Ontario government to expedite bill separating Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon

Doug Ford’s government will expedite a bill that will divide the Peel Region into three independent cities.

A motion is expected to be tabled on Tuesday that would effectively allow the Progressive Conservatives to push the legislation through to third reading without going to committee.

Typically, the role of a committee is to review a bill line by line and approve or change the language. It also gives stakeholders and community members the opportunity to present their views.

Just two weeks ago, the Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, presented the Hazel McCallion Law make Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon single-tier municipalities by 2025.

As part of the legislation, the government will create a transition board of up to five members to help “ensure that the process is fair and balanced.” Recommendations are expected in the summer or fall of 2024.

The three municipalities have shared basic services as well as a regional government since 1974. While Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has long supported the idea of ​​independence, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown is hesitant to deal with the financial ramifications and Caledon Mayor Annette Groves didn’t want to in the first place.

The New Ontario Democratic Party says pushing legislation without consultation “raises red flags.”

“It does not consult the residents of the Peel region. He doesn’t listen to city workers whose jobs may be at stake. It does not guarantee that the voices of each municipality are fairly represented on the Transition Board. It does not provide any transparency or accountability in how decisions are made,” Jeff Burch, NDP critic for municipal affairs, said in a statement.

“People in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon deserve a fair, thoughtful and transparent process for the dissolution of the Peel Region – the dissolution is unprecedented and must be done right.”

It is unclear how the Peel Region divorce will affect many of shared services in the area, such as paramedical services, health programs, services for the elderly, child care support, garbage collection and water treatment.

Some of those services, experts and politicians have said, may continue to be shared after the region dissolves. For example, Crombie has indicated that emergency services should remain “untouched” with a different funding model, while water and sewerage services could transition to a pay-as-you-go service.

The motion to push the bill to third reading is expected to be debated and voted on Tuesday afternoon.

Asked about the decision to expedite the legislation and whether employee unions working for the region would be involved, Government House leader Paul Calandra did not respond.

Instead, he took a turn to say that MPPs could have debated the bill further the night before.

“Ironically, as soon as the legislative dining room closed last night, the NDP, they called it one night, they closed the place down, they didn’t put up any more loudspeakers,” Calandra said.

“We are going to vote on it today, Mr. President. You know why? Because it’s the right thing to do. We are going to start removing those obstacles that are standing in the way of building homes.”

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