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Regional Governance Review

TheTigerMaster

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Ontario reviewing regional governments, raising prospect of future amalgamations


Ontario's Progressive Conservatives have announced a plan Tuesday to comprehensively review the province's regional governments.
The review includes all eight regional municipalities — Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, Oxford County, and the County of Simcoe — and their lower-tier municipalities, according to a government news release.

A total of 82 municipalities will be examined, and the province hasn't ruled out the possibility that some could be amalgamated in the future.
 

ShonTron

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We are probably overdue for a review of municipal governance and boundaries. What we have left (after the amalgamations of four upper-tier municipalities and the dissolution of a fifth in 1997 and 2000) was established in the 1960s and 1970s under a much more progressive PC regime.

But given the governance we've been seeing, I expect it will force an amalgamation of Brampton and Mississauga because cancelling money for Ryerson's campus, forcing an end to planning of the freight bypass, and the new Kitchener GO Train schedule weren't enough punishment for Brampton (where three of five MPPs are New Democrats) and Patrick Brown. The other option would be to dissolve Peel Region, which until lately has been the more likely action, making Brampton and Mississauga single-tier cities. Where that would leave Caledon, I don't know.

I worry that Downtown Brampton, which was finally seeing some love, would become a backwater again in an amalgamated city with some of the civic employment downsized or moved to Square One. Would Bramasauga fight for proper GO service, or care enough about getting a much-needed hospital? Despite Brown's election, Brampton finally got a more progressive city council.

If I were in charge, I'd love to redraw some municipal boundaries. I'd rethink the 2000-era amalgamations, especially Hamilton and Ottawa (where I'd carve out the old rural townships and move them to neighbouring counties), but also Chatham-Kent (split into three municipalities) and Kawartha Lakes (split into two). I'd be really interested in having a go at the Windsor area too.
 

yrt+viva=1system

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I can't help but immediately think of the word: "gerrymandering."
And the continuation of the Conservative Party in adopting Republican tactics. That's how I'm seeing all the latest moves by this government.
 

W. K. Lis

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Special Advisors Appointed to Begin Regional Government Review

From the Ontario.ca website:

Regional government review

We are reviewing the governance, decision-making, and service delivery functions of 8 regional municipalities and Simcoe County. Learn more about the review and how you can participate.

From this link:

Municipalities covered under the review

The review covers Ontario’s 8 regional municipalities (Durham, Halton, Muskoka District, Niagara, Oxford County, Peel, Waterloo, York), Simcoe County, and their lower-tier municipalities.


In total, 82 upper and lower-tier municipalities are included in the review.

Durham Region
  • Ajax
  • Brock
  • Clarington
  • Oshawa
  • Pickering
  • Scugog
  • Uxbridge
  • Whitby
Halton Region
  • Burlington
  • Halton Hills
  • Milton
  • Oakville
Muskoka District
  • Bracebridge
  • Gravenhurst
  • Georgian Bay
  • Huntsville
  • Lake of Bays
  • Muskoka Lakes
Niagara Region
  • Fort Erie
  • Grimsby
  • Lincoln
  • Niagara Falls
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Pelham
  • Port Colborne
  • St. Catharines
  • Thorold
  • Wainfleet
  • Welland
  • West Lincoln
Oxford County
  • Blandford-Blenheim
  • East Zorra-Tavistock
  • Ingersoll
  • Norwich
  • South-West Oxford
  • Tilsonburg
  • Woodstock
  • Zorra
Peel Region
  • Brampton
  • Caledon
  • Mississauga
Waterloo Region
  • Cambridge
  • Kitchener
  • North Dumfries
  • Wilmot
  • Waterloo
  • Wellesley
  • Woolwich
York Region
  • Aurora
  • East Gwillimbury
  • Georgina
  • King
  • Markham
  • Newmarket
  • Richmond Hill
  • Vaughan
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville
Simcoe County
  • Adjala-Tosorontio
  • Bradford West Gwillimbury
  • Clearview
  • Collingwood
  • Essa
  • Innisfil
  • Midland
  • New Tecumseth
  • Oro-Medonte
  • Penetanguishene
  • Ramara
  • Severn
  • Springwater
  • Tay
  • Tiny
  • Wasaga Beach
 

Northern Light

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We are probably overdue for a review of municipal governance and boundaries. What we have left (after the amalgamations of four upper-tier municipalities and the dissolution of a fifth in 1997 and 2000) was established in the 1960s and 1970s under a much more progressive PC regime.

But given the governance we've been seeing, I expect it will force an amalgamation of Brampton and Mississauga because cancelling money for Ryerson's campus, forcing an end to planning of the freight bypass, and the new Kitchener GO Train schedule weren't enough punishment for Brampton (where three of five MPPs are New Democrats) and Patrick Brown. The other option would be to dissolve Peel Region, which until lately has been the more likely action, making Brampton and Mississauga single-tier cities. Where that would leave Caledon, I don't know.

I worry that Downtown Brampton, which was finally seeing some love, would become a backwater again in an amalgamated city with some of the civic employment downsized or moved to Square One. Would Bramasauga fight for proper GO service, or care enough about getting a much-needed hospital? Despite Brown's election, Brampton finally got a more progressive city council.

If I were in charge, I'd love to redraw some municipal boundaries. I'd rethink the 2000-era amalgamations, especially Hamilton and Ottawa (where I'd carve out the old rural townships and move them to neighbouring counties), but also Chatham-Kent (split into three municipalities) and Kawartha Lakes (split into two). I'd be really interested in having a go at the Windsor area too.
Agree on Hamilton and Ottawa; La Salle and Lakeshore should be folded into Windsor.

I'd also like to some rationalization of Niagara Region and the formal upload of transit to the regional level.

Likewise transit should be regional in Halton.

I'm also of the view that there's a case for rationalizing some of the urban parts of Durham Region.

Merging Ajax and Pickering.

Folding Whitby into Oshawa.

All that said, the key is that process be careful, thoughtful and measured.

It also shouldn't be sold as saving money, which it likely wouldn't.

But rather on the basis of rational regional interest and with some efficiencies that can and will be plowed back into upward harmonized wages and upward harmonized services.
 

TrickyRicky

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"Gerrymandering" would imply the Government would be working in the long-term interests of the PC Party. Ford's every move so far has been about Ford end stop, even if it undermines the interests of his Party. If there is funny business going on here I presume at this point it would be motivated by a) Transparent revenge or vendetta of Ford or his Family b) Support for Ford family loyalists and allies
 

narduch

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"Gerrymandering" would imply the Government would be working in the long-term interests of the PC Party. Ford's every move so far has been about Ford end stop, even if it undermines the interests of his Party. If there is funny business going on here I presume at this point it would be motivated by a) Transparent revenge or vendetta of Ford or his Family b) Support for Ford family loyalists and allies
Yup.

Amalgamating Brampton and Mississauga, to stick it to Patrick Brown.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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"Gerrymandering" would imply the Government would be working in the long-term interests of the PC Party. Ford's every move so far has been about Ford end stop, even if it undermines the interests of his Party. If there is funny business going on here I presume at this point it would be motivated by a) Transparent revenge or vendetta of Ford or his Family b) Support for Ford family loyalists and allies
Ford's every move so far had been about making him and Party as the same thing.

AoD
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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If I were in charge, I'd love to redraw some municipal boundaries. I'd rethink the 2000-era amalgamations, especially Hamilton and Ottawa (where I'd carve out the old rural townships and move them to neighbouring counties), but also Chatham-Kent (split into three municipalities) and Kawartha Lakes (split into two). I'd be really interested in having a go at the Windsor area too.
Unless my memory fails me, there was no effort by Harris et al to pretend what they were doing was the result of some sort of "governance review." They shelved the Golden Report and then imposed all the amalgamations as part of (so they said) cost-saving measures. So I don't even know the last time we had an ACTUAL governance review. In that sense, I sincerely welcome it.

A lot of those 1998-ish borders were, as you note, not drawn entirely sensibly. One can make arguments (for example) for separating the urban and rural municipalities in York and Durham. Of course, that also has implications for fundamental things like policing and transit and I'm wary that this particular government will do anything sensible. But, hey, it's possible.

P.S. I think it's unlikely this is ACTUALLY about getting at Patrick Brown but it would be kind of funny if they just kept erasing from existence every job he tried to get. Kind of.

P.PS. I think gerrymandering is kind of a red herring. They aren't changing provincial electoral districts. Unless in the sense you want to argue Toronto is "gerrymandered" because its majority suburban population holds sway over the downtown population. I'll wait to see what they come up with before assuming it's designed to ensure small-c conservative governments prevail.
 

ShonTron

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Unless my memory fails me, there was no effort by Harris et al to pretend what they were doing was the result of some sort of "governance review." They shelved the Golden Report and then imposed all the amalgamations as part of (so they said) cost-saving measures. So I don't even know the last time we had an ACTUAL governance review. In that sense, I sincerely welcome it.

A lot of those 1998-ish borders were, as you note, not drawn entirely sensibly. One can make arguments (for example) for separating the urban and rural municipalities in York and Durham. Of course, that also has implications for fundamental things like policing and transit and I'm wary that this particular government will do anything sensible. But, hey, it's possible.
It's interesting that Simcoe County is part of the review, but not the two separated cities (Barrie and Orillia) within it.
 

canarob

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Since we already have a historic City of York, we will need to rename an amalgamated York Region as New York City.
 

W. K. Lis

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It's interesting that Simcoe County is part of the review, but not the two separated cities (Barrie and Orillia) within it.
Toronto, Barrie, and Orillia are single-tier cities... for now. If Simcoe County is being reviewed, the PC's may make it a region. Barrie and/or Orillia may become part of a new or existing region. Or worse, amalgamate them.
 
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