Brampton Councillor Dhillon says City doesn’t understand concerns about violence

Gurpreet Dhillon

BRAMPTON Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon on Wednesday expressed his disappointment that Brampton City Council rejected his proposal for an immediate, short-term strategy into the recent spike of criminal activity in the city.

The amendments proposed by Dhillon would have directed staff to report back at the July 11 Council meeting with an immediate action plan related to violence and safety, cracking down on lodging houses holding 20-plus people, increased loitering and loud music issue, urging the Province to investigate illegal private colleges, and for the Peel Police to provide updates on recent attacks.

Instead, a motion was passed which directed the formation of a ‘Community Safety and Well-Being Plan’ for the entire Region of Peel, including Mississauga and Caledon, but not specific to Brampton. The plan passed by Council on June 27, which did not give a set timeline, will include school boards, volunteer and faith groups, community and social agencies, Peel Police, as well as the City of Brampton.

The requests made by Dhillon were amendments to the approved motion, and would have directed staff to provide a short-term strategy to respond to the immediate crime and nuisance concerns raised by residents recently. However, Council deemed these amendments ‘out of order’, and only Dhillon ended up voting in favour after it was challenged.

“The City of Brampton has made it clear that it does not understand the community and its needs,” said Dhillon. “Hundreds of residents protested over the weekend, and are fearful for their safety.”

Over the past few months, there has been escalated violence, mob attacks, intimidation of residents, and many videos containing the violence have circulated throughout international and social media. Staff have indicated they were made aware of the issue only last week.

“The plan that was approved could take months, even years,” said Dhillon. “This is about responsible governance – there’s no excuse for us to not to act now, especially when there’s a heightened state of fear about the escalating violence. I do not want to have to have wait for another one of our children or loved ones to get hurt to be the reason for change.

“We’ve seen enough and the public deserves immediate action. I will continue to work with the residents to explore further options.”