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Burlington City Council Unanimously Approves Resolution with Expectations for Provincial Review of Regional Governments

Council Approved_Provincial Regional Review - TW

At our May 16 Burlington City Council meeting, we unanimously approved a resolution laying out our city’s expectations for the upcoming Provincial review of regional governments.

Click/tap here for the resolution or see further down this post: CSSRA-02-23 Motion Memo COB Expectations Re Provincial Review of Regional Govts

A digital copy of a related letter from Burlington City Council sent to Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing, the Hon. Steve Clark, on May 25, 2023 is available here: Letter to Minister Clark re: Provincial Review of Regional Governments

On May 18, the Ontario government introduced the Hazel McCallion Act that would, if passed, begin the process to dissolve the Regional Municipality of Peel and make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent. The proposed legislation honours the legacy of Peel Region’s longest-serving mayor, the late Hazel McCallion, who was central to the region’s remarkable growth during her 36 years as Mayor of Mississauga and a long-time advocate for greater autonomy for her city.

Of interesting note in the Province’s news release:

  • In the coming weeks, the Province will also name regional facilitators to assess the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo and York. These facilitators will be tasked with reviewing whether the upper-tier government continues to be relevant to the needs of its communities or whether the lower-tier municipalities are mature enough to pursue dissolution. Where they recommend that a two-tier government is still required, the facilitators will also make recommendations on how they can more effectively respond to the issues facing Ontario’s fast-growing municipalities today, particularly when it comes to meeting municipal housing pledges and tackling the housing supply crisis.

We will be watching how things proceed carefully as this could be a template for other regions, as the Province of Ontario is currently undergoing a review of regional governments.

MY TAKE:

We felt it was important for Council to land, as a whole, a set of principles to convey to facilitators regarding regional review. We certainly do not want a “City of Halton.” If the Province is proposing any changes, we want to ensure they are an improvement and there is no loss of services being provided. The intent behind regional review is for Council to be unanimous in encouraging the facilitators to consider, throughout the process, how this improves things for the city and community.

COUNCIL RESOLUTION:

Whereas on November 16, 2022, the Province of Ontario introduced legislation entitled Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022; and

Whereas an outstanding and important element of the Act remains the appointment of provincial facilitators to assess regional government specifically to determine the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities for the regional governments of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo, and York; and

Whereas the focus of the above noted review is aligned directly to the Provincial government’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years to address the housing supply crisis in Ontario; and

Whereas Council fully supports the priority given by staff of Halton Region and the four local municipalities, including the City of Burlington, to work collaboratively to address the immediate implications for the future delivery of land use planning services including of the devolution of regional and conservation authority responsibilities to the City of Burlington under Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, whereby the Region of Halton is no longer considered a municipal jurisdiction with land use planning authority; and

Whereas the Province has recently set policy for future growth within specific areas of the City of Burlington; and

Therefore, be it resolved that Burlington City Council is fully committed and prepared to actively participate in the upcoming assessment of Halton Region upper and lower-tier responsibilities on the basis of achieving and/or contributing to the following first principles and key strategic outcomes:

First Principles

  • Operating within a clearly defined workplan provided by the provincial facilitator inclusive of scope of work and timelines for completion of review
  • Consideration of all feasible governance options, except amalgamation of the four municipalities into a City of Halton
  • Acting on governance changes as supported by the local-tier councils
  • Decision making is based on community engagement related to any proposed changes to Halton upper and lower-tier municipal responsibilities

Key Strategic Outcomes

  • Improved long term quality of life for existing and future Burlington residents
  • Improved quality and reduced overall cost of municipal services (existing and proposed new) delivered to Burlington residents and businesses
  • All needed community infrastructure is funded through development and/or by senior levels of government
  • The City of Burlington is in an improved position to deliver on long term strategic plan priorities, including community focused needs and economic growth.

And further that the Mayor will communicate these first principles and key strategic outcomes, along with the attached letter outlining the City’s approach to growth of the City of Burlington to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

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1 thought on “Burlington City Council Unanimously Approves Resolution with Expectations for Provincial Review of Regional Governments”

  1. I have lived in Burlington since 1970. I would be in favour of a single layer of Municipal Government and a city called Halton. Look to Thunder Bay and Cambridge. Two levels will always cost more than one.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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