Durham is likely to be included under any new review of regional governments, following yesterday’s announcement that Ontario government has begun the process to dissolve the Regional Municipality of Peel, according to John Henry, Durham Regional Chair and CEO.
The Hazel McCallion Act was introduced in provincial parliament yesterday, which would, if passed, begin the process to make the municipalities of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon independent. Peel’s longest-serving mayor, late Hazel McCallion, was central to the region’s remarkable growth during her 36 years as Mayor of Mississauga and a long-time advocate for greater autonomy for her city.
“Today’s [May 18] announcement about Peel made reference to the facilitators once again; noting someone will work with each of the eight upper tier levels of government. As Durham is an upper tier, we will likely be involved in this exercise,” said Henry in an issued statement.
He said the region and local municipalities continue to work together to help prepare for meetings with facilitators. “We look forward to speaking with them about housing responsibilities within Durham Region, and all of the work that is done to ensure we remain a location of choice for residents and businesses.”
In 2019, the province had announced a regional government review; and in November 2022, the topic had came up again.
No duplication of effort
The Regional Chair and CEO, however, pointed out that there have been no concerns raised about the size or structure of the Regional Municipality of Durham.
“Our region, and the eight local municipalities, have a productive and strong track record of working together to serve our residents. Together, we provide the backbone of service delivery in a two-tier structure that ensures services are planned, funded and delivered in a cost-effective manner; and on a large geographic scale.
“This co-operation and accountability allow us to avoid duplication of efforts. Together, we maintain Durham’s reputation as a community where equitable, high-quality services are available to everyone,” said Henry.
He said Durham is about partnerships. Municipal representatives work to help preserve the strong connection we have to our hometowns. A place where we work to create clearly defined regional and local roles and responsibilities; processes that strengthen governance and service delivery in our communities.
“We have all made continuous improvement part of our core business, and we will keep working together to address common challenges,” said Henry.