Queen's Park Toronto (BlackburnNews.com file photo by Sue Storr)

Province seeking regional government review input

Residents of Oxford County are among those being asked for their thoughts on regional government.

They, along with people living in regions including Oxford County, Halton, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, York, Peel, Muskoka, and Simcoe County are being asked for input as part of the Ontario government’s review of regional governments in the province. The review is looking at 82 upper and lower municipalities within those regions. It has unveiled an online consultation form and will be seeking input until April 23.

“We promised the people of Ontario that all levels of government would work harder, smarter and more efficiently,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a statement issued Wednesday. “Our government is putting people first by seeking local input on how to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery for regional governments and their member municipalities.”

The province says anyone who lives or works in any of the 82 municipalities is invited to provide their input. Special Advisors Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling, who were appointed in January, will assess the feedback and provide their recommendations to Clark this summer.

The NDP has warned the regional review will be used as a pretext to impose amalgamation on municipalities province-wide. At a news conference in Cambridge on Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford told reporters he didn’t want to discuss the matter until the report is delivered this summer.

The online consultation form can be found here.