Viral video spreads disinformation on 15-minute city plans in Mississauga

By

Published March 16, 2023 at 4:11 pm

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

A video circulating on social media is spreading disinformation (deliberately false) about Mississauga’s 15-minute city plans.

Fairview and Cooksville in Mississauga are two communities with 15-minute city policies. A 15-minute city refers to a concept where everything residents need is a short distance away.

“The idea of a 15-minute city is not new; it is how people have been living in cities, towns and villages for hundreds of years,” a City of Mississauga spokesperson tells insauga.com.

“It is simply about building complete communities that give people options to walk, bike, drive or take transit as they go about their daily activities. In fact, many areas of our city such as Port Credit, Clarkson and Streetsville, already operate like a 15-minute city.”

A video spreading disinformation about Mississauga’s 15-minute plan in Cooksville had nearly 200,000 views as of March 16 and it has been copied to other social media accounts.

A woman who isn’t readily identified as having any background in city planning speaks to her growing audience.

“I have done a little bit more reading on the Mississauga 15 city that is actually going to happen,” the woman, with the handle identicalshade, says in the video.

She goes on to say she has seen the maps and plans for Cooksville.

“Now, what they are not saying is that you will be limited to travelling out of your district 100 times a year and if you exceed that 100 times a year then it is $56 per trip,” she says.

She doesn’t say where she got the information about restricted travel and several people call her out in the comment section. She later posted a correction video, stating there are no entry/exit fees, but the video is still circulating.

And she still implies people’s travel will be restricted and controlled.

“They make it seem all nice and dandy and it’s such a great idea for you to walk and take a stroll and have all these locations — stores, parks, libraries and all these important places nearby, but this is very dystopian, this is pure control,” she says.

She adds there will be a digital ID and cash won’t be a legal tender.

“This is basically them monitoring you.”

The City of Mississauga says her claims are fiction.

“To be clear, the City’s 15-minute concept will…not prevent the use of a car, it will only make it easier to walk, take transit, or bike for those who wish.”

There won’t be travel “zones” nor will the city restrict travel outside of downtown Cooksville or any other area.

There won’t be travel fees for residents, businesses or visitors when leaving or entering any neighbourhood across the city.

And the City of Mississauga is not involved in the use or development of digital currencies or any digital ID programs.

People can learn more about this project and the policies approved by city council on August 10, 2022, here.

INsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies