Earlier this year, the Province announced it would be conducting a review of the effectiveness and efficiency of regional governments across Ontario.
At the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Annual Conference held in August in Ottawa, the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, provided the following update on the process:
- The current regional government system has been in place for almost 50 years – and the Province wanted local input on how to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery;
- Special advisers Ken Seiling and Michael Fenn are finalizing their recommendations (UPDATE – Oct. 2, 2019: Min. Clark has received the findings from his advisers and is reviewing them);
- More than 8,500 submissions and almost 100 in-person presentations were received; and
- A further update would be provided in this fall.
We had been hoping for more information, but it appears the recommendations from the review may not be shared until some time after the Oct. 21 Federal election.
Since the review was launched, the City of Burlington, together with the other municipalities in Halton, has shared the following messages with the Province and Special Advisers:
- We are not interested in a City of Halton;
- We are not interested in eliminating Halton Region; and
- We support and are willing to look at where changes can occur in municipal service delivery and to make government more efficient and affordable – something we already do on an ongoing and regular bases, typically around budget time for our City.
The City of Burlington, Halton Region and the area municipal councils also approved resolutions that supported these messages that were forwarded to Minister Clark and the Special Advisers.
- Feb. 25, 2019 – Burlington City Council’s unanimously approved resolution (item 12.4 on the agenda) or click this link: Chair-Mayors Minister Ltr
- March 27, 2019 – Halton Regional Council’s unanimously approved resolution or click this link: Regional Review Resolution – Halton Regional Council
We believe Halton Region is an effective two-tier government where the Region and the four area municipalities work together to ensure services are delivered as efficiently as possible. A change to our current governance structure is not necessary and would be disruptive and wasteful.
We don’t know for certain when and how the Province will make any future announcements on this matter, however, I will commit to sharing that information with residents as soon as it becomes available — including the City’s assessment of what it might mean for the future of the City of Burlington.
I encourage you to visit the Facebook page for the We Love Burlington group that formed in response to the Regional Government Review to learn about its work to date and to share your feedback with your local MPP and Provincial Government.
- We Love Burlington Stop Amalgamation Group Forms in Response to Regional Government Review
- Burlington MPP Asking for Residents’ Input on Regional Government Review
- Halton Regional Council unanimously passes resolution on Regional Government Review
- Statement from the Mayor on Invitation for Public Consultations for Regional Government Review
- What happened at two meetings Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward attended related to Ontario’s review of Regional Government?
- Statement from Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on Jan. 15 GTHA meeting and announced review of regional government
- Province of Ontario appoints special advisors to begin Regional Government Review