If the Provincial government decides to do away with the Regional government - will Council members work for half the current pay?

By Staff

February 5th, 2024

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The provincial government is reviewing the status of some of the Regional governments – Halton and its four municipalities are part of the review.

Is this a good idea, are there benefits for you the tax payer?

What about the members of Council who sit as both ward Councillors in the city and as city representatives at the Regional level – half of their pay comes from the Region. Self-interest has the potential to get in the way.

City Council: They meet virtually. Will these council members do the same job for half the pay? Mayor gets enough to run for office again.

City Council: They meet virtually. Will these council members do the same job for half the pay? Mayor gets enough to run for office again.

Will members of council want to run in 2026 for half of what they are getting today?

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9 comments to If the Provincial government decides to do away with the Regional government – will Council members work for half the current pay?

  • Lynn Crosby

    I agree with Joe, L. Scott and Eric.

    We should be looking to consolidate municipalities in Halton, thus eliminating wasteful and unnecessary duplication and redunancy, and saving considerable money in the process. Ford likes to tout his government as the fiscally prudent one – ok, prove it. The most efficient and cost-effective way is surely to have economies of scale, common user interfaces for information and services which are essentially the same for all Halton municipalities, consistency of program delivery, depth of expertise, etc. And as others have said, we don’t need multiple mayors, department managers, IT departments, purchasing departments, etc. All common functions could be consolidated.

    Back in 2019, when Ford first went on the Regional Amalgamation bandwagon, a few of us formed the group WeLoveBurlington – working with the much larger group WeLoveOakville – to fight the amalgamation, because we were trying to protect local voice. Many times since then, we have said that in hindsight, we shouldn’t have bothered. Watching what our council has done since, we were dreaming if we thought our local voice would be heard. Council can and does rule without real citizen input, and the strong mayor powers that Ford bestowed on those who happily took them (to heck with democracy) makes it worse.

    WLB did, however, delegate to the Regional Review Committee in favour of consolidating the functions that are common to the municipalites as mentioned above. Ford ended up shelving the entire thing and the report that the Reviewers wrote was never made public. We have now landed here. The core business of municipal government is developing and administrating the programs which are needed by your own citizens. The ones common to all neighbouring municipalities should be consolidated. And imagine if we had a Halton website where one IT department creates one interface for all Halton residents to use – with consistent content and no duplication. City of Halton? Yes, I’m in favour of seriously looking at it.

    • Anne and Dave Marsden

      As usual Lynn you make a lot of sense. We also delegated at the Region Review and we left the facilitators (one of whom was an ex City Manager for Burlington) a book of evidence on the failure of the Region to fulfil its service responsibilities associated with various pieces of legislation that brought harm to its residents and the democratic process.

      We were all disappointed that the Review went nowhere and there was no report from the facilitators and the issues set out for the facilitators were not addressed.. Our concern is that without public knowledge of the issues that were brought forward nothing will change. But yes we agree one municipality seems the way to go in terms of efficiencies, but we would like to see a new name too.

      • Lynn

        Thanks Anne and Dave and thank you for stepping up to delegate on this matter again. Agree we would need a new name – imagine THAT process!

    • David

      Lynn
      I was absolutely in favour of a regional government back then and still am, I used to see the signs ‘We Love Burlington’ but I admit to never making an effort to find out what the group was about, I’d seen the city becoming more ‘gentrified’ people from other area’s settling into my neighbourhood, I thought, well it must be the new affluence, they’re not bothered by higher taxes they want more services and they have the money to pay for it and the Mayor is more than happy to oblige, anyways rightly or wrongly thats what I thought.
      Anyways I just wanted to say admitting you were, shall we say disappointed in the outcome of your endeavours, I always refer to it as being (I was left wearing the donkey’s ears) and also if you are thinking of assembling your forces under a different banner, count me in.

  • Joe Gaetan

    The headline seems to imply that doing away with Halton Regional government is on the table. Is it? This may be anathema to some, but maybe doing away or amalgamating one or more of the cities within the region is or should be on the table? On paper it makes little sense to have 3 mayors and the associated triplication of departments and staffing etc., for a geographic area that is similar to Brampton or Mississauga.
    In 1873, the villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson merged to become the Village of Burlington which then became the Town of Burlington in 1914. Which then became current day Burlington that includes Aldershot and Kilbride and, almost Waterdown. All of the above being grist for the mill.

  • L Scott Johnson

    This is yet another attempt by the Ford government to create yet another crisis to pull people’s attention from the Greenbelt scandal, the Hey 413 fiasco, the health care underfunded and handing over our health care to private companies, the university funding crisis and the handing over Service Ontario to a private US company, while handing them $1.3 million to allegedly save $1 million.

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