The Ford administration wants to separate Mississauga and Brampton

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Mississauga and Brampton divorce The Toronto Sun learned, but will anyone think of caledon? The Ford government will announce the split of the Peel region during a press conference in Queen’s Park on Thursday.

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Local Secretary Steve Clark will announce the divorce in the House and Table legislation before holding a press conference with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Caledon Mayor Annette Groves.

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The Peel Regional Parish was established by the Bill Davis government in 1974 to provide services to all three parishes. At the time the two towns were much smaller and the town of Caledon was closer to a village than the growing corporation it is today.

Tensions have existed between municipal partners, particularly Mississauga and Brampton, for decades. In recent years there have been informal campaigns aimed at either consolidating the region into one megacity, much like Toronto did 25 years ago, or splitting it up.

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In the end, the side that demanded a divorce won, but don’t expect the split to be easy.

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Brampton will seek a settlement payment of more than $1.5 billion for infrastructure such as building a new police headquarters or replacing water treatment plants currently located in Mississauga. The negotiations about which municipality owns what, who pays the other and who is responsible for various liabilities will take years.

Although welcomed by many, the split will be a difficult time.

Last week, at a press conference with Brown in Brampton, Prime Minister Doug Ford hinted that this was coming. When asked about a possible split, Ford said that giving the three congregations a say in each other’s affairs made no sense to him.

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“Mississauga right now is dictating what Caledon can build, even if it’s miles away,” Ford said.

Ford said Brampton would be mentored and “not pressured” on matters like the water treatment plant. On Monday, Ford Crombie made a similar pledge to ensure Mississauga was looked after while she attended a news conference with her.

Crombie thanked the PM for her promise to look after Mississauga alongside Ford and said it was time her taxpayers stopped paying for Brampton’s growth and development. That’s how Brown sees things now. During his press conference with Ford, he cited the new police headquarters and water treatment plants as examples of the infrastructure his taxpayers paid for to build in Mississauga.

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“If the Mayor of Mississauga thinks she can leave without paying her bill, Brampton residents would be outraged,” Brown said.

While Ford and Clark believe they will solve a problem, they may not be prepared for the heartache and anguish they will endure mediating this dire schism.

Another open question is what this means for Crombie’s future.

There was much speculation that she would attempt to run for the Ontario Liberal Party presidency in the event of a merger, rather than go head-to-head with Brown in a showdown for mayor in a merged city. Now that the merger has failed and her job is secure, will Crombie jump into the provincial ring or stay there?

“Bonnie tells one person they’re running and the next they’re not,” a longtime Liberal said recently.

If Crombie wants to stay on as mayor of Mississauga for a long time, she could stay in office for years, especially now. But maybe she likes the atmosphere at Queen’s Park on Thursday and decides to stay here and fight Ford.

The Prime Minister may have solved one problem and created another.


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