The Ontario Government announced recently that it will not pursue its plans of radically redrawing regional boundaries, leaving intact the current structure of the Region of Peel.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark announced that that the region would instead provide $143 million to municipalities across Ontario to fund new ways to lower costs and improve services. The funding will be open to all 444 of Ontario’s municipalities. The government will also be launching a consultation on whether to align the fiscal years of provincial and municipal governments.

While this news has thwarted any plans that Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie had for her city to become independent from Peel Region and become its own municipality, it is welcome news for the City of Brampton because it means that Bramptonians will continue to receive core regional services as they have been all along, and will potentially see new opportunities for increased effectiveness and efficiency with the new funding.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said, “Brampton will partner with the province to utilize the $143 million in new funding to municipalities to find smarter, more efficient ways to operate and focus spending on vital programs and services for Brampton residents.”

Referencing Brampton City Council’s resolution from May 2019, which was based on two independent financial reports, Brown also said that  that “the current structure helps protect the best interest of Peel Region taxpayers and looks forward to continuing its partnership with the Region of Peel, City of Mississauga and Town of Caledon and improve quality of living, affordability and safety for the residents of Peel Region.”

David Barrick, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Brampton, said the city had been waiting for this decision for a while and that it “can now move forward on a range of corporate initiatives and our 2020-2022 budget process with greater certainty and peace of mind.” He was hopeful and said, “we look forward to accessing today’s newly announced funding to enhance service delivery for Brampton residents.”

The move is the latest example of the provincial government walking back from a series of controversial decisions on everything from municipal spending to educational cuts. Ford didn’t, however, rule out deciding in the future that Peel Region may split up. Last Thursday it offered to modify its plan to increase class sizes in an effort to prevent a teachers’ strike.

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