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Regional Government Review

Background

The province of Ontario has announced they will be undertaking a review of Ontario’s regional governments in spring 2019. Two Special Advisors have been appointed to consult with stakeholders and examine Ontario’s eight regional governments.

The Province indicated that the review will “explore:

  • Opportunities to make it easier for residents and businesses to access municipal services;
  • Processes to deliver efficient and effective local services that respects taxpayers' money;
  • Methods to make municipalities open for business; and,  
  • Possibilities to cut red tape and duplication, and save costs.”

Town Feedback

The following is an excerpt from a memo to Council dated March 19, 2019. To review the complete memo click here.

As an initial step in the consultation process, on March 7th, 2019, Mayor Hackson and CAO Thomas R. Webster participated in a 30 minute information exchange session with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Special Advisor Ken Seiling, to provide input on the review.

In preparation of the meeting, the Town’s Senior Management Team met several times to prepare the following as a high level overview of the themes to be used as the basis for feedback for the briefing session.

  • In East Gwillimbury, we are very proud of our accomplishments and how our organization is governed and managed effectively. We have a history of the lowest taxes in York Region combined with no municipal debt. We consistently provide high quality programs and services for our residents and businesses and are a leader in municipal best practices. By creating a positive culture the Town has been recognized for achievements in innovation and organizational excellence by a number of organizations including the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Ontario Municipal Administrators' Association, and most recently by the Globe and Mail, and Morneau Shepell.
  • We are committed to a culture of innovations and partnerships. The Northern Six municipalities of York Region, comprised of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket and Whitchurch-Stouffville have demonstrated that municipalities can work in a collaborative manner and achieve cost savings and efficiencies for residents, regardless of municipal boundaries and while ensuring specific local needs of residents continue to be met. Through partnerships, the Northern Six has realized over $12 million in savings collectively for our tax payers in areas related to joint waste collection, training, insurance, master plans and audit services, to name a few.

    The Town has also successfully partnered with other levels of government for efficiencies including school boards, for shared spaces and service delivery, and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority for capital infrastructure and service delivery.

    This culture of collaboration and co-operation is imperative for all levels of government to work together for constituents, regardless of jurisdiction. Moving forward we must stress the importance of partnership, such as the Northern Six, not only continuing, but growing. Other potential service partnerships similar to our current waste collection agreement could be water/wastewater services, storm water management and information management.
  • The review will focus on opportunities for growth and change. We must look to ensure that our residents and stakeholders needs are prioritized as we continue to build complete communities, and new avenues should be considered. An opportunity to improve services and efficiencies both internally and externally would be a review of the alignment of growth management and planning, ensuring there is a focus on the alignment of legislation and requirements from the province, region, and municipalities. Decisions made at the local level must be supported and prioritized at all levels. Alignment of land use planning, infrastructure and financial decisions, has to be better co-ordinated to ensure that employment lands and affordable forms of all types of housing can be delivered at the local level.
  • Combining services through amalgamation is not necessarily the answer, and can often lead to cost increases when aligning service levels. The notion of a services board to provide larger scale services with local municipal representation could be a consideration moving forward.

Public Feedback

The province is requesting public feedback on the review. You can provide feedback via an online portal, email or by mailing in your thoughts. All feedback must be received by April 23, 2019.

To provide your feedback visit the Province's website. links to external site