The County of Simcoe is praising the province’s decision to leave things mostly status quo.
Following an extensive Regional Government Review, including a top-down look at the County of Simcoe, Queen’s Park has stated it does not plan to directly impose or force any significant changes to municipalities. That includes amalgamation.
This doesn’t mean things won’t change in the County, according to Warden George Cornell, “Our region is growing and demands for municipal services and programs are at an all-time high. This is an important time to be innovative and adopt further best practices in how we do our business.”
While the Province won’t impose any changes on its municipalities, it is sending more money towards them; Ontario is providing up to $143 million to all 444 Ontario municipalities, money it says will help lower costs and improve services for local residents over the long term.
“Municipalities are the level of government closest to the people, but every community is different – one size doesn’t fit all,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This investment in communities will support municipal transformation efforts to make sure they are delivering efficient, effective and modern services that best meet the unique needs of their residents.”
Earlier this year, the Province of Ontario conducted a review of Ontario’s eight regional governments as well as Simcoe County. Special advisors attended in-person sessions and heard that local communities should be deciding what is best for them in the long term, relating to governance, decision-making and service delivery.