Ontario’s enormous 3.5-year surgical backlog falls on a burnt-out workforce 

Ontario’s enormous 3.5-year surgical backlog falls on a burnt-out workforce 

The provincial government estimates the surgical and procedural backlog in Ontario will take nearly four years and more than a billion dollars to fix.

The overwhelming workload is now the responsibility of a frontline medical staff who were reporting alarming levels of compassion fatigue and burn out even before COVID-19 overwhelmed the system.  



Every Peel PC MPP given high-profile role as Ford prepares for 2022 election

Every Peel PC MPP given high-profile role as Ford prepares for 2022 election

With the provincial election less than a year away, the PCs have finished promoting all of Peel’s governing MPPs to positions of influence. The region now has four separate cabinet ministers and five parliamentary assistants, roles which could boost reputations ahead of tough fights next year. Whether they have the experience to fulfill their new responsibilities, is another story.



PC ‘greenwashing’ makes climate change worse

PC ‘greenwashing’ makes climate change worse

The PCs will have Ontarians believe they are a government that cares about the environment. A number of announcements for “new” protected greenspaces and investments in green infrastructure have been made in recent months. 

The reality is, these investments are largely useless in the face of moves by a government doing all it can to undermine environmental legislation and push developer-interests forward at all costs. 



Advocates rally, regroup after progress to eliminate anti-Black racism within PDSB stalls

Advocates rally, regroup after progress to eliminate anti-Black racism within PDSB stalls

Like COVID-19, optimism about the Peel District School Board has come and gone in waves this year. Community members were buoyed a year ago to see the beleaguered board begin its long journey toward meaningful reform. A series of recent events has left that faith shaken.

Advocates are steeling themselves for more difficult and vital accountability work in the absence of an education director who was brought in to carry out the mandate but is now on her way to Toronto’s public board.



Why did Patrick Brown pick search firm that recruited disgraced Niagara employees now at the heart of Brampton’s ongoing corruption investigation?

Why did Patrick Brown pick search firm that recruited disgraced Niagara employees now at the heart of Brampton’s ongoing corruption investigation?

The City of Brampton insists it utilized Feldman Daxon’s services since 2016, prior to Mayor Patrick Brown’s election. But the search firm responsible for recommending David Barrick for the City’s CAO role was first used for that type of hiring in 2019, after the mayor’s office contacted the company.



Driver who killed Caledon family wants evidence of impairment tossed: shows he had 8-times the legal limit

Driver who killed Caledon family wants evidence of impairment tossed: shows he had 8-times the legal limit

The man responsible for killing a young family in June 2020 is claiming his Charter rights were breached when Peel Regional Police seized and searched his car six days after the fatal collision, revealing drugs were inside, and obtained medical information that allegedly breached his privacy rights. 

If the application is successful it could result in damning evidence of impairment being excluded.



A fundamental shift in Ontario police power: Chiefs want ‘archaic’ union-controlled discipline reformed

A fundamental shift in Ontario police power: Chiefs want ‘archaic’ union-controlled discipline reformed

Police leaders in Ontario are asking the provincial government to change discipline rules to give them expanded powers, including suspending officers without pay. Police chiefs say the new rules are important to save money and bring the transparency needed to rebuild faith in police. 

Critics disagree and fear the police discipline problem is more deeply embedded. Offering an expanded toolkit to police forces could result in “the boys club” continuing to put itself first.



Amid speculation of a federal election, Trudeau visits Brampton for campaign-style housing commitment

Amid speculation of a federal election, Trudeau visits Brampton for campaign-style housing commitment

Peel is a place federal political leaders visit frequently ahead of elections.

The Prime Minister made a number of stops in 2019 and was back in Brampton right before the pandemic, for a visit to a local technology company. But announcements with funding attached for local needs are less common, making Monday’s visit to unveil a new affordable housing project a particularly special occasion.



Climate change threatening Peel waterways, putting humans & wildlife at risk 

Climate change threatening Peel waterways, putting humans & wildlife at risk 

Pressures from urbanization and our rapidly changing climate are pushing local waterways to the breaking point. 

Destruction of pristine green space, warming waters, and damaging pollutants from Peel municipalities are not only compromising the homes of countless species, it’s putting an increased burden on municipal water treatment facilities to ensure what we drink everyday remains safe. 



Parents feel stuck as learning options for upcoming school year put them between ‘rock and a hard place’

Parents feel stuck as learning options for upcoming school year put them between ‘rock and a hard place’

School may have recently finished, but looking to fall has been on the minds of parents and teachers for months. With kids under the age of 12 not eligible for vaccinations, questions are being raised about what has changed since September 2020. New spins on learning models only muddy the waters around further reopenings, and decisions on sending children back into the classroom are being made now, but will parents want to change their minds by September? 



It’s time the Catholic Church bears its own cross

It’s time the Catholic Church bears its own cross

The mistreatment of our First Nations’ children in our residential schools is a cross many of our institutions – especially the churches that oversaw them – must bear. This overt racism and criminality falls hard on the Catholic Church which ran the majority of these so-called schools of higher learning. Almost two centuries of cultural and physical genocide has shamed our country and shaken our faith. How do we explain away these crimes against humanity to our children? Now is the time for truth and reconciliation. It is also time for the Catholic Church to decide if it wants to do what its religion's namesake would expect of it.



Man who killed Caledon family is fighting impaired driving charges but report shows THC in his system

Man who killed Caledon family is fighting impaired driving charges but report shows THC in his system

More details are emerging in trial on the state Brady Robertson was in when he slammed into a young Caledon family, killing a mother and her three young daughters in a horrific crash on a Brampton thoroughfare last year. He has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths, but is fighting charges of operating his vehicle while impaired.



Political games by Brown and Santos will cost downtown businesses dearly

Political games by Brown and Santos will cost downtown businesses dearly

Construction that rips up streets and closes sidewalks can be a death blow to local businesses. 

When Brampton initially planned to reimagine the downtown core, the goal was to do a significant chunk of the work concurrently with the Region’s utility replacements, to avoid long disruptions. Because of Mayor Patrick Brown’s refusal to spend the money when the project was all set to go three years ago, it appears the city centre could face repeated construction work for years to come.



Peel’s pandemic indicators are all turning green; how does the Region move forward?

Peel’s pandemic indicators are all turning green; how does the Region move forward?

In Peel, COVID-19 has been the number one, number two and number three issue for more than a year.

Finally, there is a sustained sense of optimism. As cases tumble and vaccination rates soar, residents and leaders can tentatively turn their minds to a host of critical priorities to get the region as close to pandemic-proof as possible. 



Driver fighting impaired charges in connection to crash that killed Caledon mother and three young daughters

Driver fighting impaired charges in connection to crash that killed Caledon mother and three young daughters

Peel residents were shocked last summer after a violent car crash in Brampton took the lives of a mother and her three children.  

The man at the centre of the investigation has now pleaded guilty to four of the nine charges in relation to the incident and a separate crash that took place just two days earlier.



City staff hide information on out-of-control salary increases during pandemic

City staff hide information on out-of-control salary increases during pandemic

The City of Brampton, on the direction of Mayor Patrick Brown, hasn’t increased property taxes in the past three years. But it’s been the exact opposite for senior staff, whose salaries and bonuses have skyrocketed under the mayor’s handpicked CAO, David Barrick.

An internal report shows the number of new additions to the sunshine list increased by 21.5 percent, raising many questions in a city being asked to pinch pennies.



Demand for subsidized housing in Peel explodes during pandemic; waitlist grew 50% in one year

Demand for subsidized housing in Peel explodes during pandemic; waitlist grew 50% in one year

The number of people who need shelter in Peel and are experiencing homelessness is rising rapidly and without support the financial burden falls on the Region.

There were more than 22,400 households on Peel’s centralized housing waitlist at the end of 2020, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Rethinking the way people access assistance could help a badly stressed system. 



Brampton has the potential to become a top filming destination, but will the City take action?

Brampton has the potential to become a top filming destination, but will the City take action?

A recent study shows Brampton could rake in millions of dollars if it paid more attention to the way it handles film and television production crews.

Despite the potential, the City has been slow to act, only implementing a fraction of the study’s recommendations.



‘30 days is not enough time’: Countless calls to extend corruption investigation finally heard by City

‘30 days is not enough time’: Countless calls to extend corruption investigation finally heard by City

Council was swift to take action after City of Brampton staffer, Gurdeep (Nikki) Kaur, lodged allegations against senior staffers and Mayor Patrick Brown in April.

A complete investigation into the matter was promised, making it appear the disturbing allegations of widespread corruption were taken seriously. But behind the scenes, attempts were made to control the investigation, including limiting the probe’s timeline to 30 days, an impossible task considering the mountain of allegations.



Former Peel police cadet facing multiple domestic abuse charges raises questions about force’s hiring

Former Peel police cadet facing multiple domestic abuse charges raises questions about force’s hiring

A 24-year-old Brampton man and Peel Regional Police cadet has been charged in connection to a series of alleged domestic assaults. However, when the force announced his charges to the public and media, it omitted his employment with Peel police. 

The decision not to identify his role raises concerns around transparency and how an alleged serial abuser was hired by the force.



After PCs attacked third-party influence, shadowy Brampton Facebook page pours money into pro-conservative advertisements 

After PCs attacked third-party influence, shadowy Brampton Facebook page pours money into pro-conservative advertisements 

A Brampton Facebook page claiming to represent a community organization has spent thousands of dollars on political advertising since March.

The group, which appears to share its roots with the right-wing campaign page Ontario Proud, has praised PC MPPs and attacked Justin Trudeau in a series of promoted posts and videos.



City fails to take lasting action as invasive species threatens Professor’s Lake 

City fails to take lasting action as invasive species threatens Professor’s Lake 

An invasive species is responsible for killing wildlife and native vegetation along the shoreline of Professor’s Lake in Brampton.

Residents have asked the City to pay attention to the fast spreading species numerous times, with no success.



Friends celebrate Kola Iluyomade, an advocate and leader

Friends celebrate Kola Iluyomade, an advocate and leader

One of Peel’s most dedicated and passionate advocates, Kola Iluyomade, has passed away at the age of 56.

His friends, who span several continents and met him throughout his life, describe a father and husband who believed in people’s humanity and wanted to see the world change for the better. 



Ahead of election season Patrick Brown and PC MPPs mislead public on Brampton medical school

Ahead of election season Patrick Brown and PC MPPs mislead public on Brampton medical school

Elected officials in the city are claiming Brampton will soon be getting a new medical school, adding to a growing list of promises to voters ahead of next year’s provincial and municipal elections. In reality, the only thing happening is talks around putting a proposal together. Experience suggests it could be more than two decades before a medical school is actually opened in Brampton, despite claims by Patrick Brown and other politicians.



'We can’t keep doing this’: PC government speeds ahead with Bradford Bypass; advocates say process lacks proper scrutiny

'We can’t keep doing this’: PC government speeds ahead with Bradford Bypass; advocates say process lacks proper scrutiny

For more than 30 years, the Ontario government has been trying to build a highway south of Lake Simcoe. Many residents say the time has come and gone. 

The Doug Ford PC government, just like it did with the GTA West Highway, is forging ahead with a project that will drive a four-lane highway directly through the environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh wetland. 



Salons in Peel finally opening but owners say it’s the start of a new struggle

Salons in Peel finally opening but owners say it’s the start of a new struggle

Ontario’s personal care industry has been suffering. Businesses in Peel and Toronto have been hit the hardest, with their doors shuttered since November. Being allowed to finally open has brought a sense of relief, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to plummet thanks to Canada’s remarkable vaccination strategy, but the future for many of these businesses remains unclear.



Region of Peel 2022 budget faces pressure from airport and cuts to child care

Region of Peel 2022 budget faces pressure from airport and cuts to child care

As the dust settles on the last municipal budget season, pushed into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic, minds are already turning to next year.

Staff at the Region of Peel are working on their 2022 blueprint with concern about new costs from Queen’s Park and Toronto Pearson Airport weighing them down.



America moves painfully toward togetherness while Canada’s history grows darker

America moves painfully toward togetherness while Canada’s history grows darker

After four years of Donald Trump and the dark rise of white nationalism, Joe Biden and the American left are forcing change. A new national holiday to mark the end of slavery could have a profound effect on the country’s relationship with its past, and its pathway to a better future.

In Canada, leaders continue to point fingers and offer empty words, while American-style action eludes us. A Mississauga priest resigned after claiming residential schools were good for many Indigenous peoples. But our shameful history won’t go away, despite the hopes of religious and political leaders.



Final vote on Brampton LRT extension still a year away; council indecision brings hefty bill for taxpayers

Final vote on Brampton LRT extension still a year away; council indecision brings hefty bill for taxpayers

After years of study, delays and council infighting, the City of Brampton is still at least a year away from making a final decision on where a future LRT will run through downtown. 

Councillors expressed frustration last week, but it is residents who must cover the cost of this indecision and suffer the consequences of another year without progress on alternative modes of transit in the city.



‘This is everyday stuff’: Brampton Councillors not impressed with report on temporary improvements for downtown

‘This is everyday stuff’: Brampton Councillors not impressed with report on temporary improvements for downtown

Revitalizing the crumbling city centre has been a long standing agenda item for Brampton councillors. Businesses have suffered while council members debate over what is and isn’t desperately needed.

While the Region pushes ahead with replacing critical infrastructure, the City is working on limited plans to boost the streetscape, leaving businesses and some councillors skeptical about the cost of waiting for substantial change. 



Peel’s conservation authorities are under siege by developers and Doug Ford

Peel’s conservation authorities are under siege by developers and Doug Ford

Through droughts, floods, moth infestations and major summer storms, Peel’s two Conservation Authorities are doing their best to keep the public and the local ecosystem safe.

The PC government has not made it easy for the Credit Valley Conservation Authority or the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to continue crucial programs. Through the omnibus Bill 229, rammed through by the PC government, some of the most important work to fight climate change in Peel might no longer be allowed. The deadline for public consultations on the PCs’ proposed changes is today.



Mississauga Catholic priest resigns after fierce backlash over disturbing residential school remarks

Mississauga Catholic priest resigns after fierce backlash over disturbing residential school remarks

Owen Keenan faced sweeping condemnation after his sermon last weekend, claiming Catholic residential schools were “very positive” for Indigenous communities across Canada. His harmful remarks came while First Nations and other Indigenous peoples across the country were devastated following the discovery in Kamloops of the remains of 215 children near a former residential school. As grief swept through Indigenous communities, Keenan rubbed salt in their wounds. He will no longer be able to spread his harmful views to congregants.



Action needed as Islamophobia in Peel becomes increasingly common

Action needed as Islamophobia in Peel becomes increasingly common

In Peel, home to one of the largest collection of Muslim communities in Canada, the need to fight Islamophobic statements and hatred has never been more clear.

Policies, changes to the criminal justice system, laws around online content and educational approaches need to be pursued so hate that is currently harming so many families can be eradicated. 



‘Waste of our valuable time’: Peel council shuts down Highway 413 lobby effort

‘Waste of our valuable time’: Peel council shuts down Highway 413 lobby effort

On Thursday morning, the Government of Ontario planned to present a “general update” on the proposed GTA West Highway to councillors in Peel Region.

Elected officials had other ideas, striking the item from the agenda and telling the Province their minds on the controversial project had already been made up.



The best $100K Peel spent during the pandemic

The best $100K Peel spent during the pandemic

In Peel, almost one in three households speak a non-official language at home. With its majority immigrant population and diverse range of diaspora communities, communication in the region comes with an extra cost: translation. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional government has put almost $100,000 toward translation costs that aim to communicate with residents in their language of choice. 



Mississauga priest’s residential school comments raise questions about future of Catholic Church

Mississauga priest’s residential school comments raise questions about future of Catholic Church

A Mississauga pastor has apologized for a homily he gave over the weekend referencing “the good that was done” in residential schools.

The stunning comments made to congregants who are supposed to look to their priest for moral guidance have drawn criticism from leaders, including Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Stacey LaForme, who says Monsignor Owen Keenan should consider if he is suited to a position of spiritual leadership.



Patrick Brown appears to have violated rules by secretly directing City staff to campaign for Peter MacKay

Patrick Brown appears to have violated rules by secretly directing City staff to campaign for Peter MacKay

Brown is a loyal Conservative supporter of MacKay. They served together under Stephen Harper for years as members of parliament when MacKay was a minister and high-profile member of the party.

When Brown secretly directed City staff to help campaign for his friend’s federal leadership bid last year, it appears provincial and municipal rules outlining the conduct of members of council were broken.



As Peel plans its next 30 years of growth will developer-driven sprawl or the planet win out?

As Peel plans its next 30 years of growth will developer-driven sprawl or the planet win out?

A review demanded by the Ontario government to be completed next summer is a top priority for The Region of Peel. Housing and employment lands are the concerns around accommodation of a massive population set to arrive over the next three decades.

Environmentalists are calling on the Region to hold a hard urban line so no more sprawl can affect Caledon’s precious farmland. Other regions like Waterloo have done it, accommodating smart, dense growth while protecting rural landscapes and a connection with nature.



Niagara déjà vu — City of Brampton misleading public on internal corruption investigation

Niagara déjà vu — City of Brampton misleading public on internal corruption investigation

Top City of Brampton staff are following their playbook in Niagara, after they tried to whitewash a corruption investigation there that eventually blew up in their face.

After they were fired, Mayor Patrick Brown had them hired in Brampton and they are now doing the same around an investigation into sweeping allegations of corruption inside City Hall, painting a rosy picture and telling residents there is nothing to see.



Peel is losing one of its strongest allies in the fight against climate change — its wild spaces 

Peel is losing one of its strongest allies in the fight against climate change — its wild spaces 

All of Peel’s municipalities have committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a considerable degree over the next decade. While retrofits, sustainable forms of energy, transit solutions and tree planting will all play a role, a new study has found there is a much easier, more impactful way to mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

Managing, preserving, and restoring our green spaces. 



Brampton’s Black, African and Caribbean communities question how City can claim it’s an 'equal opportunity employer’

Brampton’s Black, African and Caribbean communities question how City can claim it’s an 'equal opportunity employer'

The City of Brampton will soon be conducting its second equity audit in the last two years, thanks to a push by City Councillor Charmaine Williams.

She’s heard from generations of racialized communities frustrated about not being able to land a job inside City Hall.



Peel residents fearing more sprawl want to pause crucial decision around future growth – PCs said ‘no’

Peel residents fearing more sprawl want to pause crucial decision around future growth – PCs said ‘no’

Constrained by technology, some residents in the Region of Peel are asking their councillors to delay a critical planning decision on the very future of the area until the pandemic has been resolved. Many have written to their leaders asking for growth submissions to Queen’s Park be put on hold to allow for better consultation.

Their pleas may fall on deaf ears. The Doug Ford government has already told municipalities there is absolutely no wiggle room ahead of its 2022 deadline.



Politicians need to change their social media platforms to attract young voters

Politicians need to change their social media platforms to attract young voters

Younger constituents have historically represented a reduced share of turnout in elections. So what can politicians do about it?

For one, sharing their views on platforms younger voters favour would help engage with those citizens who will shape the future. Dismissing the notion that young people don’t care about politics would also be helpful.



The cost of recycling the wrong way: Peel & Mississauga not on the same page

The cost of recycling the wrong way: Peel & Mississauga not on the same page

Many of the steps to reduce our impact on the planet seem insignificant. Every time we leave the car at home, turn a light off or separate packaging into garbage or recycling, the individual impact goes unnoticed.

When bureaucratic problems arise, they add to the barriers around effective sustainability. Within Peel’s two-tiered system of government, each is not always on the same page and problems with the way recycling is managed are a perfect illustration. 



Vaccine eligibility expands in Peel as infection spread continues to slow  

Vaccine eligibility expands in Peel as infection spread continues to slow  

More residents in Peel are now eligible to receive their second vaccination, if they can find an appointment. 

The region’s vaccine plan is moving into a higher gear and doses are being dished out to defeat the COVID-19 delta variant. Hiccups in the system and structural barriers to access for some of the most vulnerable represent cause for concern in an otherwise positive picture.



Court upholds most of commissioner’s findings against Gurpreet Dhillon in sexual misconduct case

Court upholds most of commissioner’s findings against Gurpreet Dhillon in sexual misconduct case

The Brampton councillor has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has fought to have the integrity commissioner’s report thrown out.

A year after the interim report examining allegations stemming from a trade mission to Turkey was completed, Dhillon is raising questions about possible interference by Mayor Patrick Brown.



Brampton staff suddenly blame COVID for financial mess, ignore years of tax freezes under Patrick Brown

Brampton staff suddenly blame COVID for financial mess, ignore years of tax freezes under Patrick Brown

The City is preparing to craft its 2022 budget to be shared with residents later this year. 

A recent staff report indicates, for the first time during this council term after years of claiming all is well, that all may not be well with the City’s finances. But instead of acknowledging past mistakes caused by Mayor Patrick Brown’s reckless policy of tax freezes and reviewing possible solutions, staff are clearly working for him, not the residents who desperately need investments in their city.



Doug Ford hopes to erase our discontent

Doug Ford hopes to erase our discontent

The Premier and his ruling party are legislating toward the use of Ontario’s notwithstanding clause, in hopes of wiping away 16 months of failed pandemic leadership ahead of next year’s election. Ford has seen what happened to Donald Trump. Beyond the political gamesmanship, as desperate men try to hang onto power, will COVID-19 push our healthcare system to re-evaluate the reactive response to the pandemic, and force governments to embrace long-term solutions?



Brampton high schooler helps city join ‘red movement’ to ensure access to menstrual products

Brampton high schooler helps city join ‘red movement’ to ensure access to menstrual products

Keyna Sarkar is on a mission to fight ‘period poverty’ in Brampton, and in April, she pushed the City to provide free menstrual products in all municipal facilities. Through Girl Up Brampton, a non-profit organization started by the United Nations, she and her team are taking their message across the city, collecting sanitary products for those in need.



Can Peel walk the tightrope of mandated affordable housing?

Can Peel walk the tightrope of mandated affordable housing?

Peel Region has a housing crisis on its hands. According to a 2020 staff report, ownership and rental options are unaffordable for 80 percent of residents. 

The Region will soon be armed with inclusionary zoning. The policies will allow council to mandate affordable units from home builders, but in the profit-driven world of development, striking the right balance will be key.