The first sign of an impending review by the province of municipalities and their governance occurred when Premier Doug Ford discarded the election of York Regional chairs last year.
The move is said to be part of a bigger plan to ensure efficient and transparent municipal governance of local residents and businesses.
This was not only seen as, but in fact WAS a tool to indicate further plans for the municipal governments outside of Toronto – which was amalgamated 20 years ago. The province is also conducting their assessment of municipal governments based on the 2016 census, revealing the following stats for MARKHAM:
- Population: 328,966
- Mayor: Frank Scarpitti
- Regional Councillors: 4
- Ward Councillors: 8
- Average population under each Councillor (ward and regional): 27,400
- Geographic radius: 212.35 km²
Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti joined fellow mayors from across the regions, and municipalities at a meeting Jan. 15. There, they learned of the province’s planned review together and expressed their mutual desire to be involved in the decision-making process.
With this announcement also comes to potential reality of early municipal elections to reflect any changes in ward boundaries. The province’s directive in reducing government costs is the type of business move that involves addressing salaries.
Debates around amalgamation started as early as 2016, when Regional Councillor, Jim Jones suggested combining Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.
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Image taken from Google.