A new reception centre next to Pearson International Airport, which straddles Peel and Toronto, will provide support to asylum claimants as shelter systems face increasing strain.
The announcement follows a list of requests from Acting Mississauga Mayor Chris Fonseca to the federal government so Peel’s overwhelmed shelter system can better respond to unprecedented demand. All three levels of government have been blaming each other for the emergency housing crisis.
CBM—the company behind a controversial mega-blasting quarry proposed in Caledon—has let the Town know it will appeal council’s effort to rein in the gravel industry.
The move signals the company’s disregard for concerns about widespread environmental damage, a pattern of the multinational corporation that owns CBM and has a deeply troubled track record.
The mayor called former councillor Jeff Bowman’s involvement with the Historic Bovaird House an “embarrassment” to Brampton, claiming the former councillor had an “egregious, flagrant conflict of interest” related to its funding.
A week after Brown’s latest unsubstantiated attack on Bowman, a report by KPMG, hired by the City to investigate the matter, found no wrongdoing by Bowman and no irregularities or inconsistencies with city policies around the Bovaird House funding issue, which Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos have used for more than a year to go after their critics.
The figure is not a combined increase, but a proposal to expand the Region’s tax-supported budget by 10.6 percent and its charge for utilities by 6.8 percent. It would result in a property tax increase of at least 4.5 percent, to cover Peel Region’s share, before each of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon add their own share to the 2024 tax bill.
For those already struggling to pay their bills, such steep increases raise questions about why regional staff are asking taxpayers to fund such a huge budget expansion in the last year before the Region of Peel is dissolved.
After two years of lower emissions due to the global slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions have rebounded, in a big way.
Global data from the United Nations Environment Programme and local data from The Atmospheric Fund show Earth’s major weather systems are undergoing profound changes as increased levels of carbon in our air alter the way we live.
With the new year just around the corner, Niagara municipalities are busy with their 2024 budgets. This year is different, however, for Niagara’s three largest lower-tier municipalities, St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland, with the Province’s introduction of the Strong Mayor Powers.
At the upper-tier Niagara Region, the proposed police budget was sent back but the CAO warns of a still-sobering financial ask of taxpayers.
As disturbing levels of harm continue to shatter communities across Ontario, municipalities and advocacy groups have officially declared that gender-based violence has reached epidemic levels.
Despite increasing numbers of women killed at the hands of men all across the province, the PC government refuses to make the same declaration.
Prior to the Greenbelt scandal, the PC government had granted a long-standing wish of the Town of Grimsby by finally unlocking two parcels of protected land for development. But when the controversial plan imploded, leading to weeks of scandal for Premier Doug Ford and his government, the decision was reversed and the lands returned to the Greenbelt.
In front of a packed council chamber Monday, councillors voted to request the PC government reverse its decision once again and allow development on lands the Town argues are crucial for residential and commercial growth.
At a Planning and Development Committee meeting in October, council members approved a motion to help move the Phase 2 expansion of Peel Memorial forward.
An emergency declaration last term called for a second hospital in the city with at least 850 acute-care beds to treat everything from heart attacks to broken bones. But William Osler officials and the PC government refuse to confirm if Brampton is actually going to get the hospital they have claimed will be delivered when Memorial’s expansion eventually opens.
St. Catharines has been recognized for its effort to fight the climate crisis.
A member of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the City is working toward the target of net zero community emissions by 2050 after already meeting targets first set in 2015. As an interim goal, 2030 is the date for a series of new benchmarks the City hopes to set.
“Brampton’s democracy is under siege”. Those were the stunning words written in a letter signed by a majority of council members in 2022, after widespread allegations of misconduct under Patrick Brown’s leadership led to a series of external investigations that he eventually cancelled.
A year later, the department that functions as the main watchdog holding City Hall accountable to taxpayers, is struggling with staffing issues, the latest in a string of problems for Internal Audit since Brown became mayor.
After promising a robust public consultation process for the Region of Niagara’s 2024 budget, it has taken months for the municipality to take any meaningful steps toward public engagement.
A survey to gather feedback was launched November 13, but the budget process is already well underway with key decisions being made without a chance for public consultation.
A report from Ontario’s Protected Areas Working Group — which sat dormant for two years — encourages the PC government to invest $400 million for the protection of vital lands across the province.
The goal is for 30 percent of the overall geographic area to be included, compared to the 11 percent that is currently protected.
On Wednesday, St. Catharines’ 2024 budget process begins in earnest with staff presenting operating, capital and water and wastewater budgets.
Unique in this budget process will be the presentation of the first, three-year budgets for the municipality. A Monday Grimsby Council report outlines the twist and turns over two decades for two parcels of land that were returned to the Greenbelt but arguably should not have been included in the first place.
A recent death at an encampment outside Mississauga’s Dundas Shelter has sparked outrage over Peel’s dangerously underfunded shelter system which is currently 321 percent over-capacity.
While Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is claiming it’s the fault of upper levels of government, he failed to mention his refusal to expand municipal budgets, his recent eviction of those living in an encampment and the failure of regional councillors, including himself, who have refused to adequately fund affordable housing and Peel’s shelter system for years.
Justin Trudeau’s woes continue, as voters who support the Prime Minister for his stated commitment to address climate change question contradictions between his words and his actions. Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment recently released three audit reports that paint a bleak picture of the country’s 2030 emissions reductions targets. Under Trudeau’s leadership, the plan is falling far short of its goals.
Complex changes in the work of Peel Regional Police are placing increased pressure on officers.
The global black market driving auto thefts has deep roots in Peel; incidents of intimate partner violence and human trafficking continue; while a growing range of cyber crimes pose unique challenges, all while mental health calls stretch the force’s resources. Peel’s police boss says he needs more staff in the growing region, but is a historic request for an additional 135 officers in line with the progressive vision trumpeted by Chief Nishan Duraiappah?
A report heading to Mississauga’s general committee meeting today states the first level of recommendations from the provincially appointed transition board are expected to be completed by January.
A spokesperson from the City says while staff have consulted with council on preferred recommendations to facilitate Mississauga’s long-awaited independence, it remains unclear whether those recommendations will be made public.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford joined other Canadian premiers in voicing opposition to the federal government’s housing accelerator fund which grants funding to municipalities that pursue smart growth.
While Ford bashes the Liberals for supposedly overstepping their jurisdiction, recent scandals have exposed his alarmingly irresponsible approach to housing.
The 2024 budget will not be an easy one for councillors in the City of Mississauga.
Ongoing challenges driven by record inflation, the lingering financial repercussions of COVID-19, and the City’s startling infrastructure bill are all weighing on a municipality that is trying to figure out how to accommodate the urban growth on its horizon.
The PC government has drastically altered the way conservation authorities do business under Doug Ford’s commitment to developers.
As the largest CA in Ontario (which includes parts of Peel in its jurisdiction) prepares its 2024 budget, impacts to its programs and services due to the provincial government’s developer-driven agenda are becoming clearer.
The Region of Peel is supporting a project which will accommodate up to 80 youth in need of long-term housing support.
Brampton currently only has one youth shelter (which operates as a temporary emergency housing facility) to address the growing complexities young people face with precarious employment and cost of living challenges that impact their physical and mental well being.
Less than a month after the approval of three units “as of right” on residential properties, Niagara Falls staff are suggesting that four units might be the right number for the city.
In Port Colborne, an affordable housing project reaches a milestone and the long-standing application to expand Pit 3 at Port Colborne Quarry is recommended for approval.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently announced the federal government will verify letters of admission for international students to screen for fake documents commonly handed out abroad.
A local advocate says the root causes of fraudulence that makes life difficult for foreign students go much deeper.
A series of draft plans presented to Mississauga’s general committee on November 1 demonstrated the challenges facing municipalities as they work to build better futures while repeatedly being veered off track by new obstacles from the PC government.
Mississauga staff highlighted how the City must now shift plans already underway to accommodate the anticipated growth stemming from provincial legislation like Bill 23, all while preparing for an independent Mississauga.
The Interim Control Bylaw for new aggregate operations across the Town of Caledon has been extended for an additional year, but Town staff continue to fall behind on critical studies to update policies meant to regulate the controversial gravel industry. Residents continue to advocate against any new, environmentally destructive quarries.
Bargaining has come to an end as Unifor and Stellantis have voted to ratify a new three-year agreement.
Workers at Brampton’s Stellantis auto plant (formerly Chrysler) one of the biggest employers in the city, voted Monday to ratify the Master Collective Agreement which will provide job and income security to workers as the plant closes for retooling at the beginning of the new year.
While Regional Councillor Bob Gale’s measures to mitigate the impact of a potential nine percent budget increase in 2024 were shot down last week, the lack of public participation around next year’s Niagara Regional budget is what concerns him most—promised public engagement was “deferred” by staff.
A leaked letter from Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra to Ontario municipalities, shared by Environmental Defence, calls on mayors to unilaterally endorse planning blueprints that will support the Doug Ford PC government’s ambitious housing policy.
The letter circumvents council and regional authority, where decision making for future land use planning lies.
While the Mississauga Food Bank fell short of its overall goal for the Thanksgiving Food Drive, the organization, which is seeing an unprecedented number of clients each month, still managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for those in need.
The 9th annual drive wrapped up as Food Banks Canada released its 2023 Hunger Count Report, revealing the need for food bank services—higher than ever before—continues to worsen across the country.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled portions of the federal Impact Assessment Act — the Liberal government’s rigid environmental assessment scheme — to be unconstitutional.
The decision was celebrated by the PC government as potentially opening the door for its controversial Highway 413, which is currently designated under the Act. When the PC government learned it was mistaken, it is now taking further legal steps to approve the mega-highway that would cause serious environmental harm in Southern Ontario.
Last week, the PCs announced the reversal of forced municipal boundary expansions in Ontario, including in Peel which willingly expanded its boundary by 11,000 acres in 2022 following pressures from the provincial government.
Documents that have since become public reveal developers were favoured by the PCs in the urban expansion decisions which ignored local planning goals that tried to limit future growth to already developed areas. Despite this revelation, it remains unclear whether Peel councillors will reverse their previous decision.
The OPP, in conjunction with five municipal police forces, including Peel Regional Police, announced charges from a proactive online child sexual exploitation investigation which led to the arrest of ten individuals, including a high school teacher who has been with the York Region District School Board for the last 22 years.
Peel’s emergency housing system is falling further behind demand for shelter space, with an unprecedented number of houseless individuals and low-income families being pushed to the brink by runaway cost of living expenses.
A spike in asylum claimants has added to the dangerous dynamic as the Region can no longer meet its policy to never turn anyone away. Temporary solutions to keep people safe as winter nears will cost millions of dollars, while permanent emergency housing in one of Canada’s largest regions is nowhere close to where it needs to be.
Brampton councillors are set to approve the Official Plan that will guide local growth for the next three decades as the city attempts to break its addiction to sprawl.
In Mississauga, a number of departments will share strategies with councillors for new infrastructure and services to meet the coming population boom.
Thousands of documents received by Environmental Defence through an FOI request reveal PC government staff were working directly with developers to expand municipal urban boundaries, using a series of backroom deals similar to those in the Greenbelt scandal.
The new information reveals a pattern of behaviour by the PCs to give sprawl developers exactly what they want, and opens the door for cities and regions to retake control over their own planning, after alarming interference by Doug Ford’s government and land speculators with ties to its leader.
As staff move away from the idea of implementing temporary modular housing to address the Region’s housing and homeless crisis, Peel is instead considering higher quality, non-cabin style units, along with new proposals for affordable housing and shelter expansion ahead of the winter months, including more rental assistance programs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a historic announcement in Brampton, pledging $114 million from the Housing Accelerator Fund to build more homes.
It will allow the City to bring more than 3,000 additional housing units online over the next three years, and is a game-changer to meet its target of 113,000 new homes under the Ontario government’s housing plan. However, only five percent of the funding was initially allocated to the “affordable housing” category in the City’s application, raising questions about the impact on Brampton’s dire housing affordability predicament.
After workers walked off the job one week ago, halting shipping along the St. Lawrence Seaway, including Niagara's Welland Canal, a tentative agreement has been reached between the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation and Unifor, the union representing 360 workers responsible for managing one of Ontario’s most crucial economic corridors.
Despite the Ontario government’s promise not to open any new natural gas plants, it is expanding capacity at existing facilities.
While the federal government drafts Clean Energy Regulations to achieve a net zero electricity grid by 2035, loopholes allow provinces to keep polluting the air in the name of energy production.
Environmental Defence, represented by Ecojustice, has filed a court case against the Ontario government for failing to respond to a freedom of information request submitted last November that sought documents related to the Greenbelt Plan which removed 15 parcels of land from the protected greenspace.
Despite Doug Ford’s recent acknowledgements of irresponsible behaviour and apologies to the public, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has yet to comply with the FOI request.
On Monday, St. Catharines will consider offering tax relief to older, low income homeowners who may be struggling after the unprecedented 10.5 percent tax increase approved by councillors for 2023.
The City is also considering the creation of a social procurement program to increase diversity among its vendors.
It is estimated that 78 percent of the St. Lawrence Seaway’s Niagara region economic activity passes through the Welland Canal.
The mayors of four municipalities along the critical waterway are imploring federal officials to bring an end to the strike that has shut down the Welland Canal since Sunday.
A Community Satisfaction Survey has revealed a large segment of Bramptonians feel quality of life has worsened in recent years.
Mayor Patrick Brown told City staff the survey was “unnecessary” and called it “friendly fire,” claiming the City has been working on issues raised in the results. His own failure to fund needed infrastructure and amenities was one of the issues taxpayers highlighted.
Jane went through hell at E.C. Drury School for the Deaf. But she is not alone.
Ontario has paid out $23 million in taxpayer money to children harmed at schools under the mandate of the Provincial and Demonstration School Branch (PDSB). Yet, no systemic review of allegations or problems plaguing its broken culture has been conducted by the Ministry of Education. Minister Stephen Lecce has refused to do so.
One family is taking the Board and government to court, hoping to finally end the abuse.
Brampton’s withering Centennial Mall will be redeveloped into a mixed-use neighbourhood, to help accommodate the city’s rapid growth. The project will create 2,724 residential units and will include some space for services and retail activity.
But locals are raising concerns about the loss of the mall and the lack of infrastructure to support thousands of new neighbours.
The Region of Peel has a series of reports coming forward this week all with proposals to address the housing crisis that has caused the number of houseless residents to skyrocket.
Bill 23 and the lack of public health funding also continue to create significant problems for Peel; while Brampton considers a pilot program to help the hiring of those with disabilities.
During last week's public meeting, Regional councillors heard from public health staff worried about their jobs and the services provided to residents.
Delegations led to the admission of "structural" issues within the organization amid the departure of hundreds of staff, as employees call on council and senior leadership to advocate for more transparency from Queen’s Park while the provincial transition board works to dissolve the Region of Peel by 2025.
Still reeling from crippling tax hikes in municipalities such as St. Catharines, where homeowners are furious after an unprecedented 10.5% increase in the property bill for 2023 (pushed through after the public budget process), residents across the region are now being asked to cover a massive budget increase for Niagara’s police force.
A recent Supreme Court decision ruled that parts of the Impact Assessment Act are unconstitutional. But while the decision is being celebrated across provinces whose conservative governments rail against interference by Ottawa, the federal government has vowed to review the process, and, while doing so, certain projects, including Doug Ford’s Highway 413, remain under its microscope.
The City of Mississauga has announced it will be moving forward with permitting four-plexes city-wide after Mayor Bonnie Crombie issued a Mayoral Directive on Friday to reverse a decision made last week by council when members held off on allowing the multiplex housing model, citing the need for public consultations.
Facing an affordable housing crisis, Crombie has instead decided to take the matter into her own hands, avoiding any chance of NIMBYism influencing weak councillors.