December 7, 2023 – The ongoing saga surrounding the dissolution of Peel Region has taken a contentious turn, with Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie challenging Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s claims of a financial disaster. Brown has played a pivotal role in rallying opposition against the dissolution, citing catastrophic financial impacts and risks to essential services. As Premier Doug Ford considers a potential reversal of the dissolution plan, the political landscape is heating up.

Crombie’s Rebuke and Challenge

In a heated press conference, Mayor Crombie expressed frustration over Mayor Brown’s assertions that the dissolution plan would cost taxpayers $1.3 billion over 10 years, or a 38 per cent increase in taxes. She challenged Brown to substantiate his claims, particularly questioning the validity of the 2019 consultant’s report on which he relies.

In a direct challenge, Crombie urged Brown to release any updated or new report he might be referencing, emphasizing the need for transparency and evidence-based decision-making. She questioned Brown’s reluctance to support an independent Brampton and accused him of reveling in the status quo.

Ontario NDP leader Marit Stiles, siding more with Brown it seems, has said the increase is closer to 34 per cent.

Deleted Poll Adds Fuel to the Fire

Adding fuel to the fire, Mississauga Ward 7 Councillor Dipika Damerla’s online poll on X asking residents about the Peel dissolution was deleted after it backfired. The poll, framed in a way that Mayor Brown criticized as biased, showed 82% of respondents did not support the dissolution, contradicting the Mississauga Mayor. The results were promptly deleted, prompting criticism from Brown and Brampton Councillor Rowena Santos.

Brampton Councillor Rowena Santos noted that the poll backfired from its intended purpose, revealing unexpected public support to keep the Region of Peel together. Mayor Brown seized on the results, claiming they “clearly show Mississauga residents don’t want any part in your Peel dissolution train wreck” in a post directed at Mayor Crombie.

Brown’s Continued Opposition

Despite the challenges from Mayor Crombie, Mayor Brown, bolstered by the results of the poll, remains steadfast in his characterization of the dissolution plan as a “financial train wreck.” He continues to emphasize the potential 38% tax increase and the risks to essential services, including concerns about a possible “mass exodus” of first responders.

What’s Next?

The Premier is expected to provide an update on the status of Peel’s dissolution by the end of the week, leaving residents and stakeholders anxiously awaiting a resolution to this contentious battle. As the political and public discourse intensifies, the future governance and financial stability of Peel Region hang in the balance.