The City of Mississauga is asking its residents to mail Premier Doug Ford postcards requesting that the provincial government grant the city independence from Peel Region.
The city said Mississauga residents will be receiving postcards in the mail in early May, which they are then asked to sign and send to Premier Ford’s office.
The postage-paid cards say, “Dear Premier Ford,” and then list four points regarding Mississauga obtaining independence, including, “I believe Mississauga should have the power to make its own decisions,” and, “I want Mississauga to be an independent city, no longer a part of the Region of Peel.”
In an email to Global News Saturday afternoon, City of Mississauga spokesperson Catherine Monast said the initiative will be funded through Mississauga’s property tax revenues and was “a collaboration between staff and council.”
There is no word on the exact cost of the postcards.
The initiative comes after Mississauga city council passed a motion last month, asking the province to give the city independence from the wider Regional Municipality of Peel, which encompasses Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.
The effort, largely led by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and supported by city manager Janice Baker, comes at a time when the provincial government is conducting a review of regional governments in Ontario.
Crombie has used this time to advocate for Mississauga’s independence, though some have suggested the purpose of the review may be to study potential regional amalgamations.
However, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark previously told Global News that “is not what this study is about.”
Crombie claims Peel Region is “broken” and Mississauga’s residents are subsidizing services in Brampton and Caledon through regional taxes.
“As Canada’s sixth largest city, it’s time we had our own voice and ability to control our future,” she said in a statement earlier this week.
“Our council remains committed to our position, in principle, that becoming an independent city is in the best interest of the city and our residents. We’ve done our homework, and we know we are not getting a fair deal. Mississauga is subsidizing Brampton and Caledon to the tune of 85 million dollars a year.”
The mayors of Brampton and Caledon have disputed her claims, with Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown claiming that Brampton residents are, in fact, subsidizing services in Mississauga, like the city’s water treatment facility.
Earlier this month, hundreds of residents packed a town hall in the Mississauga council chamber to discuss the city’s efforts to seek independence from Peel.
Many residents were in favour of the move, while some criticized council’s independence efforts, with at least one resident claiming that the city has not conducted enough public consultations on the issue.
In addition to mailing the postcards next month, the city is also asking residents to participate in the province’s online consultations regarding the regional government review.
— With files from Jessica Patton and Kevin Nielsen