Mississauga’s fight to leave Peel Region is in the hands of Ontario government


Published March 23, 2023 at 3:46 pm

Ex-husband of former mayor Bonnie Crombie runs to succeed her in Mississauga

The Ontario government will soon review Peel Region’s two-tiered government to decide whether its three municipalities–Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon–will proceed as independent entities or as one large city.

While Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and her council have long made their position clear that independence from Peel is the best way forward for Canada’s seventh-largest city and its some 830,000 residents, that might not be the best route for Brampton and Caledon.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has remained uncharacteristically quiet, at least publicly, on the matter of Peel’s future.

In Mississauga, the fight for independence from Peel actually dates back decades to former mayor Hazel McCallion’s time in office. No provincial government of those days sided with Mississauga on the matter.

Now, the issue is once again on the front burner.

In late 2022, the Premier Doug Ford government announced it would appoint facilitators to review several regional governments, including Peel, to “assess the best mix of roles and responsibilities between upper- and lower-tier municipalities.”

Crombie said recently that the City of Mississauga is still waiting for facilitators to be appointed by the provincial government to talk to officials at City Hall about assets, liabilities, revenues and other matters that would have to be addressed should there be any political changes in Peel.

A final decision from the Province, which has not firmly tipped its hand either way, could still be many months away.

Crombie has, publicly, remained optimistic that the Ford government will come down on the side of Mississauga and its wish for separation.

She and her council have been even more aggressively pushing for independence the last year or so, most recently discussing the matter at a Feb. 15 session of council.

One viewer who commented on a recent Instagram interview insauga.com had with the mayor said Crombie is making a complicated situation sound too simple.

“Residents have the right to know how this will affect their cost of living in the city and the services we already pay for,” the commenter noted. “More information and clarification are needed and the input of residents should be sought once the full picture is painted for them before pushing this agenda forward.”

Crombie and Mississauga councillors remain insistent that the City needs to split from Peel and forge an independent political path moving forward.

Such a move would lead to a savings in Mississauga of $1 billion, Crombie suggested earlier.

What Mississauga and its residents do not need, Crombie stressed during a City council meeting last month, is to be lumped into a new large city with Brampton and Caledon.

That idea, which Mississauga’s mayor and councillors argue would greatly disadvantage their citizens, was floated once again in February when Ford spoke about the matter at a Brampton news conference.

Forming a Peel megacity is one option that has been discussed, but Ford is on record as saying recently that he supports a move in the other direction–Mississauga and Brampton becoming standalone cities.

Ford said his government will at some point sit down with Peel’s mayors to talk about the issue.

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