The provincial government estimates the surgical and procedural backlog in Ontario will take nearly four years and more than a billion dollars to fix.
The overwhelming workload is now the responsibility of a frontline medical staff who were reporting alarming levels of compassion fatigue and burn out even before COVID-19 overwhelmed the system.
With the provincial election less than a year away, the PCs have finished promoting all of Peel’s governing MPPs to positions of influence. The region now has four separate cabinet ministers and five parliamentary assistants, roles which could boost reputations ahead of tough fights next year. Whether they have the experience to fulfill their new responsibilities, is another story.
The PCs will have Ontarians believe they are a government that cares about the environment. A number of announcements for “new” protected greenspaces and investments in green infrastructure have been made in recent months.
The reality is, these investments are largely useless in the face of moves by a government doing all it can to undermine environmental legislation and push developer-interests forward at all costs.
Like COVID-19, optimism about the Peel District School Board has come and gone in waves this year. Community members were buoyed a year ago to see the beleaguered board begin its long journey toward meaningful reform. A series of recent events has left that faith shaken.
Advocates are steeling themselves for more difficult and vital accountability work in the absence of an education director who was brought in to carry out the mandate but is now on her way to Toronto’s public board.
The City of Brampton insists it utilized Feldman Daxon’s services since 2016, prior to Mayor Patrick Brown’s election. But the search firm responsible for recommending David Barrick for the City’s CAO role was first used for that type of hiring in 2019, after the mayor’s office contacted the company.
The man responsible for killing a young family in June 2020 is claiming his Charter rights were breached when Peel Regional Police seized and searched his car six days after the fatal collision, revealing drugs were inside, and obtained medical information that allegedly breached his privacy rights.
If the application is successful it could result in damning evidence of impairment being excluded.
Police leaders in Ontario are asking the provincial government to change discipline rules to give them expanded powers, including suspending officers without pay. Police chiefs say the new rules are important to save money and bring the transparency needed to rebuild faith in police.
Critics disagree and fear the police discipline problem is more deeply embedded. Offering an expanded toolkit to police forces could result in “the boys club” continuing to put itself first.
Pressures from urbanization and our rapidly changing climate are pushing local waterways to the breaking point.
Destruction of pristine green space, warming waters, and damaging pollutants from Peel municipalities are not only compromising the homes of countless species, it’s putting an increased burden on municipal water treatment facilities to ensure what we drink everyday remains safe.
School may have recently finished, but looking to fall has been on the minds of parents and teachers for months. With kids under the age of 12 not eligible for vaccinations, questions are being raised about what has changed since September 2020. New spins on learning models only muddy the waters around further reopenings, and decisions on sending children back into the classroom are being made now, but will parents want to change their minds by September?
The mistreatment of our First Nations’ children in our residential schools is a cross many of our institutions – especially the churches that oversaw them – must bear. This overt racism and criminality falls hard on the Catholic Church which ran the majority of these so-called schools of higher learning. Almost two centuries of cultural and physical genocide has shamed our country and shaken our faith. How do we explain away these crimes against humanity to our children? Now is the time for truth and reconciliation. It is also time for the Catholic Church to decide if it wants to do what its religion's namesake would expect of it.
More details are emerging in trial on the state Brady Robertson was in when he slammed into a young Caledon family, killing a mother and her three young daughters in a horrific crash on a Brampton thoroughfare last year. He has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths, but is fighting charges of operating his vehicle while impaired.
For decades, the neighbourhood of Port Credit has watched its library slowly being swallowed by the wet marshland beneath its foundations.
Its closure serves as a cautionary tale for city builders looking to grow on Mississauga’s remaining brownfields.
Next year, Mississauga will be $21.6-million lighter as taxation payments from Toronto Pearson Airport dry up due to the huge drop in air travel during the pandemic.
Faced with this financial nightmare, and more than $3.5 billion in unfunded future projects, the City of Mississauga is exploring new ways to raise revenues.
In Peel, COVID-19 has been the number one, number two and number three issue for more than a year.
Finally, there is a sustained sense of optimism. As cases tumble and vaccination rates soar, residents and leaders can tentatively turn their minds to a host of critical priorities to get the region as close to pandemic-proof as possible.
Peel residents were shocked last summer after a violent car crash in Brampton took the lives of a mother and her three children.
The man at the centre of the investigation has now pleaded guilty to four of the nine charges in relation to the incident and a separate crash that took place just two days earlier.
The number of people who need shelter in Peel and are experiencing homelessness is rising rapidly and without support the financial burden falls on the Region.
There were more than 22,400 households on Peel’s centralized housing waitlist at the end of 2020, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Rethinking the way people access assistance could help a badly stressed system.
Lakeview Community Partners have withdrawn a request for taxpayers to subsidize its plans for district energy and vacuum waste, but submitted a minimal affordable housing plan for the luxury development instead.
As it stands, the multi-billion dollar development will do little to move the needle on Peel’s ongoing affordable housing crisis.
A 24-year-old Brampton man and Peel Regional Police cadet has been charged in connection to a series of alleged domestic assaults. However, when the force announced his charges to the public and media, it omitted his employment with Peel police.
The decision not to identify his role raises concerns around transparency and how an alleged serial abuser was hired by the force.
A Brampton Facebook page claiming to represent a community organization has spent thousands of dollars on political advertising since March.
The group, which appears to share its roots with the right-wing campaign page Ontario Proud, has praised PC MPPs and attacked Justin Trudeau in a series of promoted posts and videos.
One of Peel’s most dedicated and passionate advocates, Kola Iluyomade, has passed away at the age of 56.
His friends, who span several continents and met him throughout his life, describe a father and husband who believed in people’s humanity and wanted to see the world change for the better.
Elected officials in the city are claiming Brampton will soon be getting a new medical school, adding to a growing list of promises to voters ahead of next year’s provincial and municipal elections. In reality, the only thing happening is talks around putting a proposal together. Experience suggests it could be more than two decades before a medical school is actually opened in Brampton, despite claims by Patrick Brown and other politicians.
Almost 70 percent of the City of Mississauga’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from its transit fleet, meaning its climate change targets will live or die by its ability to transition to greener forms of transit.
A pilot project to transition 10 buses to hydrogen power could be a potential solution, if Ottawa steps up with the proper support.
For more than 30 years, the Ontario government has been trying to build a highway south of Lake Simcoe. Many residents say the time has come and gone.
The Doug Ford PC government, just like it did with the GTA West Highway, is forging ahead with a project that will drive a four-lane highway directly through the environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh wetland.
The City of Mississauga is desperately trying to enhance its roads, walkways and bike lane network to make it safer for residents to choose more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
This can be a difficult task in a city designed for high speed, vehicular traffic, but with the accelerated impacts of climate change, these projects have never been more important.
Ontario’s personal care industry has been suffering. Businesses in Peel and Toronto have been hit the hardest, with their doors shuttered since November. Being allowed to finally open has brought a sense of relief, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to plummet thanks to Canada’s remarkable vaccination strategy, but the future for many of these businesses remains unclear.
As the dust settles on the last municipal budget season, pushed into chaos by the COVID-19 pandemic, minds are already turning to next year.
Staff at the Region of Peel are working on their 2022 blueprint with concern about new costs from Queen’s Park and Toronto Pearson Airport weighing them down.
After four years of Donald Trump and the dark rise of white nationalism, Joe Biden and the American left are forcing change. A new national holiday to mark the end of slavery could have a profound effect on the country’s relationship with its past, and its pathway to a better future.
In Canada, leaders continue to point fingers and offer empty words, while American-style action eludes us. A Mississauga priest resigned after claiming residential schools were good for many Indigenous peoples. But our shameful history won’t go away, despite the hopes of religious and political leaders.
Through droughts, floods, moth infestations and major summer storms, Peel’s two Conservation Authorities are doing their best to keep the public and the local ecosystem safe.
The PC government has not made it easy for the Credit Valley Conservation Authority or the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to continue crucial programs. Through the omnibus Bill 229, rammed through by the PC government, some of the most important work to fight climate change in Peel might no longer be allowed. The deadline for public consultations on the PCs’ proposed changes is today.
Owen Keenan faced sweeping condemnation after his sermon last weekend, claiming Catholic residential schools were “very positive” for Indigenous communities across Canada. His harmful remarks came while First Nations and other Indigenous peoples across the country were devastated following the discovery in Kamloops of the remains of 215 children near a former residential school. As grief swept through Indigenous communities, Keenan rubbed salt in their wounds. He will no longer be able to spread his harmful views to congregants.
In Peel, home to one of the largest collection of Muslim communities in Canada, the need to fight Islamophobic statements and hatred has never been more clear.
Policies, changes to the criminal justice system, laws around online content and educational approaches need to be pursued so hate that is currently harming so many families can be eradicated.
On Thursday morning, the Government of Ontario planned to present a “general update” on the proposed GTA West Highway to councillors in Peel Region.
Elected officials had other ideas, striking the item from the agenda and telling the Province their minds on the controversial project had already been made up.
In Peel, almost one in three households speak a non-official language at home. With its majority immigrant population and diverse range of diaspora communities, communication in the region comes with an extra cost: translation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional government has put almost $100,000 toward translation costs that aim to communicate with residents in their language of choice.
A Mississauga pastor has apologized for a homily he gave over the weekend referencing “the good that was done” in residential schools.
The stunning comments made to congregants who are supposed to look to their priest for moral guidance have drawn criticism from leaders, including Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Stacey LaForme, who says Monsignor Owen Keenan should consider if he is suited to a position of spiritual leadership.
Built around a shopping centre in the 1970s, Mississauga’s downtown is a homage to private builders and the car.
In recent years, staff at City Hall have been slowly trying to guide the area to a dynamic and walkable future, but progress has been slow.
A review demanded by the Ontario government to be completed next summer is a top priority for The Region of Peel. Housing and employment lands are the concerns around accommodation of a massive population set to arrive over the next three decades.
Environmentalists are calling on the Region to hold a hard urban line so no more sprawl can affect Caledon’s precious farmland. Other regions like Waterloo have done it, accommodating smart, dense growth while protecting rural landscapes and a connection with nature.
The City of Mississauga will ask Ottawa to help fund climate conscious modifications to several of its community centres and public buildings.
The funding parcel, made available for the retrofits in high needs communities, could foreshadow how the federal government hands out money in the future — directing funds to cities or projects that can demonstrate their carbon footprint will shrink.
Top City of Brampton staff are following their playbook in Niagara, after they tried to whitewash a corruption investigation there that eventually blew up in their face.
After they were fired, Mayor Patrick Brown had them hired in Brampton and they are now doing the same around an investigation into sweeping allegations of corruption inside City Hall, painting a rosy picture and telling residents there is nothing to see.
All of Peel’s municipalities have committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by a considerable degree over the next decade. While retrofits, sustainable forms of energy, transit solutions and tree planting will all play a role, a new study has found there is a much easier, more impactful way to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Managing, preserving, and restoring our green spaces.
Constrained by technology, some residents in the Region of Peel are asking their councillors to delay a critical planning decision on the very future of the area until the pandemic has been resolved. Many have written to their leaders asking for growth submissions to Queen’s Park be put on hold to allow for better consultation.
Their pleas may fall on deaf ears. The Doug Ford government has already told municipalities there is absolutely no wiggle room ahead of its 2022 deadline.
Younger constituents have historically represented a reduced share of turnout in elections. So what can politicians do about it?
For one, sharing their views on platforms younger voters favour would help engage with those citizens who will shape the future. Dismissing the notion that young people don’t care about politics would also be helpful.
A lack of maintenance and a changing climate have allowed populations of a specific moth to explode across Mississauga and much of Ontario.
The invasive species, if left unchecked, can cause large damage to the urban tree canopy, which cities rely on for shade, flood control and climate change mitigation.
After turning our lives upside down for more than a year, COVID is preparing to mess with the future. Work from home could upend plans to create downtown office space, while online retail giants are asking questions about brick and mortar shopping.
A decade ago, Mississauga promised to transform its city centre into a dynamic mixed-use space. Delays in realizing this vision might offer a chance to rethink what the cities of tomorrow should look like.
Many of the steps to reduce our impact on the planet seem insignificant. Every time we leave the car at home, turn a light off or separate packaging into garbage or recycling, the individual impact goes unnoticed.
When bureaucratic problems arise, they add to the barriers around effective sustainability. Within Peel’s two-tiered system of government, each is not always on the same page and problems with the way recycling is managed are a perfect illustration.
More residents in Peel are now eligible to receive their second vaccination, if they can find an appointment.
The region’s vaccine plan is moving into a higher gear and doses are being dished out to defeat the COVID-19 delta variant. Hiccups in the system and structural barriers to access for some of the most vulnerable represent cause for concern in an otherwise positive picture.
The Brampton councillor has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has fought to have the integrity commissioner’s report thrown out.
A year after the interim report examining allegations stemming from a trade mission to Turkey was completed, Dhillon is raising questions about possible interference by Mayor Patrick Brown.
The Premier and his ruling party are legislating toward the use of Ontario’s notwithstanding clause, in hopes of wiping away 16 months of failed pandemic leadership ahead of next year’s election. Ford has seen what happened to Donald Trump. Beyond the political gamesmanship, as desperate men try to hang onto power, will COVID-19 push our healthcare system to re-evaluate the reactive response to the pandemic, and force governments to embrace long-term solutions?
Keyna Sarkar is on a mission to fight ‘period poverty’ in Brampton, and in April, she pushed the City to provide free menstrual products in all municipal facilities. Through Girl Up Brampton, a non-profit organization started by the United Nations, she and her team are taking their message across the city, collecting sanitary products for those in need.
Peel Region has a housing crisis on its hands. According to a 2020 staff report, ownership and rental options are unaffordable for 80 percent of residents.
The Region will soon be armed with inclusionary zoning. The policies will allow council to mandate affordable units from home builders, but in the profit-driven world of development, striking the right balance will be key.
Some community advocates are processing the news Peel District School Board director of education Colleen Russell-Rawlins has accepted the job to lead the country’s largest board in Toronto.
She was brought to Peel by the Province specifically to implement changes after a harrowing probe solidified the need to finally eradicate systemic anti-Black racism and other deeply imbedded forms of discrimination in the board. Her looming departure has thrown the sweeping agenda up in the air.
“A little archaic” is how Mayor Bonnie Crombie described council’s conversation after once again voting to not allow the retail sale of cannabis in Canada’s sixth largest city.
The majority of councillors said they didn’t want a large number of stores open in the same area or in spots they deemed were more sensitive to the community. This is the second time council has opted out of the sale of cannabis in their municipality, while the illegal market is alive and well.
Politicians in Mississauga have become increasingly critical of one another on social media in the past few months.
A number of spats and criticisms, including a recent debate between MPP Rudy Cuzzetto and Councillor Carolyn Parrish, have illustrated a use of social media that offers little value to taxpayers and residents.