Sudbury

Greater Sudbury city council votes down motion to have another look at amalgamation

A motion to have a second look at the amalgamation of Greater Sudbury has been voted down by city council.

Councillor Vagnini says motion not about de-amalgamation, but providing autonomy to outlying areas

Greater Sudbury was created through amalgamation in 2001. A motion to review that amalgamation was recently voted down by city council. (Erik White/CBC)

A motion to have a second look at the amalgamation of Greater Sudbury has been voted down by city council.

At Tuesday's meeting, Ward 2 councillor Michael Vagnini put forward a motion to request the decentralization of city services.

In 2001, the City of Greater Sudbury was officially created, incorporating several nearby towns and communities into one city.

Since then, there have been concerns about service levels throughout the community, especially in the outlying areas.

Vagnini's motion proposed asking the provincial government to look at how the city is structured. He says close to 20 years after amalgamation, Greater Sudbury remains divided.

Vagnini stresses he is not pushing for de-amalgamation.

"Since I've been elected, out there in the rural areas there's always been this talk about de-amalgamation," he said.

"I don't believe we can possibly do that from a cost-effective standpoint."

Michael Vagnini represents Ward 2 in Greater Sudbury. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Vagnini says decentralizing services would provide autonomy to the towns and cities that existed before amalgamation.

"Over and over again, year after year, we hear from the outside areas and the core areas," he said.

"So, let's figure out if there's something that can be done."

Councillor Geoff McCausland believes there are other ways to improve local government.

"There's a lot of anger in the community, palpable anger about amalgamation," he said.

Geoff McCausland is the Ward 4 councillor in Greater Sudbury. (Casey Stranges CBC)

"Perhaps there is a need to issue some kind of acknowledgment or perhaps an apology for what happened, but I don't think asking the province to interfere is the right thing to do."

Several councillors argued the motion called for the return of a regional government. It was voted down 8 to 4.

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