UPDATED: INTERACTIVE MAP shows latest COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga schools and neighbourhood infection rates

UPDATED: INTERACTIVE MAP shows latest COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga schools and neighbourhood infection rates

With Peel students back in the classroom this week, it will be essential for parents to have as much information as possible about their child’s school and its surrounding area. 

The Pointer’s updated interactive map shows all schools located in Brampton and Mississauga neighbourhoods and the COVID-19 infection rates per capita for those areas. 



Brampton’s proposed 2021 budget aims to incubate innovation downtown but forgets to invest in the area

Brampton’s proposed 2021 budget aims to incubate innovation downtown but forgets to invest in the area

The document outlines the City’s financial priorities for the next year and includes numerous funding goals for consideration.

Emphasis is on finally creating a formidable Innovation District in the downtown, while desperately needed work to support the success of such an investment in the city centre has been given little attention.



Teachers perform balancing act amid Peel’s pandemic crisis  

Teachers perform balancing act amid Peel’s pandemic crisis  

In Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspot, Peel’s two large school boards are in an increasingly precarious situation.

Staff are juggling in-class and online students simultaneously, while those teaching exclusively online at the Catholic board are being told they have to remain inside the classroom. 



New data show Ontario’s terrible approach to testing turned Peel into COVID hotspot

New data show Ontario’s terrible approach to testing turned Peel into COVID hotspot

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Peel has been skipped over by Queen’s Park.

Now, newly released testing data show a rigid approach to screening by the Province and woefully low testing levels in Peel, which are probably largely to blame for Brampton and Mississauga’s unwinnable positions. 



William Osler wanted a ‘White man’s country’; Brampton's healthcare system says it’s open to conversations about the name on its buildings

William Osler wanted a ‘White man’s country’; Brampton's healthcare system says it’s open to conversations about the name on its buildings

For years, the city’s residents have been denied adequate care. In a place whose population is dominated by visible minorities, the attitudes of the man intertwined with Brampton’s healthcare legacy are being either coincidentally or purposely carried forward.



Ford PCs backtrack on developer giveaway but buyers will end up covering new community features

Ford PCs backtrack on developer giveaway but buyers will end up covering new community features

In 2019, Queen’s Park all but declared war on municipalities, pushing through a slew of changes that benefitted big developers and hurt cities. In the year that followed, Premier Doug Ford has continued with many of his controversial changes, but there is one area where the Province appears to be relenting and listening to its municipal partners. 



Ottawa pledges $38M to fix Brampton’s downtown flood threat but City needs to find money for its share 

Ottawa pledges $38M to fix Brampton’s downtown flood threat but City needs to find money for its share 

An announcement from the federal government allocating funds for the project was heralded by city leaders, but it’s only a fraction of what’s needed to finance the ambitious Riverwalk project to reshape a withering downtown.



Ford government wants to reduce public involvement that saved QEW Credit River bridge

Ford government wants to reduce public involvement that saved QEW Credit River bridge

A year after public backlash saved Mississauga’s historic Credit River bridge from demolition, changes to the Environmental Assessment process threaten future input from residents as the PC government floats regulations aimed at removing the involvement of local residents when projects are determined. 



‘Change was necessary’: Peel police scraps school officer program, acknowledges harms to racialized students 

‘Change was necessary’: Peel police scraps school officer program, acknowledges harms to racialized students 

After years of research and calls for reform from some trustees, community advocates and students impacted by the program, Peel Regional Police has quashed its School Resource Officer (SRO) initiative. 

It’s another indication that Chief Nishan Duraiappah’s mantra of change for Peel Police has started to take root. 



PDSB program for success aims to undo decades of harm against Black students

PDSB program for success aims to undo decades of harm against Black students

Anyone searching for signs of change at the Peel District School Board — or examples of how difficult it is to implement — need look no further than its Regional Learning Choices Programs.

After years of seriously underrepresenting Black and Indigenous students in these high-achieving classes, the board has changed its policy to increase their representation, but there are fears too few parents and families know about the initiative. 



Small businesses are Brampton’s backbone. How will they survive the pandemic?

Small businesses are Brampton’s backbone. How will they survive the pandemic?

Ontario’s 2020 budget focuses on slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus but there is less attention on what this means for businesses directly impacted by measures to control COVID-19.

Many entrepreneurs are left to innovate on their own in order to stay afloat.



Trio of educators finally appointed to anti-racism roles forces union u-turn

Trio of educators finally appointed to anti-racism roles forces union u-turn

After months of obstacles, three racialized members have been appointed to a previously all white Peel teachers’ union executive to combat racism and discrimination.

Despite not officially starting until Wednesday, they have already forced the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) to rethink a poorly handled membership survey soliciting opinions on racism from a predominantly white base. 



Police union boss slams Chief over plan to eradicate racism in the force: it panders to ‘political fringe groups’

Police union boss slams Chief over plan to eradicate racism in the force: it panders to ‘political fringe groups’

Adrian Woolley, the president of the Peel Regional Police Association, has criticized his force’s recent efforts to tackle internal issues around racism and discrimination.

In a newsletter to members, he said Chief Nishan Duraiappah’s handling of an agreement with the Ontario Human Rights Commission had been “almost entirely negative” and lamented progressive attempts to reform policing. 



Peel has highest cumulative case rate in Ontario since pandemic began

Peel has highest cumulative case rate in Ontario since pandemic began

Peel also recorded the highest case count of all municipalities Saturday.

The number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care climbs to 20 between the Trillium and Osler health systems. 



Peel paramedics to launch a first-of-its-kind violence reporting system to protect first responders; advocates want national strategy

Peel paramedics to launch a first-of-its-kind violence reporting system to protect first responders; advocates want national strategy

Paramedics across Ontario are subjected to widespread abuse when assisting patients in a range of traumatic circumstances. The crises people in need of help go through too often result in the lashing out against women and men trying to assist them.

A new reporting tool developed by Peel’s External Violence Against Paramedics Working Group is one of several initiatives to help mitigate abuse against first responders, which has become all too common in Canada. 



Enhanced immigration targets will put increased pressure on Peel to prepare for growth 

Enhanced immigration targets will put increased pressure on Peel to prepare for growth 

The federal government recently announced that in order to make up for a shortfall in immigration applications processed this year as a result of COVID-19, it will be increasing its already ambitious targets for newcomers over the next three years. 

History, and recent studies, have shown the majority of these new arrivals will settle in cities outside of major centres like Toronto and Vancouver. 



Peel residents not part of ‘high risk exposures’ now responsible for informing others if they test positive; 497 new cases reported Saturday; Fears mount over weekend Diwali celebrations; Region under new emergency order

Peel residents not part of ‘high risk exposures’ now responsible for informing others if they test positive; 497 new cases reported Saturday; Fears mount over weekend Diwali celebrations; Region under new emergency order

The new measures come as Peel’s cumulative COVID-19 case count races closer to 20,000.

With its daily infection rate in the region, easily the highest per capita level in the province, contact tracers trying to contain the viral spread are being stretched beyond capacity, forcing the public to step in.  



Ontario’s 2020 budget fails to acknowledge Brampton’s healthcare crisis

Ontario’s 2020 budget fails to acknowledge Brampton’s healthcare crisis

The PC government was elected with the promise to fix Brampton’s hallway healthcare problem. But since coming into office, little has been done to address a life or death situation.

With Premier Doug Ford’s term half complete, and no money in the 2020 budget to address the problem, it’s unclear if his campaign pledge will ever be fulfilled.



‘This is not a joke’: Peel’s top doctor warns of lockdown to prevent ‘catastrophe’

‘This is not a joke’: Peel’s top doctor warns of lockdown to prevent ‘catastrophe’

Peel Region’s medical officer of health, Doctor Lawrence Loh, had stark warnings for councillors on Thursday as he surveyed Peel’s terrible COVID-19 picture.

Despite the gravity of his tone, councillors tailored many of their questions around the economic impact of measures designed to stop the virus from spreading further, instead of the need to protect public health.



Hospitals are ‘the last line of defence’ against COVID-19; In Peel, they’re full

Hospitals are ‘the last line of defence’ against COVID-19; In Peel, they’re full

Even a small influx of COVID-19 patients can tip hospitals – which routinely run near capacity in the fall and winter months – into ‘code gridlock’. 

In Mississauga, Trillium Health System hospitals are operating at more than full capacity. Patients are also being transferred out of William Osler Health System hospitals to accommodate those requiring treatment for COVID-19. 



How restaurants help contact tracers as the virus is ‘fully unleashed’ in Peel

How restaurants help contact tracers as the virus is ‘fully unleashed’ in Peel

Peel is still conducting contact tracing, “But our ability to do so is increasingly challenged,” Peel’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, said Tuesday.

The current contagion spreading across parts of the region beyond the ability to control it, means some efforts may be limited to outbreak points and other severe hotspots.  



Comparisons to Brampton’s COVID situation shouldn’t lull Mississauga 

Comparisons to Brampton’s COVID situation shouldn’t lull Mississauga 

As Peel Region has dominated the COVID-19 news cycle in Ontario, many in Mississauga have reassured themselves by blaming Brampton.

But, as the virus continues to spread, the city’s mayor and the region’s medical officer of health have cautioned that focussing on Brampton creates a false sense of security in Peel’s largest city, where cases are also disturbingly high.



Peel’s Wednesday COVID total blows past Toronto; Mississauga councillors fear full lockdown

Peel’s Wednesday COVID total blows past Toronto; Mississauga councillors fear full lockdown

Health Minister Christine Elliott reported 468 new COVID-19 cases in Peel Wednesday, compared to 384 in Toronto.

The region’s per capita rate is far higher than any other part of Ontario, as the viral spread across parts of Peel now threatens to get out of control ahead of the winter flu season. 



Peel’s COVID situation grows ‘increasingly dire’ amid more confusion and further local restrictions

Peel’s COVID situation grows ‘increasingly dire’ amid more confusion and further local restrictions

On the eve of Peel’s latest restriction measures, the region once again reached its highest level of daily cases. Medical professionals have questioned why restaurants and gyms in heavy-hit Mississauga and especially Brampton were allowed to reopen Saturday.

While new restrictions come in effect this week, there’s no clear explanation on how enforcement will work and what penalties will be handed out if residents and businesses ignore the latest rules.



‘Our members are very afraid’: Teachers’ union asks Peel Public Health for better support

‘Our members are very afraid’: Teachers’ union asks Peel Public Health for better support

As Peel’s COVID picture becomes the centre of an Ontario-wide discussion, teachers in the region are growing uneasy.

The latest figures reveal more than one in three PDSB and DPCDSB schools have at least one active case of COVID-19, prompting OSSTF to request stricter measures from public health officials to safeguard classrooms. 



Additional testing centres coming to Peel as COVID-19 cases rise, hospitals reach capacity 

Additional testing centres coming to Peel as COVID-19 cases rise, hospitals reach capacity 

In an attempt to get a handle on surging COVID-19 case numbers in Peel, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel's chief medical officer, announced enhanced public health restrictions for the region over the weekend.

Now, with public health staff lagging behind on critical tasks like contact tracing and local hospitals filled to capacity, the Province has finally stepped in to help. 



Will Brampton’s Chrysler plant adapt and survive in a green future?

Will Brampton’s Chrysler plant adapt and survive in a green future?

Is the legacy auto industry in southern Ontario playing catch-up with the new powers in the sector? Will former outliers like Tesla and its colourful owner Elon Musk, win the innovation battle in the auto market?



Backlash among medical community over Ford’s decision to open Peel restaurants 

Backlash among medical community over Ford’s decision to open Peel restaurants 

After a week avoiding confrontation with the Province and attempting to work within its framework, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, asked on Friday to remain in a modified Stage 2.

Despite dire warnings from William Osler, experiencing worse hospital capacity issues than it did during the first COVID-19 wave, Premier Doug Ford allowed restaurants and gyms to reopen with extremely limited capacity. 



Is surprise GM deal to revive Oshawa’s auto industry a signal for Brampton’s Chrysler plant?

Is surprise GM deal to revive Oshawa’s auto industry a signal for Brampton’s Chrysler plant?

This is the first of a two-part feature on the future of the auto industry in southern Ontario. As the cost of hybrids and e-autos go down, the pressure on legacy automakers to make changes to compete, ratchets up.



Surging COVID cases prompt Region to clamp down Diwali celebrations but Brampton hasn’t followed suit

Surging COVID cases prompt Region to clamp down Diwali celebrations but Brampton hasn’t followed suit

Diwali is just over a week away, but COVID-19 policy discussion around the major celebration is far sparser than for either Thanksgiving or Halloween. In Brampton, Peel Public Health is taking a strong stance, but the City’s messaging is less clear. 

While municipal officials are allowing, even encouraging the use of fireworks, plans for virtual offerings to discourage groups in Brampton from celebrating together and risk increasing the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario’s worst hit city, have been absent. 



Politics, economics & public health collide in Peel’s new COVID messaging 

Politics, economics & public health collide in Peel’s new COVID messaging 

Come Saturday, COVID restrictions in Peel will ease and indoor dining, fitness classes and small gatherings will be allowed under Provincial guidelines.

The move has been publicly advocated by Brampton and Mississauga’s mayors, even in the face of the worst viral picture in the province.



Brown’s claim of electrified transit facility latest in a growing list of empty promises 

Brown’s claim of electrified transit facility latest in a growing list of empty promises 

At the beginning of 2020, the City of Brampton removed $135 million from its capital budget earmarked for a crucial transit facility. At the time, Mayor Patrick Brown was desperately trying to find a way for another tax freeze, claiming the removal of the money was to pursue a partnership with the federal government to build a cutting-edge electric bus facility. 

But, eight months on, the City has admitted there are no funding opportunities for what Brown has claimed.



Ottawa provides $30M for ‘severe’ housing needs in Peel ahead of winter

Ottawa provides $30M for ‘severe’ housing needs in Peel ahead of winter

Peel Region has been allocated $30.4 million based on the federal government’s assessment of severe housing needs among renters and the homeless, as the supply of rental units appears to have temporarily increased due to the pandemic.



Ontario eases COVID restrictions in Peel; indoor dining and gyms to reopen Saturday

Ontario eases COVID restrictions in Peel; indoor dining and gyms to reopen Saturday

Case numbers in Peel Region have seen a dramatic rise, primarily pushed by record numbers in Brampton over the last week.

Yet, local representatives and health officials aren’t putting a pause on loosening restrictions.



Brampton reported 249 COVID cases Friday, 28% of Ontario’s total, but where is the help?

Brampton reported 249 COVID cases Friday, 28% of Ontario’s total, but where is the help?

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the city reported more than 200 new cases in a single day.

Calls to address the city’s COVID crisis have come since April, but leaders have failed to control the viral spread in the province’s fourth largest city. 



Mississauga’s private $4.6B lakefront project expects taxpayers to cover environmental plans

Mississauga’s private $4.6B lakefront project expects taxpayers to cover environmental plans

Lakeview Community Partners, the development consortium building one of the most anticipated projects in Mississauga, is suggesting the federal and provincial governments help pay for the creation of a district energy and vacuum waste system.

But local residents, who have already seen the developer push through thousands more units than originally proposed, aren’t happy about a taxpayer-funded handout. 



Peel ends October with daily COVID-19 cases hitting new highs

Peel ends October with daily COVID-19 cases hitting new highs

The region’s test positivity rate had also increased to 5.4 percent by mid-October, up from 3.6 percent at the beginning of the month.

It’s one of the indicators that shows Peel heading in the wrong direction as businesses reel from the ongoing restriction measures, while families hope the holiday season can be salvaged. 
 



Regional councillors question Brampton’s 413 boulevard dream

Regional councillors question Brampton’s 413 boulevard dream

Brampton is struggling to win critics over to support its plan to build a progressive, urban boulevard in the middle of a proposed 400-series highway. Staff and councillors at the Region of Peel are the latest to question how a highway and mixed-use corridor can coexist. 



Brampton’s test positivity rate hits 9.6%, more than double the national figure

Brampton’s test positivity rate hits 9.6%, more than double the national figure

The city’s novel coronavirus test positivity rate is trending up, rising to 9.6 percent from 8.1 percent the previous week. Despite a climb in cases the Province has not committed to adding a second full assessment centre in Brampton. If numbers don't come down current restrictions such as the prohibition on indoor dining, might have to remain in place past the initial 28-day period.



How frustrated parents are taking school safety into their own hands

How frustrated parents are taking school safety into their own hands

With COVID-19 cases surging across Ontario and the novel coronavirus slipping through the doors of more and more schools, parents embark on a grassroots plan – calling it “long past due” – to ensure their children remain safe, despite the Province’s failures.

Next week’s budget will reveal Queen’s Park’s commitment to keeping the virus from spreading deeper into Ontario’s education system.



Mississauga’s Venture X is shaping the future of office work in the suburbs, where the talent lives 

Mississauga’s Venture X is shaping the future of office work in the suburbs, where the talent lives 

The latest surge of COVID-19 has raised more questions about the work world’s ability to adapt.

An office provider in Mississauga believes people can’t work at home forever, and flexible office spaces in suburban settings might be key to our economic recovery. 



‘No, not at all’: 27% of all schools in Peel’s two main boards have COVID but top doctor not planning shutdowns

‘No, not at all’: 27% of all schools in Peel’s two main boards have COVID but top doctor not planning shutdowns

The number of schools with cases of COVID-19 in Peel is steadily rising, with more than one in four at the PDSB and DPCDSB registering at least one active COVID-19 case.

Presented with the concerning data, the head of Peel Public Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, categorically ruled out closures without providing any further insights.



Stage 2 likely to be extended in Peel – COVID second wave has flooded hospitals   

Stage 2 likely to be extended in Peel – COVID second wave has flooded hospitals   

The region’s top public health doctor says the current 28-day modified closure can’t be lifted with COVID-19 battering Brampton and Mississauga.

Recent data from Peel Public Health shows a worrying regression, with 8.1 percent of tests in Brampton returning a positive result and hospitals nearing capacity. 



Ford and Elliott visit Brampton and once again ignore city’s healthcare crisis 

Ford and Elliott visit Brampton and once again ignore city’s healthcare crisis 

A provincial healthcare funding announcement scheduled for Brampton on Tuesday raised excitement among residents and advocates. Would there finally be a second test site? Perhaps a long awaited new hospital?

To the disappointment of residents desperate for fairshare healthcare investments as the pandemic runs roughshod across the city, the Premier and his Health Minister only offered a few-dozen new hospital beds, while Etobicoke, Ford’s powerbase, will get more than the municipality where the term "hallway healthcare" was popularized. It’s a slap in the face for the struggling city.



Homeless and those fleeing violence need ‘immediate’ shelter help as winter looms

Homeless and those fleeing violence need ‘immediate’ shelter help as winter looms

Peel Region councillors are calling for urgent measures after two consecutive regional budgets offered next to no investments into new affordable units or shelter spaces to help the homeless, and those trying to escape abusive relationships.

The country’s first COVID winter has created a desperate situation as the most vulnerable run out of options.



Care for our essential workers is less than adequate as Peel’s COVID numbers skyrocket

Care for our essential workers is less than adequate as Peel’s COVID numbers skyrocket

Many keep going to work despite the high risk of infection. Often, they don’t have a choice, relying on their employers to keep them safe. But in some cases, they have been let down.

With the viral spread in Peel picking up speed, keeping our essential workers safe should be a priority. 



ELDER ABUSE: With trillions of dollars in play family members and our legal system have created another plague infesting our long-term care homes

ELDER ABUSE: With trillions of dollars in play family members and our legal system have created another plague infesting our long-term care homes

It took a punishing pandemic and a damning report from our military to expose some of the deep flaws in our retirement homes and long-term care system. But elder abuse goes much deeper, into our tone-deaf legal system, and our ill-designed power-of-attorney rules that put in jeopardy the life savings and well-being of our loved ones.



Up to 2,000 litres of diesel leaks into Credit River threatening Mississauga’s natural oasis

Up to 2,000 litres of diesel leaks into Credit River threatening Mississauga’s natural oasis

A local cleanup operation jumped into action Friday after a business allowed diesel to spill into the Credit River. The spill is the worst of its kind since the early 2000s and illustrates the fragility of Mississauga’s natural ecosystem.



Peel restaurant owners hit fiscal ‘breaking point’ amid COVID restrictions

Peel restaurant owners hit fiscal ‘breaking point’ amid COVID restrictions

Mississauga and Brampton mayors have criticized the Province’s decision to include Peel Region in the modified Phase 2 restrictions, citing a lack of data when targeting businesses, including the food industry. Many entrepreneurs in the sector, like Mississauga's Irine D’Cunha, can’t be helped, even with a new support program rolled out by Ottawa.



‘Culturally’ responsive care is needed for seniors across Ontario but openings are rare and wait times can stretch for years

‘Culturally’ responsive care is needed for seniors across Ontario but openings are rare and wait times can stretch for years

In long-term care homes and for those accessing these types of home-based services, creating an environment that caters to a senior’s ‘cultural needs’ is crucial. But a combination of issues is blocking this from happening.



Human Rights Commission asks for community buy-in as advocates voice scepticism over initiative with troubled Peel Police force 

Human Rights Commission asks for community buy-in as advocates voice scepticism over initiative with troubled Peel Police force 

Peel Regional Police unveiled a new anti-discrimination project this week in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Dubbed by both organizations as “legally binding”, community members have shared their concern that the force, dogged by revelations of its discriminatory culture, is on another PR mission instead of actually seeking transformative change.