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.



‘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. 



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.  



‘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.



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.



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. 



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.  



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. 



Despite 20 years of issues, Peel paramedics are still being dispatched using a flawed system 

Despite 20 years of issues, Peel paramedics are still being dispatched using a flawed system 

Peel's paramedic service are once again trying to resolve issues that have plagued its dispatch centre for much of the last two decades. 

Problems at the Mississauga Central Ambulance Communications Centre, which the Ministry of Health is directly responsible for operating, are creating service delays and impacting the ability of paramedics to improve their response times.



In loco parentis: what does duty of care mean for our schools during a climate crisis?

In loco parentis: what does duty of care mean for our schools during a climate crisis?

Dr. Ellen Field, a professor of education at Lakehead University has been granted funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada to implement climate change education into teacher training programs.

As the consequences of climate change are magnified, Field sees an opportunity for schools to serve as a place to foster skills and habits for both teachers and youth.



‘The right to inspect’: Brampton holds tele-town hall to discuss paused landlord licensing program

‘The right to inspect’: Brampton holds tele-town hall to discuss paused landlord licensing program

Thousands of Brampton residents took part in a tele-town hall to discuss the City of Brampton’s controversial residential rental licensing program. It paused the initiative less than a month after launching it at the beginning of 2024 after backlash from landlords. The consultations are meant to inform changes to the program which is designed to help tenants have safe living conditions. 



‘Unreasonable, unjust, and wrong’: Ombudsman investigation highlights Ontario’s long-term care system collapse during pandemic 

‘Unreasonable, unjust, and wrong’: Ombudsman investigation highlights Ontario’s long-term care system collapse during pandemic 

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across communities, devastating countries worldwide, those residing in long-term care homes were among the hardest hit, revealing very quickly the harrowing reality of how unprepared Ontario was. A recent investigation by Ombudsman Paul Dubé revealed the Ministry of Long-Term Care “took limited steps to enforce compliance with legislative requirements,” as its inspection system collapsed during the first wave of the pandemic. 



Lack of government transit investment misaligned with green policies, promotes wrong type of housing, new report argues

Lack of government transit investment misaligned with green policies, promotes wrong type of housing, new report argues

A new report from Environmental Defence and Equiterre models how Canada can double public transit use and decrease single occupancy vehicle use by 35 percent.

Transit service levels would have to roughly double, and the federal government has to step up to achieve this goal, which aligns directly with Ottawa’s current emissions reduction commitments.



To help change reckless driving behaviour Brampton will have 185 speed cameras throughout the city: could sky-high insurance rates finally drop? 

To help change reckless driving behaviour Brampton will have 185 speed cameras throughout the city: could sky-high insurance rates finally drop? 

Brampton will be allocating $1.5 million to accommodate its own Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) Processing Center right in the city, instead of continuing to lease its current 50 ASE cameras through a Toronto-based facility which staff said has processing limitations that cause delays.

It will bring in an additional 135 cameras with the goal of improving road safety and modifying driver behaviour to reduce speeding. 



‘Mississauga can only approve housing, we cannot build it’: PCs deny City Hall of critical infrastructure funding under flawed criteria 

‘Mississauga can only approve housing, we cannot build it’: PCs deny City Hall of critical infrastructure funding under flawed criteria 

Mississauga City officials are calling on the PC government to revisit the criteria of its new infrastructure funding program which measures municipalities on their housing starts (which municipalities cannot control) rather than approvals. The City was deemed ineligible for provincial funding that would help Mississauga build “more homes faster” to meet its housing target of 120,000 new homes by 2031.



Brampton forming Women’s Advisory Committee to provide Council with input on key issues

Brampton forming Women’s Advisory Committee to provide Council with input on key issues

The City of Brampton will appoint citizen members to its new Women’s Advisory Committee which will offer Council advice and recommendations on gender equity matters and ways to improve engagement by women in municipal politics, among other critical issues. 



Their properties need to be expropriated for the Riverwalk, but Brampton has left these residents in the dark 

Their properties need to be expropriated for the Riverwalk, but Brampton has left these residents in the dark 

Full or partial expropriation of several properties is necessary to begin construction on the transformative Riverwalk project, but one of the property owners tells The Pointer the City has failed to provide proper communication about the process.

The fate of unsheltered residents living along the Etobicoke Creek is also unclear, as they likely face displacement without access to Peel’s overburdened emergency shelter system.



Liberals’ draft Clean Electricity Regulations won’t get sector to net zero by 2035, experts say

Liberals’ draft Clean Electricity Regulations won’t get sector to net zero by 2035, experts say

The federal government has taken a step forward in establishing Clean Electricity Regulations to oversee the national transition to low or no carbon electricity systems.

But while the goal of achieving a net zero electricity grid by 2035 is critical to mitigate atmospheric harm, the draft regulations released by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change last fall, and updated last month, will not reach the lofty goal, experts say.



Safe consumption site set to open in Peel but PC delays put municipalities in a chokehold as opioid crisis worsens

Safe consumption site set to open in Peel but PC delays put municipalities in a chokehold as opioid crisis worsens

As opioid-related deaths continue to climb and accidental overdoses become more frequent, more municipalities are looking at Supervised Consumption Sites, like the one anticipated to open at 10 Peel Centre Drive, a stop-gap to the harm occurring on city streets.

Despite the increasing number of deaths, the PC government has halted any new site approval after a deadly shooting near a Toronto facility in July. Evidence has shown these sites actually reduce harms associated with drug injecting and minimize risks to the communities around them.