The following is a statement by Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, following a vote by Peel Regional Council to increase the size of Peel Council by adding an additional 8 regional councillors, to bring the total to 32 regional councillors:
“Mississauga Council is not in support of adding more politicians to Peel Regional Council and especially not an additional 8 members. This proposal to increase Regional Council to 32 is unnecessary and will result in excessive costs that taxpayers’ will have to pay for.
“Mississauga has made the conscious decision to have 12 wards and each councillor provides strong representation to on average 64,000 residents. This is a smart, responsible and balanced ratio.
“I do not believe there is a desire to add more politicians without a compelling business case.
“We all agree that Brampton has been underrepresented at Regional Council. Mississauga put forward a responsible plan to remedy this, based on the principle of representation by population.
“Without increasing the size of Regional Council, we proposed Mississauga remaining at 12 seats, increasing Brampton from 7 to 9 seats, and reducing Caledon’s representation from 5 to 3 seats.
“Caledon residents are significantly overrepresented at Regional Council, which is not fair to the residents of Mississauga and Brampton. Mississauga councillors represent on average 64,000 people, whereas Caledon councillors only represent, on average, 18,000 residents.
“The weight of the vote of a Caledon resident is worth more than that of a Mississauga resident. This is not fair and needs to be fixed.
“For the Region of Peel to function properly all councillors must have an equal vote – this is not the case right now.
“Mississauga Council is united in our position and in defence of the best interests of the residents, business owners and the taxpayers of Mississauga.”