On February 25th, Town Council unanimously passed a resolution from Mayor Rob Burton that highlights the strength of existing municipal governance in Oakville and Halton Region and encourages residents to share their thoughts with the province before any change to municipal representation or possible merger with other municipalities takes place.
“Oakville Council does not favour any structural change in governance because we already have established and effective working relationships with both the Region of Halton and our neighbouring municipalities,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “We have continually worked together to ensure the efficient and effective delivery of services. We have conducted major reviews to ensure value for money for our taxpayers and we work closely with Halton to ensure we don’t have duplication in our areas of shared responsibility. Two-tiered government works here in Halton.”
The Mayor is also concerned with the lack of community engagement by the province on such a critical issue. According to the Government of Ontario website, the province committed to soliciting input from members of the public from the nine regions that will be reviewed. However, there have been no public information events on the review organized for residents by the province or the local Members of Provincial Parliament in the Town of Oakville.
“Many Oakville residents remain unaware of the government review, its parameters, and the potential implications for the Town of Oakville and Halton Region,” added Mayor Burton. “We want the province to consult with our community before making any changes and allow us to provide input on what we think needs to be done.”
In January, the provincial government announced a review of Ontario’s eight regional municipalities and 83 associated municipalities. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing appointed an advisory body to deliver expert advice based on the subject-matter expertise of two special advisors and the assessment of feedback received through a consultation process. The special advisors were directed to develop recommendations and actionable options for implementation by this summer.
Earlier this month, Oakville’s Mayor and Chief Administrative Officer met with the provincial advisors to answer questions on the themes of governance, decision-making and service delivery. A written submission was also submitted to the advisory board highlighting that the programs and services the town delivers are valued by our community, and Oakville’s track record of success is well-documented.
- The Town of Oakville and Halton Region have maintained a AAA credit rating for 29 years based on what Moody’s describes as its strong management practices demonstrating “good political and managerial strength”
- 81 per cent of residents are satisfied with the government of the Town of Oakville, 89 per cent were satisfied with town services and 85 per cent were satisfied with the town’s attributes
- 97 per cent of residents are satisfied with the quality of regional services
- Halton is a model of municipal efficiency through service agreements between municipalities and the Region, and 98 per cent of Halton residents rate their quality of life very high, and
- Oakville is recognized as Canada’s Best Place to Live
Halton’s Regional Chair and the Heads of Council for Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville have also met with the advisory board and made submissions.
The town’s resolution will be forwarded to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and will also be shared with all Halton municipalities and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.
To learn more, read the report and resolution (item #4).