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.



Ottawa’s decision on controlling the fate of GTA West Highway will come by May 4th

Ottawa’s decision on controlling the fate of GTA West Highway will come by May 4th

Ottawa will decide whether or not to take over the GTA West Corridor’s environmental assessment process in the next couple months, the federal government has confirmed.

It means environmental activists will soon have a clearer view on the future of the controversial 400-series highway. 



The team that recreated Port Credit talks about their plans for Brightwater

The team that recreated Port Credit talks about their plans for Brightwater

Christina Giannone leans on her family’s long history of building quality residential projects, to explain how a new 72-acre residential/commercial site on old industrial lands in the west end of Port Credit will fit perfectly into a long-term plan to turn around Mississauga’s shoreline and win back the respect of Mother Nature. Her family already worked miracles when reimagining Port Credit Village two decades ago.



Crombie’s call to skip grey-zone restrictions doesn’t line up with public health guidelines

Crombie’s call to skip grey-zone restrictions doesn’t line up with public health guidelines

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie called on the Province to hopscotch Peel into a more lenient reopening category once the current stay-at-home order is lifted after March 8 (unless plans change).

But Peel Region’s latest weekly epidemiological report suggests new “variants of concern” need to be better understood and the Region's top doctor is calling for caution before any rash decisions are made.



PCs signal GTA West Highway might not happen as opposition grows

PCs signal GTA West Highway might not happen as opposition grows

After months of steadfastly defending the GTA West Corridor as good transportation and economic planning, the PC government took a step back today, saying it is not 100 percent committed to building the highway. 

The sudden shift comes amid fierce opposition from environmental advocates, municipalities and members of the public vowing to hold Doug Ford and his colleagues accountable.



Part 2: Brightwater – Clearing the way for a cleaner life

Part 2: Brightwater – Clearing the way for a cleaner life

Fixing our mistakes by the lake: The Brightwater project in south Mississauga is part of a massive movement to reclaim the city’s wondrous natural assets, including its lengthy Lake Ontario shoreline. The water's edge, once decimated by dirty industrial uses, promises to be an urban oasis for thousands looking to retire in a coastal resort-like setting.



After forsaking the environment for the GTA West Highway are Caledon leaders coming around or playing games?

After forsaking the environment for the GTA West Highway are Caledon leaders coming around or playing games?

Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson and Councillor Jennifer Innis have recently attempted to contort past statements on the controversial GTA West Corridor, saying they only ever supported planning work and not the project itself. The pair has failed to address their historic support for the corridor and shied away from a vote this week that called on them to oppose the GTA West Highway outright.



‘We’ve been subject to these gravel guerrillas for 50 years’: Mississauga renounces developer-driven GTA West Highway

‘We’ve been subject to these gravel guerrillas for 50 years’: Mississauga renounces developer-driven GTA West Highway

As the campaign to stop the GTA West Corridor continues to grow, Canada’s sixth largest city has stated its opposition to the planned 400-series highway. A motion, passed by councillors on Wednesday, means Mississauga’s is the clearest and most critical position in Peel, where a significant portion of the massive highway corridor is set to run. Meanwhile, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson have taken a position on the fence.



As vaccines slowly trickle into hard hit region, officials lay out plan to open up Peel

As vaccines slowly trickle into hard hit region, officials lay out plan to open up Peel

At Thursday’s Regional Council meeting, Peel medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, announced that seniors aged 80 and up will finally be able to schedule vaccine appointments starting February 27. With a planned capacity to handle almost 27,000 daily vaccinations, the goal is to inoculate at least 75 percent of Peel’s population, to get widespread community protection.



Following report detailing anti-Black racism, Province will investigate Peel Children’s Aid Society

Following report detailing anti-Black racism, Province will investigate Peel Children’s Aid Society

After a report found widespread anti-Black racism pervasive within Peel CAS, the government of Ontario has stepped in. An operational review of the organization will be conducted, investigating workplace culture, policies and practices, as well as considering if Peel CAS, led by CEO Rav Bains, is meeting its legislated responsibilities.



Brampton CAO continues erosion of accountability and transparency–moves independent audit function under his authority

Brampton CAO continues erosion of accountability and transparency–moves independent audit function under his authority

After only a year, Sunny Kalkat is no longer the director of internal audit. Her sudden removal right before the first audit committee meeting of the new year raises more questions about the stripping away of oversight under CAO David Barrick and Mayor Patrick Brown.



A modern politician who gets social media’s true value

A modern politician who gets social media’s true value

For Peel residents, the name Suze Morrison might not ring a bell. But for many Torontonians, she’s a familiar local elected official passionate about holding power to account, showing residents what she’s doing in office and calling constituents to action. Her deployment of social media should be a model for politicians in constant campaign mode who treat social platforms like a shiny new toy used for little more than grabbing the attention of voters.



Mississauga–Streetsville MP absent from Parliament since October on long-term medical leave

Mississauga–Streetsville MP absent from Parliament since October on long-term medical leave

Gagan Sikand, who represents about 118,000 constituents in Mississauga’s Streetsville area, has not voted or spoken in the virtual legislature since late-October. Staff at his office say he is away on an unspecified medical leave and are unable to provide a date for his return.



Program that eliminates Peel police apprehensions in four out of five mental health calls is woefully underfunded

Program that eliminates Peel police apprehensions in four out of five mental health calls is woefully underfunded

When Regional Council approved the 2021 budget for Peel Regional Police, questions around dealing with mental health crises dominated the discussion.

Mental health crises are rapidly rising in Peel but a program that has shown its potential to help both police and those suffering in the community is drastically underfunded in the region. 

 



Mississauga council members reduce vehicle perks & freeze their salary for 2021 to show support

Mississauga council members reduce vehicle perks & freeze their salary for 2021 to show support

On Wednesday morning, councillors in Mississauga will convene a special council meeting to officially approve the 2021 budget after agreeing in principle on Monday. The financial blueprint maintains a two-percent infrastructure levy, but leaves many future investments on hold until after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. 



The ‘largest repository of child pornography in North America’: More survivors testify against Pornhub

The ‘largest repository of child pornography in North America’: More survivors testify against Pornhub

Three more survivors have added their voice to the fight to hold Pornhub and its Canadian parent company MindGeek accountable for maintaining what one lawyer called the largest collection of child porngraphy in the continent. 

Canada’s parliamentary information, privacy and ethics committee will continue to hear testimony today. 



Plowing a highway through the green heart of Ontario when the natural world has been our pandemic oasis

Plowing a highway through the green heart of Ontario when the natural world has been our pandemic oasis

The world’s largest swath of protected greenspace has been under pressure for decades. Under threat right next to the rapidly growing GTHA, the Greenbelt has repeatedly needed advocates to fight against developers and the politicians who serve them. 

The latest fight aims to stop a new 400-series highway set to run along, and sometimes through, its southern edge, so more sprawling subdivisions can be built. 



Brampton Beast always skated on thin ice

Brampton Beast always skated on thin ice

The ECHL team could never establish a fan base in the city and this week the Beast finally called it quits, leaving Brampton without a pro hockey club. The country’s ninth largest city was once a hotbed for the sport, but that was a lifetime ago, and so much has changed since then. One thing hasn’t – the game’s grip on those who will always be mystified by its beauty.



Struggles of Peel’s popular personal care industry illustrate Ontario’s unfair treatment of small businesses

Struggles of Peel’s popular personal care industry illustrate Ontario’s unfair treatment of small businesses

Despite a gradual reopening on the horizon, Peel’s personal care industry has been left to fend for itself. Three months after Peel’s second lockdown, multiple meetings with government and elected officials, and the rise of an organized body to represent the interests of owners in the region, the salon and beauty industry has struggled while others offering similar services have been given unfair advantages.



Facing fierce public backlash Caledon council does u-turn on GTA West Highway

Facing fierce public backlash Caledon council does u-turn on GTA West Highway

With Caledon’s recent decision to request the federal government step in to study the GTA West Corridor, following in the footsteps of Environmental Defence and Ecojustice, confusion is swirling around local support for the highway, and the flip-flopping positions of local councillors. 



Peel lockdown extension pleases public health officials & upsets business owners

Peel lockdown extension pleases public health officials & upsets business owners

Hundreds of businesses across the region have halted their reopening plans as a result of the Province’s eleventh-hour decision to delay moving Peel into the grey zone. While the move is welcomed by Peel’s medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, small business owners brace for another two weeks of lockdown restrictions, but the move will hopefully benefit everyone in the long run.



Gurpreet Dhillon fights to have integrity commissioner’s report accusing him of sexual misconduct thrown out

Gurpreet Dhillon fights to have integrity commissioner’s report accusing him of sexual misconduct thrown out

The report by Muneeza Sheikh found Dhillon violated the City’s Code of Conduct when allegations of sexual harassment on a City-sanctioned trip to Turkey were investigated.

Dhillon has strongly denied the allegations and has filed an application for judicial review to have the report repealed. 



‘We really need to make sure we get this right’: As COVID-19 variants spread in Peel, region’s top doctor urges caution during provincial reopening 

‘We really need to make sure we get this right’: As COVID-19 variants spread in Peel, region’s top doctor urges caution during provincial reopening 

Despite weeks of declining case numbers thanks to a stay-at-home-order, new clusters of the U.K. and South African novel coronavirus strains threaten to undo the recent progress made in the fight against COVID-19, possibly foreshadowing a third wave.



Amarjot Sandhu’s glaring social media disconnection from the residents he’s supposed to represent

Amarjot Sandhu’s glaring social media disconnection from the residents he’s supposed to represent

The first-time MPP is an active poster on social media, but the content is tailored to deliver the specific messages put out by the current PC government. There’s a clear lack of messaging mirroring the pressing issues constituents in his riding face daily, which is in line with his lack of leadership when dealing with these problems beyond social media.



Much of the world way ahead of Canada’s vaccination rate

Much of the world way ahead of Canada’s vaccination rate

We have been steadily falling behind in the race against COVID-19 as the number of vaccinations administered per capita in Canada is now behind dozens of other countries.

As new strains of the novel coronavirus continue to spread, and provinces begin to reopen, it’s clear inoculation is the key to returning to normal life.



Peel educators question if Province has done enough to reopen schools Tuesday

Peel educators question if Province has done enough to reopen schools Tuesday

Peel’s two publicly funded school boards will reopen classrooms tomorrow, but some educators have mixed emotions about the decision. Training to accommodate the need for non-traditional learning has been poorly handled, some say, while concerns over viral transmission have still not been adequately addressed.



How can all of us be kept safe? Malton group’s demand for police reform highlights growing dilemma

How can all of us be kept safe? Malton group’s demand for police reform highlights growing dilemma

The Malton People’s Movement, a group based in Mississauga, has protested regularly in its campaign to bring change to Peel. In the wake of several police shootings in Brampton and Mississauga, members and supporters say they’re angry and scared. The advocacy is critical in forcing decision makers who claim to want change to actually meet at the table. But how can society be protected without a strong police presence?



Province ignores advice of Peel’s top doctor who says reopening too soon could cause third wave

Province ignores advice of Peel’s top doctor who says reopening too soon could cause third wave

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s medical officer of health, says the Province’s reopening plan goes against the guidance he offered. Loh has stressed reopening retail and schools too close together will make it difficult to isolate the cause of spread if cases begin to rise. 



Hazel McCallion: The ‘My Fair Lady’ of Mississauga politics turns 100

Hazel McCallion: The ‘My Fair Lady’ of Mississauga politics turns 100

The former Mississauga mayor is an ageless icon who becomes a centenarian on Sunday. Her legion of fans will fete her with a giant online celebration – restricted somewhat because of the ongoing pandemic. But this won’t diminish how she ‘transformed’ her adopted city.



How resilient Peel startups are surviving the pandemic

How resilient Peel startups are surviving the pandemic

The majority of businesses in the country and throughout Peel have been impacted negatively by the pandemic in one way or another.

Meanwhile, some startups and early-stage companies have been able to prevail despite the odds. Resourcefulness and a creative pivot strategy have allowed these businesses to continue generating impressive revenue despite all the obstacles.



Pandemic budgeting descends into feud as councillors pass Peel’s 2021 blueprint 

Pandemic budgeting descends into feud as councillors pass Peel’s 2021 blueprint 

Late drama during the Region of Peel’s budget process concluded Thursday with the approval of a 1.02 percent property tax increase in the Region’s share of the bill and a 5.5 percent utility rate hike.

Councillors from Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga disagreed over a budget change worth $20 to the average household, before reluctantly settling on a compromise. 



‘How do you sleep at night?’ Canadian Pornhub execs grilled by MPs over child exploitation

‘How do you sleep at night?’ Canadian Pornhub execs grilled by MPs over child exploitation

After a year of controversy encircled Pornhub and its Canadian parent company MindGeek, allegations of child pornography and other non-consensual material published and monetized on their websites forced company executives to explain themselves.

MPs were “disgusted” and “gobsmacked” by what they heard, with one politician commenting on the company CEO’s “staggering level of recklessness”. 



Sorry taxpayers, under Brampton CAO who tried to control FOI process, City refuses to reveal cost of his own hiring after scandal in Niagara 

Sorry taxpayers, under Brampton CAO who tried to control FOI process, City refuses to reveal cost of his own hiring after scandal in Niagara 

The hiring of the City’s chief administrative officer and director of strategic communications, two high-level positions filled after Patrick Brown became mayor in 2018, remains shrouded in secrecy.

The Ontario ombudsman found the winning candidates, prior to their arrival at Brampton City Hall, had been complicit in the fraudulent Niagara “Inside Job” scandal, meanwhile key questions around their hiring in Brampton shortly after remain unanswered.



How hard is Transport Minister Omar Alghabra working to stay connected to his Mississauga constituents? 

How hard is Transport Minister Omar Alghabra working to stay connected to his Mississauga constituents? 

When Justin Trudeau picked Omar Alghabra to become his new Minister of Transport in January, the MP for Mississauga Centre was given a huge platform to deliver for the city that elected him.

But, since transitioning onto the front bench, Alghabra’s social media has put his role as a minister forward and seems to have left Mississauga behind. 



Peel councillors promised a ‘home for all’ in 2018 – they’re failing miserably

Peel councillors promised a ‘home for all’ in 2018 – they’re failing miserably

In Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, rental and purchase prices for housing are out of reach for 80 percent of residents. In Ontario, it falls to the Region to provide affordable housing.

It is a duty Peel’s elected councillors are struggling to meet, praying for help from the other levels of government and the private sector, while the crisis deepens.



Brampton’s obsession with parking lots paves over green movement 

Brampton’s obsession with parking lots paves over green movement 

A review of Brampton’s parking strategy, to reduce the number of parking spaces required for new developments, likely won’t be finished until late next year. In the meantime, the City is planning to remove parking minimums downtown, and along Queen and Hurontario Streets under certain conditions. 



A year into the pandemic, PSWs still moving between high-risk care settings 

A year into the pandemic, PSWs still moving between high-risk care settings 

With Peel Region confirming its first case of the South African variant of the novel coronavirus, and cases of the highly transmissible U.K. variant, slowing community spread is crucial to protect those in high-risk long-term care settings.

Advocates say restricting the movement of staff to one type of setting, either homecare or long-term care facilities, as seen in British Columbia, can help reduce transmission. 



The ‘Missing Link’ would deliver subway-style train service in Mississauga, so why won’t Queen’s Park or Ottawa step up?

The ‘Missing Link’ would deliver subway-style train service in Mississauga, so why won’t Queen’s Park or Ottawa step up?

The construction of a bypass corridor for freight trains to remove them from the Milton GO line would deliver big-city train service to multiple stations in Mississauga that currently sit empty for hours at a time. After years of advocating, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has slowed the effort, fearing other local priorities could be in jeopardy with a deficit-shy Province and heavily burdened federal government. 



Sheridan ignoring questions about decision to make childcare students complete in-person training during lockdown

Sheridan ignoring questions about decision to make childcare students complete in-person training during lockdown

Students in Sheridan’s early childhood education program were disappointed after learning they are expected to complete in-person placements this month, despite uncertainty around the risk of viral transmission.

The college has refused to provide an online alternative, saying those who are uncomfortable face delayed graduation and additional fees. 



Peel seniors ignored by Ford government’s vaccine rollout, shows provincial pandemic team’s lack of cultural diversity

Peel seniors ignored by Ford government’s vaccine rollout, shows provincial pandemic team’s lack of cultural diversity

Since the first vaccine arrived in Canada, Premier Doug Ford stated many times, he will do everything in his power to get needles in the arms of people who need inoculation most.

As of January 31, roughly 59,000 long-term care residents were vaccinated, but seniors who don’t live in such facilities for cultural reasons are still waiting for a delivery date, leaving many to question if the Province grasps the demographic reality in Ontario.



Sikh identity at the heart of Brampton & global movement against India’s farming reforms, as Modi government uses anti-democratic crackdowns 

Sikh identity at the heart of Brampton & global movement against India’s farming reforms, as Modi government uses anti-democratic crackdowns 

The city’s large Sikh community has joined movements across the globe.

The Hindu nationalist Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is once again trying to marginalize one of the country’s most prominent religious minorities, many advocates say. Local residents have spent hours planning and executing events to show protestors in India they are not alone.  



Peel schools reopening February 16, but PDSB quiet on cyber attack that has shutdown website

Peel schools reopening February 16, but PDSB quiet on cyber attack that has shutdown website

Some of the safety measures announced by the Minister of Education on Wednesday, including advanced screening protocols, were put in place in Peel schools by the Region’s Medical Officer of Health in early December.  

Parents navigating the reopening in Peel District School Board will have to rely on direct communication with staff and teachers for updates, as the board’s website and other resources continue to experience outages following a cyber attack last week. 



The online impersonation of local councillor Rowena Santos

The online impersonation of local councillor Rowena Santos

Peel Regional Councillor Rowena Santos works hard to balance the implications of both her public and personal image. A fake social media account was recently set up by someone to defraud her followers.

Does her particular type of social media use make Santos susceptible to impersonation? And if so, what does that mean for other elected officials?



Environmental activists ask Ottawa to intervene on controversial GTA West Highway

Environmental activists ask Ottawa to intervene on controversial GTA West Highway

Joining forces with lawyers and other activists, Environmental Defence has written to Ottawa and asked for a federal Environmental Assessment for the GTA West Highway.

The project, which threatens wildlife and watersheds, will run through west Brampton and carve a massive asphalt corridor across the south of Caledon. 



Investments into anti-human trafficking efforts arrive as pandemic continues to increase the risk to Peel’s most vulnerable 

Investments into anti-human trafficking efforts arrive as pandemic continues to increase the risk to Peel’s most vulnerable 

A $3.1 million provincial investment into anti-human trafficking efforts in Peel has arrived at a critical time. 

As the pandemic has exposed Peel’s many social issues, it has increased the risk for many vulnerable residents to being exploited by traffickers. 



Shelter demand & lengths of stay increasing as Peel seeks solutions

Shelter demand & lengths of stay increasing as Peel seeks solutions

The rapidly growing Region has a $120-million capital investment set aside for its Housing Master Plan to help fund the creation of 2,200 affordable units. Compared to other Canadian cities in the last year, Peel saw the fastest growth in its millennial population between July 2019 and July 2020, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Trends pointing to longer shelter stays and increased domestic violence occurrences – coupled with the effects of the pandemic – underscore the Region’s need to boost affordable housing supply, Council heard. 



Part 1: How boomers are building a resistance movement against retirement

Part 1: How boomers are building a resistance movement against retirement 

In the first part of our three-part series, The Pointer looks at how retirement-living is being completely transformed by baby boomers. The pandemic has forced many of us to reassess our lives and consider dramatic changes. The baby boom generation has already kick-started the process. They are now reinventing retirement. Welcome to a bold new boomer-driven project, The Shores of Port Credit.



Should gripping pandemic imagery be used to make Ontario care?

Should gripping pandemic imagery be used to make Ontario care?

After almost a year of pandemic rules, fatigue as the COVID-19 crisis deepens often turns to apathy. With many traditional communication methods beginning to wear thin, it could be time to pivot to show the shocking scenes unfolding in ICUs or embrace art to communicate shared grief.



Three cases of COVID-19 variant identified in Peel as region grapples with Canada Post outbreak; Trillium to close vaccine clinic amid supply shortage

Three cases of COVID-19 variant identified in Peel as region grapples with Canada Post outbreak; Trillium to close vaccine clinic amid supply shortage

Public Health Ontario is ramping up screening for new COVID-19 variants, with the results of a prevalence test expected in the coming weeks. Ontario public health experts believe it will be the “dominant version of the virus” by March. 

While the province finally reached a two-month low in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, Peel’s per capita infection rate is still the highest in the province, as health officials continue to investigate a massive outbreak linked to a Mississauga postal facility. 



Brampton councillors hit pause button on controversial plan for Municipal Development Corporation

Brampton councillors hit pause button on controversial plan for Municipal Development Corporation

The move to hand over management of the City’s real estate portfolio to an arms-length company has faced mounting questions since the plan was taken over by the CAO’s office.

The first set of red flags was raised when it was revealed the consultant hired to shape the corporation has close ties to Mayor Patrick Brown. Now councillors are concerned that tough questions are not being answered.



NDP will scrap sprawl-inducing GTA West Highway plan if elected in 2022

NDP will scrap sprawl-inducing GTA West Highway plan if elected in 2022

The Official Opposition has promised to cancel the controversial GTA West Highway if it forms the government or plays a part in a coalition after the 2022 provincial election.

The project, which threatens sensitive lands throughout Peel Region, was scrapped in 2018 by the Liberals and then restarted by the Progressive Conservatives in 2019.



Skyrocketing utility bills in Peel underscore how low-income residents are hit hardest by region’s budgeting 

Skyrocketing utility bills in Peel underscore how low-income residents are hit hardest by region’s budgeting 

While councillors tell residents about the low tax increases they have secured, few are talking about the spiralling cost of water in Peel.

After enduring an increase of more than 7 percent in 2020, people in Brampton, Mississauga and parts of Caledon will find themselves paying a further 5.5 percent for utilities in 2021 ahead of an even larger increase in 2022.