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Where is Brampton on the cannabis issue now? Looking to its neighbours

Where is Brampton on the cannabis issue now? Looking to its neighbours

Toronto opted to allow retail cannabis stores and Mississauga opted out, meanwhile Brampton remains in a holding pattern on the issue.

Peel Region, after a motion from a Mississauga councillor, could implement rules banning consumption of cannabis in public spaces when the issue comes back to regional council next month.

While Brampton does some soul-searching to determine the best course, it’s unclear if council will decide to follow Mississauga’s anti-cannabis stance or Toronto’s pro-cannabis position. Either way, what happens next door will have a direct impact here.



Update: Residents provide opinions on a Main Street LRT route

Update: Residents provide opinions on a Main Street LRT route

Brampton residents voiced strong support for the Main Street LRT route this week, as council moved forward with a unified plan to finally bring higher order transit to the city. Despite some lingering concerns about the Main Street alignment running through the heritage district and other potential barriers along the corridor, the only thing that appears to be an issue is the funding. 

The approximate cost of $300 million has not yet been committed by the province. 

Studies will also have to be done to ensure an LRT can be built along Main Street. 



City halts critical downtown project as uncertainty lingers about what lies beneath

City halts critical downtown project as uncertainty lingers about what lies beneath

Few records exist about old water channels built long ago beneath downtown.

Failure to figure out where they are and what needs to be done about them has thrown a monkey wrench into the Downtown Reimagined project.

Wednesday, faced with still unknown costs related to the tunnels and new questions about the LRT and university campus, councillors voted to put the whole thing on hold.



Peel Region may limit where cannabis can be smoked recreationally

Peel Region may limit where cannabis can be smoked recreationally

A motion going before Peel Region Council on Thursday could result in a ban on smoking pot in all public areas.

The City of Mississauga voted to opt out of allowing retail cannabis shops in the city on Wednesday.

All of this is putting pressure on Brampton councillors to figure out where they stand on the issue before they need to decide officially on allowing stores in Brampton in January.



Brampton Council fires city’s top bureaucrat, CAO Harry Schlange

Brampton Council fires city’s top bureaucrat, CAO Harry Schlange

No reasons were given for the abrupt split with the man Linda Jeffrey brought in as a “change agent” in 2016.

Schlange, who fired 25 top bureaucrats in a major shakeup soon after his arrival, may be due for a hefty severance.

While the city looks for a new CAO, Joe Pittari, commissioner of corporate services and the city’s leader on the cannabis file, will be filling in.



Main Street LRT route could be finalized at last council meeting of the year

Main Street LRT route could be finalized at last council meeting of the year

Gurpreet Dhillon’s motion to move forward with a Main Street LRT, with a tunnelling option to be considered, is on the agenda for Wednesday’s council meeting. The possibility of going underground, suggested by Mayor Patrick Brown, was a way to get every member on board with the plan at last week’s committee meeting.

If passed today, the city will finally move forward with an agreed upon route for a future light rail system. Here are some of the details you should know.



Brampton residents split over whether to opt in or out of cannabis shops

Brampton residents split over whether to opt in or out of cannabis shops

With the city’s debate on whether to allow cannabis retail stores deferred to the new year, two true believers in the potential of the plant are making themselves heard.

One a cancer survivor, the other a recovering alcoholic, they’re going up against Councillor Charmaine Williams, who has signalled staunch opposition to retail shops in Brampton.

If the city wants to opt out, it will need to make that decision by Jan. 22.



Downtown Reimagined conundrum highlights pressing infrastructure issue

Downtown Reimagined conundrum highlights pressing infrastructure issue

Peel Region is ready to move ahead with fixing aging water and sewer lines downtown, but there’s a hitch.

The city is still facing unknown costs on its part of the project, which is to develop a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape.

Between unknowns beneath the streets and big question marks around the LRT and Ryerson campus, staff are recommending pressing the pause button on Downtown Reimagined.



Brampton's new council will have to tackle an old burning issue: secondary apartments

Brampton's new council will have to tackle an old burning issue: secondary apartments

Few issues in Brampton are as polarizing as secondary suites. Many in the city, including thousands of newcomers, rely on these affordable housing alternatives, until they can enter the property market as buyers. 

But other residents feel the proliferation of secondary suites, also known as basement apartments, is taxing city services, as Brampton's residential streets become more and more crowded to accommodate dwellers of these popular units. A new council, facing a stretched budget and many frustrated constituents, will have to address this complex issue. 

The story has been updated since its original publication in September.



Controversial motion to hire ten new staff for Brampton council both panned and praised

Controversial motion to hire ten new staff for Brampton council both panned and praised

Days after taking office, some city councillors are impatient to hire extra staff, which they claim will improve service to a growing number of constituents sending complaints and seeking help from their local representatives.

Brampton needs to start thinking more like the big city it has become, says Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon, who introduced the motion.

Others say adding 10 staff at city hall is a waste of money in an already stretched budget — and that the offices aren’t big enough to handle them. The city’s finances are already strained because of bloated labour costs. What happens next hinges on a report from the city clerk’s office.



Hazel McCallion and Doug Ford have plans for Peel Region; Brampton taxpayers better prepare for a fight

Hazel McCallion and Doug Ford have plans for Peel Region; Brampton taxpayers better prepare for a fight

The inaugural session of regional council might be the last in Peel if a group of political dissidents from the provincial and municipal world have their way. But will the possible dismantling of the region and council at the whim of Hazel McCallion, Bonnie Crombie and the Doug Ford government be good for Mississauga, bad for Brampton and Caledon, or will all three suffer? If Ford gets one mega-city, his PC party will feel the political fallout for years to come.



Peel police, local MPs look to Ottawa for money to help stem rising crime, youth violence

Peel police, local MPs look to Ottawa for money to help stem rising crime, youth violence

Recent statistics show that Brampton and Mississauga have a problem with increasing rates of youth crime. With money tight across the province, Peel police is looking to the federal government for funding help to curb youth violence.

Local MPs, The Pointer has learned, are now trying to help the force get the money it needs, while Peel police continues with other proactive initiatives to guide the region’s young people away from a life of crime.



Grewal's gambling addiction raises questions about security protocols, opposition MPs say

Grewal's gambling addiction raises questions about security protocols, opposition MPs say

Conservatives on the parliamentary ethics committee want to know when the prime minister’s office was informed about the ex-Liberal MP’s gambling problem and possible connections with an RCMP money-laundering investigation.

It’s not clear whether the Brampton East MP, who reneged on his pledge to resign last month, is being investigated in connection with a City of Brampton land deal that he’d received confidential information about, prior to a sale that cost the city an extra $1 million.

Grewal continues as an independent MP after being forced out of the Liberal caucus.



Brampton candidates squeezed out of regional chair consideration; Mississauga gets its man, again

Brampton candidates squeezed out of regional chair consideration; Mississauga gets its man, again

For the second time in as many municipal elections, a longtime Mississauga councillor has been chosen to lead Peel Region as chair of its council. Nando Iannicca won the job thanks in part to some Brampton regional councillors who broke ranks with their mayor.

Martin Medeiros, in a move against Mayor Patrick Brown’s choice, seconded Iannicca’s nomination, which was put forward by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who made her own split, away from the wishes of her one-time supporter, former mayor Hazel McCallion.



LRT debate drives wedge into council once again

LRT debate drives wedge into council once again

A Wednesday motion to reopen the possibility of a Main Street route for light rail, supported by some long-time Linda Jeffrey allies and council newcomers, raised the spectre of another acrimonious term.

Mayor Patrick Brown labelled Gurpreet Dhillon’s motion as “short-sighted” and likely to stoke division in a council that is trying to leave the past behind.

However, a compromise prevailed, raising the possibility that parts of the downtown route, if it ever gets built, might go underground through the city’s heritage district.



Consumed by LRT debate, council delays decisions on pot shops, beefed-up staffing, and controversial spending

Consumed by LRT debate, council delays decisions on pot shops, beefed-up staffing, and controversial spending

Councillors will hold a special meeting in January to decide whether to opt out of allowing cannabis stores in the city, with some questioning the results of a survey showing a slim majority of residents want them.

Meanwhile, the city’s controversial support for the Brampton Beast hockey club and the Riverstone Golf Club purchase were back on the table on Wednesday, behind closed doors.



LRT, other old controversies back on the agenda for Wednesday’s Brampton council gathering

LRT, other old controversies back on the agenda for Wednesday’s Brampton council gathering

The Brampton Beast hockey team bailout and the Riverstone golf club purchase are back on the agenda for the first committee of council meeting of the new term.

So are, not surprisingly, two longed-for items that the city just can’t quite seize: an LRT route into the heart of downtown and a university campus Brampton can call its own.

What happens in this meeting, with five new faces around the table — including Mayor Patrick Brown — could help set the tone for a whole new term.



City staff wants council to allow retail pot shops after survey shows majority of residents approve; decision could come Wednesday

City staff wants council to allow retail pot shops after survey shows majority of residents approve; decision could come Wednesday

An Environics survey commissioned by the city found 54 percent of Bramptonians somewhat or strongly support allowing private retail sales of cannabis within city limits.

But with the issue on Wednesday’s committee of council agenda for a possible vote (that would have to be ratified next week), some councillors would rather wait and see how the rollout of legal pot is handled in other communities before choosing to opt-in.

The province has given municipalities until Jan. 22 to opt out, for now. Those who don’t could have shops open by April 1.


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