With ‘Caledon under threat’, over 150 residents meet to demand action from Town Council, Mayor Annette Groves

With ‘Caledon under threat’, over 150 residents meet to demand action from Town Council, Mayor Annette Groves

A group of local activists calling themselves Democracy Caledon held a community meeting Wednesday to hear concerns from local residents about a collection of decisions around a huge land development scheme being made by council, particularly Mayor Annette Groves and her use of Strong Mayor powers to force it through without proper public consultation.

The embattled mayor attended the meeting, appeared on the defensive, and provided little reassurance to residents that she was taking their issues seriously.



Parrish maintains lead in Mississauga byelection, latest poll shows; Dasko vows to build the city ‘intelligently’ and ‘affordably’

Parrish maintains lead in Mississauga byelection, latest poll shows; Dasko vows to build the city ‘intelligently’ and ‘affordably’

The Mississauga byelection is nearing its halfway point. From announcing new endorsements to launching campaign offices and delivering stump speeches, candidates are working hard to grab the attention of local voters.

A new poll shows former councillor Carolyn Parrish remains the frontrunner in the race with a little over seven weeks to go until the June 10th vote.  



‘Unjustified failure’ by Peel Police delays trial against former CAS employee charged with defrauding agency 

‘Unjustified failure’ by Peel Police delays trial against former CAS employee charged with defrauding agency 

The trial for Marino Cader, former director of finance for the Peel Children’s Aid Society, has been postponed once again after the court heard Peel Regional Police failed to provide necessary evidence that has been in its possession since at least 2022 in a timely manner. The Justice of the Peace chastized the PRP for delaying a case that has significant public interest involving the region’s most vulnerable. 

Updated estimates from the Crown allege Cader defrauded the organization of approximately $180,000. 



Brampton landlord licensing program relaunches after backlash

Brampton landlord licensing program relaunches after backlash

The City of Brampton has reopened its Residential Rental Licensing (RRL) program after serious pushback earlier this year forced its closure less than a month after launch. 

The modified program follows consultation with residents and landlords to refine the registration requirements and program criteria.  



‘Is democracy dying in Caledon?’: Residents outraged as Mayor Annette Groves rushes through questionable development plans, cuts them out of the process 

‘Is democracy dying in Caledon?’: Residents outraged as Mayor Annette Groves rushes through questionable development plans, cuts them out of the process 

Caledon Mayor Annette Groves is using her Strong Mayor powers to push through a collection of zoning changes to facilitate a massive amount of development, with little consultation from residents who will be impacted. The move follows the approval of an updated Official Plan that ignored concerns from citizens about watered-down environmental protections, and the revelation of a secretive contract signed between the mayor and the Town’s new CAO. 

Residents are hosting a public forum today, April 17th, to bring awareness to their mounting concerns. 



Highway 413 cannot proceed if federal government ‘does its job’, says environmental group

Highway 413 cannot proceed if federal government ‘does its job’, says environmental group

A new agreement between the federal and provincial governments has many Ontarians worried the environmentally damaging Highway 413 has been given the greenlight.

While questions are swirling about a new “working group” being established to study and minimize the proposed highway's environmental impacts, there are numerous pieces of federal legislation still standing in the way of construction. 



After blocking delegations, Niagara councillors sparked months-long feud with local Palestinian community  

After blocking delegations, Niagara councillors sparked months-long feud with local Palestinian community  

Through a series of meetings, Niagara Region councillors have blocked residents from speaking, used unorthodox tactics to remove items from agendas and stayed silent amid accusations of racism and discrimination. 

Today, the Region’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee will once again hear concerns from the local Palestinian community about the failure of elected officials to show any sign of support or empathy amid a bloody international conflict. 



Liberals pledge billions to fight affordability crisis through updated housing plans ahead of 2024 budget 

Liberals pledge billions to fight affordability crisis through updated housing plans ahead of 2024 budget 

Through a slew of funding announcements last week, the Liberal government outlined its main strategies to fight Canada's housing crisis. 

The promises include billions of dollars in new initiatives to protect tenants and stop ballooning rental rates while incentivizing builders to construct more affordable housing. Peel ACORN, a housing advocacy group, says it is waiting on more details, and tighter legislation attached to the announcements, to determine what the impact will be for Peel residents. 



Long-term solution to aid asylum seekers in Peel requires 100% funding from upper levels of government, Region says

Long-term solution to aid asylum seekers in Peel requires 100% funding from upper levels of government, Region says

The Region has drawn up a plan to help the increasing number of asylum seekers arriving in Peel, but staff say the strategy is contingent on funding from upper levels of government.

To date, Ottawa has only provided funding to reimburse the Region for costs incurred in 2023 after a significant spike in asylum claimants and $7 million for a new reception centre at Pearson Airport.  



Mississauga strengthens growth standards to protect residents from costly climate disasters

Mississauga strengthens growth standards to protect residents from costly climate disasters

The City of Mississauga has updated its Green Development Standards in an effort to decrease dangerous climate emissions and protect residents and their homes from weather-related catastrophes.

The decision comes in the wake of a report from the Insurance Bureau of Canada that found the past four years all listed in the Top 10 costliest years for climate disasters in the country. 



Add-on suites and tiny homes could be part of the solution to St. Catharines’ housing crisis

Add-on suites and tiny homes could be part of the solution to St. Catharines’ housing crisis

A city that has, in recent decades, looked past modern urban design, is looking for new ways to deal with a new reality.

As the housing crisis continues and younger consumers embrace modern attitudes about how they want to live, unaffordable prices are driving stakeholders to rethink the types of housing that should be built. 



Endorsements pour in for Carolyn Parrish; Tedjo gets support from three councillors 

Endorsements pour in for Carolyn Parrish; Tedjo gets support from three councillors 

With Mississauga voters set to select a new mayor June 10, frontrunner Carolyn Parrish is starting to enjoy support from some well known leaders in the city.

Rookie councillor Alvin Tedjo has also won the backing of two other first-time councillors and one veteran.



Niagara-on-the-Lake passes 6.75% operating budget increase—highest of region’s lower-tier municipalities

Niagara-on-the-Lake passes 6.75% operating budget increase—highest of region’s lower-tier municipalities

After months of back-and-forth, Niagara-on-the-Lake has approved its 2024 operating budget, the last of Niagara Region’s 13 municipalities to do so.

The stiff increase comes as high inflation and overall affordability continue to create pressure on many homeowners.



Fort Erie staff opposed to decade-old development seeking MZO outside of the urban boundary; Niagara Falls denied housing funding from feds 

Fort Erie staff opposed to decade-old development seeking MZO outside of the urban boundary; Niagara Falls denied housing funding from feds 

A development application that has been on the books in Fort Erie for over ten years might finally move forward through a Ministerial Zoning Order. Town staff do not support the move which cuts the public out of the process. 

Niagara Falls hopes the federal government will reconsider critical housing funding after its application was denied. 



‘They need to develop a bit of a backbone’: Can Justin Trudeau resist knee jerk responses & wishy-washy climate policy?

‘They need to develop a bit of a backbone’: Can Justin Trudeau resist knee jerk responses & wishy-washy climate policy?

As Prime Minister Trudeau’s popularity continues to decline, his environmental commitments are being challenged. The federal Conservatives are making false claims about the impacts of policies such as the carbon tax. Will Liberals walk into the trap and alienate many of their core supporters, or hold strong on positions that many Canadians prioritize? 



Woman who accused former Brampton councillor Dhillon of sexual assault withdrew allegations in October, confidential City memo reveals 

Woman who accused former Brampton councillor Dhillon of sexual assault withdrew allegations in October, confidential City memo reveals 

Patrick Brown repeatedly attacked Gurpreet Dhillon, accusing him of sexual misconduct despite no charges ever being laid against the former councillor, and the mayor blamed Dhillon’s alleged conduct for a divide on council that marred the previous term of office. 

According to documentation obtained by The Pointer the City of Brampton has known since at least October that Dhillon’s one-time accuser withdrew her allegations against him. He was suspended without pay by Brown and the rest of council in 2020 after controversial Integrity Commissioner Muneeza Sheikh released a report that found Dhillon had committed sexual misconduct, despite no charges by police. Dhillon has always denied the allegations and has now sent officials a draft lawsuit against the City.



Investigations ongoing after Peel records five fire-related deaths in less than a week

Investigations ongoing after Peel records five fire-related deaths in less than a week

On March 7th, Brampton Fire responded to a house fire that left three dead. Less than a week later, Mississauga Fire reported two dead following an early morning fire.

The tragic events are a disturbing statistic for Peel fire services which work tirelessly to educate residents on fire prevention and safety. 



Crime, affordability top of mind for Mississauga candidates vying for vacant Ward 5 council seat

Crime, affordability top of mind for Mississauga candidates vying for vacant Ward 5 council seat

Since the Ward 5 seat council seat was declared vacant on March 20 following the resignation of Carolyn Parrish to enter the mayoral race, seven candidates have registered. The byelection will take place the same day as the one set for the mayoral race, on June 10. The Pointer reached out to the candidates to find out which issues will be a focus as they head out on the campaign trail across Malton and the rest of the ward.



Niagara fears crush of eclipse crowds on April 8; hopes for tourism revival

Niagara fears crush of eclipse crowds on April 8; hopes for tourism revival

April 8th’s solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime celestial event.

With Niagara Falls in an ideal location to observe the natural phenomenon, local tourism looks to recapture some of the foreign visitation lost during the pandemic, while the Niagara Regional Police prepare for the possible influx of 1 million people, under a “State of Emergency” declaration that was just issued by the Region.   



Union raising concerns about jobs, planned downloading of Peel services onto municipalities

Union raising concerns about jobs, planned downloading of Peel services onto municipalities

The PC government, after cancelling its controversial plans to dissolve the Region of Peel, is now looking to move some critical services down to the local municipalities. CUPE Local 966, one of the unions which raised concerns over the now-reversed legislation, is once again drawing attention to job security issues and possible privatization, claiming key stakeholders are not being engaged in discussions that could impact long-time Peel employees.



Niagara Falls residents continue to push for transparency on aggregate operations

Niagara Falls residents continue to push for transparency on aggregate operations

Some Niagara residents have increasing concerns about the inner workings of the aggregate industry which is seldom held accountable for the damage and residual impacts of its operations across the environmentally significant region. 



Provincial budget leaves out funding details and timelines for commitment to restore Mississauga’s downtown LRT loop

Provincial budget leaves out funding details and timelines for commitment to restore Mississauga’s downtown LRT loop

Mississauga's downtown LRT loop, cancelled by the PCs during their previous term of office, made its way back into the Doug Ford government’s budget for 2024. Among the $67.5 billion earmarked over 10 years for public transit, putting the Mississauga loop back into the Hurontario project was highlighted in the budget document as a priority, but there are few details included.



Chasing tornadoes across the Great White North 

Chasing tornadoes across the Great White North 

The Northern Tornadoes Project is doing the heavy lifting to provide a better picture of just how many tornadoes touch down across Canada, and where. 

This knowledge will prove critical as weather patterns are altered by climate change, informing the creation of valuable life-saving tools. 



Ontario’s big cities are failing to reach their climate goals, but a lack of reporting makes it impossible to know by how much 

Ontario’s big cities are failing to reach their climate goals, but a lack of reporting makes it impossible to know by how much 

The City of Toronto has admitted it is not on track to reach its goal of being net zero by 2040. It is not alone, as big cities like Brampton struggle to reach critical targets under a PC government that has pushed policies counter to green municipal goals. A recent study by University of Waterloo researchers concluded many cities are not even reporting their progress on sustainability commitments.



Parrish still leads, Damerla makes gains according to new Mississauga poll but questions mount about her refusal to take a leave of office while running 

Parrish still leads, Damerla makes gains according to new Mississauga poll but questions mount about her refusal to take a leave of office while running 

The latest Liaison Strategies poll shows political veteran Carolyn Parrish is still in the lead to become Mississauga’s next mayor. But her margin has narrowed, since a January poll, to five percentage points ahead of her nearest competitor, Dipika Damerla, among decided voters. Residents will go to the ballot box June 10 to decide Bonnie Crombie’s successor.



Promises of a future dorm at Algoma’s Brampton campus ring hollow for students struggling with city’s housing crisis

Promises of a future dorm at Algoma’s Brampton campus ring hollow for students struggling with city’s housing crisis

International students at Algoma University’s Brampton campus currently do not have any housing provided through the institution. It has not yet offered a timeline for any plans, and its current students, like many across the GTA, are struggling to find affordable housing options.



Celebration of Sikh Heritage Month will include alcohol-free challenge & substance abuse awareness campaign 

Celebration of Sikh Heritage Month will include alcohol-free challenge & substance abuse awareness campaign 

The Drug Awareness Society of Toronto wants to address the link between youth who are exposed to alcohol and drugs at a young age and adults who are dependent on substances. Working for more than a decade to raise awareness around the dangers of alcohol consumption and substance abuse through seminars at schools and Gurdwaras, the organization is once again challenging Punjabi-Canadians to confront an all-too common problem.



Brampton man sentenced to life in prison for wife’s murder after disturbing public attack 

Brampton man sentenced to life in prison for wife’s murder after disturbing public attack 

A 66-year-old Brampton man who stabbed his wife to death on a city trail during their evening walk together in 2021 has been sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for 13 years.

According to court documents, increased isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the man’s state of mind when he “snapped” and stabbed his wife more than 30 times. 



Over 40 million riders used Brampton Transit in 2023—Where is the servicing to meet the city’s growing demand?

Over 40 million riders used Brampton Transit in 2023—Where is the servicing to meet the city’s growing demand?

With a record number of riders relying on Brampton Transit to get around one of the fastest-growing major cities in Canada, the underfunded system is struggling to keep up.

Years of delayed transit plans and underinvestment under Mayor Patrick Brown have led to overcrowded buses and people regularly left behind at stations due to buses crammed to capacity. 



Residents fear Caledon’s new council approved Official Plan could pave paradise 

Residents fear Caledon’s new council approved Official Plan could pave paradise 

Despite multiple attempts by Caledon residents to ensure protections of natural features and sensitive ecological systems, Town council members went ahead last week and approved a new Official Plan which will guide growth until 2051. Without the requested safeguards it could turn the area’s numerous natural oases into targets for urban development. 



Advocates concerned over lack of transparency around formation of new PDSB committee to address racial disparities in suspensions, expulsions

Advocates concerned over lack of transparency around formation of new PDSB committee to address racial disparities in suspensions, expulsions

The Peel District School Board recently put out a call for community members to be part of a new committee to help address continued racial inequity in disciplinary measures impacting Black and Indigenous students.

Their representation in the rates of these disciplinary measures is double their overall representation in the board. Local advocate David Bosveld, a member of the original committee that was doing equity work for more than two years, says leadership disbanded it without explanation and left questions from original members unanswered. 



Sikh activist allegedly targeted for assassination by Indian government says its ban of CBC documentary is the latest example of its autocratic rule

Sikh activist allegedly targeted for assassination by Indian government says its ban of CBC documentary is the latest example of its autocratic rule

The Pointer speaks with Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the Canadian-American Sikh independence activist who was the target of an alleged assassination plot by the Indian government.

He calls out India’s BJP government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its spiral into alarmingly anti-democratic rule.



Caledon headwaters threatened as councillors stay silent 

Caledon headwaters threatened as councillors stay silent 

On World Water Day, the Ontario Headwaters Institute is urging Caledon councillors to speak out against an updated official plan that is weakening protection for the natural world and disregarding the value offered by the rivers and creeks that flow through the town and support numerous ecosystems in southern Ontario.



Ottawa to remove Impact Assessment designation from Highway 413 project, a dark day for environmental protection

Ottawa to remove Impact Assessment designation from Highway 413 project, a dark day for environmental protection

In a joint consent order filed to federal court Wednesday, the federal government and Ontario government have asked the courts to cancel the federal environmental assessment for the proposed Highway 413 project.

The news has sent shockwaves through environmental organizations who say there was no need for such a rash, politically driven decision. The decision by the Liberal government comes a week after Premier Doug Ford sent a letter to the Prime Minister requesting the removal.



The State of Emergency that may never end: Niagara Region grapples with mental health, homelessness & opioid addiction 

The State of Emergency that may never end: Niagara Region grapples with mental health, homelessness & opioid addiction 

Despite cautions from staff at the time, Niagara Regional Council passed three declarations on social issues that may never truly be eradicated and are not like traditional emergencies.

A year later, Council has no metrics to determine what success looks like or when the States of Emergency should be lifted.



Could demolition of Main Street properties finally revitalize Brampton’s withering downtown? City continues with delays & Council has not funded a plan 

Could demolition of Main Street properties finally revitalize Brampton’s withering downtown? City continues with delays & Council has not funded a plan 

City officials have allowed downtown buildings to deteriorate for years, and shortly after his election Patrick Brown, who refused to expand the municipal budget, cancelled the major redevelopment of Brampton’s city centre.

Now, some of these properties pose a risk. Their demolition could finally unlock the future revitalization downtown businesses and residents have been promised for decades… if the mayor and councillors come up with a fully budgeted plan.



Peel police set to host second annual Auto Theft Summit as crimes continue to surge across GTA

Peel police set to host second annual Auto Theft Summit as crimes continue to surge across GTA

Data indicate the rate of auto theft crimes has not come down in recent months.

With police leaders across the country calling for a multi-jurisdictional approach, Peel officials say the second annual summit will build on the progress made last year, with a range of actions that still need to be taken.



Doug Ford’s developer-driven sprawl plan will have mental health impacts on future generations

Doug Ford’s developer-driven sprawl plan will have mental health impacts on future generations

Since forcing Bill 23 on the province, Doug Ford’s government has come under fire from housing and environmental activists for promoting sprawl. Ignoring the growth of sustainable communities, according to a University of Waterloo study, could have profoundly negative consequences for young people.



Hearing date for challenge of Caledon’s moratorium on new quarries set for early September

Hearing date for challenge of Caledon’s moratorium on new quarries set for early September

Despite a hearing date scheduled just a month before its expiry, Canadian Building Materials — an aggregate giant — is moving forward with its challenge of the Town of Caledon’s interim control bylaw extension that prevents new quarry applications from moving forward. The Ontario Land Tribunal will deal with a battle between the corporation and the Town, with the fate of an 800-acre blasting quarry proposed for west Caledon in the village of Cataract hanging in the balance. 



Protest at Brampton Civic will push for better healthcare following release of alarming Ontario Health Coalition report highlighting PC move to privatization

Protest at Brampton Civic will push for better healthcare following release of alarming Ontario Health Coalition report highlighting PC move to privatization

A protest at Brampton Civic Hospital has been announced by Brampton Caledon Health Coalition, a local branch of the Ontario Health Coalition, which recently released a scathing report about the Doug Ford PC government and cuts to the public health sector while providing significant funding to the private, for-profit sector. Residents are encouraged to turn out to demand better healthcare facilities and staffing in the city, as well as an end to privatization and for OHIP to be accessible to all.



‘Renovictions’ on the rise in Ontario according to recent report by ACORN; cities should require building permits  

‘Renovictions’ on the rise in Ontario according to recent report by ACORN; cities should require building permits  

Ontario ACORN has released a new report analyzing eviction data from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Brampton has high eviction rates and the tenant-advocacy organiziation is calling on City Hall to take action by adopting anti-renoviction bylaws, similar to the one passed by the City of Hamilton. 



Urban-Rural divide: Residents identify significant concern with environmental policy in Caledon’s new Official Plan

Urban-Rural divide: Residents identify significant concern with environmental policy in Caledon’s new Official Plan

The Town of Caledon will implement a new Official Plan that will guide growth in the municipality to 2051. Residents have expressed concerns with portions of the plan that relate to the protection of natural systems and the environment. At a public information meeting last week, delegates raised red flags over the attention to urban policies rather than rural ones. 



Report shows ‘a perfect storm’ is brewing as Ontario falls further behind on wages in child care sector

Report shows ‘a perfect storm’ is brewing as Ontario falls further behind on wages in child care sector

A workforce shortage is limiting access to affordable child care.

A report from the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare — the province’s central advocacy group for a universal early childhood education and care system — shows that Ontario has fallen behind most other provinces on wages in the sector. 



List grows to 11 candidates seeking to become Mississauga's next mayor

List grows to 11 candidates seeking to become Mississauga's next mayor

The playing field continues to grow as more individuals throw their names in to replace Bonnie Crombie as the City’s third mayor in over four decades.

A week since registration opened, the ballot has grown to 11 names for Mississauga voters to choose from come June 10th. 



Clerical staff, union, push William Osler for fair pay

Clerical staff, union, push William Osler for fair pay

The Government of Ontario recently repealed its controversial Bill 124, which froze wage increases for public sector workers, including those in the healthcare industry. While much attention has been paid to doctors and nurses, clerical staff, who are an essential component to running hospitals and supporting patient care, are still fighting for fair pay increases of their own.  



Niagara Mental Health Summit hunts for solutions through lived experience 

Niagara Mental Health Summit hunts for solutions through lived experience 

Bringing residents, politicians and advocates together, Niagara’s fifth Mental Health Summit offered an opportunity for dialogue on the dire situation facing those battling mental health and addiction issues in the region. 

Event organizer Steven Soos aimed to provide a chance for those who are typically voiceless, to finally be heard. 



Many in Brampton, Mississauga not receiving life-saving early cancer screenings

Many in Brampton, Mississauga not receiving life-saving early cancer screenings

A report from Cancer Care Ontario reveals participation in cancer screening is lower for areas described as materially deprived in Brampton and Mississauga.

These typically lower income areas have fewer people receiving critical tests that can detect cancer early and lead to more successful treatment. The findings place further emphasis on the need for enhanced medical services across the underfunded Peel Region.



No receipts, no documentation, no problem: Brampton’s system for tracking expensive equipment and tools completely broken, audit finds 

No receipts, no documentation, no problem: Brampton’s system for tracking expensive equipment and tools completely broken, audit finds 

The systems in place to manage Brampton's small equipment and tools are either completely ineffective or non-existent, a recent audit has found. 

These expensive pieces of equipment are often not tracked, secured or documented, opening the City up to significant losses—like the $35,000 theft from one of its tool sheds in December.



Governments need to step up; finance clean, efficient energy for Canada’s most vulnerable, experts say

Governments need to step up; finance clean, efficient energy for Canada’s most vulnerable, experts say

As Canadians face increasing cost of living pressures, some are having to choose between keeping the lights on and putting food on the table.

While energy poverty has hit different demographics for decades with little in the way of response from government leaders, organizations are now demanding the issue be addressed in conjunction with the clean electricity transition, to make energy accessible and affordable for everyone.



In a first step to saving the urban forest, Brampton taking stock of its trees 

In a first step to saving the urban forest, Brampton taking stock of its trees 

Brampton’s tree canopy has been dealt tough blows in recent years. From the 2013 ice storm to an ongoing battle with invasive species, thousands of trees have been lost. 

To get a handle on its health and biodiversity, the City wants to take an inventory of the urban tree canopy.

The exercise will help inform future plans to protect these crucial pieces of natural heritage.