Does Autism End at Age Five?

In this special Brampton Focus episode, we meet a parent and hear from the Ontario Autism Coalition. Both guests are appealing to the Ontario Government to ensure children and their families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have access to proven resources and therapies. Recent decisions by the Ontario Government suggest that children over 5 years of age are being transitioned off of waiting lists and provided with no alternative treatments.

Carabram 2016 – Brampton’s Multicultural Mosaic Festival

Brampton celebrates its cultural diversity again this year at the Carabram Multicultural Festival. The annual festival has been running since 1982. In these two special episodes of Brampton Focus, host Michael A. Charbon speaks with the organizers and finds out why Carabram has been an enduring feature in the City of Brampton.

Carabram takes place on July 8, 9, 10, at locations across the City of Brampton. The cultures featured this year are:

  • Africa – Judith Nyman S.S. / 1305 Williams Pkwy.
  • Caribbean – Chris Gibson Rec. Centre / 125 McLaughlin Rd. N.
  • Canada – Unifor Local 1285 Hall / 23 Regan Road
  • China – Chris Gibson Rec. Centre / 125 McLaughlin Rd. N.
  • Eelam – Brampton Soccer Centre / 1495 Sandalwood Pkwy. East
  • Hawaii – Victoria Park Arena /20 Victoria Cres.
  • India – Victoria Park Arena / 20 Victoria Cres.
  • Ireland – The Lions Hall / 45 Avondale Blvd.
  • Latin America – Century Gardens Rec. Centre / 340 Vodden St. E
  • Nepal – Century Gardens Rec. Centre / 340 Vodden St. E
  • Philippines – Century Gardens Rec. Centre / 340 Vodden St. E
  • Portugal – Century Gardens Rec. Centre / 340 Vodden St. E

For more information about Carabram, visit



Make it Beautiful with CleanUp Brampton

A beautiful city is defined by green landscapes, historic buildings, well maintained avenues, excellent transit, walkable communities and more.

These defining attributes however can be compromised in an instant with litter.  A new local community group with a mission to keep Brampton clean is highlighted in this Brampton Focus community webisode – CleanUp Brampton.  Watch and share with friends, family and neighbours.

Brampton’s Big Blue House – One Hour Special Now Online

UPDATE: The Full 1-Hour Special Episode can now be watched online.

Could a monster home be coming to your neighbourhood? Across North America, owners are tearing down small properties and building new, massive homes. In Brampton, the most well known example is called the Big Blue House. Some call it a monstrosity. Many say it’s an eyesore. The neighbours say it’s way too big for their area, and the homeowner says he wants to finish it and call it home.

In this special, one-hour broadcast of Brampton Focus, host Michael A. Charbon delves deep into the “Big Blue House”.  Featuring interviews with the neighbours, exclusive never before seen video of the interior of the house, and a first ever, television interview with the owner, Ahmed Elbasiouni.  Mr. Elbasiouni purchased the property, started building the house, and has been fighting the City of Brampton for the past three years since his permit was revoked on February 20th, 2013.


Our Time to Help Peel Memorial

Almost ten years have passed since Peel Memorial Hospital was demolished. I remember walking into the hospital for the first time in 1984 when my mother was admitted to the Emergency Room for chest pain.

I remember the narrow hallway between the emergency room area and the main entrance foyer. There was a seating area to the right hand side for concerned family members to wait, and for the sick hoping to be called next.

On the wall along that hallway, there was an impressive feature that could not be missed. Hundreds of brass plaques were affixed to a brick wall; each with the name of an individual or a family who had donated to the hospital. These plaques represented the generosity of the community to make Peel Memorial Hospital a cornerstone in Brampton.

I walked by that wall many times in my life, including when my first child was born there. Peel Memorial was my hospital, and it was there for me, my family and the entire city thanks in part to the generosity of the people whose names were inscribed on those plaques. When Peel Memorial Hospital closed, it left a significant void in the City. Now, a brand new health care facility is nearing completion and will open its doors later this year.

It’s our time to make a difference.  The William Osler Foundation is beginning a new campaign by asking the residents of Brampton to dig deep and make a personal pledge to support Peel Memorial, and for a limited time you can give once and have twice the impact. Until June 30th, every donation made to the William Osler Foundation will be matched by a donation made by the Orlando Corporation who pledged $15 million to support our hospitals. This is a special opportunity that is unprecedented in Brampton and every resident is invited to help make the new Peel Memorial Hospital the best health care facility that we deserve.

This episode of Brampton Focus details the incredible generosity of the Orlando Corporation pledge and how you can help.

Rendering of the new Peel Memorial.

Brampton Music Theatre

If you have ever been to the Rose Theatre to enjoy a performance by the Brampton Music Theatre company, then you know what a jewel we have in this city. This award winning group has staged performances like “Les Misrables”, “Mary Poppins”, “The Sound of Music”, and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, to name a few.

Led by Music Director, Sharon Vandrish, Brampton Music Theatre has flourished and their upcoming production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” stands on the shoulders of an organization that has delighted its fans since 1963.

A youth branch of Brampton Music Theatre attracts and excites young residents to hone their acting and singing craft while preparing for live performances, ensuring that Brampton will be able to experience musical theatre right here at home for many years to come.

Please enjoy this episode of Brampton Focus, and learn what your neighbours are doing to make our city a center for theatre excellence, and be sure to attend a performance at the Rose Theatre very soon.

Tickets: Rose Theatre Box Office

Music In Brampton

Music is alive and well in Brampton, despite a few challenges in the past few years, thanks to the dedication of several groups.  This month, Brampton Focus is offering a peek inside the historic Brampton Concert Band, and the Jazz Mechanics, as well as the Rose Orchestra. Communities that embrace music tend to flourish better. In Brampton, our multicultural nature means that we are fortunate to experience music from every corner of the globe. The economic benefits of professional music production and live music performance are significant, and let’s face it: Music lifts the soul.

This point was not lost on the early residents of Brampton who, in 1884, formed the Brampton Concert Band, and later on, the formation of the Brampton Mechanics by the mechanics of the Haggert Foundry. They turned to music to enrich their lives and those of the residents of the entire community. Playing at every major event in town, they laid the foundation for professional live music production for the next century in Brampton.

Fast forward to today, Brampton has a wonderful musical venue, the Rose Theatre, and it has brought forth the Rose Orchestra, a team of talented musicians that presents concert-style musical performances that so far, have enthralled and pleased audiences since 2012.

In this episode, Michael A. Charbon speaks to David Harmsworth and Joe Ferrari about their collective efforts to keep music going in Brampton.

Get More Info:

The Rose Orchestra
Brampton Concert Band

Time to Stop Carding

If you are Black, you are three times more likely to be stopped by police. Do we need any further information to finally end the practice of carding and street checks by Police? Should we not create better policies to establish more trust between all communities and law enforcement?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that individuals have the right to liberty, to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure, and to not be arbitrarily detained. It also requires that every individual has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

While Police forces continue to identify carding as an important investigative tool, street checks are illegal and should be discontinued in their present form. The Ontario Government’s efforts to review the practice is a welcome development. Hear what Sophia Brown Ramsay from the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) and Karla Bailey from Brampton Focus have to say with host Michael A. Charbon. Also, Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey discusses the appointment of Amrik Singh Ahluwalia as the new chair of the Peel Police Services Board.

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