Will you miss the Region of Peel?
May 18, 2023 By Anthony Capkun
May 18, 2023 – If passed, the Hazel McCallion Act—introduced today by the Ontario government—would begin the process of dissolving the Regional Municipality of Peel, bringing independence to the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon.
“The Region of Peel includes some of the largest and fastest-growing municipalities in Canada and is poised for significant growth over the next decade,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Our government is supporting this growth by cutting red tape and improving efficiency while maintaining and improving the high level of local services […] residents rightly expect.”
Ensuring continuity and efficiency at the local level to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities—particularly the building of 1.5 million new homes by 2031—is part of Ontario’s plan to address the housing supply crisis, says the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“I want to thank the Minister and the Premier for answering our calls for an independent Mississauga,” said Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga. “As Ontario’s third-largest city that’s home to 100,000 businesses and the province’s second-largest economy, we’re ready to stand on our own two feet and make our own decisions about the future of our city.”
The municipalities that make up the Region of Peel currently have about 1.5 million residents and are expected to grow to over 2 million by 2041. These municipalities have collectively agreed to housing pledges totalling 246,000 new homes by 2031: 120,000 in Mississauga, 113,000 in Brampton, and 13,000 in Caledon.
The populations of these municipalities according to the 2021 Census of Population (Statistics Canada):
• 717,961 – Mississauga
• 656,480 – Brampton
• 76,581 – Caledon
The province’s plan would help ensure the continuation of “high-quality services for taxpayers while improving the efficiency of local governments” as they prepare for future growth, adds the ministry, which includes “making good on their municipal housing pledges”.
“Our government is working with our municipal partners to provide the tools and autonomy required to deliver on our shared commitments to the people of Ontario, including addressing the housing supply crisis,” added Clark.
The province would establish a transition board of up to five people to facilitate this change in local government and, if needed, oversee the financial affairs of Peel and its lower-tier municipalities “to help ensure prudent financial stewardship until dissolution”.
That transition board would provide recommendations to the province to help Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon prepare to become single-tier municipalities on January 1, 2025, when the proposed changes (if passed) would come into effect.
“We expect to work closely with the transition board to achieve a result that respects the taxpayers of Brampton, allows our city to continue its significant growth, and treats all municipalities within Peel Region equitably,” said Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton.
The dissolution process would help ensure “a fair outcome for the three municipalities” that prioritizes:
• the preservation of frontline services and workers
• respect for taxpayers
• government efficiency
The process would respect and support the effective administration of local governance during and after the dissolution while providing these fast-growing municipalities with the tools needed to plan for population growth, including the tools needed to meet their housing pledges.
“As one of the fastest-growing municipalities in the province, Caledon needs partners at the table to ensure we hit our growth targets when it comes to infrastructure and community service,” said Annette Groves, Mayor of Caledon, adding that her town will work with the province “to ensure a fair transition for our town”.
The transition board would help implement the province’s clear expectation that the affected municipalities work together fairly and in a spirit of partnership to ensure value for money and efficient, high-quality services for taxpayers.
Where there are shared assets and services, the dissolution process would help ensure an equitable outcome for all residents that preserves their access to municipal services regardless of location.
The proposed legislation is named after the late Hazel McCallion, who served as Mayor of Mississauga for 36 years.
In the coming weeks, the province will also name regional facilitators to assess the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo and York.
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