Brampton MPP Sara Singh accuses Premier Ford of covering up sexual misconduct scandal

Brampton MPP Sara Singh accuses Premier Ford of covering up sexual misconduct scandal

Three high-profile resignations by Conservative politicians and a staffer over allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour in recent weeks, including MP Tony Clement’s admission of ‘sexting’ women, have Brampton MPP Sara Singh and others concerned about the conduct of men in the corridors of political power.

Singh lashed out at Premier Doug Ford inside Queen’s Park Monday, accusing him of trying to cover up the allegation against former PC MPP Jim Wilson, who resigned from cabinet and the party caucus two weeks ago, when officials claimed it was over “addiction issues”.



Long waits to file family court documents in Brampton

Long waits to file family court documents in Brampton

Wait times to file family court documents in Brampton’s Superior Court of Justice reached nearly five times the ministry standard earlier this year and remain among the longest in the GTA.

While a stiff increase in the number of people going to court without lawyers — and often struggling to figure out court bureaucracy — is a problem across the province, Brampton’s courthouse is particularly hard hit, frustrating court staff and ordinary litigants alike.

With no plans to increase staff or counters at the Hurontario Street court, it’s not clear when Bramptonians will see relief.



UPDATE: Clement admits to “infidelity” as sexting scandal grips Brampton

UPDATE: Clement admits to “infidelity” as sexting scandal grips Brampton

MP and former Brampton MPP Tony Clement, who retains deep ties to the city, issued a letter to his Parry Sound constituents Thursday evening apologizing for “acts of infidelity” to his wife and admitting that he “crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”

The open letter comes less than 48 hours after the news of the sexting scandal exploded, triggering Clement’s ouster from the Conservative caucus and his departure from a prominent position on Canada’s National Security Committee.

Clement’s wife, Lynne Golding, a Brampton native and prominent lawyer and author, issued her own statement on Wednesday, saying Clement would be “taking the action he needs to get help.”



Tony Clement began his political career in Brampton — a ‘sexting’ scandal might end it

Tony Clement began his political career in Brampton — a ‘sexting’ scandal might end it

The long-time Conservative politician is dealing with a professional and personal crisis after admitting he sent inappropriate images to a woman. Things are moving fast around the MP and married father of three, as his party leader, Andrew Scheer, asked him on Wednesday to resign from the federal Conservative caucus.

As the news spreads, in an era when political survival after similar scandals has become hard to predict, Clement has made claims of extortion as a motive behind the story, and is now asking for privacy.



The Pittsburgh mass murder and Donald Trump won’t bend Lawrie Bloom and Brampton’s Har Tikvah Synagogue

The Pittsburgh mass murder and Donald Trump won’t bend Lawrie Bloom and Brampton’s Har Tikvah Synagogue

Within Brampton's diverse mix of faith groups, one of the city's smallest religious communities offers inspiration to all, even as many of its members fear a return to darker days.

The impact of events south of the border, as nationalism gets stoked by politicians and those using it as a way to deal with economic hardship, is being felt right here in Brampton.  



Familiar faces, rivalries to define regional chair race

Familiar faces, rivalries to define regional chair race

An appointment to the position of Peel Region chair is still more than a month away, but speculation is swirling about the potential candidates. The decision of who will serve, which the new council will make on Dec. 6, could set the tone inside Peel Region chambers for the next four years.

Will Linda Jeffrey throw her hat into the ring? Will Mississauga, with its heavy vote count, insist on a Mississauga candidate? Will Brampton councillors who backed Patrick Brown get a boost?

Either way, with Brampton looking for more seats at the table—and more clout—and Mississauga’s mayor wanting to pull out of Peel altogether, the chosen chair could be in for a rocky ride.



Election over, the next big challenge is getting citizens to care

Election over, the next big challenge is getting citizens to care

Despite this year’s high-profile municipal election, voter turnout was down in Brampton, to an embarrassing 34.5 percent. That should prompt new mayor Patrick Brown to look for ways to nurture the political engagement of Bramptonians when it comes to the day-to-day issues that matter most.

The Pointer takes a look at the ups and downs of political turnout in Peel Region and the GTA, and some suggested solutions to the widespread attitude of “I don’t know and I don’t care” when it comes to municipal politics.



Peel residents on board with province taking the wheel on transit

Peel residents on board with province taking the wheel on transit

A survey conducted by Toronto Region Board of Trade shows that a large majority of residents of the GTA-Hamilton-Waterloo region think a proposal for consolidating transit systems under a single entity — dubbed “Superlinx” — makes sense.

The board’s president says the current system, which sends municipalities begging to higher governments for transit money, hasn’t worked, so it makes sense to send decisions to a body “where growth revenues, planning authority, and financing capacity already exist.” Some 87 percent of the Peel Region residents who took part in the board’s online panel agreed that the idea has merit.

But what happens when Brampton’s needs are pitted against, say, Scarborough’s remains an open question.



A fight for religious freedom on the open road

A fight for religious freedom on the open road

The traditional turban, which Sikh motorcyclists want to wear instead of a helmet, has a long and noble history as a symbol of the faith. Many consider it an indispensable and defining part of their identity.

An Ontario private member’s bill introduced by a Brampton MPP may finally succeed in bringing the province in line with other jurisdictions that have exempted observant Sikhs from helmet laws.



As India begins deporting Rohingya refugees Andrew Scheer and Brampton candidate skirt issue of country’s appalling human rights record during visit

As India begins deporting Rohingya refugees Andrew Scheer and Brampton candidate skirt issue of country’s appalling human rights record during visit

Ahead of his nine-day trip to India, which is wrapping up, The Pointer asked Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer if he would address with Indian officials the increasing concern being raised by advocacy groups and others about the country’s deplorable human rights record.

Brampton North federal Conservative candidate Arpan Khanna joined Scheer, seen here with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, and just like other politicians from the city who travel there, he was silent on the issue of the country’s treatment of women, religious minorities and “lower caste” residents.

But both Scheer and Khanna did take time during the visit to criticize a nearby country’s human rights record.



Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans to step down in January

Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans to step down in January

Controversial Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans announced Friday that she will be leaving the force in January. She informed the police board that oversees her of the pending resignation two months after it approved a probe of Evans' conduct by a police watchdog for the bungled investigation into three Mississauga family members who were found dead years apart. 

After battling the board for much of the past four years, over issues such as carding, a practice she has strongly defended, Evans was given a two-year extension last year. But she announced that she will depart early in the coming new year.



Brampton citizens, politicians and experts respond to Ford government plan to exempt Sikh-Canadians from wearing motorcycle helmets

Brampton citizens, politicians and experts respond to Ford government plan to exempt Sikh-Canadians from wearing motorcycle helmets

It's a controversial issue: how do you balance Canadian values and laws protecting religious accommodation with saftey and fairness concerns that surround the Ford government plan to exempt Sikh-Canadians from wearing motorcycle helmets?

Local MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria, a turban-wearing Sikh, was a driving force behind the move announced by Ford in Brampton yesterday. In a place where Sikh-Canadians make up such a huge part of the city's fabric, The Pointer asked citizens here, politicians and experts what they think of the move by Ontario's government. 



Andrew Scheer arrives in India; joins list of Brampton/Canadian politicians unwilling to address country’s appalling human rights record

Andrew Scheer arrives in India; joins list of Brampton/Canadian politicians unwilling to address country’s appalling human rights record

The leader of the federal Conservative party is in India on a mission to “repair and strengthen” Canada’s relationship, following a controversial trip early in the year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But human rights won't be on the agenda. The Pointer asked Scheer if issues such as the widespread rape of women, attacks against religious minorities and the barbaric treatment of hundreds of millions of India’s “lower caste” residents would be addressed.

As is the case when Brampton politicians and other officials go there, human rights seems to be out of bounds. Canada’s position with India is inconsistent with its stance toward other countries, despite conditions that human rights groups describe as alarming and getting worse.



For Trudeau, Brampton and all of Canada, free trade is good, especially when we open new doors

For Trudeau, Brampton and all of Canada, free trade is good, especially when we open new doors

The new-look North American free trade agreement fixes some, but not all of the inequities in the original NAFTA, and eases the tensions for the business community in Brampton. But at the macro level, Canada is trying to create a new-style business model that is impervious to American interests and Donald Trump’s bully-boy tactics. The new deal provides motivation for local and national companies to take stock of opportunities around the world, for them and our well-educated, dynamic workforce.



The dirty, sweaty, political life of a municipal councillor as the job description evolves

The dirty, sweaty, political life of a municipal councillor as the job description evolves

In recent weeks, the idea of effective representation has been thrust into the spotlight as Premier Doug Ford took a legislative axe to Toronto City Council. Can 25 people effectively represent almost three million constituents? Municipal councils across the GTA, whose members find their workload growing as the region booms, are struggling with the same question. Nowhere is this more clear than in Brampton, the second fastest growing city in Canada. What do we need here to feel effectively represented by our local elected officials?

Do we want them answering endless calls about snow on sidewalks and the annual pothole hysteria; or do we want them addressing complex urban planning issues and how to handle the challenges of modern policing? Or do we expect them to do it all? Speaking with councillors across the GTA, from Oshawa to Brampton, it’s apparent that people who hold the position often see the role differently.



Chief Evans a no-show as Peel Region ponders rising panic over violent crime

Chief Evans a no-show as Peel Region ponders rising panic over violent crime

With increasing violent crime, public frustration and slow responses from officials, Regional council considers what’s being done as Brampton residents question who’s keeping them safe. 

Peel Police chief Jennifer Evans was not at Thursday’s meeting to answer questions, including those raised by incumbent mayor Linda Jeffrey, who is now fighting her chief rival in the election, Patrick Brown, over who will best deal with crime in the city. 

Some are wondering if their promises are too little, and too late.



Is anyone policing Peel police? Part 2

Is anyone policing Peel police? Part 2

Peel’s police force has been racked with bungled investigations, officer misconduct, including serious charges against some members and problems with racialized communities in the diverse cities it serves. Critics say the force has no interest in being held accountable, and acts as if it’s above the law.



Is anyone policing Peel police? Concerns mount about officer misconduct

Is anyone policing Peel police? Concerns mount about officer misconduct

With Brampton gripped by a recent crime wave, concerns mount that frequent misconduct in the force is putting public safety at risk.