Yet again, the man trying to get re-elected to the highest office in the land is not speaking to local issues in the places he’s campaigning. Though Mississauga and Brampton often provide the backdrop during this federal election campaign, Trudeau’s carefully crafted messages avoid the specific needs of cities. Sunday’s event at UTM in Mississauga was no different.
An edited clip of a debate between Brampton West candidates hosted by Prime Asia Television appears to show Conservative Murarilal Thapliyal answering “no” to a question about whether he supports women’s and LGBTQ rights. But the clip being blasted out on social media by Kamal Khera cuts off attempts by the moderator to get clarification as well as her opponent's response, which clearly states he supports equal rights and a woman's right to choose. The manager of the outlet says he was pressured into releasing the video and that it was misused by Khera’s campaign on her social media platforms.
Residents of the Mississauga community of Malton have reason to be hopeful that they’ll see a return of their community police station following a horrendous shooting on Sept. 14 in which a 17-year-old bystander died. Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s move to review police operations in the neighbourhood — including response times — was carried unanimously on Friday.
After a recent week of incidents that have shaken many to the core, voters are looking to local leaders for actual leadership. We know federal policy and money is there to help solve local crime. We don’t need backbench MPs who mouth the party line between public photo opportunities. We expect more – real advocates for change.
Greta Thurnberg arrived in Montreal Friday to lead a mass climate demonstration, while Bramptonian school children skipped class to protest in favour of their future. At an event organized by a group of 20-year-old activists, candidates from the Greens, Liberals and NDP turned out to talk to young voters about their concerns. After the event, Liberal incumbent Ruby Sahota spoke to The Pointer about climate change and how she plans to address it on a local level.
Fires in basement apartments are not uncommon. Yvonne Squires had to deal with one next to her neighbour’s secondary suite and feared she was going to lose her own home.
With estimates of as many as 50,000 of these suites in Brampton and as many as 30,000 in Mississauga, the pillar of her community is not a fan of illegal two-unit dwellings, which she says allow landlords to take advantage of vulnerable international students and avoid taxes. She praised the City of Brampton for making headway in the battle against illegal basement units, but it's an issue that will only get worse if the region doesn't find solutions to its affordable housing crisis.
Speculation swirled Wednesday about the former head of Peel Region, who earlier this year tried to undermine Mississauga’s desired exit from the two-tier system of municipal government. Councillor Carolyn Parrish suggested David Szwarc might be considering a new position that could hurt the city’s chances of getting the divorce it so desperately wants.
Faced with a growing housing crisis, Mississauga councillors are calling on federal parties to offer long-term housing solutions. Karen Ras and George Carlson tell The Pointer that what’s needed is stable federal funding to allow long-term planning. In the meantime, they’ve been forced to get “creative” in their search for short-term solutions.
Nishan Duraiappah said his transition to top brass of the Peel Regional Police Service has been “remarkable.” But when he starts officially on Tuesday he will have a lot to contend with — rising gang violence, increasing homicides, and an outcry from the community of Malton to re-establish a police station there after a recent mass shooting. The badge may shine bright, but there is a certain darkness hanging over the region right now.
A new provincial dental care program being rolled out this fall will cover nearly 7,000 low-income seniors, a big boost from the 800 or so served by a regional program that preceded it. It’s being hailed as a good thing by councillors, particularly because it’s funded entirely by the province. Bad oral health leads to more than toothaches — it’s the reason for many ER visits, making preventative care one way to alleviate the “hallway healthcare” problem.
Court documents show the Brampton West MPP pleaded guilty this month to having two unregistered secondary suites in two properties in Brampton. The charges under the provincial Planning Act were laid just weeks before his election in June 2018. Sandhu told The Pointer the units were present when he bought the houses and that the city brought “a few inconsistencies” to his attention.
When the writ dropped on Sept. 11, the NDP was unable to name candidates in the majority of Mississauga’s federal ridings. This pattern, which played out nationally, was seen by many observers as an indication of internal chaos. Now, with just under a month until the election, the party finally boasts a full complement of candidates in Peel. However, a lack of profile and presence for some, combined with disappointing polling, will continue to worry the party leadership.
Concerns around vaping are making many customers rethink the habit after last week’s report of a London, Ont. teen who was put on life support to deal with a respiratory illness tied to vaping, as well as multiple confirmed deaths in the U.S.. One Mississauga vape shop owner said his sales have declined by 80 per cent in the past three weeks.
Non-teaching staff represented by CUPE plan to begin a work-to-rule campaign next week, after issuing a formal notice of job action on Wednesday. What that means for kids and families in Peel Region schools isn’t clear yet. Meanwhile, negotiations between the province and teachers’ unions continue, after their contracts expired at the end of August.
Political loyalties are far from set in stone in Brampton and Mississauga ridings, which have flipped as one — twice — in recent elections.
Are the changes as dramatic as our first-past-the-post system make them seem? And why are Peel voters so mercurial?
While candidates and party leaders talk about the need for affordable housing and what they plan to do, the Region of Peel has received a clearer picture of the funding it will be getting from the federal and provincial governments to support affordable housing initiatives and development – it’s a bleak reality.
The nearly $30 million investment is welcome news, as is any influx of cash, but it’s not nearly enough. That will pay for only 144 new units over the next three years. The region wants to bring on 7,500 every year up to 2028.
The controversy surrounding the unveiling of a picture of Justin Trudeau caught in brownface wasn’t a snapshot of vile racism, but one of white privilege. It exposes the background of a man whose character wasn’t formed on the smithy of hard work or a desperate attempt to prove his worth, but of someone who feasted on the limelight, and was surrounded by those from the same strata – who live in a bubble.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was in Brampton to let everyone know that he would, if re-elected, work to lower Canada’s notoriously high cellphone rates and exempt Canadians from paying federal income tax on their first $15,000 earned. But he offered no commitment to ensuring that Brampton and Mississauga get their fair share of funding to cope with rising crime and the stress put on city infrastructure and services by an influx of newcomers.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie had scheduled a debate tonight under the banner Mississauga Matters, with plans to quiz candidates across the city’s six ridings about how they would stand up for the funding needs of their home municipality. But the debate has been cancelled after the city couldn’t find enough candidates to take part. That raises questions about how committed federal hopefuls are to improving the city they hope will elect them in October.
In Mississauga and Brampton, 2018 was one of the most violent years in recent memory. Homicides, shootings, stabbings and many other types of violent crime all increased drastically.
As the violence unfolded over the first half of the year, the public were paying attention, but the police seemed caught off guard and political response was absent.
In Part 1 of this three-part series, The Pointer looks at the violent winter months and how they set the stage for one of the most troubling years on record.
Residents of the Lakeview community in Mississauga met on Thursday evening to discuss the impending redevelopment of the waterfront. While developers want to add height to existing plans, locals want to keep their view of the lake, with more parkland and activity space along the waterfront. In some situations, big developers would ignore such demands and forge ahead, yet Lakeview has a secret weapon.
A program implemented in Peel Region has become a model of excellence for long-term care homes across Ontario for how to best treat and look after those suffering from dementia. Known as the Butterfly Model, it puts the patient first and focuses on forging real bonds between patient and caregiver.
The benefits have been nothing short of remarkable.
Four years ago, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party was propelled to power on a series of promises, including a historic commitment to reform Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system. In Brampton and Mississauga, town halls and public meetings in 2016 heralded a nationwide consultation on the issue and asked Peel residents for their opinions. However, in 2017 the party abandoned its pledge and MPs have been silent on the issue ever since.
Less than a week after nine people were shot in separate ambushes in Mississauga and Brampton, leaving two dead, including a 17-year-old boy, the Liberals are promising sweeping measures to clamp down on gun violence.
The party announced Friday that it would ban “all military-style assault rifles” if elected. And, as the NDP has also pledged, they would allow cities to enact their own handgun bans.
The new Mississauga Matters campaign is pushing bold requests from the next Parliament: Rapid east-west transit along the lakeshore; a new transit terminal; and federal funding to restore the downtown LRT loop are among the items Mayor Bonnie Crombie, a former Liberal MP and veteran horse-trader, wants Ottawa’s help with after the federal election. Those issues, along with affordable housing, are the goals the city is prodding candidates (and voters) to consider in its three-pronged Mississauga Matters advocacy campaign. The priorities: infrastructure, transit and housing.
Decades-old images of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in blackface and brownface have rocked his election campaign.
But in Mississauga and Brampton, cities where two-thirds of residents are visible-minorities, attitudes seem largely unconcerned. Predictably, candidate responses broke along party lines.
Help with everyday issues, like affordable medications, tax breaks for parents and transportation — as well as the broader issue of what Canada is doing about the climate crisis — are all important issues to folks on the street in Streetsville, according to Liberal candidate Gagan Sikand, who hopes to repeat his 2015 victory in the riding.
Brampton and Mississauga, which host an increasing number of foreign students every year, are grappling with the effects of an aspect of immigration policy largely overlooked in federal election platforms: student visas.
One international student laid out his concerns to The Pointer.
Mississauga’s draft climate change action plan has a greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 percent by 2050. But that strikes Mayor Bonnie Crombie as not good enough.
She wants to reduce net emissions by 100 percent come 2050. Is this attainable? Or is it just city hall blowing hot air?
Neighbourhoods in Mississauga and Brampton are in crisis. A mass shooting in Malton Saturday was followed by two more gangland-style ambushes, one in north Brampton Monday and one in central Mississauga Tuesday. In total, two people were murdered and seven others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds.
While the bloody attacks and their alarming details are consumed as attention-grabbing headlines by millions across the GTA and, increasingly, around the country, for frustrated local politicians and trembling residents caught in the criminal web, the situation has reached a tipping point.
Complaints about unregistered basement apartments and the like are down in Mississauga this year. And while that sounds like good news, Ward 6 Councillor Ron Starr says data from the city’s planning department suggests there may be 20,000 to 30,000 secondary units throughout the city.
The number actually legally registered currently stands at 847.
Gunfire erupted outside a busy Mississauga apartment building on Saturday leaving one 17-year-old bystander dead and several others with gunshot wounds.
The fatal act of violence has shaken the city and drawn the attention of federal politicians early in the election campaign, with mixed messages from the party leaders about how to address violent crime, which has spiked dramatically across two of the country's largest cities over the last five years. Local Councillor Carolyn Parrish has for years demanded more resources for policing in her ward.
Sven Spengemann says his concerns stem from the belief that communities are judged by how they treat the most vulnerable, and the fact his riding has its share of poverty.
The Liberal says representing a lakeside riding also makes being a champion for the environment especially important. He would, among other things, restore funding for the original plan for Mississauga’s LRT.
Provincial backpedalling will spare the Region of Peel some pain, but funding will still shrink by $39 million over three years. The chaos at Queen’s Park, with stark cuts being ordered without much detail and then mitigated or delayed in response to public outcry, is creating no end of headaches for the region’s financial staff and planners. Not to mention councillors forced to decide whether to reduce services residents have come to count on or hike their property taxes — just to keep things as they are.
The reasons aren’t entirely clear: Are voters unaware? Don’t care? Or just focused on the national race, with little regard for the local candidate? Whatever the reasons, scandals over offensive social media posts and the like have done little to budge the needle on polls as the federal election campaign wears on.
Brampton North candidate Arpan Khanna and Streetsville candidate Ghada Melek, both Conservatives, are among those who seem to be weathering the storm after controversy.
In the wake of a mass shooting in Malton that killed a 17-year-old, Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish wishes the community police station at Westwood Square Mall was still open.
So do some local residents who feel unsafe and dispute the impression that crime in the area had decreased enough to warrant shutting it down. It was closed to cut costs in February 2018, despite Parrish’s battle to keep it open.
International recognition of a climate emergency has offered the Greens a boost for the upcoming federal election. However, while the party seems to be on the upswing across Canada, the message continues to struggle in Brampton and Mississauga, where the car reigns.
With just over a month to go, local candidates of varying professionalism are working to open the eyes of the electorate to an issue they have been campaigning on for years.
British technology expert Sam Jeffers told a Brampton audience this week that our upcoming federal election might be riddled with security worries, as waves of disinformation from unchecked social media sites spit out cyber advertising and fake news that have plagued campaigns around the world, and could rear their ugly head here. Over the next few weeks in our hyperactive news environment that will fill the cybersphere ahead of October 21, “Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour” will again become a sign of our times.
The province has reversed course on a controversial decision in May to freeze funding for paramedic services and will now provide a small boost into next year.
The flip-flop epitomizes the confusion experienced by municipalities across Ontario as the Doug Ford PCs continue to make cuts, only to reverse them in response to public outcry. One regional councillor tells The Pointer that Peel is in a “holding pattern,” waiting for a semblance of certainty.
Though the incumbent for Mississauga–Erin Mills has made a mark in Parliament in the area of human rights — drawing malicious backlash at times — she’s counting on her focus on seniors and other local concerns to persuade voters to keep her in Ottawa.
She sat down with The Pointer to talk about the issues that most concern residents of her riding.
Arpan Khanna, who secured his candidacy a year ago, is the latest parliamentary hopeful to be dogged by his past comments posted on social media, as the theme has dominated the federal election campaign over the first few days ahead of the October 21 vote. He used homophobic language years ago and is now facing mounting pressure to step down.
A number of controversial remarks captured in the cryptic space of the internet have forced party leaders to stumble off their policy platforms, while having to address a growing list of questionable past remarks made by candidates.
Ten years. That’s all it took for fentanyl to go from a potent painkiller used to manage only the most serious post-surgery pain to one of the most deadly street drugs in the country.
In Peel, opioid-related deaths involving fentanyl have skyrocketed, leaving the Region of Peel and community organizations struggling to tamp down the problem — a task made even more difficult by the region’s underfunded public health budget.
In 2016, the federal government’s national action plan to combat human trafficking expired. For three years, service providers and community organizations have been pushing for Ottawa to step up and once again make human trafficking a priority.
Days before Parliament was officially dissolved, signalling the start of the federal election campaign, the Liberal government finally took that step.
With the 905 set to be a key battleground this federal election, major party leaders should pay attention to Peel’s rapidly growing infrastructure needs.
With 12 seats up for grabs, two fewer than each of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the booming region becomes a hotbed of election activity every four years, but the question is, what are party leaders and elected MPs doing for residents in between?
The killing of a fawn, allegedly by a dog, raises concerns that too many people are ignoring the signs reminding pet owners to leash their dogs — and cyclists to get off their bikes on the conservation area’s trails and boardwalks.
The petition signers want more prominent signage and stronger enforcement against practices dangerous to wildlife.
The Ford government’s pointed attack on our conservation authorities is short-sighted and will result in this province paying a heavy ecological price over the next few years. The green movement can work in concert with the business community, and the best example is an ongoing reclamation project on the old Ontario Power Generation lands in the southeastern section of Mississauga. This Lakeview miracle could remake the city. But any possible divinity, in Mississauga and Brampton and beyond, lies in the hands of citizens, including those in the seats of power, who can stare down the premier.
Sometimes it’s not the wheels on the bus but the endless quest for transit cash that keeps going round and round. The country’s sixth and ninth largest cities are at a watershed: get the funding to get residents out of their cars and into public transit, or continue the suburban trends of the past few decades.
Representatives of 22 of Canada’s biggest cities, including Mississauga and Brampton, want to end the cycle of transit funding dependency on the federal government that Ottawa ignores. They have a plan to make sure good transit keeps being built in places large and small until at least 2038 — if the feds will only sign on.
Mississauga is swimming in policy reports about environmental issues, cycling and transit. But a recently commissioned study now on the desks of city planners offers a revolutionary approach that could greatly reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, in keeping with the climate “crisis” city council declared in June.
Adopting it would mark a huge step, one that some wonder if Mississauga is capable of making.
Whispers of strikes and job action abound among educators. So far, the teachers’ unions have been opaque about how negotiations with the province are going.
In Peel schools, much depends on how those higher-level talks proceed.
The GTA, including Peel Region, welcomes nearly eight of every 10 immigrants arriving in the province, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada. That means other centres, despite efforts to attract newcomers, are missing out on the economic benefits immigration brings to an aging population. There may be strategies to change that.