The Region of Peel and its lower-tier municipalities have been designated for third-party audits by the Province to examine whether their finances can support the increased housing supply mandated by the PC government’s fast-tracked housing legislation.
Bill 23, which forces municipalities across Ontario to support the construction of 1.5 million new homes — and the infrastructure to go with them — by 2031, is estimated to cost Peel over a billion dollars in lost revenue mainly from development charges and parkland fees.
After finding out about a massive MZO development in his ward through a memorandum on an April meeting agenda, Caledon Councillor Doug Maskell asked council to repudiate the actions of former mayor Allan Thompson, and for the MZO to be revoked while filing an FOI request to get more information on how the process unfolded.
Advocates from Peel’s Black communities protested in front of Peel District School Board trustees after all but one voted against a commitment to honour Kola Iluyomade, a beloved activist who unexpectedly passed away in 2021 following a long fight to eliminate systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism from the school board.
Advocates in Peel’s Black communities are voicing frustration with the Peel District School Board after trustees appear to be turning their backs on a commitment to honour Kola Iluyomade, a tireless activist who passed away unexpectedly in 2021 following years of work to eradicate systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism from the troubled school board.
His colleagues now wonder if trustees have learned anything.
Following a dramatic flood in Brampton’s Churchville neighbourhood during last year’s spring thaw, the City alongside the Credit Valley Conservation Authority are examining ways to mitigate the impacts future flooding could have on the low-lying community.
While the City and conservation authority work to protect the neighbourhood, changes to development legislation by the PC government could put many more at risk.
The aggregate industry (or gravel industry, as it’s commonly called) has expanded across Caledon for years, limiting how the expansive municipality can be planned, while eating up some of Ontario’s most vital greenspaces. Elected officials continue their recent efforts to bring the gravel industry under control.
Peel’s Catholic school board is grappling with the sensitive dilemma around the flying of the Gay Pride flag, as those pushing for more inclusion and many who hold more traditional Catholic views about marriage don’t agree on the display of the rainbow colours in schools.
Invasive species are listed as one of the top five threats to biodiversity by the United Nations Biological Convention on Biological Diversity.
Conservation authorities and municipalities are encouraging residents to educate themselves about the invasive species in their area and what each individual can do to help stop the spread.
Despite promising more communication with residents of the Town, staff were absent from the most recent meeting held by the Forks of the Credit Preservation Group on the blast quarry application.
Only Councillor Lynn Kiernan was in attendance and she claimed staff were absent because there were no significant updates — a concern considering the Town’s moratorium on the approval of quarries ends in a few months.
At Wednesday’s Brampton Council meeting Patrick Brown lied about six investigations into his own alleged misconduct which he cancelled in August.
Investigators had already detailed and publicly reported alarming behaviour including misconduct in at least one procurement that saw a close friend of Brown get three times the amount of money than what council had approved, for work that was never even done.
The use of MZOs has increased significantly under the Ford government, giving the Province greater authority to dictate planning and development within its municipalities. Caledon has been faced within six MZO requests — five within this timeframe — and has essentially had no set guidelines for how to deal with these proposals.
A new procedure sets the framework for dealing with MZOs across the town, emphasizing the importance of proper notice and consultation — an issue that has recently been front of mind following a controversial MZO for a warehouse that will encroach into the Greenbelt.
In light of the PC government's response to Mississauga's request for independence, The Pointer is republishing a 2019 freedom of information investigation into the behind the scenes effort of senior staff at the Region of Peel, at the time, to undermine Mississauga's position.
The FOI documents revealed that a report by Deloitte was heavily influenced by Peel Region staff who did not want to see their government dissolved to make way for Mississauga to become a single-tier, independent municipality.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is now using the discredited Deloitte report to push back against any decision to grant Mississauga its independence.
After a four-decade crusade, the City of Mississauga will finally get its divorce from the Region of Peel and its neighbouring municipalities, Brampton and Caledon.
On Thursday, the PC government tabled the Hazel McCallion Act which, if passed, will dissolve the two-tier municipal governance structure, ending the Region of Peel as its lower-tier municipalities become independent by January 2025. Patrick Brown is now behaving erratically about how much his city should be paid ahead of the looming divorce.
Brampton Council, led by Patrick Brown, has finally decided on a way forward for the previously cancelled Main Street LRT, voting for a $2.8-billion tunnel option.
No funding has been committed and the city’s main business organization warned the price tag might scare away higher levels of government that will need to pay for the unfunded project.
Under the Conservation Authorities Act, Conservation Authorities are mandated to conserve, restore and responsibly manage Ontario’s water resources. However, the TRCA says most of its flood management infrastructure is outdated and not up to current standards. The cost to update infrastructure is far greater than the budget for these priority projects.
The bustling metropolis is in the throes of heavy growth with a projected 995,000 residents by 2051. A new housing plan focussed on “building up and not out” could determine how the city looks and functions in the future as homebuyers demand a more urban experience.
On Wednesday, City Council appointed Shari Lichterman as Mississauga’s newest CAO and City Manager. The move was made after former CAO Paul Mitcham’s departure from the City in February following allegations by a former female councillor, Karen Ras, that he was not supportive while she sought help during an alleged harassment campaign by another former council member. Lichterman takes over in the midst of Ras’s ongoing lawsuit against the City as Mississauga also deals with a number of critical files, including the $4.6-billion Hurontario LRT project.
NDP leader Marit Stiles asked the PCs to revoke the MZO for a massive warehouse project in Caledon after learning the request was made by the town’s former mayor behind the backs of council members and the public. Caledon residents have been struggling for years as the PCs continue to pass legislation clearing the way for developers to gobble up more greenspace.
Caledon Mayor Annette Groves has made it clear that council does not support the application for a blasting quarry in Cataract from Brazilian cement conglomerate Votorantim Cimentos.
So what does the future hold for this plot of land, and will two lawyers with experience battling the aggregate industry on Caledon’s side be enough to hold back the powerful lobby when the application is inevitably appealed to the Province?
The Town of Caledon is studying ways to increase Indigenous engagement and consultation with development and community activities.
Peel paramedics will appear before regional council to discuss continued pressures due to pandemic-related obstacles.
Brampton council will receive more information about an LRT extension into downtown, including updates on the potential surface or tunnel route options.
An FOI request filed by a Caledon resident revealed former mayor Allan Thompson wrote a letter to the province to request an MZO for a massive warehouse development without the support of council and without the recommendation from staff who said the proposal did not comply with either the Town or Region’s Official Plan.
Just weeks before the company will be given the go-ahead to put shovels in the ground, recently elected councillor Doug Maskell is trying to shed light on what happened.
In the latest implementation update to its Sustainable Transportation Strategy, the Region of Peel is confident active transportation, including public transit and carpooling will account for half of all trips taken by 2041.
But the Doug Ford PC government’s push for sprawl growth might mire local transportation planning in the past.
The beaver dam that residents say has been located in a tributary of the West Credit near Winston Churchill Boulevard has been removed by the Town of Erin, shocking residents, including the property owner.
The Town did not contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry regarding the removal.
To start teaching by September 2025, Toronto Metropolitan University’s proposed school of medicine will need to establish a faculty, develop complex courses, create a broad educational model to turn a Brampton hospital into a teaching facility and hire a founding dean responsible for the entire process.
It also has to get approval from the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
With a thriving cannabis retail market in Brampton, Councillor Michael Palleschi put a motion forward to ask Queen’s Park for tighter regulations on the industry, including expanding the 150-metre buffer around schools, and to include parks, public facilities, places of worship as well as group homes in the same safety zones.
Some illegal and legal retailers are using promotional methods that can entice young people including children to try their products.
Bill 97 could put further financial pressure on municipalities, forcing the City of Brampton to renew a call for Ontario cities to be “made whole” by the Province.
A fight over future development in Brampton’s Springbrook neighbourhood is playing out at City Hall as residents accuse City staff of pushing development that is incompatible with the surrounding neighbourhood.
A Federal Court judge has highlighted the utter failure of the Impact Assessment Agency and Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault to study community concerns around the Bradford Bypass, noting it’s clear the Agency did not even consider some of the significant information community members provided.
The startling decision is at odds with repeated statements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his environment minister that protecting the environment and battling climate change are a top priority.
Over a year ago, St. Catharines council asked staff to report back on its goal of planting 100,000 trees in a decade. The study has yet to materialize. Environmentalists support tree planting but many are questioning governments that trumpet such efforts while ignoring much more critical solutions, or, as Doug Ford continues to do, enact policies that set us even further behind in the fight to slow climate change.
Black leaders have for generations warned others about the often crippling price they continue to pay just to protect their communities from harm. Former Brampton Citizen of the Year Danielle Dowdy has worked tirelessly for years and says focusing on her well-being will allow her to rejuvenate, as so much work still needs to be done.
Peel will get $42.4 million from Queen’s Park as the region’s homeless population grows. Issues around food insecurity, the lack of shelter spaces and the rising cost of living have hit particular segments of Peel hard since the start of the pandemic.
The ongoing shortage of affordable housing units puts pressure on the most vulnerable including international students, seniors, recent immigrants and under-employed residents.
A recent court decision has dismissed the case of seven youth claiming the Ontario government is violating their Charter rights with ineffectual emission reduction targets.
While the judge found the PC government’s abysmal climate plans put Ontarians at risk, she ruled the harmful actions fall short of a Charter violation.
According to a report from an external workplace auditor, leadership at the Region of Peel, which is supposed to provide governance in one of the most diverse places in the world, does not reflect the community it serves.
Metrolinx has assured the City of Mississauga that the Hurontario LRT will be finished on schedule.
A number of “very high” risk pieces of flooding infrastructure in need of repair have been identified by the TRCA. The dismantling of established urban planning principles by the PC government continues to create significant issues for the Region of Peel.
After four years of holding out, the City of Mississauga will finally host legal cannabis retail stores.
With the ban now lifted, prospective business owners and advocates say permitting the legal substance in the city’s retail ecosystem will open up a whole new dimension of wellness, while pushing out the potentially dangerous illicit marijuana market that has thrived in Mississauga.
In response to the PC government’s Bill 60, which will allow more private medical clinics into the province’s publicly funded healthcare system, with the potential for some pay-for-service options, the Ontario Health Coalition will be organizing a referendum in late May to find out if the controversial plan has widespread support.
The PC government has brought forward another proposed piece of development legislation aimed at addressing the ongoing housing crisis: Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act. It seeks to amend various pieces of legislation making it easier for the Province to achieve its goal of 1.5 million homes by 2031. Land use experts say the legislation would cut more environmental safeguards, put farmland and food security at risk and pave the way for less dense, car-dependent growth.
As avian flu spikes in the bird population, killing millions around the world, experts advise avoiding contact altogether if possible as the virus can be transmitted to humans, pets, and other wildlife through infected bodily fluids.
To report sick or deceased wild animals, residents within the Greater Golden Horseshoe are asked to call both 311 and the Ontario Regional Centre of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative.
A meeting hosted by the Forks of the Credit Preservation Group Tuesday allowed residents to express concerns over the CBM Aggregates blasting quarry application currently being considered by the Town of Caledon.
Residents and experts pointed to the lack of transparency around the potentially destructive project and the slow pace of work to study the future of environmentally damaging aggregate operations in Caledon.
With The Mississauga Food Bank expanding its home base to accommodate the surging demand for its services, CEO Meghan Nicholls is asking for government intervention to alleviate mounting pressure on food banks across the province. While the organization’s recent move provides much needed additional space, it does not address the root causes of food insecurity across Mississauga.
The Mississauga-Brampton suburban icon lived the “immigrant experience” and carefully constructed an enriched life, brick by brick.
Concerns about a proposed blasting quarry in Caledon are swirling after councillors and Mayor Annette Groves were left in the dark about significant updates to the project.
The continued breakdowns in communication raise questions about Caledon’s pledge to be fully transparent about an industry that has been allowed to operate with impunity across the largely rural municipality for years.
Following public backlash over the sudden eviction of Brampton Library from the Bramalea Civic Centre, City Council has promised the relocation to the Chinguacousy Ski Chalet will be a temporary stepping-stone to a new permanent location.
The unexpected disruption at one of the city’s busiest libraries comes as Brampton has the least amount of library space of any major GTA municipality.
Following several reviews of whether to allow cannabis retail in Mississauga’s city limits since its legalization in 2018, council members are once again debating the matter. Sparked by the ongoing presence of a particular illegal location operating in the middle of the city, a notice of motion presented by Councillor Dipika Damerla, who has previously voted against allowing retail cannabis twice, is calling on the City to reconsider its ban, but a discussion during Wednesday’s general committee meeting revealed some councillors want to keep the ban in place.
A Black man has been appointed to the Peel Police Services Board for the first time in its history, marking a significant milestone for a community that experiences disproportionate harm at the hands of police officers.
The decision was not without controversy as the choice narrowed to two candidates of different backgrounds. Some elected officials tried to pit Peel’s Black and Muslim communities against each other.
Police, politicians and the public call for change in a system that allows Canada to remain a ‘source country’ for the international stolen car market.
Vehicles across Ontario and other provinces end up in countries where the illicit trade in stolen cars happens in the open, right under the nose of governments and local authorities.
Councillor Rowena Santos butted heads with former councillor Charmaine Williams throughout the previous council term. She had championed the renaming of the park in 2020 to honour the abolition of slavery and the greenspace has been used to celebrate Emancipation Day in Canada on August 1.
After councillors last year approved in principle upgrades to the park, in February Santos pulled the plug, insisting a letter be sent to Queen’s Park, where Williams now serves as a Brampton MPP, asking her government to cover the $4.5 million for the work to build badly needed improvements.
Regional councillors will appoint an individual to the Peel Police Services Board on Thursday.
Members of Peel’s Black communities are calling for representation around the table as they continue to face disproportionate harm at the hands of police.
Claiming a labour shortage and expressing frustration with policies that make it difficult for his daughter to work at City Hall, Councillor Michael Palleschi received support from Patrick Brown to loosen Brampton’s already weak nepotism rules.
A 2019 equity audit of City Hall found Brampton’s diversity is not reflected in its local government. Brown orchestrated the hiring of senior staffers despite their lack of experience or familiarity with the city and their past connections to him.
Mississauga is one of few large cities that does not allow cannabis stores due to concerns over a range of potential negative outcomes; Brampton’s Library board will present to Council after finding out its Chinguacousy branch will be evicted from the Bramalea Civic Centre; Health Minister Sylvia Jones will appear before regional council to discuss the PC government’s plan to address rapidly rising rates of mental health problems.
An audit published by Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk in November found the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is severely lacking in its management of invasive species.
Her audit details the failure to collaborate with other governments, inadequate funding for municipalities and the lack of a coherent strategy as invasive species thrive due to global movement and climate change.
In 2021, despite backlash from the public, Caledon council passed a motion to request an MZO for a warehouse project located at Dixie Road and Mayfield Road.
The development approved in March 2022 will divert the watercourse that runs through the site—which includes portions of the Greenbelt. Despite its role in protecting a large portion of southern Ontario’s natural habitats, and a new report that looks at natural channel restoration in Brampton, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is repeating the claim that tampering with the stream will be ecologically beneficial.
The public’s access to information is enshrined in provincial law. The City of Brampton has repeatedly violated this legislation and a new report exposes how, despite receiving fewer requests for information in 2022, the City’s efforts to respond within legislated timelines continues to fall well short.
The failure in accountability comes at a time when Brampton City hall is plagued by controversy.