The Lester B. Pearson Theatre, recording studios, music and dance spaces and the entire Chinguacousy Library Branch are scrambling to find new locations after the Bramalea Civic Centre was picked to host the proposed Toronto Metropolitan University School of Medicine. Councillors Rowena Santos and Pat Fortini got into a heated discussion at a recent meeting as Patrick Brown tried to downplay the mismanagement of the entire plan.
The PC government’s healthcare spending plan is being heavily criticized following the Financial Accountability Office’s disturbing projections. The FAO revealed a $21.3 billion shortfall in health sector spending by 2027/2028. In Peel, and particularly in Brampton, where a healthcare crisis has gripped the area over the past decade, and where rapid growth has seen healthcare funding fall further and further behind the growing demand, projected shortfalls in the next few years will make a dire situation even worse.
March 22 marks World Water Day which has sparked action by community members and environmental organizations across the province. Alongside this heightened activism, governments on all levels are increasingly overlooking the need to protect our vast freshwater supplies, which the entire world might one day rely on.
Following a year in which ten residents perished due to a fire, a strategy to educate and prevent tragedies before they happen is being rolled out across Brampton.
One of the ongoing problems unique to the city is the number of illegal secondary apartments in homes, which often do not meet basic fire code requirements.
Caledon Mayor Annette Groves is determined to hold the aggregate/gravel industry accountable, after decades of industrial activity has left many areas of the municipality riddled with open pit operations that residents have repeatedly raised concerns about, with little action.
In Mississauga, former integrity commissioner Robert Swayze has informed the City of his resignation, following the botched handling of former councillor Karen Ras's alleged harassment at the hands of another former council member.
Ahead of World Water Day, Andrew McCammon, Executive Director of the Ontario Headwaters Institute, questions why the province isn’t doing more to ensure the long-term sustainability of our vast and vital freshwater systems.
Across the province a coalition of nonprofits and nonpartisan citizen-led advocacy groups has come together under the banner: Alliance for a Liveable Ontario.
After almost five years of rule under Doug Ford, as residents have watched him undermine the public healthcare system, put our critical ecosystems and natural spaces at risk and strip away key democratic functions in local government, the new umbrella organization promises to be his true legacy—the premier who brought Ontario together… to defeat him.
During their most recent election campaign, the federal Liberals promised $1 billion over ten years for a renewed Freshwater Action Plan. The following year the same elected officials, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, committed two percent of the total funds promised. With threats from climate change, Bill 23 and other impacts of human encroachment on our freshwater supply, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is asking the Liberal government to live up to its commitment.
Police, politicians, manufacturing leaders and other stakeholders gathered on March 10 to discuss auto theft, a crime that has reached record-breaking levels over the last two years.
GTA police chiefs are proposing a multi-jurisdictional task force to curb what they are calling a transnational crisis.
The City of Mississauga is moving forward with the $85 million purchase of 82 hybrid-electric buses to be ready for city streets next year.
The City is responsible for just over a quarter of the funds with the remainder coming from the federal and provincial governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
Following an inspection of its 25 stormwater management ponds, the City of Niagara Falls found more than half need costly maintenance to continue serving their vital function.
The status of the ponds has led some environmentalists to call for natural solutions to mitigate flooding and capture storm runoff as urban development increases across Ontario.
For years, one of Mississauga’s most diverse high school communities has been without an adequate sports facility. Families have been calling on the Catholic school board and the City of Mississauga to replace the decaying field in Malton’s Anaka Park, but repeated requests have been met with inaction.
Now, after years of lobbying, an agreement appears to have been reached to rejuvenate the park.
Doug Ford and members of his PC caucus have repeatedly claimed that Bill 23, their unprecedented aggressive housing legislation to construct 1.5 million new homes by 2031, was driven by demand created by immigration. Accommodating newcomers, they claim, is a key objective.
The facts show this is blatantly misleading.
After tireless advocacy from the volunteer-run Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, the City of Brampton is receiving nearly $75,000 from the provincial government to protect turtles at Loafer’s Lake. The conservation efforts will directly support one of Ontario’s most at-risk species and have significant impacts on the city’s urban greenspaces.
Over a third of this year’s capital budget is federal and provincial grants which have yet to be guaranteed to the city for transit facility electrification equaling $210 million to allow the buildings to service electric buses.
Staff and Council members have once again been left shaking their head after an already rejected development application was proposed at a March 6 planning and development meeting, with no changes.
The plan, which was previously denied by Council in July, proposes high-rise towers double the height restrictions for the small surrounding area in Port Credit. Edenshaw, the developer, is refusing to budge on its initial proposal, while City staff have suggested an alternative building height to avoid a run-in with the Ontario Land Tribunal.
During Brampton council’s final day of budget deliberations, over $8 million in changes were made to the City’s proposed 2023 financial blueprint ahead of its planned approval on Thursday.
It’s unclear what impact these additions will have on the final tax increase for residents. The Brampton Board of Trade released a statement last month, after the proposed 2023 budget was released, criticizing the City’s financial stewardship since 2018 (when Patrick Brown became mayor).
Malkeet Sandhu, a community organizer with the David Suzuki Foundation, warned Brampton Council members that as they deliberate on the budget, emissions continue to rise in a community where just last year she watched from her window as floodwaters damaged trees, roads and homes.
Yet, Brampton councillors continue to delay critical investments into climate change mitigation.
A presentation to Brampton Council on the Hazel McCallion Line, formerly known as the Hurontario Light Rail Transit, showed costs associated with extending the project north of Steeles Avenue into downtown have almost doubled.
Auto thefts are surging across the Greater Toronto Area and on March 10, the Peel Regional Police will be hosting a summit with community partners to address the growing issue.
Regional councillors will receive a report outlining the challenges of adding more than 7,000 child care spaces allocated by the Ontario government.
Antibiotics are a life saving medicine that has saved tens of millions of lives. But their effectiveness is under threat. With antibiotic misuse and overuse, the potential for antimicrobial resistant genes to develop in the environment grows.
The World Health Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme have identified antimicrobial resistance as a global threat, but technology and infrastructure to test for and remove these compounds from our wastewater comes with a high cost.
Peel’s population is aging three times faster than the rest of Ontario. Social support systems designed to care for and keep older residents healthy and safe are under unprecedented strain.
Family Services of Peel has been handed $75,000 to study the gaps in the region’s support system and find immediate solutions to confront the heart wrenching increase in incidents of elder abuse, including mistreatment that is tied to many complex cultural dynamics in Peel.
A lawsuit filed against Peel CAS by its former director of finance Marino Cader, who has been criminally charged for alleged financial fraud, and a statement of defence by the organization reveal a series of troubling allegations of wrongdoing, financial mismanagement and potential criminal activity at an organization responsible for protecting Peel’s most vulnerable population.
The civil claims follow nearly three years of internal strife behind the walls of an organization that has faced allegations of discrimination, intimidating leadership and widespread financial abuse, leading to the recent departure of its embattled former CEO Rav Bains, who is singled out in many of the lawsuit’s allegations.
A provincial probe into alleged harassment and intimidation at Trillium Health Partners, which runs both of Mississauga’s hospitals, has resulted in a series of recommendations to change the culture and improve the workplace.
The investigation followed two letters submitted by a group of concerned employees alleging inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour by hospital administration. The third-party investigator determined many of the claims could not be substantiated due to limitations of the review.
Has Ontario lost the stability of its seasons? Dramatic variability in temperature and precipitation this winter has left many wondering about the impacts of climate change on our province.
Day-to-day or even month-to-month weather patterns are influenced by a variety of factors, but overall average temperatures are increasing, leaving Ontario open to more intense winter storms—despite what the current mild conditions may suggest.
The City has included $210 million in its 2023 budget that has not even been approved by upper levels of government, with the mayor suggesting otherwise.
Infrastructure projects, critical maintenance and COVID recovery continue to put pressure on City coffers, after Brown refused to expand the budget during his first four years.
Residents might have to pay an additional $177, on average, in 2023, while major projects to move Brampton forward have once again been kicked down the road under Brown’s leadership.
This week the Region of Peel lays out its strategy to attract funding for critical issues, including housing and climate change mitigation.
The Town of Caledon will hear information about ongoing air quality concerns due to industrial activity while the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board will consider a request for an Indigenous student trustee position.
The signs of increasing social isolation, discrimination, food insecurity and precarious employment are all around us. Walk out your door or scan the latest headlines to bear witness as the impacts of growing income disparity, mental health crisis and the mistreatment of vulnerable populations tear our social fabric apart.
A coalition of the province’s non-profit sector partners is calling on all levels of government to use public funds, for the public interest.
Ian Williams, University of Toronto English professor and inductee of the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame, spoke to a full house inside the Cyril Clark Lecture Theatre recently about his latest book, Disorientation: Being Black in the World, as part of Brampton Library’s events for Black History Month.
Since Jason Tamming returned to head Brampton’s communications department, the City and the man back in charge of information in and out of City Hall refuse to acknowledge he is once again employed by the municipality. Tamming was first hired in 2019, after the election of Patrick Brown, who has ties to the former Niagara Region employee through Conservative politics. He was fired by Niagara after Ontario’s Ombudsman highlighted Tamming’s corrupt behaviour in a CAO hiring scandal.
He departed Brampton last year when a majority of councillors pushed back against Brown for hiring and procurement moves under his leadership, but Tamming is now back in his old role.
A staff presentation Thursday showed the PC government’s Bill 23, to build 1.5 million homes across Ontario in just eight years, will create huge financial challenges for the Region of Peel, limiting its ability to focus growth in urban areas and create complete, walkable communities.
The PC government’s housing plan has created a financial black hole for the Region of Peel. If the hundreds of thousands of units mandated by the province are to be supported with critical infrastructure, roads and services, the Region will need to come up with more than $20 billion, which it doesn’t have.
If some developers get their way and force more sprawling subdivisions into municipal plans, taxpayers could be on the hook to cover billions of extra dollars needed to run costly infrastructure out to far flung properties already purchased by builders.
The City of Mississauga and the Town of Caledon are making it clear they will be unable to fulfill the demands of the PC government’s Bill 23 and its call for hundreds of thousands of housing units without significant assistance to build the infrastructure to support the massive growth.
In the City of Brampton, the internal audit department remains critically understaffed, raising significant questions about a key accountability mechanism for local taxpayers.
Lawyers representing the City of Mississauga have filed a motion to have former Ward 2 councillor Karen Ras’ $686,000 wrongful dismissal lawsuit thrown out, arguing she was not an employee of the municipality.
The move comes in response to a damning statement of claim filed by Ras in November against the City and former councillor Ron Starr after what she describes as “feeling frightened, concerned for her safety and entirely unsupported by City Management.”
As climate change intensifies across the globe, there is international consensus that our fight must include a focus on education.
Through the EcoSchools Canada initiative and other programs specific to the region, the Peel District School Board is introducing vital education to help slow the rate of climate change.
The Canadian government has failed to address the climate crisis; in doing so it has violated the Charter rights of young people across Canada. That’s the case a group of youth are making, to convince the court system that the complaint should go to trial after it was initially dismissed in 2020.
The legal strategy is part of a tactical shift in the environmental movement as judicial systems are increasingly being used to hold governments accountable.
The City of Mississauga is reaffirming its support for independence after a motion brought forward by Mayor Bonnie Crombie on Wednesday called for Council to push for the city’s departure from the Region of Peel.
The separation, which has been met with inaction from the PC government, would result in larger cost savings for the City and enable it to accelerate the PC housing agenda for future growth, Council says.
A location hasn’t been decided yet for Brampton Library’s Chinguacousy branch, which is now required to vacate in order to make room for Toronto Metropolitan University’s proposed new medical school, which it claims will be opened in 2025, even though numerous questions about the ambitious plan remain unanswered.
The former mayor, who powered through the political landscape for over three decades, died on January 29 at the age of 101.
She leaves a legacy shaped by her numerous victories for Mississauga, and difficult reminders of the mistakes she made.
Former Mississauga MP Stella Ambler wants to provide concerned citizens across Canada an outlet to hold their local councillors accountable for waste, corruption or other misdeeds.
Municipal Watch, launched in January, hopes to become an official opposition to local mayors and councillors who abuse their positions. Ambler intends to fill a gaping hole in a local accountability system that is failing, as elected officials flout toothless rules and democratic rights are stripped away.
Mississauga’s leaders have tried to break the city away from regional governance for decades. With a population approaching one million, changes to municipal structures and housing demands under Bill 23, Mayor Bonnie Crombie wants to back up her campaign promise and finally make Mississauga a standalone city.
Also this week, Caledon looks to approve its 2023 budget and the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board details efforts to ease the transition for students into destreamed science courses as the discriminatory practice is being dismantled across the region’s publicly funded school system.
With a strategy to build six new fire stations over a 12 year horizon and repair several of the service’s existing buildings, many of which were built over 30 years ago, council is investing in the City’s long-term infrastructure plan for the department, to address the recommendations made in the 2019 Building Condition Audit.
But a local union president questions if the City, after decades of mismanagement, will meet its ambitious goals.
On Groundhog Day 2022 as an opportunity to think about how our human actions impact the environment that shapes our lives, residents travelled to the hamlet of Belfountain in Caledon to participate in the first Walk of Reflection.
Environmentalist and fierce advocate Jenni Le Forestier, who passed long before her time, wanted to continue the event annually—so in 2023, residents organized the second one in her honour.
In late 2022, the provincial government steamrolled through Queen’s Park with Bill 23, and subsequent cuts to the Greenbelt Act to build 1.5 million new homes.
Environmental protections were slashed and the mandate of conservation authorities was dramatically curtailed. Despite the alarming moves, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority have big projects planned for 2023.
Following Patrick Brown’s reelection, City staff, led by a new CAO, have done a flip-flop in the handling of Muneeza Sheikh, the controversial integrity commissioner with past ties to Brown. After being let go by the former council, she has been rehired despite a lawsuit she filed against the City and the six individuals who voted for her contract to be terminated, initiating an investigation into her initial hiring under Brown (he later cancelled that investigation).
Now, staff appear to be acting politically in disparaging those six members and defending Sheikh—following Brown’s lead—despite a previous legal report from senior officials that highlighted the justification for her firing and determined her lawsuit had no merit.
Harm reduction is a critical piece of any strategy to mitigate the ongoing impacts of the opioid crisis.
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario wants the Doug Ford government to use all the tools at its disposal, including approval of new overdose prevention sites and safe consumption sites.
The City of Mississauga is without a leader to guide staff and elected officials as the financial blueprint he helped shape is implemented. Paul Mitcham, City manager and CAO, announced his departure following nearly three decades of service.
A notice of motion presented during Wednesday’s council meeting appointed City commissioners Shari Lichterman and Geoff Wright to fulfill the duties of CAO in the interim while a recruitment process is completed. The unexpected move came just a couple months after a lawsuit filed by former councillor Karen Ras made disturbing accusations against the now former CAO, alleging a toxic culture under the leadership of Mitcham and Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
Waves of students from around the world, but most commonly from India, arrive in Brampton each year to pursue post-secondary education. Many find themselves isolated, without support or housing.
Regional staff detail the negative impacts of the Doug Ford PC government’s plan to bulldoze 7,400 acres of the once protected Greenbelt, to make way for 50,000 homes.
After years of inaction, Peel councillors have approved one of the most ambitious housing budgets the region has seen. But with the Region only able to meet 30 percent of the growing need for housing assistance, the crisis will get much worse unless higher levels of government take responsibility.
The federal and provincial governments have chronically underfunded the system, leading to a rise in mental health and addictions issues, more work for the police and further strain on an already stretched healthcare system.
The Justin Trudeau Liberal government has warned it will not hesitate to protect species at risk, and, most recently, suggested it has the authority to stop the Ontario PC government’s Greenbelt carve outs.
But the federal government does not have a consistent record around enforcement of environmental protections, raising concern their words will not be followed by action.
During critical weather events, a portion of Peel’s most vulnerable population has to get creative when trying to escape bone-chilling conditions. The first major cold spell of the year highlights the lack of shelter support for the unhoused population.
With Peel’s shelter occupancy currently averaging 117 percent of capacity annually, more direct intervention is required to meet the critical need for help when the weather puts lives at risk.