Ontario Announces Cities of Peel Region will become independent as of January 1, 2025
The Hazel McCallion Act will make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent
TORONTO, Thursday, May 18, 2023 — Today, the Ontario government introduced the Hazel McCallion Act, which would, if passed, begin the process to dissolve the Regional Municipality of Peel and make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent. The proposed legislation honours the legacy of Peel Region’s longest-serving mayor, the late Hazel McCallion, who was central to the region’s remarkable growth during her 36 years as Mayor of Mississauga and a long-time advocate for greater autonomy for her city.
The province’s plan would help ensure the continuation of high-quality services for taxpayers while improving the efficiency of local governments as they prepare for future growth, including by making good on their municipal housing pledges.
“Our government is working with our municipal partners to provide the tools and autonomy required to deliver on our shared commitments to the people of Ontario, including addressing the housing supply crisis,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The Region of Peel includes some of the largest and fastest-growing municipalities in Canada and is poised for significant growth over the next decade. Our government is supporting this growth by cutting red tape and improving efficiency while maintaining and improving the high level of local services Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon residents rightly expect.”
In February, Mississauga City Council unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming its desire to be a stand-alone, single-tier municipality and to separate from the Peel Region. Today, the province announced that a Transition Board will be appointed to facilitate the dissolution of the Peel Region, with all changes made by January 1, 2025. More details on the transition will be available in the days and weeks ahead.
We’ve known for a long time that Mississauga could always stand on its own two feet and after years of advocating of becoming an independent city, today Mississauga is finally whole,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie in the City of Mississauga’s press release. “I’d like to sincerely thank the Government of Ontario, Premier Ford and Minister Clark for listening to Mississauga’s requests and doing what’s right. With today’s announcement, we will be able to deliver faster, better and more integrated decisions and services, especially in land use, transportation planning and financial services. We are moving in the right direction. Mississauga is a vibrant, diverse and growing city that can now make its own decisions. We have a separate identity that is worth protecting and a promising future ahead. Today’s decision is one I know former Mayor Hazel McCallion would be very proud of.”
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has said that while he approves of dissolving Peel it is not something Brampton asked for and he has concerns about the financial implications particularly when it comes to infrastructure like wastewater treatment and policing that are both are based in Mississauga.
“As long as what is owed to Brampton is paid, I can see some opportunity in this,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown at the new conference, Thursday, outside Queen’s Park. “We helped build the infrastructure. We expect fairness and the investments we put onto regional infrastructure to be paid back to Brampton,” added Brown.
“There will be no dine and dash,” said Brown. “This is not Canada’s Wonderland. There will be no free rides,” he added.
A lot of questions need to be looked at including how policing will work. Brown said he wants the city’s chief of police and headquarters to be located within the city of Brampton.
“Our first priority is to ensure our residents continue to receive the services that they need and rely on, even as we work through this transition”, said Shari Lichterman, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer. “We will work cooperatively with the province, the Transition Board, Peel Region, the City of Brampton and the Town of Caledon to sort out the terms of separation in the months to come. In the meantime, I would like to reassure staff at both the City and the Region that we will support them and that we appreciate the important work they do for our community.”
How will it work?
The province would establish a transition board of up to five people to facilitate this change in local government and, if needed, oversee the financial affairs of Peel and its lower-tier municipalities to help ensure prudent financial stewardship until dissolution. The board would provide recommendations to the province to help Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon prepare to become single-tier municipalities on January 1, 2025, when the proposed changes, if passed, would come into effect. If the legislation passes, names of the members of the board will be released in the coming weeks.
The dissolution process, with the support of the transition board, would help ensure a fair outcome for the three municipalities that prioritizes the preservation of frontline services and workers, respect for taxpayers and government efficiency. The process would respect and support the effective administration of local governance during and after the dissolution while providing these fast-growing municipalities with the tools needed to plan for population growth, including the tools needed to meet their housing pledges.
The transition board would help implement the province’s clear expectation that the affected municipalities work together fairly and in a spirit of partnership in order to ensure value for money and efficient, high-quality services for taxpayers. Where there are shared assets and services, the dissolution process would help ensure an equitable outcome for all residents that preserves their access to municipal services regardless of location.
What about other Ontario regions?
In the coming weeks, the province will also name regional facilitators to assess the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo and York. These facilitators will be tasked with reviewing whether the upper-tier government continues to be relevant to the needs of its communities or whether the lower-tier municipalities are mature enough to pursue dissolution. Where they recommend that a two-tier government is still required, the facilitators will also make recommendations on how they can more effectively respond to the issues facing Ontario’s fast-growing municipalities today, particularly when it comes to meeting municipal housing pledges and tackling the housing supply crisis.
- Ontario intends to partner with select municipalities, including the Region of Peel, Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon to ensure municipal finances support increased housing supply. The municipal audit results could help inform Peel Region’s transition to independent municipalities.
- Ensuring continuity and efficiency at the local level to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities – particularly the building of 1.5 million new homes by 2031 – is part of Ontario’s continued action to address the housing supply crisis.
- The municipalities that make up the Region of Peel currently have approximately 1.5 million residents and are expected to grow to over 2 million by 2041. These municipalities have collectively agreed to housing pledges totalling 246,000 new homes by 2031 – 120,000 in Mississauga, 113,000 in Brampton, and 13,000 in Caledon.
SOURCE Government of Ontario
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