Ontario Regional Government Review

Since the establishment of Ontario's eight regional municipalities (Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, and Oxford County) in the 1970s, Ontario has seen signification population and demographic changes. In response, the government of Ontario is undertaking a review of these municipalities along with Simcoe County that intends to ensure efficiency and accountability in municipal governance and service delivery. This review will be conducted by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing with the help of an advisory board.

Recommendations from the advisory board will focus on the following issues:
Municipal governance and decision-making

  1. Is the decision-making (mechanisms and priorities) of upper- and lower-tier municipalities efficiently aligned?
  2. Does the existing model support the capacity of the municipalities to make decisions efficiently?
  3. Are two-tier structures appropriate for all of these municipalities?
  4. Does the distribution of councillors represent the residents well?
  5. Do the ways that regional councillors/heads of council get elected/appointed to serve on regional council help to align lower- and upper-tier priorities?

Municipal service delivery

  1. Is there opportunity for more efficient allocation of various service responsibilities?
  2. Is there duplication of activities?
  3. Are there opportunities for cost savings?
  4. Are there barriers to making effective and responsive infrastructure and service delivery decisions?

What is PRO doing?

In response to this review, PRO asked Claire Tucker-Reid to help start a discussion among the municipalities affected by the review by creating a briefing document that included lessons learned from the amalgamation of the City of Toronto.

Ms. Tucker Reid initially lead the process of amalgamation for the Parks and Recreation discipline and was subsequently hired to be the Executive Director reporting to the provincially appointed Toronto Transition Team to amalgamate two levels of government – the former Metro Toronto and 6 local municipalities (Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, York and East York).

Read the briefing document here. 

In addition, PRO held an informal Roundtable at the 2019 Educational Forum. You can read a short report of that meeting here. 

PRO will take a leadership role in bringing together stakeholders in the municipalities affected by the review through:
-conference calls or webinars
-access to online resources
-sharing information with all members