Taxes might not decrease, but Mississauga residents win with City’s independence: Mayor


Published May 18, 2023 at 5:40 pm

Flanked by her council, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie speaks about Mississauga's split from the Region of Peel at a May 18 news conference at City Hall.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie said once again–for the umpteenth time–that Mississauga taxpayers will see $1 billion in savings over the next decade now that plans are underway to dissolve the Region of Peel and have the City of Mississauga move forward as an independent municipality.

However, what remains unclear even in the wake of the latest Peel-is-being-split-up news conference, held late this afternoon (May 18) at Mississauga City Hall, is how exactly the lives of Mississauga residents will be improved once they no longer live, work and pay taxes under an umbrella government that is the Region of Peel.

One big question, whether residents will see tax decreases once the split is formalized in early 2025, doesn’t seem to have an easy answer.

Will potholes on city streets be filled in any faster once Mississauga is politically unburdened?

Will those nasty walls of hard-packed snow and ice that form at the end of residents’ driveways, known as windrows, be cleared for more people and more quickly after winter storms?

To be fair, a Mississauga divorce from Peel might not lead to any of those things and still prove to be a huge benefit to Canada’s seventh-largest city and its nearly 720,000 residents (2021 Census).

After all, if the numbers are correct and Mississauga will see a savings of $1 billion over the next 10 years, that can’t be a bad thing for anyone in town.

Carrying a wide smile to the City Hall podium Thursday afternoon, Crombie, 63, who took the reins from longtime and iconic Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion in 2014, said Mississauga and its residents are big winners today.

“Today we start a new chapter in our city’s future as an independent Mississauga,” began Crombie, who earlier in the afternoon was at Queen’s Park in Toronto as the Ontario government introduced the Hazel McCallion Act, which, if passed, would begin the process of dissolving the Regional Municipality of Peel and make Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent.

Crombie noted the matter of Mississauga’s independence has been on her agenda since she became mayor nearly nine years ago. Beyond that, she added, it was a goal McCallion doggedly pursued since her earlier days in office dating back several decades.

“This was championed by Hazel…and I know this decision wasn’t made lightly by the (provincial government),” Crombie told the news conference. “I want to assure the Province and our neighbours to the north (Brampton and Caledon) that Mississauga is willing to work with you…to make this transition as smooth as possible…we’ll be fair, reasonable…”

Responding again to the notion brought forth all week by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown that Mississauga owes its northern neighbour a huge chunk of money given that Brampton helped pay for Mississauga’s infrastructure over the decades, Crombie once again shook it off.

“Any assertions that Brampton paid for Mississauga’s growth and that we now owe them…couldn’t be further from the truth,” the Mississauga mayor said, noting that Mississauga paid for roads and other infrastructure over the years with development charges and not taxpayers’ money.

“Brampton should be ready to stand on its own two feet,” she concluded.

As far as Mississauga residents are concerned, Crombie says they’ll see many benefits given their city’s newfound independence once things unfold starting Jan. 1, 2025.

While life will remain normal, “…the garbage will still get picked up, buses will run on time, first responders” will still be there when needed and “…your water bill will still arrive in your inboxes,” Crombie noted, residents will be much less confused about “who does what” with respect to programs and services.

Mississauga’s independence “will reduce confusion. The same municipality (Mississauga) that plows your street will also pick up your garbage,” said Crombie. “It will reduce red tape…and will speed up” housing construction approvals, too.

“There are so many reasons why an independent Mississauga makes sense and allows us as a municipal government to better serve residents.”

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