December 5, 2023 Ontario Premier Doug Ford is reportedly considering a reversal of his plan to dissolve Peel Region, a move that has garnered widespread public opposition and financial concerns. The potential reconsideration comes in the wake of growing pressure from various stakeholders, notably led by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

Brown’s advocacy against the dissolution has been amplified through social media posts, interviews, editorials, and press releases, creating significant public pressure. In a recent interview with CP24, Brown expressed his full support for Peel Region paramedics, highlighting concerns about lives being at risk due to the proposed dissolution.

“I fully support the paramedics, and I trust them when they say lives are at risk,” Brown said to CP24.

Financial Argument Against Dissolution

A crucial turning point in the reconsideration seems to be the publicized data released by Brown, indicating catastrophic financial impacts if the dissolution were to proceed. The updated independent data, produced by Deloitte for Peel Region, estimates a potential 38% tax increase, translating to an additional $1.31 billion in operating costs. PC Party insiders, speaking anonymously, have said Premier Ford is concerned about these numbers.

“It would lead to the largest tax increase in taxes in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon history. It would seriously compromise public health, paramedic services, long-term care and policing in Peel. It could put lives at risk,” Brown said in a interview on Tuesday.

Opposition from the Paramedic Union

In a separate press release just days after, Mayor Patrick Brown emphasized the serious risks posed to critical and essential paramedic services in Peel Region. The Peel Paramedic Union also expressed concerns in a series of posts on ‘X’ about the potential negative impact on recruitment and retention of skilled paramedics.

Former Peel CAO Speaks Against Dissolution

Former Peel Region Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Janice Baker, made a few recent public acknowledgements that the dissolution was flawed. Brown jumped on this as well, invoking Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.

McCallion’s influence, even posthumously through her advice to Patrick Brown, appears to have played a pivotal role in the growing resistance to the dissolution.

Mayor of Caledon joins the Coalition Against Dissolution

Mayor of Caledon, Annette Groves, also raised concerns about how dissolution could negatively affect the building of affordable housing in her municipality. Brown once again used this as an opportunity to bring to light the downsides of dissolution.

Crombie Under fire for Support of Dissolution

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who initially championed the dissolution, is facing scrutiny for her role in pushing for the separation of the three municipalities. While Crombie defends the move as a means to cut red tape and eliminate duplication, critics argue that the financial burden and potential service disruptions outweigh the perceived benefits. The provincial government, transitioning board, and various municipalities are now engaged in discussions to find a viable solution that addresses the concerns raised by the public and stakeholders.

Capitalizing on Crombie’s recent triumph in the Ontario Liberal Leadership race, Brown penned an editorial for the Toronto Sun, outlining the adverse implications of dissolving Peel Region for Ontarians at large. He urged Crombie to reconsider her stance, emphasizing that, as she aspires to represent a broader constituency beyond Mississauga, the time is ripe for a reassessment of the decision’s broader implications.

“Will she change her position on the dissolution of Peel Region?” Brown asked in the editorial. “If she wants to represent all Ontarians, she must do what’s in the interest of the entire province — not just Mississauga. It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing,” Brown quipped.

What’s Next?

The coalition of opposition to the dissolution seems to be growing every day – paramedics, police unions, Mayors, and more. The potential reversal of the dissolution plan marks a significant development, and Premier Ford is expected to provide more details in the coming days. The decision will have far-reaching implications for the future governance and financial stability of Peel Region, and residents are closely watching how the situation unfolds.

If you count yourself as one of the many who are against the dissolution, now might be the time to send Mayor Patrick Brown a Christmas card to thank him for his relentless and vigorous opposition.