City of Halton swallows Town of Oakville?

City of Halton
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There is no Town issue more important than your perspective on if you would want to remain a resident of the Town of Oakville or see Oakville form part of the City of Halton, or some other iteration the Provincial government is currently studying.

The Province has begun ‘broad’ consultation under the stated objective of ‘looking for ways to make better use of taxpayers’ dollars and ‘making it easier for residents and businesses to access important municipal services’.

Michael Fenn, a former deputy minister and one-time chief executive of Metrolinx, and Ken Seiling, the recently retired long-time chair of Waterloo region, have been retained as special advisers to study a total of 9 regions & districts comprised of 73 municipalities. One of the possible outcomes could be the amalgamation of Oakville, Burlington, Milton & Halton Hills in to the city of Halton.

We have been asked our perspective on potential restructuring and more importantly how it could impact you? We live in a great town, with services that many of our neighbouring municipalities envy, and we continually look for increased efficiencies. We are both advocates of continuous improvement but should the Provincial government decide to move to a single tier or amalgamate Oakville with other towns, we do not believe that there will be tax savings or better access to services for Oakville residents.

Among our concerns are the impacts this change could have on our Official Plan which protects stable residential neighbourhoods, local land use planning and our heritage; the quality and service level of parks, recreation and community programming, and the impact to local transit. The value of a local government that encourages community engagement, and the impact to our taxes of combining with Towns that may not share our ongoing commitment for infrastructure renewal and financial reserves.

We trust that the consultants that are conducting this study will recognize and report that Oakville and Halton Region work well together and in fact have many best practices to share with others.

Below is the Mayor’s draft resolution that is being voted on by Town Council on February 25th. We welcome your feedback and trust you will share your views with our MPPS and Premier just as you have on other occasions such as the Power plant, Community Recreation Centre, and our Downtown revitalization.

Resolution of Regional Governance Review

WHEREAS, the Government of Ontario has announced a review of Ontario’s eight regional municipalities, the County of Simcoe, and their lower-tier municipalities by appointed Special Advisors; and

WHEREAS, the provincially appointed advisory body will develop recommendations for the Minister for the purpose of improving governance, decision-making and service delivery in the regions and Simcoe County and their lower-tier municipalities; and

WHEREAS, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario informed its members that last August, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing began informal discussions, wishing to hear from people about how this system of governance is working recognizing it was established in the 1970s; and

WHEREAS, the provincially appointed advisory body has included in the review consideration of moving to single-tier municipalities or amalgamating existing municipalities; and

WHEREAS, neither the provincial review nor amalgamation was ever discussed during the recent provincial election by the Premier or our local Members of Provincial Parliament; and

WHEREAS 81 per cent of residents are satisfied with the government of the Town of Oakville, 89 per cent were satisfied with Town of Oakville services and 85 per cent were satisfied with the town’s attributes; and

WHEREAS 97 per cent of residents are satisfied with the quality of Regional services; and

WHEREAS the Town of Oakville’s has a history of finding efficiencies and savings while enhancing programs, services and facilities; and

WHEREAS the Town of Oakville has contributed to Halton Region’s AAA credit rating for 29 years; and

WHEREAS Halton is a model of municipal efficiency through service agreements between municipalities and the Region and 98 per cent of Halton residents rate their quality of life very high; and

WHEREAS Oakville is recognized as Canada’s Best Place to Live; and

WHEREAS in the sixteen municipal elections since the 1974 creation of our two-tier system of municipal governance, no one has run or been elected to change the structure of municipal government in Oakville; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

THAT the Council of the Town of Oakville endorses the current effectiveness of our two-tier municipal government as it has evolved on mutual agreement with our partner lower municipalities since its foundation in 1974;

THAT the residents of Oakville value their choices, voices and diversity of representation and residents should have their say before any change in municipal representation, or possible merger with other municipalities.

And that this resolution be forwarded to all Halton municipalities, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and made publicly available.

Local Provincial Contact Information

Oakville South
MPP Stephen Crawford:
email: stephen.crawford@pc.ola.org
tel: 905-827-5141

Oakville North- Burlington
Effie Triantafilopoulos:
email: effie.triantafilopoulos@pc.ola
tel: 905-825-2455

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. ed gruscyk says:

    I sure hope few remain distinct from the region. Seems that the more we amalgamate the less control we have as a society. Our local government would know whats best for the citizens of Oakville.

  2. George Brown says:

    If it is not broken why fix it?


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