Burlington Raises Concerns Over its Future

 

Recently, mayors from across the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA) met to go over different issues that impact municipalities across the province. 

In total, 16 mayors across the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA) met at Toronto City Hall yesterday (Jan. 15) to discuss issues that their cities and towns face—and will continue to face—over the coming years.

A few issues that were discussed included transit, affordable housing, and climate change. 

The mayors were invited by Toronto Mayor John Tory.

One of 16 mayors is attendance was Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward.

In a statement released by Meed Ward, she commented on a few things that were reviewed. 

One of the things Meed Ward commented on was money—and how much of it the city will need going forward.

We agreed that we need to send a message to both the federal and provincial governments that money has to follow the downloading of additional services resulting from legislative changes that are outside of our control,” Meed Ward said in a statement.

Cannabis legislation is just one example as municipalities, whether they opt in or out of allowing retail cannabis stores, will incur costs, and the funding announced so far is insufficient.”

Meed Ward further revealed that issues regarding the Places to Grow Act and Greenbelt development were also raised.

According to Meed Ward’s statement, during the meeting yesterday, the provincial government announced they have undertaken a process to review the effectiveness and efficiency of regional governments across the province.

This has created some concerns and speculations about the possibility of amalgamations. As you might recall, the modern-day City of Toronto is the product of a major amalgamation that took place in the 90s. Some say that reviews of regional governments could lead to more mergers, although the Ford government hasn’t promised anything quite so drastic yet. 

Other cities, on the other hand, are eager to find out if they’ll be free from regional government. 

 “My fellow GTHA mayors and I agree that we would like to work with the province and our constituents on any changes,” Meed Ward said in the statement.

Instead of a hatchet, we’d like more of a handshake approach from the province.”

In two weeks, a number of the mayors that attended yesterday meeting will meet again as part of the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

At this meeting, the conversation surrounding the issues raised yesterday will continue. 

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