We are working hard to build a foundation for long-term prosperity for people here in Peel and all across the province.

Published on October 25, 2019

OP - ED

Earlier this year, our government conducted a review of Ontario’s eight regional governments and Simcoe County, including Peel Region. Municipalities in the review have experienced significant changes since regional governments were first established over 50 years ago. We wanted to ensure that the current system was respecting taxpayers’ dollars and working efficiently for Ontarians.

We consulted broadly and received more than 8,500 submissions. Two special advisors, Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling, attended nine in-person sessions and listened to almost 100 individuals and organizations present their ideas on how to improve local governments. I want to thank them for their hard work.

Steve Clark, our Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, made it very clear that our government had no predetermined outcomes for this review. We knew from the start that it was important to hear what people had to say. What we learned through the review is that local communities want to decide what is best for them when it comes to governance, decision-making and the delivery of services.

We have shown over and over that we are a government that listens. That’s why we consulted in the first place, and why we are listening to the feedback we received. We will not be imposing changes on regional governments but instead will work collaboratively with our municipal partners.

We’re going to keep working in partnership with municipalities so they are efficient, effective and can meet residents’ needs. Building on our previous investments, Minister Clark recently announced we’re providing up to $143 million in new funding to municipalities to help them lower costs and improve services for local residents. Funding will be available to all 444 municipalities so they can find smarter, more efficient ways to operate and focus spending on the vital programs and services Ontarians rely on.

And we’re not stopping there. We’re going to consult with municipalities on whether to change the start of the municipal fiscal year so it’s aligned with the provincial and federal government’s. Also, in response to a long-standing request from municipalities we will be giving Elections Ontario the responsibility to manage one voters list. With Elections Ontario managing the list, it will provide municipalities with a more accurate list, leading to fewer corrections for voters at polling stations and fewer delays for people lined up to vote on election day. 

We are working hard to build a foundation for long-term prosperity for people here in Peel and all across the province.

By listening and working together, we will help people and businesses across Ontario thrive.