Mississauga Unhappy with Peel Council Decision
There's been trouble in Peel paradise for awhile and things are getting tense.
According to a recent Brampton Guardian article, Mississauga has promised to veto Peel regional council's decision to give Brampton four more seats on council.
Brampton's desire for more seats is nothing new and is, in fact, understandable given its growth. Mississauga currently holds half the seats on the 24-member council -- a seat count the city has justified by saying it boasts the largest population and contributes more to the region financially (which is all true).
Brampton currently has seven seats, while Caledon has five.
The Guardian reports that a majority of regional council recently voted to approve a task force recommendation to increase Brampton's seats by four and Mississauga's to a total of 16.
Mississauga is not, it appears, interested in adding more politicians to council.
Yesterday, Bonnie Crombie released the following statement:
"Mississauga Council is not in support of adding more politicians to Peel Regional Council and especially not an additional 8 members. This proposal to increase Regional Council to 32 is unnecessary and will result in excessive costs that taxpayers' will have to pay for.Mississauga has made the conscious decision to have 12 wards and each councillor provides strong representation to on average 64,000 residents. This is a smart, responsible and balanced ratio.I do not believe there is a desire to add more politicians without a compelling business case.
We all agree that Brampton has been underrepresented at Regional Council. Mississauga put forward a responsible plan to remedy this, based on the principle of representation by population.
Without increasing the size of Regional Council, we proposed Mississauga remaining at 12 seats, increasing Brampton from 7 to 9 seats, and reducing Caledon's representation from 5 to 3 seats.
Caledon residents are significantly overrepresented at Regional Council, which is not fair to the residents of Mississauga and Brampton. Mississauga councillors represent on average 64,000 people, whereas Caledon councillors only represent, on average, 18,000 residents.
The weight of the vote of a Caledon resident is worth more than that of a Mississauga resident. This is not fair and needs to be fixed.
For the Region of Peel to function properly all councillors must have an equal vote - this is not the case right now.
Mississauga Council is united in our position and in defence of the best interests of the residents, business owners and the taxpayers of Mississauga."
Mississauga has to be on board with the recommendation to make it a reality, and, at this point, it's clearly not. As Crombie's statement says, Mississauga would prefer existing seats be shifted from Caledon to Brampton. Crombie also believes Brampton should get an extra two seats -- not four.
"Brampton needs 11 (regional councillors) to properly represent its community," said Brampton Coun. Gael Miles, as reported by The Guardian.
So it appears we're at an impasse.
It'll be interesting to see what happens next.