‘It isn’t something that we wanted’: Caledon embraces split from Peel despite past opposition


Published May 25, 2023 at 1:43 pm

Caledon Mayor Annette Groves speaks to reporters at Queen's Park in Toronto on May 18, 2023.

Caledon’s mayor says the break-up of Peel Region is an “exciting” prospect but not something the Town ever asked for.

That’s according to Mayor Annette Groves, who called the province’s announcement that the Region was being split up “an exciting time in Caledon’s history” in a release on Wednesday. But Groves has also said that the move to make Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga their own independent municipalities is “not a move that we wanted.”

“It isn’t something that we wanted but, at the end of the day, we’re here with this decision today and I think we just have to work with it and do the best we can,” Groves said following the announcement last week.

Town Staff gave Council an overview of Bill 112, also known as the Hazel McCallion Act this week and even though Caledon’s stance on the split has always been “no,” Groves said she has confidence in the province’s decision and that residents won’t see rising property taxes as a result.

“Caledon is situated in the right place in the GTA, we have an enviable quality of life, and tremendous employment and housing opportunities. The province has provided the Town the opportunity to be independent and plan our own destiny,” Groves said in a statement.

The break up of the Region has been likened to a divorce, with Groves saying that Caledon is “the child in this marriage” compared to their significantly larger Mississauga and Brampton.

And while the “parents” in the split continue to bicker about hypothetical payments for water and police services among other issues, Groves reaffirmed that the break-up is under the province’s direction and maintained confidence that the Transition Board will make good decisions to “ensure that the growth that we’re going to be taking will be paying for itself.”

The Region of Peel was formed in 1974 under Premier Bill Davis with the three municipalities sharing services like Peel Paramedics, garbage collection and recycling, water and water treatment, road maintenance and much more.

The legislation sets a target of Jan. 1, 2025, to fully dissolve the regional government and will see the formation of a “Transition Board” later this year with a goal of finding “an amicable and fair dissolution process that respects taxpayers and protects existing services,” the province says.

And with Caledon mandated by the province to grow by some 220,000 people over the next two decades, Groves said she’s confident the Town won’t be left holding the bag when it comes to services and that Caledon “will be made whole.”

Groves has also raised questions about what will happen to the Region’s approximately 7,000 employees once the dissolution comes into effect, which the Transition Board will have to consider in the split.

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