Regional Chair Jim Bradley offered the following statement regarding the Minister Steve Clark's announcement on the municipal governance review:
"Today, the Provincial Government announced that they will not being taking a 'top-down' approach to amalgamations across Ontario, instead letting local councils decide what is best for them in terms of governance, decision-making and service delivery.
I applaud the decision of Minister Steve Clark and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for listening to the people of Ontario when making this important decision. We also welcome Minister Clark’s commitment to work with municipalities across the province to support locally made decisions regarding the future of governance.
While the issue of governance is of importance, placing the decision-making power for this issue in the hands of locally elected councils allows each community across Ontario to decide what is best for its residents.
In Niagara, I know that we have already been making significant progress on finding efficiencies through closer partnerships and shared resources. Recent examples include movement towards a single public transit authority and joint procurement efforts and shared services. I trust that these conversations will continue over the course of this term.
Now that this decision has been made, and the uncertainties of a potentially forced amalgamation are behind us, Regional Council can continue to focus on what is most important to our residents: delivering the programs and services our citizens, visitors and business rely on daily."
Daryl Barnhart, APR
Office of the Regional Chair