The late Hazel McCallion, former Mayor of Mississauga from 1978 to 2014, actively campaigned for Mississauga to become independent of the Regional Municipality of Peel, which is comprised of Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon. Although she was personally unable to execute this plan during her time in office, her vision was shared by her successors and will soon be realized. On June 8, 2023, Bill 112—the Hazel McCallion Act, received royal assent. The act includes the legislation necessary to dissolve the Peel Region into single-tier municipalities by January 1, 2025.
The Preamble of the Act outlines its objectives, some of which are to “[r]espect and support the effective administration of local governance,” “[r]ecognize that municipalities should be empowered with the tools needed to plan for population growth, including the tools needed to build more housing options,” and ensure that taxpayers would get “value for [their] money” and receive effective services.
To effectively manage the transition process of the combined region into its separate constituencies, Section Three of the Act provides for the appointment of a five-member committee. The members of the Board were appointed by Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on July 5, 2023, and consist of John Livey, Tracey Cook, Eric Jolliffe, Sean Morley, and Peter Weltman. The Board has the responsibility to conduct its due diligence and offer suggestions on several critical aspects of the dissolution, including the wrap-up of financial operations, the transfer of assets, and the allocation of liabilities and other financial responsibilities of the Peel Region, among others. They will also explore employment matters and the possibility of establishing joint municipal service boards or arrangements.
Notably, the bill was fast tracked, skipping the committee phase and thus denying citizens an opportunity to voice their opinions. However, according to a CTV article, “[Mississauga Mayor Bonnie] Crombie has argued that separating from Peel would save taxpayers about $1 billion over the next decade and provide the city with control over its own ‘destiny.’”
What does this mean for the citizens of Mississauga? The greatest concern at this point is the separating shared services without negatively impacting citizens. Since 1974, the Peel Region has shared resources and the provision of various essential services, including “paramedic services, health programs, long-term care and services for seniors, child care support, garbage collection and recycling, water and water treatment, road maintenance, financial help, housing and shelter.”
This decision has led to some controversy, as the Mayor of Caledon, Annette Groves, is not keen on leaving the shared Peel Region services. Similarly, the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown, voiced concerns about the deep financial implications and “disputes” the numbers that come with the dissolution. He stated that Brampton will be owed billions for its contributions over the years to the overall development of Peel, of which many infrastructures are in Mississauga, especially the multi-billion-dollar wastewater plant.
While there is a lot to be done to make this separation a reality, any potential political, financial, and social fallout will have to be dealt with by January 2025— hopefully to the benefit of all citizens of the Peel Region, in whichever municipality they currently reside.
Staff Writer (Volume 49) — Angelina Jaya Siew is currently in her first year at UTM, seeking to specialize in Criminology, Law and Society and minor in French. After completing her secondary education in Trinidad and recently moving to Canada, she started writing for The Medium as a way to to highlight important global issues and encourage debate on controversial topics. When Angelina is not writing or studying, she is reading the latest mystery novel, travelling to different countries, or getting her almond milk vanilla latte at Starbucks.