How will a Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon split impact residents?
Published May 18, 2023 at 9:08 am
After months of speculation, the province finally appears to moving forward on breaking up Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon by dissolving the Region of Peel.
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced he will introduce legislation today (May 18) at 1:30 p.m. on the Region of Peel. Senior government sources said the legislation would split the three municipalities over three years.
So, what does that mean for Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon residents?
The Region of Peel, formed in 1974, is an upper-tier government serving over 1.4 million residents and approximately 163,000 businesses in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.
Peel services include Peel Regional Paramedic Services, Peel Public Health, long-term care and services for seniors, child care support, garbage collection and recycling, water and water treatment, road maintenance, housing and shelter.
The region also oversees land-use planning, growth management, and development.
Brampton and Mississauga share police services with the Peel Regional Police. Caledon’s police services are covered by the OPP.
Why split the municipalities?
The biggest reasons are to remove duplication of services, reduce taxes and speed up planning approvals.
Mississauga has long advocated for independence starting with former Mayor Hazel McCallion. McCallion pushed Queen’s Park to separate Mississauga from Peel back in 2004, arguing that the city contributes more money to the region than its smaller neighbours and is simply too large to be part of a broader, two-tier system.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has strongly advocated for McCallion’s goal and mentioned it at McCallion’s funeral.
“When I asked her (McCallion) what would be next, she looked at me and she said…’independence’,” Crombie said. “‘It’s time for Mississauga to stand on her own two feet, a single tier independent city’ she said, ‘it’s long overdue.’”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has said he supports a split as there is duplication but expressed concerns about Mississauga keeping shared assets in its borders, particularly the water treatment plant or Peel Regional Police headquarters.
What will happen with Region of Peel services?
It is not known yet but services such as garbage, water and wastewater could be moved to utility providers, which Brampton and Mississauga will fund, Mississauga has stated in the past.
Peel Paramedics could remain as is and the municipalities could continue to share the costs.
Will Brampton and Mississauga get their own police services?
City officials believe it would make sense to continue to share Peel Regional Police.
Will residents pay less taxes?
In reducing a layer of government, Crombie has said it will save Mississauga $1 billion over 10 years and make it more efficient. It’s not clear yet if that will mean lower taxes. On its website, Mississauga says the split would mean “better value for taxpayers’ dollars.”
Will it make building and development approvals faster?
As above, with only one level of government, it is expected to take less time to get projects approved.
What will happen with Caledon?
This question doesn’t have a clear answer yet. Mayor Annette Groves told news outlets on Wednesday night that she hadn’t been briefed about the proposal.
Caledon is rural and it doesn’t make sense to make Brampton and Caledon one city, Zachary Spicer, associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University told insauga.com. And Caledon isn’t likely sustainable as a single-tier municipality.
One option is to move Caledon under Dufferin County but that would distort the politics of that region, which is also a two-tier government but works under the county government system.
Will this break-up be messy?
There have already been words from Brown on concerns about funding and Mississauga taking more than its share.
“Nobody gets to leave cleanly after you spent (more than) 20 years mixing your income and assets,” Spicer said.insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising