Councillor from Mississauga, Brampton or Caledon could be next Peel Regional Chair

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Published December 14, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Changes could be coming to who can run for Peel Regional Chair, including sitting councillors from Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

Peel Regional Council voted last week to allow a sitting member of council can run for Regional Chair, which is the political head of the Region and CEO of the Regional Corporation.

The bylaw changes were first introduced by Mississauga Coun. Carolyn Parrish back in October with the intent of creating a “parallel method” for who is eligible for the position.

While council narrowly voted 13 to 11 to approve the changes, the bylaw still requires approval from the provincial government.

Under the new rules, members of the public and sitting Regional Councillors could run for the position, while Peel’s municipal mayors cannot.

A sitting councillor who is elected chair could receive an additional $30,000 a year. The current yearly costs for the chair’s salary, staff members, vehicle and other perks comes in at some $890,000.

The changes also mean the chair could be reassessed after two years, rather than a four-year term.

On top of trimming the budget and creating the roll of two vice-chairs, the bylaw changes mean any councillor appointed chair would have to stay on as a member of their municipal council.

The chair and vice-chair positions would be filled by councillors from different parts of the Region, meaning no one Peel municipality could have a representative in two of the three positions.

Parish had hoped the changes would help “unite the three municipalities” and “knit the council together.”

But not all councillors agreed, including Mississauga Coun. Dipika Damerla who called the changes “poor governance” and “inherently problematic.”

“Trying to have now three people do the job of one person makes me ask why not let one person do it,” Damerla said. “Why downgrade it to part-time?”

The Chair is elected by the 24 members of Regional Council to preside over meetings of Council and to ensure its decisions are implemented. The chair also represents the Region when dealing with other levels of government.

Current Regional Chair Nando Iannicca was appointed in December 2018, and his four-year term will conclude in November of 2022.

Iannicca formerly held the position of Regional Councillor for Ward 7 in Mississauga.

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