Integrity commissioner recommends maximum penalty for Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon who denies alleged sexual assault

Integrity commissioner recommends maximum penalty for Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon who denies alleged sexual assault

A report by the City of Brampton’s integrity commissioner into Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon was released Friday. It details allegations of sexual misconduct during a City-sanctioned trip to Turkey in 2019.

Dhillon denies the allegations, questions the commissioner’s investigation and has launched legal action to have the report thrown out.



City plans for BramptonU continue to avoid crucial questions

City plans for BramptonU continue to avoid crucial questions

The City of Brampton has finally released some long awaited plans for the proposed Brampton University.

In the recent reports the City explores academic programs and degrees it wants to see at the school, how the university will be governed and the potential economic benefits of having its own educational institution.



Harsh punishments for rule breakers in Brampton might complicate COVID-19 response

Harsh punishments for rule breakers in Brampton might complicate COVID-19 response

The City’s approach of being tough on those flouting COVID-19 protocols has not reduced Brampton’s infection rate.

Instead, harsh penalties could be making contact tracing significantly harder and worsening the virus’ spread.



Proposal for seniors apartment towers labelled an ‘abomination’ by local residents 

Proposal for seniors apartment towers labelled an ‘abomination’ by local residents 

A developer has tabled plans to build new, dense senior living in Brampton.

The plan, proving to be wildly unpopular with local residents, illustrates the roadblocks in the way of Brampton’s attempts to achieve smart growth and raises questions about how retirement homes need to be built moving forward to reflect the lessons of COVID-19.



Can Mississauga’s investment in the film industry turn it into Bollywood of the West? 

Can Mississauga’s investment in the film industry turn it into Bollywood of the West? 

In 2020 alone, Mississauga has seen one film studio open and two more announced. The trend means the city is on course to offer as much indoor filming space as Toronto. As the GTA film industry continues to boom, studio space is increasingly rare and represents a golden opportunity for Mississauga to get in on the lucrative world of Hollywood North. Another suburban area, halfway around the world, used film investment to launch Bollywood’s explosion into popular culture and create dynamic upscale boroughs that now overshadow central Mumbai.



Paul Henderson doesn’t need to be in hockey’s hallowed hall – he’s thriving in God’s House

Paul Henderson doesn’t need to be in hockey’s hallowed hall – he’s thriving in God’s House

The Pointer talks to the Mississauga legend whose accomplishments still remain frozen in time. Paul Henderson's historic winning goal in the 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series is regarded as our greatest sports moment in the 20th century. Some want him in the Hockey Hall Of Fame, as recognition of what he represents to this country, but Mississauga’s 77-year-old hockey icon never rested on his laurels, and has since scored other “goals” that he considers even more significant.



Not much has changed in Ontario’s long-term care sector as second wave of COVID-19 looms 

Not much has changed in Ontario’s long-term care sector as second wave of COVID-19 looms 

Long-term care staff and the government agree, the system has been broken for decades. Countless reports and commissions calling for action have rang out for years, but few changes have been made. 

Even in the short term, it’s likely that thousands of seniors – our most vulnerable citizens – will once again be in a deadly situation if another wave of the virus hits and overworked, under resourced staff are unable to provide proper care. 



Peel students going back to classrooms this fall while research on COVID transmission by children is divided

Peel students going back to classrooms this fall while research on COVID transmission by children is divided

After a highly anticipated announcement Thursday, Premier Doug Ford confirmed most students will be back in the classroom five days a week in the fall. The news comes after school boards were asked to prepare for three different outcomes for September.

Two new research papers, one Canadian and one from the U.S., offer differing findings about the risk of viral spread by children at school.  



In the shadow of illegal Brampton house parties Peel will advance to Stage 3 Friday

In the shadow of illegal Brampton house parties Peel will advance to Stage 3 Friday

Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon will all move to Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan first thing Friday. It will allow indoor dining, fitness centres and movie theatres to reopen, among other loosening restrictions.

Recent cases in the region have trended down, but mass gatherings in Brampton over the weekend pose problems to reopening, testing and tracing. 



Will $113M in new funding reduce overcrowding on Brampton buses?

Will $113M in new funding reduce overcrowding on Brampton buses?

New money from the federal and provincial government will help Brampton improve its existing transit fleet.

Yet no commitments for increasing services have been made, despite residents raising concerns months ago about overcrowding on local buses. 



New PC legislation billed as increased protection for tenants could actually worsen Peel’s housing crisis 

New PC legislation billed as increased protection for tenants could actually worsen Peel’s housing crisis 

Daniel Amsler, a paralegal in Mississauga, told The Pointer he fears the impact of Bill 184.

Evictions for tenants who have fallen behind on rent could allow landlords to hike their rates and lead to an even worse affordability crisis in the city. 



Answering calls for systemic change, Peel police vow ‘complete overhaul’ of school officer program

Answering calls for systemic change, Peel police vow ‘complete overhaul’ of school officer program

A strategy designed to connect youth and police at local high schools left many feeling threatened and divided and has now been paused by Peel Regional Police. 

The significant step is the first concrete action taken by the force and new Chief Nishan Duraiappah who has promised “systemic change” across the organization. 



Two arrested in ‘horrifying’ Malton gang shooting while questions linger about changes to policing 

Two arrested in ‘horrifying’ Malton gang shooting while questions linger about changes to policing 

While certain violent crimes have spiked in Peel, the majority are being committed by a “small subset” of the population associated with gangs. Two men were recently arrested in connection with September’s brazen mass shooting, which left a teenage bystander dead. 

With calls to defund police organizations across the globe, Peel’s chief says his organization is trying to shift toward a community-centric model of policing, but it remains unclear how that change will occur. 



International students falling through the cracks in a post-secondary world scrambling for answers

International students falling through the cracks in a post-secondary world scrambling for answers

The spread of the novel coronavirus has highlighted the inconsistent support available for international students across Mississauga and Brampton. Some have been kicked out of their homes while others face mental breakdowns.

Support from higher levels of government, which are actively involved in the lucrative process to bring these students here, has been almost non-existent.



Politicians and the public need a COVID-19-type response to climate change, not a return to sprawl

Politicians and the public need a COVID-19-type response to climate change, not a return to sprawl

In Mississauga and Brampton politicians have talked about climate change for years, taking slow steps to address the issue. When COVID-19 hit, Bonnie Crombie, Patrick Brown and Doug Ford all demonstrated how rapid a crisis response can be. It remains to be seen if those lessons can be focused back on the environment.



Wayfair internet child exploitation conspiracy distracts from the shocking reality of human trafficking

Wayfair internet child exploitation conspiracy distracts from the shocking reality of human trafficking

The Wayfair child trafficking conspiracy has grabbed the public spotlight and continues to take attention away from what human trafficking really looks like. 

Criminal activity in Peel and Ontario highlights the need to address the growing crisis in our own backyard. 



Region defers $600M-$700M in capital projects to absorb financial hit from COVID-19 

Region defers $600M-$700M in capital projects to absorb financial hit from COVID-19 

Regional councillors were between a rock and a hard place when passing a motion to delay hundreds of millions for approved projects for up to five years. 

The specific projects pushed to the back burner remain to be identified, but the move had to be made because of major losses in development revenue. 



Two new schools for Brampton in province’s multi-billion dollar education stimulus plan  

Two new schools for Brampton in province’s multi-billion dollar education stimulus plan  

The Ministry of Education has announced funding to build 30 new schools and expand 15 more. Two of the new facilities will be in Brampton, with two others also set for expansion in Peel.

The news has been welcomed by local leaders in a region where student overcrowding has been a concern for years. 



Shift to Stage 3 ‘sooner rather than later’ chief medical officer says as COVID-19 continues to spread in Peel

Shift to Stage 3 ‘sooner rather than later’ chief medical officer says as COVID-19 continues to spread in Peel

A sense of frustration is in the air as the region remains in the second stage of the province’s reopening plan, with no indication of when it will be welcomed into the third.

The issue is not a simple fix and epidemiologists stress it runs deeper than washing your hands and standing six feet apart.  



Peel parents bracing for September as province prepares details on school reopenings

Peel parents bracing for September as province prepares details on school reopenings

Peel District School Board has released details of its plans to reopen schools in September, but cannot stipulate if children will be at home, in the classroom or both.

As they wait anxiously for answers from the province, parents are juggling work, childcare and education with fears around their kids’ safety. 



Province overrides Peel Region, allowing controversial sprawling Caledon development to move ahead as battle lines are being drawn

Province overrides Peel Region, allowing controversial sprawling Caledon development to move ahead as battle lines are being drawn

Twice in 2020, councillors at the Region of Peel voted to defer a decision on a questionable development in the southwest of Caledon that does not align with smart growth principles.

Unhappy with the delay, the Town and its pro-sprawl council members went straight to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, who overruled the region. But some are concerned about safety issues and critics don’t understand the rush on a critical development that could be a domino for more bad planning. 



‘I just broke down’: Ejaz Choudry passed away a month ago; His family is still looking for answers

‘I just broke down’: Ejaz Choudry passed away a month ago; His family is still looking for answers

The incident left unbelievable amounts of guilt and questions for a family who lost their loved one in an instant, but they’re determined to keep his name alive.



Region urging province to reverse course on childcare cuts planned for 2021 

Region urging province to reverse course on childcare cuts planned for 2021 

Stressed parents, anxious kids and nothing to do in a house sounds like a recipe for disaster. Ontario parents might have to endure more of the same in September as schools grapple with hybrid models for in-person classes.

Peel faces unique challenges with $3.7 million in decreased funding for childcare programs, potentially leading to affordable daycare closures when parents need it most.



Ignat (Iggy) Kaneff: 1926-2020

Ignat (Iggy) Kaneff: 1926-2020

The Mississauga-Brampton suburban icon lived the “immigrant experience” and carefully constructed an enriched life, brick by brick.



Brampton resident leading fight for increased driving penalties

Brampton resident leading fight for increased driving penalties

Jillian McLeod has heard from numerous families who have lost loved ones in dangerous driving accidents and is frustrated that stricter punishments aren’t being pursued.

In an effort to influence change and deter such behaviour she’s taken measures into her own hands.



What’s the new normal for places of worship? 

What’s the new normal for places of worship? 

When COVID-19 closures were imminent in March, religious organizations were forced to think on their feet to ensure faith-based practices were made available as people were forced to isolate.

Now, even though numerous places of worship have opened their doors and others are following suit, technology will continue to play an important role.



Tent encampments are popping up across Peel in the age of COVID-19; a recent UN report says Canada is failing on the issue

Tent encampments are popping up across Peel in the age of COVID-19; a recent UN report says Canada is failing on the issue

With physical distancing measures in place, many homeless individuals are using tents in public spaces as their best option to stay safe.

A recent UN report warns Canadians that the issue is only going to get worse. Meanwhile, complaints of questionable behaviour are rising, and without proper resources to deal with these temporary living options the spread of the novel coronavirus is compounding the problem.



Brampton has about 70% of Peel’s new COVID-19 cases, will it be held back if the rest of Peel moves to Stage 3?

Brampton has about 70% of Peel’s new COVID-19 cases, will it be held back if the rest of Peel moves to Stage 3?

At the end of June, Brampton’s high COVID-19 case numbers were much to blame for Peel’s delayed and questionable entrance into Stage 2. 

Now, with the city still seeing the vast majority of the region’s new cases, could it be left behind when other parts of Peel are able to reopen?



Violent youth crime drops to its lowest point in years and a new Malton hub hopes to continue the trend

Violent youth crime drops to its lowest point in years and a new Malton hub hopes to continue the trend

Last year saw a drop in crimes committed by young people across the Region of Peel. 

Behind the positive trend, teenagers continue to be caught in gang violence. In Mississauga, one councillor is working on a project aimed at keeping young people on the right track from an early age. 



Overwhelmed court system means Brampton Council can’t take advantage of its own photo radar plan 

Overwhelmed court system means Brampton Council can’t take advantage of its own photo radar plan 

Council members remained silent when staff pointed out a major dilemma facing the plan to introduce speed-calming photo radar cameras across the city: a lack of available judicial resources means the cameras would lead to too many tickets for the overburdened local provincial court to handle.

It’s one of many conundrums facing councillors who voted unanimously to move forward with the multi-million dollar project. 



Almost 2,000 cases of elder abuse investigated in Peel last year, a 110% spike; how do you fix a problem nobody wants to talk about?

Almost 2,000 cases of elder abuse investigated in Peel last year, a 110% spike; how do you fix a problem nobody wants to talk about?

When the novel coronavirus ravaged the homes caring for some of the most vulnerable people in the province, many asked why proper protections weren’t put in place earlier.

Some advocates in Peel are asking similar questions about how to stop the rapidly rising rates of elder abuse. 



Province will end streaming of Grade 9 math in 2021, introduce harsher punishments for educators displaying racist behaviour

Province will end streaming of Grade 9 math in 2021, introduce harsher punishments for educators displaying racist behaviour

Last week Education Minister Stephen Lecce released more details of the PC government’s plan to destream students who have previously been placed into educational pathways that deny them of future opportunities.

The move came after the province found PDSB routinely harmed Black and other visible minority students by unfairly placing them into “applied” streams that do not lead to university or college. 



‘It's a shame to come and show people this is downtown Brampton’: Businesses skeptical of City’s plans for rejuvenation

‘It's a shame to come and show people this is downtown Brampton’: Businesses skeptical of City’s plans for rejuvenation

After years of back and forth, the City has approved work for the withering area in partnership with the Region of Peel, which is emphasizing the need for improvements. It’s a story downtown business owners have heard before, only to see City Hall ignore its responsibilities, leaving some wondering if change will ever come.



Future for Mississauga hockey stars frozen as COVID-19 cancels OHL season

Future for Mississauga hockey stars frozen as COVID-19 cancels OHL season

The Mississauga Steelheads are one of Ontario’s feeder teams, a place where young hockey players learn the ropes and work toward their dream of playing in the NHL.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has robbed future stars of precious development minutes and thrown plans into disarray. 



Evidence of child exploitation in Peel has increased almost 400%; defunding the already under-resourced police unit would put more victims at risk 

Evidence of child exploitation in Peel has increased almost 400%; defunding the already under-resourced police unit would put more victims at risk 

Many police organizations will not argue that more money needs to be directed to social programming, which is the core ideology behind the “defund” movement. 

However, for specialized teams battling increasingly complex, and increasingly common crimes like Peel police’s Internet Child Exploitation unit, defunding could make an already desperate situation even worse. 



Brampton has been a hotspot for COVID-19, but William Osler has only maintained one testing site here

Brampton has been a hotspot for COVID-19, but William Osler has only maintained one testing site here

Since March, medical experts have made clear that the best way to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 is to test, test, test.

With Brampton continuing to be a hotspot for the virus in Ontario, the William Osler Health System has only run one screening facility in the city, while it has managed two in neighbouring Etobicoke which has little more than half the population.



‘This is a government that would pave the Greenbelt’: Ford moves to ‘streamline’ environmental study for GTA West Highway

‘This is a government that would pave the Greenbelt’: Ford moves to ‘streamline’ environmental study for GTA West Highway

The proposed construction of Highway 413 between Milton and Vaughan has been an extremely divisive issue for residents and environmental campaigners.

The developer-driven project was scrapped in 2018 by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, before the PCs revived it immediately after taking office. Now, despite its route along one of the most ecologically sensitive areas in Southern Ontario, they are pushing legislation to speed up the highway’s Environmental Assessment so it can be built faster. 



Two years of tax freezes have left Brampton with few options to deal with the financial fallout of COVID-19 

Two years of tax freezes have left Brampton with few options to deal with the financial fallout of COVID-19 

As the city begins to contemplate how to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic, the first report on the 2021 budget outlines a number of options.

They include things never discussed before, such as redirecting capital contributions to other crucial needs, and pausing tax levies that collect much needed funds for transit and infrastructure projects. 



Mayor and Mississauga Council’s diversity committee offer more lip service but little action on inclusion

Mayor and Mississauga Council’s diversity committee offer more lip service but little action on inclusion

The lion’s share of Mississauga’s population is not white, a reality not reflected in its council composition or senior leadership at City Hall. A diversity and inclusion committee established to hear marginalized voices has had meetings cancelled due to a lack of attendance while the municipal government has failed to properly reflect one of Canada’s most cosmopolitan cities. 



Details scarce as PDSB directive to end streaming in Grade 9 will be rolled out across Ontario

Details scarce as PDSB directive to end streaming in Grade 9 will be rolled out across Ontario

Education Minister Stephen Lecce this week said the province plans to end streaming in Grade 9 and stop suspensions of younger students across Ontario.

However, critics say the move is a political play to capitalize on calls for change and argue it has not been properly planned.



Brampton City Council votes 'to do nothing' on motion to change Ward boundaries

Brampton City Council votes 'to do nothing' on motion to change Ward boundaries

Despite increasing disparities between the number of constituents each Brampton councillor represents, as the city’s population continues to mushroom in certain areas, a motion to alter Ward boundaries landed with a thud.

Council decided not to move forward with changes that would align political representation with future growth, to ensure all constituents get an equal level of service.



Brampton didn’t see a two week decline in COVID-19 cases, so why did it move to stage 2? 

Brampton didn’t see a two week decline in COVID-19 cases, so why did it move to stage 2? 

Through the month of June, Brampton continued to struggle in its fight against the novel coronavirus. Poor testing and results that refused to trend downward plagued the city. In the face of the worrying numbers local health officials green lit the reopening of patios, hairdressers, leisure facilities and other businesses. The question is: why?



Parents wonder if lasting change will ever come to PDSB

Parents wonder if lasting change will ever come to PDSB

Anti-Black racism and other forms of potentially devastating discrimination within the Peel District School Board have been a feature of the organization for decades. Parents, many of whom were hurt by PDSB a generation ago, were relieved when the province took over governance of the board and former director Peter Joshua was promptly dismissed, but some say sweeping reform will still be a battle. 



GTA-West Highway was killed for its bad planning; its revival by Doug Ford could be killed by COVID-19 

GTA-West Highway was killed for its bad planning; its revival by Doug Ford could be killed by COVID-19 

In 2018, the Liberals scrapped a highway that had been planned to run between Milton and Vaughan. The project was shown by experts to be an environmental disaster that did little to alleviate congestion.

However, after taking office, Doug Ford immediately revived the developer-driven plan. But now, with transportation patterns around the world thrown upside down by the pandemic, the new highway makes even less sense.



As Facebook comes under fire Brampton and Mississauga saw a recent decline in some hate crimes but a rise in race-based incidents

As Facebook comes under fire Brampton and Mississauga saw a recent decline in some hate crimes but a rise in race-based incidents

The federal Department of Justice dubs the number of hate crimes never reported as “dark figures”, with reason to believe such incidents are on the rise. It’s a trend seen in areas across the world, and a recent report says Mississauga and Brampton are commonly hit by these disturbing acts of intolerance, in two cities where people of different backgrounds share the same spaces in every facet of life. Social media, particularly Facebook, has allowed hate to flourish around the world.



The value of nature has never been more evident, but keeping cities green has been a challenge 

The value of nature has never been more evident, but keeping cities green has been a challenge 

Conservation Authorities play a vital supporting role in many municipal environmental projects.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created financial uncertainty for these organizations, and it’s putting further strain on the Region of Peel. 



Human trafficking flourishes alongside COVID-19, while services for survivors have to close

Human trafficking flourishes alongside COVID-19, while services for survivors have to close

A raft of human traffic charges around the world, including in Ontario, has highlighted how brazen criminals are taking advantage of the pandemic. While drug and gun smuggling have been thwarted by the air and border restrictions, domestic and international human trafficking have continued unhampered. 

Peel is the epicentre for the heinous crime in Ontario, but service providers and the Region of Peel have been forced to delay efforts to help survivors, leaving many without the help they need.  



High COVID-19 rates in Mississauga and Brampton raise concern over Stage 2 reopening

High COVID-19 rates in Mississauga and Brampton raise concern over Stage 2 reopening

Public health officials have made clear that regions and cities need two weeks of consistent decline in new COVID numbers before it’s safe to loosen social distancing restrictions. In many parts of Peel this is not happening despite the lifting of safety measures that creates a much rosier picture.

The region continues to struggle with new cases of COVID-19. Data from the tail end of June shows Peel experiencing levels of infection similar to those in Toronto, despite having half its population. 



Peel’s recent plea for housing help distracts from failure of high-priced councillors to fulfill their commitments

Peel’s recent plea for housing help distracts from failure of high-priced councillors to fulfill their commitments

The affordable housing crisis across much of Peel is getting worse.

In a recent staff report, the Region admits it can’t handle the problem, and points to higher levels of government as the solution. But it leaves out a key fact – council’s repeated unwillingness to allocate funds for housing because it simply isn’t a priority for Peel’s highly-paid elected officials.



Police board green lights body cameras; members quiet on other reforms

Police board green lights body cameras; members quiet on other reforms

Peel police officers will be equipped with body-worn cameras soon, after members of the board that governs the force voted to adopt the technology.

The move, touted to improve transparency and accountability, came during a meeting Friday that saw almost 100 letters sent by community members, most calling for police reform or defunding, which the board chose not to address, for now.