Thanks To Premier Ford, There May Now Be NO RACE FOR REGIONAL CHAIR IN NIAGARA

Campaingns for the Region’s Top Office by Candidates like Dave Augustyn and Damian Goulbourne May Now Be Over!

So It’s Back To The Old System of Councilliors Choosing  A Regional Chair And Possibly Four More Years of        Al Caslin

Posted by Doug Draper on Niagara At Large

July 27th, 2018

I didn’t tell you I was going to do this before you elected me, did I. And I’m just getting started suckers!

This is a moving development so Niagara At Large will have more on this unexcpected and shocking news and the implications it may have for municipal government in our Niagara region later.

What we know from a news release Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his so-called “Government for the People” circulated this Friday, July 27th morning is this.

Ford’s sudden and shocking announcement may be very good news for this man. Al Caslin was facing a region-wide race for his job as Niagara regional chair

A new Ontario government that received less than 40 per cent of the popular vote in this past June’s provincial election, yet thanks to an old and highly flawed “first-past-the-post” election system, managed to secure a majority government, is moving – right now – to slash the City of Toronto’s council in half and cancel region-wide elections for the position of Regional Chair, in four Ontario regions, including Niagara.

If Ford is successful in making those changes stick now, the race for Niagara regional chair in Niagara is now over. That means there will not be one, and it means that candidates like Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn and former Welland Mayor Damian Goulbourne will not be running for a Regional Chair seat now occupied by Al Caslin.

It also means that Niagara will go back to the old system of the Regional Chair being chosen by secret ballots cast by other members of regional council.

Far more on this later on Niagara At Large.

For now, here is the news release issued by Ontario’s new dictator, Doug Ford, this Friday morning –

Ontario’s Government for the People Announces Reforms to Deliver Better Local Government

Legislation would reduce the size of Toronto City Council to align with current federal and provincial boundaries and restore municipal decision-making on how York, Peel, Niagara and Muskoka Regions select their regional chairs

July 27, 2018 9:35 A.M.

Office of the Premier

Pelham Mayor Dave Auguystyn, photographed her with former Niagara regional chair Debbie Zimmerman, was shaping up to be a major contender for the Region’s top council job. Thanks to Ford’s sudden move to radically change rules, a region-wide race for the chair position may now be over.

TORONTO — Ontario voters can be more confident in their municipal governments, should the Ontario legislature pass the Better Local Government Act, a series of local government reforms proposed by Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark today.

“We ran on a commitment to restore accountability and trust, to reduce the size and cost of government, including an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement,” Ford said. “Because one thing every politician at every level and in every region needs to remember, is that we all share the same boss. We all work for the people.”

The Better Local Government Act is intended to institute a series of reforms to municipal governments in the City of Toronto as well as the York, Peel, Niagara and Muskoka regions.

The proposed reforms include:

  • Align the City of Toronto’s municipal wards and the number of councillors with the number and configuration of the current 25 provincial and federal electoral districts
  • Allow for the redistribution of Toronto-area school board trustees to align with the proposed new ward boundaries, while maintaining the existing number of trustees
  • Extend the nomination deadline for some council candidates and school board trustees from July 27 to September 14, 2018, with additional regulations to help previously nominated candidates transition to the new riding ward boundaries
  • Amend the Municipal Act and the Municipal Elections Act to reverse changes, introduced in 2016, that mandate the election of new regional chairs in York, Peel, Niagara and Muskoka Regions and return the system that was in place prior to 2016. Other regional chair elections will remain unchanged

These changes would be in effect for the upcoming October 22, 2018 municipal elections and the election date would remain unchanged. Changes to Toronto’s municipal election timelines would only apply to city council and school board trustee elections and would only apply for the current election cycle. Reducing the size of Toronto City Council is estimated to save Toronto taxpayers more than $25.5 million over four years. 

“What you see time and time again is that the municipal level of government is often closest to the day-to-day lives of most people,” said Clark. “This is another example of the province getting out of the way and making local government work harder, smarter and more efficiently to make life better for everyone.”

NIAGARA AT LARGE encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space following the Bernie Sanders quote below.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

For more news and commentary from Niagara At Large – an independent, alternative voice for our greater bi-national Niagara region – become a regular visitor and subscriber to NAL at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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2 responses to “Thanks To Premier Ford, There May Now Be NO RACE FOR REGIONAL CHAIR IN NIAGARA

  1. Premier Ford is for Premier Ford and his friends. On the deadline date for nominations Premier Ford chooses to change the electoral process to keep power in the hands of the oligarchy rather than in the hands of the voters

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  2. Linda McKellar.

    Currently every level of government in Canada….and even globally….is totally corrupt and full of cronyism. Even at the municipal level there is little choice. It’s like a game of chess. The decks are stacked and candidates chosen by the crooked powers that be, usually the same phony, lying, familiar faces, often friends and family, who have been around since the Bronze Age.
    People just know the names and say, “Oh I know that name, I’ll vote for him/her”, if they can be bothered to get off their asses and vote at all, but who are the first to complain when things affect them adversely. . Many are lawyers who know all the loopholes, not working people who know and care about the real issues affecting the majority and have working class ethics. There is strategic placement of those chosen to run to ensure preconceived agendas are achieved that suit a small number of individuals like developers and those with financial interests.

    The public is fed up with the corruption and those wishing to get rid of the crooks need to use the same strategic placement of candidates, the same dirty ploys to usurp their power. The theory of “They go low, we go high” just doesn’t work any more. We don’t have to get dirty or vulgar but have to play by the same rules if there is any chance of having people who truly represent us. Strategically place progressive candidates just as they place theirs. Out smart them with their own tricks.

    The “first past the post’ paradigm must go. Trudeau promised it and he must somehow be made to fulfill that promise by massive public outrage before more of our democracy is destroyed as is happening everywhere. It is as dumb as the US Electoral College which, in essence, prevents the majority from achieving direct democracy. Secondly, people need to wake up and inform themselves through sites like this because most are totally ignorant of what is going on. As George Carlin said, not verbatim, “The public is being educated just enough to do the work but not enough to realize they’re being screwed.” This is our own fault.

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