Waterloo region wants homegrown solution if Ford pushes governance review
Municipal leaders talking about possible regional review at annual meeting in Ottawa
In the wake of Premier Doug Ford's post-election announcement to cut Toronto's municipal council from 47 seats to 25, the PC leader has said he has no plans to cut any other local governments. But there has been talk of a regional government review.
Ford was at the annual meeting of municipal leaders in Ottawa Monday when he asked the heads of Ontario's regional councils to identify the strengths of their systems, as well as "opportunities for strengthening."
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"We welcome the opportunity to have an ongoing dialogue around regional review," said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, who was at the meeting.
"[But] if they are going to go down that path — and it is a bit 'if' at this point — but if they are going to go down that path, we were very clear in asking that we have the opportunity to have local government in Waterloo region come up with a made-in-Waterloo region solution."
Vrbanovic said he and his colleagues recognize that the provincial government has the right to change the regional government structure, but they also "know that local government is the order of government that impacts citizens's lives the most."
For that reason, he said it's important that communities have a say in any changes that might occur.