UPDATED: INTERACTIVE MAP shows latest COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga schools and neighbourhood infection rates

UPDATED: INTERACTIVE MAP shows latest COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga schools and neighbourhood infection rates

With Peel students back in the classroom this week, it will be essential for parents to have as much information as possible about their child’s school and its surrounding area. 

The Pointer’s updated interactive map shows all schools located in Brampton and Mississauga neighbourhoods and the COVID-19 infection rates per capita for those areas. 



Peel’s battle with opioid crisis on hold as overdoses spike; advocates want COVID-type response 

Peel’s battle with opioid crisis on hold as overdoses spike; advocates want COVID-type response 

COVID-19 has disrupted the world’s drug supply, forced people into isolation and has led to a surge in opioid related overdoses. 

In Peel, much of the long-term effort to battle the opioid crisis has been placed on hold with the lion’s share of public health resources allocated to fight the novel coronavirus, a fight that should be mirrored to deal with mounting drug-related deaths. 



‘To go to work every day to see your residents dying is a horrible way to work’: care homes need help before next wave 

‘To go to work every day to see your residents dying is a horrible way to work’: care homes need help before next wave 

The first wave of COVID-19 exposed a critical problem in long-term care homes across Canada: many are unable to maintain properly staffed shifts.

Through the first wave of the pandemic, a number of recommendations and calls to action have been made by political leaders and seniors’ advocates to ensure the problem doesn’t repeat itself in the inescapable second wave. So far the province has remained silent.



40% of Ontario schools with COVID-19 cases located in Mississauga or Brampton 

40% of Ontario schools with COVID-19 cases located in Mississauga or Brampton 

With schools in Brampton and Mississauga reporting new cases of the novel coronavirus daily, Peel finds itself vastly overrepresented in the total number of elementary and secondary education institutions with infections. 

As the virus continues to enter the classroom, the region’s two school boards are struggling to finalize plans while students and parents grow more impatient. 



With seven times the case rate compared to early August, Peel sees first class closure; 38 schools now have infections

With seven times the case rate compared to early August, Peel sees first class closure; 38 schools now have infections

Parts of Ontario have forced the entire province backward, as rules to reduce the size of social gatherings originally applied to just Peel, Toronto and Ottawa, are now in effect for all of Ontario. The recent viral spread in Peel, with seven times as many cases over five days compared to a five-day period about a month ago, comes as the number of schools reporting cases across Brampton and Mississauga increases rapidly.



Brampton gets another testing site for the ‘foreseeable future’ to fight second wave of COVID

Brampton gets another testing site for the ‘foreseeable future’ to fight second wave of COVID

Two weeks after Doug Ford said he could send pop-up testing centres to help Brampton with its COVID-19 crisis, new spaces have opened.

One will be in place for more than just temporary relief, offering desperately needed help to William Osler and its pitiful testing record in the city. 



‘A highway to nowhere’: Green Party Leader, community advocates, push back against GTA West Highway 

‘A highway to nowhere’: Green Party Leader, community advocates, push back against GTA West Highway 

The PC government is steamrolling ahead with its plans for Highway 413 which will run along the edge of the Greenbelt and down Brampton’s west side. 

Community advocates have seen enough and are once again mobilizing to fight the project. They are trying to prevent the environmental degradation that would be brought on by the major roadway and the ensuing development. 



Questions remain as Lakeview Village approaches final approval

Questions remain as Lakeview Village approaches final approval

A public meeting for the flagship waterfront development is one of the last opportunities for local residents to have their say.

While many think developers and locals are closing in on a compromise, concerns remain over height, transit and the viability of some of the project’s environmental features.



Man who killed Caledon mother and her three daughters facing new charges of drug-impaired driving causing death

Man who killed Caledon mother and her three daughters facing new charges of drug-impaired driving causing death

Brady Robertson of Caledon has been charged with four counts of operating a vehicle while impaired, causing the deaths of a mother and her three young daughters in a violent crash. The charges were revealed three months after Robertson slammed his car into the family vehicle on a busy Brampton street, which led to four dangerous driving charges.



While forces across the country proceed carefully, Peel Police rushes ahead with accelerated plan for body-worn cameras

While forces across the country proceed carefully, Peel Police rushes ahead with accelerated plan for body-worn cameras

Peel Regional Police is sprinting ahead with an effort to equip all frontline officers with body-worn cameras. 

The initiative has received heavy criticism from members of the public and will have to contend with a number of hurdles from a practical perspective, such as the “tsunami” of data that will have to be managed. 

With so many unanswered questions, it’s unclear why Peel Police is rushing ahead with the project.



No evidence to suggest multigenerational households responsible for Brampton’s rise in COVID cases

No evidence to suggest multigenerational households responsible for Brampton’s rise in COVID cases

Over the last week, multigenerational homes came under fire after speculation swirled that they contributed to the spread of the novel coronavirus in the municipality that has become Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspot.

But experts are asking people not to point fingers, and understand the other underlying circumstances that have led to the high case count in Brampton.  



Peel schools with COVID cases more than double; 29 now on list including one in Malton with multiple infections

Peel schools with COVID cases more than double; 29 now on list including one in Malton with multiple infections

Peel’s COVID-19 woes continue, with reported school cases in Mississauga and Brampton more than doubling in a little over 24 hours. New infections mean Peel, as of Thursday morning, was responsible for almost half of Ontario’s school cases as the first full week back at school splutters on. 



Brampton NDP MPP’s vague motion for emergency COVID help in Peel passes at Queen’s Park

Brampton NDP MPP’s vague motion for emergency COVID help in Peel passes at Queen’s Park

After calling Brampton’s COVID-19 situation “broken”, the Opposition NDP say Doug Ford will now have to fix the problem he is largely responsible for. A motion by Brampton North’s Kevin Yarde passed in the legislature Thursday, calling for “urgent” assistance to get Peel’s disproportionate infection spread under control. It’s unclear if the successful resolution will bring a second assessment centre to Brampton, where its 650,000 residents have only had one testing site since the beginning of the pandemic, despite having the province’s highest per capita rate of cases during long stretches since April.



Province and local officials continue to ignore high case numbers and low testing in Brampton 

Province and local officials continue to ignore high case numbers and low testing in Brampton 

In front of the entire province, Brampton was called out for its lack of testing. On more than one occasion, the city has been named a hotspot. 

Local and provincial officials, including Premier Doug Ford and Mayor Patrick Brown, claim they want to see the city do better, yet their lack of action contributes to the city’s suffering. 



14 schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga

14 schools with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brampton and Mississauga

As Ontario continues to see a spike in new COVID-19 infections, the virus has found its way into schools across Brampton and Mississauga.

To date, the school cases have not resulted in any classroom closures. 



Ford said he would help Brampton’s ‘broken’ COVID situation; MPP tabling motion demanding resources

Ford said he would help Brampton’s ‘broken’ COVID situation; MPP tabling motion demanding resources

NDP MPP Kevin Yarde will force a vote Thursday calling for more investment for Peel Public Health to help deal with COVID-19 cases spreading through Brampton. The motion will test the resolve of Premier Doug Ford who has repeatedly said he wants to help impacted regions and claimed money is no object.

One question no one wants to answer: why isn’t testing capacity in the city being increased?  



Could Brampton’s high rates of COVID-19 sink struggling businesses in Mississauga? 

Could Brampton’s high rates of COVID-19 sink struggling businesses in Mississauga? 

Rising instances of COVID-19 have been under the microscope recently, as Toronto, Ottawa and Brampton deal with large outbreaks.

In Mississauga, bound to Brampton by Peel Public Health, businesses and residents are in danger of being punished for a problem they did not cause. 



Three more PDSB schools report COVID-19 cases as Peel’s numbers continue climbing

Three more PDSB schools report COVID-19 cases as Peel’s numbers continue climbing

After students were welcomed back into classes last week, a total of five schools in the Peel District School Board have now confirmed cases of COVID-19, as the region and other parts of Ontario experience a resurgence of the viral spread. The high COVID numbers and latest school cases come as PDSB saw 10,000 students opt to switch out of in-class learning in favour of online education, forcing the board to delay its live virtual offerings to students.



Ford and Elliott warn Peel could be sent back to Stage 2; Crombie says Mississauga is not the problem

Ford and Elliott warn Peel could be sent back to Stage 2; Crombie says Mississauga is not the problem

The Premier and Ontario’s Health Minister said Monday that if Peel and other regions, such as Toronto and Ottawa, continue to see dramatic increases in COVID-19 cases, they will be forced to again shutdown facilities and services that were allowed to reopen under Stage 3 of the province’s pandemic response plan.

Mississauga’s mayor says her city should not be punished if other parts of Peel are the problem.



PDSB sees 10,000 students switch to online option as Peel’s COVID-19 cases surge

PDSB sees 10,000 students switch to online option as Peel’s COVID-19 cases surge

The region’s largest school board sent a message to families Saturday, informing them that due to increased demand for virtual learning, instead of the in-class option, additional time will be required ahead of this week’s plans to engage students more directly online. Starting Monday, until the end of the week, elementary students will have to work independently, while the board puts its plan in place to begin a more directed, teacher-led virtual learning experience. High school students will not get live online learning for another week.



RCMP charge former Brampton MP Raj Grewal with fraud, breach of trust after three-year investigation 

RCMP charge former Brampton MP Raj Grewal with fraud, breach of trust after three-year investigation 

Brampton East’s beleaguered former MP Raj Grewal who left the Liberal caucus in 2018 after gambling problems derailed his political career, is facing a number of charges laid by the RCMP Friday in relation to his suspicious financial transactions and the use of government funds for his personal benefit. 

It’s unclear if any of the charges relate to Grewal’s role in a controversial Brampton land deal that saw him receive confidential information about the transaction before a company bought the property and sold it to the City for $1 million more than expected. 



Is tunnelling an LRT a barrier to creating complete communities & a drain on other badly needed transit investment?

Is tunnelling an LRT a barrier to creating complete communities & a drain on other badly needed transit investment?

The City of Brampton, led by a push from Mayor Patrick Brown, wants to tunnel a portion of the proposed Main Street LRT extension into the city centre. It would cost as much as $1.3 billion more than a surface alignment. 

The Government of Ontario’s plan to tunnel a large section of the Eglinton West LRT Extension from Toronto to Mississauga will achieve marginally shorter journey times.

But these expensive alignments raise questions about investment in other Peel transit projects and the opportunity to create more dense, walkable communities.



After Ford calls Brampton’s pandemic response ‘broken’, local leaders refuse to take any responsibility 

After Ford calls Brampton’s pandemic response ‘broken’, local leaders refuse to take any responsibility 

As Brampton’s skyrocketing case numbers continue to alarm residents, and with Peel Region currently experiencing the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in Ontario, a new Cold & Flu screening facility was announced Wednesday. But details around the planned clinic are scarce.

It’s not clear how it will help curb the alarming local COVID-19 rate. Woefully low testing levels are not being addressed and residents will have to wait to learn if the clinic will have any impact on Brampton’s current crisis. Meanwhile, Mayor Patrick Brown and the CEO of the city’s hospital network responsible for testing, are pointing a finger elsewhere and say they are doing a great job.



Concern over lack of COVID-19 protocols, cases in Peel schools as first day gets off to rocky start

Concern over lack of COVID-19 protocols, cases in Peel schools as first day gets off to rocky start

Now that schools are in session, protocols for how to handle viral spread in classrooms are top of mind for many, especially with numbers in Brampton rising rapidly. Teachers at one Mississauga school temporarily walked off the job Tuesday.

Discussions on Ontario’s back-to-school plans have seen opposition since they were first announced, with teachers and parents arguing safety is suffering. Some are questioning if the measures implemented by both boards will be enough to keep students and educators safe.



Vast majority of Peel schools in areas with high COVID-19 infection rates located in Brampton 

Vast majority of Peel schools in areas with high COVID-19 infection rates located in Brampton 

An analysis of the geographic spread of COVID-19 in the Region of Peel by The Pointer shows 60 schools in Brampton are located in neighbourhoods with around double, or higher, the rate of COVID-19 compared to the provincial per capita figure.

There are just 10 in Mississauga. 



Classrooms across Brampton will reopen Tuesday & Wednesday despite mounting fear over COVID-19

Classrooms across Brampton will reopen Tuesday & Wednesday despite mounting fear over COVID-19

New cases in the city are causing alarm among residents and provincial officials, but neither of the two public school boards have indicated classes will be delayed.

Unlike other neighbouring boards that have pushed the first day of in-class learning back by a week, to get a better handle on the situation and prepare for a worst case scenario, Brampton families will be sending their children back into classrooms starting this Tuesday for some high school students and Wednesday for the first groups of elementary students, with the city currently recording the worst COVID-19 rates of any municipality in the country.



Mumbai suburb offers a blueprint for how Mississauga can outgrow Toronto

Mumbai suburb offers a blueprint for how Mississauga can outgrow Toronto

Bandra, a booming suburb of Mumbai, has outgrown its parent city, regarded as one of the most exciting, diverse and wealthy areas in the region. Its secret? Creative industries and people-powered development. A series of parallels with Mississauga offer a template for how Canada’s sixth largest city can continue to grow the right way, far beyond its sprawling suburban past. 



Brampton’s skyrocketing COVID cases, with almost 40% of Ontario’s total Wednesday, have Doug Ford asking what Patrick Brown is doing

Brampton’s skyrocketing COVID cases, with almost 40% of Ontario’s total Wednesday, have Doug Ford asking what Patrick Brown is doing

Ontario Premier Doug Ford zeroed in on Brampton’s alarming rate of COVID-19 cases at a news conference Friday, after the city accounted for nearly 40 percent of the province’s total on Wednesday.

It’s a shocking trend that has continued since Brampton entered Stage 3 near the beginning of August. Ford expressed concern over the local management of the pandemic and offered to send extra testing, but could not get a hold of Mayor Patrick Brown. 



‘The Lebanese people will never forget’ – a month after deadly explosion, Lebanese-Canadians continue badly needed fundraising efforts

‘The Lebanese people will never forget’ – a month after deadly explosion, Lebanese-Canadians continue badly needed fundraising efforts

Mississauga’s Lebanese community has stepped up to help their loved ones back home.

Initiatives for those suffering from the blast have made a difference, but as the days pass, fallout from the massive explosion spreads and more support is needed.



‘Hypocrisy of the highest level’: White Peel police union boss called out for racially charged social media behaviour 

‘Hypocrisy of the highest level’: White Peel police union boss called out for racially charged social media behaviour 

The National Council of Canadian Muslims and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie have criticized Peel police union president Adrian Woolley for his “dog-whistle” politics and “divisive” use of social media to stoke racial and religious tension in one of Canada’s most diverse regions.

Woolley, who was convicted of drunk driving last year, represents frontline officers in Ontario’s third largest police force. 



The run that captured the Canadian spirit four decades ago won’t let a pandemic slow it down

The run that captured the Canadian spirit four decades ago won’t let a pandemic slow it down

This year’s Terry Fox Run will include a virtual walk in response to the world-wide pandemic. On September 1, 40 years ago, he ended his Marathon of Hope. Two months earlier, he was running down Main Street in Brampton. And on July 13, 1980, Fox made his way along Lakeshore Rd., passing Hwy. 10 at around 3:30 p.m. He was wearing a City of Mississauga T-shirt. On that day, the city’s residents donated $17,103 to the Canadian Cancer Society in his honour. Many ran out of their homes as he passed by to drop money into a pledge box.

Fox ran 5,373 kilometres across the country to raise money for cancer research.



Too early to open schools, Peel union exec says; province facing Labour Board challenge over potentially unsafe conditions 

Too early to open schools, Peel union exec says; province facing Labour Board challenge over potentially unsafe conditions 

Ontario’s largest teachers’ unions are taking the provincial government to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, challenging the efficacy of the school reopening framework, claiming it creates an unsafe working environment. 

In Peel, where a large proportion of Ontario’s COVID-19 cases continue to be recorded in Brampton, it’s more important than ever to reopen safely. 



A flashback to the past has brought Port Credit businesses much needed relief 

A flashback to the past has brought Port Credit businesses much needed relief 

On Mississauga's historic waterfront, local restaurants and stores have been sent spinning by COVID-19.

Since the city moved to Stage 3, an innovative community event has drawn locals and their wallets back, along with classic Camaros and glittering Chevelles, offering a last minute boost before colder weather sets in. 



Justice can’t bring Kevin Dickman back, but friends found the former police officer now charged with assault 50 years later

Justice can’t bring Kevin Dickman back, but friends found the former police officer now charged with assault 50 years later

Brampton’s street urchin was a person who suffered horrible abuse. This is the inside story of a life badly lived, of a young boy denied hope and the former policeman and Big Brother who was recently charged after 50 years. He was entrusted with the boy’s care. This man will now face the kind of justice that eluded Kevin Dickman all his life.



Instead of tax hikes, reining in sky high labour costs could ease Mississauga’s COVID-19 pressures

Instead of tax hikes, reining in sky high labour costs could ease Mississauga’s COVID-19 pressures

Past the halfway point in 2020, Mississauga is beginning to consider the difficult task of budgeting in 2021. Despite some savings and a bailout, City Hall is still facing a significant deficit, with fewer and fewer ways to balance its accounts. The layoffs of part-time seasonal staff might need to be matched by a hard look at skyrocketing labour costs that have been ignored for years.



PDSB confirms staggered return to school as new provincial framework lays pandemic responsibility at the feet of Peel Public Health 

PDSB confirms staggered return to school as new provincial framework lays pandemic responsibility at the feet of Peel Public Health 

Announcements from the federal and provincial governments and Peel District School Board have shed further light on plans for a return to school.

New details include how local health units will contain outbreaks and when students in Mississauga and Brampton will be back in the classroom. 



Updated numbers show Brampton had 24% of Ontario’s COVID cases Sunday as provincial numbers rise

Updated numbers show Brampton had 24% of Ontario’s COVID cases Sunday as provincial numbers rise

Stage 3 of reopening in the province is proving to be a challenge, with case counts spiking and Brampton posing a particular problem. The opening of establishments such as bars and restaurants has caused COVID-19 cases across North America and other parts of the world to rise, raising questions about whether efforts to kick start the economy are being made at the expense of safety, possibly plunging jurisdictions into a second wave of the pandemic.



Will your child’s teacher be in class this September?

Will your child’s teacher be in class this September?

Teachers who are at high risk of serious complications from COVID-19 or caring for someone immunocompromised have the option to apply for online teaching only, but unions say some staff may be denied on a situational basis.

Those who are not in the high risk category but are older might have to take an unpaid leave of absence, or resign. It’s late August and many teachers are scrambling to decide what to do.



This Mississauga neighbourhood has the highest rate of COVID-19 in Peel and it’s not even close

This Mississauga neighbourhood has the highest rate of COVID-19 in Peel and it’s not even close

A Census tract subdivision in the Cooksville area of Mississauga has an infection rate that is 14 times higher than the overall rate in Peel, strongly connected to the presence of a hard-hit long-term care home. Yet, a look at Census tract data reveals other key demographics linked to high COVID rates in particular Mississauga and Brampton neighbourhoods. 

Here is a breakdown of the neighbourhood, which shows some of the demographic patterns.



Almost 30% of Ontario COVID cases reported Sunday were in Peel; Brampton numbers continue to spike

Almost 30% of Ontario COVID cases reported Sunday were in Peel; Brampton numbers continue to spike

The province’s fourth largest city continues to pose a problem, with infection rates that have been far higher than those seen in other parts of Ontario since Brampton was allowed to enter Stage 3 at the end of July. With parents already anxious about sending children back into schools at the start of September, the city’s inability to control the virus creates an added layer of concern.



PDSB won’t disclose finances, creating uncertainty around board’s ability to deal with pandemic 

PDSB won’t disclose finances, creating uncertainty around board’s ability to deal with pandemic 

Under provincial rules, the Peel District School Board says it’s allowed to use up to $36.6 million from its reserves to hire additional staff and meet other additional needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure a safe return for students in the fall.

With the board refusing to provide information that other Ontario school boards have freely disclosed, it remains unclear whether PDSB has enough money to get through this pandemic.



Where The Mississaugas once thrived a city struggles to honour a past that has faded away

Where The Mississaugas once thrived a city struggles to honour a past that has faded away

Offensive names and logos such as those used by a popular hockey club in the city are the only representations of Indigenous and First Nations heritage that many Mississauga residents ever see. In a place where civilization and history long outdates any arrival of European traditions, the memory of The Mississauga has mostly disappeared. Like the smoke that vanishes after land acknowledgements, both symbolize the hypocrisy of words without action.



In Brampton a community mourns another senseless killing

In Brampton a community mourns another senseless killing

A “good soul” lost to violence. A candle-light vigil and march were held Saturday in Brampton for a young man killed in a vicious robbery.

Surajdeep Singh’s family is in shock and the city’s massive Sikh community is shattered. Members are demanding justice and change as more and more youth die from brazen acts of violence.



PART 3 - The Harrison murders: Peel police finally catch a killer, but expose their own failures 

PART 3 - The Harrison murders: Peel police finally catch a killer, but expose their own failures 

In the final story of this three-part series, The Pointer looks at the death of Caleb Harrison and how the ensuing homicide investigation shed new light on the deaths of his parents, forcing Peel Police officers to accept their own missteps. Bill and Bridget Harrison’s son might still be alive if trained investigators had done their job. 



‘A huge sigh of relief’: 20-year-old denied bail after dangerous driving charges following death of four Caledon family members

‘A huge sigh of relief’: 20-year-old denied bail after dangerous driving charges following death of four Caledon family members

Signing into the conference call that would determine the decision, several family members of the victims declared their name and relationship to their deceased relatives, a mother and her three young daughters, for the record. About an hour later, when the bail decision for Brady Robertson was made, they cried in relief.



Criminal investigation being conducted as Gurpreet Dhillon & City of Brampton sued for $2M by woman alleging sexual assault in Turkey

Criminal investigation being conducted as Gurpreet Dhillon & City of Brampton sued for $2M by woman alleging sexual assault in Turkey

A statement of claim alleges both parties are “liable” for the alleged assault that took place in November. Councillor Dhillon denies the allegations laid out in the statement of claim and says he will “vigorously defend” himself against the lawsuit. Peel police have confirmed with The Pointer that Turkish authorities are currently conducting a criminal investigation.



‘The project should be cancelled’ – new report by Environmental Defence takes aim at GTA West Highway

‘The project should be cancelled’ – new report by Environmental Defence takes aim at GTA West Highway

The advocacy group says irreversible damage to the environment, increases in emissions and a failure to reduce congestion will result from the construction of the highway being pushed by developers and the Doug Ford PC government. Instead of “sinking” taxpayer money into the project the group is asking the province to take another look at better alternatives for transportation through the area.



PART 2 - The Harrison murders: Failing to catch a killer

PART 2 - The Harrison murders: Failing to catch a killer

Three family members were killed inside their Mississauga home four years apart. Despite obvious signs of foul play, Peel Regional Police didn’t pursue a homicide investigation in the first two deaths. How was this allowed to happen?

In Part 2 of a three-part series, The Pointer looks at the death of Bridget Harrison and how egregious lapses in police judgement and poor management led to the entire Harrison case getting shelved, in the face of glaring clues. 



For students taking a school bus in September, parents face another layer of anxiety

For students taking a school bus in September, parents face another layer of anxiety

Reopening frameworks for school boards include little mention of seating arrangements for school buses, which could be filled to capacity, a concern for parents and drivers, while it remains unclear how students in class half-time will be provided transportation to and from school.



Visible minority-owned businesses face unique struggles during COVID-19 crisis

Visible minority-owned businesses face unique struggles during COVID-19 crisis

The federal government has offered support to business owners, but many have fallen through the cracks and see no future as entrepreneurs. Loans for some have been hard to come by and rent subsidies have not reached many commercial tenants, as property owners have the final say.