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Peeling back the layers: Dissolution, social impacts and inequities in Peel Region

On May 18, 2023, the Government of Ontario introduced the Hazel McCallion Act (Bill 112) to dissolve the Regional Municipality of Peel. This Bill will make Brampton, Caledon, and Mississauga single-tier municipalities, assuming full responsibility for all aspects of the regional government’s former duties, by December 31st, 2024. As one of Canada's most densely populated and fastest-growing regions, with a population of over 1.5 million people, this development marks a significant shift in regional governance and holds important implications for the region and its residents.

The dissolution of the Regional Municipality of Peel signifies a fundamental change in how the region will be governed. Peel operates under a two-tier municipal system, consisting of the regional government and three lower-tier municipalities – Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon. Each of these municipalities has its local government, which collaborates with the regional administration to provide services and make decisions that affect the entire region. However, the impending dissolution–with an appointed transition board expected to provide recommendations to the Province as to how the dissolution should take place–is set to alter this established regional governance framework, which has been in place for the past five decades. Despite its adoption without a citizens’ referendum or proper community consultation, the dissolution will effectively end the regional government's authority. Instead, the three lower-tier municipalities will independently assume full responsibility for governing their respective areas as single-tier municipalities.

This shift in governance is expected to have both positive and negative impacts. On the one hand, it is expected that it will provide each municipality with greater autonomy and the ability to tailor their policies and services to the unique needs of their residents. According to proponents, this could lead to more responsive and efficient local governance. On the other hand, concerns have been raised about the potential challenges and complexities associated with the restructuring of such complex systems in only 18 months–and who might get overlooked–or what might be insufficiently planned along the way. As Peel Region is faced with this top-down, unilateral dissolution imposed by a higher level of government without community consultation, there is an urgent need to explore the specifics of the dissolution plan, including how responsibilities will be allocated among the new municipalities, who will be most affected, the legal framework under which these municipalities will operate, the changing levels of service and the challenges to collaboration among them.

Building on a strong partnership between researchers at the City Institute at York University and the Metamorphosis Network at Peel Region, the forum “Peeling back the layers: Dissolution, social impacts and inequities in Peel Region” will bring academics, the social service sector, community leaders and government officials to shed light on these important questions.

To register please click on this link or scan QR code on the poster

2:00 - 2:15 PM
Welcome and introductions
Luisa Sotomayor (City Institute, York University) and Arvind Krishendeholl (Moyo Health & Community Services)
2:15 - 3:15 PM
Diversity, complexity, and scarcity: Peel Region over the years
Gurpreet Malhotra, Indus Community Services, Metamorphosis Network
Roger Keil, York University
3:15 - 4:15 PM
Good governance for whom? The costs and benefits of restructuring
Zack Spicer, York University
Sharon Mayne, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Family Services of Peel Dufferin
Moderator: Harris Ali, York University
4:15 - 4:30 PM
Coffee break
4:30 - 5:45 PM
Peel’s restructuring: implications for communities and the social services sector
Angela Carter, Roots Community Services, Peel
Gary Kent, CAO, Region of Peel
Rachel Laforest, Queen’s University
Moderator: Sean Meagher, Metamorphosis Network
5:45 – 6:15 PM
Moderated discussion and conclusions
York U/ Metamorphosis

Our Speakers:

Zachary Spicer

Zachary Spicer is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University, where he also serves as the Head of New College. He previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Government of Ontario and the Director of Research and Outreach with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and continues to serve on the Institute’s national Board of Directors. He began his career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Brock University and completed post-doctoral fellowships with the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at The University of Western Ontario.


Sharon Mayne Devine

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Sharon Mayne Devine is the Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Family Services of Peel Dufferin, lead agency for both the Safe Centre of Peel and the Honourable William G Davis Centre for Families, a multi-service centre located in Peel. Prior to becoming CEO, Sharon taught at the University of Guelph in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, holding several positions including Special Graduate Faculty in the Couple and Family Therapy Program. Her professional experience and academic interests include developing innovative approaches to addressing violence and trauma in families, and leading systems change to address social inequality created by racism, marginalization, discrimination, and trauma. Sharon is committed to community collaboration and is passionate about finding transformative solutions to address challenging social issues.


Sean Meagher

Sean Meagher is a member of the Metamorphosis Network and executive director of The Change Lab. For over 30 years, he has used both community engagement processes and community-based research to marginalized communities in social change initiatives across the GTA.
At The Change Lab, through Ontario for All and other projects, Sean helps non-profits and communities develop new, practical strategies to improve public policy. By supporting communities in identifying both their needs and policy opportunities to address them, Sean helps transform advocacy into action.
Prior to his work at The Change Lad, Sean led the Social Planning Council in Toronto, and served as Chief of Staff to several Cabinet Ministers. As a member of the Metamorphosis Network, Sean is deeply committed to advocating for a transition framework that ensures no community member is left behind.


Rachel Laforest

Rachel Laforest (Ph.D. Carleton) is a Professor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on Canadian politics, with a particular interest in how civil society groups mobilize to influence social policy dynamics.


Gary Kent

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Gary is the chief administrative officer for Peel Region, the third largest municipality in Ontario, Canada, delivering services and infrastructure to 1.5 million residents and 175,000 businesses. He manages an annual fiscal budget of over $5 billion. The CAO is the most senior position within Peel, overseeing all staff, service delivery and infrastructure investments.

He has led many significant community and corporate transformational strategic initiatives in the UK and Canada, focused on delivering strategic public value.

Gary is a CPA as well as being a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and earned a BA in Accountancy from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has graduated from the Directors Education Program from the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, holding the ICD.D designation.

In addition to being elected to ACCA’s Global Council and sitting on ACCA’s Public Sector Global Forum, he has sat on many boards and is also currently a Director with the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).

You can find out more and connect with Gary on Linkedin


Angela Carter

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Angela Carter is the executive director of the Roots Community Services Inc. (RootsCS), and in this capacity, she strongly and actively advocates for the upliftment of Black, African and Caribbean people and works tirelessly to dismantle anti-racism, systemic discrimination and other barriers that continue to negatively impact members of racialized and marginalized communities.

She co-chairs the Anti-Black Racism & Systemic Discrimination Collective in the Region of Peel as well as represents RootsCS on a number of committees in Peel, Halton Region and Toronto that are seeking social justice, equity and equality for everyone. She is the board chair of the Ontario Nonprofit Network and the Central Park Baptist Church and a board member of FOCUS Accreditation.

With many years experience working in the financial sector and journalism coupled with decades of voluntary service in the Greater Toronto Area and Barbados, Angela has gained valuable insight into balancing the business needs and the human side of the social service sector, which is evident in the growth and development of Roots Community Services.

Angela obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from York University, Ontario, and a Master of Professional Communication degree, with specialization in Intercultural and International Communication, from the Royal Roads University in BC. Angela recently received the 2023 Naseem Somani Memorial Leadership Excellence Award from the Brampton Board of Trade.


Gurpreet S. Malhotra

Gurpreet S. Malhotra has been a professional in Human Services for over 33 years and is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Indus Community Services, which is a leading provider of culturally responsive community and health services. The agency has seven locations in Peel and Halton just west of Toronto and a dedicated staff complement of over a hundred and forty.

Preceding that he was the principal of his own consultancy and worked at the Region of Peel as the Director of Strategic Planning, Policy and Partnerships in the Human Services Department. Prior to that, he served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.

Gurpreet has more than a decade of experience as a Professor and Program Coordinator of the innovative Community Development Diploma Program at the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning where he also served as a Human Rights Advisor. He also holds two degrees in Public Policy and Administration and appears frequently in National and Local news as a community advocate on behalf of the many communities he serves.


Dec 07 2023


2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


HNES Building Room 140
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