Ford has an ally in Caledon as the Ontario leader pushes pro-sprawl policies

Ford has an ally in Caledon as the Ontario leader pushes pro-sprawl policies

Stripping away density targets recently established across the province is Doug Ford’s latest gift to his developer friends. Some Caledon members of regional council are more than happy with moves that will increase sprawl, create more traffic chaos and hasten climate change.  



Hundreds of thousands of people will move into Peel by 2040; the Region and province don’t agree on how to plan for the onslaught

Hundreds of thousands of people will move into Peel by 2040; the Region and province don’t agree on how to plan for the onslaught

With traffic gridlock and sprawl already wreaking havoc on Peel Region, the Doug Ford government’s proposed turnaround, now calling for lower density, may make things even worse, but it’s exactly what Caledon wants.

It leaves many concerned about how to continue growth in a way that’s sustainable, that improves quality of life in fast-growing communities like Brampton, shortens commutes and reduces the impact on climate change.



Chair and top bureaucrat make case to province for saving Peel Region

Chair and top bureaucrat make case to province for saving Peel Region

With political heavy hitters Hazel McCallion and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie desperate to pull Peel apart, the region’s CAO and CEO/Chair say they are doing everything in their power to keep the two-tier government together.

Peel’s CAO tells staff that a recent meeting with the Doug Ford government’s advisors was “positive,” though anxiety still swirls around what changes the province may be contemplating.

Regional Chair Nando Iannicca says Peel should be viewed as a model to be emulated, not broken apart.



Province asks Ontario school boards to implement hiring freeze

Province asks Ontario school boards to implement hiring freeze

Peel school boards say they’re still in the dark about what a memo from the provincial education ministry about exercising “prudence” will mean for their hiring decisions this year — or what the consequences of a hiring freeze and other elements of a current provincial review would be for schools.

Officials have indicated that they would be expected to comply with ministry directives. With potential increases in class sizes and cuts to all-day kindergarten, uncertainty looms large over Brampton’s schools.



Memorable day in Ottawa and DC reminds us that the toughest trial is in the court of public opinion

Memorable day in Ottawa and DC reminds us that the toughest trial is in the court of public opinion

On Wednesday, parallel sets of testimony in two national capitals threatened to bring down national leaders over alleged misdeeds and coverups.

In Washington, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen called his boss of more than a decade a racist, a con man and a cheat. In Ottawa, Jody Wilson-Raybould said her Prime Minister and others had placed unethical pressure on her as attorney general to go easy on the SNC-Lavalin corporation in its bid to avoid a criminal trial.

In both cases, the light of day is beginning to penetrate into dark corners the powerful would rather keep hidden from public scrutiny.



Peel prepares to rally public opinion in battle with province to prevent water rate hike

Peel prepares to rally public opinion in battle with province to prevent water rate hike

Fears that the province is about to announce an end to charging developers for installing new water infrastructure have prompted Peel Region councillors to prepare a pushback PR campaign.

A flyer could be making its way into water bills in hopes of rallying public opinion against such a move.

Regional officials point out that eliminating utility development charges could boost annual water and wastewater costs by $500 per residential customer.



Review of new paramedic deployment deferred despite calls the new system may leave Caledon residents vulnerable

Review of new paramedic deployment deferred despite calls the new system may leave Caledon residents vulnerable

A move by Peel Region Council to ask a consultant to take another look at a controversial new paramedic deployment system in Caledon has been deferred to June.

The paramedics union and some residents are worried that the new model, which requires paramedics to go to a station in Brampton to pick up their ambulances before deploying to a satellite station in the sprawling community, could endanger lives.

Regional council plans to wait until Peel staff report back in June with their own assessment before ordering another evaluation.



Local hospital system moves foreshadow PC overhaul of Ontario health care

Local hospital system moves foreshadow PC overhaul of Ontario health care

Plans to scrap LHINs, bring a collection of health agencies together under a single umbrella and create new local “Ontario Health Teams” were announced Tuesday by provincial Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Amid the fear of job losses, some of the work needed to create a new local organization is already underway through the William Osler Health System, which has been angling toward changes in service delivery for some time.

The idea of a “super agency” in the name of streamlining care, however, is drawing skepticism from patient advocates.



Peel Region becoming hotbed for human trafficking; police combat this modern form of slavery

Peel Region becoming hotbed for human trafficking; police combat this modern form of slavery

While Peel Region deals with a rise in human trafficking, it’s a crime that’s often misunderstood and ignored by the general public.

Victims of this form of modern slavery range from young girls drawn into the sex trade to male migrant workers exploited for their labour.

But many people are surprised to learn most are Canadians — and, shockingly, half of those exploited for the sex trade are Indigenous.



Too big to fail?

Too big to fail?

The SNC-Lavalin scandal raises many questions about who democracy serves. Is the mantra, too big to fail, the new normal when it comes to private interests that receive protection from systems of justice, at the expense of the very system of government doing the protecting?



Peel council trying to help public health unit after alarming report on chronic underfunding

Peel council trying to help public health unit after alarming report on chronic underfunding

On a per capita basis, Peel receives less than many other regions of Ontario for carrying out provincially mandated public health programs, despite steps in recent years to adjust for unique factors such as a high immigrant population.

Regional council is looking at ways to push its case for more equitable funding for programs like early childhood vision screening, mental health and addictions programs, diabetes risk reduction and control of infectious disease outbreaks.

It may be an uphill battle, with the PC government showing little interest in providing new money for improvements to healthcare in the region.



Sparks fly at inaugural meeting of region’s Strategic Housing and Homelessness Committee

Sparks fly at inaugural meeting of region’s Strategic Housing and Homelessness Committee

After a heated exchange between regional councillors and staff over slow progress on building affordable housing units in Peel Region — and an antiquated system for tracking the wait-list — Councillor Carolyn Parrish revealed that Mississauga plans one move that might help: removing development charges on basement apartments.

The committee asked staff to investigate the feasibility of doing the same region-wide, encouraging builders to put ready-to-rent units into new homes.

A presentation about housing priorities for the coming year also drew exasperation when it was revealed that the wait-list is woefully out of date because staff are still using a paper-based method to track it.



Residents, paramedics union and region clash over changes to EMS deployment

Residents, paramedics union and region clash over changes to EMS deployment

Caledon residents contend they were not properly informed about significant changes to how paramedic service is delivered in rural areas that were fully implemented in mid-January — a plan that had been ruled out years earlier.

They’re concerned that turning their EMS stations into satellite locations could compromise service and possibly put lives at risk in Caledon and Brampton.

But the region’s commissioner of health services counters those worries and points to a number of efforts by the region to inform residents and quell concerns.



Ontario PCs to reduce penalties for police misconduct and narrow oversight of officers

Ontario PCs to reduce penalties for police misconduct and narrow oversight of officers

The provincial PC government announced Tuesday they will be curtailing the scope of SIU investigations in order to “Restore Respect for Police Officers.” A new bill would mean the SIU will be called in only when an injury or death occurs as a result of police use of force and vehicle pursuits that result in injury or death.

The bill would also reduce the size of the province’s police oversight regime. In a region where police misconduct is rife, it’s unclear what effect legislation like this could have.



What to look for in the Ontario Legislature’s new session

What to look for in the Ontario Legislature’s new session

Two months into the year and MPPs are finally returning to their places at Queen’s Park.

There’s lots of unresolved business from the previous year on the agenda, including a bill to reduce car insurance premiums, the business-friendly Bill 66, the future of Peel Region and other regional governments, and reforms to the healthcare system.

Though the government has been on a break, there has been movement on those issues that will probably decide the course of the session to come.



Seeking daylight: a book offers possibilities for cities like Brampton whose waterways have been buried

Seeking daylight: a book offers possibilities for cities like Brampton whose waterways have been buried

Daylighting ChedokeExploring Hamilton’s Hidden Creek is a Canadian author’s underground journey to find the source and story of a creek long buried under Hamilton. It's a telling tale about manipulating nature, hiding it away in our paved-over urban environment. There are financial, environmental and social benefits to uncovering our past, especially right here in Brampton.



Decision time

Decision time

Politicians like Donald Trump and Doug Ford don't care about the air we breathe and the water we drink. Neither do the CEOs and other elites who pursue policies and profits, with the help of willing leaders, at the expense of our planet. It's time for common sense to prevail, for those who don't care about living the lifestyles of the rich and famous to use the power of the vote to save us from ourselves. 

Is the Ford government’s proposed Bill 66 really driven by its “Open for Business” mantra? Is the GTA West Corridor really about smart transportation? And are moves that might cut fees for developers really about helping beleaguered homebuyers? Or, is it all just to appease certain players, like the builders and developers he promised to help in a leaked video during last year’s provincial election? Ford has turned the clock back on real change in this province, and the business and ecological prospects are troubling for those who care just as much about the planet in which they live as their short time on it.



Hosing homeowners: Peel councillors furious over Ford’s talk of gouging taxpayers to help developers

Hosing homeowners: Peel councillors furious over Ford’s talk of gouging taxpayers to help developers

The Doug Ford government is considering eliminating development charges related to building new water and sewer systems — a gift to the developers who have to pay them.

Some argue those charges raise the price of new homes, but at Thursday's Peel Council meeting Mayor Patrick Brown and other members said the claim that getting rid of them will result in trickle-down savings needs to be debunked.

It will put the burden for water infrastructure on utility users and could raise the average homeowner’s water bill by more than $500 a year.



Regional councillors demand reimbursement for cost of sheltering refugees

Regional councillors demand reimbursement for cost of sheltering refugees

A regional report says Toronto and the federal government owe Peel Region over $400,000 in costs incurred in assisting an influx of refugees — including some transferred from Toronto.

Toronto recently received $15 million in federal money to help recover some of what it spent to help newcomers resettle in Canada, but no such funding has come to Peel Region.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says he’s been talking to federal officials about the issue, and about getting the region’s fair share of support.



Facing crisis, Peel wants new developments to have a mandatory number of affordable housing units

Facing crisis, Peel wants new developments to have a mandatory number of affordable housing units

Low-income families are now waiting six years to get into subsidized housing. But Peel Region, pressed to keep tax increases down, hasn’t devoted much in the budget to improving the situation.

Instead, it’s calling on the province to help by providing incentives for building rental housing and encouraging mandatory inclusionary housing, which means builders have to include affordable units in developments over a certain size.



Is the GTA West Highway good transportation planning or a gift to developers?

Is the GTA West Highway good transportation planning or a gift to developers?

The Ford government’s decision to revive a controversial project suspended in 2015 is being touted as a way to alleviate congestion on the 401 and other highways.

Supporters, including Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, say a new highway would boost the local economy by easing the transport of goods and services around the region, while critics and some residents directly affected call it a backward and destructive step that will lead to more sprawl.

The sure winners will be the development industry and major landholders awaiting the chance to open up more land, some of it in or near environmentally protected areas.



Updated: Peel Police Association president charged for impaired and stunt driving on QEW

Peel Police Association president charged for impaired and stunt driving on QEW

Elected union president Adrian Woolley, often a public face of the Peel Regional Police, was charged by the Burlington OPP on Saturday night.

The charges come after long-time criticism of the force for its high rate of police misconduct cases.



With “Mexit” a possibility, Peel Region’s future won’t be decided without an argument

With “Mexit” a possibility, Peel Region’s future won’t be decided without an argument

Municipal leaders are now meeting with the province to consult on the regional governance review, and it won’t be long before Peel Region comes under scrutiny.

With Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s staunch belief that her city should be allowed to secede, Brampton saying it needs the region, and Caledon feeling overwhelmed by its larger partners, presenting a unified vision seems like a pipe dream.



Who should be trusted with confidential government business?

Who should be trusted with confidential government business?

As a result of Hasneet Singh Punia’s actions while working as Linda Jeffrey’s chief of staff, city council had banned those holding the position from being included in closed-door meetings, where sensitive, confidential information is shared. Now the ban has been lifted and Mayor Patrick Brown’s confidante, Babu Nagalingam, will be able to participate.

But Punia’s sharing of confidential documents raises a question: Who should be trusted with sensitive information?



Peel’s school boards, families caught in the middle of Doug Ford’s plans for public education  

Peel’s school boards, families caught in the middle of Doug Ford’s plans for public education  

Education Minister Lisa Thompson says she is consulting with teachers and community members on how to improve education in Ontario, trying to calm fears that all-day kindergarten might be put on the chopping block. Meanwhile, both of Peel’s education boards say they have been kept out of the loop and are nervous about the possibility of losing full-day kindergarten and limits on class sizes.

Peel’s two major school boards are left playing a waiting game, as the PC government decides what the future of education in Ontario will look like.



Ford PCs appoint local realtor once accused of trying to pay for Conservative party memberships to Peel Police Board

Ford PCs appoint local realtor once accused of trying to pay for Conservative party memberships to Peel Police Board

As the Peel Police Services Board begins a national search for a new chief, Ron Chatha, who while leading a local Conservative riding association in 2017, was accused of offering to pay for membership fees so people would support Kevin O’Leary in the federal party’s leadership race, has been appointed by the Doug Ford government to the police board.

Chair of the board, Nando Iannicca, hopes for a chief with a social justice bent, keen on programs to discourage criminal behaviour. He’s also eager to see Peel Police face up to concerns about diversity on the force. Meanwhile, the police budget foresees spending millions to hire 55 new cops a year for the next few years in an effort to tamp down the violent crime that shook the city in 2018.



The remaking of a modern big-city police force

The remaking of a modern big-city police force

The tragic case of Rodney King led to the transformation of the Los Angeles Police Department. Its turnaround should serve as an example to those now responsible for the future of Peel police.



PCs backpedal on leaked bill after NDP says it paves the way for two-tier healthcare; Brampton MPP slams government’s backroom moves

PCs backpedal on leaked bill after NDP says it paves the way for two-tier healthcare; Brampton MPP slams government’s backroom moves

The PC government on Friday said there will not be two-tier healthcare in Ontario, after rumours of Doug Ford’s desire to privatize healthcare swirled Thursday following the leaked draft of a bill. If passed, the bill could prime the creation of a private medical system in Ontario for those higher income earners who don’t want to use the public system and for others who would be forced to use contracted services.

Brampton MPP Sara Singh, Deputy Leader of the NDP, slammed the potential new legislation, saying that it could make services in the public system far more expensive and called the PC's moves a particular threat to Brampton, where the ongoing healthcare crisis is ignored by the Ford government.



Gimme shelter

Gimme shelter

The dramatic gap between rich and poor is played out every day on the streets of downtown Brampton. It comes into sharp focus when one trains an eye on the services and the emotional support offered by the Regeneration Outreach Community. It offers our poorest a warm meal, and a chance to pull themselves free from a life on the streets.

Yet, its programs are limited by a lack of funding. The problems of hunger, homelessness, mental illness, substance abuse, even crime, aren’t going away and will become even more acute as people of all stripes and social conditions continue pouring into Canada’s ninth largest city.



Peel rapper gets victory as judge turns around earlier ruling in case for legal assistance

Peel rapper gets victory as judge turns around earlier ruling in case for legal assistance

Darren John, a.k.a. Avalanche the Architect, has been granted financial help to pursue an appeal on his 2015 conviction for uttering threats, after years of defending himself in a winding court process.

The decision by Justice Anne Molloy overturns an earlier judge’s puzzling ruling that denied him that help while using inflammatory words about the rapper’s lyrics as having a “black macho flavour.”

The previous judge recently apologized to John for those comments after the rapper made a formal complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council.



Brown says Peel’s affordable housing situation is a crisis after council approves a budget with stiff increases, but thin on solutions

Brown says Peel’s affordable housing situation is a crisis after council approves a budget with stiff increases, but thin on solutions

Though regional councillors and Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown acknowledge that Peel’s affordable housing crisis is leaving more and more residents homeless, budget deliberations saw little movement to address the issue.

Meanwhile, homeowners will be paying 6.5 percent more for their utility bills in 2019 and 2.7 percent more for the Region of Peel’s share of the property tax bill.

While frigid temperatures continue until the weekend, and Peel ignores the homeless crisis, Toronto has made a bold move to address its own dire situation, with 10,000 new affordable units and $280 million in incentives to developers for the plan. By contrast, Peel Region is offering developers $2.7 million to focus on affordable housing units.



Patrick Brown served with $8M Fedeli lawsuit Friday while attending Black History Month event

Patrick Brown served with $8M Fedeli lawsuit Friday while attending Black History Month event

Months after threatening legal action against Brampton’s mayor, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has served an $8M statement of claim against Patrick Brown, which he received at a Black History Month celebration at City Hall on Friday.

The claim alleges that Brown’s tell-all book Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown contains libelous statements about misconduct accusations allegedly made against Fedeli by a former female staffer.



New system for Peel Region’s paramedic deployment could put lives in danger, union says

New system for Peel Region’s paramedic deployment could put lives in danger, union says

A newly implemented change has Caledon residents upset over how Peel Region is delivering paramedic services north of Mayfield Road. Starting Jan. 14, paramedics assigned to Caledon reported for duty in Brampton rather than the area they will be servicing. But, as a result, shortages in EMS coverage in Caledon could pull resources away from Brampton, making some already long emergency response times even worse.

Residents and the paramedics union are butting heads with paramedics chief Peter Dundas and the region over how to best deploy Peel’s biggest emergency service safety net for those relying on ambulatory care.



Peel works just fine, and let’s keep it that way, regional chair says

Peel works just fine, and let’s keep it that way, regional chair says

Many assume that Nando Iannicca, the former longtime Mississauga councillor and now the head of Peel Region, will help his city get out of the two-tier system of municipal government. But after the provincial PCs announced a review of the regional government model, prompting speculation that Hazel McCallion and current Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie will get their wish, to pull their city out of Peel, Iannicca says, not so fast.

He tells The Pointer that regional government is working well and he wants to keep it that way.



New Peel police board chair signals force will look more like Brampton

New Peel police board chair signals force will look more like Brampton

“You’re going to have a fundamental disconnect when you don’t mimic the people that you serve,” says Nando Iannicca, who believes it’s time to take action to heal the rift between police and visible minority communities.

That will come as good news to community activists who have pointed to the lack of diversity on the force as a barrier to fighting crime. Meanwhile, concerns about racial profiling and discrimination continue even after new regulations put a curb on the oft-criticized practice of ‘carding.’



Brampton families out of luck after online immigration sponsorship shuts down in ten minutes

Brampton families out of luck after online immigration sponsorship shuts down in ten minutes

Much to the dismay of many Brampton residents hoping to sponsor their loved ones for immigration to Canada, an online form designed to expedite sponsorship applications hit its cap after being online for about ten minutes.

Families across the country are already expressing outrage. With routinely high numbers of people coming to Canada under the Liberal government’s quotas, one wonders why this was not foreseen and if the logjam is a result of a new immigration policy that favours economic immigration over family reunification.



Peel councillor questions if enough is being done to help the homeless

Peel councillor questions if enough is being done to help the homeless

Monday’s unrelenting weather added to the misery of the destitute in Peel’s municipalities. Not only are they toughing out a second cold snap in as many weeks, the blizzard will force many to dig in as a blanket of snow covers the region.

Peel’s elected officials have been mostly silent on the issue of homelessness. But Councillor George Carlson, who has housed the homeless himself, and Brampton’s Martin Medeiros say they are closely monitoring the desperate situation and will have fulsome policy requests to address the dire lack of support for the homeless during upcoming budget deliberations.



“Let’s Talk” is not Doug Ford’s stance on sex education and young people in general

“Let’s Talk” is not Doug Ford’s stance on sex education and young people in general

The Ontario leader is a sad example of what this week’s growing movement is not about. Doug Ford’s authoritarian governance on something as important as the health and well-being of young people stands in direct contrast to the Let’s Talk initiative across Canada.



Peel Region chair wants economic prosperity — and a green future

Peel Region chair wants economic prosperity — and a green future

Mississauga councillor Nando Iannicca was looking forward to leaving politics until a new challenge beckoned: leading Peel Region.

His philosophy is simple but daunting: make sure you have both an economic plan and an environmental one.

The former chair of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority wants to see booming economic development balanced by a green perspective that understands much of the devastation causing climate change happens because of bad decisions at the local level. Iannicca wants to help usher in a culture of environmental stewardship, while growing the local economy.



Peel police budget is in a deficit, regional council hears

Peel police budget is in a deficit, regional council hears

While Peel Police approached regional council hat-in-hand on Thursday to ask for a $21.6 million increase to their budget, acting chief Chris McCord admitted the force is currently running a deficit.

High salaries and a desire to hire more officers to deal with a spike in violent crime are driving a request for a 5.6 percent increase to the police budget for 2019.

Meanwhile, provincial grants for some initiatives are expiring, leaving police wondering how to make up the loss.



Doug Ford backs off plan to allow developers to build in the Greenbelt

Doug Ford backs off plan to allow developers to build in the Greenbelt

Premier Doug Ford’s government has announced it will pull a controversial section of a proposed new bill that would have allowed municipalities to override existing laws that protect the province’s expansive Greenbelt in Southern Ontario. Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark tweeted out the reversal Wednesday.

The move marks the second time Ford has flip-flopped on his pledge to developers, after he told them during the spring election campaign that he would open up Greenbelt lands, then recanted ahead of the election, before introducing the legislation in December that would have allowed the move. Facing a huge backlash across the region, his government is now removing the provision from the proposed bill. 



Charged political atmosphere in city halls around the country makes accountability difficult

Charged political atmosphere in city halls around the country makes accountability difficult

Calgary, Brampton and Niagara Region have all been in the news over the conduct of municipal staff. In Brampton, the recent Inzola lawsuit, which the city successfully defended, revealed troubling behaviour inside City Hall. In Niagara just over a year ago a reporter’s notes were confiscated by regional staff and last year employees with the City of Calgary viewed a leaked newspaper column, prior to its publication, that dealt with the sudden and mysterious departure of a senior staffer.

While layers of oversight exist at the federal and provincial levels, for Brampton taxpayers, and those homeowners across the country whose tax dollars pay to keep huge municipal bureaucracies running, the question of accountability is a growing concern.



Hazel McCallion and Doug Ford are a deadly duo for anyone who cares about the Greenbelt and Peel Region

Hazel McCallion and Doug Ford are a deadly duo for anyone who cares about the Greenbelt and Peel Region

Premier Doug Ford’s hiring of Hazel McCallion as a special advisor, a role she also performed for Kathleen Wynne, was no surprise. Neither are the plans they will set in motion to dismantle Peel Region and allow developers to build in the Greenbelt.



Let the games begin

Let the games begin

The possible dismantling or restructuring of Peel Region has been in the air for years and on Tuesday the Doug Ford government announced a review of regional governments across the province.

The move is hardly surprising — Ford, Hazel McCallion and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie have been signalling that change is needed. For Brampton taxpayers hoping the Ontario leader has the city’s best interests at heart, don’t kid yourself. Giving Mississauga what it has wanted for a long time could deeply hurt its neighbour to the north, not that those currently holding all the power care.



Community safety will be a top concern for three Peel Region councillors chosen to fight the root causes of violence

Community safety will be a top concern for three Peel Region councillors chosen to fight the root causes of violence

Michael Palleschi will represent Brampton as Peel Region forms an overall safety and well-being plan, mandated by the previous provincial government. The aim is to get local leaders more involved with problems at their doorstep.

Palleschi will be part of a panel that also includes councillors from Mississauga and Caledon, experts and residents, all focused on building a safer, healthier community. Over the next two years, they will be tasked with bringing together ideas and solutions to coordinate a new regional effort to prevent the root causes of crime and social decay.



Judge apologizes to Peel rapper ‘Avalanche The Architect’ for describing lyrics with “black macho flavour”

Judge apologizes to Peel rapper ‘Avalanche The Architect’ for describing lyrics with “black macho flavour”

Justice Michael Quigley admits to insensitive language in his ruling against Darren John’s application for legal assistance, but says he “did not intend to make any comment that could be perceived as racist.”

That’s according to a letter from the Canadian Judicial Council after John filed a complaint about the words Quigley used in turning down his request for monetary help in appealing a conviction of uttering threats. The chief justice, the letter says, “is satisfied that Justice Quigley does regret the unintended interpretation of his words.”



Legal cannabis: the great unknown

Legal cannabis: the great unknown

A special cannabis forum was held at the City Hall Conservatory Thursday night, and a crowd of 150 showed up, with another 200 watching online. Emotions ran high, and the question of whether recreational cannabis use is good, or very bad, was articulated in emotional outbursts. The town hall gathering sets up a dramatic January 21st council vote about the sale of a legal intoxicant in the city, but unanswered questions about cannabis use, and how it impacts society, are being argued right across North America. 



Trudeau government denies cannabis shortage, lays blame on Ford as Brampton scrambles for answers

Trudeau government denies cannabis shortage, lays blame on Ford as Brampton scrambles for answers

Shortage? what shortage? says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, refuting widespread reports of a cannabis supply boondoggle, while blaming Ontario’s ‘rocky rollout’ of legalized pot on the Doug Ford government’s obsession with undoing the Liberal plan for cannabis under Kathleen Wynne.

Border Security Minister Bill Blair's spokesperson says that, contrary to Ontario’s “excuses,” there is plenty of product available, with 140 licensed producers and a large stockpile.

The province’s insistence that a shortage led to reducing retail licences to just 25 is complicating the issue for Brampton, which must make a decision on opting in or out of retail sales by Jan. 22.



Vic Fedeli moves to sue Mayor Patrick Brown over claims made in Take Down memoir

Vic Fedeli moves to sue Mayor Patrick Brown over claims made in Take Down memoir

A letter of intent claims the Ontario finance minister was libelled in an anecdote in Brown’s book about a former staff member’s misconduct complaint against Fedeli.

The incident was known to PC leadership before publication of the book, according to Premier Doug Ford, who said in the Legislature that it had already been investigated without a “shred of evidence” being found.

The matter has never been tested in court.



Peel Police close out a violent year, but are statistical jumps as troublesome as they appear?

Peel Police close out a violent year, but are statistical jumps as troublesome as they appear?

Community concern over a wave of violent crime spread across Brampton in 2018, as the issue remains the number one problem for the city’s residents. While crime needs to be confronted head on by Peel police, local leaders, other levels of government and the public, a look at the statistics over a longer period suggests 2018 might have been an anomaly, not part of a pattern of rising violent crime.

Population growth and other more random factors can sometimes explain increases in crime year over year. Overall, when looking at national and provincial crime statistics and numbers in Peel over the years to understand crime in Brampton and Mississauga, last year has to be compared with broader data.