"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday 18 January 2020


Less by design than accident , I retrieved the Regional Publication from the re-cycling box at Christmas. It’s the first one I’ve seen. To-day  I want to draw attention to the back page. There
are three rows of photos of members of York Regional Council...twenty-one in total. nine of them are Mayors of  local Councils. The rest are Regional councillors. All,except the chair, serve also on local Councils. All receive  remuneration from both sources. Not all  receive the same benefits. Benefit packages are said to be worth $30 thousand  a year.

Regional  councillors receive termination settlements, if defeated from office. Not sure if they quit .If a Regional Councillor dies while in office, life insurance  is paid.

Taking a wild guess ,I would say, average cost of a regional councillor to  taxpayers might be as much as $200.thousand  a  year . Multiplied by twenty-one , quite a tidy  burden.

York Region was created in 1971. Next year ,it will be half a century old.

Metro Toronto was around that age when the boroughs were amalgamated and Metro
was wiped out. Toronto became a single government unit with forty-four Councillors and a Mayor.  Council meetings lasted several days. Decisions were slow in the making.

One of the first decisions made by Premier Ford  when he took office was to cut the number of Toronto Councillors almost in half to twenty- four members. A mighty clamour ensued. A year has passed. No great catastrophe has occurred.

York Region as noted in the opening sentence  has twenty-one councillors. On top of that,
nine municipal Councils with I don’t know how many, ward and elected at large local councillors. In terms of remuneration and benefits most  have re-classified themselves as employees. They are not hired. They cannot be fired. But somehow they have managed to re-classify  remuneration and benefits to their substantial advantage. Payroll for municipal council undoubtedly  exceeds that of Regional Council. It absorbs millions of dollars.

It would  be a simple matter to discover the tally  to the penny. It may even be part of the report already generated for the Province for changes they intended. We do not know that. The report has not been released. Regional Councillors  asked to receive the report. Whether or not that happened,we are not aware.

We do not know what changes were intended. We do know Aurora and Newmarket expressed
opposition , assuring the Province the current system serves us very well.it certainky serves them well.

Our elected representatives opposed change without disclosure of the change proposed.

It is reasonable to assume ,changes proposed by the Ford government would be aimed at
reducing numbers; bodies and financial cost. It makes equal sense the taxpayers of York Region
 are entitled to know what was proposed in  the shelved  report.

It has not been suggested.

I am suggesting it now.


Anonymous said...

Much ado about nothing then....

Anonymous said...

When eliminating a level of government or merging municipalities, what happens to the existing debt? York Region municipality has 3 Billion in debt. Newmarket and Markham are in debt. Exiting a corporation does not mean the debt gets eliminated. The Banks will want their money. I was surprised with Doug Ford's step back in reducing government in the Region. I'm surprised with many of his step backs since he's been Ontario's Leader. It will be interesting to see what happens with the Teachers contract.