When a ‘toss-up’ becomes a blowout: A look at the accuracy of riding predictions in Peel

When a ‘toss-up’ becomes a blowout: A look at the accuracy of riding predictions in Peel

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.



Uninspired by the campaign, lower percentage of Peel voters bother to cast a ballot 

Uninspired by the campaign, lower percentage of Peel voters bother to cast a ballot 

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.



Polls botch predictions in Mississauga, Liberals win easily across the city

Polls botch predictions in Mississauga, Liberals win easily across the city

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.



Ruby Sahota says party of ‘hope and balance’ prevailed in Brampton North

Ruby Sahota says party of ‘hope and balance’ prevailed in Brampton North

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.



Liberals repeat in all five Brampton ridings

Liberals repeat in all five Brampton ridings

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.



Refusing to take his win for granted, Sven Spengemann vows to work on affordable housing and transit in Mississauga-Lakeshore

Refusing to take his win for granted, Sven Spengemann vows to work on affordable housing and transit in Mississauga-Lakeshore

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.



Raj Grewal’s demise and a strong push by the NDP can’t keep the Liberals out of Brampton East

Raj Grewal’s demise and a strong push by the NDP can’t keep the Liberals out of Brampton East

Maninder Sidhu will have to pick up the broken pieces left by the riding’s disgraced former MP. The young rookie politician won huge Monday and now he has a huge mandate to fulfill, as voters are clamouring for leadership on immigration files, public safety and healthcare in the rapidly expanding community.



Gagan Sikand ready to strike ‘very hard’ against gun violence upon returning to Parliament

Gagan Sikand ready to strike ‘very hard’ against gun violence upon returning to Parliament

The Liberal incumbent won more than half the votes in Mississauga–Streetsville, easily besting the Conservatives’ Ghada Melek in a race that was projected to be a “toss up.” Mayor Bonnie Crombie was happy to embrace him as well, saying the federal Liberals have been good to the city. After he’s finished celebrating his win, Sikand said, he’s headed back to the halls of power in Ottawa with a mission: putting an end to the gangs and shootings that continue to plague Mississauga.



Mississauga and Brampton welcomed the party leaders with open arms, now it’s time for payback

Mississauga and Brampton welcomed the party leaders with open arms, now it’s time for payback

Justin Trudeau’s win in 2015 ushered in a long period of political hegemony in Mississauga and Brampton. But the Liberal juggernaut didn’t pay the kinds of dividends hoped for in these cities. Will voter angst and anger and reprisal replace hope as residents head to the polls on Monday? Will the Liberals pay the price for frittering away a huge hometown advantage?



Some candidates betting on social-media advertisements to nudge their campaign across the line

Some candidates betting on social-media advertisements to nudge their campaign across the line

As the sun rises on election day, the Liberals’ and Conservatives’ main Facebook accounts have spent more than $1 million each nationwide. The number is low to zero for most individual candidates in Mississauga and Brampton, as traditional methods like signs and door knocking are still big. In a few key races, however, candidates feel a couple thousand dollars on targeted adverts may help decide the result.



From workers rights to animal rights, Peel’s lesser known candidates make their pitch

From workers rights to animal rights, Peel’s lesser known candidates make their pitch

While the big three names — the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP — dominate the spotlight, other parties are on the streets playing the ground game as well. The Marxist-Leninist Party, Animal Protection Party and Canada’s Fourth Front are just a few.



Local issues front and centre at Mississauga—Lakeshore debate as race remains tight to the finish 

Local issues front and centre at Mississauga—Lakeshore debate as race remains tight to the finish 

In Mississauga—Lakeshore residents have organized three separate all candidate debates. Incumbent Sven Spengemann, Conservative candidate Stella Ambler and Green, NDP and PPC representatives have attended every single one of them. With the race in Lakeshore arguably the closest in the city, candidates have gone into detail on local issues, where some in other ridings simply repeat the party platform. 



What position do Peel candidates have on immigration, legal cannabis and other controversial issues? We don’t know

What position do Peel candidates have on immigration, legal cannabis and other controversial issues? We don’t know

Candidates in Peel have been careful in expressing their personal opinions on topical issues. Asked by The Pointer about potentially controversial wedge topics such as abortion, immigration and the legalization of cannabis, most candidates have kept their personal cards close to the chest, opting instead to share the party position. Though safe, this trend may worry voters, who hope to see their candidates display a unique knowledge and understanding of their riding and the values of local residents. 



For immigrant professionals, ‘survival jobs’ are the norm before their foreign education pays dividends 

For immigrant professionals, ‘survival jobs’ are the norm before their foreign education pays dividends 

Oluseyi Sode, who has a Ph.D., has worked a string of ‘survival jobs’ since his arrival in Canada. He finally landed a sessional instructor position at the University of Guelph, but it has not been a smooth, linear path for the professor. His story of trying to break into the professional labour force as a newcomer, in his respective field, is a fairly typical example of the adversity highly skilled immigrants face. But a little adversity is nothing for the man from Nigeria. 

This is the last of three profiles of immigrants as Canadians head to the polls and our country’s approach to newcomers remains a top of mind issue for many.



Little action to match Gagan Sikand’s appeals in Parliament

Little action to match Gagan Sikand’s appeals in Parliament

The Liberal incumbent for Mississauga–Streetsville began his term talking about constituents who were worried about their children’s future, who couldn’t afford their homes and could barely make it home for dinner after work due to poor investments in transit.

For all his initial protests, voting records show Sikand didn’t stray from the party line, and the bill he introduced on impaired driving went nowhere.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



The artist as a worker: the struggle of chasing your passion in a new land

The artist as a worker: the struggle of chasing your passion in a new land

Brampton’s Kulwant Singh has faced two challenges since arriving in his second continent: making it; and making it as an artist. The obstacles for newcomers are daunting enough, but trying to pursue his passion for painting, in a world that often views him as alien, has revealed another layer in Canada’s complex society.

This is the second of three profiles of immigrants as Canadians head to the polls and our country’s approach to newcomers remains a top of mind issue for many. 



NDP criticizes Liberal failures in Peel; refutes claim that Jagmeet Singh’s promises are “disingenuous”

NDP criticizes Liberal failures in Peel; refutes claim that Jagmeet Singh’s promises are “disingenuous”

At a campaign rally for the NDP attended by Leader Jagmeet Singh Thursday, Brampton East candidate Saranjit Singh shot back at a Liberal incumbent who accused the leader of creating false hope by promising a new hospital and university in the city. The party leader has also made a sweeping commitment to Mississauga, in hopes of wooing undecided residents ahead of Monday’s big vote.



Jordan Boswell apologizes for 2012 joke at the expense of vulnerable sex workers

Jordan Boswell apologizes for 2012 joke at the expense of vulnerable sex workers

The NDP candidate for Brampton Centre has apologized for an old tweet that has resurfaced in which he makes fun of an article on vulnerable girls and the sex trade.

The joke is particularly painful in Peel, which is ground-zero for human trafficking in the GTA.



Tackling discrimination the focus of Iqra Khalid’s four years in Ottawa

Tackling discrimination the focus of Iqra Khalid’s four years in Ottawa

A young rookie MP from Mississauga, Iqra Khalid did not speak much in the House of Commons during her first term.

However, away from the bustle of the political arena, Khalid made her priorities clear, speaking frequently on several committees dealing with equality, justice and human rights.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Couple came here as Vietnamese refugees; now they give back to others fleeing hardship

Couple came here as Vietnamese refugees; now they give back to others fleeing hardship

Kyanh Do and Kim Tran are living a blessed life with a beautiful home and four flourishing daughters. But if it wasn’t for Canada’s attitude toward immigration things could have unfolded in an entirely different way after they fled communist Vietnam four decades ago. 

This is the first of three profiles of immigrants as Canadians head to the polls and our country’s approach to newcomers remains a top of mind issue for many.



Sven Spengemann speaks up for women, the environment and sometimes for Mississauga–Lakeshore

Sven Spengemann speaks up for women, the environment and sometimes for Mississauga–Lakeshore

The Liberal incumbent is outspoken on social media and in the House of Commons about issues like inequality and plastic pollution. His only bill, which he says was drafted through consultation with his constituents, designated the fourth week of every September as “Gender Equality Week.”

When it comes to voting, though, Spengemann is no rogue and faithfully sticks to the party line.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Ramesh Sangha says much with few words but ultimately fails to deliver for Brampton

Ramesh Sangha says much with few words but ultimately fails to deliver for Brampton

The Liberal incumbent for Brampton Centre started strong in the first two years of his term, promising to crush “the enemy” of poverty and nursing a private member’s bill that could have empowered his city to fight for better investment.

Those dreams have yet to come to fruition, however, and in the meantime the MP has fallen relatively silent.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Peter Fonseca a loyal Liberal but not an ardent advocate

Peter Fonseca a loyal Liberal but not an ardent advocate

The incumbent MP for Mississauga East–Cooksville regularly turned up to vote. He asked relevant questions about the postal service, immigration and transit. He worked to bring valuable business connections to the city. But Fonseca — who never defied the party whip and never tabled a private member’s bill — was much quieter when it came to difficult problems in his community that could require him to challenge party leaders.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Kamal Khera’s special status as parliamentary secretary brings little to Brampton

Kamal Khera’s special status as parliamentary secretary brings little to Brampton

The MP for Brampton West was rewarded early with the title of parliamentary secretary, a role that offers a direct pipeline to party leaders in cabinet. Over the span of four years, she worked alongside the ministers of health, revenue and international development. But despite her promise to “fight for the values, priorities and the voices of the residents of Brampton West,” Khera hasn’t secured any significant investment to solve the city’s persistent problems.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Ruby Sahota accuses Jagmeet Singh of ‘misleading’ Bramptonians on new hospital

Ruby Sahota accuses Jagmeet Singh of ‘misleading’ Bramptonians on new hospital

The Liberal incumbent for Brampton North is calling the NDP’s promise “disingenuous.” Though she acknowledges the health-care crisis gripping the Flower City, Sahota says the New Democrats were wrong to make the offer a centerpiece of their Brampton campaign because the decision ultimately requires the signoff of the premier. Meanwhile, Sahota’s NDP rival argues the new hospital is actually a responsibility for all three orders of government.



Andrew Scheer stuck on repeat as he goes stumping in Peel again

Andrew Scheer stuck on repeat as he goes stumping in Peel again

At the Conservative leader’s latest stop, located at a trucking company’s facility near the Maple Lodge Farms plant in Brampton, Scheer provided no additional details on funding for Brampton and Mississauga.

Instead, he repeated his key campaign messaging, adding a few comments on the prospect of a Liberal-NDP coalition and the Grits’ supposed plan to decriminalize hard drugs.



Peel police to double presence, add new substation in downtown core following violent incidents

Peel police to double presence, add new substation in downtown core following violent incidents

Residents are shaken after Saturday’s stabbing near the farmers’ market and gunshots heard early Thursday morning. The region’s top cop was quick to ease fears by announcing greater police presence and a new substation in the core.

However, the reformer said his approach to solving society’s ills involves not just uniformed officers but also regional officials, city councillors, social-services agencies and the very people who are concerned for their safety.



Ruby Sahota’s high hopes for change remain unrealized

Ruby Sahota’s high hopes for change remain unrealized

The MP for Brampton North has made connecting with her constituents a priority, organizing town halls and appearing at community events. She’s been a strong advocate, bringing the people’s demands for a fair share of investment to the halls of power in Ottawa. Yet, as her tone changes from insistent to celebratory, the situation in Brampton remains much the same.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Liberals’ Sonia Sidhu reports ‘hundreds’ of signs stolen or vandalized as candidate conflict dominates campaign

Liberals’ Sonia Sidhu reports ‘hundreds’ of signs stolen or vandalized as candidate conflict dominates campaign

The incumbent for Brampton South is just the latest candidate to report tampering with campaign signs. Sidhu cast aspersions on her political rivals, but regardless of who is responsible, the incidents add to a growing list of conflicts and controversies that show this election has become more about people than policy.



UPDATE: Peel school trustee apologizes for racially charged remark that acting chair denied was ever made 

UPDATE: Peel school trustee apologizes for racially charged remark that acting chair denied was ever made 

After a heated Peel District School Board trustee’s meeting Thursday, when William Davies was accused of calling McCrimmon Middle School in Brampton, McCriminal, the trustee has finally apologized for his remark. The trustee remained silent throughout the meeting, as members of the Black community, which makes up a large portion of the school’s student body, asked for an apology. It remains unclear why acting Chair Sue Lawton misled the public when she said her colleague had never made the remark, despite another trustee’s repeated efforts for months to get action on behalf of the community.



Secondary school teachers’ union says it’s ready for strike vote after ‘incessant stalling’

Secondary school teachers’ union says it’s ready for strike vote after ‘incessant stalling’

The news comes a week after school closures were narrowly avoided, as CUPE and its educational support staff had threatened to go on strike. Meanwhile, the president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation tells The Pointer why the teachers’ union had to wait this long to call a vote.



Singh reaffirms Brampton infrastructure commitments even in a coalition, but funding details remain vague 

Singh reaffirms Brampton infrastructure commitments even in a coalition, but funding details remain vague 

With the election entering its final sprint, the chances of a minority government seem likely. Over the weekend, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh gradually opened up on what might happen if his party holds the balance of power after October 21. During his latest visit to Brampton, Singh vowed that his promises for a new hospital and university campus in the Flower City would be kept, though he did not offer more details or a timeline for the projects. 



The problem with polling in Peel

The problem with polling in Peel

Who is actually winning in Mississauga and Brampton? It could be anyone’s guess. Peel Region is a polling desert, with next to no public surveys catering to local residents. The No. 1 resource for individual ridings is based on national data and a whole lot of tweaking. For citizens looking to vote strategically on October 21, the best resource may just be watching what the parties are up to.



Omar Alghabra spent the last term looking outward

Omar Alghabra spent the last term looking outward

The MP for Mississauga Centre has spoken regularly about the community he represents, highlighting local luminaries and events in the House of Commons. However, despite being a backbencher with no other hats to wear, Alghabra’s main focus over the past four years has been the international stage.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



In the fight to make Brampton a healthier community, Sonia Sidhu offers a strong voice but little action 

In the fight to make Brampton a healthier community, Sonia Sidhu offers a strong voice but little action 

The Brampton South Liberal incumbent became part of the majority government in 2015, sitting as a backbencher. Her strong advocacy on diabetes awareness and funding, with Sidhu’s prior experience in the healthcare system, quickly became the focus of her work. But healthcare remains in crisis, in her own riding and throughout Brampton.

Part of a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Brampton and Mississauga.



Jobs, crime, housing and immigration top of mind for Mississauga voters who cast an early ballot Friday

Jobs, crime, housing and immigration top of mind for Mississauga voters who cast an early ballot Friday

Advance voting began Friday and a handful of issues dominated the concerns of Mississauga residents The Pointer spoke with throughout the day as they cast a ballot. The economy and jobs, infrastructure to support an influx of newcomers, crime and affordable housing, were all push factors for the early birds, most of whom were over the age of 50.



Trudeau was back in Peel, again, but fails to commit to specific local needs in Mississauga and Brampton

Trudeau was back in Peel, again, but fails to commit to specific local needs in Mississauga and Brampton

Another Mississauga visit, another opportunity for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to address city-specific issues. But he didn’t. Offering only the same broad speaking points he uses across the country – people benefitting from four years of Liberal investments and policies – Trudeau still didn’t outline how, specifically, he plans to tackle pressing issues in Mississauga and Brampton, such as their widening infrastructure gap, funding for the Hurontario-Main LRT and rising gang violence across the region. 



Navdeep Bains more minister than MP, leaving Malton without a voice

Navdeep Bains more minister than MP, leaving Malton without a voice

Mississauga—Malton is facing a range of social ills, including precarious housing and public safety. Yet during the 42nd Parliament, Liberal incumbent Navdeep Bains has been using his words and bills to fulfill his duties as minister of innovation, science and economic development rather than support his riding.

This is the first in a series ahead of the federal election on the parliamentary record over the past four years of 10 incumbent MPs in Mississauga and Brampton.



Members of Peel's Black community accuse school board trustees of institutional racism at heated meeting

Members of Peel's Black community accuse school board trustees of institutional racism at heated meeting

Thursday night’s meeting of Peel District School Board trustees was brought to a standstill. Members of the Black community demanded to know what will be done with Trustee William Davies, who they say referred to McCrimmon Middle School as McCriminal — a problematic nickname because the school is mostly composed of racialized groups.



Peel teachers say debilitating class sizes the ‘biggest issue’ behind walk-in protest

Peel teachers say debilitating class sizes the ‘biggest issue’ behind walk-in protest

Many will look back on 2019 as a year of education revolution, as Ontario’s teachers rise up against millions in funding cuts and an increase in class sizes. After finally coming to an agreement with school support staff this past Sunday, the province will now have to dance with the teachers despite their frayed relationship.



No sponsor emerges to give seniors free transit, and odds are even worse for young riders

No sponsor emerges to give seniors free transit, and odds are even worse for young riders

City council began exploring the feasibility of allowing seniors to travel for free on Brampton Transit back in March. A staff report released this week puts the cost of that at $750,000 and rising, and Mayor Patrick Brown’s hopes of finding a sponsor to cover the loss have been dashed. Another report dismissed the idea of free travel for youth as too costly. Even so, officials say they aren’t giving up the hunt for opportunities.



Leaders' debate no Kennedy versus Nixon but it offers the same sad lessons

Leaders' debate no Kennedy versus Nixon but it offers the same sad lessons

That benchmark moment from 1960 remains with us today, as style over substance created a paradigm shift in politics. Modern debates are just as focused on political gunslinging and showmanship, but while last Monday did have its moments, the spark has been lost. Without even entertainment value, what purpose remains?



Rose Theatre debate draws out commitments on infrastructure, multiculturalism and cybersecurity

Rose Theatre debate draws out commitments on infrastructure, multiculturalism and cybersecurity

Gathered at the downtown Brampton theatre, federal candidates offered little clarity on most issues but added a few big pledges. Those included funding for a Main Street LRT, a cultural education centre and support for the Cybersecurity Catalyst. Not all parties came prepared with new promises, however, and some didn’t come prepared with answers.



Racism stays centre stage in federal election as hateful graffiti appears in Peel

Racism stays centre stage in federal election as hateful graffiti appears in Peel

If the campaign of the country’s first-ever visible-minority leader didn’t cement race as a key theme of the 2019 federal election, the discovery of Justin Trudeau’s history with blackface and brownface certainly did.

Now that racist and islamophobic grafitti has appeared on two NDP signs in Peel, candidates like Brampton's Saranjit Singh are grappling with how to combat hateful attitudes in the country’s most diverse cities.



Jordan Boswell once worked for Jagmeet Singh; now it’s his name on the ballot

Jordan Boswell once worked for Jagmeet Singh; now it’s his name on the ballot

The Brampton-born NDP candidate helped Singh hold on to power before supporting his rise to party leader. Though the odds are stacked against him in Brampton Centre, Boswell is committed to getting the city the support it needs to manage its rapid growth — starting with a second hospital.



Andrew Scheer says Mississauga will get the transit funding it ‘deserves’ but promises no key projects

Andrew Scheer says Mississauga will get the transit funding it ‘deserves’ but promises no key projects

During a campaign stop in Mississauga-Lakeshore, the Conservative leader reminisced about time spent in the riding during his youth. Though he said he spent many hours on the city’s buses and trains, Scheer refused to commit to any individual plans, including a critical $200-million project on the mayor’s priority list.



Bitten by party officials, MPs turn to zombies in need of brains

Bitten by party officials, MPs turn to zombies in need of brains

Few sights are more horrifying than your chosen representative mindlessly shuffling into the House of Commons to groan the party line. While some MPs do go rogue, speaking for themselves or their constituents, they have rapidly become outnumbered by the echoing hordes. One politician who suffered for speaking out tells The Pointer that today’s candidates will have to decide early whether to become a maverick or monster.



New Democrats pledge to give Brampton its university campus back

New Democrats pledge to give Brampton its university campus back

The federal NDP added funding for a downtown campus to its list of promises for Brampton on Wednesday. While the party left a number of questions unanswered, including which university might inhabit the space, how much the plan will cost and whether it is a simple restoration of the deal Doug Ford cancelled last year, the sheer scale of the “New Deal for Brampton” could win over many skeptics.



Survey suggests a happy Mississauga, but not when it comes to biking and living affordably

Survey suggests a happy Mississauga, but not when it comes to biking and living affordably

Two of the lowest scores in the new Mississauga Citizen Satisfaction Survey relate to cycling and affordable housing, with residents distinctly unimpressed. However, Mayor Bonnie Crombie welcomed the results, telling The Pointer that affordable housing and cycling were two priorities for council and that solutions are already on the table.



Single father of child with severe autism demands national strategy at Brampton campaign stops

Single father of child with severe autism demands national strategy at Brampton campaign stops

Physically and mentally drained, Jamie Peddle wants the federal government to help ease the strain by implementing a national autism strategy and including autism treatment in medicare. To that end he’s tried to bend the ear of politicians, including party leaders at recent campaign events — but he’s making less headway than he’d hoped.