December 29, 2023 – Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown hosted a year-end press conference, highlighting exciting developments and initiatives that shaped 2023 for the City of Brampton.

The mayor kicked off the event by showcasing an abundance of outdoor amenities available for residents during the holiday season. Notably, he emphasized the increased number of outdoor skating rinks and Tim Hortons’ sponsorship of indoor skating for kids.

Mayor Patrick Brown and former NHL-er Shayne Corson test out the ice at one of Brampton’s many outdoor rinks

Moving forward, Mayor Brown delved into the city’s upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration, marking the commencement of Brampton’s 50th-anniversary celebrations. He highlighted the stellar lineup of performers, a spectacular fireworks display, and the headlining act, Our Lady Peace.

Canadian rock band and four-time JUNO award-winner Our Lady Peace

Extortion Cases

Mayor Brown then introduced Deputy Chief of Peel Regional Police, Nick Milinovich, who addressed crucial public safety issues. Milinovich discussed a series of extortion cases in Brampton, revealing the establishment of a dedicated task force to tackle the issue, “We’ve made arrests and we anticipate more coming.”

Deputy Chief of Peel Regional Police, Nick Milinovich

911 Wait Times

Shifting gears, Milinovich addressed 911 wait times, stating that 35% reductions have been achieved in 2023 even though they receive 1800-1900 calls her day. “Thankfully, due to the support of the Mayor and Police Board, we will be adding additional resources in 2024 and continue to reduce those wait times for our community,” Milinovich said. Currently standing at 49 seconds, the goal is to reduce it all the way to 15 seconds.

Mayor Brown underscored his commitment to addressing public safety concerns, highlighting the largest increase in Peel Region’s Police Budget, adding 135 new officers and 94 civilians in 2024.

“When I was elected Mayor 5 years ago, I felt that there was systemic underfunding of policing in Peel Region,” Brown said. “We’re going to make sure our police have every tool they need to keep you safe.” Brown concluded: “Gangs don’t care about municipal borders.”

Holiday RIDE Program

Milinovich also highlighted the Holiday Ride Program, aimed at curbing impaired driving through randomly placed police roadside spot checks, a campaign running from November 12 into January.

One of the many roadside spot checks that are set up night and day throughout Brampton

“Impaired driving is one of the top causes of loss of life due to collisions,” Milinovich quoted, emphasizing that is why the Peel Regional Police have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy for people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Thousands of vehicles have already been checked as part of the campaign.

Mayor Brown, to emphasize the severity of this issue, talked about the Ciasullo family – a young mother and her three daughters – who were all killed in a 2020 car crash which was caused by an impaired driver.

Brown noted that Brampton Transit is free on New Year’s Eve so there is no excuse to drive impaired.

Speed Cameras

Deputy Mayor Harkirat Singh took the floor, sharing news about Brampton’s Automated Speed Enforcement Camera Processing Centre. He talked about plans to increase the deployment of speed cameras from 50 to 150 throughout the city, emphasizing their effectiveness in reducing speeds in community safety zones and generating revenue for the city.

Deputy Mayor of Brampton Harkirat Singh

“Speed cameras work. Our data shows that speeds decrease in community safety zones where cameras are present. And they generate significant revenue for the city to invest in infrastructure, enhanced programing, and other key areas,” Singh said.

Transit Investment and Economic Development

Singh touched upon the city’s transit investments, adding over 100,000 new service hours and 60 operators to Brampton Transit in 2024. He also celebrated economic development, citing investments from notable companies like Lululemon and Pet Value, as well as construction value of over $2.2 billion occurring in the city during 2023. All this was done, Singh noted, while having “the lowest property tax increase in the GTA.”

The Deputy Mayor concluded by highlighting significant strides towards opening a second hospital and the imminent launch of Brampton’s new medical school, “which will be the GTA’s first medical school in over 100 years.”

Optimistic 2024 for Brampton

Mayor Brown concluded the press conference optimistically: “There’s lots to be proud of in 2023, and we’re mindful of the concerns residents have.” One example Brown pointed to: “[Brampton has] a hospital that is one of the busiest in the country – but help is on the way.”

Mayor Patrick Brown smiles at the swift 51-minute Council meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, where the City of Brampton’s Council greenlit the 2024 budget that he presented

He also celebrated the provincial government’s decision to reverse the dissolution of Peel Region, declaring, “Peel Region was saved. What wonderful news for the end of the year.” He emphasized the peace of mine and stability that brings to all the front-line staff in Peel, like the shelter workers and ambulance drivers, who had been nervous about their future.

And finishing off with a note on Brampton’s economic growth, Mayor Brown echoed Deputy Mayor Singh’s comments, saying, “Brampton is Booming! When you hear companies like Pet Value saying we picked Brampton for our largest investment. When you hear companies like Lululemon: ‘we picked Brampton for our largest facility in North America.’ That is a sign of confidence in our city.”

You can watch the full press conference here: