There are more roads in a single square kilometre in Southern Ontario than in any other part of Canada. It means the natural world is slashed, paved over and divided, leaving very few corridors for wildlife to migrate, search for food or suitable places to breed.
Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause of species decline, and now the Ontario government wants to build a 400-series highway along the edge of the Greenbelt, compromising the homes of countless animals, and the province’s fight against climate change.
Under a partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission Peel Regional Police is turning to the community for help to address systemic racism within the force.
Data on the targeted carding and use of force against Black residents already shows Peel police what it needs to know, activists say.
A rush of delegations and advocacy demanding more be done to help international students is gaining traction.
After pressure and a comprehensive report on the problem, Brampton City Councillors have agreed to address the issue but remain reluctant to take a true leadership role. The city is home to thousands of foreign students hoping to live and study in Canada. All arrive expecting the Canadian dream, but too many see it morph into a nightmare.
The court case for a horrific Brampton crash that left a Caledon mother and her three daughters dead is set to resume November 1. The trial will determine if 21-year-old Brady Robertson will be convicted of impaired driving causing death. The Judge ruled Wednesday that critical evidence showing THC and fentanyl in Robertson’s system, along with drugs police seized from his car, will be admissible in the case.
A third-party investigation into allegations of corruption and fraud at the very top of Brampton City Hall has, once again, been delayed, raising concern over possible staff involvement in the final report. And it’s unclear why the findings apparently were going to be kept from the public ahead of a council meeting to discuss the accusations levelled by a senior staffer.
Confusion around its publication caused by Brampton’s chaotic governance is just the latest twist since Mayor Patrick Brown directed the hiring of senior staff with a scandalous past in Niagara region.
For the past two government cycles, the City of Mississauga has been represented by six Liberal MPs who were part of the ruling party.
With more than $1 billion in unfunded projects across the next decade and aging assets, Mississauga has looked to Ottawa for desperately needed help. However, over the past six years, infrastructure funding to prevent catastrophic damages related to climate change and to move the booming city into the future has not flowed from the highest level of government. Meanwhile, Mississauga taxpayers continue to subsidize other parts of the country.
Between 2015 and 2019, Brampton received almost no funding from Ottawa to help with its crumbling infrastructure and aspirational projects. Despite having five governing MPs, just $40.3 million was sent back to the city, barely one percent of its per capita share of available federal infrastructure dollars.
This improved slightly over the last two years under a Liberal minority, but Brampton is still getting grossly shortchanged by federal leaders.
Turnout will be a key factor in Canada’s 44th federal election.
Initial estimates show early voting turnout is down in several key ridings in Peel Region, particularly Brampton East where a glitch in the Elections Canada system delayed 52,000 voter information cards.
Voters in the Flower City have once again placed their trust in five Liberal MPs to advocate for their interests in Ottawa. Four Liberal incumbents were sent back to the House of Commons, while the newly nominated candidate for Brampton Centre secured his first term as an MP.
The result leaves Brampton in practically the same political situation it was in when the election was called five weeks ago.
Perhaps the most dynamic, and crucial theme that unfolded during the election campaign is how to balance the country’s economic interests with the need to shift our thinking about climate change.
The Green Party has pushed a more sophisticated idea—that Canada can have its cake and eat it, too: A cleaner future and massive economic returns from creating the technology and jobs of the future.
A couple of the Liberal names in Parliament representing Mississauga will be different. But like the national headlines, the city’s 2021 election result is the same as 2019, raising more questions about why Canadians were forced to the polls for a campaign that did not offer voters enough information to change their mind at a time when many are still anxious about the future.
Human trafficking has been a taboo subject this election campaign.
While this type of crime has continued in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of Canada’s big political parties have a comprehensive plan to tackle forced labour or sex trafficking if elected. Why?
Maxime Bernier, Leader of the People’s Party of Canada, visited Port Credit Thursday to meet supporters. The former Conservative MP arrived at his event more than three hours late, jogged in, then greeted supporters while pushing a range of debunked theories, including a questionable understanding of vaccines and climate change.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has only visited Brampton twice this election, a significant drop from his rookie national campaign in 2019. At a rally in Brampton East Wednesday he didn’t make any new promises to residents, but told The Pointer another local hospital would only be built if he wins Monday’s election.
Mississauga Centre Green Party candidate Craig Laferrière is running for parliament with a formidable resume. He has a PhD in chemistry, alongside a career in vaccine research and development and a range of non-profit experience on top of an impressive history of volunteer work.
He hopes to take that experience, and a passion for the environment, to Parliament Hill with a win on Monday.
Peter Fonseca was extremely vocal throughout his last two years in office for Mississauga East—Cooksville.
He consistently brought up the riding and fought for issues his constituents pushed to the top of the local agenda. Routinely debating in the House made Fonseca stand out from many of his colleagues in Parliament.
She may have limited resources and time, but Sarah Walji is determined to give Mississauga—Lakeshore constituents tired of the Conservatives and Liberals another viable option.
As an emergency psychiatric nurse doing shift work, she somehow manages to prioritize the requests of residents looking for someone to advocate on healthcare, education, housing and climate action.
Kaukab Usman is running to change the fortunes of many newcomers to Mississauga–Erin Mills. The Pakistani-Canadian believes incompatibility between immigration rules and employment standards is holding her community back.
If elected, she has promised to reform Canada’s immigration and settlement system to unleash the potential of well-educated immigrants, some of whom work in low-skilled jobs that do not take advantage of their education and experience.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has put forward a broad platform for the ongoing election campaign, vowing to continue and expand childcare plans already signed with seven provinces and one territory, while addressing the ongoing affordable housing crisis.
But like other commitments in the plan, the full assistance for some struggling families might not arrive until after the next term of government.
The Green Party places the environment and climate crisis at the heart of its plans for Canada. With a small percentage of support from Canadians, it’s unlikely Leader Annamie Paul will become Prime Minister.
However, with the Party’s plans for the climate crisis, and expanded support for municipalities, it deserves a second look from many Canadians, while serving as a bellwether for other parties.
Over the past two years, the Brampton North Liberal incumbent seldomly spoke about problems directly affecting her constituents and instead focused on larger issues impacting Canadians generally.
Added parliamentary responsibilities likely played a role, but the fierce Brampton advocate still made her voice heard while fighting for her city.
A longtime labour union leader, community advocate and NDP campaign staffer, Jim McDowell is now holding his own party banner, as the candidate for Brampton Centre.
After watching what his city has suffered through during the ongoing public health crisis, he vows to represent neglected workers in Ottawa, while getting Brampton taxpayers the healthcare they have been denied for decades.
Iqra Khalid may not have always mentioned Mississauga—Erin Mills by name in Parliament, but she focused on the members of her community and issues they face every day. A strong advocate on women’s rights and other human rights issues, Khalid rose many times during the past session of Parliament, continuing to build on the work she began after first being elected in 2015. She chaired one of the highest profile committees, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which did the heavy lifting on many of the issues closest to her heart.
With days until the polls close, candidates are making their last pitches to voters. Messages are printed on pamphlets, plastered over social media and repeated on thousands of doorsteps.
The Pointer visited one Mississauga—Streetsville neighbourhood and spoke to residents about how the end of a short campaign at the local level, far from the cameras and charter planes for the party leaders, is playing out.
The career environmentalist has worked in the public and private sector to push sustainable practices, and has spent much of his life over the past decade in the political realm, running for office to educate the public and keep green values in the discourse around election time.
His strong stance against the GTA West Highway reflects the platform of his party.
Jermaine Chambers has run to represent Bramptonians at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. His current campaign, to unseat Liberal incumbent Kamal Khera in Brampton West, hinges on his ability to work across all three levels of government, to finally get Brampton taxpayers what they deserve.
Cooperation would be a cornerstone of his advocacy as an MP, to maximize investment in Brampton’s infrastructure, housing and healthcare. Lowering auto-insurance rates in the city is a key issue.
An Elections Canada glitch means around 52,000 electors in Brampton East have not received voting information in the mail, even as advance polls close.
The cards were supposed to arrive in mail boxes no later than September 10, when advanced voting began, but with the four-day early polling ending today, tens of thousands of Brampton residents relying on their information cards will now be forced to wait until September 20. Elections Canada says it hopes the information will arrive soon and is urging locals to search on its website for instant instructions on how and where to vote.
Enhancements to the Hurontario LRT, a BRT route along Dundas Street, and climate change mitigation efforts are at the top of the list for the City of Mississauga, and it’s the same for Ewan DeSilva, the Green Party candidate for Mississauga—Erin Mills.
The rookie candidate promises to push for local projects not just to help the environment but to enhance the quality of life for Mississauga’s residents.
The Green party has once again put forward an ambitious platform to deal with the largest issue people around the world are facing, collectively.
In Mississauga—Lakeshore, huge developments across the riding’s waterfront are taking shape, and Robertson vows to make sure the rapid growth is handled with a focus on nature, sustainability and human-scale planning. Her party also has a platform focussed on the specific needs of municipalities.
The city’s board of trade held a debate last week, inviting all candidates, but aside from the Liberals, participation among other party hopefuls was spotty.
Candidates were asked about childcare in the city, housing, pandemic recovery and funding for specific projects in Brampton.
There was plenty of agreement when the Liberal, Conservative and Green candidates met virtually for a debate on the topic of climate change.
During a respectful, if uneventful, Zoom event, federal election hopefuls offered their solutions for the worsening climate crisis.
Mississauga—Lakeshore candidate Michael Ras caused a stir Friday at a local Board of Trade event, when he suggested he supports the construction of the controversial 413 Highway being pushed by the Doug Ford PC government.
He later clarified his position, telling The Pointer there needs to be proper consultation before a decision on the future of the proposed transportation corridor is made.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole was in Mississauga on Friday as the federal election enters its final phase with him in a neck-and-neck race alongside Justin Trudeau.
He told assembled reporters he was working to rebrand his party for suburban voters in the GTA’s 905, with no wins in Brampton or Mississauga over the past two elections. He appealed to Mississauga voters to move on after six years of Liberal government but avoided directly committing to transit priorities in the city.
Hidden in the shadow of Toronto, Mississauga does not always get the attention it deserves, says Mississauga—Lakeshore candidate Michael Ras.
After the pandemic upended many lives financially and strained the mental health of thousands across the city, he says now is the time for those in Ottawa to address the city’s specific needs.
After being reelected in 2019, Sven Spengemann promised to bring needed transit and affordable housing funds to his riding of Mississauga—Lakeshore. Over two years, he only spoke of public transportation once and never said the words, “affordable housing” in Parliament.
Instead, he focused on climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing attention to the contributions of members of his community who had passed on.
The NDP’s candidate for Brampton South is contesting her first election campaign. With a determination to bring change to her city and the experience of raising a family in Brampton, Tejinder Singh is convinced the NDP is the partner that can get things done for constituents.
The cost of housing and health inequity are two key areas she promises to focus on, if elected.
Kamal Khera was the least vocal of Brampton’s incumbent Liberals over the past two years, speaking just 16 times in Parliament, a ghost-like presence for someone elected to give voice to many of her struggling constituents. For almost nine months, she failed to utter a single word in the House of Commons.
Instead, her violation of directions on travel during the pandemic, when she quietly went to the United States at the height of COVID-19’s impact around the holiday period, was a continuation of her questionable behaviour since Khera’s 2015 election.
While preparing to teach a course on law and the environment, Mark Davidson was shocked by Canada’s poor track record on environmental protection.
Running for the Greens in Mississauga—Malton, Davidson acknowledges he might not know everything about being an MP, but as someone closely connected to people in his community, he vows to solve the problems they face, while tackling the looming threat of climate change.
Naval Bajaj is contesting the riding of Brampton East for the second time in three elections, after suffering defeat to Liberal Raj Grewal in 2015. The candidate brings a background in retail and business to the table, with a particular focus on Canada-India commercial relations.
Cautious in his specific promises, he has vowed to do “whatever” it takes to secure “as much federal funding as possible” for Brampton.
The broad issue of climate change comes up daily during this short campaign contest. What national leaders don’t offer are concrete actions they would take on specific projects, if elected prime minister.
Currently, Highway 413 sits in limbo as an assessment ordered by the Liberal government hangs in the balance until a new government makes a decision on how the review will proceed and whether or not the ruling party commits to either salvaging the massive highway project or abandoning it for good. Each candidate’s stance could impact how Peel residents vote on September 20.
The first time MP was elected to represent Brampton East in 2019 with 47.4 percent of the vote.
After the disgraceful behaviour of Raj Grewal, who had represented the riding before being sidetracked by gambling, Sidhu went to Ottawa making no clear promises to his constituents, who knew little about their new MP. While Sidhu was not shy in the House, he stayed away from discussing topics directly related to Brampton.
Gail Bannister-Clarke is a familiar face among education stakeholders in Peel, and has been vocal throughout the pandemic, pushing the provincial government to provide adequate funding to make schools COVID-safe for students.
Now, she’s running in Brampton East for the NDP, vowing to do what local MPs have neglected for too long—fight to bring back local income tax dollars for the city’s fair share of funding to finally move Brampton forward.
The New Democrats have a young leader who is clearly targeting young voters. His tactics on social media, PR-style promotions—Punjabi poutine anyone?—and slate of youthful candidates appeal to many millennial voters.
The NDP platform includes plenty of broad themes, many related to pressing issues in Peel, but Jagmeet Singh continues to confound those looking for details such as how affordable housing will be paid for and what he intends to do, specifically, to improve healthcare for all Canadians.
The goal of young Liberal candidate Iqwinder Gaheer is to meet and speak with as many people as possible over the days leading up to the election.
He hopes to address affordable housing, climate change and child care in Ottawa, if elected. Coming from a working-class family Gaheer shared with The Pointer why after two years practicing law he switched paths to pursue a career in public life.
Data that has been labelled “deeply troubling” by an expert hired by Peel Regional Police has many community members demanding immediate action by police leadership to address anti-Black racism within the force.
At the same time, police board members fumbled a request to form an anti-Black racism committee, despite needing to rebuild trust with Black communities now more than ever.
The Brampton South Liberal incumbent was a vocal healthcare advocate in Parliament, moving a Bill forward to create a national diabetes framework, which became law weeks before Parliament dissolved.
Sidhu was largely silent on other pressing issues impacting her Brampton constituents.
The incumbent for Mississauga Centre is seeking a third consecutive term in Ottawa, after losing his seat in 2008 following his brief rookie-run as an MP.
Over the past two years, Alghabra has seen his profile rise dramatically with his appointment to cabinet. He has spoken and voted as a loyal caucus member, saying he prefers to elevate local concerns within the party structure instead of airing conflicts in public.
NDP candidate Teneshia Samuel has a background working as an equity consultant and in recruitment for the banking sector.
They promise to make mental health, particularly for marginalized communities, a pillar of their policies if elected. Disaggregated data, they say, could be key to ensuring recovery policies are working for those that need them most.
In 14 months, Peel District School Board has had three directors of education, as the back-and-forth on policies, directives and getting important equity work done has stalled. Finding the right person for such a fundamental transformation in one of the most diverse regions in the world, will make or break the troubled board. In June, Rashmi Swarup was given the responsibility. The Pointer talks with her about the new role.
The Conservative Party of Canada platform doesn’t point to the specific projects desperately needed in Brampton and Mississauga, but with a plan to help municipalities with infrastructure needs, as well as tackling gun and gang crime, and help for those suffering with mental health and addiction issues, the party is making promises that could benefit the region directly.
The derogatory euphemism was used during Brown’s speech at the Black Education Fund’s inaugural scholarship event.
Organizers of the event held off on posting the video immediately, giving Brown a chance to apologize. But their calls have been met with silence and excuses no one is buying.