It’s a little word that’s getting lots of attention during the current municipal election period.
Caledon mayoral candidate Annette Groves has indicated repeatedly that she voted “No” to the loss of two Caledon seats at the Peel Regional Council table.
Many residents are telling us they now feel confused about what actually happened at the Peel Regional Council meetings on Nov 26th and Dec 17th of 2020 regarding Caledon’s Regional representation. So here is how those votes went, with links to the Council Minutes provided.
At the Regional Council meeting on November 26, 2020, Resolution 2020-1005 was tabled to establish a by-law that would take two seats from Caledon and give them to Brampton. Note that Councillor Groves voted IN FAVOUR of that.
Regional staff prepared the draft by-law #83-2020 and on December 17th at 9:30AM the Region held a Public Open House “to obtain input from the public.” There were five oral submissions from Caledon residents and over 50 written submissions from Caledon residents.
Regional Council proceeded to meet the very same afternoon and tabled Resolution 2020-1125 and looking to pass the new by-law 83-2020, taking two seats from Caledon and giving them to Brampton.
It is important to note that for a vote to take place at Regional Council there must be a minimum of one Councillor from each lower-tier municipality present. If all five Caledon Councillors left the table the vote could not proceed that day. The delay would buy Caledon time to try to work out a better outcome. They, including Councillor Groves, had successfully used this strategy at another Regional Council meeting on June 11th 2015.
However, on December 17th 2020 as the other four Caledon Councillors removed themselves from the table, Councillor Groves refused. Despite their repeated requests she remained, knowingly outnumbered by Brampton and Mississauga Councillors, which allowed the vote to proceed (see item 12 in the Minutes). And we wonder why?
Her “No” vote that she keeps pointing to, as she knew at the time, was completely inconsequential. Her refusal to join forces with her colleagues and stop the vote was not. It ensured that Brampton would start the upcoming term of Council with two additional seats, at Caledon’s expense. And we wonder why?
At a time when Caledon’s population is set to go from 81,000 to 300,000 over the next 30 years to meet provincially-mandated population numbers, one would think that more control over that growth should have been the priority. Not enabling the loss of two seats. And we wonder why?
But the “No” is convenient to point back to now during the 2022 election when people question those actions.