Town will save more than $1M in taxpayer funds every year combining departments in Caledon ahead of Peel split

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Published September 20, 2023 at 9:43 am

Caledon Town Hall
Caledon Town Hall (Town of Caledon)

The Town of Caledon is slashing its number of departments by more than half in a “restructuring” ahead of the Peel region split that will free up more than $1 million in the budget every year.

The town made the announcement on Tuesday (Sept. 19) that it will be consolidating its 11 departments down to six in preparation for the dissolution of the Region of Peel which is expected to come into full effect in January 2025.

The regional split means Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga will dissolve into separate, single-tier municipalities and the restructuring of town departments is a “proactive step to prepare for next steps in the process” as Caledon will “have to deliver some services that are currently provided regionally.”

The restructuring will see most employees continuing work on their existing teams, but three senior leaders on the town staff will be departing with others “taking on new responsibilities,” the town said.

It will also free up more than $1 million annually in the town budget, the town said in a release.

Caledon Mayor Annette Groves said the changes will allow the town to deliver on services for residents “while finding efficiencies and opportunities in how we manage new roles and responsibilities.”

“We’re respecting the hard-earned dollars of our taxpayers by streamlining operations, while setting ourselves up to foster a collaborative and positive open-for-business approach,” Groves said in a statement.

Some of the changes include creating a Commissioner of Community and Human Services role to take on new files like child care, social assistance and housing support; a new Internal Audit Office reporting to the town CAO, a new government relations and public affairs office to work with government partners and community stakeholders; and consolidating the Director of Corporate Services and Town Solicitor roles into a single Commissioner of Corporate Services/Chief Legal Officer.

A five-member transition board has been appointed to develop and submit a work plan to dissolve the Region by January 1, 2025, and the board’s term of appointment has been extended to June 1, 2025.

Despite efforts to minimize service impacts for residents during Peel’s dissolution, a recent report to regional council expects the process to be a “huge undertaking in such a short time” due to the size of the region and the services shared between its municipalities.

An updated timeline was also presented to council with the first phase of the Municipal Financial Audit expected to be included by this December.

Passed in June 2023, Bill 112 (also referred to as the Hazel McCallion Act after the late mayor’s wish for Mississauga to leave Peel Region) was presented as a way to help speed up development approvals and ensure municipalities “have the tools and autonomy they need to deliver on local priorities, including meeting the ambitious housing pledges they have agreed to.”

Caledon’s CAO Nathan Hyde said the town has “a tremendous opportunity to become a leader” and the new organizational structure “breaks down silos so our team can better serve the community and collaborate, including with residents, businesses and investors.”

“We’ve built a solid foundation to become a financially sustainable, accountable and innovative single-tier government,” Hyde said.

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