The federal government will decide by May 4 whether to take control of the GTA West Highway from the provincial government and potentially end the project for good. In the first of a three-part series, The Pointer looks at a major developer who supports the GTA West Highway, analyzing how it stands to gain. Its interests seem directly opposed to aspirational smart growth plans in Peel.
Nine months after the Peel District School Board began a legal action against anonymous Twitter accounts, its new administration apologized last week. The decision, recognizing the account owners as advocates and not trolls, stirs debate around the protection of anonymous online use.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told MPs the nation’s top police agency needs to do better, but stopped short of confirming an investigation into MindGeek.
The porn giant has been under the microscope for months after its alleged failure to report child pornography posted on its website despite laws preventing such behaviour.
The Centre for Conflict Resolution International has been selected to complete a workplace assessment of Peel Children’s Aid Society after staff complaints of anti-Black racism and discrimination.
However, an internal communication, seen by The Pointer and confirmed by Queen’s Park, shows CCRI had already been chosen by the same Peel CAS senior leadership under scrutiny, before a provincial investigation was even announced.
Across Peel and the rest of Ontario, the recent jump in infections has put ‘unprecedented’ strain on the province’s frontline healthcare system. Patient transfers and the cancellation of elective procedures are two of the latest outcomes as hospitals scramble to address the latest crush of cases.
With the third swell of infections crashing like a tidal wave over Peel, local school boards will keep classrooms closed after the spring break.
Transmission is out of control and the number of ICU patients has reached record-high levels.
Most of the lands occupied by Ontario residents are subject to treaties and other agreements with our First Nations. For decades, these obligations to ensure approval from the original inhabitants of the lands we live on have largely been ignored. The same European attitudes that for centuries imposed farcical laws and allowed for the ruthless exploitation of First Nations are seen in the contemporary planning and land-use process, which routinely ignores the rights of the Indigenous in any decision making around their historic terrain.
As the Region of Peel expands to accommodate two of the fastest growing cities in Canada, lucrative building contracts for massive developments are up for grabs. Residents stand to gain from all the growth, but it’s up to the industry, the cities and the region to create opportunities for Peel’s diverse communities which have traditionally been locked out of this high-income sector.
Concrete actions to transform the Peel District School Board are finally taking hold, with new policies on equitable hiring and student opportunities.
But racialized leaders at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 19 (Peel) are frustrated over their exclusion from critical conversations and their organization’s lack of action.
In his new book, Value(s) – Building a Better World for All, the former Bank of Canada head challenges the banking and business worlds. Shift your narrow thinking and become truly dynamic. Profits, he argues, can be made alongside a more human and eco-friendly approach. Not only will we create the economy of the future, we will feel good about it, while saving the planet.
After months of bad news for Brampton and Mississauga, battered by COVID-19, the Province has finally taken a step to confront the region’s out-of-control viral spread.
On Wednesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford, who has ignored Peel’s pleas in the past, revealed a vaccine strategy that will target hotspots and essential workers.
Years ago, the best way to alert the public of a missing person or a homicide case that’s gone dry would have meant releasing recorded messages on radio stations or putting up a hotline information poster.
Now, police authorities use new communication tools to circulate information on cold cases up to the surface at a moment’s notice.
For years, the Peel Regional Police reduced the number of community police stations it ran.
The nine locations the force operated in 2000 were reduced to just two by 2018. A December motion by Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon, amended by his colleagues, supports opening a new station in east Brampton and asking police brass to pivot their philosophy, as residents demand a fresh approach to increased violent crime on the streets of two of Canada’s largest cities.
Calls for stricter measures grow as community spread accounted for almost a third of the total infections in Peel last week. After the PC government ignored calls to focus on essential workers and educators, infection rates, unsurprisingly, have gone in the wrong direction.
Now, Peel Public Health has ordered all the region’s schools shut down, immediately, as the local pandemic rollercoaster continues in Ontario’s hardest hit area.
For a city looking to become a “climate change leader”, and for councillors who pledged to ease the tax burden on local residents in 2021, a generous taxpayer funded allowance to cover a vehicle seems out of place.
Yet, when the idea of reducing the grant was proposed, many Mississauga councillors balked.
“I’m not using public transportation,” Councillor Ron Starr said.
A virtual Peel District School Board event organized to celebrate the beginning of Sikh Heritage Month was infiltrated by internet trolls sharing homophobic and racist slurs. The talk, featuring NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, was designed to allow Sikh students and staff join in a celebration of their faith, while educating peers in the diverse region.
The Pandemic has shown the worst of greed and self-interest. It has also brought out the best of humanity. Paying too much attention to the gluttony and self-centredness in our society denies us of our most basic need – to be good and do good for our partners in this complicated thing called life.
At its height in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Brampton was the nation’s biggest exporter of cut flowers, known for Edward and Harry Dale’s decades-long work producing some of the world’s finest roses.
Today, known as the “Flower City” in homage to its rich botanical and rural history, Brampton has capitalized on the opportunity to create curated, blooming gardens known for their beauty and colour. In the age of climate change, the commitment to naturalize and restore native plants and pollinator gardens is arguably more important now than ever.
Vaccines are starting to move into the region in greater volumes, but COVID-19 transmission continues to rapidly outpace vaccination rates, pushing Peel and Ontario’s healthcare system further beyond its capacity.
Secondary units are a vital source of housing in Brampton as affordability across Peel continues to be an issue. With prices climbing the temptation to enter the illegal secondary suite market grows. These unregistered units are difficult to inspect and often are not in compliance with safety codes, a major problem for bylaw officers in Brampton. After charges in 2018, it remains unclear if Sandhu has complied with the City’s rules.
The Pointer has obtained documents through a freedom of information investigation that show the City quietly awarded $218,000 worth of contracts, without council approval, to a man named Tony Quirk who worked closely with Brampton’s CAO, David Barrick, when they were part of a cabal of Conservative Niagara Region politicians embroiled in a series of controversies.
Mayor Patrick Brown, who oversaw the hiring of Barrick, has political ties to both men.
Many politicians are active on social media; they have to be in order to keep up with their communities. But some have been slow to effectively staff up for the reality of political communication in the digital age. The mayor of Mississauga is miles ahead of those still trying to engage using yesterday’s methods, and she’s not afraid to admit it.
The updated plan was introduced during the City’s second public consultation on the Riverwalk project recently. The final master plan will be introduced in May and will focus on the public spaces residents will have access to along the impressive waterway being planned through the decaying city centre.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie was one of many leaders across North America who promised to confront anti-Black racism last summer.
A laundry list of to-dos was established during a council meeting in June, but meaningful actions have yet to be taken.
While last year saw COVID-19 create the worst public health crisis in decades, another lingering epidemic continued to unfold.
The opioid crisis has been taking lives across Canada for years, including in Peel, and last year was the worst yet.
A backlog of approximately 600 cases a week has forced Peel Public Health to redirect its contact tracing efforts to the high priority outbreaks.
Peel’s top doctor is urging residents to push through their COVID-fatigue while slow vaccine distribution is causing frustration.
Sentencing for ex-police officer Frank Kohler’s five-year sexual abuse of former Brampton schoolboy Kevin Dickman has been remanded to next month as his defence counsel asks for mercy, and a lighter penalty. They cite his age, his noble life, and contrition for his repeated assault of a boy. But he is not the only one guilty for his heinous crimes. Peel police, which buried the evidence against its own officer and let him walk away, also needs to bear the burden for what it did to Kevin Dickman.
The beds are part of expansion plans for Phase 2 of Peel Memorial and the first set of details outlining the long awaited project.
More than $18 million will go toward the development of an emergency department, and the expansion itself could begin in 2023. Not much is known beyond this and no money was set aside for the capital cost of the project in the just released 2021 provincial budget.
The number of children attending daycares in Peel Region has dropped roughly 50 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Brampton and Mississauga, the figures raise concern about the future of profit and nonprofit centres, already few and far between.
A letter from the Province to the Wise Elephant Family Health Team on December 14 said the clinic would be shut down by March 31, 2021, under a section of its agreement, which allows the government to cut funding without explanation and with no cause. A judicial review has bought the clinic another month.
Court documents raise questions about allegations of widespread fraud by the clinic’s previous directors and the Province’s failure to hold them accountable. The clinic’s current directors accuse the Ministry of Health of trying to quash a whistleblower effort to unearth the truth about $3.2 million in public funds that were allegedly fraudulently misappropriated.
When Doug Ford campaigned in 2018, he specifically used Brampton Civic Hospital as the prime example of “hallway healthcare” and promised help. After the last two budgets failed to mention Brampton’s healthcare crisis and the long-awaited plans to expand Peel Memorial into a full-service hospital, the 2021 budget landed Wednesday.
In Brampton, residents and local elected officials waiting for desperately needed good news were in disbelief – it appears only a small fraction of the expected beds will be added.
Frank Kohler has confessed to abusing Kevin Dickman to many people. His wife, colleagues and even police investigators in 1974.
Yet, he has never stood in a courtroom to face a prison sentence for his crimes. Until Tuesday, when he pleaded for a lenient sentence.
Staffing issues as a result of COVID-19 measures, cases in schools and the lack of supply teachers continue to impact schools in Peel where closures are ramping up.
Peel is home to just nine percent of Ontario’s schools, but has nearly 40 percent of the province’s closures.
Vaccination clinics in Peel Region stand ready to get residents inoculated.
The only problem: they have very little to administer. Despite being Ontario’s worst hit region, it has received a small fraction of the province’s vaccine supply, and was left out of a pharmacy vaccination pilot program for older adults with no explanation.
Brampton plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 80 percent by 2050. The City has created dozens of programs to help it get there, including a comprehensive strategy approved in 2014.
A recent update to that master plan shows that for the first six years, the City accomplished very little of what it set out to.
A COVID-19 Facebook Live hosted by Mississauga’s MPPs, along with Dr. Lawrence Loh and a brief appearance from Premier Doug Ford, struggled to get to the heart of key questions.
Despite failing to move the conversation, engagement around the event showed the best and worst of online communication for politicians.
The Canadian company behind the world’s largest porn site has been at the centre of controversy following reports of videos depicting child exploitation, rape and human trafficking hosted on the platform.
The RCMP has not committed to an investigation despite evidence MindGeek, the Montreal-based parent company, has violated its obligation to report child sexual abuse material to authorities.
Change in Mississauga is inevitable and City staff have embraced many of the boons associated with modern, urban-style growth. But many residents are still wary. A concerted effort by leaders to bring locals with them could go a long way to foster collaborative change in the city.
Alishba Imran may still be in high school, but she’s already achieved more than most accomplish in an entire lifetime. The Mississauga youth is an autodidact who taught herself advanced artificial intelligence design in her early teens. She’s using the technology to help confront the spread of counterfeit medicine and has launched a company on the cusp of working with Tesla to test its batteries.
Locals desperate to know how many vaccine doses have arrived in the region are struggling to find updated information. The Ministry of Health, led by Christine Elliott, restricted the flow of information until this week, making it impossible to calculate if Peel has been receiving its fair share.
On Friday, the Province announced hundreds more pharmacies across Ontario will soon receive doses.
After weeks of unstable viral transmission trends, some teachers, students and staff across Peel are scratching their heads, wondering why they have not returned to mandatory online learning.
New safety directives for PDSB staff have been introduced, but the arrival of a third wave coupled with Peel’s poor vaccination rate has left many education stakeholders uncertain about the immediate future.
Renewed Computer Technology has been addressing social, economic and environmental issues since the early '90s.
The not-for-profit collects computers from large organizations, hires interns to refurbish them and sells them at dramatically reduced rates to families.
Dr. Lawrence Loh made the comments Wednesday morning, saying conversations are taking place with provincial counterparts.
He stressed sharing details such as the possible lifting of restrictions around outdoor dining doesn’t make anything official, and the final decision is up to the Province.
There’s been little to differentiate spring from winter in Peel, where lockdown measures stretch back to November.
Now, rising case numbers and a lack of information on vaccines are pushing many to their breaking point. Region of Peel CAO Janice Baker was forced to call out harassment and racism directed at her staff.
Last week, the Region of Peel voted to demand Queen’s Park amend its vaccine priorities.
Councillors want to see essential workers in logistics, food processing and warehouses prioritized to stop COVID-19 from continuing to stretch regional hospitals and hold local businesses back.
When it comes to transit, Brampton has put the cart before the horse. The City has approved numerous projects, including a third transit and maintenance facility, without securing funding to pay for them.
It has put officials in an awkward situation; making promises to residents that new transit infrastructure is on the way, but with little indication of when and how those promises will be fulfilled.
With over 35 years in politics, Carolyn Parrish could write the rules of the game, with her eyes closed: understand what party lines mean; know when a united front is needed; and never punch down.
Since her days as an MP, Parrish has been a tireless advocate for constituents, a pain in the you know what for adversaries and a gracious mentor to many. She says what most aren’t willing to, even when it gets her in trouble.
Racism has been a hallmark of the British royal family for centuries. It was the defining characteristic of imperial rule in places like India and Africa.
The worst of the royals and their imperious attitude toward all those beneath them is embodied by the behaviour of Prince Andrew. Now, the recent allegation of racism levelled by the disenfranchised Prince Harry is the inevitable outcome of a family that has always lived under the credo of English privilege at the expense of all others.
Mississauga may not be known to many as a notable destination for film and TV production, but it has quietly positioned itself as a serious player in the industry. By the summer, it will boast eight separate studios and City officials are hoping the high-profile sector, with its glitzy appeal, can become a cornerstone of its modern transformation.
It’s a strategy to drive economic growth while drawing from the dynamic vibe of creatives in film and TV.