Ontario: The Doug Ford government is preparing to fast-track the passage of a bill to create three independent cities by dissolving the Peel Region.

A motion is likely to be moved on Tuesday. This will allow the Progressive Conservatives to send the bill directly to the committee for a third reading instead of sending it.

Generally, the role of the committee is to evaluate the bill line by line and then the committee either approves the bill or improves its language. It also gives an opportunity to stakeholders and community members to present their views.

Two weeks ago, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark tabled the Hazel McCallion Act to make Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent cities by 2025. As part of the bill, the government will set up a transition board of up to five members to make the process legitimate and balanced.

The recommendations of this board are likely to come by the summer of 2024 or the end of 2024.

Ontario’s New Democratic Party says taking the bill to the next level without consultation raises a number of concerns.

Jeff Burch, NDP Critic on municipal affairs, said in a statement that residents of the Peel Region were not consulted during this time. The municipal workers whose jobs may be at stake were not heard.

It was also not ensured that every municipality got proper representation in the transition board. How decisions were taken or will be taken is also not being done with transparency nor has anyone been held accountable.

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