Seven Ontario youth are refusing to back down in their fight against the Ontario government for its harmful policies which have increased emissions across the province. They were in court Monday before a panel of appeal judges who will decide whether the case can proceed after an earlier decision dismissed the youth’s claim that the PCs should be held legally responsible for harm they are causing by failing to act on climate change.
A recent presentation from the Ministry of Transportation on Highway 413 — a highly criticized project that will cause significant environmental harm — was met with frustration by Mississauga councillors. Local officials requested details on the project timeline and costs, but their questions went unanswered after PC government representatives tried to trumpet the controversial transportation plan.
Bonnie Crombie has officially moved on after nearly a decade in the Mississauga mayor’s seat. The mark she left on her city serves as a template for how she might pull Ontario into the future, with a bold, fearless style of leadership unafraid of change. She ushered in an era of municipal politics that finally allowed Mississauga’s government to catch up to the cosmopolitan swagger that had replaced decades of sleepy, homogenous suburban life.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Canada’s carbon pricing scheme. When compared to nations like Sweden the Liberal government’s policy approach has failed to yield the same results. Trying to appease Canadians—and corporations—across the spectrum has limited the effectiveness of carbon pricing here. For the policy to succeed a line in the sand needs to be drawn, otherwise emissions will continue to rise in a country that has become a laughing stock for our woeful action on climate change.
With the last day as Mississauga Mayor upon her, Bonnie Crombie reflects on her transformational leadership. She shifted Mississauga’s suburban mindset—a way of life increasingly out of step with modern city building—after decades of sprawling growth. She spoke with The Pointer about her municipal work on cleaner, greener growth ahead of her departure to helm the Ontario Liberal Party.
Brampton’s Residential Rental Licensing Pilot Program has launched across half the city, requiring landlords with four or less units to obtain a licence and be subject to random inspections for compliance. The two-year pilot aims to protect tenants from abuse, but advocates including Peel ACORN are demanding that corporate landlords, currently excluded from the oversight measure, also be included, citing poor maintenance conditions and a lack of compliance with fire and building codes in their properties.
As councillors line up to be Mississauga’s next mayor, residents could see more than one by-election in the year ahead depending on how the eleven remaining members decide to move forward. Councillor Carolyn Parrish has already confirmed her plan to resign from her Ward 5 seat as she contends for the mayor’s chair, and wants to only see one by-election, for the mayor's job and to replace any councillor who decides to run for it. But it remains unclear if other council members who plan to run will do the same, or if they will force a second by-election later in the year if a councillor has to be replaced.
During the recent COP28 conference in Dubai, the federal government presented a framework for a cap on emissions by the oil and gas industry, an announcement that has been long awaited by environmental groups across Canada. But the lack of urgency in implementing draft regulations as well as lackluster penalties for exceeding thresholds have organizations worried that government efforts to limit climate change will once again be unsuccessful.
As snowy, frigid winters of the past give way to rain and fluctuating temperatures, Canada’s winter tourism sector is balancing the challenges of adapting to a shorter, warmer season. Technology, according to tourism and sustainability expert Michelle Rutty, will help Canadians enjoy their beloved winter activities—we just have to learn to adapt.
Standing in front of Mississauga councillors and City staff last April, Metrolinx assured officials the Hurontario LRT, one of the largest construction projects in the city’s history, was on track to meet its 2024 completion date, despite a series of pandemic-related delays that caused supply-chain issues. Now, as 2024 has arrived, the agency has not confirmed it will meet the latest completion date; the original timeline was to launch in 2022. The Province also remains silent on restoring funding for the downtown loop, which the City says is critical for future growth.
Mississauga City Council recently approved a resolution to raise the standards of a five-year pilot program that holds the city’s landlords accountable, after a survey by a local tenant advocacy group revealed several landlords are failing to comply with basic maintenance standards. As a result of the findings, Peel ACORN members have made a series of demands to councillors to improve the program aimed at protecting renters against unethical property managers.
The Metamorphosis Network is an umbrella group of Peel Region’s most vital social services organizations, brought together to safeguard critical work after the breakup of regional government. With the surprise reversal decision by the PC government to keep Peel’s government intact, the consortium wants to build upon its work, and use the lifeline extended to the Region as an opportunity to dramatically improve support for Peel’s most vulnerable residents.
A groundbreaking approach being adopted by municipalities across North America will be implemented in St. Catharines. “Social Procurement” is the use of public funds—tax dollars provided by the residents of an area—to procure products, services and human resources that directly create social and economic benefits for the community.
The City of Brampton and Sheridan College, along with local social service groups, government bodies and other post-secondary institutions, signed the Guiding Principles of the Brampton Charter for Improving the International Student Experience on December 18. The City has failed to provide adequate affordable student housing for years, while colleges have targeted international students, who pay much higher fees, without creating a safe learning and living environment for them.
After almost three decades of climate negotiations, for the first time at COP28, nations agreed that fossil fuel production is limiting global ability to keep within temperature targets set in Paris in 2015. But once the initial joy over the novel agreement wore off, groups began to identify loopholes that would allow bad actors profiting from oil & gas to continue harming our planet.
Fifteen young Canadians from across the country, brought together by their climate activism to safeguard a sustainable future, are tweaking their arguments after a recent decision by the federal court of appeal allowed the case against the Liberal government, alleging its failure to ensure their safety, to proceed to trial. The decision comes at the end of a year that saw major progress in climate litigation across North America.
Canada has rolled out its standards for adoption of electric vehicles across the country.
While the policy provides ambitious targets for EV takeup, industry experts say costs need to come down, charging infrastructure has to be ramped up and the domestic supply chain won’t be able to compete with foreign players if the market grows too fast for our fledgling EV industry.
This article highlighting the ongoing struggles of international students was originally published in September: The Region of Peel had issued a letter to the federal and provincial government requesting stronger support systems for international students in Peel. Ongoing issues continue to put young people at risk with little action for more than a decade. A lack of housing, falling prey to sex traffickers and the absence of support from colleges and governments that gladly accept money from families, has created an ongoing crisis that often leads to tragic consequences.
People like St. Catharines’ Gertrud Liho are not looking forward to opening their municipal tax bill in 2024. The City passed an alarming 10.5 percent property levy increase late this year, with hardly any consultation and long after the usual public approval process. In an economic climate that is putting pressure on residents from every direction, with costs rising well above salaries, those like Liho, who lives on a fixed income, want municipal leaders to be extra cautious when spending the taxpayers’ money.
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 focussing on her well-being will allow her to rejuvinate, with so much work still to be done.
With a recent history of having to fill vacancies, St. Catharines City Council contemplates a revised policy considered un-democratic by some, while others see it as an opportunity to improve equity and diversity in municipal representation.
With a perfect storm of fiscal pressures challenging municipal finances, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, through the use of her strong mayor powers, approved the 2024 budget on Tuesday including a 2.3 percent tax increase on the local share for residential property owners. Combined with the Region of Peel’s tax and utility increase, Mississauga homeowners will pay an additional $473, on average, next year.
The federal government announced on Monday the City of Mississauga will receive $112.9 million through its Housing Accelerator Fund—an incentive that aims to help deliver more homes and improve affordability. The funding deal comes less than two weeks after council approved Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s Mayoral Directive, through her strong mayor powers granted by the province, to permit four-plexes “as of right” city-wide to increase Mississauga’s dense housing supply.
After damning internal probes forced the PCs to walk back much of the destructive land use policy the Doug Ford government rammed through, Housing Minister Paul Calandra announced Peel could reverse its heavily influenced, controversial decision to open up 11,000 acres for future development.
But the Council-approved plan, passed under fear the PCs could make things even worse, has yet to be revisited.
Premier Doug Ford is refusing to release a review of provincial work on implementation of Ontario’s landmark accessibility legislation, despite a legal obligation to do so.
Previous investigations have detailed widespread failures by successive governments to improve accessibility across Ontario, leaving nearly 3 million residents living with disabilities to navigate “soul-crushing barriers” on a daily basis.
In a press conference where he provided no evidence to support the government’s decision, and made false or misleading claims, Housing Minister Paul Calandra announced Wednesday the dissolution of the Region of Peel will no longer move forward as mandated under legislation.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie took an optimistic tone, viewing the work already done as the first phase toward Peel’s break up and Mississauga’s disentanglement from ongoing financial mismanagement in Brampton.
Projects promised by Patrick Brown are nowhere to be found in his proposed 2024 Brampton budget, with funding for an LRT, downtown redevelopment, university, the Riverwalk and cricket stadium among the plans that lack required investment to make them happen.
Cuts to capital spending ignore aging infrastructure assets that will need repair or replacement within the next 20 years.
Brampton’s Goreway Power Station and Emerald Energy from Waste incinerator are the two largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions across the city. While repeated calls from environmental organizations stress the local need to reduce GHGs, both of these operations are slated for massive expansions. If approved, Brampton can kiss its emissions reduction targets goodbye.
The federal government announced the Global Methane Pledge at COP 28 Monday, solidifying a previous commitment to decrease the gas sector’s methane emissions by 75 percent by 2030, and 40 to 45 percent overall below 2012 levels.
Ontario, meanwhile, is moving in the opposite direction, expanding natural gas use for electricity production.
Jane and her family are suing the government of Ontario and senior administrators of the province’s schools for the deaf and blind, detailing years of abuse and mismanagement in a statement of claim filed last year and previously detailed by The Pointer.
Now, the family has received further information about Jane’s treatment, raising concern over the alleged lack of action when explicit images of their underage daughter were found on the device of a fellow student.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who will challenge Doug Ford for the premier’s job when she takes over the Liberal leadership, is asking him for clarity on the future of Peel’s regional government, after Patrick Brown once again used the work for a compromised Deloitte report—discredited by regional councillors when behind-the-scenes interference by senior staff was exposed—to justify keeping regional government intact.
Following several months of delays as more evidence was uncovered, the case against former Peel CAS director of finance Marino Cader, who was charged in November 2022 with defrauding the organization of more than a quarter million dollars, is finally heading to trial in January.
Charges against Andre Paul, a former maintenance coordinator with Peel CAS and the co-accused alongside Cader, have been withdrawn, the Crown Attorney revealed on Monday.
In light of the possible reconsideration to dissolve the Region of Peel, 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 previously discredited work to push back against any decision to grant Mississauga its independence.
Patrick Brown has released his proposed Mayor’s Budget for 2024.
Despite the need to accommodate more than 200,000 new residents within eight years, under the Province’s housing plan, and a string of promises Brown has made since first running for election in 2018—a world class cricket stadium, an underground light rail line, a standalone university, a downtown transformation, a spectacular riverwalk, to name a few—priorities for residents are once again largely ignored by Brown in his first budget under the new Strong Mayor Powers granted by Queen’s Park.
Welland Mayor Frank Campion proposed a 2.69 percent increase to the City’s operating budget. A special meeting related to possible amendments, the first of two to be held, allowed Council members to add to and subtract from the Mayor’s budget.
Following a legal challenge by a group of plastic producers, backed by the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the American plastic industry, Canada’s federal court handed down a decision that could impact the country’s single-use plastic ban.
An international treaty to end plastic pollution could provide a roadmap for advocates here to eliminate waste.
A new reception centre next to Pearson International Airport, which straddles Peel and Toronto, will provide support to asylum claimants as shelter systems face increasing strain.
The announcement follows a list of requests from Acting Mississauga Mayor Chris Fonseca to the federal government so Peel’s overwhelmed shelter system can better respond to unprecedented demand. All three levels of government have been blaming each other for the emergency housing crisis.
CBM—the company behind a controversial mega-blasting quarry proposed in Caledon—has let the Town know it will appeal council’s effort to rein in the gravel industry.
The move signals the company’s disregard for concerns about widespread environmental damage, a pattern of the multinational corporation that owns CBM and has a deeply troubled track record.
The mayor called former councillor Jeff Bowman’s involvement with the Historic Bovaird House an “embarrassment” to Brampton, claiming the former councillor had an “egregious, flagrant conflict of interest” related to its funding.
A week after Brown’s latest unsubstantiated attack on Bowman, a report by KPMG, hired by the City to investigate the matter, found no wrongdoing by Bowman and no irregularities or inconsistencies with city policies around the Bovaird House funding issue, which Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos have used for more than a year to go after their critics.
The figure is not a combined increase, but a proposal to expand the Region’s tax-supported budget by 10.6 percent and its charge for utilities by 6.8 percent. It would result in a property tax increase of at least 4.5 percent, to cover Peel Region’s share, before each of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon add their own share to the 2024 tax bill.
For those already struggling to pay their bills, such steep increases raise questions about why regional staff are asking taxpayers to fund such a huge budget expansion in the last year before the Region of Peel is dissolved.
After two years of lower emissions due to the global slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, greenhouse gas emissions have rebounded, in a big way.
Global data from the United Nations Environment Programme and local data from The Atmospheric Fund show Earth’s major weather systems are undergoing profound changes as increased levels of carbon in our air alter the way we live.
As disturbing levels of harm continue to shatter communities across Ontario, municipalities and advocacy groups have officially declared that gender-based violence has reached epidemic levels.
Despite increasing numbers of women killed at the hands of men all across the province, the PC government refuses to make the same declaration.
At a Planning and Development Committee meeting in October, council members approved a motion to help move the Phase 2 expansion of Peel Memorial forward.
An emergency declaration last term called for a second hospital in the city with at least 850 acute-care beds to treat everything from heart attacks to broken bones. But William Osler officials and the PC government refuse to confirm if Brampton is actually going to get the hospital they have claimed will be delivered when Memorial’s expansion eventually opens.
“Brampton’s democracy is under siege”. Those were the stunning words written in a letter signed by a majority of council members in 2022, after widespread allegations of misconduct under Patrick Brown’s leadership led to a series of external investigations that he eventually cancelled.
A year later, the department that functions as the main watchdog holding City Hall accountable to taxpayers, is struggling with staffing issues, the latest in a string of problems for Internal Audit since Brown became mayor.
A report from Ontario’s Protected Areas Working Group — which sat dormant for two years — encourages the PC government to invest $400 million for the protection of vital lands across the province.
The goal is for 30 percent of the overall geographic area to be included, compared to the 11 percent that is currently protected.
A recent death at an encampment outside Mississauga’s Dundas Shelter has sparked outrage over Peel’s dangerously underfunded shelter system which is currently 321 percent over-capacity.
While Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is claiming it’s the fault of upper levels of government, he failed to mention his refusal to expand municipal budgets, his recent eviction of those living in an encampment and the failure of regional councillors, including himself, who have refused to adequately fund affordable housing and Peel’s shelter system for years.
Justin Trudeau’s woes continue, as voters who support the Prime Minister for his stated commitment to address climate change question contradictions between his words and his actions. Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment recently released three audit reports that paint a bleak picture of the country’s 2030 emissions reductions targets. Under Trudeau’s leadership, the plan is falling far short of its goals.
Complex changes in the work of Peel Regional Police are placing increased pressure on officers.
The global black market driving auto thefts has deep roots in Peel; incidents of intimate partner violence and human trafficking continue; while a growing range of cyber crimes pose unique challenges, all while mental health calls stretch the force’s resources. Peel’s police boss says he needs more staff in the growing region, but is a historic request for an additional 135 officers in line with the progressive vision trumpeted by Chief Nishan Duraiappah?
A report heading to Mississauga’s general committee meeting today states the first level of recommendations from the provincially appointed transition board are expected to be completed by January.
A spokesperson from the City says while staff have consulted with council on preferred recommendations to facilitate Mississauga’s long-awaited independence, it remains unclear whether those recommendations will be made public.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford joined other Canadian premiers in voicing opposition to the federal government’s housing accelerator fund which grants funding to municipalities that pursue smart growth.
While Ford bashes the Liberals for supposedly overstepping their jurisdiction, recent scandals have exposed his alarmingly irresponsible approach to housing.