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
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.
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.
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.”
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