A disaster from top to bottom.
That’s how conservationists and other environmental stakeholders describe the Ontario PCs’ handling of species at risk, as corporate lobbyists set on removing habitat have been handed much of the power by the government.
Laws put in place to limit development in the habitat of endangered species continue to be ignored, says Ontario’s Auditor General.
Those trying to save the province’s most threatened species are left to fight their own government.
The number of private career colleges in Brampton has increased dramatically in the past few years. These schools offer vocational training ranging from hairstyling to truck driving, and in some cases even promise to help anyone with a high school diploma become a doctor, for the right price.
A lax system of oversight by the provincial government means standards can be hard to guarantee, while some of these businesses add to the difficulties facing international students in the city.
New data from Statistics Canada show Peel’s rapid rate of growth is slowing as immigration stutters during the pandemic. The number of new arrivals in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga has dropped dramatically over the past two years, but the number of current residents leaving has continued to rise.
In just 10 years, the annual exodus from Peel Region to other parts of Ontario has grown 300 percent, leaving question marks over future planning and what the area is failing to offer.
Peel Region called the anaerobic digestion facility its most impactful project to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but its cancellation raises questions on how those targets will be met in years to come. Council quietly shut down the project due to high costs and the potential to explore more efficient technology to divert organic waste from current landfills.
It’s unclear when a new report will be available and how a new plan will take shape.
Peel Region and its municipalities have all declared a climate emergency in recent years. According to a new report, politicians across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area have failed to meet GHG emission reduction targets set across the region.
For decades, cities have ignored their role in contributing to rising temperatures, pushing the planet closer to the point of no return.
There is a buzz around the new Bombardier operation being opened in Mississauga.
Council members and City staff say the investment will shape the future of employment. The location of the 770,000-square-foot plant was a strategic opportunity for both Mississauga and Bombardier to pursue economic and environmental goals.
Thousands of people in Peel were battling a cancer diagnosis when the pandemic struck in 2020, leaving them further isolated and fearful of the virus due to their compromised immune systems.
The Wellspring Chinguacousy Foundation, a cancer support organization in Brampton, moved quickly to shift its array of programming in an effort to continue its vital work.
City Council approved a new motion just before the holidays, after the mayor failed to budget one cent for his promised cricket stadium. It asks staff to report back with a public-private partnership option for the proposed cricket facility at the CAA lands.
A partnership for the ‘multi-purpose cricket facility’ will be a measured approach, council members say, after the mayor once again failed to deliver on a promise. It remains unclear who would benefit from the stadium Brown has promised.
For decades, Mississauga has played a reckless shell game, neglecting infrastructure investment in areas such as fire and transit to offset other unavoidable costs.
Now, with a budget strained by lost revenues due to the pandemic, staff are hunting for ways to close the growing infrastructure gap and keep the maturing city in workable condition.
Despite high vaccination rates, both of Mississauga’s hospitals are facing the risk of over-capacity following almost two years of a pandemic that has taken a brutal toll on nurses.
Many are now fighting infections caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, as hospital data remains less ominous than previous waves, for now.
Despite a severe shortage of truckers across North America, drivers in Canada are fighting against inadequate training, unpaid wages and unfair layoffs.
In a disturbing report, the office of the Auditor General highlights the mismanagement by Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities, putting many young truckers, including international students and other foreign workers across Peel, in precarious situations.
The man who came in second place in Mississauga’s 2018 mayoral race, after spreading hateful anti-Islamic messages for years, has provided The Pointer with a wild statement justifying his illegal crossing into the United States.
Kevin Johnston tried to flee Canada ahead of a jail sentence and is now claiming he’s a victim of his own “conservative” views.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario wants Premier Doug Ford to consider repealing Bill 124 (which caps salary increases at 1 percent) to retain and bring back nurses before Ontario deals with a fifth wave.
With a lack of N95 masks and the unaddressed shortage of nurses, the RNAO says public health measures to contain Omicron are “not enough”, once again putting the health system under incredible stress.
The rapid rise of the Omicron variant has shattered the collective return to normal so many were preparing for. The latest wave appears to include milder infections in populations where vaccine and acquired immunity have been built up.
Competing data has left officials scrambling, trying to determine if alarming new case counts should be weighted alongside hospital information that at least early on suggests a less formidable viral enemy. Leaders in Ontario, and across the world, must now decide how policy around COVID will be determined going forward.
Lakeview Community Partners, the development consortium building a massive new project along Mississauga’s eastern waterfront, has always known the former industrial property sits right next to a wastewater facility that generates unpleasant odours.
Now, the developers have convinced Peel Region to have residents and future buyers pay the $190 million overall cost to reduce the smell.
Two years of shifting restrictions have left a confusing mark on the facts and figures that track our lives. Economic activity has changed, tourism has been decimated, academic benchmarks torn up and sporting records have been left with multiple asterisks next to them.
An entire industry of statisticians is working overtime to document these changes and work out how to contextualize them. For historical and comparative accuracy, some information can be cleaned to find trends, while other numbers are near-impossible to work with.
Premier Doug Ford’s aggressive push to build Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass will cause irrevocable damage to local ecosystems and compromise municipal, provincial and national climate goals.
The PC giveaway to developers has also trampled on the democratic rights of Ontarians. Are Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent statements about protecting our climate and preserving democracy a signal that Ottawa is planning to intervene?
The Hurontario LRT has already been bumped from an initial opening date of 2022 to 2024 — on top of a dramatic reduction to future train service and the cancellation of Mississauga’s downtown loop due to budget issues.
Mobilinx, the consortium building the high-order transit project, tells The Pointer construction remains on schedule for a 2024 opening, but has it learned from delays that snagged similar plans in Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo?
A new theatre production from Crane Creations posits the question: is it okay to kill 164 people while potentially saving 70,000?
It’s left for audience members to decide as part of the latest production from Mississauga’s sole theatre company as it continues its efforts to broaden the arts in the city.
Reliance on emergency food banks in Mississauga has spiked during the pandemic as the root causes of food insecurity have gone unaddressed by elected officials.
But community members are giving back in a serious way during the holiday season, hoping to assist those struggling to feed their family.
An outpouring of anger and grief filled a Brampton courtroom this week as friends, family, and colleagues of Karolina Ciasullo, told how their lives were shattered when an out-of-control car, driven by Brady Robertson, who had eight times the legal limit of THC in his system, slammed into the family vehicle carrying the young mother and her three daughters.
The victim impact statements were offered ahead of the sentencing for Brady Robertson on four counts of dangerous driving causing death.
Bovaird House has stood in Brampton since the 19th Century. It is a striking piece of heritage in a city dominated by cookie-cutter subdivisions. A group of volunteers who call themselves the Friends of Bovaird House have devoted thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain this mini-museum.
The benefit and financial value of the project was the subject of a recent heated debate between City of Brampton council members.
The man who runs City Hall’s public relations department, which is supposed to provide citizens with accurate and transparent information about operations that use their money, has instead tried to manipulate The Pointer, attempting to have false claims published about his involvement in a high-profile scandal that rocked Niagara Region.
As Ottawa and Queen’s Park make moves to minimize the impact of Omicron, Mississauga and Brampton are light years ahead of where the two cities stood ahead of last year’s holiday season.
The uncertainty in the pandemic’s latest chapter comes with questions about what Peel, and the rest of the world need to consider as COVID clearly settles into its permanent place among the human population.
After little debate or consideration, Peel Region Council passed the 2022 budget with a worsening housing crisis looming over the heads of elected officials.
Instead of a promise for more affordable housing in a post pandemic world in which the waitlist has ballooned, the Region is still relying on out-dated pre-pandemic strategies, while funding to help families was once again largely ignored.
Leaders at the top of municipal and provincial government have disregarded key consultation rights held by everyone in Ontario. The trend has been chronicled by Ontario’s auditor general in a series of reports released in November and December.
While Queen’s Park has neglected its duty to listen to citizens under the Environmental Bill of Rights, the City of Brampton has joined in with a series of requests to cut the public out of the planning process.
It's almost 2022 and the lingering pandemic is forcing more and more burnt-out nurses who have carried us through wave after wave of this health crisis out of the profession as they can no longer cope with the unrelenting demands.
Physically and emotionally drained nurses are leaving, some pushed past their breaking point by Bill 124, passed by the PC government to limit wage increases for public sector workers including teachers, pharmacists and nurses, to one percent.
On December 8, Mississauga City Council approved the 2022 budget, setting in stone decisions for the upcoming year.
Among pandemic-related challenges that have impacted new initiatives, the municipality is prioritizing large-scale transit infrastructure, hoping to entice riders back, while continuing Mississauga’s slow transition away from the car.
A dearth of fire stations across Mississauga means fire fighters are travelling farther and longer to arrive at emergencies. Elected officials have done little over the years to address this growing problem.
The 2022 budget finally gets the ball rolling on investment for Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, including a new station, renovations to aging fire halls and an expansion of its education program in hopes of stopping the problem at the root.
Some residents in Peel Region have found online-only council meetings a major barrier to participation.
Those that aren’t comfortable with technology have been shut out, while others have been muted when they try to speak. Inaccessible video conferencing software — and mismanaged discussions — are also shutting out Ontarians living with a disability.
Councillors at the Region of Peel have passed the final budget ahead of their re-election campaigns next year. The process saw no changes made to the document staff presented, with politicians essentially approving the budget bureaucrats, not elected officials, shaped.
Social services including affordable housing and help for those facing a range of financial challenges have once again been largely ignored by staff and council members.
It was an all-hands-on-deck approach from every level of government at the beginning of the pandemic. Funding was flowing to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable but now, as the public health crisis abates, Peel’s growing homeless population is relying increasingly on an organization doing vital work.
To continue their efforts, founders need sustained funding from the very governments pulling back.
The Ontario government reaffirmed its commitment to fund a widescale redevelopment of Mississauga Hospital, building a brand new facility on the Hurontario Street and Queensway site that will house more than 950 beds, while creating one of the largest emergency departments in the province. Trillium Health Partners, which operates Mississauga’s hospitals and a facility in Etobicoke, will also expand that health centre next to the Sherway Gardens mall by 350 beds.
Meanwhile, in Brampton, many are wondering why their city has once again been neglected by the provincial government, which is only providing a 250-bed expansion of Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, for non-acute care, despite a request for at least 850 new beds and the creation of an actual hospital.
Brampton’s business community is losing faith in City Hall after years of tax freezes under Mayor Patrick Brown and inexperienced CAO David Barrick. A damning presentation made by the Board of Trade to budget committee laid bare the recklessness of Brown’s tax freezes.
Business leaders highlighted the lack of basic planning, the late release of information and an air of incompetence emanating from Brampton, its council and staff.
A major GTA developer is using the incentive of a new divisional facility for the Peel Regional Police to skirt local planning scrutiny and apply for a Minister’s Zoning Order that could spring an entire Brampton subdivision.
In a letter to council that resulted in a unanimous request for the Province to waive the standard planning process, the developer, Argo, said time is of the essence to build a new police facility. Despite being front and centre in the builder’s pitch, the new police building would take up less than four percent of the total land that would be developed if Queen’s Park gives the green light to proceed.
The world is hurtling closer to climate instability, with many governments refusing to take the threat seriously. Last week Ontario’s Auditor General, Bonnie Lysyk, released an in-depth report laying out the lack of transparency and effort of provincial ministries tasked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Shortly after, a federal government watchdog released a similar report outlining the lack of climate action on behalf of Canadians. While Earth is heating faster than scientists predicted just a decade ago, the lack of action by politicians is making our future even more unpredictable.
Your hard-earned money is increasingly being spent on the political ambitions of Peel’s elected officials, pet projects that benefit private and personal interests, consultants and other contracted workers with direct ties to City Hall, and, most alarmingly, on the egregious salaries, bonuses and special perks such as lavish car allowances being handed to non-union staff, and some unionized workers, in a municipal sector with little accountability and oversight of the men and women who spend your money.
Juliet Jackson, the president of Peel CAS’ board of directors, has informed staff that controversial CEO Rav Bains has been placed on administrative leave.
Bains has been under scrutiny after a provincially-backed review pointed to financial concerns under his leadership of the organization. Two expenses claimed by the CEO in 2019 for personal success coaches are at the heart of inquiries being carried out by Jackson and the board.
Regional staff are plowing forward with Peel’s plan for the next 30 years, trying to appease those concerned about climate change and others demanding new land for homes. As cities sprawl closer to the beloved Greenbelt the accommodation of the housing market raises questions: will the Region say no to developers; and can smart growth built around transit realistically meet the demands of future home buyers?
Brampton City Council has voted to begin the process of expropriating land held by private property owners in the north of the city to help a group of developers that wants to build a massive subdivision. The highly unusual move could see government powers and public funds being used to benefit private interests.
City staff say it has never been done before. Councillor Harkirat Singh took the unprecedented step of moving the motion for expropriation to help the developers, but has not answered questions about why he did it.
Britannia Farm is one of Mississauga’s best kept secrets. The 200 acres sits almost at the geographic centre of the booming city, right off its busiest boulevard. But it remains closed off to the general public.
For years, Peel District School Board has owned the land, operating a few buildings on the property for educational purposes. But after decades of residents pleading for access to the vast greenspace in their backyard, Carolyn Parrish, the Ward councillor, has helped shape an inviting master plan to create a central outdoor destination in the city that was finished in 2016. Five years later, little movement on the project has taken place and this sprawling greenspace sitting at the heart of an urban transformation remains largely hidden from the residents of Mississauga.
Wednesday saw the Liberals, Greens and NDP stand together asking Ontario’s legislators to support a motion that would bring 850 beds, an actual second emergency department as part of a commitment to transform Peel Memorial into a full-service hospital and a third hospital to address the city’s ongoing hallway healthcare crisis.
But the majority PCs, including Brampton MPPs Prabmeet Sarkaria and Amarjot Sandhu, once again killed the NDP effort to end hallway medicine in Ontario’s fourth largest city.
The past few years have been devastating for cities carrying the brunt of COVID-19 financial losses into 2022.
Even with the pandemic still very much looming over it, Mississauga is continuing to invest in a greener future through various capital projects planned for the coming years.
The City of Mississauga has been aware of asbestos in some of its buildings since at least 2009.
Presented with documents obtained through a freedom of information investigation that show the City has neglected crucial responsibilities aimed at ensuring the safety of the public, staff admitted they failed to follow provincial regulations that demand regular inspections of the cancer-causing material.
The city’s determined arts council is showing Mississauga creatives they can find success in their own community. It’s hard to carve out a space next to the country’s largest city, where artists in all genres are drawn from all corners of Canada, hoping to make it big.
But as the sixth largest municipality continues to boom, its evolving arts scene is gaining momentum.
The City of Mississauga is using most of its 2022 budget simply to keep the lights on, leaving little left over for new investments.
Conservative budgeting by staff who hope the frugal approach will allow them more funding opportunities in the years after COVID-19, will hopefully help residents hit hardest get back on their feet in the meantime.
In a Voir Dire decision, a judge said it has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt Brady Robertson was impaired by drugs when he crashed his vehicle into the SUV of a mother and her three children, but she has not made a final ruling.
At the time, Robertson had eight times the legal limit of THC in a blood sample taken 45 minutes after the deadly accident. The defence is mounting a constitutional challenge against the current laws around impaired driving involving cannabis.
The trucking sector is the backbone of many critical industries in Canada — agriculture, retail, manufacturing, forestry — which rely on trucks and drivers behind the wheel to get their goods to market. But earlier this year, the industry was short 18,000 drivers.
Some drivers who are on the road, experts say, are often under-trained, under-paid, and overworked, putting others at risk while supply chains rely on a stretched labour force.
Young women and girls are trafficked in Peel at a rate that is more than double the national average.
Yet, for those looking to escape this heinous crime, there are few spaces to turn.
New data from the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking shows there is a need to provide increased housing supports for survivors across the country.
Since at least 2012, an increasing number of staff have been leaving the City of Mississauga’s facilities and property management department — taking a significant amount of severance pay with them.
Figures uncovered through a freedom of information request show that, on average over the past nine years, 16 percent of the workforce has left annually. The trend raises concerns about the stability of a department that manages $2 billion worth of infrastructure and thousands of repairs every year.
The PC Party and Premier Doug Ford are betting two major highway projects, pushed by developers, will pave their way to reelection in June next year.
But with a public more and more attuned to a worsening climate crisis, will the environmentally destructive move and his misleading remarks be seen by voters for what they are—old ideas to fix a modern problem?