Dec 07, 2023
By Jane Brown
Ontario’s municipal affairs and housing minister says he has yet to make any decisions on the potential dissolution of Peel Region.
Paul Calandra’s comment on Wednesday is the first we’re hearing of any hedging on an announcement made by Premier Doug Ford back in May that Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon will become independent municipalities. At that time, Ford also said it was a promise he made to former longtime Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion in her final days.
The new Ontario Liberal leader and outgoing Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie is a strong proponent of dissolving Peel Region and is urging the Ford PCs to provide clarity as soon as possible.
“The legislature is now taking a long break until February, but the Hazel McCallion Act remains in full force and effect today,” Crombie told reporters, “We need certainty for the thousands of staff at the Region of Peel including Peel Police and paramedics.”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is strongly against the move to dissolve Peel and has been warning of the biggest tax increases in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon’s history should the change go through.
“If you look at all of these regional services that we have, we’d have to set up three individual ones,” Brown responded, “And by the way, the forecast of a 38-percent tax increase was the best case scenario. It made the assumption that we continue to share water and waste water, which is all in Mississauga. And the reality is, that’s almost used up. And for Mississauga to replace that in Brampton and Caledon, because we’ve already paid for 40-percent of the infrastructure in Mississauga, they’d have to take out a debt that would be north of $10-billion.”
And Mayor Brown pointed out, that wouldn’t be allowed to happen because of restrictions on debt laid out in the Ontario Municipal Act.