Open Letter to Residents
Many of you may have heard or read about Mississauga seeking independence from Peel Region.
To provide some background, in mid-January, the Province announced that it is reviewing Regional Governance across Ontario, including Peel Region. (News link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-regional-government-review-1.4978949)
At that point, City staff were instructed to pull together information for Council consideration and that was debated on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 in terms of what our next steps are.
Mississauga, under previous Mayor McCallion and now Mayor Crombie, both have long held the very public views that Mississauga should be a stand-alone city with a population approaching 800,000 people. For many years, Mississauga has paid for 60% of the Regional costs and supporting our neighbouring municipalities in their growth. At this point, it is estimated that we are supporting Brampton and Caledon by approximately $85 million per year – funds that could otherwise be reinvested into our City building. If you would like the history and details on this, there are really good reports at this link: https://www7.mississauga.ca/documents/committees/general/2019/2019_03_20_GC_Additional_Agenda.pdf
The Province is currently seeking public input from the cities and residents that could be impacted by any regional government changes. You can participate by providing comments at this link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/regional-government-review.
The deadline for public input is April 23, 2019.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Council supported in principle – pending public consultation – to look at becoming a stand-alone city.
There will be a public consultation meeting in the evening on April 8th, 7:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall, 300 City Centre Drive.
We are currently working on the possibility of additional opportunities for public input. As soon as they are confirmed, we will advise you.
Residents have been asking me where I stand on this particular issue. Based on the information I have seen to date, it would appear that Mississauga would be able to support itself with Peel Regional services such as policing, ambulance and human services moving to a utility-based model with Mississauga paying on a per capita basis.
Having said that, we do not have a clear sense of what will be examined in the Regional Government Review by the Ontario Government other than to be more efficient in decision making and the delivery of services. The Province’s options are keep the existing Regional model, amalgamation (essentially creating the City of Peel) or allowing Brampton and Mississauga to be stand-alone cities with a more rural Caledon going to Dufferin County or some variation thereof.
There are still many unknowns at this time but at the very least, any governance changes brought forward by the province, should remain cost neutral or to the benefit of Mississauga taxpayers.
At the end of day, given that municipalities are strictly under the purview of the Province, any decisions on the future governance of Mississauga and Peel Region will ultimately be at the discretion of the Province.
Now is the time to make your opinion known.
Stephen Dasko, Councillor Ward 1