There has been a lack of updates on the dissolution of the Region of Peel, according to Mayor Annette Groves.
At Caledon Council’s September 12 general committee meeting, Ward 2 Councillor Dave Sheen put forward a motion asking for Town of Caledon CAO Nathan Hyde to update Council on the dissolution of Peel by October 10.
A lengthy discussion ensued once the motion was on the floor, with some Councillors sharing concerns about the lack of information available surrounding Peel’s dissolution.
As a result of the Provincial Government’s Hazel McCallion Act, Caledon, Brampton, and Mississauga — which form the Region of Peel — are set to be independent municipalities as of January 1, 2025.
A transition team was appointed to manage this municipal changeup on July 5, 2023.
Groves said the transition team has yet to request a meeting with any of the Peel municipalities’ Councillors. She said it has only requested meetings with heads of Council and CAOs.
“At this point if there was any information to report (I would have reported it),” said Groves. “Things are still very preliminary… the transition team is trying to figure it out themselves.”
Groves said Caledon should not complicate the transition process nor show its hand at the negotiation table.
“If we are not careful… Brampton is looking to take a lot of Caledon’s land [in] the south end of Caledon,” said Groves. “My job is to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Ward 4 Councillor Nick de Boer said if Brampton wants to take land in the south of Caledon, Council should take a formal position against it. He said all Councillors deserve a chance to defend Caledon’s interests, not just the Mayor and CAO.
de Boer said having regular updates on the transition process from Groves and Hyde at Council meetings would be beneficial. He said Council should work together and have a unified position that Groves and Hyde can take to the transition team.
Ward 1 Councillor Lynn Kiernan said the information Groves shared at the September 12 meeting was the most she had received on the transition to date.
She said even if an update is “nothing to report yet” residents still deserve to know what is going on. Kiernan said democracy requires an informed public and residents in her ward want to know what is going on with Peel’s dissolution.
Ward 2 Councillor Dave Sheen said he brought his motion forward because he and his residents felt out of the loop. He said people ask him every day about the dissolution of Peel.
Sheen said in the spirit of communication, he wanted to schedule an update from Hyde on the transition. He said he doesn’t care how the update is provided, so long as all members of Council get the same information at the same time.
Sheen said in the absence of good communication, people fill in the blanks and rumours take over.
Hyde said Council does not need to tell staff to bring updates to Council; that it is staff’s job to do so. He said staff will bring frequent updates to Council and the community on the transition process as it moves forward.
de Boer said as the point of Sheen’s motion was understood by staff, the motion should be referred back to staff. Council supported the referral.
Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen