Burlington wants no part of a Halton mega-city
Burlington is making it clear that it does not want to be part of a Halton mega-city that would include Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.
Although the issue has been raised in the past, it has been revived in recent months under Bill 39, Ontario’s Better Municipal Governance Act.
Under terms of the Act, Provincial facilitators will assess regional government to determine the roles and responsibilities of two-tiered municipal government which means they will consider how Burlington fits in with Halton Region and the future relationship with the three other mentioned municipalities.
While Queen’s Park hasn’t made its intentions clear, wrapping up Burlington within a Halton mega-city isn’t off the table.
As one Ontario government source told inhalton.com, “We are going to look at everything. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t. If we think regional government (including Halton) is a thing of the past we will change it.”
Although the City of Burlington says it welcomes the assessment and looks to create efficiencies in the way it operates alongside Halton Region, it has made its position clear that giving up its independence should not be an option.
“We’ve been down this path before, we did not support changes then and we still don’t, we absolutely don’t want a City of Halton,” Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said at a City committee meeting yesterday (May 3). “If the Province is of the mind to make any changes, (they have) to make sure the changes are an improvement and if not, why fix what’s not broken?”
Ahead of the facilitators’ assessment, Burlington has outlined its intentions regarding how the procedure should take place. These include a defined work plan and a timeline for completion, looking at all governance options (except amalgamation of the four municipalities into a City of Halton), carrying out the decided-upon changes, and consulting the public in the process.
As well, Burlington believes the assessment should lead to improved long-term quality of life for residents, reduced service costs, a funding plan, and putting the City in a position to succeed in the future.
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