Forty years before Mississauga was conceived, the Queen Elizabeth Way’s bridge across the Credit River was built. Updated in 1960, it has been a landmark of provincial significance since it was recognized in 2009. However, amidst plans to widen the QEW, the province is planning to tear down the bridge and replace it in order to save time and money on the project.
The proposed 2020 budget for Mississauga makes grim reading for some. The document outlines Mississauga’s plans for the next year, alongside its financial commitments and shortcomings. In particular, the budget shows an infrastructure gap which has grown by $214 million dollars in five years, as well as $1.5 billion in approved projects that are currently not funded.
This week Nando Iannicca, chair of the Region of Peel, was cleared of wrongdoing in an integrity commissioner report which, nonetheless, painted his recent actions in a negative light. At the first regional meeting since the public release of the report, which dealt with Iannicca’s mishandling of the province’s review of regional government, Mississauga councillors wanted the chair to be formally reprimanded. In the end, he survived unscathed, while the divide on regional council continues to deepen.
Just under two years after Jennifer Evans, the former police chief, closed its community police station, Malton has been offered a lifeline. Located just minutes from the site of a tragic mass shooting in September, calls for an increased Malton police presence have been loud since the community station was shut down to save money. Many are hoping today’s good news signals a shift in attitude about policing priorities.
The board of directors of The Wise Elephant Family Health Team is alleging that former directors and physicians in the organization, including Dr. Sanjeev Goel, misappropriated over $2 million in taxpayers’ money meant for patient care. The claims come after another lawsuit filed by a doctor in the team alleged Goel and his wife, who are singled out in the latest legal action, used public funds for expensive personal vacations, among other inappropriate expenses.
The integrity commissioner investigation into the conduct of Peel Region Chair Nando Iannicca has cleared him of wrongdoing despite behaving unethically in his dealings to keep the region intact. But Mississauga members now have their sights squarely on the back of the man who betrayed their trust.
Community advocates are speaking out after William Osler Health System revealed that the Phase II expansion of Peel Memorial won’t become a reality for another 5 to 8 years.
The delay is not only detrimental to Brampton’s overcrowded and burdened healthcare system, but will also devalue $20 million levied from Brampton taxpayers to help fund the project.
The GTA West Highway, a planned corridor through Peel that will bisect the Greenbelt, border the Oak Ridges Moraine and cut across other sensitive habitats, while propelling urban sprawl and more vehicle use, is moving ahead with the support of Peel councillors who also claim to support the environment.
Critics call it outdated transit planning, with runway-sized swaths of pavement and accompanying housing subdivisions that will destroy and fragment habitats for a number of the province’s most vulnerable species at a time when the planet is facing record loss of biodiversity.
The province has doled out nearly $1 million to the Region of Peel to help in its efforts following the legalization of cannabis. However, that money has yet to flow from regional coffers to the departments that need it.
Peel Regional Police have incurred over $1.4 million in costs tied to legal cannabis, and the continued fight to shut down the black market, but have yet to see any money from the region.
Data from the Who’s Hungry report (2019) has shed light on growing poverty in Mississauga. Over the past year, visits to the city’s food banks have increased by 16 percent, quadruple the GTA rate of increase. In five years, use of food banks in the city has increased an alarming 225 percent. Speaking to The Pointer, one food bank client and the organization’s executive director said sky-high rents and a lack of affordable housing are at the heart of a growing crisis.
An off-chance, fly-by visit by John Graves Simcoe led to the commercial history of Mississauga's waterfront, setting off a massive movement of people and moneyed interests into the city. At the same time came the exiling of our First Nations people who had for generations "lived lightly" upon this land.
The latest business iteration is the building and selling of high-end real estate. Will Mississauga fall into the trap of over-building along our waterfront, following the excesses now foresting the Toronto shoreline?
Tomorrow marks 40 years since the Mississauga train derailment. Celebrating an event that could have turned into a disaster is tricky business. For this community, though, it was a moment when people, and the city itself, finally came together following its formation five years earlier. For Hazel McCallion, it was the first time the world saw what this formidable female leader was all about.
At the end of October councillors agreed to continue Mississauga’s $225,000 per year membership of Toronto Global, a foreign direct investment group for the GTA. Over the past three years the agreement has brought some attention to the city, though 85 percent of all investments it secures land in the City of Toronto. With cities across the GTA, including Brampton, vying to attract foreign companies, how can Mississauga stand apart?
After at least five trustees in the country’s third largest school board refused to attend a meeting next week where Black community members planned to raise a growing number of race-based concerns, the provincial education ministry announced Thursday that it will intervene, as relationships within the school board, which serves a predominantly non-white student body, have broken down. Trustee Kathy McDonald says the situation is deeply disturbing.
Two young boys are the 24th and 25th homicide victims in Brampton and Mississauga in 2019. After their bodies were found inside a Brampton home late Wednesday night, the father of the two children is now charged with their deaths.
It’s the latest in a long string of tragedies that have shaken the two cities since the start of 2019, and is a continuation of a rise in violent crime observed across the region last year.
The province of Ontario predicts that around 7,000 seniors will take part in its new Ontario Low Income Seniors Dental Program set to launch this fall. The Region of Peel disagrees, stating the number is more than double that, and that’s being generous.
In order to prepare for the influx of seniors seeking help with dental care, Peel is seeking almost $6 million from the province in order to drastically expand services to meet the looming demand.
The City of Mississauga’s planning and development committee has unanimously approved the new master plan for a Lakeview Village on the city’s waterfront. The plan has reduced some height and density from previous proposals, though issues still exist for some residents. In particular, locals want to see towers moved farther from the water’s edge and council engage in regular information sessions with the community.
Mississauga isn’t giving up on its bid for independence after the province’s regional review opted to leave the Region of Peel intact. Led by Councillors Carolyn Parrish and Pat Saito, the city is demanding enhanced regional power.
In order to achieve this, council on Wednesday unanimously passed a motion to conduct various staff-led reviews to exercise more of the city's authority at the region, while the idea of applying to be a “charter city” was also floated.
Two councillors in Mississauga have been working for years to help deal with the city’s housing crisis. They scavenge the city for empty land, fixing up properties with builders and creating affordable units for families. However, their admirable efforts have been slow, in the face of a mounting problem, and make a strong case for establishing a task force or department to continue their important work on a more official and grander scale.
In the summer of 2018, while campaigning to become the Brampton West PC MPP, Amarjot Sandhu was charged with operating a pair of illegal secondary units in the basement of two homes he owns in the city.
Despite claiming he acted immediately to register these two units, it’s clear from the city’s enforcement notes, and documents obtained by The Pointer through the Freedom of Information Act that his efforts were not so diligent. He was eventually charged with four counts under the planning act.
The case highlights the increasing efforts in Brampton's ongoing fight to deal with thousands of illegal units across the city.
In 2017 Mississauga celebrated the opening of the first bus-only transitway in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. The route, which follows Highway 403 at several points, was first floated in the 1970s, decades before its original construction. Dire ridership numbers for its first year threw the entire idea into doubt, and though recent increases are promising there are still concerns that the project might become another example of bad transit planning.
A local educator will begin a five-day hunger strike at Queen’s Park Monday morning. A local citizen’s group has sent a scathing email to public figures working in the heart of Brampton’s hospital system. Families in the city question why they’ve been forgotten by the provincial government for almost two decades.
While the local healthcare crisis can be blamed on many, it’s time to demand nothing less than an immediate cure for this sickness.
Malton has been at the heart of Mississauga’s debate around guns and gangs, particularly since the tragic shooting of a 17-year-old bystander in September. The gang-style attack that saw more than a 130 bullets fired and left five others wounded highlighted the need for a better police presence, especially since a nearby community station was shut down in 2018. However, documents obtained by The Pointer show that the neglect of Malton is far worse, stretching back almost 25 years.
Those were Andrea Horwath’s words inside Queen’s Park Monday. For the second time in just over a year, the provincial NDP tried to get a third hospital approved for Brampton, forcing a vote in the legislature. The Progressive Conservative government once again voted it down, accusing the NDP of playing “partisan games” and bringing forward a motion that is only “criticizing” the ongoing work to mitigate the hallway healthcare crisis instead of suggesting solutions.
As Mississauga continues its focus on healthy and environmental policies, councillors have instructed staff to create a framework for a city-run short-term bike and e-scooter rental scheme. However, with the car still king on most city roads, serious question marks remain over the viability and safe operation of such a program in Mississauga. Disappointing results to a similar plan in Toronto alongside a provincial review of e-scooter regulation are just two issues Mississauga has to consider while providing viable alternatives to the car.
In the south of Mississauga, a new development has received an exemption from the Municipal Act which will allow the operation of a private shuttle-bus service. Though positive news for anyone considering property in the area, the move also highlights the chronic inadequacies in the city’s current transit plans. With Mississauga in the middle of a self-declared climate crisis, drastic changes must take place in its transit policy if it’s to make public transport a viable option for the general public while reducing emissions.
As Canada moves closer to the introduction of 5G technology, regions and cities are grappling with its potential impact. The capacity and speeds this new technology offers could propel a smart city revolution, solving traffic problems and improving healthcare outcomes among many other possibilities. However, some campaigners – including one who spoke to the Region of Peel last week – fear health impacts from this new telecom platform, though Health Canada disagrees.
New statistics show that home ownership in two of Ontario’s biggest cities is growing increasingly unaffordable, even for those earning incomes that place them firmly in the middle class.
Estimates show that it could take decades for median-income earners to save up enough for a down payment, and a lack of affordable housing investment in Brampton and Mississauga could impact the future of these two large cities as potential investors and job hunters flee to more affordable places.
A common response from Brampton’s MPs to the question of why the city continues to receive very little in the way of investment from Ottawa is that the city doesn’t put forward the proper applications.
That’s about to change as council has laid out its priority list, with a price tag in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Recently released data detailing the staggering extent of overcrowding in Brampton’s healthcare centres has led the provincial NDP to once again lobby for much needed funding in the city.
As part of a motion to be put forward Monday, the Official Opposition party is calling for funds to be set aside for Peel Memorial’s expansion and for a third hospital in Brampton, while challenging the city’s two PC MPPs to show up for the vote, unlike last year when they absented themselves during a similar motion.
After Friday’s announcement by the province that its review of regional government was over and that no changes would be made, many across Mississauga hoping for the city’s independence were deflated.
But the mayor and one of the most experienced councillors say the decision does not mean the end of the city’s push for its freedom from Peel Region. They are vowing to secure Mississauga’s independence, with or without efforts by the province.
An Ontario human rights complaint filed by a woman who is one spot removed from the highest position in the entire Peel District School Board, includes disturbing allegations that, if true, paint a damning portrait of one of the country's most diverse school boards.
Associate Director Poleen Grewal alleges that Director Peter Joshua and the board have undermined her role as the head of equity and diversity. She alleges discrimination against her and retaliation for raising concerns over alleged systemic problems surrounding race.
On Tuesday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released information her party obtained that shows the extent of the city’s healthcare crisis, with both hospitals operating far beyond capacity. Meanwhile, the Osler health network tells The Pointer there are no plans for a new hospital and the long-anticipated expansion of Peel Memorial won’t happen for years. It remains unclear why Osler failed to submit its phase-two plans when the province had expected them.
Two homicides hours apart last week were the latest in a deadly year across the region, as the grisly crimes haunt residents demanding help with public safety. Peel police have expressed uncertainty about how and when funding sources from senior governments can be accessed, to help address the wave of violent crime ripping through parts of Mississauga and Brampton.
With homicides, bank robberies and other violent crime in Peel dominating local headlines, it will be tough for Peel Region Council to say no to the police force’s ask in its 2020 budget proposal.
But critics have questioned how the force is spending its money, with stiff budget increases that have helped salaries skyrocket, while innovative approaches to fighting crime seem lacking. The new chief, meanwhile, already seems to be making his mark, with more civilian hires that could be the crime-fighting key, instead of just putting more officers in cars.
After Justin Trudeau and his Liberal party won almost every riding in the Greater Toronto Area, New Canadian Media reached out to members of various immigrant communities across the GTA to find out what motivated voters at the ballot box. In the second of this two-part series, members of the African-Canadian and Chinese-Canadian communities talked about the trends and mood that influenced them.
The City of Mississauga has completed applications for federal funding from the Investing in Canada Plan. The requests, amounting to $847.5 million, include funding for bus rapid transit systems on both Dundas Street and Lakeshore Road.
These two projects in particular were lobbied for by Mayor Bonnie Crombie during the federal election under the “Mississauga Matters” campaign and represent the first test for Mississauga’s six re-elected Liberal MPs.
Councillors at the Region of Peel, following Brampton City Council’s lead, made contradicting moves at a meeting on Thursday which focused on climate change, but also pushed the creation of a new highway that environmental groups are trying to stop. Urgency was demanded to move forward with the GTA West Corridor, particularly from Caledon councillors.
For the second consecutive federal election, Justin Trudeau’s Liberals won every riding in Mississauga and Brampton in a near-sweep of the 905. New Canadian Media reached out to members of various communities across the GTA to find out why the Liberals won their vote. This article, looking at the Punjabi-Canadian and Latino-Canadian vote, is the first in a two-part series exploring the question of why the GTA went red.
The premier clearly wanted to shake things up at the regional level and had Hazel McCallion whispering in his ear to secure her city’s independence. But between then and now, the only reason Ford flip-flopped, as he’s done on a growing list of files, is because his approval rating has him one step from the political grave, with his party, both in Queen’s Park and the senior version in Ottawa, signalling they’ve had enough of the Ontario dictator. In the end, Mississauga suffered a major blow, because they bet on a man who can’t deliver on much anymore.
With the rise in violent crime, Region of Peel council, on the urging of Carolyn Parrish, has pencilled $12 million into its draft 2020 budget to fund a community hub in Malton as well as further proposals in Brampton. The funding, which could help to establish centres to engage, socialize and provide outlets for disaffected youth, offers an upstream measure for the region to tackle rising violent gang crime. With council on board in principle, plans are developing to lobby federal and provincial partners to bring more funding to the increasingly ambitious project.
Brampton is elated. Mississauga is angry. The Doug Ford PC government announced Friday morning that Peel Region and other regional governments across the province will stay intact and continue the way they have been operating for decades. The news is a shock to many in Mississauga who had hoped desperately that Queen’s Park’s review would give the country’s sixth largest city the fully independent status it has sought for decades.
The City of Brampton is eager to fix the previous council’s blunder that put the city’s transit future in jeopardy. With the federal election over and done with, the city will be asking Brampton’s re-elected Liberal MPs to make good on the promises of assistance they handed out.
However, while councillors have now all agreed that the LRT should run along Main Street, there’s much more to be settled before they can make a concerted push.
With his popularity still sinking like a stone, Premier Doug Ford and his PC government have once again walked back plans to increase class sizes across Ontario. The move comes as teachers’ unions across the province seem determined to take drastic action in order to turn around the PC’s planned cuts to the public education system.
Media outlets across the country, including The Pointer, cited projections by 338Canada throughout the campaign. The poll aggregation website offered rare predictions for individual ridings by manipulating national numbers. In Mississauga and Brampton, the website correctly predicted the Liberals would come out on top but underestimated their lead — sometimes by a huge margin.
The region is growing, it’s young and it has a large list of priorities that still need Ottawa’s help. Yet voter turnout was down this year compared to the last election in 2015. Some ridings saw more engagement than others, whether that was due to local storylines or seemingly close races. Overall, though, it seems no wedge issue truly divided the population and drove them to the polls.
Infrastructure Ontario has awarded Mobilinx consortium a $4.6-billion contract to build and operate the Hurontario LRT over the next 30 years. The confirmation is good news for Mississauga but puts extra pressure on the city to secure federal funding for the project’s downtown loop. Shovels will be in the ground as early as spring 2020. As part of the announcement, the Ontario government quietly added that the project would be delivered in 2024, two years later than previously planned.
It was not what was expected. Liberals rolled through the city Monday, crushing what was supposed to be a formidable Conservative challenge in at least two ridings and a much closer race in others. The large pluralities across Mississauga hopefully won’t mean the party will take local needs for granted, as the city has made clear that it needs help from Ottawa on many fronts.
The Liberal government left a long list of priorities unaddressed in Brampton through the last term. Nevertheless, Sahota triumphed over Conservative challenger Arpan Khanna by more than 20 percentage points.
Breaking away from an endless parade of photos with supporters, Sahota said she believed the Liberal Party’s record on the economy was enough to convince voters. Moving forward, she said, she hopes to clinch much-needed infrastructure money for her city.
Maninder Sidhu will join four second-term Liberal MPs in Ottawa, after they all won handily on Monday. They will have to get to work immediately for their city, which is in desperate need of federal help to address healthcare, municipal infrastructure funding, affordable housing and public safety, issues that Brampton voters demanded action on throughout the campaign.
The Liberal incumbent’s campaign against former MP Stella Ambler was expected to be a nail-biter. Many acknowledged that if the Conservatives were to make gains anywhere in Mississauga, it would be by the lake. However, in the end, Spengemann maintained his seat and only increased his mandate. Taking the people’s vote of confidence to heart, the Liberal MP promised to resolve any shortfall in investment in Mississauga.