Separation from Durham Region not being discussed: Whitby Mayor Roy
Published May 19, 2023 at 1:42 pm
Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy said separation for her community or any of Durham’s eight municipalities from the region are “not in the talks” as the Province prepares to dissolve Peel Region.
Roy told inDurham.ca founder Khaled Iwamura on his podcast that she and the other Durham Region mayors have been watching very closely what’s happening in Peel as the provincial government sets the table for what looks to be an acrimonious break-up of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.
“As for what we’re witnessing, it’s not in the talks for us, it’s not in the rumours being put out,” she said. “We all kind of knew about the rumours of what is now taking place in Mississauga and Peel – it’s been a long-time request on their behalf.”
The Region and its municipalities are preparing for all eventualities and Roy knows that advisors are being appointed by the Province to weigh in on the need to do the same in other upper-tier municipalities, including Durham.
“We know clearly … at the local level the planning will be taking place,” Roy said, with the Durham mayors “waiting to see what’s going to happen” with the Region and the upcoming review.
Durham Chair John Henry released a statement Thursday stressing there have been “no concerns” raised by the region’s mayors and councillors about the size and structure of the Region, noting that Durham has a “productive and strong track record” of working together to serve its residents.
Roy agreed. “I know for our communities it is not a request at this point.”
Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced in November that he would appoint facilitators to assess six regional governments and look at the best mix of roles between upper-tier and lower-tier municipalities with an eye to expanding “strong mayor” powers beyond Toronto and Ottawa.
On Thursday, Clark and the Conservative government introduced the Hazel McCallion Act, which, if passed, would begin the process to dissolve Peel Region and make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent by 2025.
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