Mississauga should look at leaving Peel, Mayor Bonnie Crombie says

Twelve years after former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion campaigned to take her city out of Peel Region, her successor is trying to resurrect the issue.

Crombie speaks out after city council votes to study secession from Peel

Like her predecessor Hazel McCallion, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, right, says it's time for Mississauga "to go our own way and control our own destiny." (Sara-Christine Gemson/CBC)

Twelve years after former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion campaigned to take her city out of Peel Region, her successor is trying to resurrect the issue.

Not long after Mississauga city council voted Wednesday to undertake a study to determine if the city should leave Peel, Mayor Bonnie Crombie told CBC News the time is right.

"We're Ontario's third largest city, we're Canada's sixth largest city and we think it's time Mississauga control its own destiny and make decisions that are in the best interest of our residents," Crombie told CBC's Here And Now

"There's a lot of duplication of staff — whether it's in transit, public works or in planning," she added. "The last time this study was undertaken was about 12 years ago and it looked like about $31 million in accrued savings should we be a single-tier municipality."

Crombie, who took office two years ago, told host Gill Deacon that another independent study should be carried out "to look at all those numbers once again."

"We are a distinct city, we have our own identity and this is an opportunity for us to go our own way and control our own destiny," she said. "We want the empirical evidence to really confirm that there are savings and that there will be benefits."

Right now, Peel Region includes the cities of Mississauga and Brampton, as well as the town of Caledon, and has an estimated population of 1.4 million people.

CBC News reached out Wednesday evening to Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffery, but she refused to comment on Crombie's remarks.

Crombie said separation from Peel region should be on the ballot as a referendum item in the 2018 election if the study supports secession.

"Our voters aren't getting good value because they're under-represented at the region of Peel," she said. "We provide about two-thirds of the tax levy at the region of Peel and we still have only 15 per cent of the vote.

"There are some inequities that have to be addressed and we just think it's time," Crombie said.

In an interview with CBC News in 2004, McCallion said a report prepared by chartered accountants found that her city was paying $19 million to cover services in Brampton and another $6 million for services in Caledon.

"Property tax was never intended to be collected to subsidize the property taxpayers of another municipality," McCallion said at the time. "It was always intended to service the people within the boundaries of that municipality."

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