$1.3 billion is the cost that Brampton says to dissolve Peel

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Published December 1, 2023 at 4:02 pm

Patrick Brown gestures at the Conservative Party of Canada English leadership debate in Edmonton, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Splitting Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon could result in the largest tax increase in Peel Region’s history and over $1 billion in operating costs, according to Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

Calling the plan a “financial train wreck,” Brown said on Friday that new numbers show the split “would see catastrophic financial impacts” on taxpayers with a one-time tax increase of 38 per cent.

The City of Brampton says updated data from Deloitte shows that the split planned for January of 2025 would cost $1.31 billion in operating costs and come with a one-time tax increase of 38 per cent across all three municipalities.

“We never asked for the Region of Peel to be dissolved. We have always asked for redundancy to be removed,” Brown said on Friday. “The independent financial analysis clearly shows the net result would be a financial disaster for Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.”

Questions around costs, shared services and the future of regional workers have been raised since the province announced plans earlier this year to dissolve the Region of Peel and separate Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon into single-tier municipalities.

Dubbed the Hazel McCallion Act after the former Mississauga mayor who championed that city striking out on its own, Mayor Bonnie Crombie welcomed news of the split saying she was “so happy” her long fight with the province was winding down.

But Brown has been more outspoken about the split, and Friday’s announcement isn’t the first time he’s raised the alarm.

In May, Brown said the cost to taxpayers was a staggering $4-billion – a figure Mississauga councillor Alvin Tedjo called “nonsensical.”

The split is expected to take effect in January 2025 but has led to questions about what will happen to shared Regional services like water treatment, waste disposal and policing.

Brown also said the city is “hearing growing concerns from emergency services in Peel” that the division of their departments would result “in acute problems.”

“The instability in Peel Region with this exercise is causing major retention and recruitment challenges for critical EMS staffing.”

The mayor is calling on the provincially-appointed transition board “to revisit this decision and take a long, hard look at the data collected by their officials.”

“Taxpayers already struggling with high interest rates and inflation can’t afford the largest tax increase in history,” Brown said in his statement, calling dissolution “an albatross around the necks of taxpayers in Peel Region.”

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