School may have recently finished, but looking to fall has been on the minds of parents and teachers for months. With kids under the age of 12 not eligible for vaccinations, questions are being raised about what has changed since September 2020. New spins on learning models only muddy the waters around further reopenings, and decisions on sending children back into the classroom are being made now, but will parents want to change their minds by September?
The mistreatment of our First Nations’ children in our residential schools is a cross many of our institutions – especially the churches that oversaw them – must bear. This overt racism and criminality falls hard on the Catholic Church which ran the majority of these so-called schools of higher learning. Almost two centuries of cultural and physical genocide has shamed our country and shaken our faith. How do we explain away these crimes against humanity to our children? Now is the time for truth and reconciliation. It is also time for the Catholic Church to decide if it wants to do what its religion's namesake would expect of it.
More details are emerging in trial on the state Brady Robertson was in when he slammed into a young Caledon family, killing a mother and her three young daughters in a horrific crash on a Brampton thoroughfare last year. He has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths, but is fighting charges of operating his vehicle while impaired.
Construction that rips up streets and closes sidewalks can be a death blow to local businesses.
When Brampton initially planned to reimagine the downtown core, the goal was to do a significant chunk of the work concurrently with the Region’s utility replacements, to avoid long disruptions. Because of Mayor Patrick Brown’s refusal to spend the money when the project was all set to go three years ago, it appears the city centre could face repeated construction work for years to come.
In Peel, COVID-19 has been the number one, number two and number three issue for more than a year.
Finally, there is a sustained sense of optimism. As cases tumble and vaccination rates soar, residents and leaders can tentatively turn their minds to a host of critical priorities to get the region as close to pandemic-proof as possible.
Peel residents were shocked last summer after a violent car crash in Brampton took the lives of a mother and her three children.
The man at the centre of the investigation has now pleaded guilty to four of the nine charges in relation to the incident and a separate crash that took place just two days earlier.
The City of Brampton, on the direction of Mayor Patrick Brown, hasn’t increased property taxes in the past three years. But it’s been the exact opposite for senior staff, whose salaries and bonuses have skyrocketed under the mayor’s handpicked CAO, David Barrick.
An internal report shows the number of new additions to the sunshine list increased by 21.5 percent, raising many questions in a city being asked to pinch pennies.
The number of people who need shelter in Peel and are experiencing homelessness is rising rapidly and without support the financial burden falls on the Region.
There were more than 22,400 households on Peel’s centralized housing waitlist at the end of 2020, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Rethinking the way people access assistance could help a badly stressed system.
A recent study shows Brampton could rake in millions of dollars if it paid more attention to the way it handles film and television production crews.
Despite the potential, the City has been slow to act, only implementing a fraction of the study’s recommendations.
Council was swift to take action after City of Brampton staffer, Gurdeep (Nikki) Kaur, lodged allegations against senior staffers and Mayor Patrick Brown in April.
A complete investigation into the matter was promised, making it appear the disturbing allegations of widespread corruption were taken seriously. But behind the scenes, attempts were made to control the investigation, including limiting the probe’s timeline to 30 days, an impossible task considering the mountain of allegations.
A 24-year-old Brampton man and Peel Regional Police cadet has been charged in connection to a series of alleged domestic assaults. However, when the force announced his charges to the public and media, it omitted his employment with Peel police.
The decision not to identify his role raises concerns around transparency and how an alleged serial abuser was hired by the force.
A Brampton Facebook page claiming to represent a community organization has spent thousands of dollars on political advertising since March.
The group, which appears to share its roots with the right-wing campaign page Ontario Proud, has praised PC MPPs and attacked Justin Trudeau in a series of promoted posts and videos.
An invasive species is responsible for killing wildlife and native vegetation along the shoreline of Professor’s Lake in Brampton.
Residents have asked the City to pay attention to the fast spreading species numerous times, with no success.
One of Peel’s most dedicated and passionate advocates, Kola Iluyomade, has passed away at the age of 56.
His friends, who span several continents and met him throughout his life, describe a father and husband who believed in people’s humanity and wanted to see the world change for the better.
Elected officials in the city are claiming Brampton will soon be getting a new medical school, adding to a growing list of promises to voters ahead of next year’s provincial and municipal elections. In reality, the only thing happening is talks around putting a proposal together. Experience suggests it could be more than two decades before a medical school is actually opened in Brampton, despite claims by Patrick Brown and other politicians.
For more than 30 years, the Ontario government has been trying to build a highway south of Lake Simcoe. Many residents say the time has come and gone.
The Doug Ford PC government, just like it did with the GTA West Highway, is forging ahead with a project that will drive a four-lane highway directly through the environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh wetland.
Ontario’s personal care industry has been suffering. Businesses in Peel and Toronto have been hit the hardest, with their doors shuttered since November. Being allowed to finally open has brought a sense of relief, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to plummet thanks to Canada’s remarkable vaccination strategy, but the future for many of these businesses remains unclear.
As the dust settles on the last municipal budget season, pushed into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic, minds are already turning to next year.
Staff at the Region of Peel are working on their 2022 blueprint with concern about new costs from Queen’s Park and Toronto Pearson Airport weighing them down.
After four years of Donald Trump and the dark rise of white nationalism, Joe Biden and the American left are forcing change. A new national holiday to mark the end of slavery could have a profound effect on the country’s relationship with its past, and its pathway to a better future.
In Canada, leaders continue to point fingers and offer empty words, while American-style action eludes us. A Mississauga priest resigned after claiming residential schools were good for many Indigenous peoples. But our shameful history won’t go away, despite the hopes of religious and political leaders.
After years of study, delays and council infighting, the City of Brampton is still at least a year away from making a final decision on where a future LRT will run through downtown.
Councillors expressed frustration last week, but it is residents who must cover the cost of this indecision and suffer the consequences of another year without progress on alternative modes of transit in the city.
Revitalizing the crumbling city centre has been a long standing agenda item for Brampton councillors. Businesses have suffered while council members debate over what is and isn’t desperately needed.
While the Region pushes ahead with replacing critical infrastructure, the City is working on limited plans to boost the streetscape, leaving businesses and some councillors skeptical about the cost of waiting for substantial change.
Through droughts, floods, moth infestations and major summer storms, Peel’s two Conservation Authorities are doing their best to keep the public and the local ecosystem safe.
The PC government has not made it easy for the Credit Valley Conservation Authority or the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to continue crucial programs. Through the omnibus Bill 229, rammed through by the PC government, some of the most important work to fight climate change in Peel might no longer be allowed. The deadline for public consultations on the PCs’ proposed changes is today.
Owen Keenan faced sweeping condemnation after his sermon last weekend, claiming Catholic residential schools were “very positive” for Indigenous communities across Canada. His harmful remarks came while First Nations and other Indigenous peoples across the country were devastated following the discovery in Kamloops of the remains of 215 children near a former residential school. As grief swept through Indigenous communities, Keenan rubbed salt in their wounds. He will no longer be able to spread his harmful views to congregants.
In Peel, home to one of the largest collection of Muslim communities in Canada, the need to fight Islamophobic statements and hatred has never been more clear.
Policies, changes to the criminal justice system, laws around online content and educational approaches need to be pursued so hate that is currently harming so many families can be eradicated.
On Thursday morning, the Government of Ontario planned to present a “general update” on the proposed GTA West Highway to councillors in Peel Region.
Elected officials had other ideas, striking the item from the agenda and telling the Province their minds on the controversial project had already been made up.
In Peel, almost one in three households speak a non-official language at home. With its majority immigrant population and diverse range of diaspora communities, communication in the region comes with an extra cost: translation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional government has put almost $100,000 toward translation costs that aim to communicate with residents in their language of choice.
A Mississauga pastor has apologized for a homily he gave over the weekend referencing “the good that was done” in residential schools.
The stunning comments made to congregants who are supposed to look to their priest for moral guidance have drawn criticism from leaders, including Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Stacey LaForme, who says Monsignor Owen Keenan should consider if he is suited to a position of spiritual leadership.
Brown is a loyal Conservative supporter of MacKay. They served together under Stephen Harper for years as members of parliament when MacKay was a minister and high-profile member of the party.
When Brown secretly directed City staff to help campaign for his friend’s federal leadership bid last year, it appears provincial and municipal rules outlining the conduct of members of council were broken.
A review demanded by the Ontario government to be completed next summer is a top priority for The Region of Peel. Housing and employment lands are the concerns around accommodation of a massive population set to arrive over the next three decades.
Environmentalists are calling on the Region to hold a hard urban line so no more sprawl can affect Caledon’s precious farmland. Other regions like Waterloo have done it, accommodating smart, dense growth while protecting rural landscapes and a connection with nature.
Top City of Brampton staff are following their playbook in Niagara, after they tried to whitewash a corruption investigation there that eventually blew up in their face.
After they were fired, Mayor Patrick Brown had them hired in Brampton and they are now doing the same around an investigation into sweeping allegations of corruption inside City Hall, painting a rosy picture and telling residents there is nothing to see.
All of Peel’s municipalities have committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a considerable degree over the next decade. While retrofits, sustainable forms of energy, transit solutions and tree planting will all play a role, a new study has found there is a much easier, more impactful way to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Managing, preserving, and restoring our green spaces.
The City of Brampton will soon be conducting its second equity audit in the last two years, thanks to a push by City Councillor Charmaine Williams.
She’s heard from generations of racialized communities frustrated about not being able to land a job inside City Hall.
Constrained by technology, some residents in the Region of Peel are asking their councillors to delay a critical planning decision on the very future of the area until the pandemic has been resolved. Many have written to their leaders asking for growth submissions to Queen’s Park be put on hold to allow for better consultation.
Their pleas may fall on deaf ears. The Doug Ford government has already told municipalities there is absolutely no wiggle room ahead of its 2022 deadline.
Younger constituents have historically represented a reduced share of turnout in elections. So what can politicians do about it?
For one, sharing their views on platforms younger voters favour would help engage with those citizens who will shape the future. Dismissing the notion that young people don’t care about politics would also be helpful.
Many of the steps to reduce our impact on the planet seem insignificant. Every time we leave the car at home, turn a light off or separate packaging into garbage or recycling, the individual impact goes unnoticed.
When bureaucratic problems arise, they add to the barriers around effective sustainability. Within Peel’s two-tiered system of government, each is not always on the same page and problems with the way recycling is managed are a perfect illustration.
More residents in Peel are now eligible to receive their second vaccination, if they can find an appointment.
The region’s vaccine plan is moving into a higher gear and doses are being dished out to defeat the COVID-19 delta variant. Hiccups in the system and structural barriers to access for some of the most vulnerable represent cause for concern in an otherwise positive picture.
The Brampton councillor has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has fought to have the integrity commissioner’s report thrown out.
A year after the interim report examining allegations stemming from a trade mission to Turkey was completed, Dhillon is raising questions about possible interference by Mayor Patrick Brown.
The City is preparing to craft its 2022 budget to be shared with residents later this year.
A recent staff report indicates, for the first time during this council term after years of claiming all is well, that all may not be well with the City’s finances. But instead of acknowledging past mistakes caused by Mayor Patrick Brown’s reckless policy of tax freezes and reviewing possible solutions, staff are clearly working for him, not the residents who desperately need investments in their city.
The Premier and his ruling party are legislating toward the use of Ontario’s notwithstanding clause, in hopes of wiping away 16 months of failed pandemic leadership ahead of next year’s election. Ford has seen what happened to Donald Trump. Beyond the political gamesmanship, as desperate men try to hang onto power, will COVID-19 push our healthcare system to re-evaluate the reactive response to the pandemic, and force governments to embrace long-term solutions?
Keyna Sarkar is on a mission to fight ‘period poverty’ in Brampton, and in April, she pushed the City to provide free menstrual products in all municipal facilities. Through Girl Up Brampton, a non-profit organization started by the United Nations, she and her team are taking their message across the city, collecting sanitary products for those in need.
Peel Region has a housing crisis on its hands. According to a 2020 staff report, ownership and rental options are unaffordable for 80 percent of residents.
The Region will soon be armed with inclusionary zoning. The policies will allow council to mandate affordable units from home builders, but in the profit-driven world of development, striking the right balance will be key.
Some community advocates are processing the news Peel District School Board director of education Colleen Russell-Rawlins has accepted the job to lead the country’s largest board in Toronto.
She was brought to Peel by the Province specifically to implement changes after a harrowing probe solidified the need to finally eradicate systemic anti-Black racism and other deeply imbedded forms of discrimination in the board. Her looming departure has thrown the sweeping agenda up in the air.
Politicians in Mississauga have become increasingly critical of one another on social media in the past few months.
A number of spats and criticisms, including a recent debate between MPP Rudy Cuzzetto and Councillor Carolyn Parrish, have illustrated a use of social media that offers little value to taxpayers and residents.
After two members of council had their social media accounts temporarily hacked, senior staff took the unprecedented steps to hire a private firm, without telling council, to monitor City Hall accounts and possibly those of private citizens. But they won’t reveal who was hired for the work.
It’s an unprecedented move surrounded by sticky issues of privacy, data gathering and potential abuse. Some councillors are questioning whether the program will even work and if staff with checkered pasts can be trusted.
John Cutruzzola says a decade-long legal fight with Brampton City Hall accomplished its goal. The company’s $28.5 million lawsuit, which will not move forward after the courts ruled against Inzola Group, revealed disturbing behaviour by former City officials, none of whom are with the municipality anymore. The court focused on whether Inzola was legitimately disqualified from the bidding process in a half-billion-dollar downtown redevelopment project, which included a City Hall expansion. Tens of thousands of pages of documents in the case exposed widespread misconduct in the way the procurement was handled.
Little Etobicoke Creek was the centre of a study that shows the next heavy rainstorm could cause huge damage to nearby businesses and homes. The municipality saw in 2013 what can happen in a flash storm, as once in a century weather events now happen every few years, thanks to man-made impacts on our rapidly changing climate. Mississauga is now trying to prepare for the next catastrophic event.
Peel Region isn’t out of the woods yet. As the novel coronavirus continues to mutate, public health officials are in a race with time to get populations inoculated. The delta variant is now spreading in Peel, something Dr. Lawrence Loh is monitoring closely. The mayors of Mississauga and Brampton are calling on the Province to give Peel proper second-dose allocations, so the region and surrounding areas can avoid a fourth wave.
Council voted to hire a third-party investigator to probe sweeping allegations of corruption inside City Hall made by an employee who formerly worked in CAO David Barrick’s office. Every discussion on the matter so far has happened behind closed doors, and residents want to know what’s going on. Gurpreet Dhillon fought against the practice, stating it wasn’t accountable or transparent and he moved a successful motion to ensure no more secrecy from the public.
During a 2014 trial that garnered international attention, Mississauga rapper Avalanche the Architect tried to convince a judge that lyrics in one of his songs were not actual threats but just artistic expression.
It’s a theme that is becoming more common in the criminal justice system as rap songs are increasingly used as evidence in criminal trials, disproportionately impacting young, Black and Hispanic men.
Sandeep Aujla is facing allegations of making racist comments against members of these communities.
She denies the accusations and a third-party investigation into the matter is underway. It makes it hard for members of Patrick Brown’s Black, African and Caribbean advisory group to understand why the mayor brought her to speak recently on hiring concerns directly impacting the communities.
An analysis by The Pointer shows Peel Regional Police’s K9 unit is getting significant traction online. Compared to the force’s main account, the differences are stark but the messages are similar: showcasing the work of police.
It’s no surprise that these amazing police dogs are wildly popular and the following they’ve garnered has a lot to do with how Twitter as a platform works. The transparent approach with the public is an example of how the communication tool could be used by police departments.