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Regional Government Review

October 25, 2019 - Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, has announced that the system of regional government in Ontario will remain unchanged.  Ministerial Tweet (visual content shown at Left).

Mississauga will stay within the Region of Peel along with Brampton and Caledon.  Provincial funds will be allocated to Mississauga to find efficiencies within the regional model, given the stated duplications.

Provincial News Release (October 25, 2019): Ontario Helping Make Municipalities Stronger: Dedicated funds will drive efficiencies and strengthen local service delivery .

Mississauga News article (October 25, 2019): Brampton and Mississauga mayors react to decision on future of regional government.


May 2019 - There have been many local developments, further to the provincial News Release (January 15, 2019) that the Government of Ontario, via the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, is examining the governance, decision-making and service delivery functions of the eight (8) Regions in Ontario, and their lower-tier municipalities.

Provincial Regional Government Review webpage.  Note there is a public consultation option, with public comment invited until May 21, 2019 (extension of the original deadline).

TOPCA PRESENTATION:  The Special Advisors for the provincial Regional Government Review (website) met with residents and organizations in the Region of Peel on Wed. May 8, 2019 in the Peel Region Council Chamber at 10 Peel Centre Drive, in Brampton.  See: Mississauga News article.  TOPCA was allocated the time slot of 1:00 - 1:10 pm to meet with the Special Advisors and make a presentation.  This meeting was open to the public and was live-streamed but not recorded, unfortunately.  TOPCA was subsequently requested by the Special Advisors to forward a copy of our Presentation; sent as a PDF per below:

VIEW: TOPCA's Presentation on Regional Review (Peel) to the Special Advisors (11p PDF)

FACEBOOK COMMENTS:  See TOPCA's Facebook article, where we'd appreciate receiving any comments for the final TOPCA submission to the Review, by May 21, 2019See further TOPCA actions (below).

CITY POSTCARD:  See cover image (in sidebar).  The City has mailed all residents a Postcard (sample showing all the wording - 1p PDF) to "evaluate resident support for the City's preferred option to be an independent city" although no measure is possible of how many postcards are actually mailed in, and by who.  Only one option (already checked off) appears on the card.  It is unclear what it means if someone does not mail in a card.  NOTE: Residents can write a note to Premier Doug Ford on the postage-paid return piece if they have an opinion other than the City's pre-printed support for separation from Peel Region.  Watch for the postcard, the week of May 6th.

INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ANALYSIS:  The City of Mississauga does not accept the findings of the Deloitte Report (posted on the Region's Governance Review webpage) which was commissioned by the Region of Peel Chair and CAO to assess the financial impacts of Mississauga separation, amalgamation (with Brampton & Caledon) or status quo.  A new Financial Impact Report by Ernst & Young, commissioned by Regional Council, concluded just before the May 21st deadline for public comment and is also posted on the Region's RGR webpage.  The City of Mississauga has set up its own webpage promoting separation from Peel.

WARDS 1& 2 Regional Governance Town Hall Meeting: May 1, 2019 @ 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Port Credit Legion.  Co-hosted by Councillors Stephen Dasko (Ward 1) and Karen Ras (Ward 2).  Residents asked questions about Mississauga potentially separating from the Region of Peel, and we have captured many of these issues in TOPCA's Presentation on Regional Review (Peel) to the Special Advisors (11p PDF).

MISSISSAUGA RESIDENT TOWN HALL:  The City of Mississauga held a Town Hall meeting in the Council Chamber on April 8, 2019 @ 7:00 - 9:00 pm to explain Council's position to seek Separation from the Region of Peel (a position taken by Motion "in principle" on March 20, 2019) and then hear public comment.  The meeting is video-archived here.  Full details about the meeting are posted here.

WHAT IS THE REGION OF PEEL?  The Region of Peel (about) serves more than 1.4 million residents and approximately 173,000 businesses in Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.  Since 1974 the Region has been delivering a wide range of programs and services (listing) to the communities, including paramedic services, public health programs, long-term care and services for seniors, child care support, garbage collection and recycling, water and wastewater treatment, Regional road maintenance, financial help, housing and shelter.  The Region is governed by the Regional Chair (role) and 24 members of Regional Council (including the 3 mayors) who represent the cities of Mississauga and Brampton and the Town of Caledon.

THE REVIEW:  The mandate of the provincial Regional Government Review is "to help ensure that these municipalities are working effectively and efficiently, and can continue to provide the vital services that communities depend on."

Provincial Regional Government Review webpage.  Note there is a public consultation option, with public comment invited until May 21, 2019 (extension of the original deadline).

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, has appointed two (2) Special Advisors as an advisory body to help with this review: Ken Seiling and Michael Fenn.

This Review includes the Region of Peel, comprised of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.  It is understood that there are three (3) main outcomes which could result from the Review:

1)  Status quo, possibly with Peel Region governance reforms to be recommended;
2)  Amalgamation of two, or all, of the lower-tier municipalities into the "City of Peel";
3)  Dissolution of Peel Region, with Mississauga becoming a single-tier city.  Decisions would also have to be made re the future municipal structure of Brampton and Caledon.

The third option is supported by Mississauga Council and is referred to as "Independence" or "Separation". This position will be submitted to the Special Advisors.

MAKING THE CASE:  In this context, a Brexit-like plebiscite (and potentially messy aftermath) is not what is needed here.  The Special Advisors to the Minister of MAH regarding the future of Peel Region are experienced and knowledgeable, and expected to make the right recommendation, after an evidence-based evaluation.  The City does not need to make its case to the residents and seek popular support (and hasn't, with only a 2-hour Town Hall to explain their "in-principle" position).  The case for economical, efficient and improved municipal governance needs to be made to the Special Advisors, with a clear set of stated (and realistic) assumptions.

CITY AND REGION INFORMATION:  Two webpages have been created, one by the City of Mississauga, and one by the Region of Peel, resulting in somewhat contradictory and confusing information, given the underlying assumptions are not mutually agreed or even made clear.  There is a lot of reading involved, but the average citizen, if they are even aware that two tiers (levels) of local government exist, will find it difficult to determine what personal and community impacts might result from such a potentially significant change in the present governance structure, and at what cost?

Ward1 Councillor Stephen Dasko: Open Letter to Residents.

City of Mississauga RGR City webpage includes:

Corporate Report (40p PDF) in support of Separation.  See Frequently Asked Questions (4p PDF) about the Separation option.  See Executive Summary: Mississauga's Position on the Future of Regional Government (10p PDF).

Region of Peel RGR Regional webpage includes:

Financial Impact Analysis Report (76p PDF) by Deloitte "to better understand the cost implications of various governance scenarios."  In the Report, Status Quo (with reforms) is the preferred option.  See Executive Summary (2p PDF).

TOPCA's ACTIONS TO DATE:

1.  As stated in our e-mail blast of March 23, 2019:  Before the scheduling of the City's Town Hall meeting (per above) TOPCA was contemplating holding our own Town Hall meeting to air the facts, prior to citizens responding to the province’s online survey.  We felt this should not be an emotional exercise, and should respect the residents who pay the freight and/or need regional services (listed here) additional to the Police, Paramedic, Waste and Water services all Mississauga residents receive.

2.  TOPCA Executive reps met with Mississauga-Lakeshore MPP Rudy Cuzzetto on March 29, 2019, to better understand the Review process and how local residents could best participate.  We learned that the Review was initiated based on requests from some other regions in the province, and that it was decided to include all regions, including Peel.  In the end, the decision regarding Peel will be made based on credible, demonstrable financial efficiencies going forward (e.g. saving taxpayer money while maintaining/achieving excellent service delivery), as well as governance benefits to the communities.

3.  TOPCA Executive reps have been confirmed to make an in-person submission to the Special Advisors, per the recent government announcement (April 1, 2019): Ontario Invites Public Presentations on Regional Government Review: Special Advisors to Meet with Local Individuals and Organizations.  The meeting for Region of Peel submissions is scheduled for Wed. May 8, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 1:45 pm (time change) in the Peel Region Council Chamber.  TOPCA presents @ 1:00 - 1:10 pm. Further details here.

4.  In support of any submission (written or oral) the TOPCA Executive makes directly to the Special Advisors, we have a TOPCA Facebook article for any comments. 

Without widespread public knowledge of the financial facts and governance issues, we believe any partially-quantified "survey" (City or provincial) will not be adequate to represent an informed consensus....  But, comments can be very helpful, to highlight what needs to be considered, and how individuals or communities might be directly affected in a way that is not anticipated.

MEDIA COVERAGE:  Because of the sudden appearance of the Regional Government Review and quick action by Mississauga Council to pass a Motion (March 20, 2019) supporting ("in-principle") Separation from Peel, the media coverage in Mississauga has highlighted the emotional, changing and confusing nature of the discussion as Brampton and Caledon have weighed in with their views, and the Region released the Deloitte Financial Analysis Impact Report (March 28).  A partial list of citations:

Mississauga News (April 8, 2019): ANALYSIS: What are the implications of 'Mississ-exit' for Peel Region?  Mississauga seeks independence from Region of Peel, leaving Brampton and Caledon with uncertainty.

Mississauga News (April 8, 2019): OPINION: It’s time for Mississauga to leave the Region of Peel; Regional government is keeping our city from reaching its potential, writes Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

Mississauga News (April 8, 2019): How does the Region of Peel share responsibilities with Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon? The Region of Peel and local governments have shared responsibilities, here's an explainer.

Mississauga News (April 8, 2019): Peel mayors at odds after release of Deloitte financial analysis on regional governance; Debate over Peel Region’s future turning into ‘he said, she said’ affair.

Mississauga News (April 7, 2019): OPINION by John Stewart: Mississauga’s move for quasi-independence hits some turbulence; Pope Nando adds balance (and numbers) to regional debate.

Mississauga News (April 7, 2019): Mississauga mayor accuses Peel Region chair of overstepping authority in leaked email; Bonnie Crombie says Deloitte financial audit commissioned by region on province's regional governance review was out of bounds.

Mississauga News (April 5, 2019): Mississauga city council outraged at lack of consultation in report on 'Mississ-exit'; City council says regional report prepared by Deloitte full of assumptions.

Mississauga News (April 4, 2019): Registration deadline April 9 for in-person input on future of Peel regional council.

Mississauga News (March 29, 2019): Region of Peel receives auditor's report [by Deloitte] on Mississauga independence.

Mississauga News (March 26, 2019): Mississauga hosting public town hall to discuss leaving Region of Peel; Public town hall on April 8 invites residents to offer input on possible exit from Peel.

Mississauga News (March 25, 2019): Mayor says Mississauga owes Brampton nothing if her city quits Peel Region.

Mississauga News (March 23, 2019): Brampton mayor wonders if Mississauga can afford a divorce from Peel Region.

Mississauga News (March 20, 2019): 'It's our destiny': Mississauga asks province for independence; City council passes motion requesting secession from Peel Region.

Mississauga News (March 14, 2019): OPINION by John Stewart: Rush to reform regional government shouldn’t include Peel; Mississauga secession an exercise in rhetoric, not logic.

Mississauga News (January 17, 2019): Mississauga’s leaders long to break free of Peel Region. Experts warn they might not get what they want.