The Ford government’s plan to carve out certain parcels of land from the Greenbelt is facing scrutiny from a range of stakeholders.
Two MPPs have asked for an investigation by both the Auditor General and the Integrity Commissioner into lobbying actions by developers who bought up land in the Greenbelt, then saw the PCs identify those properties for future subdivisions.
Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act is yet another example of the Ford government violating Indigenous and Treaty rights with destructive legislation that has been reported to benefit the developers or land owners involved. Countless First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples have come forward in the last few years alone making statements citing disrespect and lack of consultation by the PC government, leading to legal battles.
The Chiefs of Ontario and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation are the latest to speak out against Bill 23, citing clear violations and blatant disregard for rights over their ancestral and traditional territories.
The PC’s controversial housing legislation has passed at Queen’s Park, mandating urban sprawl onto Ontario’s largest municipalities, compromising climate change goals and threatening vital greenspace.
It also opens the PCs to significant liability, following a lack of consultation, and the possibility of legal challenges.
Peel Regional Police is looking for a significant expansion to its budget for 2023, a funding boost the chief has described as absolutely critical to address increased workloads across the hyper-growth region.
The ask comes as municipal finances across Ontario are stretched thin by two years of a pandemic and the looming revenue cuts that could deplete coffers if Premier Doug Ford’s developer-friendly housing legislation is passed.
The 2022 Emissions Gap Report shows targets set in the Paris Agreement are not supported by policies around the world. In Canada, governments on all levels have a responsibility to take swift climate action to prevent further harm to the planet.
While the Region of Peel has a climate action plan in place, its recent decisions have pushed it further from its goals. Ottawa and Queen’s Park have also pursued policies contrary to their climate commitments.
Elected officials representing Ontario’s third and fourth largest cities are warning that if Bill 23 passes in its current form, forcing 1.5 million new homes across the province in just eight years, it will have devastating impacts on property tax rates, critical infrastructure and affordable housing.
The Toronto MPP tells The Pointer her PC counterparts in Brampton are not representing the priorities of their constituents. She warns local residents that Doug Ford’s radical housing plan would destroy City Hall’s finances. Brampton taxpayers will be left to pick up the pieces.
A massive collection of stakeholders across the province has mobilized to fight the Doug Ford PC government and its development industry backers. Their proposed Bill 23 would push the construction of 1.5 million new homes, mostly in the GTHA, in just eight years.
From destroying Southern Ontario’s protected ecosystems and crippling municipalities with unmanageable costs for infrastructure to leaving future residents without services such as healthcare and education, the Bill is being described as the height of reckless decision making.
Crown attorneys are a pillar of the justice system, yet they work with a startling lack of oversight.
Mississauga rapper Avalanche the Architect says the Crown involved in his 2014 trial for uttering threats in connection to his music lost a key piece of evidence that could have swung the ruling in his favour.
The provincial government does not track complaints against Crown attorneys, despite repeated recommendations from the auditor general and professional bodies to do so.
A warming world is a breeding ground for sickness and a playground for vector borne diseases.
As the climate warms at an increasing rate, there may be no stopping these threats to our health from arriving. From our drinking water to impacts on air quality that affect our breathing to mental health, and the cascading risks caused by natural hazards, one particular question researchers in our warming world are asking is fundamental to our future well being: is our healthcare system prepared for the fight?
After she was fired earlier this year, Muneeza Sheikh, whose initial hiring was the focus of a forensic investigation cancelled by Patrick Brown in August, has been offered her old job as the integrity commissioner by the City of Brampton.
Her previous ties to Brown led to criticism for taking the position despite the possibility of a conflict of interest. She was let go when councillors opposed to Brown last term expressed concern over the amount she had billed taxpayers. Sheikh then filed a lawsuit against them and the City.
Brampton’s new Council will be responsible for passing a budget with an array of challenges, from aging infrastructure and the new provincial housing targets to a growing list of neglected projects.
Premier Doug Ford is backtracking on a promise to not touch Ontario’s protected Greenbelt. A proposed plan could remove 7,400 acres within the lungs that pump fresh air across Southern Ontario.
Ecologically, the PC pledge to “expand” the Greenbelt elsewhere makes no sense, experts say. Meanwhile, the headwaters that arc above the GTA will be devastated if developers are allowed to erase the Greenbelt, one piece at a time.
The PC government’s decision to increase natural gas use for electricity production comes as emissions across most of Southern Ontario make climate targets virtually impossible.
A new report by The Atmospheric Fund shows the province and its municipalities need to dramatically reduce emissions in order to avoid catastrophic impacts.
A long-time resident of Caledon, Kathleen Wilson, decided to create and widely circulate a report card detailing the votes taken by Caledon council members prior to the October 24 municipal election. Her work drew widespread attention across the town with some fully supporting her, and others going out of their way to discredit everything she has done. Wilson is an anomaly, a citizen who believes one person can take a stand to protect the values held by many.
The architect of Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan, Victor Doyle, writes that sweeping changes to the management of Southern Ontario’s growth under Bill 23 were never mentioned during Doug Ford’s provincial election campaign. Despite its profound impact on climate change, the way we move and work and the financial burden shifted to home buyers and property taxpayers, the PC government has neglected to mention the numerous negative consequences its proposed legislation will have on all Ontarians.
Following an internal investigation leading to the termination of two Peel Children’s Aid Society employees and a subsequent investigation conducted by Peel Regional Police, they have been charged with several offences in relation to an alleged purchase and reimbursement scheme, part of allegations that they defrauded the troubled organization of more than $250,000. The leadership of Peel CAS has faced fierce criticism for mismanagement over the past two years.
The destruction of critical greenspace, higher property taxes and the reduction of future affordable housing were issues of concern raised by key stakeholders in Peel Thursday. They told the provincial government that if left unchanged its proposed Bill 23 will create widespread problems across Ontario.
The CUPE strike has ended and schools have reopened but the Doug Ford government is still at an impasse over how the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ 55,000 education workers should be treated. The PCs have repeatedly cited their motive to protect the well being of students, but residents want to know why this government seems to care so little about the well being of employees who look after those students.
To tackle the illegal practice of trucking companies misclassifying drivers as independent contractors to get out of giving employees benefits, the federal Ministry of Labour is investing $26.3 million over five years. Across Peel, truck drivers for years have raised concerns about wage theft, poor working conditions and other systemic problems in the industry.
Announced by the PC government, under the recently proposed Bill 23, the new provincial housing target for Brampton is 113,000 units by 2031, a stark increase to the City’s own Draft Official Plan which forecasts 102,000 housing units by 2051. If passed, the legislation would diminish affordable housing goals; and there is no indication of how provincial services and infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools and GO Trains, would be funded to support the massive build-out.
Doug Ford’s PC government is about to gut environmental regulations and the province’s conservation authorities, stripping away safeguards meant to protect the most important natural spaces in Ontario.
The public has been shut out of the process, but the head of the Ontario Headwaters Institute writes that far too much is at stake. Citizens, he says, have to stand up against profit-seeking developers; otherwise the environmental agenda will be destroyed.
The PC government’s new housing Bill is receiving major backlash from politicians, environmental and housing activists alike.
It cuts environmental roadblocks meant to govern development, more proof that Doug Ford and his party do not prioritize the preservation of our natural surroundings.
A study released by Environmental Defence has found, at minimum, close to 30 at-risk species will face dire consequences if Highway 413 is constructed—confirming the results of an investigation completed by The Pointer in 2021.
With the PC government under Premier Doug Ford continuing to show its unwillingness to prioritize environmental action, the advocacy group is turning to the federal government, demanding the project be designated for a full impact assessment, something that could see the project cancelled for good.
Patrick Brown denied any involvement in the firing of his election opponent, Nikki Kaur, whose employment with the City of Brampton was terminated a day after the October 24 municipal election.
Despite statements by the City that no comments would be made regarding Kaur’s firing, Brown conducted media interviews last week simultaneously claiming he had nothing to do with the decision while repeatedly disparaging Kaur’s work with the City, even lying about a report. Her lawyer says litigation is a possibility after what he described as a “retaliatory firing”.
With infection numbers once again worsening, a parent at Agnes Taylor Public School is frustrated after not receiving a response from the Peel District School Board and their local trustee about concerns around COVID-19 mitigation and prevention measures at the school.
After the case was dismissed in February, an Ontario Justice has now awarded The Pointer over $64,000 in legal costs following a $12 million lawsuit brought by a Brampton doctor after reporting showed she spread anti-vaccine information on social media.
The financial demands of learning in a new country, and restrictions on the amount of time an international student is allowed to work, leave many of these newcomers vulnerable to labour and sexual exploitation.
New changes by the federal government could help alleviate some of the pressure, but advocates say Ottawa needs to do more to protect international students.
First reported by the Toronto Star, the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections has received Patrick Brown’s City Hall expenses, following the public release of invoices obtained by The Pointer that show the mayor’s social media expenses paid by the City of Brampton went up almost ten times during his CPC leadership campaign, which used work done by a firm that invoiced the City.
At least one tweet involved in the questionable use of City resources has been deleted by Brown since The Pointer first reported on it last week.
Nikki Kaur, who ran against the incumbent mayor, says her firing from her job at City Hall less than 24 hours after Monday’s election was another effort by Patrick Brown to silence her for coming forward with allegations and evidence of wrongdoing under his leadership.
With only 24.6 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot in Brampton, Patrick Brown was able to secure the support of almost 60 percent of those residents who did vote in the country’s ninth largest city.
New faces around the council table were guaranteed following the departure of three incumbents, but a fourth new face will join the fray at City Hall following an upset in Wards 9 and 10 which saw incumbent Gurpreet Dhillon unseated.
The remaining incumbents, many of them loyal to Patrick Brown—Rowena Santos, Paul Vicente, Michael Palleschi and Harkirat Singh—will all be returning, as well as those who have been critical in the past of the mayor’s leadership, Pat Fortini and Martin Medeiros.
Annette Groves will take the Caledon mayor’s seat after Allan Thompson’s retirement from the job.
She received 58 percent of the vote. Her win symbolizes a shift to more sustainable policies in the GTA’s biggest municipality.
After a decade of ‘planning’ – including closed in-camera council sessions, questionable land sales, and rushed consulting and construction – the build for Erin’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is underway and predicted to be fully operational by 2028, dumping 7.2 million litres of effluent into the sensitive Missinnihe, or west Credit River, daily.
Hooked up in phases, the Town of Erin and the private sector partner have stated new developments will be connected initially, leaving current residents at the end of the line. After selling the lands for the Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) to the Town for just $2, Solmar Development Corp. is one of three builders that will be serviced first.
An effort to raise awareness about sexual assault allegations against incumbent Brampton candidate Gurpreet Dhillon has been met with aggressive tactics, organizers say.
The group, 74Nos, has promoted itself as a non-partisan, independent collection of residents trying to advocate for women.
Dhillon has denied allegations he assaulted a woman during a City of Brampton business trip to Turkey, but the City’s former integrity commissioner issued a report accepting the alleged victim’s allegations.
Y Media television host Yudhvir Jaswal called out Patrick Brown on his show this week as the mayoral candidate continuously lied about the reason University of Guelph-Humber pulled out of its Brampton expansion plans.
Brown tried to mislead viewers, repeatedly claiming six councillors cancelled the partnership, which is blatantly false; a letter from Guelph-Humber stated the decision was made after the City dragged its heels on the project.
Nikki Kaur is promising that if elected as mayor she will introduce a bylaw to create the city’s first auditor-general position. City Hall has been plagued by allegations and evidence of wrongdoing under Patrick Brown.
He orchestrated the hiring of unqualified staffers, handed contracts to friends and associates and rules around procurements were broken under his watch. Kaur is vowing to clean up City Hall if elected Monday.
The City of Brampton says Patrick Brown and Rowena Santos have failed to hand over documents to staff working on a freedom of information request by The Pointer seeking communications with their friends, whose firms received $629,000 in payments for the failed Brampton University project.
Brown and Santos cancelled forensic investigations probing the project and their relationship with the two men hired as consultants.
Invoices obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show Patrick Brown used the mayor’s office expense budget to pay a firm more than $28,000 during his CPC leadership campaign to handle social media posts, including ones used for his federal campaign.
This appears to be a violation of federal election laws which prohibit candidates from charging third-parties for certain expenses.
Members of Peel’s Black communities are telling prominent advocates they are scared to speak out against Patrick Brown, despite their desire to see him gone from City Hall.
However, an open letter from Len Carby, a long-time advocate against systemic discrimination in the city has outlined these concerns, calling for Brampton voters to make sure Brown does not return to City Hall after October 24.
After voting the same way for nearly 30 years, residents of the Town of Caledon will see a change on their municipal ballots in 2022.
The population of the Region of Peel has been on an incline since its creation in 1974; with that comes challenges such as ensuring the representation of residents is reflected equitably in the 25 seats within the Region of Peel Council. Meet the candidates running for Caledon Wards 1/2/3 and 4/5/6.
Caledon residents showed up to a special council meeting Tuesday afternoon to address concerns around the controversial aggregate industry. Open pits, quarries and other sites that have been abandoned for years have become more than just an eyesore.
Residents have voiced the need to protect local ecosystems from these destructive operations, but many said Tuesday’s last-minute meeting, after council members like Innis supported the industry for years, was nothing more than an election stunt.
Patrick Brown appeared on iHeartRadio addressing his cancellation of six forensic investigations in August, repeating a number of falsehoods about the now terminated probe of the failed Brampton University project, including that there was “no wrongdoing found” and that the “Ombudsman said it wasn’t worth investigating”.
The firm of Brown’s close friend was paid almost $360,000 more than what was approved by council and much of the work was never done.
Jennifer Innis has failed to take action on the controversial St. Mary’s Quarry and in the past has supported aggregate projects opposed by most of her residents. After supporting the industry for years, she was booed while on stage last week when Caledon voters demanded action.
Now, after working against their interests, with six days before the election, she has pushed for a special council meeting to suddenly change her stance.
While provincial governments play an important part in determining a healthy and affordable housing market, experts are saying there’s more work that needs to be done by Peel’s mayors and council members as the rising cost of living is seeing more families struggling across the region.
Arjun McNeill is a 24-year-old Caledon resident who is trying to break the status quo on October 24.
McNeill, one of the youngest candidates running for a council seat in this year’s municipal election, is hoping to infuse his sustainable ideals into local politics.
Mayoral contender Nikki Kaur went to Queen’s Park on Thursday asking for provincial officials to launch investigations into Patrick Brown’s growing number of scandals and controversies inside City Hall.
He terminated six forensic investigations after damning evidence of widespread wrongdoing was found.
Former councillors Annette Groves and Jennifer Innis both want to be Caledon’s next mayor.
They have served on Caledon council together, but their views on development, urban sprawl and the environment offer two vastly different approaches to managing the massive growth that will define the municipality over the next three decades.
The mayoral candidate is also a lawyer and senior staffer inside City Hall; she says Brampton can not afford four more years with Brown at the helm, after he spent most of the last term trying to find a way out of the city, to pursue his federal political ambitions.
Kaur vows to restore accountability and address the issues Brown ignored while trying to make his exit, including crime, affordability and healthcare.
Residents of Wards 3 & 4 will get to choose from six candidates who want to represent constituents on the issues that matter most to them, as Jeff Bowman retires from municipal politics after doggedly trying for years to clean up a City Hall that saw one scandal after another under the leadership of Patrick Brown.
With the population expected to grow by about 50 percent by 2051, urban growth is inevitable across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This will put immense pressure on our land, wildlife and watersheds.
A new tool developed by the Ontario Headwaters Institute provides a glimpse into the future of our province—for better or worse.