Mississauga likely to veto expanded Peel council

June 30, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Peel Regional councillors last week backed the Town’s position to expand the Regional body, but that position might not get very far.

There’s every indication Mississauga will veto it.

It was a split vote last Thursday that saw Regional councillors back one of the four options for the council configuration that were put forth by the Governance Review Task Force. The one that Caledon councillors unanimously backed last Tuesday, also known as Option 2, was also supported by the Brampton councillors. It passed 12-10, as all the Mississauga councillors who were present voted against it, but two of them were absent for the vote.

“I’m going to kill them,” Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish jokingly remarked after the vote was taken.

Option 2 would see Regional council grow by eight members, with Mississauga and Brampton each getting four new representatives, while Caledon would keep its current five.

The current configuration has 12 councillors from Mississauga, seven from Brampton and five from Caledon.

Regional Solicitor Patrick O’Connor pointed out a triple majority would be required to change the composition of council. That would include the approval of a majority of the municipal councils in Peel representing at least a majority of the registered electors (voters) in the region. That means the City of Mississauga would have the necessary numbers to be able to veto any proposed change.

And that’s just what will happen, according to Ms. Parrish.

“There’s not a single councillor in Mississauga who will vote for Option 2,” she declared.

The task force consisted of Regional Chair Frank Dale, the mayors and CAOs of the three municipalities, the Regional CAO David David Szwarc and Regional Clerk Kathryn Lockyer.

Mr. Dale expressed appreciation for all the input the task force received, also thanking the three mayors.

“Consensus is not always easy,” he remarked, adding the three showed good faith while advancing the interests of their municipalities. “I’m extremely proud of this council and glad to see progress so far.”

It was Caledon Councillor Jennifer Innis who moved adoption of Option 2, but Ms. Parrish was quick to voice her opposition, favouring a configuration modelled more on representation by population. She pointed out there are just 59,000 residents of Caledon, adding there is no ward in Mississauga that small.

Based on population alone, Ms. Parrish said, Caledon is entitled to less than one councillor. She was calling for just three Caledon representatives; the mayor and one councillor each to represent the east and west sides of town.

“Mississauga is being magnanimous,” she said.

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