Kitchener-Waterloo

Report on regional municipal government now in the hands of minister

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark received a report from the special advisers who were conducting a review of regional municipal governments in the province. Clark has said he will review the report before deciding whether to make it public.

Minister Steve Clark received the report on Sept. 20 from the special advisers

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark has been given the report on the regional government review. The process for the review began in January. (Mike Smee/CBC)

The report from the two special advisers conducting a review of regional municipal governments in the province is now in the hands of Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark.

Staff confirmed Thursday evening Clark received the report on Sept. 20.

"The minister received the final report from Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling on opportunities to improve governance, decision making and service delivery. We thank them for their efforts which included substantial consultation and will have more to say in the coming months," Julie O'Driscoll, Clark's director of communications, said in an email to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo.

The province announced a review in September 2018. In January of this year, Seiling and Fenn were named as the special advisers.

Seiling and Fenn were tasked with doing a review of 82 upper and lower municipalities in Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, Oxford County, and the County of Simcoe.

As part of the review, they met with municipal politicians, took comments from an online feedback form and held meetings in each of the municipalities to hear from the public.

Ken Seiling, left, and Michael Fenn are the special advisers who conducted the regional government review for the province. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

They had been expected to hand over the report this summer. In August at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's annual meeting, Clark told municipal leaders he didn't have the report yet, but was expecting it.

During a panel discussion at the AMO meeting, Clark said he hopes to have a "path forward this fall."

"I did not expect to have such a robust consultation," Clark said in answering a question about the regional government review, noting there were 8,500 submissions and some were " very technical."

Clark said he would take his time with the report before he presents the findings to his cabinet colleagues as "confidential advice" and before deciding whether to make the details public.

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