Niagara Falls mayor says he’d be fine if the region dissolves but admits there’d be service challenges


Published May 25, 2023 at 3:02 pm

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati is in full support of the Province reviewing the current two-tiered government set-up in Niagara with an eye to potentially dissolving the region.

Last week’s dissolution of Peel Region, with Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon all slated to become individual municipalities on their own in 2025, has got other regions under the provincial microscope, Niagara being one.

When Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced the official separation of Peel last Thursday, he also made it clear that regional facilitators will assess the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe, Waterloo and York and decide whether each is still “relevant to the needs of its communities.”

Yesterday (May 24) on Hamilton’s 900 CHML Bill Kelly Show, Diodati pointed out that 126 municipal politicians are governing just 450,000 residents in Niagara’s 12 municipalities.

“Compare that up the highway to Hamilton, where there’s 150,000 more people. They do it with 16 politicians (15 councillors and a mayor). So I think it’s a matter of not just saving money, but too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Diodati suggested a dissolution of Niagara would have to be different than Peel’s because policing, water, sewer, transit and EMS are all regional in Niagara and would have to be shared even if Niagara Region disappeared.

“It can be done in a number of ways. We can do it with boards, committees or commissions, but based and funded on a per capita basis with the population in the region,” he told Kelly, meaning simply St. Catharines and Niagara Falls would pay more for policing than, say, Pelham or West Lincoln.

Back in 2019, Diodati was already beating the drum for smaller government, suggesting at the time that Niagara could be broken down into four cities with regional governance.

At that time, he suggested four cities based on the federal riding boundaries – St. Catharines with some smaller towns, Niagara Falls and Welland doing likewise with Lincoln and the rest of the western municipalities joining together.


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