Peel collective demands provincial aid to fix systemic issues in education, public safety, healthcare; Ombudsman declines to investigate allegations at Brampton City Hall 
Feature illustration from Joel Wittnebel/The Pointer

Peel collective demands provincial aid to fix systemic issues in education, public safety, healthcare; Ombudsman declines to investigate allegations at Brampton City Hall 

Peel Democracy Watch is The Pointer’s weekly feature aimed at increasing the public’s awareness and political involvement in the Region of Peel by highlighting key agenda items, motions and decisions. 


Audit Committee

Date: May 17 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


Four new fraud reports to City Hall in first quarter of 2022

Anonymous City of Brampton staff have filed four complaints to the City’s fraud hotline in the first three months of 2022. According to a staff report, three of the complaints have been closed as they related to “repeat allegations with management action plans already in place.” The final complaint, related to staff compensation, remains under investigation. No other details are provided. 

Read the full report here


Past reporting:


Realty Services audit finds issues in need of “immediate action” 

An audit of the department responsible for managing the City’s real estate and leasing portfolio has found significant issues caused by short-staffing and out-dated procedures. 

“Internal Audit's review indicates that immediate action is required by management to address process gaps and ensure Realty Services risks are managed,” the report states. “Management is committed to addressing the gaps identified in the operations of the Realty Services division.”

The audit found that a reduced staffing contingent during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as staff working from home was impacting the quality of work completed in the realty department, with information omitted from online records and a lack of obligated reporting to council on transactions and building reports. 

Read the staff report here


Past reporting: 


City Council

Date: May 18 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live 


City of Brampton access to information program continues to miss legislated targets 

Under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Act, municipalities in Ontario are legally required to respond to access requests within 30 days. In the City of Brampton, the department is only achieving this target in 74 percent of requests. 

While a significant improvement from the 2020 when the City’s compliance rate sat at only 60 percent, but this is still a far cry from the 98 percent compliance rate in 2016. 

Read the full report here.


Past reporting: 


Information on BramptonU returns to council 

Referred from last week’s committee meeting, councillors will consider a slew of reports and information related to the mismanaged university strategy. Included in the documentation are financial records related to almost $630,000 paid to consultants on the BramptonU plan—two of them with close links to Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos—almost half of the work these companies were hired to complete was never delivered, despite being paid for. 

“There were a total of twelve activities/deliverables identified as part of the costs incurred, of which Staff are unable to find/determine the final product for five with one deliverable received one year and five months after final invoice,” the report states. 

Read the full report here. 


Ombudsman offers insight for dealing with whistleblower complaints following allegations of corruption

Despite a number of complaints, the Ontario Ombudsman says it will not be investigating bombshell allegations made by a Brampton city staffer in relation to the conduct of former CAO David Barrick and other senior staff members, allegations which were subject to an investigation by Deloitte. 

Instead, the Ombudsman is offering information to help inform councillors about the process for hiring independent investigators after the process involving Deloitte was criticized for its limited scope and the short time frame council provided to investigators. 

“In addition to identifying various allegations that they were unable to investigate due to time constraints, Deloitte’s report also highlighted various limitations to its investigation. Six scheduled interviews were not conducted due to time constraints, some individuals declined or were unresponsive to interview requests, and certain cell phone data was not accessed,” states Robin Bates, senior counsel for the Ombudsman in a letter to the city. 

Bates adds that in future, council should consider following best practices identified by the Ombudsman for investigating such complaints, and that “local accountability officers and independent investigators have real and perceived independence to conduct their work in a fair and impartial manner.”

The full letter can be read here.


Past reporting:


General Committee

Date: May 17 - 2:30 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch live


Town struggling to meet corporate climate targets

The Town of Caledon has set a goal for itself to reduce its corporate emissions 24 percent below its 2017 levels by 2024 and energy usage in town facilities by 15 percent. Town facilities are the largest source of corporate emissions in Caledon. According to the recently released report, the town has reduced energy usage in these facilities by 12.9 percent. It provides no update on how this has impacted corporate emissions, but the report makes it clear these gains are mostly the result of COVID shutdowns, and without increased investment and attention to energy-reduction efforts, emissions will increase in 2022. 

“Facility closures contributed to the energy savings in the 2020 year and are anticipated to further reduce energy use in 2021 due to ongoing closures or reduced services due to the pandemic,” the report states. “It is likely that facility emissions will increase in 2022 reporting, with facilities back to full capacity and increased ventilation rates to reduce virus transmission. This highlights the need and importance for continued investment in corporate energy conservation in order to meet our targets.”

Read the full report here


Past reporting


Update on “Resilient Caledon” climate plan

One year after its approval, councillors will receive an update on the progress of the town's climate action plan. 

Progress includes the creation of green standards for new town buildings, the creation of more “aggressive incentives” as part of its Bolton Community Improvement Plan for business to implement energy and carbon reduction projects, and work with Peel’s other municipalities on the creation of a home energy retrofit program. 

The report provides no details or metrics to determine how these efforts will assist the town in reaching its goal of net zero by 2050. 

Read the full report here


Past reporting:


Faith and Program Committee

Date: May 17 - 7:00 p.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Renewing plans to help students with mental health and wellbeing

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board is working on a new plan to guide teaching and programming to help students with their mental health needs, a plan that is crucial following two years of a pandemic. 

“Historical and current events have impacted and continue to impact mental health in our Catholic school communities. Students are seeking validation, motivation, and a sense of belonging but do not always know where to seek help,” the report states. 

The new framework looks to ensure these wellbeing strategies are the “foundational daily work of all staff to welcome and include students, to understand them and build knowledge of mental health.”

Read the full report here. (Begins on Page 30) 


Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism Committee

Date: May 19 - 9:30 a.m. | Delegate | Full agenda | Watch Live


Collective lays out systemic issues with anti-Black racism, discrimination across Peel 

A group of more than 40 community organizations is calling on the Region of Peel and provincial party leaders to put solving region’s systemic issues with racism and discrimination at the top of their priority list. 

The Anti-Black Racism and System Discrimination Collective is calling for equitable resourcing for public safety, education and healthcare. 

“The Collective’s work shows that Peel’s painful experience of the pandemic also provided valuable lessons. Some lessons underscored long-established facts; others brought valuable insights into new ways of working. The reality is that Peel is under-resourced, and some communities are more affected than others. If we are well resourced and able to engage the skills of our community-based organizations, we can then bring equity to Peel,” the group’s letter states. 

Read the full letter and view the group’s presentation here


Past reporting: 


Diversity and equity work at Region of Peel delayed by COVID

After a 2021 workforce survey found that staff at the Region of Peel are not representative of the community it serves, the corporation attempted to shift toward making diversity and inclusion a priority. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic pushed much of this work to the background. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic brought much uncertainty and disruption to the organization. The continued focus on the pandemic response impacted the advancement of some DEI activities and timelines for 2022,” a recently released report states. 

The Region hopes to move forward with several projects throughout this year, including a DEI policy review focused on recruitment, promotion and pay activities, development of the Region of Peel’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategy and targeted community consultations.

The full report can be read here


Past reporting: 



Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoeljWittnebel

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