Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit has been the subject of review, analysis and reform since its inception in 1990. Many recommendations, particularly from Coroner’s Inquests after a police-involved death, have called for improving police training to deal with those in mental health crisis.
Despite these recommendations, and decades of review, police are ill-equipped to deal with many in crisis, leaving devastated families to pick up the pieces.
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.
Ensuring Peel Regional Police can deal with the increasing complexity of modern crime and meeting demands to rethink how police are funded is the delicate balancing act that begins today as the Peel Police Services Board starts discussions on the 2021 budget.
A lack of demand and dollars means MiWay is pausing and slightly reversing its growth for 2021 and 2022.
Reduced service is delivering welcome savings at City Hall, but countless unknowns remain about how the City’s transit bosses will resume their ambitious plans in the years to come.
In some Brampton and Mississauga neighbourhoods, the positivity indicator that shows the percentage of tested residents infected with the novel coronavirus is even higher than the rate across each city.
Many Peel neighbourhoods have among the highest rates of infection in the province.
A report by the Province’s Auditor General has raised concern over the role medical experts are playing in Ontario’s pandemic management.
In Peel, the report’s criticism of testing and contact management may be familiar, while emboldened councillors preoccupied with economic impacts grow more vocal in their attempts to influence Dr. Lawrence Loh as infection rates in the region appear to be out of control.
In Ontario’s COVID-19 hotspot, Peel’s two large school boards are in an increasingly precarious situation.
Staff are juggling in-class and online students simultaneously, while those teaching exclusively online at the Catholic board are being told they have to remain inside the classroom.
Staff are proposing a one percent increase in the City’s share of the 2021 property tax bill.
The recommendation, well below Ontario’s current rate of inflation, is a tradeoff: short-term, cost-saving measures will help property owners and shore up City coffers to weather the remainder of the pandemic; but ambitious projects in the booming municipality could be kept frozen in planning documents that much longer.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Peel has been skipped over by Queen’s Park.
Now, newly released testing data show a rigid approach to screening by the Province and woefully low testing levels in Peel, which are probably largely to blame for Brampton and Mississauga’s unwinnable positions.
For years, the city’s residents have been denied adequate care. In a place whose population is dominated by visible minorities, the attitudes of the man intertwined with Brampton’s healthcare legacy are being either coincidentally or purposely carried forward.
In 2019, Queen’s Park all but declared war on municipalities, pushing through a slew of changes that benefitted big developers and hurt cities. In the year that followed, Premier Doug Ford has continued with many of his controversial changes, but there is one area where the Province appears to be relenting and listening to its municipal partners.
A year after public backlash saved Mississauga’s historic Credit River bridge from demolition, changes to the Environmental Assessment process threaten future input from residents as the PC government floats regulations aimed at removing the involvement of local residents when projects are determined.
After years of research and calls for reform from some trustees, community advocates and students impacted by the program, Peel Regional Police has quashed its School Resource Officer (SRO) initiative.
It’s another indication that Chief Nishan Duraiappah’s mantra of change for Peel Police has started to take root.
Anyone searching for signs of change at the Peel District School Board — or examples of how difficult it is to implement — need look no further than its Regional Learning Choices Programs.
After years of seriously underrepresenting Black and Indigenous students in these high-achieving classes, the board has changed its policy to increase their representation, but there are fears too few parents and families know about the initiative.
After months of obstacles, three racialized members have been appointed to a previously all white Peel teachers’ union executive to combat racism and discrimination.
Despite not officially starting until Wednesday, they have already forced the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) to rethink a poorly handled membership survey soliciting opinions on racism from a predominantly white base.
Adrian Woolley, the president of the Peel Regional Police Association, has criticized his force’s recent efforts to tackle internal issues around racism and discrimination.
In a newsletter to members, he said Chief Nishan Duraiappah’s handling of an agreement with the Ontario Human Rights Commission had been “almost entirely negative” and lamented progressive attempts to reform policing.
Peel also recorded the highest case count of all municipalities Saturday.
The number of patients with COVID-19 in intensive care climbs to 20 between the Trillium and Osler health systems.
Paramedics across Ontario are subjected to widespread abuse when assisting patients in a range of traumatic circumstances. The crises people in need of help go through too often result in the lashing out against women and men trying to assist them.
A new reporting tool developed by Peel’s External Violence Against Paramedics Working Group is one of several initiatives to help mitigate abuse against first responders, which has become all too common in Canada.
The federal government recently announced that in order to make up for a shortfall in immigration applications processed this year as a result of COVID-19, it will be increasing its already ambitious targets for newcomers over the next three years.
History, and recent studies, have shown the majority of these new arrivals will settle in cities outside of major centres like Toronto and Vancouver.
The new measures come as Peel’s cumulative COVID-19 case count races closer to 20,000.
With its daily infection rate in the region, easily the highest per capita level in the province, contact tracers trying to contain the viral spread are being stretched beyond capacity, forcing the public to step in.
Peel Region’s medical officer of health, Doctor Lawrence Loh, had stark warnings for councillors on Thursday as he surveyed Peel’s terrible COVID-19 picture.
Despite the gravity of his tone, councillors tailored many of their questions around the economic impact of measures designed to stop the virus from spreading further, instead of the need to protect public health.
Even a small influx of COVID-19 patients can tip hospitals – which routinely run near capacity in the fall and winter months – into ‘code gridlock’.
In Mississauga, Trillium Health System hospitals are operating at more than full capacity. Patients are also being transferred out of William Osler Health System hospitals to accommodate those requiring treatment for COVID-19.
Peel is still conducting contact tracing, “But our ability to do so is increasingly challenged,” Peel’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, said Tuesday.
The current contagion spreading across parts of the region beyond the ability to control it, means some efforts may be limited to outbreak points and other severe hotspots.
As Peel Region has dominated the COVID-19 news cycle in Ontario, many in Mississauga have reassured themselves by blaming Brampton.
But, as the virus continues to spread, the city’s mayor and the region’s medical officer of health have cautioned that focussing on Brampton creates a false sense of security in Peel’s largest city, where cases are also disturbingly high.
Health Minister Christine Elliott reported 468 new COVID-19 cases in Peel Wednesday, compared to 384 in Toronto.
The region’s per capita rate is far higher than any other part of Ontario, as the viral spread across parts of Peel now threatens to get out of control ahead of the winter flu season.
On the eve of Peel’s latest restriction measures, the region once again reached its highest level of daily cases. Medical professionals have questioned why restaurants and gyms in heavy-hit Mississauga and especially Brampton were allowed to reopen Saturday.
While new restrictions come in effect this week, there’s no clear explanation on how enforcement will work and what penalties will be handed out if residents and businesses ignore the latest rules.
As Peel’s COVID picture becomes the centre of an Ontario-wide discussion, teachers in the region are growing uneasy.
The latest figures reveal more than one in three PDSB and DPCDSB schools have at least one active case of COVID-19, prompting OSSTF to request stricter measures from public health officials to safeguard classrooms.
In an attempt to get a handle on surging COVID-19 case numbers in Peel, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel's chief medical officer, announced enhanced public health restrictions for the region over the weekend.
Now, with public health staff lagging behind on critical tasks like contact tracing and local hospitals filled to capacity, the Province has finally stepped in to help.
Is the legacy auto industry in southern Ontario playing catch-up with the new powers in the sector? Will former outliers like Tesla and its colourful owner Elon Musk, win the innovation battle in the auto market?
After a week avoiding confrontation with the Province and attempting to work within its framework, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, asked on Friday to remain in a modified Stage 2.
Despite dire warnings from William Osler, experiencing worse hospital capacity issues than it did during the first COVID-19 wave, Premier Doug Ford allowed restaurants and gyms to reopen with extremely limited capacity.
This is the first of a two-part feature on the future of the auto industry in southern Ontario. As the cost of hybrids and e-autos go down, the pressure on legacy automakers to make changes to compete, ratchets up.
Diwali is just over a week away, but COVID-19 policy discussion around the major celebration is far sparser than for either Thanksgiving or Halloween. In Brampton, Peel Public Health is taking a strong stance, but the City’s messaging is less clear.
While municipal officials are allowing, even encouraging the use of fireworks, plans for virtual offerings to discourage groups in Brampton from celebrating together and risk increasing the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario’s worst hit city, have been absent.
Come Saturday, COVID restrictions in Peel will ease and indoor dining, fitness classes and small gatherings will be allowed under Provincial guidelines.
The move has been publicly advocated by Brampton and Mississauga’s mayors, even in the face of the worst viral picture in the province.
Peel Region has been allocated $30.4 million based on the federal government’s assessment of severe housing needs among renters and the homeless, as the supply of rental units appears to have temporarily increased due to the pandemic.
Lakeview Community Partners, the development consortium building one of the most anticipated projects in Mississauga, is suggesting the federal and provincial governments help pay for the creation of a district energy and vacuum waste system.
But local residents, who have already seen the developer push through thousands more units than originally proposed, aren’t happy about a taxpayer-funded handout.
The region’s test positivity rate had also increased to 5.4 percent by mid-October, up from 3.6 percent at the beginning of the month.
It’s one of the indicators that shows Peel heading in the wrong direction as businesses reel from the ongoing restriction measures, while families hope the holiday season can be salvaged.
Brampton is struggling to win critics over to support its plan to build a progressive, urban boulevard in the middle of a proposed 400-series highway. Staff and councillors at the Region of Peel are the latest to question how a highway and mixed-use corridor can coexist.
The city’s novel coronavirus test positivity rate is trending up, rising to 9.6 percent from 8.1 percent the previous week. Despite a climb in cases the Province has not committed to adding a second full assessment centre in Brampton. If numbers don't come down current restrictions such as the prohibition on indoor dining, might have to remain in place past the initial 28-day period.
With COVID-19 cases surging across Ontario and the novel coronavirus slipping through the doors of more and more schools, parents embark on a grassroots plan – calling it “long past due” – to ensure their children remain safe, despite the Province’s failures.
Next week’s budget will reveal Queen’s Park’s commitment to keeping the virus from spreading deeper into Ontario’s education system.
The latest surge of COVID-19 has raised more questions about the work world’s ability to adapt.
An office provider in Mississauga believes people can’t work at home forever, and flexible office spaces in suburban settings might be key to our economic recovery.
The number of schools with cases of COVID-19 in Peel is steadily rising, with more than one in four at the PDSB and DPCDSB registering at least one active COVID-19 case.
Presented with the concerning data, the head of Peel Public Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, categorically ruled out closures without providing any further insights.
The region’s top public health doctor says the current 28-day modified closure can’t be lifted with COVID-19 battering Brampton and Mississauga.
Recent data from Peel Public Health shows a worrying regression, with 8.1 percent of tests in Brampton returning a positive result and hospitals nearing capacity.
Peel Region councillors are calling for urgent measures after two consecutive regional budgets offered next to no investments into new affordable units or shelter spaces to help the homeless, and those trying to escape abusive relationships.
The country’s first COVID winter has created a desperate situation as the most vulnerable run out of options.
Many keep going to work despite the high risk of infection. Often, they don’t have a choice, relying on their employers to keep them safe. But in some cases, they have been let down.
With the viral spread in Peel picking up speed, keeping our essential workers safe should be a priority.
It took a punishing pandemic and a damning report from our military to expose some of the deep flaws in our retirement homes and long-term care system. But elder abuse goes much deeper, into our tone-deaf legal system, and our ill-designed power-of-attorney rules that put in jeopardy the life savings and well-being of our loved ones.
A local cleanup operation jumped into action Friday after a business allowed diesel to spill into the Credit River. The spill is the worst of its kind since the early 2000s and illustrates the fragility of Mississauga’s natural ecosystem.
Mississauga and Brampton mayors have criticized the Province’s decision to include Peel Region in the modified Phase 2 restrictions, citing a lack of data when targeting businesses, including the food industry. Many entrepreneurs in the sector, like Mississauga's Irine D’Cunha, can’t be helped, even with a new support program rolled out by Ottawa.
In long-term care homes and for those accessing these types of home-based services, creating an environment that caters to a senior’s ‘cultural needs’ is crucial. But a combination of issues is blocking this from happening.
Peel Regional Police unveiled a new anti-discrimination project this week in partnership with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Dubbed by both organizations as “legally binding”, community members have shared their concern that the force, dogged by revelations of its discriminatory culture, is on another PR mission instead of actually seeking transformative change.
A motion tabled by Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish was voted down last week. It called for a two-thirds majority around the council table when elected officials choose to overrule the expertise of their own planners during development-related disputes. Parrish argued that avoiding predictable defeats at the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal will save taxpayer dollars and reduce the price of new residential and commercial units in the city.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Brampton’s Patrick Brown face the same dilemma as most entrepreneurs in their cities: they want to jump start the economy and get revenues flowing but the daily COVID case numbers in Peel continue to trend in the wrong direction. If things don’t turn around, the current 28-day return to much of the Stage 2 lockdown could be extended.
Campaigners in Peel have been pushing since at least June to change the profile of Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) Division 19’s leadership. Last week, the executive agreed to let an anti-Black racism committee appoint three new senior positions. Despite the success, 28 percent of the union’s top brass voted against the move, showing there is still work to be done.