On June 8, 2023, the Government of Ontario’s Bill 112, the Hazel McCallion Act (Peel Dissolution), 2023, came into effect. This legislation will dissolve Peel Region and make Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon stand-alone, independent cities.
On July 5, 2023, the Government of Ontario announced a five-member Transition Board to facilitate a fair dissolution process for Peel Region. Mayor Crombie welcomed the decision and released a statement communicating the City of Mississauga’s position.
This will be a complex process. The City of Mississauga will work collaboratively with the Transition Board and all those involved in the spirit of partnership to ensure fair outcomes, including the equitable division and distribution of assets and resources along with the uninterrupted delivery of high-quality services for taxpayers.
The City is committed to sharing ongoing updates throughout the dissolution process about progress, decisions and outcomes.
Mississauga Mayors and Councils, back to the 1990s, have supported our City becoming independent from Peel Region. Some of the key reasons include:
The City has a long track record of strong financial management. We have earned a AAA credit rating for the last 19 years and have won numerous financial awards. We are ready to govern ourselves, just like London, Guelph, Kingston, Windsor, and so many more cities. Mississauga is the largest city in Ontario to still be part of a regional government. We are the third largest city in Ontario and the seventh in Canada, approaching a population of 800,000, not to mention home to the second largest economy in the province.
Mississauga turns 50 years old in 2024. Mississauga has long demonstrated its ability to provide quality services to residents and plan for the future. Now, more than ever, our city is ready for independence.
Being independent means Mississauga has the authority to make its own decisions, focused on Mississauga priorities, not those of Brampton, Caledon or Peel Region. We would be able to deliver faster, better and more integrated decisions and reduce duplication especially in areas such as land use, transportation planning, and financial services.
For example, there is no value in having roads within the city owned by both Mississauga and the Peel Region. Eliminating an entire layer of government means Mississauga tax dollars stay in Mississauga and do not continue to subsidize Brampton and Caledon as much as $84 million per year.
The City of Mississauga shares a name with the Mississaugas, the Indigenous Peoples who treatied with the government to allow for settlement and the eventual evolution of the City. Our name is also a commitment, one that has been recognized time and again to be a friend, to work towards Reconciliation, and to uphold the values and work shared together. Our identity is included in this commitment which is unique to the land and heritage within the City. This could be lost through amalgamation.
Issues and considerations like the effective date of change, whether the Province would assist with one-time costs and whether any provincial constraints would be placed on how restructuring of services could be implemented, would all play a role. However, we believe that a full deconstruction of all regional services is neither necessary nor advisable.
The transition costs will be determined through the transition process. It is common that one-time costs would be incurred to complete this phase. It is also important to note that some phasing of financial impacts may be necessary in order to manage the transition and smooth the financial impacts for those negatively affected.
Mississauga needs its tax payer dollars to stay in our community and not subsidize Brampton and Caledon as much as $84 million a year according to the City’s most recent financial analysis. This is an estimate only, and more detailed analysis during the transition would need to be done to determine how taxes will be affected. As an independent city, Mississauga residents and businesses would no longer support two other municipalities. Decisions about where taxpayer dollars are spent would be at the sole discretion of Mississauga and not influenced by the competing priorities of the two other municipalities.
Council and City staff will work with the Province and our neighbours to ensure an orderly dissolution of Peel Region.
Our commitment is that there will be no disruption in service during the separation process. Your garbage will still be picked up, our buses will still run on time and first responders will continue to respond to calls. Continuity of service is important and we will notify all residents and businesses before any changes are made.
Many of the other services provided by Peel Region can be absorbed in the City of Mississauga on a per-capita basis. Most other cities in Ontario handle all programs and services in their city and we can too.
For services, such as Peel Police and Paramedics, discussions will be had to determine how best they can be delivered under the new governance model. It is too early to make commitments but residents should be rest assured that they will still have access to quality police and ambulance services throughout this process.
The City of Mississauga will not have to compensate Brampton and Caledon. Infrastructure built in Mississauga was paid for by developers in Mississauga.
Peel Region primarily builds water and wastewater infrastructure. Development Charges (DCs), previously known as lot levies, are used to pay for this infrastructure in each community. That means developers in Mississauga paid their DCs for the pipes in the ground in Mississauga, in the same way Brampton and Caledon developers did for theirs.
When Mississauga leaves Peel Region, there is no reason why we would have to compensate Brampton or Caledon.
However, we understand that Mississauga’s independence may have cost implications to Brampton and Caledon. Working with the provincial government, the City of Mississauga would approach this in phases to ensure no financial harm to either municipality.
Mississauga has always paid for its own growth and more.
Development Charges (DCs) are the best example of a municipality paying for its own growth. The notion that Brampton paid for Mississauga’s growth is fundamentally false.
DCs have historically been collected for as long as the Peel Region has existed, but even if they weren’t, Mississauga tax payers have always contributed the vast majority of funding. From 1974 to 1995, we consistently paid over 70 per cent of the regional tax levy. At present, Mississauga pays 60 per cent. Therefore, again the notion that Brampton paid for Mississauga’s growth is fundamentally false.
Mississauga is currently contributing $84 million additional tax dollars per year to subsidize Brampton, and to a lesser extent Caledon. In 2004, this number was $32 million. Over the last 15 years, this number has grown by $53 million. The bulk of this is for Regional roads at $20 million per year and Peel Regional Police at $33 million per year. This is an unbalanced system that burdens Mississauga tax payers.
There has been talk about two studies: Deloitte and EY. Both were commissioned in 2019, but they are not equal.
The Deloitte study was commissioned by Peel Region, without input from Mississauga into the terms of reference. It had some concerning conclusions and was designed to support the continuance of the Peel Region.
Following this report, all four municipalities in Peel came together to support the report from EY. All four municipalities agreed to the terms of reference and the conclusions. It is the only report that should be referenced. The EY report found that dissolution of the Region is possible and for Mississauga, and even Brampton, it is advantageous.
Peel Region and its employees provide excellent service to residents. Most of these services will need to continue after separation. We will need the highly qualified Peel employees to continue delivering these same services, just in the separated municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. Mississauga will prepare to welcome Peel employees as we begin to deliver regional services locally.