The Mississauga News recently interviewed Mayor Bonnie Crombie to see what her priorities are for the city in 2020. Here’s what she said.
Changes at Peel Region
Crombie outlined several issues with Peel Region she said are “unfair to Mississauga residents and taxpayers,” including how the police are funded.
Under the current model, which is based on property value assessments, Brampton pays around 36.9 per cent while Mississauga pays 63.1 per cent of the Peel regional police budget.
Mississauga has proposed to fund Peel police with an Ontario Provincial Police model and estimates a $69 million savings if adopted. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown has said the model wouldn’t work in Peel.
Crombie also said she wants Mississauga to have a weighted vote at Peel council so the city can still have up to 12 votes in the event a councillor is absent.
With city and Peel Coun. Sue McFadden planning on taking a medical leave in the new year, Mississauga’s representation at the region could be at 11 votes until the spring.
Citing an uptick in violent crime as well as less funding for additional police officers, Crombie said Mississauga will host another community safety summit.
“I want to ensure that we have an understanding of what the risks are in our city and what is being done to mitigate those risks,” she said.
Crombie also said she want to ensure police feel they have the resources they need “adequately do their jobs.”
Mississauga previously had a community safety summit in 2018.
In December, Peel police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said that the 35 officers funded in the 2020 budget would bring the force to a “breathing point” for service delivery.
In 2020, Crombie said she’ll continue to advocate for two-way, all-day service on the Milton GO train line.
Though it would be a “longer-term project” involving the federal and provincial governments building more freight rail capacity, the mayor said the initiative would be “transformative for Mississauga, should it happen.”
Currently the train line runs east into Toronto in the morning, and west out of Union Station in the afternoon, primarily catering to commuters leaving Milton and Mississauga.
Crombie said the city needs train service more reflective of the needs of commuters travelling to work in Mississauga.
“That train — and I like to say this because people get it right away — it travels in the wrong direction,” she said.
GO buses run from Union Station to Mississauga along the Milton Line weekday mornings and afternoons.
Crombie said affordable housing stock is “always on our wish list,” and Mississauga is working with the provincial government “to ensure that we can impose things like inclusionary zoning on new developments.”
Inclusionary zoning, a policy that can require a certain number of affordable units in new residential developments, was limited to projects in major transit areas in Ontario’s Bill 108.
According to a Mississauga news release, less than 10 per cent of city-approved residential units have been built.
— With files from Hailey Montgomery