Doug Ford wants to do to the Regions what he did to Toronto city council - decimate them

By Pepper Parr

November 16th, 2022



This shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The Ontario government is introducing new legislation that would, if passed, take decisive action to address the housing crisis by assessing how best to extend strong mayor powers and reduce municipal duplication in order to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities – primarily the building of 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years. The proposed changes would also provide an additional tool to the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa to deliver on these shared priorities.

The Better Municipal Governance Act, 2022 includes proposed changes to the Municipal Act, and other Acts, to help large, urban municipalities better meet the needs of their rapidly growing communities.

Explore the Expansion of the Strong Mayors Tools in Certain Regions

Premier Ford laying it out in the provincial Legislature

As the province considers how to best extend the tools provided for in the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act to some of Ontario’s fastest-growing municipalities, provincially-appointed facilitators will assess the regional governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York. They will be tasked with determining the best mix of roles and responsibilities between the upper and lower-tier municipalities in those regions, and ensuring they are equipped to deliver on the government’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years in order to address the housing supply crisis.

Establish Regulation-Making Authorities for the New By-law Power

The proposed legislation, if passed, would allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe the provincial priorities for which the new mayoral by-law powers could be used. The proposed legislation would also allow the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations that establish rules related to the by-law power.

The government plans on making accompanying regulations to set out current provincial priorities. These priorities could include building 1.5 million new homes in 10 years to address the housing supply crisis, and the construction and maintenance of infrastructure, such as transit and roads, to support new and existing housing development.

Three years after abandoning a push for regional reform, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark has tabled legislation Wednesday that would revamp how that layer of government works in the regions of Peel, York, Durham, Halton, Niagara and Waterloo.

The We Love Burlington group taking their case to Queen’s Park

Clark said the proposed moves — which are designed to eliminate bureaucratic duplication between regions and the cities within them — are needed for the Tories to keep their campaign pledge to build 1.5 million new houses in Ontario over the next decade.

“These bold actions are necessary if our government is to keep its commitment to Ontarians and remove the obstacles standing in the way of much-needed housing,” said Clark.

Premier Doug Ford

“That’s why we are again taking decisive action to provide municipal leaders the tools they need to plan for future population growth and get more homes built faster.”

To that end, the province will appoint “facilitators (to) work with local governments to assess the best mix of roles and responsibilities between upper and lower-tier municipalities.”

Halton will elect their chairs for the new council term that ends in 2026.

The Better Municipal Governance Act is sure to be contentious in some quarters.

It would allow Queen’s Park “to prescribe the provincial priorities for which the new mayoral bylaw powers could be used,” suggesting local councils could have even less power than thought.



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8 comments to Doug Ford wants to do to the Regions what he did to Toronto city council – decimate them

  • R. Velocci

    In the past municipal election, I suggested the amalgamation of Halton regional government and the creation of the City of Halton. Gaining would be, better transportation, a the elimination of political representation by 50%, one school board system and better interest by international business world.

  • Rick Law

    So much for democracy

  • Joe G

    Looks to like Milton,Oakville, Burlington will be amalgamated.

  • perryb

    Another round of wishful thinking from Ford and his courtiers. He will take care of the developers who have speculated and probably already own the land. But there is no legislation to make them build 1.5 million “affordable” homes, nor a plan to find half a million craftsmen to build them. We will get some rural McMansions and a new highway to speed the occupants to their Toronto offices. Better if Ford was to strap on a tool belt and personally start building some of those houses, instead of talking about it.

  • Deedee Davies

    You didn’t mention that his legislation overrules the Halton Land Use Plan that keeps growth within our urban boundary and reduces Development Charges so the region would have even less money to build new infrastructure required to develop rural lands into urban; thereby potentially bankrupting the Region of Halton. Is that his end game?

    • Bill

      There is a fairly simple answer, get rid of the regional level of government. It was never wanted or needed when it was created, and has only cost us with it’s built in duplication of bureaucrats and politicians. Let the province take back responsibility and cost of housing, health and social services – which never should have been downloaded on municipal taxpayers.
      The suggestion of amalgamation is also a non-starter – it has not provided efficiencies or cost savings anywhere that it has been forced on a community (e.g. Hamilton, Sudbury, Ottawa, Chatham-Kent, etc.).
      Again , there is no need or sense in having two levels of municipal government, and the province has to take back the cost and responsibility of large expensive services.
      Facts – prior the regional government, Burlington had one lowest municipal tax rates of any of its neighbours, and provided effective and efficient services to its citizens. After regionalization, tax rates rose by nearly twice the rate as non-regionalized areas.

      • Rick

        Ford is entirely clueless when it comes to any kind of governance. Like Harris, he is going to ruin this beautiful Province. We saw the Fiasco he and his brother created at Toronto City Hall. He will turn Ontario into New Jersey.

  • Graham

    Sounds like a good strategy to me .