Councillor says ‘no improper influence’ on property fined $12,000 in bylaw fees in Brampton

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Published June 7, 2024 at 10:05 am

This property on Queen Street in Brampton (left) is owned by a numbered company, of which Brampton Coun. Gurpartap Singh Toor (right) is a director.

“I’m not above the law.”

That’s the message coming from first-term Brampton City Coun. Gurpartap Singh Toor following more than $12,000 in fines related to a derelict property tied to the politician.

“I’m no different than any other resident of the City of Brampton,” Toor told Insauga.com about the home on Queen Street owned by a numbered company of which Toor is “one of many ” directors.

Since 2021 the property has seen more than $12,000 in property standards fines and at least 29 tickets.

The boarded-up property is just blocks from Brampton City Hall and Toor says it has been used as a homeless encampment and is considered an “unsafe structure.”

Toor went back and forth with an enforcement officer regarding the complaints, promising “complete remediation” in September of that year. Toor says the company is now up to snuff with the bylaw department, with CTV reporting the fines were paid earlier this month.

An integrity commissioner complaint was reportedly filed against Toor by an enforcement officer, who was taken off the file which was then assigned to a supervisor.

Just this week the city announced a more than $3.7 million overhaul of Brampton By-Law Services as the department is being swamped with more calls than it can manage.

Toor acknowledged the optics could look bad for a sitting councillor, but said that the company was fined at all should be proof “that there is no improper influence,” despite the company being reportedly fined dozens of times before Toor was elected.

“If that was the case, I wouldn’t have any tickets at all,” Toor said of any possible special treatment due to his position.

“The fact that there is enforcement taking place on it, appropriately, that just speaks to the fact that I’m not trying to be involved in this process in any matter,” he said.

Owners of a property at 123 Queen St. West in Brampton have been hit with dozens of fines.

Toor says the company scrapped a development application for the site after he was elected in 2022 to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. He said is considering removing himself from the company or getting rid of the property entirely.

“I don’t want to have the perception in public that, in any sort of form, that I have influence over the property,” he said, adding that the company is considering a demolition.

A recent report on the state of bylaw services found the city’s rapid growth is causing “a significantly increased demand for enforcement.”

Brampton’s 311 complaint line receives more complaints than it can manage with 93 enforcement officers responsible for over 100,000 calls last year, ranging from property standards and safety issues, lawn maintenance, parking infractions, licensing and more.

The city is revamping bylaw services with a 28-point plan that will see Brampton commit more than $1.7 million for more than 30 new staffers, $744,000 for new vehicles, and another $70,000 for technology upgrades and equipment.

Mayor Patrick Brown says the bylaw changes will also support Brampton’s Residential Rental Licensing program, aimed at reducing the number of illegal suites in the city and give bylaw more enforcement options when dealing with landlord and tenant property standards issues.

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