Regional Government Review

Regional Government Review
Regional Government Review
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About the Author

Stephen Crawford

Stephen Crawford

A member of the Conservative Party of Ontario, Stephen Crawford is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville. He was elected on June 7, 2018.

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Ontario’s system of regional government has been in place for almost 50 years. In fact, Halton Region was formed in 1974 with a population of around 200,000. Today, we are fortunate to live in a wonderful community of more than 550,000, with needs that have changed and grown over time.

For this reason Minister Steve Clark initiated a review of regional government to take the time to better understand how these government structures are currently functioning and in what ways we can improve the delivery of the services residents depend on.

The review of the eight regional governments and Simcoe County is well underway. The special advisors, appointed by the government, are gathering input from many elected and appointed municipal officials and municipal stakeholders.

We were elected on a promise to make government more accountable and to respect taxpayers’ dollars. From the start, we have emphasized that the purpose is to make sure regional governments work more efficiently to support the future economic prosperity of their residents and businesses.

Our government is committed to improving the way regional government works.

Each region and its member municipalities have their own specific needs and priorities; Oakville and Halton are no different.

Municipal governments are responsible for funding and delivering the important services Ontarians rely on every day with assets which include:

  1. roads
  2. bridges
  3. transit systems
  4. waste and water treatment plants
  5. libraries
  6. recreation and cultural centres

That’s exactly why we need advice on how to make better use of taxpayers’ dollars and the ways in which we can make it easier for Oakville residents to use important municipal services.

I understand that in recent days there has been much speculation, with critics of our government’s review of regional government claiming that we have already made up our minds.

That is simply not true.

I want to clarify that the outcomes of the review are not predetermined. This is not an exercise to amalgamate municipalities.

Our focus is on the task at hand: making sure regional governments are working hard and working smart to deliver services to their communities.

There is more work to be done and we are listening. We want ideas. That’s why we will continue to gather input from local officials, stakeholders, communities and organizations.

Your voice matters and I urge all constituents to consider participating in the public consultations, the details of which will be released in the coming weeks.

We look forward to receiving, and reviewing, the advisors’ recommendations when their work is complete in early Summer 2019. Only after we have thoroughly considered this advice will we decide how to proceed. We look forward to being guided by what is in the best interest of local taxpayers and respect for their hard-earned dollars.

Our government is putting people first.

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