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Brampton’s PC MPPs break silence on university funding, minister stonewalls NDP on cost of cancellation

Brampton’s PC MPPs break silence on university funding, minister stonewalls NDP on cost of cancellation

The PC government’s universities minister had no answer Thursday to pointed questions about how much money had already been sunk into three university campus projects before their provincial funding was abruptly cancelled this week.

A City of Brampton official said its planned Ryerson University campus and an accompanying innovation centre project will move forward, though it’s not clear how it will make up the $90 million contribution promised by the previous government.

The city’s two PC MPPs are echoing the party line, claiming a budget deficit made the cuts necessary, despite projections that the campuses would be huge revenue generators.



Andrea Horwath, Brampton's opposition MPPs call out Ford government on cancelled campus funding

Andrea Horwath, Brampton's opposition MPPs call out Ford government on cancelled campus funding

Brampton’s two Tory MPPs remained silent Wednesday on the loss of $90 million promised for a Ryerson University campus in the city—cancelled within a day of Patrick Brown’s win in the mayoral election. Meanwhile, inside Queen's Park NDP leader Andrea Horwath and three Brampton NDP members of the legislature were calling the move myopic and disastrous for the city’s economic plans.

The Doug Ford government claims the money promised by the former Liberal government—and cheered recently by some Tory MPPs whose constituents stood to gain a new campus—was too much for the province’s strained budget.



Updated: Brampton councillors say they will pursue ideas for university funding after Ford's $90M claw-back

Updated: Brampton councillors say they will pursue ideas for university funding after Ford's $90M claw-back

After Doug Ford's government made its shocking announcement Tuesday night, pulling $90 million in funding for a new Brampton university campus that had been approved by the previous Liberal government, councillors say they are committed to finding alternative ways to pay for the project. 

Critics of the decision to pull the provincial funding say the university would be a huge economic benefit for the city, and that the project is far too important to abandon.



For Linda Jeffrey, a bitter four-point loss

For Linda Jeffrey, a bitter four-point loss

“It’s not the Brampton I thought I knew,” one-term mayor Linda Jeffrey said Monday night in expressing her disappointment at the surprising ascendancy of her late rival in the race, former PC leader and newly repatriated Bramptonite Patrick Brown.

Jeffrey replaced a controversy-plagued mayor with promises to straighten out the financial mess at city hall. Despite her early successes at doing just that, she stumbled when it came to solving the bigger problem: a fractious council whose squabbling left residents disillusioned with her leadership. On Monday, voters opted, however narrowly, to give Brown a chance to do better.



Redemption in Brampton: Brown takes mayoralty with a 4-point win

Redemption in Brampton: Brown takes mayoralty with a 4-point win

In stunning fashion, Patrick Brown completes a spectacular political comeback, defeating incumbent Linda Jeffrey to become Brampton’s next mayor. Some 44 percent of the vote was enough to seal the deal, completing a campaign that has been both divisive and a clear view into the issues affecting the city.

In a victory speech before a cheering crowd, Brown recounted a number of these issues, while also delivering his message for the future.



New council emerges after wild election night

New council emerges after wild election night

Charmaine Williams, seen here, is one of the new Brampton councillors who will lead the city. While attention was focused on the Brown-Jeffrey matchup as the election drew to a close Monday night, there were exciting changes happening at the ward level.

Four fresh faces on council, boosting diversity at city hall, and a new mayor may significantly change the dynamic in the coming four years — if old divisions on issues such as transit don’t begin to play out all over again.



Now that he’s won, Patrick Brown has the chance to make all the right moves

Now that he’s won, Patrick Brown has the chance to make all the right moves

Can Patrick Brown rise above the petty political in-fighting that has ruined the chance to rule by the last two mayors in office, and find common ground? Can he set aside campaign nastiness for the kind of teamwork that made a couple of people named Davis so successful in their political and sporting lives? He will answer these questions very soon after his impressive win that makes him the 51st mayor in the history of Brampton.

One possible move, involving his recently vanquished opponent, could be a win-win for everyone, especially for the city.



A changing dynamic: does Brampton council need more diverse voices?

A changing dynamic: does Brampton council need more diverse voices?

Of Brampton's and Mississauga's 23 elected municipal representatives, only one is a visible minority. That  should be shocking, considering that about 65 percent of the cities' residents identify as a visible minority. But it’s actually all too familiar. The lack of corresponding ethnic representation on councils across the GTA is an issue minority communities and civic activists have been raising for years.

With Brampton’s population growing at three times the national average, the future will bring a growing list of diverse needs. Is it perhaps time to take this issue seriously in deciding how we vote?

 



Hopefully, Monday’s election will lead to the type of ‘creative destruction’ Brampton so sorely needs

Hopefully, Monday’s election will lead to the type of ‘creative destruction’ Brampton so sorely needs

Brampton citizens and the leaders they are set to elect must show a burning desire to move away from the destructive forces that have held this city back since it was reformed after the installation of regional government in the early 1970s.

Since then, a series of clashes and long-held grudges have defined the lack of leadership that has kept Brampton from reaching its potential.



Unstereotypical election challengers take their passion to Brampton’s streets

Unstereotypical election challengers take their passion to Brampton’s streets

It's an unfortunate reality that municipal elections tend to favour the status quo, for the simple reason that incumbents possess the name recognition, the connections and often the leg-up on fundraising that typically lead to success. 

For newcomers, especially those who violate most elements of the political stereotype — older, white, male, and well-connected — the path to election is much more difficult. 

Yet, there are challengers, willing to take a risk and prepared to burn shoe leather going door-to-door in hopes of becoming a game-changer.

The Pointer takes a look at one such candidate. 



Brampton’s healthcare crisis spills onto floor of legislature: Ford, local PC MPPs absent for vote as motion for a third hospital loses

Brampton’s healthcare crisis spills onto floor of legislature: Ford, local PC MPPs absent for vote as motion for a third hospital loses

Brampton’s growing healthcare crisis was front and centre in the provincial legislature Tuesday as members hurled accusations at each other over the failure to adequately care for patients in the city.

After stories were told of city residents languishing in hospital hallways at Brampton Civic, NDP leader Andrea Horwath, supported by three of her party’s Brampton MPPs, failed to push through a motion to fund a third hospital in the city. Premier Doug Ford and Brampton’s two PC MPPs did not show up for the vote.

The debate became deeply divisive, with MPPs attacking each other over who is responsible for the desperate conditions inside the city's only full-service hospital.



Brown and Jeffrey are tied. New poll shows the former Ontario PC leader has caught the incumbent in the race to be Brampton’s next mayor  

Brown and Jeffrey are tied. New poll shows the former Ontario PC leader has caught the incumbent in the race to be Brampton’s next mayor 

A poll by Forum Research published exclusively by The Pointer shows Patrick Brown and Linda Jeffrey are in a dead heat just days before Monday’s election. Forum surveyed 647 eligible voters in the city Thursday.

Brown was eight points behind Jeffrey, but in a little less than two months his dizzying campaign has managed to pull him even. Voter turnout, depending on which side can more effectively pull supporters to the polls, could determine Monday's result.



New bill aims to cut sky-high auto insurance rates in Brampton, currently 70 percent higher than Ontario average

New bill aims to cut sky-high auto insurance rates in Brampton, currently 70 percent higher than Ontario average

It’s not a secret to Brampton drivers that they’re forced to pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country. Some blame high rates of fraud and high-speed collisions that increase the cost of claims in the Brampton area—which end up costing everyone who lives in certain postal codes as much as $1,000 more per year than drivers in other parts of the GTA. Now, a pair of private member’s bills from two sides of the aisle at Queen’s Park have come forward to address the issue.

Brampton NDP MPP Gurratan Singh introduced a private member's bill Tuesday at Queen's Park. He says he's heard enough talk on the issue, and like the thousands of Brampton drivers desperately seeking action, Singh says it's time the government does something about crippling auto insurance rates in the city.



Cannabis is legal: here’s everything Brampton residents need to know

Cannabis is legal: here’s everything Brampton residents need to know

The City of Brampton, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services and Peel Regional Police gathered Tuesday for a question and answer period to provide one final push of information ahead of the official legalization of cannabis.

As of October 17, the law now allows smoking or vaping pot in a host of places where ordinary cigarette smoking is currently allowed, absent municipal bylaws to place further restrictions on it. Brampton City Council has yet to gather public feedback on the law and its potential impact on the city, never mind deciding what it will do about allowing private pot shops within the city’s borders—which could come as soon as April.

The Pointer breaks down the perspectives of Brampton officials and what legalization may mean for residents of the city.



As India begins deporting Rohingya refugees Andrew Scheer and Brampton candidate skirt issue of country’s appalling human rights record during visit

As India begins deporting Rohingya refugees Andrew Scheer and Brampton candidate skirt issue of country’s appalling human rights record during visit

Ahead of his nine-day trip to India, which is wrapping up, The Pointer asked Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer if he would address with Indian officials the increasing concern being raised by advocacy groups and others about the country’s deplorable human rights record.

Brampton North federal Conservative candidate Arpan Khanna joined Scheer, seen here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, and just like other politicians from the city who travel there, he was silent on the issue of the country’s treatment of women, religious minorities and “lower caste” residents.

But both Scheer and Khanna did take time during the visit to criticize a nearby country’s human rights record.



Jeffrey signals opposition to Vision 2040 transit plan; another showdown on LRT route if re-elected

Jeffrey signals opposition to Vision 2040 transit plan; another showdown on LRT route if re-elected

Incumbent mayor Linda Jeffrey, late in her campaign for re-election, has just released a transit plan for Brampton. It signals that she will again make the Main Street LRT route a key transit priority. 

The current council term became mired in dysfunction when Jeffrey tried and failed to get the Main Street option pushed through shortly after her election. 

Her new set of transit pledges also appear to include a rejection of the plan put forward, and approved unanimously by council, under the comprehensive Vision 2040 document, which outlines how the city should manage its future growth. Jeffrey's new platform could be a sign that, if re-elected, she would scrap much of the transit planning already underway.  



Jeffrey’s latest win in the endorsement battle comes in red, blue and orange

Jeffrey’s latest win in the endorsement battle comes in red, blue and orange

Linda Jeffrey scored a big endorsement victory yesterday as local MPs and MPPs from all three major parties showed across the aisle support for the incumbent mayor. It's a significant sign that Jeffrey would be able to work with both levels of government if re-elected.

The announcement came less than a week after iconic Brampton politician and former Ontario premier Bill Davis threw his support behind Patrick Brown, the former Ontario PC leader who is Jeffrey's main rival in the mayoral race. With a week left before the October 22 municipal election the competition between the two clear front-runners seems too close to call. 



A guide for Brampton voters ahead of the October 22 municipal election: breaking down the big issues

A guide for Brampton voters ahead of the October 22 municipal election: breaking down the big issues

With two clear front-runners in the race to be Brampton's next mayor, here's The Pointer's breakdown of the big issues facing voters and what Linda Jeffrey and Patrick Brown have said about them, ahead of Monday's municipal election.

The Pointer commissioned a poll in late August to find out what's top of mind for Brampton residents. Only 36 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in 2014, but hopefully a more informed public will mean more people out at the polls, as the city faces a watershed election with many major issues that will determine its future. 



It's time to put Brampton back on track

It's time to put Brampton back on track

Former Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown, who is running to be the next mayor of Brampton, lays out his vision to The Pointer's readers in an op-ed.  


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