On April 1st, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, announced a new consultation opportunity with the public in regards to the current regional government review.
Participation is encouraged by May 21 via the following ways:
- email to email@example.com;
- written mail to Local Government Policy Branch
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street, 13th floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2E5;
- by booking in-person appointments with special advisors Ken Seiling and Michael Fenn on May 17 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Halton Region Council Chambers, 1151 Bronte Rd., in Oakville.
Full details and addresses can be found on the Regional Government Review Consultation web page: https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-regional-government-review
Residents, businesses and municipal partners are encouraged to share ideas on how governance, decision-making and service delivery can be approved across eight regional governments, Simcoe County, and 82 lower-tiered municipalities.
This Minister is looking for “your views on the way your elected officials make their decisions and represent your city” as well as thoughts on “efficiency, effectiveness and cost.” Themes they are hoping to see covered include representation and decision-making as they relate to council size, selection process, municipal structure, and reducing costs for things like infrastructure and social services.
The Minister asserts that this feedback will then be included in their regional review discussions as they look to make recommendations to “improve regional government and make it easier to access local services.”
I encourage all our residents to get involved and be heard as this process continues. As I have said in the past, I believe the residents of Burlington are not interested in the potential of joining a “City of Halton” and losing the local access and engagement they currently enjoy. Each municipality within Halton is unique and we believe the current structure protects local identity and democracy.
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.
On Feb. 25, Burlington City Council unanimously approved a resolution to convey this position to the Minister. Burlington is a well-managed and efficient city with the smallest Council in Halton and for a city of our size, with only seven elected members. We are committed to finding savings in everything we do, and our recently approved budget gave our citizens the lowest tax rate increase they’ve seen in eight years.
We already partner effectively across the region to efficiently and effectively deliver services. The City of Burlington:
- operates Halton Court Services on behalf of the Region and the four area municipalities;
- operates fire communications on behalf of Oakville and Halton Hills;
- provides animal control services for Milton;
- provides arterial road maintenance to Halton Region.
We also participate in the Halton Purchasing Co-operative with all area municipalities and Halton Region.
I continue to believe there is little to be gained by fixing something that is not broken.
I invite the public to get involved and engage with this initiative by reaching out to the regional review consultation process, protecting what you love and value about the current local and regional structure, and ensuring your voice is heard.
ADDITIONAL RELATED POSTS:
- Halton Regional Council unanimously passes 3 resolutions on Regional Government Review, Development Charges and the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act
- Province requesting input from Burlington residents, businesses on Regional Government Review
- Resolution to protect Burlington’s identity and two-tiered municipal government system in Halton passes unanimously at Council
- What happened at two meetings Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward attended related to Ontario’s review of Regional Government?