By: Surjit Singh Flora
From time to time, Brampton council passes motions that are not relevant or do anything for Bramptonians. This could be said of many municipal governments, but some recent examples are notable.
With Mayor Patrick Brown and the rest of the council, they some to have done their best over the past term to marginalize and minimize Brampton’s memories, heritage and history by changing numerous park and street names, like they were never going to build anything in the future that would need a new name or identity.
They changed a section of Peter Robertson Boulevard to the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak. Dixie 407 Sports Park was renamed to Emancipation Park in honour of the abolition of slavery. Councillor Harkirat Singh said at a Council meeting that he couldn’t support naming a park after Queen Elizabeth II because she isn’t a Bramptonians. He was the only one to object to that in a 9-1 vote.
His response was, “I can’t support this because, from a naming perspective, I believe there are infrequent opportunities for local citizens. We have people doing remarkable things locally, and I think when we give it away, whether its prime minister’s or the Queen, we lose the ability to name these assets after local people.” That is seen as totally absurd, if not insane because Guru Nanak was not a local Brampton resident either. It seems like Councillor Harkirat forgot that Queen Elizabeth II is still Queen of this country, even above the Canadian Prime minister and the Canadian governor-general. We are under her commands.
Brampton Council also passed a motion to support the legal challenge against Quebec’s Bill 21. The motion was moved by Brown and seconded by Singh. Bill 21, also known as ‘An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State,” designed to secularize Quebec’s civil service by banning the wearing of all religious symbols for most public sector workers.
The bill prohibits teachers, police officers, judges, and others from wearing items like hijabs, turbans, kippas, and crucifixes in the course of their duties.
Now, Brampton Council passed a resolution against India’s agriculture bills, but are not ready to look at their own city’s problems! Crime, looting, robberies, pollution are on the rise. Roads are congested, and the number of people obeying traffic rules is declining. People are fed up with rising auto insurance costs and increased water bills.
A few weeks ago, Indian students and many protestors blocked lanes during rallies in Mississauga and Toronto, with 300- 400 vehicles involved, but neither police nor city officials came out to stop this. They created the problem for local citizens —maybe someone needed to get medicine for their sick father, son, wife or mother, or perhaps someone came to buy the grocery from the store to feed the hungry kids at home but couldn’t because of these protests.
This council is only good for the outsiders — there’s nothing for the voters, for Bramptonians. The COVID-19 pandemic is hurting everyone. Many peoples are losing their jobs, and many of them are working from home with less work. It’s the same with the Brampton council. If they really cared about Bramptonians, they could reduce their salaries by 15- 20 per cent without any question.
But I know they will never do that because they are here only for their paycheque, not for its citizens.
Contract farming takes place in Ontario and Canada! Dairy and poultry are under strict quotas. The farmer cannot do as he pleases, but the detractors never speak! Under the new NAFTA agreement with the United States, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, butter, etc. will be shipped cheaper from the United States to Canada! Farmers protested, but the detractors slept! Did Brampton Council read all the Indian Government farmers’ bills and policies? The truth is they even don’t know anything about it. It’s just a few councillors; they’re always eager to engrave their names on the gold plate for the future generation so they can put their heads up and say proudly, “I did the hard work on this,” even Komagata Maru Park.
This council is too busy for useless matters and has no time to solve or think about the city and the citizens. These problems are Bramptonians’ problems. Bramptonians only seem to be good for paying their salaries, property tax bills, water bills, and money-making machines speeding and red-light cameras.
It’s time for Brampton councillors and Mayor to come back home. If you want to clean up or fix things, start with your own house first. Please clean up the mess of your own city, before you go to the province, country and worldwide.
Brampton Council needs to wake up and do something for the city and city issues and the citizens before it’s too late, and things get worse, and they are already.