As a candidate running for Mayor of Mississauga, I want to address the important issue of the separation of the Region of Peel and the establishment of an independent Mississauga. This decision has sparked discussions and raised concerns among residents, and I believe it is crucial to provide clarity on the matter.
Education and Expertise
With my extensive educational background, including a Mini MBA in Business Management, Human Resource Management, Essential Management Skills, Economics and International Business Economics, International Business, Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Communications, Strategy and Operations, Political Science, and Canadian Indigenous Studies, I bring a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in this transition. This knowledge equips me to design the scope of work, negotiate with unions, and ensure a successful transition without compromising service quality or increasing taxes.
The Motivation for Independence
The pursuit of independence for Mississauga is not a recent development. It has been a long-standing goal advocated by myself, as well as the late Hazel McCallion, Mississauga's former mayor. In 2019, Mississauga's city council approved a motion to become an "independent single-tier municipality, separate from the Region of Peel." The rationale behind this decision is to empower Mississauga to control its own destiny, like other large municipalities in Ontario.
Financial Considerations and Savings
One of the primary motivations behind the separation is the potential financial benefits it could bring to Mississauga residents. By becoming an independent city, we anticipate savings of approximately $1 billion over the next decade. These savings can be redirected towards improving essential services, infrastructure development, and enhancing the overall quality of life for our residents.
Addressing Concerns and Collaboration
While the prospect of independence is exciting, it is essential to address concerns raised by other municipalities within Peel Region, such as Brampton and Caledon. As a candidate committed to collaboration and fairness, I understand the importance of negotiating with all stakeholders involved. I firmly believe in finding mutually beneficial solutions that prioritize the interests of both Mississauga and our neighboring cities.
Shared Services and Timely Transition
A key aspect of the separation process is determining the future of shared services, such as paramedic services, health programs, long-term care, child-care support, garbage collection and recycling, water and water treatment, road maintenance, housing, and shelter. While it is expected that each municipality will need to create its own infrastructure for these services, there may be opportunities for some broad services, such as water treatment or police, to remain regionally operated. The provincial transition board, set to provide recommendations in the summer or fall of 2024, will play a crucial role in this regard.
Ensuring Financial Viability
As a responsible candidate, I acknowledge the need for a thorough assessment of the financial implications of this transition. Mississauga, along with Brampton and Caledon, currently contributes a significant portion of its revenue to Peel Region. As we move towards independence, it is important to ensure that our financial viability remains intact. I am committed to working with the provincial government and relevant stakeholders to find a fair and sustainable financial solution during this time of transition.
Timeline and Accountability
The dissolution of the Region of Peel is set to occur in 2025, ahead of the October 2026 municipal elections. To oversee this process, a transition board of up to five individuals will be established this year. Throughout the entire journey, I will remain accountable to the residents of Mississauga, providing transparent updates and engaging in open dialogue to address any concerns that may arise.
The Areas Affected by the Move
1. Public Health: The Region of Peel is responsible for public health services, including immunization programs, health inspections, disease prevention and control, Health promotion, and emergency preparedness.
2. Transportation: The region manages transportation planning, road maintenance and construction, public transit services (such as Brampton Transit and MiWay in Mississauga), traffic management, and cycling infrastructure.
3. Water and Wastewater: The Region of Peel is responsible for the provision of safe drinking water, wastewater treatment and disposal, water conservation programs, and managing stormwater.
4. Waste Management: This includes waste collection (garbage, recycling, and organics), disposal and recycling facilities, waste diversion programs, and promoting environmental sustainability.
5. Social Services: The region provides social assistance, employment services, affordable housing initiatives, homelessness prevention, childcare subsidies, and support for vulnerable populations.
6. Planning and Development: The Region of Peel oversees land use planning, zoning regulations, development applications, building permits, and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations.
7. Emergency Management: The region has emergency management services that coordinate responses to emergencies, including natural disasters, public safety incidents, and pandemic preparedness.
8. Recreation and Culture: The Region of Peel offers recreational programs, community centers, parks, trails, libraries, and cultural initiatives to promote leisure and community engagement.
9. Economic Development: The region supports economic growth and development by attracting investment, fostering entrepreneurship, promoting job creation, and providing business support services.
10. Housing Services: This includes affordable housing initiatives, housing subsidies, and homelessness prevention programs.
11. Long-Term Care: The region operates long-term care homes and provides support for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
12. Paramedic Services: The region manages the provision of emergency medical services, including ambulance response and paramedic care.
13. Regional Policing: The Region of Peel has its own police service, Peel Regional Police, responsible for maintaining public safety and enforcing the law.
14. Court Services: The region provides court facilities and support services for various legal matters.
15. Environmental Services: This includes environmental protection initiatives, pollution control, air quality monitoring, and climate change programs
16. Employment and Business Support: The region offers employment services, business support programs, and initiatives to foster economic growth and entrepreneurship
Together, We Can Shape Mississauga's Future
The decision to pursue independence for Mississauga is a historic moment that will shape the future of our city. With my education, experience, and commitment to collaboration, I am confident in my ability to navigate this transition successfully, ensuring that our services remain uninterrupted, taxes are managed responsibly, and the needs of our residents are met.
Join me in this journey as we work towards building a stronger, more prosperous Mississauga—an independent city that reflects the aspirations and values of its residents. Together, we can make this transition a resounding success.