A disaster from top to bottom.
That’s how conservationists and other environmental stakeholders describe the Ontario PCs’ handling of species at risk, as corporate lobbyists set on removing habitat have been handed much of the power by the government.
Laws put in place to limit development in the habitat of endangered species continue to be ignored, says Ontario’s Auditor General.
Those trying to save the province’s most threatened species are left to fight their own government.
The number of private career colleges in Brampton has increased dramatically in the past few years. These schools offer vocational training ranging from hairstyling to truck driving, and in some cases even promise to help anyone with a high school diploma become a doctor, for the right price.
A lax system of oversight by the provincial government means standards can be hard to guarantee, while some of these businesses add to the difficulties facing international students in the city.
New data from Statistics Canada show Peel’s rapid rate of growth is slowing as immigration stutters during the pandemic. The number of new arrivals in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga has dropped dramatically over the past two years, but the number of current residents leaving has continued to rise.
In just 10 years, the annual exodus from Peel Region to other parts of Ontario has grown 300 percent, leaving question marks over future planning and what the area is failing to offer.
Peel Region called the anaerobic digestion facility its most impactful project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but its cancellation raises questions on how those targets will be met in years to come. Council quietly shut down the project due to high costs and the potential to explore more efficient technology to divert organic waste from current landfills.
It’s unclear when a new report will be available and how a new plan will take shape.
Peel Region and its municipalities have all declared a climate emergency in recent years. According to a new report, politicians across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area have failed to meet GHG emission reduction targets set across the region.
For decades, cities have ignored their role in contributing to rising temperatures, pushing the planet closer to the point of no return.
Thousands of people in Peel were battling a cancer diagnosis when the pandemic struck in 2020, leaving them further isolated and fearful of the virus due to their compromised immune systems.
The Wellspring Chinguacousy Foundation, a cancer support organization in Brampton, moved quickly to shift its array of programming in an effort to continue its vital work.
City Council approved a new motion just before the holidays, after the mayor failed to budget one cent for his promised cricket stadium. It asks staff to report back with a public-private partnership option for the proposed cricket facility at the CAA lands.
A partnership for the ‘multi-purpose cricket facility’ will be a measured approach, council members say, after the mayor once again failed to deliver on a promise. It remains unclear who would benefit from the stadium Brown has promised.
William Osler Health System just lifted its “Code Orange” called earlier in the week due to the rise in patients and declining staff numbers.
While admissions to ICU as a result of COVID are lower when compared to previous waves of the pandemic, the ongoing staffing crisis — driven by Omicron’s transmissibility and staff burnout — is placing growing pressure on the city’s chronically stretched healthcare system.
Despite a severe shortage of truckers across North America, drivers in Canada are fighting against inadequate training, unpaid wages and unfair layoffs.
In a disturbing report, the office of the Auditor General highlights the mismanagement by Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities, putting many young truckers, including international students and other foreign workers across Peel, in precarious situations.
The man who came in second place in Mississauga’s 2018 mayoral race, after spreading hateful anti-Islamic messages for years, has provided The Pointer with a wild statement justifying his illegal crossing into the United States.
Kevin Johnston tried to flee Canada ahead of a jail sentence and is now claiming he’s a victim of his own “conservative” views.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario wants Premier Doug Ford to consider repealing Bill 124 (which caps salary increases at 1 percent) to retain and bring back nurses before Ontario deals with a fifth wave.
With a lack of N95 masks and the unaddressed shortage of nurses, the RNAO says public health measures to contain Omicron are “not enough”, once again putting the health system under incredible stress.
The rapid rise of the Omicron variant has shattered the collective return to normal so many were preparing for. The latest wave appears to include milder infections in populations where vaccine and acquired immunity have been built up.
Competing data has left officials scrambling, trying to determine if alarming new case counts should be weighted alongside hospital information that at least early on suggests a less formidable viral enemy. Leaders in Ontario, and across the world, must now decide how policy around COVID will be determined going forward.
Lakeview Community Partners, the development consortium building a massive new project along Mississauga’s eastern waterfront, has always known the former industrial property sits right next to a wastewater facility that generates unpleasant odours.
Now, the developers have convinced Peel Region to have residents and future buyers pay the $190 million overall cost to reduce the smell.
Two years of shifting restrictions have left a confusing mark on the facts and figures that track our lives. Economic activity has changed, tourism has been decimated, academic benchmarks torn up and sporting records have been left with multiple asterisks next to them.
An entire industry of statisticians is working overtime to document these changes and work out how to contextualize them. For historical and comparative accuracy, some information can be cleaned to find trends, while other numbers are near-impossible to work with.
Premier Doug Ford’s aggressive push to build Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass will cause irrevocable damage to local ecosystems and compromise municipal, provincial and national climate goals.
The PC giveaway to developers has also trampled on the democratic rights of Ontarians. Are Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent statements about protecting our climate and preserving democracy a signal that Ottawa is planning to intervene?
The Hurontario LRT has already been bumped from an initial opening date of 2022 to 2024 — on top of a dramatic reduction to future train service and the cancellation of Mississauga’s downtown loop due to budget issues.
Mobilinx, the consortium building the high-order transit project, tells The Pointer construction remains on schedule for a 2024 opening, but has it learned from delays that snagged similar plans in Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo?
Stellantis, the corporate leader of the Fiat/Chrysler assembly in Brampton is not making any promises about the plant’s future, leaving workers wondering what will happen when contracts expire in 2023.
With the rising popularity of electric vehicles across Canada and the United States, as both try to meet lofty climate targets, is there a future in Brampton that sees the auto manufacturer shift from gas-powered muscle cars to green electric vehicles?
A new theatre production from Crane Creations posits the question: is it okay to kill 164 people while potentially saving 70,000?
It’s left for audience members to decide as part of the latest production from Mississauga’s sole theatre company as it continues its efforts to broaden the arts in the city.
The once hyped plan to build a university in Brampton is floundering with little to report after more than two years. The City has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on consultants with almost nothing to show for it.
While the community has seen no benefits from the wild proposal, the two men that won contracts to work on BramptonU have links to Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos, who have gone silent after pushing the ill-conceived idea.
Freedom of information requests are a key pillar of transparency and accountability in local government, granting residents access to a range of public documents to help them better understand how key decisions have been made and hold public officials to account.
In Brampton, the system is failing. Staff in 2020 received just 158 requests for information from the public and failed to return almost 40 percent of them on time.
An outpouring of anger and grief filled a Brampton courtroom this week as friends, family, and colleagues of Karolina Ciasullo, told how their lives were shattered when an out-of-control car, driven by Brady Robertson, who had eight times the legal limit of THC in his system, slammed into the family vehicle carrying the young mother and her three daughters.
The victim impact statements were offered ahead of the sentencing for Brady Robertson on four counts of dangerous driving causing death.
Bovaird House has stood in Brampton since the 19th Century. It is a striking piece of heritage in a city dominated by cookie-cutter subdivisions. A group of volunteers who call themselves the Friends of Bovaird House have devoted thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain this mini-museum.
The benefit and financial value of the project was the subject of a recent heated debate between City of Brampton council members.
The man who runs City Hall’s public relations department, which is supposed to provide citizens with accurate and transparent information about operations that use their money, has instead tried to manipulate The Pointer, attempting to have false claims published about his involvement in a high-profile scandal that rocked Niagara Region.
As Ottawa and Queen’s Park make moves to minimize the impact of Omicron, Mississauga and Brampton are light years ahead of where the two cities stood ahead of last year’s holiday season.
The uncertainty in the pandemic’s latest chapter comes with questions about what Peel, and the rest of the world need to consider as COVID clearly settles into its permanent place among the human population.
After little debate or consideration, Peel Region Council passed the 2022 budget with a worsening housing crisis looming over the heads of elected officials.
Instead of a promise for more affordable housing in a post pandemic world in which the waitlist has ballooned, the Region is still relying on out-dated pre-pandemic strategies, while funding to help families was once again largely ignored.
Leaders at the top of municipal and provincial government have disregarded key consultation rights held by everyone in Ontario. The trend has been chronicled by Ontario’s auditor general in a series of reports released in November and December.
While Queen’s Park has neglected its duty to listen to citizens under the Environmental Bill of Rights, the City of Brampton has joined in with a series of requests to cut the public out of the planning process.
It's almost 2022 and the lingering pandemic is forcing more and more burnt-out nurses who have carried us through wave after wave of this health crisis out of the profession as they can no longer cope with the unrelenting demands.
Physically and emotionally drained nurses are leaving, some pushed past their breaking point by Bill 124, passed by the PC government to limit wage increases for public sector workers including teachers, pharmacists and nurses, to one percent.
The City of Brampton has approved its 2022 budget with another freeze to the local share of property tax. The move to crush a 2.8 percent increase was introduced on the fly by Mayor Patrick Brown Monday and ratified Wednesday.
To achieve its latest freeze, the City will cancel $8.4 million in capital projects to cover a debt payment that’s not even supposed to come out of the capital budget, scrap an increase to its infrastructure levy and reject Brampton Transit’s request for more funding to cover the increasing price of diesel.
Brampton councillors accepted a request from a developer to fast-track a massive residential/commercial project and skip public consultation, despite the landowners having no idea of what was being planned.
A baker and Canadian retail giant have been left shocked by a motion to build a planned community of 12,500 people on land they own, without telling them first.
Faced with a difficult and potentially unpopular choice, council members in Brampton are opting for a Band-Aid solution. Rather than building a specific healthcare levy into the City budget, a majority decided to steal away funding from other key projects.
Multiple major Brampton growth plans, including the Centre For Innovation, a potential sports stadium on City land, a new fire station and an expanded animal shelter are now all without funding. The move was part of a push by Mayor Patrick Brown and his allies to once again freeze the size of the Brampton budget.
Some residents in Peel Region have found online-only council meetings a major barrier to participation.
Those that aren’t comfortable with technology have been shut out, while others have been muted when they try to speak. Inaccessible video conferencing software — and mismanaged discussions — are also shutting out Ontarians living with a disability.
Councillors at the Region of Peel have passed the final budget ahead of their re-election campaigns next year. The process saw no changes made to the document staff presented, with politicians essentially approving the budget bureaucrats, not elected officials, shaped.
Social services including affordable housing and help for those facing a range of financial challenges have once again been largely ignored by staff and council members.
It was an all-hands-on-deck approach from every level of government at the beginning of the pandemic. Funding was flowing to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable but now, as the public health crisis abates, Peel’s growing homeless population is relying increasingly on an organization doing vital work.
To continue their efforts, founders need sustained funding from the very governments pulling back.
The Ontario government reaffirmed its commitment to fund a widescale redevelopment of Mississauga Hospital, building a brand new facility on the Hurontario Street and Queensway site that will house more than 950 beds, while creating one of the largest emergency departments in the province. Trillium Health Partners, which operates Mississauga’s hospitals and a facility in Etobicoke, will also expand that health centre next to the Sherway Gardens mall by 350 beds.
Meanwhile, in Brampton, many are wondering why their city has once again been neglected by the provincial government, which is only providing a 250-bed expansion of Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, for non-acute care, despite a request for at least 850 new beds and the creation of an actual hospital.
Brampton’s business community is losing faith in City Hall after years of tax freezes under Mayor Patrick Brown and inexperienced CAO David Barrick. A damning presentation made by the Board of Trade to budget committee laid bare the recklessness of Brown’s tax freezes.
Business leaders highlighted the lack of basic planning, the late release of information and an air of incompetence emanating from Brampton, its council and staff.
A major GTA developer is using the incentive of a new divisional facility for the Peel Regional Police to skirt local planning scrutiny and apply for a Minister’s Zoning Order that could spring an entire Brampton subdivision.
In a letter to council that resulted in a unanimous request for the Province to waive the standard planning process, the developer, Argo, said time is of the essence to build a new police facility. Despite being front and centre in the builder’s pitch, the new police building would take up less than four percent of the total land that would be developed if Queen’s Park gives the green light to proceed.
The world is hurtling closer to climate instability, with many governments refusing to take the threat seriously. Last week Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, released an in-depth report laying out the lack of transparency and effort of provincial ministries tasked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly after, a federal government watchdog released a similar report outlining the lack of climate action on behalf of Canadians. While Earth is heating faster than scientists predicted just a decade ago, the lack of action by politicians is making our future even more unpredictable.
Your hard-earned money is increasingly being spent on the political ambitions of Peel’s elected officials, pet projects that benefit private and personal interests, consultants and other contracted workers with direct ties to City Hall, and, most alarmingly, on the egregious salaries, bonuses and special perks such as lavish car allowances being handed to non-union staff, and some unionized workers, in a municipal sector with little accountability and oversight of the men and women who spend your money.
Juliet Jackson, the president of Peel CAS’ board of directors, has informed staff that controversial CEO Rav Bains has been placed on administrative leave.
Bains has been under scrutiny after a provincially-backed review pointed to financial concerns under his leadership of the organization. Two expenses claimed by the CEO in 2019 for personal success coaches are at the heart of inquiries being carried out by Jackson and the board.
Regional staff are plowing forward with Peel’s plan for the next 30 years, trying to appease those concerned about climate change and others demanding new land for homes. As cities sprawl closer to the beloved Greenbelt the accommodation of the housing market raises questions: will the Region say no to developers; and can smart growth built around transit realistically meet the demands of future home buyers?
Brampton City Council has voted to begin the process of expropriating land held by private property owners in the north of the city to help a group of developers that wants to build a massive subdivision. The highly unusual move could see government powers and public funds being used to benefit private interests.
City staff say it has never been done before. Councillor Harkirat Singh took the unprecedented step of moving the motion for expropriation to help the developers, but has not answered questions about why he did it.
Britannia Farm is one of Mississauga’s best kept secrets. The 200 acres sits almost at the geographic centre of the booming city, right off its busiest boulevard. But it remains closed off to the general public.
For years, Peel District School Board has owned the land, operating a few buildings on the property for educational purposes. But after decades of residents pleading for access to the vast greenspace in their backyard, Carolyn Parrish, the Ward councillor, has helped shape an inviting master plan to create a central outdoor destination in the city that was finished in 2016. Five years later, little movement on the project has taken place and this sprawling greenspace sitting at the heart of an urban transformation remains largely hidden from the residents of Mississauga.
Wednesday saw the Liberals, Greens and NDP stand together asking Ontario’s legislators to support a motion that would bring 850 beds, an actual second emergency department as part of a commitment to transform Peel Memorial into a full-service hospital and a third hospital to address the city’s ongoing hallway healthcare crisis.
But the majority PCs, including Brampton MPPs Prabmeet Sarkaria and Amarjot Sandhu, once again killed the NDP effort to end hallway medicine in Ontario’s fourth largest city.
The City of Brampton owns more than $6 billion worth of infrastructure, ranging from community centres to fire stations and roads. The City is supposed to save a growing pot of funds each year to be ready to replace these critical assets as they reach the end of their useful life.
However, under Mayor Patrick Brown and CAO David Barrick, Brampton has stopped saving. A key infrastructure levy has dropped from 2 percent to just 0.5 percent in 2022, threatening the very streets Brampton taxpayers walk on.
The City of Brampton’s 2022 budget has promised minimal funding to help with climate change adaptation and mitigation. The document is short and extremely vague in its environmental commitments, with none of the game-changing plans its 2019 climate emergency declaration demands.
At the same time, Brampton continues to invest in expanding its road network and will not add any transit service hours next year.
In a Voir Dire decision, a judge said it has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt Brady Robertson was impaired by drugs when he crashed his vehicle into the SUV of a mother and her three children, but she has not made a final ruling.
At the time, Robertson had eight times the legal limit of THC in a blood sample taken 45 minutes after the deadly accident. The defence is mounting a constitutional challenge against the current laws around impaired driving involving cannabis.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for the Peel Memorial expansion to convert the facility into a full-service hospital including an emergency department and will put forward a motion next week for a third hospital in Brampton.
Horwath says regardless of the city’s ability to raise its share of the capital, if elected next year, an Ontario NDP government will fund the Peel Memorial expansion to ensure it will be a full-service hospital and also build a third hospital in the city.
The trucking sector is the backbone of many critical industries in Canada — agriculture, retail, manufacturing, forestry — which rely on trucks and drivers behind the wheel to get their goods to market. But earlier this year, the industry was short 18,000 drivers.
Some drivers who are on the road, experts say, are often under-trained, under-paid, and overworked, putting others at risk while supply chains rely on a stretched labour force.
Brampton's frontline healthcare needs have been the key topic of public discussion in the city for years, long before the COVID pandemic. The organization tasked with providing clinical care to Brampton residents is calling on all corners of the community to support efforts to transform Peel Memorial into the city's badly needed second full-service hospital.
Young women and girls are trafficked in Peel at a rate that is more than double the national average.
Yet, for those looking to escape this heinous crime, there are few spaces to turn.
New data from the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking shows there is a need to provide increased housing supports for survivors across the country.
The PC Party and Premier Doug Ford are betting two major highway projects, pushed by developers, will pave their way to reelection in June next year.
But with a public more and more attuned to a worsening climate crisis, will the environmentally destructive move and his misleading remarks be seen by voters for what they are—old ideas to fix a modern problem?