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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

No Plans For Further Regional Governance Reviews

Grey Bruce | by Matt Hermiz  

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister ends speculation province will look at further local governance restructuring following current review

For those expecting the Doug Ford government to review municipal and county governance structures in Grey and Bruce... don't.

The province is currently undertaking a regional review of governance in eight regional municipalities -- Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo, York, Oxford County, Muskoka District -- and Simcoe County.

Some municipal leaders in Grey County have speculated the province will look elsewhere for further local governance efficiencies following this regional review.

The topic was brought up at the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce's annual Leader's Forum last week, where Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy said he's "convinced" the province is going to move ahead with further restructuring.

Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark tells Bayshore Broadcasting News he's been clear the focus of the regional review is solely on the eight regional municipalities the province has indiciated it's looking at, Simcoe County and their lower-tiers.

"And there is no contemplation to have any other review after this regional review is over," Clark says in an interview.

Clark encourages local governments to continually look for ways to streamline, improve efficiency and service delivery for residents and businesses, but says they do not need legislation from (the province) to do that.

"If two municipalities want to get together and have a conversation about the issue of amalgamation they're free to do so," Clark explains. "They don't need me to do anything."

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