Ontario Makes Local Government More Efficient
Legislation streamlines Toronto City Council and restores municipal decision-making in selecting regional chairs
TORONTO — Ontario has passed the Better Local Government Act, reducing Toronto City Council to 25 councillors and returning to the 2014 method of selecting chairs in the regions of York, Peel, Niagara and the District of Muskoka.
"Streamlining Toronto council will help the city make decisions more quickly and effectively," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "It saves the city more than $25 million - money it can use to build transit, housing and infrastructure and make life better for the people of Toronto."
The changes include:
- Aligning the City of Toronto's municipal ward boundaries with provincial and federal electoral districts, reducing the number of councillors to 25.
- Redistributing Toronto-area school board trustees to align with the new ward boundaries, while maintaining the existing number of trustees.
- Retaining the October 22, 2018 election date and extending the nomination deadline for Toronto council candidates and school board trustees to September 14, 2018. Updated regulations will help previously nominated candidates transition to new wards.
- Amending the Municipal Act and the Municipal Elections Act to reverse changes, introduced in 2016, that mandated the election of new regional chairs in the regions of York, Peel, Niagara and the District of Muskoka. These regional chairs will continue to be appointed as they were in 2014. Other regional chair elections will remain unchanged.
"We're pressing the pause button on how chairs are selected in four regional governments," said Clark. "It's an opportunity to discuss regional representation and engage municipalities on the future of regional government."