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SPECIAL: Ontario To Peel Region Apart


Welcome to a special episode of Cross Border Interviews.


Today, we delve into a significant legislative development from the Province of Ontario that has captured the attention of many: the Hazel McCallion Act introduced on May 18th.


The Ontario Government is about to embark on a journey that will shed light on the proposed dissolution of the region of Peel, effective January 1, 2025.


The history of Peel Region is a tale of growth, diversity, and debates surrounding governance and infrastructure. Situated in the province of Ontario, Canada, Peel Region has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic area with a population of approximately 1.5 million residents.


One of the key factors contributing to Peel Region's growth is immigration. Over the years, the region has attracted a significant number of newcomers, drawn by economic opportunities and a multicultural environment. This influx of diverse cultures and backgrounds has shaped the fabric of Peel's communities, fostering a rich tapestry of traditions and perspectives.


Within Peel Region, three main municipalities stand out: Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon.


Mississauga, occupying the southernmost part of the region, holds the distinction of being the most populous municipality within Peel. With a population exceeding 800,000 residents, it ranks as the seventh-largest lower-tier municipality in Canada. Spanning from Lake Ontario northwards to near Highway 407, Mississauga has experienced rapid growth and urban development, transforming into a thriving city.

In the heart of Peel lies the city of Brampton, home to over 600,000 residents. Positioned centrally, Brampton has played a vital role in the region's development, contributing to its economic and cultural landscape.


The town of Caledon, located in the northern reaches of Peel, stands apart as the largest and most sparsely populated part of the region.


The question of governance has been a topic of discussion within Peel Region since it amalgamated in 1974 .


Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, a prominent figure in the region's history, spearheaded a movement advocating for the separation of Mississauga from Peel Region. McCallion and Mississauga's council argued that Peel Region served as an unnecessary layer of government, imposing a financial burden on Mississauga residents to support services in Brampton and Caledon. In pursuit of greater autonomy, Mississauga council unanimously passed a motion requesting the Province of Ontario to establish Mississauga as a single-tier municipality. They contended that keeping property tax dollars within the city would benefit its future.


However, opponents of Mississauga's position, including former Brampton mayor Susan Fennell, countered these arguments. They highlighted that in the past, Mississauga had been the primary beneficiary of infrastructure projects funded by taxpayers from all three municipalities. Now, they argued, it was Brampton's turn to benefit, as its growth outpaced Mississauga's, which had reached its urbanization limit. Furthermore, proponents of the regional structure asserted that shared infrastructure, such as waste and water services, could be more efficiently managed at a regional level.


Hence the name Hazel McCallion Act. The legislation takes its name from the late Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, a champion of growth and progress in her city and region.


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