Conservation Authorities play a vital supporting role in many municipal environmental projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created financial uncertainty for these organizations, and it’s putting further strain on the Region of Peel.
The federal Department of Justice dubs the number of hate crimes never reported as “dark figures”, with reason to believe such incidents are on the rise. It’s a trend seen in areas across the world, and a recent report says Mississauga and Brampton are commonly hit by these disturbing acts of intolerance, in two cities where people of different backgrounds share the same spaces in every facet of life. Social media, particularly Facebook, has allowed hate to flourish around the world.
A raft of human traffic charges around the world, including in Ontario, has highlighted how brazen criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic. While drug and gun smuggling have been thwarted by the air and border restrictions, domestic and international human trafficking have continued unhampered.
Peel is the epicentre for the heinous crime in Ontario, but service providers and the Region of Peel have been forced to delay efforts to help survivors, leaving many without the help they need.
Public health officials have made clear that regions and cities need two weeks of consistent decline in new COVID numbers before it’s safe to loosen social distancing restrictions. In many parts of Peel this is not happening despite the lifting of safety measures that creates a much rosier picture.
The region continues to struggle with new cases of COVID-19. Data from the tail end of June shows Peel experiencing levels of infection similar to those in Toronto, despite having half its population.
The affordable housing crisis across much of Peel is getting worse.
In a recent staff report, the Region admits it can’t handle the problem, and points to higher levels of government as the solution. But it leaves out a key fact – council’s repeated unwillingness to allocate funds for housing because it simply isn’t a priority for Peel’s highly-paid elected officials.
Peel police officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras soon, after members of the board that governs the force voted to adopt the technology.
The move, touted to improve transparency and accountability, came during a meeting Friday that saw almost 100 letters sent by community members, most calling for police reform or defunding, which the board chose not to address, for now.
Nine years ago, the Region of Peel presented ideas to improve Brampton’s aging downtown infrastructure to help revitalize the withering area. Backtracking on projects and a lack of political will to fund them put plans on hold for almost a decade.
More permanent projects for the downtown core are still being discussed, but the region can no longer wait, and has proposed a temporary solution that might have to be redone depending on the city’s LRT decision.
A Mississauga-based realtor is taking legal action against the City of Mississauga and Outfront Media, the company that manages advertising on municipal bus shelters. Court documents show that, when approached by the realtor with a complaint, the City took no action to resolve the issue between him and its advertising vendor, which A.J. Lamba alleges is unfairly advantaging other competing firms.
After months in battle with the novel coronavirus some long-term care homes won’t be getting a break any time soon.
Numerous homes caring for Peel's seniors have suffered from tragic outbreaks, some more than once, with homes appearing on the list in recent weeks for a second time, despite measures to keep COVID-19 out of these vulnerable spaces.
Darren John says he’s been harassed by the police and stopped hundreds of times while going about his daily life. Dozens of charges against him have either been dropped or he’s beaten them in court. Sometimes judges have displayed overt discrimination toward him.
His story, an extreme example of the treatment many people face at the hands of police just for being Black, highlights systemic issues within the criminal justice system that might finally be overcome by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Healthcare is a necessity, a foundation of society. When COVID arrived to shake up our lives many industries had to adapt. Canada’s universal health care is praised by people around the world, however, there are some glaring areas in need of improvement that physicians, nurses and administrators have known about for years. The pandemic has sped up the race to get better, and it all starts with technology.
The current school year abruptly ended classes in March as the province announced learning would shift online. But a new school year is around the corner, and as officials begin to share details on what that will look like, questions and concerns are mounting over how the plan will work.
A violent crash that killed a Caledon mother and her three young daughters on June 18, stirred emotions across the country. The 20-year-old driver of the car that hurtled into the family vehicle is now facing multiple dangerous driving charges. It’s the latest tragedy in a region where speeding has become a common killer.
A letter sent by a Peel District School Board superintendent to staff apologizes for a shockingly racist remark toward the mother of a student, and the entire Jamaican-Canadian community, made by a Mississauga elementary school’s principal last year. It is unclear if any action was taken to discipline the principal, who is listed as retiring at the end of June.
Demands to defund the police have grown louder since the death of George Floyd at the end of May and the shooting of a Malton man by Peel officers on Saturday.
As Peel Regional Police prepare to enter discussions for its 2021 budget, almost all of the nearly $500 million allotted to the force, for salaries and benefits, can not be touched.
From policing to healthcare, funding in Peel is inadequate. Add education to the top of that list. The funding formula used by the province to distribute money to school boards has been a concern of educators and parents for years, as students in Peel receive considerably less than their Toronto counterparts and far fewer dollars per capita compared to much smaller boards in Ontario.
A spotlight was placed on sexual and gender-based violence at the start of the pandemic when isolation measures forced people to stay indoors, often with their assailants.
But as measures begin to ease, there’s a worry the other crisis will be forgotten. Interim Place and Hope 24/7, two organizations helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, warn that these problems will not go away when COVID-19 wanes.
In its first meeting to sort out the financial chaos created by the pandemic, Mississauga’s budget committee heard the dire reality facing the city. Staff stopped short of specific recommendations, but – without funding from higher levels of government – cuts and delayed projects seem inevitable, even though growth pressures in the booming municipality show no sign of letting up.
Ontario’s Fire Marshal shared news of the dangerous trend in the number of house fires days before Brampton was hit with tragedy.
He’s urging people to stay attentive and safe while spending more time at home, often while distracted or under increased stress because of the disruption in their life.
Two days after a wellness check ended in the death of a father of four, questions and anger continue to swirl, as the family demands answers.
Police are often forced to deal with individuals suffering mental health issues, which raises concern about their lack of expertise, but when there’s a risk of danger to others, sometimes use of force is the only option.
After two alarming ministry reviews, a historic vote to hand over control of the board and the forced withdrawal of legal action against Black advocates, Peel District School Board’s director of education, Peter Joshua, has been removed by the provincial supervisor now in charge.
While activists celebrate a symbolic victory, they say the real work to dismantle a system of institutionalized discrimination, that has harmed students for decades, is about to begin.
The city has become a sore spot in the region’s battle to move onto the second phase of the province's reopening schedule. But while the number of new cases increased over the past week, compared to the previous one, Mayor Patrick Brown channelled Donald Trump while offering inflated testing numbers that included Etobicoke facilities, claiming they were done by "our hospital”.
After a frustrating week, left behind by most of the province, Mississauga and Brampton will enter Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening framework on Wednesday.
With Brampton still seeing a high number of new COVID-19 cases every day, is the move to open things like patios and personal care services coming too soon?
On the same day Education Minister Stephen Lecce named a supervisor to take control of the Peel District School Board, Director of Education Peter Joshua has confirmed the board is cancelling legal action aimed at Black advocacy groups.
The lawyer representing those groups says the withdrawal of the threat does not go far enough, with more concerning issues about a deeply troubled organization raised by its intention to litigate against proponents of racial equality.
Police reform won't happen if people like the current Peel board Chair Ron Chatha, a real estate agent with zero background or experience in policing, keep getting appointed to oversee the budgets and many of the governance issues that determine policies for local forces.
Saturday's fatal police shooting of a man in Malton, who reportedly suffered mental health issues, raises more questions about the way we fund police and whether a new model for dealing with "upstream" issues needs to be considered, to prevent crime and tragic altercations, before they ever happen.
Just days after trustees at Peel District School Board unanimously voted to bring in a supervisor to take over, The Pointer has learned the board has commenced legal action aimed at Black advocacy groups in the region.
A Notice of Application asks Twitter to identify the users behind various Black social media accounts to help PDSB take legal action against the individuals.
The uncertainty of students deciding if they should enrol in university or college for the fall has left many institutions planning creatively for the start of the academic year. Accommodating students who expect in-person classes, juggling innovations to make remote learning meaningful and salvaging all the other campus activities central to postsecondary life make it clear that things will look very different this September.
Natural infrastructure has been suffering in the region for years as municipalities struggle to keep pace with their exploding population, which needs a healthy tree cover for a range of reasons.
In an effort to underscore how important natural urban canopies are, the Greenbelt Foundation’s new framework highlights the economic benefit going green could have for Mississauga and Brampton.
A recent audit of the Rose Theatre, one of Brampton’s staple cultural venues, has found a lack of proper management and oversight led to thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
It’s not the first time an audit has found glaring problems in the management of the downtown theatre, but this time councillors chose not to say a word about the damning findings.
When the novel coronavirus hit Canada, everyone who could was told to work from home. Fear of the virus stopped many from taking public transit. Not everyone had that choice, meaning transit remained a vital lifeline for many. Now, as the world looks to recover, experts say cities should double down on their transit investment and innovate for a safer, more luxurious future.
It appears Peel District School Board’s refusal to take proper action to stop anti-Black racism and other forms of systemic discrimination within the board, has led to self-implosion. Trustees unanimously voted late Wednesday evening to have a provincially appointed supervisor step in to take over the board. The move could pave the way for the removal of Director Peter Joshua, as calls for his resignation among a growing list of diverse and influential community organizations get louder.
After a tiring few months and years of work by anti-Black racism advocates, the Peel District School Board has agreed to hand over control of its governance to the provincial education ministry. A day after Wednesday’s large Black Lives Matter march, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said a supervisor will take over the embattled board.
With a provincial deadline looming, the Peel District School Board’s director has hired education specialist Dr. Avis Glaze to advise the board on its anti-Black racism work. However, the timing of the decision and description of the role have raised more questions, while calls grow louder for Director Peter Joshua to step down because of his failed leadership on equity and inclusion in one of the country's most diverse regions.
Money for the arts and tourism sectors in Brampton is being given out by the city in order to keep local business alive. Due to physical distancing regulations, these industries have been the hardest hit in the wake of the pandemic, but is the city going far enough to support them?
A recent report from the City’s building department highlights the ongoing problems home owners face when trying to create legal secondary units, or basement apartments. A lack of consistent guidelines, spotty inspections and no clear rules for the number of these ubiquitous units have created a dilemma that might be contributing to high rates of infection in the city.
Peel is now one of just three regions in the province that will not be allowed to progress to the second stage of reopening. While neighbouring York Region has been given the greenlight to reopen at the end of this week, ICU and acute care beds in Brampton, where testing has been woeful, and Mississauga remain filled while local rates of the novel coronavirus in parts of Peel continue to pose a major problem.
The Special Investigations Unit, which is conducting a probe into the fatal police shooting of 26-year-old D’Andre Campbell in April, is unable to get a statement or notes from the subject officer.
A recent amendment to the Police Services Act under the Ford government in 2019 shields officers who don’t want to cooperate with the police watchdog.
Heritage Heights is the largest undeveloped area in Brampton, a space central to its 2040 Vision. Recently, staff and councillors have discussed pioneering dreams for the land, but the city’s track record suggests it may just be more rhetoric.
The Peel District School Board has a long history of looking the other way when it comes to systemic discrimination and bigotry, allowing racists like Paul Fromm to infest its ranks. By not facing up to the problem of its anti-Black bias, or having administrators and teachers who don’t reflect the demographic changes that have created a disconnect with communities served, the board has forced the hand of the provincial government. Now, it must protect students forsaken by the board.
Brampton City Councillor Harkirat Singh, a former PDSB trustee, says he witnessed firsthand the damaging actions of Director Peter Joshua. The elected official believes systemic anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination plaguing the board and harming students will only be eradicated if Joshua quits.
More and more people are returning to work. Others continue to work from home. While nobody can say for certain how the structure of employment and labour will change, the reality could be a pleasant twist for many, including some of our largest corporations.
If you don’t pay your fare on a Toronto bus, you could land yourself a fine of more than $400, even if you’ve just forgotten your wallet. In Brampton, as the city moves on from free fares during the height of the pandemic, a different approach to police passengers shows there is a more human, more welcoming way. And it might help grow ridership.
Terms like abolish, defund and reform have been flying across social media and in conversations across North America since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer almost three weeks ago. What do these terms really mean and how can public officials best take care of both functions that police are supposed to provide: serve and protect?
Regional Council wants a more aggressive stand on the mental health crisis in Peel. An already desperate situation has worsened since the pandemic, with more demand for mental health support within a system already severely underfunded and overwhelmed.
While councillors blame the province, they too have ignored the increasingly dire reality for years.
In the wake of an independent investigation into Peel District School Board that found the director and trustees are not cooperating with provincial directives, Peel's diverse communities are coming together to demand transformational change.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims is the latest large organization to voice concerns after widespread reports of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia at the board.
While the need always existed, social and medical assistance for homeless people were topics not widely talked about before COVID-19. The failure to do so has led some organizations to provide assistance, with a hope our healthcare system and social service sector can work more collaboratively to protect the vulnerable in the future.
In February, Peel District School Board issued a trespass notice, banning a parent and vocal critic of the board’s record on discrimination from board property. It alleged Idris Orughu made “threatening” comments, but a police probe found that was not the case. Now, without admitting a mistake or the harm its allegation caused, and while the board faces widespread condemnation from the education ministry and the public for its unwillingness to confront anti-Black racism, PDSB has suddenly removed the ban with no explanation.
The problem is twofold for Chief Nishan Duraiappah who is facing issues of anti-Black racism inside his organization and a groundswell of anti-police sentiment fuelled by the horrific death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
The progressive chief, just over six months on the job, promises community members they will soon witness changes as a result of work going on behind the scenes.
After living under the “hot spot” label for weeks, residents of northeast Brampton queued for a one-off novel coronavirus testing opportunity Wednesday.
It was a temporary fix in a city labelled a problem area, where many are concerned about woeful testing rates in the hard hit region. Meanwhile, Peel Memorial’s testing facility will be folded to make way for a drive-through site, similar to those that have been popular in other jurisdictions.
An independent investigation into the Peel District School Board has returned a damning verdict, finding the organization chronically ill-equipped to tackle discrimination, specifically anti-Black racism. The investigation was prompted by the board’s failure to support ministerial directives to fix its systemic problems with race. The new report lays the groundwork for the province to take over a dysfunctional public institution that has caused irreparable harm to Black students for decades.