March 18, 2021 (2.5 Minutes)
With Mississauga continuously interfering in Brampton’s business, some Brampton Councillors are placating to their Mississauga counterparts. Their decisions at Brampton Council appear to change when they are faced with Mississauga’s opposing views at Peel Region.
Today, Mississauga is the predominant municipality in Peel Region, followed by Brampton and Caledon. However, this will soon change considering Brampton’s explosive growth, which will continue in future years to come. The provincial Growth Plan predicts that an additional 11.5 million people will move into the Golden Horseshoe by 2031. A majority of this growth will occur in Brampton’s northern areas.
It’s no secret that Mississauga would prefer to see that growth in their borders, not Brampton. The growth represents an increase in jobs, investment, improved infrastructure, tax assessment, and other economic prosperity measures.
An example of the flip-flop was highlighted when Councils considered the proposed northern transit corridor between Brampton’s north border and Caledon’s southern border, also known as GTA West. The provincial highway proposal has garnered polarized opinions among advocates (landowners, developers and farm associations) and opponents (environmentalists and social-conscious associations).
Brampton will require a transportation infrastructure solution to address the influx of residents and businesses coming into their northern area. To address this transportation need, instead of a multi-lane 400-series highway, Brampton City Council has recommended a “boulevard” solution. The boulevard represents a wide transportation corridor that is: pedestrian-focused with bike-only lanes, supports public transit, is lined with retail stores and office space, and permits designated truck lanes. The boulevard will have several intersections to connect the City with public transit.
Brampton Council unanimously endorsed this boulevard option. During City Council deliberations on the issue, the City’s planning consultant stated the boulevard “is truly a plan that everyone appears to be rallying around” and specifically noted the “environmental lobby” who support the boulevard initiative. Everyone, except Mississauga Councillors, led by Mississauga Carolyn Parrish.
Indeed, with Brampton Council’s unanimous alignment at the local level, a strong message could be sent to the province and perhaps sway the decision to this preferred boulevard option. But alas, it appears that alignment breaks at the Region and far away from local Brampton residents’ prying eyes.
Last week, Peel Regional Council voted in favour of a motion tabled by Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish and supported by her follower, Brampton Councillor Martin Medeiros. The Parrish/Medeiros motion included “Strong opposition in principle to construction of any transportation corridor traversing the Region of Peel.” Really Councillor Medeiros? “Any transportation corridor”? What about the boulevard option you supported at Brampton City Council that received unanimous support, including the environmental lobby?
Then, to add salt to the wound, Peel Region Council supported a motion that the province’s highway budget be reallocated to “regionally connected transit, active transportation, and other sustainable modes of transportation.” This budget reallocation translates to spending most of the money back in Mississauga.
Of Brampton’s Regional Councillors, only Mayor Brown and Councillors Dhillon and Palleschi voted against the proposal to object to “any transportation corridor” as the lands in Brampton north are in the “white belt”. The white belt refers to undeveloped lands between existing urban areas and the green belt/environmental wetlands. When the provincial Liberal government established the Greenbelt Plan, the white belt was destined for development to accommodate population growth.
The Parrish/Medeiros motion will now proceed back to Brampton Council to receive. Brampton residents need Regional Councillors to advocate for Brampton, not Mississauga. When they receive the Parrish/Medeiros motion, a strong message to Mississauga is required. Brampton Councillors need not bow to Councillor Parrish’s politics and stand up for Brampton.