There are more roads in a single square kilometre in Southern Ontario than in any other part of Canada. It means the natural world is slashed, paved over and divided, leaving very few corridors for wildlife to migrate, search for food or suitable places to breed.
Habitat fragmentation is a leading cause of species decline, and now the Ontario government wants to build a 400-series highway along the edge of the Greenbelt, compromising the homes of countless animals, and the province’s fight against climate change.
Under a partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission Peel Regional Police is turning to the community for help to address systemic racism within the force.
Data on the targeted carding and use of force against Black residents already shows Peel police what it needs to know, activists say.
A rush of delegations and advocacy demanding more be done to help international students is gaining traction.
After pressure and a comprehensive report on the problem, Brampton City Councillors have agreed to address the issue but remain reluctant to take a true leadership role. The city is home to thousands of foreign students hoping to live and study in Canada. All arrive expecting the Canadian dream, but too many see it morph into a nightmare.
The court case for a horrific Brampton crash that left a Caledon mother and her three daughters dead is set to resume November 1. The trial will determine if 21-year-old Brady Robertson will be convicted of impaired driving causing death. The Judge ruled Wednesday that critical evidence showing THC and fentanyl in Robertson’s system, along with drugs police seized from his car, will be admissible in the case.
A third-party investigation into allegations of corruption and fraud at the very top of Brampton City Hall has, once again, been delayed, raising concern over possible staff involvement in the final report. And it’s unclear why the findings apparently were going to be kept from the public ahead of a council meeting to discuss the accusations levelled by a senior staffer.
Confusion around its publication caused by Brampton’s chaotic governance is just the latest twist since Mayor Patrick Brown directed the hiring of senior staff with a scandalous past in Niagara region.
Between 2015 and 2019, Brampton received almost no funding from Ottawa to help with its crumbling infrastructure and aspirational projects. Despite having five governing MPs, just $40.3 million was sent back to the city, barely one percent of its per capita share of available federal infrastructure dollars.
This improved slightly over the last two years under a Liberal minority, but Brampton is still getting grossly shortchanged by federal leaders.
Turnout will be a key factor in Canada’s 44th federal election.
Initial estimates show early voting turnout is down in several key ridings in Peel Region, particularly Brampton East where a glitch in the Elections Canada system delayed 52,000 voter information cards.
Voters in the Flower City have once again placed their trust in five Liberal MPs to advocate for their interests in Ottawa. Four Liberal incumbents were sent back to the House of Commons, while the newly nominated candidate for Brampton Centre secured his first term as an MP.
The result leaves Brampton in practically the same political situation it was in when the election was called five weeks ago.
Perhaps the most dynamic, and crucial theme that unfolded during the election campaign is how to balance the country’s economic interests with the need to shift our thinking about climate change.
The Green Party has pushed a more sophisticated idea—that Canada can have its cake and eat it, too: A cleaner future and massive economic returns from creating the technology and jobs of the future.
Human trafficking has been a taboo subject this election campaign.
While this type of crime has continued in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of Canada’s big political parties have a comprehensive plan to tackle forced labour or sex trafficking if elected. Why?
Maxime Bernier, Leader of the People’s Party of Canada, visited Port Credit Thursday to meet supporters. The former Conservative MP arrived at his event more than three hours late, jogged in, then greeted supporters while pushing a range of debunked theories, including a questionable understanding of vaccines and climate change.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has only visited Brampton twice this election, a significant drop from his rookie national campaign in 2019. At a rally in Brampton East Wednesday he didn’t make any new promises to residents, but told The Pointer another local hospital would only be built if he wins Monday’s election.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has put forward a broad platform for the ongoing election campaign, vowing to continue and expand childcare plans already signed with seven provinces and one territory, while addressing the ongoing affordable housing crisis.
But like other commitments in the plan, the full assistance for some struggling families might not arrive until after the next term of government.
The Green Party places the environment and climate crisis at the heart of its plans for Canada. With a small percentage of support from Canadians, it’s unlikely Leader Annamie Paul will become Prime Minister.
However, with the Party’s plans for the climate crisis, and expanded support for municipalities, it deserves a second look from many Canadians, while serving as a bellwether for other parties.
Over the past two years, the Brampton North Liberal incumbent seldomly spoke about problems directly affecting her constituents and instead focused on larger issues impacting Canadians generally.
Added parliamentary responsibilities likely played a role, but the fierce Brampton advocate still made her voice heard while fighting for her city.
A longtime labour union leader, community advocate and NDP campaign staffer, Jim McDowell is now holding his own party banner, as the candidate for Brampton Centre.
After watching what his city has suffered through during the ongoing public health crisis, he vows to represent neglected workers in Ottawa, while getting Brampton taxpayers the healthcare they have been denied for decades.
Jermaine Chambers has run to represent Bramptonians at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. His current campaign, to unseat Liberal incumbent Kamal Khera in Brampton West, hinges on his ability to work across all three levels of government, to finally get Brampton taxpayers what they deserve.
Cooperation would be a cornerstone of his advocacy as an MP, to maximize investment in Brampton’s infrastructure, housing and healthcare. Lowering auto-insurance rates in the city is a key issue.
An Elections Canada glitch means around 52,000 electors in Brampton East have not received voting information in the mail, even as advance polls close.
The cards were supposed to arrive in mail boxes no later than September 10, when advanced voting began, but with the four-day early polling ending today, tens of thousands of Brampton residents relying on their information cards will now be forced to wait until September 20. Elections Canada says it hopes the information will arrive soon and is urging locals to search on its website for instant instructions on how and where to vote.
The city’s board of trade held a debate last week, inviting all candidates, but aside from the Liberals, participation among other party hopefuls was spotty.
Candidates were asked about childcare in the city, housing, pandemic recovery and funding for specific projects in Brampton.
The NDP’s candidate for Brampton South is contesting her first election campaign. With a determination to bring change to her city and the experience of raising a family in Brampton, Tejinder Singh is convinced the NDP is the partner that can get things done for constituents.
The cost of housing and health inequity are two key areas she promises to focus on, if elected.
Kamal Khera was the least vocal of Brampton’s incumbent Liberals over the past two years, speaking just 16 times in Parliament, a ghost-like presence for someone elected to give voice to many of her struggling constituents. For almost nine months, she failed to utter a single word in the House of Commons.
Instead, her violation of directions on travel during the pandemic, when she quietly went to the United States at the height of COVID-19’s impact around the holiday period, was a continuation of her questionable behaviour since Khera’s 2015 election.
Naval Bajaj is contesting the riding of Brampton East for the second time in three elections, after suffering defeat to Liberal Raj Grewal in 2015. The candidate brings a background in retail and business to the table, with a particular focus on Canada-India commercial relations.
Cautious in his specific promises, he has vowed to do “whatever” it takes to secure “as much federal funding as possible” for Brampton.
The broad issue of climate change comes up daily during this short campaign contest. What national leaders don’t offer are concrete actions they would take on specific projects, if elected prime minister.
Currently, Highway 413 sits in limbo as an assessment ordered by the Liberal government hangs in the balance until a new government makes a decision on how the review will proceed and whether or not the ruling party commits to either salvaging the massive highway project or abandoning it for good. Each candidate’s stance could impact how Peel residents vote on September 20.
The first time MP was elected to represent Brampton East in 2019 with 47.4 percent of the vote.
After the disgraceful behaviour of Raj Grewal, who had represented the riding before being sidetracked by gambling, Sidhu went to Ottawa making no clear promises to his constituents, who knew little about their new MP. While Sidhu was not shy in the House, he stayed away from discussing topics directly related to Brampton.
Gail Bannister-Clarke is a familiar face among education stakeholders in Peel, and has been vocal throughout the pandemic, pushing the provincial government to provide adequate funding to make schools COVID-safe for students.
Now, she’s running in Brampton East for the NDP, vowing to do what local MPs have neglected for too long—fight to bring back local income tax dollars for the city’s fair share of funding to finally move Brampton forward.
The New Democrats have a young leader who is clearly targeting young voters. His tactics on social media, PR-style promotions—Punjabi poutine anyone?—and slate of youthful candidates appeal to many millennial voters.
The NDP platform includes plenty of broad themes, many related to pressing issues in Peel, but Jagmeet Singh continues to confound those looking for details such as how affordable housing will be paid for and what he intends to do, specifically, to improve healthcare for all Canadians.
Data that has been labelled “deeply troubling” by an expert hired by Peel Regional Police has many community members demanding immediate action by police leadership to address anti-Black racism within the force.
At the same time, police board members fumbled a request to form an anti-Black racism committee, despite needing to rebuild trust with Black communities now more than ever.
The Brampton South Liberal incumbent was a vocal healthcare advocate in Parliament, moving a Bill forward to create a national diabetes framework, which became law weeks before Parliament dissolved.
Sidhu was largely silent on other pressing issues impacting her Brampton constituents.
In 14 months, Peel District School Board has had three directors of education, as the back-and-forth on policies, directives and getting important equity work done has stalled. Finding the right person for such a fundamental transformation in one of the most diverse regions in the world, will make or break the troubled board. In June, Rashmi Swarup was given the responsibility. The Pointer talks with her about the new role.
The Conservative Party of Canada platform doesn’t point to the specific projects desperately needed in Brampton and Mississauga, but with a plan to help municipalities with infrastructure needs, as well as tackling gun and gang crime, and help for those suffering with mental health and addiction issues, the party is making promises that could benefit the region directly.
The derogatory euphemism was used during Brown’s speech at the Black Education Fund’s inaugural scholarship event.
Organizers of the event held off on posting the video immediately, giving Brown a chance to apologize. But their calls have been met with silence and excuses no one is buying.
Canadians will be heading to the polls once again on September 20, and the turnout could be skewed by ongoing crises at home and abroad.
With many upset about having to go to the ballot box in the first place, could this mean one of the lowest voter turnout levels in history, and how could that impact the parties?
A recommendation headed to the Peel Regional Police Services Board on Friday against establishing an anti-Black racism panel is another sign the police organization is not living up to stated commitments, ignoring crucial community engagement to turn around decades of harm done to Black residents in Brampton and Mississauga.
Provincially-appointed board supervisor Bruce Rodrigues will stay in place, despite a request by nine PDSB trustees who want him to leave so they can regain control of the board. They were stripped of their elected responsibilities after a provincial probe found the board’s leadership perpetuated a harmful culture of systemic racism. The Province has confirmed to The Pointer Rodrigues will remain as the supervisor until Queen’s Park’s sweeping directives to transform the troubled organization are properly implemented.
The force’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit has seen its workload grow exponentially over the last five years with reports of potential child sexual abuse material almost doubling every year since 2018. The volume of harmful images and videos uploaded every second is humanly impossible to analyze.
Tech companies have taken little responsibility for their role in these criminal acts, but this could change as companies like Twitter and MindGeek find themselves before the courts.
After their disgraceful behaviour, admittedly allowing systemic racism to flourish inside Peel’s largest school board, nine trustees now say a supervisor brought in by the provincial government to do what they refused, is no longer welcome.
For the past six years, the operating budgets of police, fire and paramedics in Peel have all grown significantly.
While expansion has taken place for all services, police continue to receive the bulk of funding while paramedics and fire scramble for the funds needed to maintain basic services that are already stretched.
A myriad of factors mean Peel has one of the worst rates of diabetes in Canada. Food insecurity, unwalkable streets and a large South Asian-Canadian community genetically prone to the dangerous condition all combine to push diabetes rates in Brampton and Mississauga through the roof.
A Bill tabled by Brampton MP Sonia Sidhu received Royal Assent at the end of June, and proposes a national framework to deal with the problem. Despite the apparent win for her constituents, she’s reluctant to talk about her move to protect millions of Canadians.
Green solutions being implemented across the globe to combat climate change all started with ideas — capturing sunlight, a train that flies at 600 km/h, turning organic waste into energy — all of which would have seemed far-fetched at one time, but are now completely normal across the world.
As we continue to learn and adapt to the changing climate, keeping an open mind may be our best tool for saving the planet.
Dr. Kieran Moore, the province's Chief Medical Officer of Health, is warning Ontarians that it could be a difficult fall and winter.
With the majority of Peel students opting to return to the classroom after months away from their peers, it creates difficult questions for school boards tasked with keeping children safe from COVID-19, and parents who fear they could be putting their children and families at risk.
Egerton Ryerson helped create Canada’s disgraceful residential school system that for more than 150 years attempted to extinguish First Nations and other Indigenous culture. Some advocates demanding action toward Indigenous reconciliation have taken to using an ‘X’ for the university named after him.
It currently has a small presence in Brampton, one that could expand. The City has agreed to cover all signs bearing the institution’s name but stops short of discussing reconciliation in future plans involving the university.
Plans to revitalize downtown Brampton were brought to a screeching halt in 2018 when Mayor Patrick Brown and the current council cancelled the Downtown Reimagined project that was nearly ready to break ground.
Since then, local business owners have been left wondering what the future holds.
The creation of a “Downtown Action Hub” is set to be used as a one-stop-shop for downtown planning information, but some are questioning whether the money could be better spent elsewhere.
With the GTA continuing to explode, as cranes and new subdivisions keep popping up across Canada’s main population centre, the ruling PCs have failed to put forward a cohesive transportation plan to keep people, and the economy moving.
Since the Liberals launched the Big Move 13 years ago, a $50-billion strategy to modernize Ontario’s crippled transportation system, planning under Doug Ford has gone backward.
The Liberal Party has managed to keep Peel’s two largest cities red since sweeping all 11 ridings in 2015.
After Sunday’s election call, the Conservatives, NDP and Greens are still trying to find competitors to challenge the eight incumbent Liberals seeking reelection in Brampton and Mississauga. Few have been officially announced.
Tucked behind the G.E. Booth Wastewater Treatment Facility in the southeast corner of Mississauga, a paradise for migrating birds and insects will soon emerge. The Jim Tovey Conservation Area is making progress to bringing the community closer to a natural world cut off by industrialization for decades.
The newly constructed shoreline adds wetlands, meadows and a forest while connecting the waterfront trail to the Lakeview development.
It could be a model for future green projects in the Region.
The Pointer previously wrote of Toronto FC’s Brampton pipeline. Since then, Brampton soccer stars have added Olympic gold to the city’s impressive list of accomplishments in the sport.
Ashley Lawrence and Kadeisha Buchanan were honoured Wednesday for their amazing play in Tokyo, reaching the pinnacle of women’s soccer. Much of the credit for training these superstar athletes should go to Brams United, a girl’s soccer club already focussed on supporting the next generation of Olympians.
Peel’s sprawling geography and the reputation of Toronto’s vibrant, liberal-spirited downtown have made it hard for LGBTQ+ organizations and businesses to flourish in Brampton and Mississauga.
A range of friendly spaces have come and gone, while many locals have been left frustrated searching for their own sense of community.
With wide-ranging allegations of corruption and fraud to examine, more time has been granted for the third-party investigation into the conduct of senior City staffers and Mayor Patrick Brown, raising questions about why he and his supporters tried to curtail the probe.
Many of the allegations are not new, and some council members raised their own concerns months before a City director came forward publicly with a long list of evidence against the mayor, controversial CAO David Barrick (recruited by Brown) and senior employees since hired by the disgraced former Niagara politician.
Leading climate scientists have made it clear, humanity is at its tipping point.
Human influence has already badly scarred the planet, locking in future warming, sea level rise and the acidification of our oceans for centuries to come.
If humanity wants its way of life to continue, emissions have to be radically curtailed, immediately. The oil industry, banks that underwrite it and politicians have run out of time. Our planet will not survive any more excuses.
Federal political parties are working overtime to attract candidates ahead of the anticipated fall election. For Brampton voters, the nomination process is supposed to ensure a pool of local citizens with lengthy experience in the public or private sector, who will effectively advocate for their city, if they make it to Ottawa.
Unfortunately, the crucial process has long been hijacked by backroom politics and money, resulting in inexperienced elected officials who act as little more than puppets for their party.
New infections are slowly rising in Ontario. After seeing a dramatic drop thanks to a rise in inoculations, positive cases increased by 131 percent in the past week alone.
Millions desperate for pre-pandemic normalcy think rules need to be lifted, but as other countries have shown, loosening restrictions too fast can prolong the public health emergency and hurt the economy in the long run.