With a new owner Brampton’s Fiat Chrysler plant faces an uncertain future

With a new owner Brampton’s Fiat Chrysler plant faces an uncertain future

The next few months or years promise to be a ‘combustible’ time for the old Chrysler assembly line on Williams Parkway as it falls under new ownership. Can muscle cars keep the doors open in an age of sweeping policies to curb climate change?



City Hall doesn’t reflect its residents; can Mississauga’s white leadership change this?

City Hall doesn’t reflect its residents; can Mississauga’s white leadership change this?

A survey of staff at City Hall has confirmed what most already knew: local government does not look like its residents. Less than 30 percent of the City’s staff identify as racialized, compared to about 60 percent of the Mississauga population, while the highest level of leadership is exclusively white.

The leader in charge of the diversity portfolio is also a white man. Eleven out of twelve council members are white. Without the lived experience, some question if they are an illustration of City Hall’s culture of indifference toward equity and inclusion.



Movement on downtown Brampton Reimagined project ‘like rolling Jell-O uphill’

Movement on downtown Brampton Reimagined project ‘like rolling Jell-O uphill’

Creating a beautiful cityscape throughout a decaying downtown has been on the agenda for Brampton City Council for decades. Dysfunction among council members has returned, jeopardizing the future of a city centre desperately in need of a complete makeover. Wednesday’s meeting was an exercise in futility and local business owners are ready to revolt.



‘Grotesque’: Brampton councillors will get details on alarming raises for senior staff during pandemic

‘Grotesque’: Brampton councillors will get details on alarming raises for senior staff during pandemic

In a committee meeting, councillors found out that Brampton, during a year when the city was crushed by a public health crisis, saw the biggest jump in the number of employees on the “sunshine list” to date. Anxious not to repeat mistakes of the past, some councillors want a much needed discussion around senior staff salaries and perks, considering their responsibility to protect the taxpayers they represent.



Will the 2021 Census help Brampton finally get its fair share of funding?

Will the 2021 Census help Brampton finally get its fair share of funding?

In a city that has faced tremendous population growth over the past three decades, which is projected to last at least another 20 years, Brampton has remained grossly underfunded. With one full-service hospital for a population approaching 700,000 and a lack of equitable public funding in almost all key government sectors, an issue that has loomed for years is the difficulty to accurately account for the city’s population. The current Census represents an opportunity to finally change this and secure a fair share of funding.



City of Brampton once again violates freedom of information legislation

City of Brampton once again violates freedom of information legislation

For the second time in the past six months, staff have violated guidelines under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. After CAO David Barrick illegally changed the staff member responsible for handling FOI requests and took over authority of the role, without the knowledge or approval of council, his administration is now ignoring legislated timelines to meet requests for public information.



Mississauga–Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand still on leave; staff won’t answer basic questions

Mississauga–Streetsville MP Gagan Sikand still on leave; staff won’t answer basic questions

Gagan Sikand has been away on a long-term medical leave since October. Despite pleas from residents, staff at his office and working for the Liberal Party have no answers about how long he will be away, how residents are being served and if there will be a by-election. 



Brampton councillor to demand staff explain out-of-control salaries for managers & directors

Brampton councillor to demand staff explain out-of-control salaries for managers & directors

On Wednesday, Brampton Councillor Jeff Bowman will order City staff to create an analysis of spending on non-union salaries and benefits at City Hall. The move comes after sharp pay increases in Brampton, with more than 1,000 City staff now earning in excess of $100,000 per year. The number has more than doubled in five years.



City of Brampton set to rehire whistleblower fired after bombshell allegations against Patrick Brown, CAO  

City of Brampton set to rehire whistleblower fired after bombshell allegations against Patrick Brown, CAO  

Gurdeep (Nikki) Kaur was fired by CAO David Barrick hours after levelling explosive allegations against him, Mayor Patrick Brown and other senior staff members. In a bizarre twist, sources have confirmed Council has directed Barrick to rehire the whistleblower he fired three weeks ago.



Mississauga Hospital heading for $2 billion rebuild to expand with rest of city

Mississauga Hospital heading for $2 billion rebuild to expand with rest of city

Mississauga Hospital was built in 1958 and, if plans move forward on schedule, could get a complete rebuild in 2024. The major healthcare investment is needed to accommodate rapid population growth that has seen the city’s number of beds per 1,000 residents fall to roughly 1.6, well below the national average of 2.5.



India’s heartbreaking COVID-19 crisis leaves much of Peel on edge

India’s heartbreaking COVID-19 crisis leaves much of Peel on edge

Peel Region is home to the country’s largest collection of South Asian-Canadian communities. Hundreds of thousands of residents have family back in India, where the recent viral spread has decimated the planet’s second most populous nation. For residents here, each day is met with anxiety as the situation half-way around the world worsens.



Meet the Mississauga nine-year-old who inspired volunteers across Ontario to help the most vulnerable

Meet the Mississauga nine-year-old who inspired volunteers across Ontario to help the most vulnerable

When Hana Fatima saw a woman struggling to shop among the horde of panic buyers last March, she knew she had to help. Her small act inspired the Good Neighbour Project.



How will civic engagement look in a post-pandemic Peel?

How will civic engagement look in a post-pandemic Peel?

Governments are the first place residents turn to with questions about everything from snow removal to immigration applications. The pandemic has demanded an unprecedented level of communication between politicians and the public. Unfortunately, this has often left Canadians frustrated and somewhat alienated from government, as communication has frequently been disastrous.

Moving forward, local governments will need to rebuild trust among a public whose civic engagement had already dwindled.



Mississauga overlooks local planning stance in seeking rapid approval for movie district

Mississauga overlooks local planning stance in seeking rapid approval for movie district

Councillors in the City of Mississauga have voted to ask Queen’s Park to fast track a plan for the city’s ninth studio, exempting it from the planning process.

If approved, the request could see construction begin by the end of 2021 and more than 5,000 skilled jobs settle in the city, but the move also muddies the waters around council’s attitude on provincial control over local planning.



Inoculation ramp-up in Peel looks promising

Inoculation ramp-up in Peel looks promising

With 50 percent of provincial vaccine supplies going toward designated hotspots, it’s allowed Peel Region to lower eligibility to all residents 18 and over.

The Province said for the weeks of May 3 and 10 vaccines will be directed toward the hardest hit areas; what happens after these two weeks is unknown. Many residents have been rolling up their sleeves in hotspots after a seamless process booking their appointments; this has continued in non-hotspot areas as well.



Social media connected health advocates, filling gaps in the government’s lax pandemic response 

Social media connected health advocates, filling gaps in the government’s lax pandemic response 

Advocates speaking on injustices that exist within the health sector have been using social media for years to share their message.

As COVID-19 spread, these experts gained prominence, using their platforms to connect with people struggling to understand the virus, and sharing clear information backed by evidence the Province refused to acknowledge.   



Brampton’s internal audit function hijacked by CAO, fraud hotline taken over by his hires, committee says

Brampton’s internal audit function hijacked by CAO, fraud hotline taken over by his hires, committee says

Following damning whistleblower allegations against CAO David Barrick, the embattled head of the City’s bureaucracy was grilled during an audit committee meeting Tuesday as members said he has stripped away the accountability function’s independence. Meanwhile, 28 staff complaints that came into the corporate fraud hotline were closed by managers without sharing any details with Council or the audit committee.



New education investment falls short for Peel school system battered by COVID

New education investment falls short for Peel school system battered by COVID

At a press conference Tuesday, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced online learning will continue as an option for students into the next school year. The deadline for parents to tell schools is still not determined.

Additional COVID relief funding was also announced, but there are already concerns it won’t be enough for harder hit areas like Peel. 



Peel Police and Human Rights Commission will detail partnership to eradicate systemic racism 

Peel Police and Human Rights Commission will detail partnership to eradicate systemic racism 

Originally due in early 2021, the details of an ambitious partnership between Peel Regional Police and the Ontario Human Rights Commission will be unveiled on May 28.

The plan is still to be finalized and approved, but will focus on data collection and analysis to help eradicate systemic discrimination within the force. 



After years of neglect Mississauga needs $66M to upgrade and mend its languishing fire stations

After years of neglect Mississauga needs $66M to upgrade and mend its languishing fire stations

More than 60 percent of Mississauga’s fire stations are at least 30-years-old and have not had any major upgrades or renovations since they were built.

After decades of neglect, staff are recommending significant investment over the next decade to meet safety standards that have been ignored.



Ottawa will scrutinize GTA West Highway plan, citing concerns about at-risk wildlife

Ottawa will scrutinize GTA West Highway plan, citing concerns about at-risk wildlife

After a request from Environmental Defence and Ecojustice to take over the approval process for the controversial Highway 413 project, Ottawa has taken a first step.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Jonathan Wilkinson, announced he will designate the project under the federal impact assessment protocol, an initial move that could spell the end of a highway many in Ontario do not want.



Saving lives in a booming region: How Peel Paramedics are planning for the region’s explosive growth 

Saving lives in a booming region: How Peel Paramedics are planning for the region’s explosive growth 

Peel’s rapid population growth creates a long list of challenges for those who respond to healthcare emergencies. How can paramedics reach more remote locations faster? How do paramedics reach those living in highrise towers where dealing with healthcare emergencies is already exceedingly difficult?

With Peel’s expansion, paramedics are trying to solve the problems that accompany all the growth. 



Peel police’s corruptness and irresponsibility were also on trial in a Brampton courtroom this week

Peel police’s corruptness and irresponsibility were also on trial in a Brampton courtroom this week

Peel police has yet to apologize for letting its former officer who sexually abused Kevin Dickman walk away.

Frank Kohler was sentenced this week for the serial sex abuse of Dickman, who was just a boy when the former Peel policeman assaulted him over five years. Five decades later, the force he once worked for, which let him walk away a free man despite all the evidence and a confession, remains silent on the past behaviour.



Part 3: The GTA West Highway is a chance for governments to finally talk to each other about climate change

Part 3: The GTA West Highway is a chance for governments to finally talk to each other about climate change

The federal government will decide by May 4 whether to take control of the GTA West Highway from Queen’s Park and potentially end the project for good.

In the last of a three-part series, The Pointer looks at how the struggle between cities, the Province and Ottawa over the route represents a crucial opportunity to collaborate on climate change, instead of wasting time we don’t have on disagreements that won’t matter once it’s too late. 



New year, same deficit difficulties for Mississauga’s second pandemic budget

New year, same deficit difficulties for Mississauga’s second pandemic budget

Mississauga’s budget committee convened for the first time ahead of the 2022 budget process to hear more bleak financial projections from staff.

Despite more than 12 months of hardship and cutbacks, rampant COVID-19 cases mean the City is facing another massive shortfall by the end of 2021.



GAME CHANGER: All adults in Peel hotspots will be able to book a vaccine starting May 3

GAME CHANGER: All adults in Peel hotspots will be able to book a vaccine starting May 3

After a year of neglect, a huge announcement by Queen’s Park Thursday means every adult in Peel’s hotspot postal-code-areas will be eligible to book a vaccination appointment starting next week.

The new directive has stirred hope among essential workers and other residents, but some are wary of being let down again, after the region’s woeful treatment by the Province throughout the pandemic.



Ford’s latest waffle on paid sick days hits areas like Malton hardest

Ford’s latest waffle on paid sick days hits areas like Malton hardest

Tuesday’s news that Premier Doug Ford will not live up to his recent commitment to finally provide guaranteed paid sick days will have a compounding impact on Malton, which is suffering the highest rates of transmission in Mississauga.

With a clear picture of what has happened in neighbouring Brampton and throughout Malton, why hasn’t Peel Public Health provided the needed support? 



Two photo radar cameras coming to Mississauga. Will it be enough to curb speeding on city streets?

Two photo radar cameras coming to Mississauga. Will it be enough to curb speeding on city streets?

At the beginning of April, Mississauga installed signs in Ward 5 and 8 warning local residents that automated speed enforcement cameras are coming.

The move signals progress in the City’s efforts to curb speeding, but Mississauga is lagging behind its neighbours after a year that saw fatal collisions spike across Peel. 



Christine Elliott’s words to the family of a 13-year-old-girl lying in repose: They didn’t receive ‘any less than they’re entitled to’

Christine Elliott’s words to the family of a 13-year-old-girl lying in repose: They didn’t receive ‘any less than they’re entitled to’

Monday was a day that crystallized for many the utter neglect much of Peel has suffered throughout this pandemic. 

In Ottawa, a moment of silence was observed inside Parliament for Emily Viegas, who died due to COVID-19 last week. In Brampton, a sense of dread and hopelessness is washing over the community. 

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott, in a heartless response to the girl’s death, claimed the ravaged region is getting all the help it is “entitled” to.  



‘Fire David Barrick’: Brampton residents call for CAO’s removal, demand independent third-party investigation

‘Fire David Barrick’: Brampton residents call for CAO’s removal, demand independent third-party investigation

In the days following damaging allegations of corruption, racism and nepotism made by a now-former senior director inside City Hall, residents are calling for CAO David Barrick to be fired by council members. They voiced their concerns online and off, taking to the streets Monday to protest the City’s handling of the latest accusations and other disturbing conduct by Barrick, while Mayor Patrick Brown, who hired him, remains silent.



Is getting punched part of your job? Campaign hopes to curb violence against paramedics 

Is getting punched part of your job? Campaign hopes to curb violence against paramedics 

During the height of the ongoing pandemic, Peel Paramedics have launched a new public awareness campaign highlighting the shocking levels of violence and harassment first responders experience every day. The latest advocacy effort shows the organization is trying to move beyond its apathetic, macho work culture of the past, to one that understands the mental and physical toll frontline staff struggle with.



‘An untold amount of anguish’: Former Peel police officer gets 4 years in prison for sexually abusing Brampton’s Kevin Dickman five decades ago

‘An untold amount of anguish’: Former Peel police officer gets 4 years in prison for sexually abusing Brampton’s Kevin Dickman five decades ago

For five years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Kevin Dickman was sexually abused by Frank Kohler, his Big Brother at the time and a Peel Regional Police officer. 

The abuse traumatized Dickman, pushing him into a life of depression, homelessness and drug use. He committed suicide in 2019. 

On Tuesday, Kohler finally faced justice and will spend the next four years in a prison cell. 



Ode to Golf

Ode to Golf

For those privileged enough to play, the ancient game might be the vaccine needed to help them cope with the surging pandemic. But Doug Ford has shut the game down. For segments of the population being most severely ravaged, particularly those who provide essential work, opening golf courses might be the last of their worries, but closing off outdoor recreation is only making the ongoing public health crisis worse.



Senior Brampton staffer drops bombshell allegations against CAO and is fired hours later – Council orders investigation

Senior Brampton staffer drops bombshell allegations against CAO and is fired hours later – Council orders investigation

Claims of corruption, bullying, and questionable procurements inside City Hall are outlined in a stunning email by a woman who, until Thursday, held a senior role in Brampton’s shaky administration.

She was fired hours after her damning allegations, and on Friday council voted for a third-party investigation into CAO David Barrick, a controversial figure who was also at the heart of a scandal that rocked Niagara Region.  



‘Death by 1,000 cuts’: GTA West Highway exposes cataclysmic impact our addiction to urbanization has on wildlife 

‘Death by 1,000 cuts’: GTA West Highway exposes cataclysmic impact our addiction to urbanization has on wildlife 

An analysis completed by The Pointer has discovered nearly 30 species at risk lie within the proposed path of the GTA West Highway. 

Construction of the highway will lead to extensive habitat destruction and proliferate the urban sprawl that has paved over much of Southern Ontario in recent decades. 

With each new development, more habitat is lost and, eventually, there will be nowhere for wildlife to flee. 



Peel’s healthcare system on the brink of collapse

Peel’s healthcare system on the brink of collapse

Ontario’s brutal third wave continues to stretch the ability of Peel’s healthcare providers to care for the sick and track down the infected.

The region is struggling with sky-high positivity rates and overloaded hospitals as the vaccine rollout continues to lag behind the rapidly spreading virus.  



Part 2: Scrapping the GTA West Highway could open Peel to a world of possibilities

Part 2: Scrapping the GTA West Highway could open Peel to a world of possibilities

The federal government will decide by May 4 whether to take control of the GTA West Highway from the provincial government and potentially end the project for good. In the second of a three-part series, The Pointer looks at transit alternatives to the highway and how they could impact growth in the region.

Simply cancelling the route won’t be enough to change the trajectories of growth in Brampton and Caledon. 



Taxpayers covering Patrick Brown’s lavish spending on newsletters and greeting cards

Taxpayers covering Patrick Brown’s lavish spending on newsletters and greeting cards

In Mississauga and Brampton, many councillors keep their constituents up to date with printed newsletters that are mailed to their doors. In 2020, at the Region of Peel alone, about $133,000 was spent on old fashioned print newsletters to communicate during a rapidly evolving public health crisis.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who is fixated on tax freezes and fiscal belt-tightening demanded of others, uses taxpayer dollars to spend excessively promoting himself.



SIU report on Ejaz Choudry’s death shows officers acted reasonably within a ‘deeply flawed’ system 

SIU report on Ejaz Choudry’s death shows officers acted reasonably within a ‘deeply flawed’ system 

The officer who shot Ejaz Choudry to death as the elderly man advanced on him with a kitchen cleaver is the latest to be cleared of wrongdoing by the Special Investigations Unit.

While the Choudry family, community advocates and stakeholders demand answers, the detailed SIU report suggests the problem is not the fault of frontline officers facing the wrath of an angry public.



‘Chaos coming’: Peel hospitals relying on patient transfers could soon be left to fend for themselves

‘Chaos coming’: Peel hospitals relying on patient transfers could soon be left to fend for themselves

Helicopters and ambulances leaving the Region of Peel with COVID-19 patients are the duct tape holding Brampton and Mississauga’s healthcare systems together. 

As hospitals across Ontario fill up, frontline staff are terrified an already strained system could finally break down.



In rapidly growing Brampton, a Facebook group is working to save community spirit 

In rapidly growing Brampton, a Facebook group is working to save community spirit 

A Mount Pleasant resident has dedicated much of his free time to maintaining and running a Facebook group for his neighbourhood.

His efforts are focused on creating a feeling of community in Brampton, helping residents to communicate as the Flower City changes and grows. 



After Brown stalled transit expansion Brampton gets major funding but it’s not aligned with green targets 

After Brown stalled transit expansion Brampton gets major funding but it’s not aligned with green targets 

The City of Brampton is celebrating a significant investment in its transit system by Ottawa and Queen’s Park, after almost $175 million in funding was confirmed.

The money, which will be paid by all three levels of government, means transit expansion can continue after Mayor Patrick Brown removed capital funding from the City budget under his zero-tax-increase policy. One key question: why is the City building infrastructure that doesn’t support its commitment to sustainability? 



Cultivating success for many newcomers in Canada starts with learning English

Cultivating success for many newcomers in Canada starts with learning English

When the pandemic hit, many Canadians adapted with the help of familiar social programs and family networks for support. For newcomers to the country, who came with little more than the possessions in their suitcase, the public health crisis became the latest obstacle in their pursuit of a new life.

A successful transition into a new society was suddenly made even more difficult. Despite setbacks, adult students are quietly plodding along, learning words like resilience, determination... and hope. 



The dangers of our growing mistrust in police

The dangers of our growing mistrust in police

Police shootings and now a misguided provincial backlash against the women and men sworn to protect us raise questions about our faith in law enforcement.

After Doug Ford’s ham-fisted announcement Friday afternoon, confusing an already confused public, misinformation and hysteria around police “carding” were the inevitable outcome of decades of broken trust between police and the public.



Mississauga’s waterfront could become the jewel of Lake Ontario, if people get access

Mississauga’s waterfront could become the jewel of Lake Ontario, if people get access

Between the beginning of May and the end of September, the City of Mississauga will introduce harsh fines for those caught parking illegally near the lakeshore. The move addresses concerns of Ward 1 and 2 residents, but raises broader issues around accessibility for those not fortunate enough to live beside the Great Lake.



Infection surge creates a dangerous backlog of suffering patients in need of life-saving surgery 

Infection surge creates a dangerous backlog of suffering patients in need of life-saving surgery 

Peel Region has been struggling with overwhelmed healthcare resources and inadequate staff numbers for years, resulting in lengthy wait times and hallway care long before COVID hit.

With the third wave of the pandemic crashing over the province, hospitals have been asked to ramp down elective surgeries, causing a domino effect in Peel’s already overburdened healthcare system. 



Part 1: The GTA West Highway is a reckoning on what the rest of Peel wants to be

Part 1: The GTA West Highway is a reckoning on what the rest of Peel wants to be

The federal government will decide by May 4 whether to take control of the GTA West Highway from the provincial government and potentially end the project for good. In the first of a three-part series, The Pointer looks at a major developer who supports the GTA West Highway, analyzing how it stands to gain. Its interests seem directly opposed to aspirational smart growth plans in Peel.



PDSB apologizes for legal action against online critics – but what’s okay in the anonymous world of social media?

PDSB apologizes for legal action against online critics – but what’s okay in the anonymous world of social media?

Nine months after the Peel District School Board began a legal action against anonymous Twitter accounts, its new administration apologized last week. The decision, recognizing the account owners as advocates and not trolls, stirs debate around the protection of anonymous online use.



‘What the hell is going on then?’: Pressure intensifying on RCMP to launch Pornhub investigation 

‘What the hell is going on then?’: Pressure intensifying on RCMP to launch Pornhub investigation 

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki told MPs the nation’s top police agency needs to do better, but stopped short of confirming an investigation into MindGeek.

The porn giant has been under the microscope for months after its alleged failure to report child pornography posted on its website despite laws preventing such behaviour. 



Provincial probe of anti-Black racism at Peel CAS moves forward with investigator picked by senior management

Provincial probe of anti-Black racism at Peel CAS moves forward with investigator picked by senior management

The Centre for Conflict Resolution International has been selected to complete a workplace assessment of Peel Children’s Aid Society after staff complaints of anti-Black racism and discrimination.

However, an internal communication, seen by The Pointer and confirmed by Queen’s Park, shows CCRI had already been chosen by the same Peel CAS senior leadership under scrutiny, before a provincial investigation was even announced.