The Ontario government has announced its plans to break up the Region of Peel in the next few years. That means Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon would be independent cities by 2025. Here’s what you need to know.

The province introduced the Hazel McCallion Act on Thursday which, according to the government, would begin the process to dissolve the Region of Peel. If passed, the cities of Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon would be independent.

“Our government is working with our municipal partners to provide the tools and autonomy required to deliver on our shared commitments to the people of Ontario, including addressing the housing supply crisis,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“The Region of Peel includes some of the largest and fastest-growing municipalities in Canada and is poised for significant growth over the next decade. Our government is supporting this growth by cutting red tape and improving efficiency while maintaining and improving the high level of local services Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon residents rightly expect.”

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A transition board of up to five people will be established in order to help with this change in local government and oversee the financial affairs of Peel if needed, including its lower-tier municipalities.

Per the government, “the dissolution process, with the support of the transition board, would help ensure a fair outcome for the three municipalities that prioritizes the preservation of frontline services and workers, respect for taxpayers and government efficiency.”

This process would help provide the three regions “with the tools needed to plan for population growth, including the tools needed to meet their housing pledges.”

In response to today’s announcement, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she is pleased with the announcement that “Mississauga will be a stand alone, independent city.”

Patrick Brown, Mayor of Brampton, said that the they will work “constructively to ensure Brampton taxpayers are treated fairly.”

Currently, Peel Region shares services such as public health, police, and waste management. This could all fall under each region following the split.

“The Region of Peel delivers essential services to more than 1.5 million residents and approximately 175,000 businesses,” states the Region on its careers page. “Our workforce is 6,500 strong and since 1974, we’ve been delivering a wide range of resident focused services. Our services include paramedic services, health programs, long-term care and services for seniors, child care support, garbage collection and recycling, waste water and water treatment, road maintenance, financial assistance, and housing support.”

At this time, it is unclear what would become of the staff who work under the Region of Peel.

Additionally, while Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon have their own mayors, the Region of Peel also has a Council which consists of 25 members. “This includes the Regional Chair, mayors of Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga, and council members representing wards from each city or town,” according to the region of Peel.

Thursday’s legislation honours the Peel Region’s longest-serving mayor, Hazel McCallion, who was Mayor of Mississauga for 36 years and an advocate for greater autonomy of the city.

But it’s not the only region that will undergo major changes. According to the Ontario government, in the next few weeks, the province will also look into Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo, and York to see whether it is still “relevant to the needs of its communities” or if they are mature enough to be dissolved.

We’ll just have to wait and see.