‘The cost of inaction is simply too high’: Peel pouring efforts into vaccine rollout as province locks down again 

‘The cost of inaction is simply too high’: Peel pouring efforts into vaccine rollout as province locks down again 

Vaccines are starting to move into the region in greater volumes, but COVID-19 transmission continues to rapidly outpace vaccination rates, pushing Peel and Ontario’s healthcare system further beyond its capacity.



After being charged for operating illegal basement rental suites unclear if Brampton MPP Amarjot Sandhu has complied

After being charged for operating illegal basement rental suites unclear if Brampton MPP Amarjot Sandhu has complied

Secondary units are a vital source of housing in Brampton as affordability across Peel continues to be an issue. With prices climbing the temptation to enter the illegal secondary suite market grows. These unregistered units are difficult to inspect and often are not in compliance with safety codes, a major problem for bylaw officers in Brampton. After charges in 2018, it remains unclear if Sandhu has complied with the City’s rules. 



Inside Job Part 2: Controversial Brampton CAO handed $218K in City contracts to former Niagara political ally

Inside Job Part 2: Controversial Brampton CAO handed $218K in City contracts to former Niagara political ally

The Pointer has obtained documents through a freedom of information investigation that show the City quietly awarded $218,000 worth of contracts, without council approval, to a man named Tony Quirk who worked closely with Brampton’s CAO, David Barrick, when they were part of a cabal of Conservative Niagara Region politicians embroiled in a series of controversies.

Mayor Patrick Brown, who oversaw the hiring of Barrick, has political ties to both men.



Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie uses a small army to keep up her social media presence

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie uses a small army to keep up her social media presence

Many politicians are active on social media; they have to be in order to keep up with their communities. But some have been slow to effectively staff up for the reality of political communication in the digital age. The mayor of Mississauga is miles ahead of those still trying to engage using yesterday’s methods, and she’s not afraid to admit it.



Brampton’s transformative Riverwalk plan could radically improve the city’s fortunes

Brampton’s transformative Riverwalk plan could radically improve the city’s fortunes

The updated plan was introduced during the City’s second public consultation on the Riverwalk project recently. The final master plan will be introduced in May and will focus on the public spaces residents will have access to along the impressive waterway being planned through the decaying city centre.



Mississauga’s mayor & its almost exclusively white Council slow to act on anti-Black racism commitments

Mississauga’s mayor & its almost exclusively white Council slow to act on anti-Black racism commitments

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie was one of many leaders across North America who promised to confront anti-Black racism last summer.

A laundry list of to-dos was established during a council meeting in June, but meaningful actions have yet to be taken.



Opioid overdoses killed more Peel residents in 2020 than ever before 

Opioid overdoses killed more Peel residents in 2020 than ever before 

While last year saw COVID-19 create the worst public health crisis in decades, another lingering epidemic continued to unfold.

The opioid crisis has been taking lives across Canada for years, including in Peel, and last year was the worst yet. 



Peel Public Health scrambling as COVID cases spike & residents grow tired of rules 

Peel Public Health scrambling as COVID cases spike & residents grow tired of rules 

A backlog of approximately 600 cases a week has forced Peel Public Health to redirect its contact tracing efforts to the high priority outbreaks. 

Peel’s top doctor is urging residents to push through their COVID-fatigue while slow vaccine distribution is causing frustration. 



The Spider and the Fly: Kevin Dickman fell prey to a wicked man helped by Peel police

The Spider and the Fly: Kevin Dickman fell prey to a wicked man helped by Peel police

Sentencing for ex-police officer Frank Kohler’s five-year sexual abuse of former Brampton schoolboy Kevin Dickman has been remanded to next month as his defence counsel asks for mercy, and a lighter penalty. They cite his age, his noble life, and contrition for his repeated assault of a boy. But he is not the only one guilty for his heinous crimes. Peel police, which buried the evidence against its own officer and let him walk away, also needs to bear the burden for what it did to Kevin Dickman.



In full campaign mode Ford announces 250 hospital beds for Brampton – the city asked for 850

In full campaign mode Ford announces 250 hospital beds for Brampton – the city asked for 850

The beds are part of expansion plans for Phase 2 of Peel Memorial and the first set of details outlining the long awaited project.

More than $18 million will go toward the development of an emergency department, and the expansion itself could begin in 2023. Not much is known beyond this and no money was set aside for the capital cost of the project in the just released 2021 provincial budget.



Child care enrolment in Peel drops off a cliff as fees rise again

Child care enrolment in Peel drops off a cliff as fees rise again

The number of children attending daycares in Peel Region has dropped roughly 50 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Brampton and Mississauga, the figures raise concern about the future of profit and nonprofit centres, already few and far between.



Brampton ‘whistleblower’ clinic that caters to transgender & marginalized patients alleges Provincial closure order aims to cover-up past corruption 

Brampton ‘whistleblower’ clinic that caters to transgender & marginalized patients alleges Provincial closure order aims to cover-up past corruption 

A letter from the Province to the Wise Elephant Family Health Team on December 14 said the clinic would be shut down by March 31, 2021, under a section of its agreement, which allows the government to cut funding without explanation and with no cause. A judicial review has bought the clinic another month. 

Court documents raise questions about allegations of widespread fraud by the clinic’s previous directors and the Province’s failure to hold them accountable. The clinic’s current directors accuse the Ministry of Health of trying to quash a whistleblower effort to unearth the truth about $3.2 million in public funds that were allegedly fraudulently misappropriated.



Looks like Brampton ‘getting scraps’ in PC budget after waiting two decades for a second hospital

Looks like Brampton ‘getting scraps’ in PC budget after waiting two decades for a second hospital

When Doug Ford campaigned in 2018, he specifically used Brampton Civic Hospital as the prime example of “hallway healthcare” and promised help. After the last two budgets failed to mention Brampton’s healthcare crisis and the long-awaited plans to expand Peel Memorial into a full-service hospital, the 2021 budget landed Wednesday.

In Brampton, residents and local elected officials waiting for desperately needed good news were in disbelief – it appears only a small fraction of the expected beds will be added.



Former Brampton policeman facing prison for sexual abuse of Kevin Dickman five decades ago begs for leniency

Former Brampton policeman facing prison for sexual abuse of Kevin Dickman five decades ago begs for leniency

Frank Kohler has confessed to abusing Kevin Dickman to many people. His wife, colleagues and even police investigators in 1974.

Yet, he has never stood in a courtroom to face a prison sentence for his crimes. Until Tuesday, when he pleaded for a lenient sentence. 



Teacher shortage, fears of Peel’s hotspot status & infections lead to 18 school closures, 38% of Ontario’s total 

Teacher shortage, fears of Peel’s hotspot status & infections lead to 18 school closures, 38% of Ontario’s total 

Staffing issues as a result of COVID-19 measures, cases in schools and the lack of supply teachers continue to impact schools in Peel where closures are ramping up.

Peel is home to just nine percent of Ontario’s schools, but has nearly 40 percent of the province’s closures. 



Peel’s ‘vaccine inequity’ worsens – despite higher infection rate Toronto getting twice the doses per capita

Peel’s ‘vaccine inequity’ worsens – despite higher infection rate Toronto getting twice the doses per capita

Vaccination clinics in Peel Region stand ready to get residents inoculated.

The only problem: they have very little to administer. Despite being Ontario’s worst hit region, it has received a small fraction of the province’s vaccine supply, and was left out of a pharmacy vaccination pilot program for older adults with no explanation.



After six years, Brampton fails to achieve majority of crucial environmental sustainability targets 

After six years, Brampton fails to achieve majority of crucial environmental sustainability targets 

Brampton plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 80 percent by 2050. The City has created dozens of programs to help it get there, including a comprehensive strategy approved in 2014. 

A recent update to that master plan shows that for the first six years, the City accomplished very little of what it set out to.



Mississauga MPPs’ Q&A demonstrates the pitfalls and potential of Facebook Live in local politics

Mississauga MPPs’ Q&A demonstrates the pitfalls and potential of Facebook Live in local politics

A COVID-19 Facebook Live hosted by Mississauga’s MPPs, along with Dr. Lawrence Loh and a brief appearance from Premier Doug Ford, struggled to get to the heart of key questions.

Despite failing to move the conversation, engagement around the event showed the best and worst of online communication for politicians. 



RCMP won’t commit to criminal investigation of Pornhub  

RCMP won’t commit to criminal investigation of Pornhub  

The Canadian company behind the world’s largest porn site has been at the centre of controversy following reports of videos depicting child exploitation, rape and human trafficking hosted on the platform. 

The RCMP has not committed to an investigation despite evidence MindGeek, the Montreal-based parent company, has violated its obligation to report child sexual abuse material to authorities. 



Pandemic helps Mississauga’s NIMBY narrative standing in the way of urban transformation

Pandemic helps Mississauga’s NIMBY narrative standing in the way of urban transformation

Change in Mississauga is inevitable and City staff have embraced many of the boons associated with modern, urban-style growth. But many residents are still wary. A concerted effort by leaders to bring locals with them could go a long way to foster collaborative change in the city. 



Meet the Mississauga teen tracking to join Zuckerberg, Musk and Gates

Meet the Mississauga teen tracking to join Zuckerberg, Musk and Gates

Alishba Imran may still be in high school, but she’s already achieved more than most accomplish in an entire lifetime. The Mississauga youth is an autodidact who taught herself advanced artificial intelligence design in her early teens. She’s using the technology to help confront the spread of counterfeit medicine and has launched a company on the cusp of working with Tesla to test its batteries. 



Province claims ‘security risk’ prevented disclosure of Peel’s vaccine numbers, which are behind rest of Ontario

Province claims ‘security risk’ prevented disclosure of Peel’s vaccine numbers, which are behind rest of Ontario

Locals desperate to know how many vaccine doses have arrived in the region are struggling to find updated information. The Ministry of Health, led by Christine Elliott, restricted the flow of information until this week, making it impossible to calculate if Peel has been receiving its fair share.

On Friday, the Province announced hundreds more pharmacies across Ontario will soon receive doses.



Peel Catholic board has 26% of Ontario’s school closures – future of in-class learning uncertain

Peel Catholic board has 26% of Ontario’s school closures – future of in-class learning uncertain

After weeks of unstable viral transmission trends, some teachers, students and staff across Peel are scratching their heads, wondering why they have not returned to mandatory online learning.

New safety directives for PDSB staff have been introduced, but the arrival of a third wave coupled with Peel’s poor vaccination rate has left many education stakeholders uncertain about the immediate future.



Mississauga company reduces electronic waste & offers computers to those who can’t afford them

Mississauga company reduces electronic waste & offers computers to those who can’t afford them

Renewed Computer Technology has been addressing social, economic and environmental issues since the early '90s.

The not-for-profit collects computers from large organizations, hires interns to refurbish them and sells them at dramatically reduced rates to families.



Despite dire warnings & a third wave, Peel’s top doctor eyes loosening of some grey-zone restrictions 

Despite dire warnings & a third wave, Peel’s top doctor eyes loosening of some grey-zone restrictions 

Dr. Lawrence Loh made the comments Wednesday morning, saying conversations are taking place with provincial counterparts.

He stressed sharing details such as the possible lifting of restrictions around outdoor dining doesn’t make anything official, and the final decision is up to the Province.



Third wave arrives as vaccine frustration prompts racist behaviour toward Peel Region staff

Third wave arrives as vaccine frustration prompts racist behaviour toward Peel Region staff

There’s been little to differentiate spring from winter in Peel, where lockdown measures stretch back to November.

Now, rising case numbers and a lack of information on vaccines are pushing many to their breaking point. Region of Peel CAO Janice Baker was forced to call out harassment and racism directed at her staff. 



Ontario’s vaccination plan isn’t working for Peel

Ontario’s vaccination plan isn’t working for Peel

Last week, the Region of Peel voted to demand Queen’s Park amend its vaccine priorities.

Councillors want to see essential workers in logistics, food processing and warehouses prioritized to stop COVID-19 from continuing to stretch regional hospitals and hold local businesses back. 



Brampton eyes new federal financing model to secure much needed funds for transit

Brampton eyes new federal financing model to secure much needed funds for transit

When it comes to transit, Brampton has put the cart before the horse. The City has approved numerous projects, including a third transit and maintenance facility, without securing funding to pay for them.

It has put officials in an awkward situation; making promises to residents that new transit infrastructure is on the way, but with little indication of when and how those promises will be fulfilled. 



Mississauga’s Carolyn Parrish: what you see is what you get

Mississauga’s Carolyn Parrish: what you see is what you get

With over 35 years in politics, Carolyn Parrish could write the rules of the game, with her eyes closed: understand what party lines mean; know when a united front is needed; and never punch down.

Since her days as an MP, Parrish has been a tireless advocate for constituents, a pain in the you know what for adversaries and a gracious mentor to many. She says what most aren’t willing to, even when it gets her in trouble.



Time for Canada to move on from the monarchy

Time for Canada to move on from the monarchy

Racism has been a hallmark of the British royal family for centuries. It was the defining characteristic of imperial rule in places like India and Africa.

The worst of the royals and their imperious attitude toward all those beneath them is embodied by the behaviour of Prince Andrew. Now, the recent allegation of racism levelled by the disenfranchised Prince Harry is the inevitable outcome of a family that has always lived under the credo of English privilege at the expense of all others.



‘Film is considered the new manufacturing’: Mississauga is ready for its starring role

‘Film is considered the new manufacturing’: Mississauga is ready for its starring role

Mississauga may not be known to many as a notable destination for film and TV production, but it has quietly positioned itself as a serious player in the industry. By the summer, it will boast eight separate studios and City officials are hoping the high-profile sector, with its glitzy appeal, can become a cornerstone of its modern transformation.

It’s a strategy to drive economic growth while drawing from the dynamic vibe of creatives in film and TV.



Investigation into Pornhub offers opportunity to curb proliferation of ‘haunting’ online child sexual exploitation 

Investigation into Pornhub offers opportunity to curb proliferation of ‘haunting’ online child sexual exploitation 

The testimony before Canada’s parliamentary ethics committee has once again revealed the disturbing increase in the spread of child sexual abuse material on the internet. 

While outrage has been directed at Pornhub and Canadian parent company MindGeek for its apparent failure to address the issue, they are not the only bad actors in the vast realm of internet exploitation.



Region of Peel votes to oppose GTA West Highway despite efforts of Brampton & Caledon mayors

Region of Peel votes to oppose GTA West Highway despite efforts of Brampton & Caledon mayors

Two weeks after Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish originally brought a motion to regional council, Peel has confirmed its opposition to the GTA West Corridor.

The decision, which adds to municipal momentum across the GTA, was not free from tension, as some Brampton and Caledon councillors continued to back the sprawl-inducing highway.



Managing a public health unit during a global crisis

Managing a public health unit during a global crisis

Around this time in a normal year, Peel Public Health would be busy providing updates on the latest numbers of influenza cases and possibly relaying new travel advisories for residents traveling out of the country. This is not a normal year.

Dr. Lawrence Loh is trying to reopen a region of 1.5 million residents, balancing optimism over vaccine availability with political setbacks and new variants spreading rapidly toward a third wave. No matter what he does, one group or another won’t be happy.



‘A provincial government that harms BIPOC populations by policy decisions’: Doctor expresses frustration after Ford gives Peel peanuts in vaccine pilot

‘A provincial government that harms BIPOC populations by policy decisions’: Doctor expresses frustration after Ford gives Peel peanuts in vaccine pilot

The Province has announced Peel Public Health will get a tiny fraction of its first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines. The news means Peel will miss out on many life-saving doses, while Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Toronto and Windsor-Essex receive the bulk of the supply.

It’s part of a pattern of neglect in Ontario’s most racially diverse and hard-hit region.



Peel Police spokesperson rebuilds community connections by walking the neighbourhood beat on social platforms

Peel Police spokesperson rebuilds community connections by walking the neighbourhood beat on social platforms

Social media can play an important role in community safety, connecting residents with timely news, new initiatives and events. Constable Akhil Mooken understands this very well.

The public and media relations officer has taken steps to grow his presence and gain some of the lost trust in communities that have recently had a troubled relationship with Peel police.



‘Asking for trouble’: Brampton community leader who helps the homeless decries plan to serve alcohol in downtown 7-Eleven

‘Asking for trouble’: Brampton community leader who helps the homeless decries plan to serve alcohol in downtown 7-Eleven

Regeneration Outreach Community located inside Grace United Church shares a fence with the store hoping to score a liquor licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. For many vulnerable residents in Brampton’s struggling city centre who have problems with alcohol, the move is “of great concern,” Regeneration CEO, Ted Brown, says.



Brampton doctor reprimanded for ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unprofessional’ tweets about COVID-19

Brampton doctor reprimanded for ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unprofessional’ tweets about COVID-19

Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, an outspoken Brampton physician, has received three cautions from The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for her social media comments.

Gill has more than 58,000 Twitter followers and has spoken out against lockdowns and the need for COVID-19 vaccines.



Patrick Brown dodging questions about his spending & disturbing conduct inside City Hall

Patrick Brown dodging questions about his spending & disturbing conduct inside City Hall

The Brampton mayor, who preaches belt-tightening to others, is avoiding questions about his own use of taxpayer dollars.

Other questions about alarming hiring practices and the handing out of contracts to people he knows are also being side-stepped, as some members of the public call for Brown to come clean about the questionable conduct under his watch. 



Peel Region gets half the long-term care funding compared to some areas of Ontario

Peel Region gets half the long-term care funding compared to some areas of Ontario

The Region’s five long-term care homes provide an alternative model to families that either can’t afford or don’t trust private, for-profit facilities that operate in Peel.

But in order to properly deliver the level of care seniors deserve, existing gaps need to be filled by adequate provincial funding, regional staff say.



Mississauga isn’t a dense, towering metropolis, yet

Mississauga isn’t a dense, towering metropolis, yet

All eyes are looking to the future in Mississauga, anticipating major developments including Square One, Brightwater and Lakeview Village. In the short-term the city remains a sprawling former suburb, with only 1.5 percent of its land currently dedicated to apartments. Changing the hearts and minds of residents who bought a slice of suburbia is key for the City’s climate ambitions and future plans for dynamic growth.



Peel is Ontario’s hardest hit region, so why was it left out of a major vaccine rollout?

Peel is Ontario’s hardest hit region, so why was it left out of a major vaccine rollout?

Dr. Lawrence Loh is just as puzzled as everyone else, following Friday’s announcement that almost 200,000 new doses of the recently approved AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to those aged 60 to 64 in certain parts of the province, but not in Peel, which has had Ontario's highest rates of infection throughout most of the pandemic. The news has left the region reeling as the Doug Ford PC government appears to once again be ignoring Peel’s dire situation. 



Calls mount for RCMP criminal investigation of Pornhub’s Canadian executives

Calls mount for RCMP criminal investigation of Pornhub’s Canadian executives

Top police officials and advocates from North America’s most prominent child protection agencies added their voice to the ongoing parliamentary investigation into Pornhub and similar websites.

Their testimony raised questions about claims made by Pornhub’s top executives last month. Evidence revealed the company has failed to meet its legal obligation to report child sexual abuse material on its platform to Canadian authorities. 



Vaccine envy growing for many Canadians as competition disrupts global supply chains

Vaccine envy growing for many Canadians as competition disrupts global supply chains

Canada is hoping for almost 2-million new doses this week and next, but reports out of Europe suggest manufacturers and export regulatory bodies continue to have differences about shipments to countries around the world.

As Canada continues to lag way behind in per capita vaccinations, Ottawa is trying to reassure residents that doses are on their way, to finally put a dent into the pandemic before a third wave arrives.



Rapid rise of coronavirus strains & key indicators worsening – signs point to grey-zone return for Peel

Rapid rise of coronavirus strains & key indicators worsening – signs point to grey-zone return for Peel

Dr. Lawrence Loh, the Region’s top public health official, continued his advocacy for a cautious reopening, stating on Wednesday that Peel should move into the most restrictive category under the Province’s colour-coded pandemic response framework, once the stay-at-home-order is lifted March 8.

Some local politicians don’t seem to understand the scientific rationale, despite a year’s worth of evidence that shows caution is the best approach for everyone.



Peel’s governing MPPs will not answer questions after voting against paid sick days

Peel’s governing MPPs will not answer questions after voting against paid sick days

Progressive Conservative MPPs representing Mississauga and Brampton voted against the introduction of paid sick days on Monday.

The move denies a request voiced repeatedly by Mayors Bonnie Crombie and Patrick Brown as well as Peel Public Health’s top doctor, Lawrence Loh. 



Mississauga fire Chief takes safety education to the Twittersphere 

Mississauga fire Chief takes safety education to the Twittersphere 

Deryn Rizzi has been in charge of Mississauga’s fire service for exactly one month. 

Early in her tenure, a fresh perspective is breaking through. The Chief’s Twitter account, in particular, demonstrates an ability to connect with residents across cultures and generations. 



Ottawa’s decision on controlling the fate of GTA West Highway will come by May 4th

Ottawa’s decision on controlling the fate of GTA West Highway will come by May 4th

Ottawa will decide whether or not to take over the GTA West Corridor’s environmental assessment process in the next couple months, the federal government has confirmed.

It means environmental activists will soon have a clearer view on the future of the controversial 400-series highway. 



Brampton’s struggling arts community hopes new City Hall initiative will be free from political influence 

Brampton’s struggling arts community hopes new City Hall initiative will be free from political influence 

Local artists have gone without support and consistent funding from City Hall for the past six years, contributing to the struggles faced by Brampton’s local arts community which has long been supported by taxpayers.

While plans for change are on the horizon, there are concerns about how City officials will handle the issue of arts funding.



The team that recreated Port Credit talks about their plans for Brightwater

The team that recreated Port Credit talks about their plans for Brightwater

Christina Giannone leans on her family’s long history of building quality residential projects, to explain how a new 72-acre residential/commercial site on old industrial lands in the west end of Port Credit will fit perfectly into a long-term plan to turn around Mississauga’s shoreline and win back the respect of Mother Nature. Her family already worked miracles when reimagining Port Credit Village two decades ago.



Crombie’s call to skip grey-zone restrictions doesn’t line up with public health guidelines

Crombie’s call to skip grey-zone restrictions doesn’t line up with public health guidelines

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie called on the Province to hopscotch Peel into a more lenient reopening category once the current stay-at-home order is lifted after March 8 (unless plans change).

But Peel Region’s latest weekly epidemiological report suggests new “variants of concern” need to be better understood and the Region's top doctor is calling for caution before any rash decisions are made.