It’s pretty common knowledge that Mississauga is seeking independence from Peel Region. This has been the case for years.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie has been at the forefront of this initiative, as she seeks to separate Mississauga from its ties with Brampton and Caledon. She is quite to cite money as the reasons why, and it certainly seems like she has a point.

“Analysis shows we send $85M to the region to fund the growth of other cities,” Crombie tweeted back in March. “This is not fair to residents and businesses. Our money should go towards Mississauga priorities. We must be able to govern our affairs and set our vision without interference.”

That’s a fair point from Mayor Crombie – although she probably wouldn’t see the link between her statement and arguments for border control – and she is moving full steam ahead with her plans for independence. She claims the joint region governance is systematically broken, considering how much more Mississauga contributes.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie
(Bernard Weil/Toronto Star)

Crombie’s plan called for the Doug Ford government to consider Mississauga a single-tier municipality; which would allow for matters to only need to be passed at the municipal level rather than with the region, as well. Meaning changes to infrastructure and how money is spent would happen quicker and with less friction.

Back in March, the initiative won the support of the council to explore idea’s on how to move forward. You see, it’s not as simple as just up and leaving the region, because Mississauga shares a lot of resources with Brampton and Caledon.

Crombie says the Peel Police could remain in Mississauga, although that brings up the question of how funding and allocation of forces would work. Likewise, she says the water and sewer systems would stay the same, but with a utility board sharing the processes and formalities. That much is certain however because the water treatment plant is in Brampton, and it would be a hard sell for Mississauga natives to pay for a new plant when nothing is currently broken.

Well, the Ford Government recently voted to do nothing in regards to Mississauga’s independence. Ward 5 Councillor Carolun Parrish was furious with the decision, saying she bit her tongue for months as the Ford Government cut programs and funding, all the while assuming they were going to be granted their freedom. However she isn’t done fighting yet, as Parrish introduced a new motion to grant Mississauga independence by 2022.

Mayor Crombie and Parrish will try once again to force through their plan for Mississauga independence, but be a lot less polite about it this time around. Crombie believes that Mississauga people are embracing the idea of separation because they are being held back from fully evolving. “It’s the new Mississauga. We don’t build single-family homes any more; we build condo and townhomes. I want Mississauga to become a smart, sustainable, livable, walkable city. I want a vibrant downtown where people choose to go. I want transit. We’re building our LRT.”

Those comments are somewhat at odds with what many people think of Mississauga. Many long-time Mississauga natives directly oppose the influx of condo’s in the city, stating that it’s losing its identity as a big city with small town sensitivities. So, while many Mississauga natives are behind the idea of leaving Peel Region, the same demographic may not be behind Mayor Crombie’s vision of the future.