The PC government has announced it will move forward with the restoration of the previously cancelled downtown Mississauga LRT loop and an extension of the transit line into the Brampton city centre, after the city’s council members rejected the provincially funded alignment in 2015.
But the big question remains: will Doug Ford approve the Brampton LRT alignment demanded by Patrick Brown, who has insisted on a tunnel option that would cost almost $3 billion, about three times more than a surface route?
Peel Manor in Brampton will receive provincial funding for an additional Behavioural Specialized Unit. The investment will introduce 26 new beds, while similar funding needs and increased staffing issues continue to create gaps in senior care across the province.
MPPs, parents, students and teachers within Ontario schools for the deaf and blind still have no answer as to why the PC government refuses to address numerous allegations of abuse, discrimination and ongoing mismanagement—all of which is documented in lawsuits, Ministry of Labour investigations and accounts from parents and teachers.
The current government sees it as nothing more than “opposition rhetoric” and despite overwhelming evidence of failed leadership, the PCs “remain steadfast” in supporting these schools.
In a recent letter to the Region, NIMBY residents have banded together expressing concerns over a Mississauga development meant to bring supportive, affordable housing to the Clarkson community.
As staff report, the Region is only meeting three percent of Peel’s core housing needs; the CEO of Indwell Community Homes, the architect behind the housing project, is defending the organization’s plan to bring more desperately needed affordable housing to Peel.
As Mississauga’s City Hall prepares for a chaotic year with an upcoming mayoral byelection and the PC government’s plan to download several regional services to the lower-tier municipality, Sue McFadden has announced plans to run federally as the candidate for Mississauga—Streetsville with Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party.
McFadden is the second member of Council to seek a political upgrade after former mayor Bonnie Crombie departed in January for her new role as leader of the Ontario Liberals.
Last week Premier Doug Ford announced $25.5 million in funding for infrastructure in the city to help support new housing units.
The amount falls well short of the $200 million annually Brampton City staff have identified as necessary to support the accelerated growth Ford and his PC government have mandated onto the municipality.
Regional officials are scrambling to find sustainable, cost-efficient solutions to address the surge in demand for emergency shelter space. A staff report to Peel councillors on Thursday revealed Peel’s shelters are currently operating at nearly 400 percent capacity. While the Region has submitted yet another claim to the federal government’s Interim Housing Assistance Program for incurred costs, the report calls for sustained funding streams, instead of BAND-AID solutions.
The amount of mental health services for young people in Peel continues to lag far behind what is available in other jurisdictions. This is despite a startling revelation exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that youth were waiting years for help.
Almost four years later, very little has changed.
As the controversy over a proposed 800-acre blasting quarry in northwest Caledon unfolds, local business owners speak out about how the aggregate operation could impact the growing local tourism industry and other commercial interests in the area.
Progress continues on Brampton’s first permanent youth shelter, after council members approved a motion in January, despite opposition from some local residents. Access to affordable housing is one of many obstacles for young people dealing with various challenges unique to their generation.
Cities across southern Ontario are increasingly implementing policies to target the climate crisis and signing declarations affirming their strong commitments to climate action.
But an analysis of the actual achievements municipalities have made, and the latest carbon inventory report show emissions across the GTHA are increasing at an alarming rate, suggesting a lot of the actions taken by municipalities may be simply performative.
On Tuesday the PC government and Premier Doug Ford unveiled the Get it Done Act, an omnibus piece of legislation that Ford billed as a path to getting critical infrastructure built to support housing while keeping “costs down” for people and businesses.
This legislation furthers the environmentally destructive agenda the PCs have been advancing since 2018 by stripping down the environmental assessment process for major infrastructure projects like Highway 413 while doing little to promote the types of housing development Ontario desperately needs.
A new analysis undertaken by an independent air quality engineer working alongside the Forks of the Credit Preservation Group concluded northwest Caledon could quite easily experience harmful levels of particulate matter, above Ministry standards, during the operations of a blasting quarry currently under consideration.
The study is ringing alarm bells about the health of residents in the nearby community and the natural environment.
Studies show Canadians know human sex trafficking is a problem in this country, but many wouldn’t know the warning signs if they encountered them and have no idea how to talk about it with their loved ones.
This lack of knowledge and education has allowed this crime to flourish in recent years.
The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking is releasing a new tool to try and get people talking.
A recent progress report on efforts to fix its disciplinary systems revealed the Peel District School Board continues to hand out suspensions and expulsions to Black and Indigenous students at twice the rate compared to other students.
The board is forming a new committee and looking for Black and Indigenous community members to inform the necessary changes.
The case against Marino Cader, the former director of finance for the Peel Children’s Aid Society charged with defrauding the organization of more than $250,000, will finally be moving ahead following a series of delays. A new trial date is set for April 15.
The charges against Andre Paul, the co-accused in the case, were withdrawn in December after the Crown determined the “scope of [Paul’s] involvement… was significantly less.”
Food Banks Mississauga CEO projects food bank usage will reach an alarming eight percent of the city’s population by May.
While the organization exceeded its fundraising goal in its latest food drive by 21 percent, it is approaching a tipping point where it may soon need to start turning clients away, or providing less food.
Similar situations across Ontario are leading to calls for upper levels of government to reform critical social assistance programs that are currently legislating people to live in poverty.
Community activist and longtime Caledon resident Joe Grogan has, since his retirement from the academic world two decades ago, involved himself in numerous local issues that directly impact the lives of residents. He fears virtual government, a hangover from the pandemic, is eroding public accountability at the municipal level. He writes that our democracy is weakened when voters can’t square off face to face with the elected officials who are supposed to protect them.
The City of Brampton is increasing fines for drivers illegally parking in bike lanes from $35 to $150 as complaints mount. The ongoing conflict between cyclists and drivers highlights a challenge in Brampton where a push for active transportation infrastructure, necessary for achieving critical emission reduction targets, clashes with the city’s historic car-centric design.
While the PC government continues to push a new 400-series corridor across the southern edge of the Greenbelt, Highway 413 has faced widespread community opposition for years. One Caledon councillor might follow the lead of local elected officials across the GTA whose motions cemented formal opposition to the controversial project.
Stealing cars has been happening since they were invented, but the recent increase in violent auto thefts across Peel and beyond has drawn the attention of the federal government. In an effort to tackle the growing trend, Ottawa recently announced two funding envelopes — $121 million for Ontario and another $28 million for the Canada Border Services Agency. As these organized crimes become increasingly violent, local officials are calling for tougher penalties and stricter sentencing, which is nothing new.
As the PC government pressures some of Ontario’s largest municipalities to get housing built, a recent policy report from the Ontario Real Estate Association reveals housing starts were down in 2023. Based on data from the report, the annual pace of construction would need to nearly double to 150,000 new units by 2025 to have any hope of achieving the PCs’ ambitious goal.
Municipalities want the PCs to adjust the criteria for provincial funding incentives, using units approved, rather than housing starts, which cities often can not control.
Mervat Ghaboun recently fled Gaza amid the ongoing bombardment by the Israeli army. She has landed in St. Catharines with relatives, but her siblings are still stuck in the middle of a war.
She is working to bring them to Canada—with every step another roadblock sets her back. She is desperately trying to rescue them from the same fate that took the life of her youngest brother two weeks ago.
Ontario NDP Education Critic Chandra Pasma is calling on the provincial auditor general to investigate the systemic issues plaguing Ontario’s provincial schools for the deaf and blind.
The request follows years of sustained advocacy from parents, teachers and union officials who have sounded the alarm about underfunding, understaffing, abuse and neglect within the board which has led to two class action lawsuits settled by the Ontario government at a cost of over $20 million.
The City of Mississauga wants the PC government to help pay for the exorbitant costs of its irresponsible housing plan.
The demand is part of a submission ahead of the 2024 provincial and federal budgets and calls on Premier Doug Ford to answer questions about billions of dollars for municipal infrastructure needed to support his ill advised housing legislation.
Over a week since the federal government announced $362.4 million in funding for provinces and municipalities struggling to meet the demand created by the surge of asylum seekers, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada remains reluctant to provide Peel Region with details of immediate funding support.
Frustrated by the lack of urgency, Peel’s councillors are calling on Ottawa to designate tax dollars, as staff report the rapidly rising cost to deal with the humanitarian crisis—$68 million is needed in 2024 to support those in desperate need of emergency shelter.
Brampton’s Internal Audit has revealed that under Mayor Patrick Brown the City is not properly maintaining its fleet of vehicles including those that perform critical duties to keep residents safe.
Gaps in procurement processes related to fleet management, overcharges on services that have to be performed outside City-owned maintenance garages which are over capacity and a lack of oversight on vendor spending are among the issues auditors have red flagged.
From the controversial City Hall expansion that resulted in a $28-million lawsuit, to the Brampton University scandal that saw City contracts and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars handed to friends of Mayor Patrick Brown and Councillor Rowena Santos, the City of Brampton has a purchasing history riddled with questionable decision-making that has repeatedly drawn the attention of the Ontario Ombudsman. A new audit has exposed another serious flaw in the way City Hall hands out the public’s money.
As oil companies and plastic producers stand strong on their challenge of the federal government’s listing of plastic as a toxic substance — the basis for the single-use plastic ban that began to unroll in 2022, individual municipalities are considering their own single-use-plastic bylaws within their own borders that support the federal bans.
After the Education Ministry took over governance of the PDSB, following a review that found widespread evidence of discrimination throughout the board, a second progress report on one of the Province’s directives—Eliminating Racial Disparities in Suspensions and Expulsions—revealed little has changed.
Black and Indigenous students still face a stark difference in their treatment and experience inside PDSB schools.
When planning for luxury lakeside condos, a giant wastewater plant next door, radiating putrid smells across the area, is not an ideal scenario for future residents. The Region of Peel, City of Mississauga and development consortium Lakeview Community Partners are working together to upgrade the G.E. Booth wastewater treatment facility, to make it more sustainable and far less stinky.
Last week, the federal government announced $362.4 million in funding for provinces and municipalities struggling to meet demand as asylum seekers rely on overburdened shelter systems across the country. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller told reporters more details on the funding will be released in the coming days, but it remains unclear how much Peel’s overcrowded shelters will get.
In a recent 26-2 vote, Niagara Regional councillors prevented any debate on a proposed motion—which never got to the floor—calling to support a ceasefire in Gaza. Local elected officials blatantly contradicted themselves, claiming regional government is not the place to deal with geopolitical issues, after doing exactly that when they previously passed a resolution in support of Ukraine. How will they overcome charges of discrimination and rebuild broken relationships in their communities?
A month after announcing the procurement of new renewable energy contracts, the PC government announced it would be financing the refurbishment of the Pickering nuclear facility in its efforts to ensure Ontario’s energy grid can keep up with future demand.
Nuclear currently provides about 60 percent of the province’s energy supply, as experts encourage the transition to alternative sources such as wind and solar, while warning that the PC government’s investments in natural gas are moving us in the wrong direction.
At its most recent meeting, the overwhelming majority of Regional Council members refused to consider a motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
While the subject was clearly outside the Region’s jurisdiction, that hasn’t stopped councillors from wading into geopolitical issues before. A previous show of support for Ukraine was not met with the same response. Frustrated community members are now demanding answers from their local elected officials.
A report to City Council Wednesday recommends a June 10 election to replace former mayor Bonnie Crombie. But the City has not confirmed a timeline for a by-election to replace Ward 5 Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who will resign her seat upon registering for the mayoral race. With rookie Councillor Alvin Tedjo also announcing his plan to run in the upcoming by-election, and two other councillors already committed, decisions will have to be made about how to fill at least two vacated seats, and possibly more.
Amid more resignations and newly surfaced emails, Premier Doug Ford is still struggling to regain support from much of his political base, after his PCs schemed to remove 7,400 acres from the protected Greenbelt. While the land has since been returned to its previous status, new information continues to emerge about the backroom deals and unethical process that caused the scandal.
A report being presented to Mississauga councillors on Wednesday outlines a timeline for the by-election to select former mayor Bonnie Crombie’s replacement now that her seat has officially been declared vacant.
June 10 is the earliest possible voting day, which will be determined at a March 6 special council meeting.
While all levels of government grapple with increasing pressure to adopt low and zero emission technologies rapidly, more homeowners are choosing heat pumps for their home’s heating and cooling systems.
Provinces in the east have seen incredible success through a series of rebates and other commitments to energy efficiency. But Ontario, which currently has a low rate of heat pump take-up, is falling behind as the province’s own rebate program is set to expire in March.
A spotlight on Algoma University’s Brampton satellite campus, after student protests over marks, exposes the egregious strategy of admitting thousands of foreign applicants to turn around the school’s flagging finances. It is now flush with money, but the students from India who bailed out the school are now asking why they are not getting the education or resources expected for the exorbitant fees they are paying, at least three times more than what their Canadian and American counterparts at the university are charged. Algoma has no housing in Brampton and almost 5,400 students (there were 540 in 2021) are forced to share 38 classrooms.
A recent letter from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is redirecting the provincially appointed Transition Board, previously meant to facilitate the dissolution of the Region of Peel, to conduct a review of major services currently handled by the Region, to hand them over to Peel’s lower-tier municipalities. Is this the beginning of the breakup Mississauga has been waiting for? Hundreds of staff could be impacted.
Two members of Caledon's Aggregate Resources Community Working Group stood before the Town’s planning and development committee last week and demanded local officials reaffirm their commitment to strengthen weak policies for the aggregate industry. The plea came after work to create better accountability over gravel companies has faltered.
An altercation in November involving students at Cardinal Leger Secondary School in Brampton and a plain-clothed police officer has generated two different narratives about what happened that day. The incident has inflamed tensions between Peel’s Black communities and Peel Police while shining a light on the region’s Catholic school board which is now facing disturbing allegations of systemic anti-Black racism.
With councillors announcing their bid to replace Bonnie Crombie, a recent poll from Liaison Strategies revealed well known Mississauga political leader Carolyn Parrish would win an election held now. It shows she has a double-digit lead over her nearest potential competitor. A by-election to replace Crombie will likely be held late spring or early summer.
A report from Ontario’s Acting Auditor General Nick Stavropoulos, published last month, picks apart the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry which has essentially handed the reins to the aggregate industry, failing to enforce regulations. Community advocates across Caledon have long fought the approval of new pits and quarries, with little oversight of these operations after they are allowed by the Province.
After five years of stalling new renewable energy production, prioritizing natural gas instead, the Doug Ford government has announced the procurement of additional renewable energy that will nearly double capacity by 2035. But following the renewable energy pledge that came out of COP 28 in December, which Canada signed onto, Ontario is still out of step with the national and international policies the country is obligated to fulfill.
A recent letter from the Minister of Transportation has directed provincial transit agency Metrolinx to submit a business case for the restoration of the downtown LRT loop in Mississauga (which was removed from the project by the PCs) and extend the line into the heart of Brampton. But questions around how the move will impact the project’s construction timeline and what the costs of the extensions will be, remain unanswered.
Seven Ontario youth are refusing to back down in their fight against the Ontario government for its harmful policies which have increased emissions across the province. They were in court Monday before a panel of appeal judges who will decide whether the case can proceed after an earlier decision dismissed the youth’s claim that the PCs should be held legally responsible for harm they are causing by failing to act on climate change.
A recent presentation from the Ministry of Transportation on Highway 413 — a highly criticized project that will cause significant environmental harm — was met with frustration by Mississauga councillors. Local officials requested details on the project timeline and costs, but their questions went unanswered after PC government representatives tried to trumpet the controversial transportation plan.
Bonnie Crombie has officially moved on after nearly a decade in the Mississauga mayor’s seat. The mark she left on her city serves as a template for how she might pull Ontario into the future, with a bold, fearless style of leadership unafraid of change. She ushered in an era of municipal politics that finally allowed Mississauga’s government to catch up to the cosmopolitan swagger that had replaced decades of sleepy, homogenous suburban life.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on Canada’s carbon pricing scheme. When compared to nations like Sweden the Liberal government’s policy approach has failed to yield the same results. Trying to appease Canadians—and corporations—across the spectrum has limited the effectiveness of carbon pricing here. For the policy to succeed a line in the sand needs to be drawn, otherwise emissions will continue to rise in a country that has become a laughing stock for our woeful action on climate change.