Decision coming 'very, very soon' on future of Peel Region: Ford

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BRAMPTON, Ont. — A decision on the possible future independence of cities within Peel Region will hopefully be made "very, very soon," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Thursday.

Peel encompasses Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, and the region is responsible for services such as paramedics, health programs and recycling.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced in November that he would appoint facilitators to assess six regional governments, including Peel Region, and look at the best mix of roles between upper-tier and lower-tier municipalities with an eye to expanding "strong mayor" powers beyond Toronto and Ottawa.

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Ford said after an unrelated announcement Thursday in Brampton that a final decision on Peel hasn't yet been made, though he hopes it will come "very, very soon," but he believes Mississauga and Brampton are large cities that can stand alone.

"It's (so) you don't have to worry about constantly going to the region," Ford said.

"I'll give you one example, with Mississauga. Mississauga dictates right now what Caledon can build, even though it's miles away, nowhere close to Mississauga."

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has been pushing for her city to become independent, saying it will save her municipality $1 billion over 10 years and make it more efficient.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said he would welcome efforts to remove duplication, but believes Mississauga would owe Brampton under any separation because of all of the infrastructure residents have funded for Mississauga.

Ford said the goal of any changes would be to ensure the municipalities have equal or better service.

"If one region is taking more money than the other, we're going to have to make sure that's split equally," he said.

"Mississauga, for the most part, almost, is built out. There's still room for additional building there, but Brampton still has an opportunity to continue to grow. But they are not going to be shafted by Mississauga, or any anyone else, I'm going to make sure they're always whole and they're always protected, all three regions."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press