Letters & Opinion

Just Askin’ Caledon Candidates #2: About Losing 2 Regional Seats

Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

With the Municipal Election just three weeks away Just Sayin’ Caledon posed eight questions to all Caledon Council candidates. Our Just Askin’ series of questions related to gridlock, small business, community services, quarries, walkable communities, the whitebelt, rural services, and the loss of two seats at the Peel Region Council table. Answers from the candidates who chose to participate are being published over the course of this week on JSC.

Unsure which Ward you are in? Check the Town of Caledon’s new Ward Map to be sure.

Question 2 of 8:

Caledon has faced the disappointing loss of two seats at the Peel Regional Council table. How do you feel about this? And how do you see it impacting Caledon’s ability to control its own planning in future?

 

Responses from the candidates who chose to participate:

Mayoral candidates

Regional Councillor candidates – Wards 1, 2, 3

Regional Councillor candidates – Wards 4, 5, 6

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 1

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 2

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 3

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 4

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 5

Area Councillor candidates – Ward 6

JSC Newsletter

Receive our stories and events directly to your inbox, twice a month.

Sign Up

About the author

Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ Caledon brings you stories about Caledon people, places and events.

Leave a Comment


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

1 Comment

  • Annette Groves has repeated many times the mantra that she voted “No” to the distribution change. That claim is at best very misleading.
    At the Regional Council meeting on November 26, 2020, Resolution 2020-1005 was tabled to establish a by-law to revise council seat distribution. Councillor Groves, along with nearly all the other Brampton and Mississauga councillors, voted IN FAVOUR of such a by-law. The motion passed 17-4 with 2 abstentions and 1 absent. Regional staff now had direct orders to draft the by-law. The newly-drafted by-law received the designation 83-2020. The gate was opened.
    At the December 17, 2020 Regional Council meeting, Resolution 2020-1125 was tabled to adopt the new by-law 83-2020, taking 2 seats from Caledon and giving them to Brampton with no safe-guards for Caledon in return. This change would be effective with the 2022 municipal election.
    One of the rules of Regional Council is that each municipality must be represented by at least one councillor in order for a vote to take place. Here was the last opportunity to keep the horse from escaping. The Caledon contingent all got up to leave the meeting in order to prevent the vote. This tactic had been successfully applied by Caledon councillors on June 11, 2015 and included Councillor Groves’ participation. On this occasion, however, all got up except Annette Groves. With Groves still sitting at the table, defying repeated requests to get up and follow her colleagues, Caledon was still officially represented, thus validating the vote and allowing it to proceed. The horse was out.
    True, Groves did vote “No”. This is nothing more than semantics and is meaningless. It amounts to nothing more than closing the gate after the horse was already gone.
    That is not the end of the story. I can hear some quarters saying, “They were going to take more. There was a committee and nothing was done”. That claim, too, is misleading at best. It is no secret that Brampton and Mississauga have been agitating for a re-distribution for years. There is no evidence available that Brampton and/or Mississauga wanted more than two seats. If they did, how would anyone know that unless they were in conversation with those councillors? Such conversations would amount to a conspiracy of questionable ethics.
    Meanwhile, the Policies and Procedures Committee consisted of 12 councillors, only 3 of whom were from Caledon, Mayor Thompson, and Councillors Sinclair and Innis. It was part of this committee’s mandate to make the review of council composition.
    The February 6, 2020 meeting of the committee was attended by only 8 members, including Councillors Sinclair and Innis. On the agenda was a staff report, “Review of Regional Council Composition”. The purpose of the report, which the committee was to go through, was to seek clarification on how to proceed with the composition review. It was decided to defer the report, but not before “Councillor Parrish distributed a hand-out to Committee members providing population and Council composition information for eight Ontario regional governments…”
    Councillor Innis asked for an additional committee meeting date due to the workload for the timeline available. An additional meeting date of March 26, 2020 was set. That meeting ended up being cancelled. The next two meetings, June 30, 2020, and August 20, 2020 dealt exclusively with the selection of a new Chief Administrative Officer for the Region of Peel.
    At the following meetiing, October 1, 2020, the last one before the November 26 Regional Council meeting, Kathryn Lockyer, advised that if the review process was started and progressing, it could carry into 2021 provided the full process, including the new by-law, was passed before the end of 2021. The Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs could step in and make the decision if progress were seen by the ministry to be slow. The fact remained, however, that there was no legal requirement for the review process, let alone the by-law, to be completed by the end of 2020.
    Given the evidence in the records available, it would appear that Brampton and/or Mississauga were going out of their way to delay the work of the Procedures and Policy Committee in order to raise the spectre of ministry intervention. This is speculation. Some questions remain, however. Why was Councillor Groves involved when she was not even on the Policies and Procedures Committee? What gave her the authority to unilaterally give away two Regional seats to Brampton? There are no records of any safeguards for Caledon in return. Brampton and Mississauga can now plan and develop Caledon in any way they see fit at any time they want. So much for transparency and public input.
    All the records are public at these links:

    November 26, 2020 Regional Council minutes
    https://pub-peelregion.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=893e23ae-3a02-4230-b978-f8d88732148d&Agenda=PostMinutes&lang=English

    December 17, 2020 Regional Council minutes
    https://pub-peelregion.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=4aafd7d5-41bf-4389-bae6-807cd83177d8&Agenda=PostMinutes&lang=English

    Minutes of the February 6, 2020, and October 1, 2020 Policy and Procedures meeting are available by request through the Region of Peel Clerk’s office.