The Ontario government will announce plans to dissolve the Region of Peel on Thursday, a source tells CTV News Toronto.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark is expected to hold a news conference with the mayors of the three Peel municipalities, the source said.
The move is expected to pave the way for both Mississauga and Brampton to become independent cities, however it is unclear what the fate of Caledon will be.
Mayor Annette Groves told CTV News Toronto Wednesday night that she has yet been briefed about the proposal. However, she has been asked to be at Queen’s Park for 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The news comes just days after Premier Doug Ford told reporters that he is “for an independent Mississauga.”
Ford also said last week that an announcement on the future of the cities that make up Peel Region was coming “very, very soon.”
In November, the Ford government appointed facilitators to assess the regional governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York and determine “the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities in those regions.”
“I’ve always been for an independent Mississauga. You can’t have a city the size of Mississauga, close to 800,000 people and it’s continuing to grow, being tied into other jurisdictions,” Ford said Monday. “So we’re going to continue supporting Mississauga. My job is to make sure the people in Mississauga get the best services that they have and that we continue to enhance the services.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has long called for Mississauga’s separation from Peel Region and has suggested such a move would save taxpayers $1 billion over the next decade.
However, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has said that his city needs to be “made whole” in the event of a dissolution of the Region of Peel.
“There are some positive aspects of it,” he told CP24 on Wednesday evening. “I don’t see value in having two planning departments and two legal departments. So I’m not opposed to the principle of getting rid of the Region of Peel. My contention has been that if Mississauga wants to leave and have a divorce that they have to pay the bill.”
Brown said that regional infrastructure, such as water treatment plants and police headquarters for the region have all been established in Mississauga. The city, Brown argues, owes Brampton between $1 billion and $2 billion. A source have told the Canadian Press the province will be appointing a committee to look at the costs of separation.
“The premier has told me unequivocally that we will not be shafted,” he said. “What is owed to Brampton will be paid.”
Crombie has scheduled a press conference for 3:30 p.m. alongside members of council.
With files from the Canadian Press