NDP platform speaks to millennial issues, but once again offers few funding details

NDP platform speaks to millennial issues, but once again offers few funding details

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. 



Police board stalls on anti-Black racism panel as new data show use of force far more common against Black residents

Police board stalls on anti-Black racism panel as new data show use of force far more common against Black residents

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. 



Sonia Sidhu advocated on health-related issues in Ottawa, but was quiet beyond that   

Sonia Sidhu advocated on health-related issues in Ottawa, but was quiet beyond that   

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.



‘I have navigated inequities’: PDSB’s new leader talks about moving toward equity and inclusion

‘I have navigated inequities’: PDSB’s new leader talks about moving toward equity and inclusion

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.



Conservatives check many boxes on Peel’s wish list, can the party deliver if elected?

Conservatives check many boxes on Peel’s wish list, can the party deliver if elected?

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.



Patrick Brown uses common slur for Brampton, calls it ‘Brown-town’ but refuses to apologize 

Patrick Brown uses common slur for Brampton, calls it ‘Brown-town’ but refuses to apologize 

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.



‘Get out and vote’: low turnout during a global health crisis could be a problem

‘Get out and vote’: low turnout during a global health crisis could be a problem

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?



Peel police not prioritizing Black voices, advocates say; report shuns request for anti-Black racism committee 

Peel police not prioritizing Black voices, advocates say; report shuns request for anti-Black racism committee 

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. 



Province rejects request by PDSB trustees; supervisor will govern until anti-racism directives are implemented

Province rejects request by PDSB trustees; supervisor will govern until anti-racism directives are implemented

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.



Landmark case against Twitter could help Peel Police’s ICE unit fight onslaught of online child exploitation 

Landmark case against Twitter could help Peel Police’s ICE unit fight onslaught of online child exploitation 

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. 



PDSB trustees who harmed visible minority students want to regain control of board

PDSB trustees who harmed visible minority students want to regain control of board

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.



Peel tax dollars flow disproportionately to police, while fire and paramedics struggle

Peel tax dollars flow disproportionately to police, while fire and paramedics struggle

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.



Sonia Sidhu’s diabetes legislation is vital for her Brampton residents; why is she shy about her move?

Sonia Sidhu’s diabetes legislation is vital for her Brampton residents; why is she shy about her move?

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. 



‘Far-fetched’ ideas to combat climate change that may become the new normal 

‘Far-fetched’ ideas to combat climate change that may become the new normal 

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.



Over 80% of PDSB students set to return to the classroom this fall; teachers’ unions push for mandatory vaccinations

Over 80% of PDSB students set to return to the classroom this fall; teachers’ unions push for mandatory vaccinations

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.



Brampton welcomes calls for Ryerson medical school, but avoids talk about the university’s controversial namesake

Brampton welcomes calls for Ryerson medical school, but avoids talk about the university’s controversial namesake

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.



‘Money can be used better elsewhere’: City’s new plan to coordinate downtown revitalization criticized as more talk than action 

‘Money can be used better elsewhere’: City’s new plan to coordinate downtown revitalization criticized as more talk than action 

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.  



Province ignores public input & expert research in its plodding plan for future transportation

Province ignores public input & expert research in its plodding plan for future transportation

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. 



Candidate slates filling out as parties look to break through Liberal fortress in Brampton and Mississauga 

Candidate slates filling out as parties look to break through Liberal fortress in Brampton and Mississauga 

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. 



Bringing the ‘lake’ back to Lakeview: Jim Tovey’s conservation dream becoming a reality 

Bringing the ‘lake’ back to Lakeview: Jim Tovey’s conservation dream becoming a reality 

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.



New Brampton soccer pitches will be named after gold medalists Kadeisha Buchanan & Ashley Lawrence; is a Canadian professional league next?

New Brampton soccer pitches will be named after gold medalists Kadeisha Buchanan & Ashley Lawrence; is a Canadian professional league next?

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.



LGBTQ+ groups in Peel struggle to create a sense of community in the shadow of Toronto

LGBTQ+ groups in Peel struggle to create a sense of community in the shadow of Toronto

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. 



Brampton’s City Hall corruption investigation extended for the second time in less than two months

Brampton’s City Hall corruption investigation extended for the second time in less than two months

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.



Earth’s doomsday scenario is here & municipal leaders could not care less

Earth’s doomsday scenario is here & municipal leaders could not care less

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.



Nomination races are a pure form of grassroots representation, until political parties get involved  

Nomination races are a pure form of grassroots representation, until political parties get involved  

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.  



Easing COVID restrictions too fast is a problem; Texas is a tragic example

Easing COVID restrictions too fast is a problem; Texas is a tragic example

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.



Electric cars are a key solution to our climate crisis but Doug Ford killed their sales

Electric cars are a key solution to our climate crisis but Doug Ford killed their sales

In a region where 74 percent of residents drive themselves to work, electric vehicles are an environmental game-changer. A new global report on the consequences of temperature increase makes it crystal clear that humanity is running out of time.

Local car dealerships say while hybrid sales are healthy, the asking price of much more environmentally friendly electric cars, no longer eligible for a hefty provincial rebate, turns off many buyers.



Bill Davis already has the key to Brampton’s heart

Bill Davis already has the key to Brampton’s heart

The former premier and the city’s most famous son passed away on the weekend. The Pointer republishes an article from 2019, when he was presented with the key to what will always be his city.



Brampton’s Bill Davis gifted us a remarkable legacy

Brampton’s Bill Davis gifted us a remarkable legacy

Today’s political scene is riddled with nasty and brutish attack ads and the polarization of positions, which makes many long for a quieter and gentler time when talk was civil and voters churned out leaders like Brampton’s Bill Davis, the old lion of provincial politics, who passed away on the weekend. The Pointer republishes a celebration of this wonderful father, husband and leader, penned to mark his 90th birthday.



‘It is not a career for me’: the Olympic side of inequality in women’s sports

‘It is not a career for me’: the Olympic side of inequality in women’s sports

When the Olympics come around people are sucked in. The power of pride and the showcasing of our superhuman athletes on the world stage swells us with emotions every four years. A sense of our collective Canadian community, and the potential it draws out, overwhelms many of us.

This year most of ‘our’ medals have been won by women, yet they often don’t get the recognition they deserve outside the games. Three Peel Olympians sat down (virtually) with The Pointer and discussed the equality gap and lack of training facilities in the world of women’s sports. 



‘This is a case about rape, not pornography’: Pornhub nightmare exposes internet’s blindspot on child sexual exploitation

‘This is a case about rape, not pornography’: Pornhub nightmare exposes internet’s blindspot on child sexual exploitation

A recent lawsuit filed against MindGeek, the Canadian parent company of Pornhub, the largest pornographic website in the world, highlights a disturbing number of allegations that, if true, expose just how far the internet has deteriorated due to a lack of regulation.

The cyberworld, unchecked by governments, has allowed predators to connect, share and create a stomach-churning demand for more graphic material and younger victims. 



Should personal care sector be treated like medical businesses to avoid future shutdowns? 

Should personal care sector be treated like medical businesses to avoid future shutdowns? 

Barber shops, nail salons and spas were closed for a seven-month stretch in Peel. The industry that provides personal care services was one of the hardest hit by COVID. The closures left many business owners scrambling, looking for alternate jobs, while trying to keep their shops from closing for good. It created stress that has deeply impacted a sector so many rely on.



Clashes on Peel Police anti-racism committee suggest force already straying from mandate

Clashes on Peel Police anti-racism committee suggest force already straying from mandate

Laura Zilney, the leader of a sexual assault support centre in Peel, has resigned from her advisory role with Peel Police. The force and its chief have levelled serious allegations against her, which she says are “fabrications”. 

Minutes of committee meetings show its members, including staff from the Peel District School Board and Peel Children’s Aid Society, have been unable to launch vital equity work. 



Healthcare system prepares for fourth wave with minimal funding for backlog 

Healthcare system prepares for fourth wave with minimal funding for backlog 

The PC government has offered over $300 million to help frontline healthcare providers clear an overwhelming backlog of surgeries and other medical procedures, but according to the Province’s own financial office, it’s a fraction of what is actually needed. 

Meanwhile, the province is staring down a possible fourth wave that could arrive by the fall, exacerbated by a large cohort of unvaccinated children returning to school. 



After scathing 2019 equity audit, Peel police hires its most diverse pool of candidates 

After scathing 2019 equity audit, Peel police hires its most diverse pool of candidates 

For five years straight, Peel Regional Police’s complement of uniformed officers has remained unreflective of the community the force serves. Barely a quarter of the entire force (including civilian employees) is racialized and women remain poorly represented.

The handful of Indigenous employees and persons with disabilities make up just one percent of the department. But the recent recruit class suggests change is finally happening.  



Time for Mississauga and Brampton to shift activity into new ‘downtown’ locations

Time for Mississauga and Brampton to shift activity into new ‘downtown’ locations

Mississauga and Brampton have struggled to bring culture, vitality and interest to their downtown core. For contrasting reasons, the areas around both city halls have failed to capture the imagination of the public.

Each city features another area better suited for the ‘downtown’ designation. Is it time to admit that investment and energy should be directed elsewhere? 



Baking summer temperatures & humidity will only get worse in Peel 

Baking summer temperatures & humidity will only get worse in Peel 

If you think this summer has been unbearable, by the 2050s, Peel will experience temperatures rarely seen in the region, or Canada, before.

It will be part of a blistering trend threatening Mississauga and Brampton that could make summers outside dangerous for some.



The PCs do not want to hear from you–but so-called consultations on mega-highway projects continue

The PCs do not want to hear from you–but so-called consultations on mega-highway projects continue

This week, the public was invited to “engage” with provincial engineers and consultants about the GTA West Highway.

Participants were met with a process that did not allow them any visibility and prevented questioning, leaving the public in a vacuum of PC spin about the benefits of environmentally devastating highway planning stuck in the ‘60s.  



Residents create ‘intimate relationships’ with food by growing their own in community gardens

Residents create ‘intimate relationships’ with food by growing their own in community gardens

Mississauga is the latest city to experiment with a backyard chicken program.

Brampton’s backyard garden initiative has been a huge success. And more and more urban farming efforts are appealing to a younger generation rethinking our relationship with the land we live on, and the food we eat.



Trudeau’s recent housing announcement for Peel filled with misleading claims

Trudeau’s recent housing announcement for Peel filled with misleading claims

It’s been two years since the minority Liberals have needed the voters in Brampton and Mississauga. As speculation about an upcoming federal election mounts, the party that won all eleven seats in both cities last time around is once again trying to curry favour. 

In the process, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appears to have fudged the numbers on an affordable housing project in Brampton.



Patrick Brown orchestrated $70K hiring of two former Niagara employees with a scandalous history

Patrick Brown orchestrated $70K hiring of two former Niagara employees with a scandalous history

The City of Brampton was forced to reveal the cost of hiring CAO David Barrick and director of strategic communications, Jason Tamming.

After their troubling history in Niagara, Brampton residents were eager to find out how much was spent to hire two individuals with an abysmal track record in the public sector. The Pointer tried for eight months to get answers, before the province’s information commissioner had to be drawn in to obtain details of how the two men were recruited despite their disqualifying behaviour in Niagara.  



Potential loan offers Brampton incentive to green its bus fleet but how will City pay for its share?

Potential loan offers Brampton incentive to green its bus fleet but how will City pay for its share?

For three years, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has failed to explain his financial plan for the city. Claims of tax freezes are misleading, as assessments, user fees and utilities continue to increase.  

Meanwhile, a recent $400-million loan opportunity through the federal government highlights the problems with a mayor who likes to make grand announcements but can’t put forward a revenue plan for the local share of badly needed investments.



Ontario’s enormous 3.5-year surgical backlog falls on a burnt-out workforce 

Ontario’s enormous 3.5-year surgical backlog falls on a burnt-out workforce 

The provincial government estimates the surgical and procedural backlog in Ontario will take nearly four years and more than a billion dollars to fix.

The overwhelming workload is now the responsibility of a frontline medical staff who were reporting alarming levels of compassion fatigue and burn out even before COVID-19 overwhelmed the system.  



Every Peel PC MPP given high-profile role as Ford prepares for 2022 election

Every Peel PC MPP given high-profile role as Ford prepares for 2022 election

With the provincial election less than a year away, the PCs have finished promoting all of Peel’s governing MPPs to positions of influence. The region now has four separate cabinet ministers and five parliamentary assistants, roles which could boost reputations ahead of tough fights next year. Whether they have the experience to fulfill their new responsibilities, is another story.



PC ‘greenwashing’ makes climate change worse

PC ‘greenwashing’ makes climate change worse

The PCs will have Ontarians believe they are a government that cares about the environment. A number of announcements for “new” protected greenspaces and investments in green infrastructure have been made in recent months. 

The reality is, these investments are largely useless in the face of moves by a government doing all it can to undermine environmental legislation and push developer-interests forward at all costs. 



Advocates rally, regroup after progress to eliminate anti-Black racism within PDSB stalls

Advocates rally, regroup after progress to eliminate anti-Black racism within PDSB stalls

Like COVID-19, optimism about the Peel District School Board has come and gone in waves this year. Community members were buoyed a year ago to see the beleaguered board begin its long journey toward meaningful reform. A series of recent events has left that faith shaken.

Advocates are steeling themselves for more difficult and vital accountability work in the absence of an education director who was brought in to carry out the mandate but is now on her way to Toronto’s public board.



Why did Patrick Brown pick search firm that recruited disgraced Niagara employees now at the heart of Brampton’s ongoing corruption investigation?

Why did Patrick Brown pick search firm that recruited disgraced Niagara employees now at the heart of Brampton’s ongoing corruption investigation?

The City of Brampton insists it utilized Feldman Daxon’s services since 2016, prior to Mayor Patrick Brown’s election. But the search firm responsible for recommending David Barrick for the City’s CAO role was first used for that type of hiring in 2019, after the mayor’s office contacted the company.



Driver who killed Caledon family wants evidence of impairment tossed: shows he had 8-times the legal limit

Driver who killed Caledon family wants evidence of impairment tossed: shows he had 8-times the legal limit

The man responsible for killing a young family in June 2020 is claiming his Charter rights were breached when Peel Regional Police seized and searched his car six days after the fatal collision, revealing drugs were inside, and obtained medical information that allegedly breached his privacy rights. 

If the application is successful it could result in damning evidence of impairment being excluded.



A fundamental shift in Ontario police power: Chiefs want ‘archaic’ union-controlled discipline reformed

A fundamental shift in Ontario police power: Chiefs want ‘archaic’ union-controlled discipline reformed

Police leaders in Ontario are asking the provincial government to change discipline rules to give them expanded powers, including suspending officers without pay. Police chiefs say the new rules are important to save money and bring the transparency needed to rebuild faith in police. 

Critics disagree and fear the police discipline problem is more deeply embedded. Offering an expanded toolkit to police forces could result in “the boys club” continuing to put itself first.



Amid speculation of a federal election, Trudeau visits Brampton for campaign-style housing commitment

Amid speculation of a federal election, Trudeau visits Brampton for campaign-style housing commitment

Peel is a place federal political leaders visit frequently ahead of elections.

The Prime Minister made a number of stops in 2019 and was back in Brampton right before the pandemic, for a visit to a local technology company. But announcements with funding attached for local needs are less common, making Monday’s visit to unveil a new affordable housing project a particularly special occasion.



Climate change threatening Peel waterways, putting humans & wildlife at risk 

Climate change threatening Peel waterways, putting humans & wildlife at risk 

Pressures from urbanization and our rapidly changing climate are pushing local waterways to the breaking point. 

Destruction of pristine green space, warming waters, and damaging pollutants from Peel municipalities are not only compromising the homes of countless species, it’s putting an increased burden on municipal water treatment facilities to ensure what we drink everyday remains safe.