Transcript: How To Govern Ontario's Regions | Nov 12, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, blue shirt, and striped gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "How to govern Ontario's regions. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says AFTER THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT ABRUPTLY CUT THE
NUMBER OF COUNCILLORS IN THE
PROVINCIAL CAPITAL BY HALF -
DURING A MUNICIPAL ELECTION
CAMPAIGN NO LESS - IT ANNOUNCED
ITS INTENTION TO REVIEW REGIONAL
GOVERNMENTS IN SEVERAL PARTS OF
THE PROVINCE.
THE IDEA WAS TO IMPROVE
GOVERNANCE AND SERVICE DELIVERY
TO GET BETTER VALUE FOR
TAXPAYERS.
IT WAS WELCOME NEWS TO SOME, NOT
SO WELCOME FOR OTHERS.
AND THEN, THE PROVINCE SAID IT
WOULD DO ... NOTHING.
HERE FOR THEIR THOUGHTS: FOUR
MUNICIPAL LEADERS, INTRODUCED IN
ORDER OF POPULATION:
MAURIZIO BEVILACQUA IS THE MAYOR
OF VAUGHAN...

Maurizio is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with receding brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and dark blue tie.

Steve continues MARIANNE MEED WARD IS THE MAYOR
OF BURLINGTON...

Marianne is in her fifties, with shoulder-length straight brown hair. She's wearing a black blazer and a purple shirt.

Steve continues JIM DIODATI IS THE MAYOR OF NIAGARA FALLS...

Jim is in his sixties, clean-shaven, with short, receding brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt and blue tie.

Steve continues AND, GRAYDON SMITH IS THE MAYOR
OF BRACEBRIDGE AND DEPUTY CHAIR
OF THE DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA.

Graydon is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short ginger hair. He's wearing glasses, a gray sweater and a white shirt.

Steve continues YOU DEFINITELY GET THE PRIZE FOR
HAVING COME THE FURTHEST TO BE
HERE TODAY.

Graydon says SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT MY
SNOWMOBILE.

Steve says YOU SHOULD HAVE.
THREE AND A HALF HOURS, EH?

Graydon says IT WAS.
AND IT WAS REGULARLY A TWO-HOUR
DRIVE.
I DON'T WANT TO DO IT TOO OFTEN.

[LAUGHTER]

Marianne says IT'S HIS QUOTA.

Steve says DON'T INVITE ME
BACK; IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

Graydon says INVITE ME BACK IN THE SUMMER.

Steve says GOTCHA.
RIGHT NOW ALL OF YOU REPRESENT
VARIOUS MUNICIPALITIES AROUND
THE PROVINCE AND YOU ACTUALLY,
YOUR WORSHIP ON THE END,
REPRESENT A DISTRICT AS WELL.
YOU'RE THE DISTRICT OF
BRACEBRIDGE.
HOW WELL DO YOU THINK... AND
LET'S JUST GO AROUND THE TABLE
HERE... HOW WELL IS THE STATUS
QUO WORKING IN TERMS OF WHAT
YOU'RE ABLE TO DELIVER TO
CONSTITUENTS BECAUSE OF THE
GOVERNANCE MODELS YOU ALL HAVE?

The caption changes to "Graydon Smith. Mayor of Bracebridge."
Then, it changes again to "Reviewing the tiers."

Graydon says I THINK FOR US IT IS A
CLEARLY DELINEATED TWO-TIER
SYSTEM, IT IS WORKING QUITE
WELL.
AT THE TOWN LEVEL, WE'RE DOING A
LOT OF THE DAY-TO-DAY THINGS IN
TERMS OF RECREATION, PLANNING,
SOME OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE
MATTERS AT THE DISTRICT LEVEL,
HOUSING, SOCIAL SERVICES,
REGIONAL ROAD NETWORK, SOME OF
THE BIGGER ISSUES, WATER AND
SEWER, AND IT'S BEEN AROUND
SINCE 1970 FOR US AND I THINK
WE'VE GOT A HANDLE ON IT.

Steve says SO YOU'RE HAPPY THAT
THE PROVINCE BASICALLY SAID,
WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING
RIGHT NOW?

Graydon says GENERALLY.
BECAUSE I THINK IF THERE'S GOING
TO BE CHANGE, I'D LIKE US TO
INITIATE THE CHANGE.

Steve says MARIANNE MEED WARD,
YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Marianne Meed Ward. Mayor of Burlington."

Marianne says WE HAD A HUGE PUBLIC ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN IN OAKVILLE AND
BURLINGTON, AND THE RESIDENTS
STARTED THIS SAYING, WE'RE
REALLY HAPPY.
WE HAVE 98 percent SATISFACTION ON YOUR
COMMUNITY SERVICES.
WE HAD ZERO TAX INCREASES AND AT
THE RATE OF INFLATION FOR THOSE
SERVICES, AND IT WORKS WHEN
WE'RE DOING SERVICES THAT REALLY
DON'T RESPECT BOUNDARIES, DON'T
RESPECT BORDERS, LIKE REGIONAL
ROADS OR HOW THE WATERSHED WORKS
OR THINGS OF THAT NATURE WHERE
YOU REALLY NEED A MUCH BIGGER
PICTURE.
SO THE RESIDENTS SAID THEY WERE
HAPPY AND THEY ALSO SAID, LET US
DECIDE.
WE WANT TO BE THE MASTERS OF OUR
OWN HOUSE.

Steve says CHEZ NOUS THEY
CALLED IT IN ANOTHER PART OF THE
COUNTRY.

Marianne says WE DID.
WE CERTAINLY GOT IT.

Steve says MAYOR BEVILACQUA.

The caption changes to "Maurizio Bevilacqua. Mayor of Vaughan."

Maurizio says LET'S GIVE CONTEXT TO THIS.
IN VAUGHAN IT'S THE GOLDEN AGE.
WE'RE BUILDING A 1.8 BILLION DOLLAR HOSPITAL, FIRST TECHNOLOGY
HOSPITAL IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.
WE'RE BUILDING A DOWNTOWN CORE
BECAUSE WE INVESTED IN THE
SUBWAY, THE FIRST SUBWAY OUTSIDE
THE CITY OF TORONTO.
OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS 4.2 percent.
FOUR PERCENT, STATISTICS CANADA
WILL TELL YOU, IS FULL
EMPLOYMENT.
WE'RE GROWING AT THE RATE OF 4 percent.
SINCE 2010 WE'VE CREATED OVER
60,000 JOBS.
IN TOTAL WE HAVE AROUND 230,000
JOBS, 12,000 SMALL BUSINESSES.
WE JUST OPENED UP A 900-ACRE
PARK, NORTH MAPLE REGIONAL PARK,
900 ACRES, AND WE'RE BUILDING IT
NOT JUST FOR THIS GENERATION.
100 YEARS FROM NOW WE WANT
PEOPLE TO SAY BACK IN 2019, THAT
GENERATION UNDERSTOOD THE
IMPORTANCE OF GREENSPACE.

Steve says SO THINGS ARE
WORKING WELL WITHOUT PROVINCIAL
INTERFERENCE, IN YOUR VIEW?

Maurizio says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
AND WE WENT FOR THE STATUS QUO.
NOW I THINK WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
THE STATUS QUO AND PEOPLE FAVOUR
THE STATUS QUO, THERE'S A CAVEAT
THERE.
CHANGE IS CONSTANT IN THAT
STATUS QUO.
WE HAVE TO ALWAYS ADAPT TO
VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO
ELIMINATE CAMPUSES, THE ONE IN
YORK UNIVERSITY IN MARKHAM, FOR
EXAMPLE, AND OTHERS, I'VE ALWAYS
WANTED TO HAVE A UNIVERSITY IN
THE CITY OF VAUGHAN.
I THINK YOU NEED AN EDUCATIONAL
ANCHOR.
SO A COUPLE OF THINGS I DID.
NUMBER ONE, I WENT TO NEW YORK
STATE AND ATTRACTED NIAGARA
UNIVERSITY.
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY IS A VERY
INTERESTING UNIVERSITY BECAUSE
IT'S A BINATIONAL UNIVERSITY,
IT'S RECOGNIZED BOTH IN CANADA
AND THE UNITED STATES.
OVER 5,000 TEACHERS THAT TEACH
IN OUR SYSTEM, ONTARIO SYSTEM,
ARE GRADUATES OF NIAGARA
UNIVERSITY...

Steve says YOU'VE GOT AN
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OPERATING IN
MARKHAM RIGHT NOW?

Maurizio says NO, IN VAUGHAN.

Steve says IN VAUGHAN.

Maurizio says THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says THE CAMPUS IN
BRAMPTON WAS CANCELLED, IN
MILTON WAS CANCELLED, BUT YOU
HAVE AN AMERICAN OUTFIT COMING IN.

Maurizio says STUDENTS HAVE ALREADY
ATTENDED CLASSES.
BUT THE REALITY OF THIS IS, WHEN
I TALK ABOUT THIS CHANGE BEING
CONSTANT IS THAT YOU HAVE TO
LEARN HOW TO PIVOT.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, JUST
BECAUSE THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
IS NOT GIVING YOU A CAMPUS,
YOU'VE GOT TO FIND WAYS TO MAKE
IT HAPPEN.
AND YOU ALSO... AND THIS
PRESENTS OTHER ACTIVITIES.
FOR EXAMPLE, WE HAVE 82 ACRES OF
LAND FOR THE HOSPITAL PRECINCT.
SO WE JUST SIGNED A MEMORANDUM
OF UNDERSTANDING WITH VENTURE
LAB, WITH YORK UNIVERSITY, WITH
McKENZIE HEALTH AND THE CITY
OF VAUGHAN TO CREATE A WORLD
CLASS HEALTH CARE CENTRE.

Steve says THE ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT OFFICE IN YOUR CITY
IS GOING TO BE THRILLED AT THE
COMMERCIAL YOU JUST GAVE.
I'M TELLING YOU, THAT WAS GOOD.
LET ME GO TO THE MAYOR OF
NIAGARA FALLS.
THE FACT THAT THE PROVINCE HAS
OPTED TO DO NOTHING IN YOUR VIEW
IS WHAT.

The caption changes to "Jim Diodati. Mayor of Niagara Falls."

Jim says FIRST I WANT TO SAY I'M READY
TO MOVE TO VAUGHAN AFTER THAT
COMMERCIAL.
I WILL SAY IT WAS A LITTLE
ANTICLIMACTIC.
WE WERE HEAVILY GOVERNED WITH A
LOT OF POLITICIANS.
IN NIAGARA WE HAVE ABOUT 430,000
PEOPLE AND ABOUT 28 ELECTED
MUNICIPAL POLITICIANS.
THAT'S AN AWFUL LOT CONSIDERING
UP THE HIGHWAY, HAMILTON, THEY
HAVE 100,000 MORE PEOPLE AND
THEY DO IT WITH 16 PEOPLE.
AND KNOWING THAT GTA WENT FROM
47 TO 25, THERE'S A LOT BIGGER
AREAS WITH MUCH HIGHER NUMBERS
WITH NOT NEARLY THE
REPRESENTATION THAT WE HAVE.

Steve says YOU SHOULD JUST
EXPLAIN THAT TO PEOPLE.
YOU DO HAVE TWO-TIERED
GOVERNMENT.
YOU HAVE NIAGARA REGION AND
LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES.
HOW MANY LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES IN
NIAGARA?

Jim says WE HAVE 12 LOCAL
MUNICIPALITIES AND THE REGION OF
NIAGARA.
SO BETWEEN THE 12 MUNICIPALITIES
AND THE REGION, THERE'S A
HUNDRED AND... THERE'S A BIG
NUMBER OF MUNICIPALLY ELECTED
POLITICIANS, AND IT'S FUNNY.
I KNOW SOME PEOPLE SAID MORE
POLITICIANS IS BETTER BECAUSE IT
MAKES YOU CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE,
MORE DEMOCRATIC.
YET I'VE NEVER HEARD ANYONE SAY
TO ME, YOU KNOW THE SOLUTION TO
THIS PROBLEM?
WE NEED MORE POLITICIANS.

Steve says SO WERE YOU
DISAPPOINTED THAT THE PROVINCE
DID NOT UNILATERALLY MAKE A
DECISION TO CHANGE THE STATUS
QUO IN NIAGARA?

Jim says I AM AND I WISH THEY HAD HAVE
AT LEAST COME UP WITH A PLAN.
EVEN IF THEY SAID TO US WE'RE
GOING TO GIVE YOU SIX MONTHS TO
COME UP WITH A PLAN TO REDUCE
YOUR NUMBERS.
THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN.
IT WAS ANTICLIMACTIC.
NOTHING CAME OUT OF IT.
ALL THAT WORK, ALL THAT EFFORT,
ALL THAT DEBATE AND NOTHING CAME
OUT OF IT.

Steve says FOR BURLINGTON,
YOU'RE IN HALTON REGION AS WELL.

Marianne says FOUR MUNICIPALITIES FOR ROUGHLY THE SAME NUMBER, LESS
THAN 600,000.

Steve says HOW MANY POLITICIANS
ALTOGETHER?

The caption changes to "Marianne Meed Ward, @MariannMeedWard."

Marianne says 24.
AND IN BURLINGTON THE
CONVERSATION IS GOING THE OTHER
WAY.
WE HAVE A COUNCIL OF SEVEN FOR
ABOUT 190,000 POPULATION.
WE ARE THE SMALLEST COUNCIL OF
ANY SIZE IN THE COUNTRY.
WE CUT OUR COUNCIL IN HALF IN
THE '90s AND HAVE NEVER
CHANGED IT.
NOW RESIDENTS ARE SAYING, YOU
KNOW, FOUR PEOPLE TO MAKE A
DECISION AND WE'VE GOT SOME BIG
DECISIONS.
WHEN THERE'S CONTROVERSY, THEY
WANT MORE VOICES AROUND THE
TABLE.
WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL,
THEY'RE QUITE HAPPY WITH THE
MAJORITY OF FOUR.

Steve says DO YOU THINK YOU
NEED A LARGER COUNCIL TO HANDLE
THE ISSUES THAT BURLINGTON IS FACING?

Marianne says WELL, WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT IT.
ONE OF THE VERY FIRST REPORTS
THAT I HAD TO WRITE A YEAR AGO
AS A NEW MAYOR WAS ASSIGNMENTS
TO BORDERS AND COMMITTEES,
INCLUDING CITIZEN ADVISORY
COMMITTEES, LOCAL BOARDS LIKE
THE LIBRARY.
THERE WERE OVER 60 ASSIGNMENTS
FOR THE SEVEN OF US.

Steve says CAN YOU DO THAT?

Marianne says WE DO DO IT.
WE'RE ALL VERY TYPE A AND WE
DON'T SLEEP MUCH.

Steve says SOUNDS LIKE A
HANDFUL, THOUGH.

Marianne says IT IS A LOT TO... IT'S A LOT
TO DO, YEAH, FOR SURE.
AND THE PUBLIC SEES THAT AS
WELL.
AND THEY... SO THEY'VE BEEN
ASKING, YOU KNOW, DO WE NEED
MORE POLITICIANS?
WELL, THAT CONVERSATION WAS BIG
IN THE LAST ELECTION.
IT DISAPPEARED DURING REGIONAL
REVIEW.
AND THE FOCUS WAS HEAD DOWN,
PROTECT WHAT WE HAVE, HALTON
REGION IS WORKING WELL.
WE DON'T WANT TO BE A CITY OF
HALTON.
WE WANT TO KEEP THE UNIQUE
IDENTITY IN BURLINGTON.
WE'RE ALREADY SMALL AND
EFFICIENT SO...

Steve says YOU'RE THE MAYOR OF
BRACEBRIDGE.
HOW MANY MEMBERS OF COUNCIL?

The caption changes to "Graydon Smith, @GraydonTheMayor."

Graydon says NINE ON OUR LOCAL COUNCIL,
BUT DISTRICT IS ANOTHER STORY.
SO 22 PLUS A CHAIR.
SO WE ARE VERY OVERREPRESENTED
WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR TOTAL
POPULATION VERSUS THE NUMBER OF
POLITICIANS WE HAVE.
MIND YOU, WE HAVE A VAST
GEOGRAPHIC AREA, IT'S A VERY
DIFFERENT AREA THROUGHOUT
MUSKOKA THAT DO REQUIRE I THINK
A LITTLE BIT OF
OVERREPRESENTATION AT THE END OF
THE DAY.
BUT OUR COUNCIL, PRIOR TO THE
PROVINCE COMING OUT WITH THE
CONCEPT OF REGIONAL REVIEW, WAS
ALREADY LOOKING AT SHRINKING THE
SIZE OF OUR DISTRICT GOVERNMENT.
22 PEOPLE AROUND THE TABLE IS A
LOT, AND IT'S HARD TO, FRANKLY,
MAKE DECISIONS SOMETIMES WITH
THAT MANY VOICES.
SO THE TOWN OF BRACEBRIDGE, FOR
EXAMPLE, HAS MYSELF AND THREE
OTHER COUNCILLORS.
I THINK PROBABLY TWO OF US COULD
CARRY THAT MESSAGE INSTEAD OF
FOUR.
DOES RAISE SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT
WORKLOAD AND THOSE FUNCTIONS OF
THE DISTRICT AND COMMITTEES THAT
WOULD NEED TO BE COVERED.
BUT I DO THINK WE'VE GOT TOO
MANY PEOPLE AROUND THE TABLE.
WE STARTED THAT PROCESS ALREADY.
MAYBE THIS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US
TO PICK THAT UP.

Steve says LET'S SORT OF
EXPLORE WHY THE PROVINCE DID
WHAT IT DID.
CERTAINLY IF WE WERE GATHERING
HERE A YEAR AGO, THE PROVINCE
WAS GUNG HO TO IMPOSE CHANGES ON
POTENTIALLY YOUR MUNICIPALITIES,
AND AS I SAID IN THE INTRO, THEY
STOOD BACK.
HERE'S WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY LAST
MONTH...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "No top-down approach." The quote reads "Throughout this extensive review, the government heard that local communities should decide what is best for them in terms of governance, decision-making and service delivery. After careful consideration of the feedback we heard through the course of the review, our government stands firm in its commitment to partnering with municipalities without pursuing a top-down approach. We will provide municipalities with the resources to support local decision-making."
Quoted from Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. October 25, 2019.

Steve says I WANT TO KNOW...
LET'S START HERE... WHY DO YOU
THINK PREMIER FORD STOOD DOWN ON
HIS EARLIER POSITION?

The caption changes to "Maurizio Bevilacqua, @mbmayor."

Maurizio says WELL, I THINK, I MEAN, HE'S
BEEN FACING SOME CHALLENGES
RIGHT ACROSS THE BOARD, FROM
FISCAL OPPOSITION TO SOME OF THE
ISSUES THAT HE LISTENED TO THE
PEOPLE AND BACKED DOWN... THIS
IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS
HAPPENED.
IT'S SORT OF A PATTERN.
BUT IT'S INTERESTING THAT THEY
WOULD SAY THAT THEY WOULD
SUPPORT THE DECISIONS WE MAKE,
SO I GATHER THAT WHEN WE WILL
KNOCK ON THE DOOR OF THE
PROVINCE AND WE NEED EXTRA
FUNDING FOR EDUCATION AND EXTRA
FUNDING FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
AND...

Steve says WELL, THEY HAVE
OFFERED 143 MILLION DOLLARS BUCKS MORE, RIGHT...

Maurizio says THAT'S TO BECOME MORE
EFFICIENT.

Steve says YES.

Maurizio says AND 143 MILLION DOLLARS, RELATIVELY
SPEAKING, WHEN YOU'RE SPEAKING
ABOUT A PROVINCE, WHEN YOU'RE
LOOKING AT ISSUES LIKE
AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND SOCIAL
SERVICES, IS SIGNIFICANT BUT
IT'S ALL... IT'S ALL RELATIVE,
RIGHT?
SO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS YOU
HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE
PROVINCE UNDERSTANDS THAT WHILE
WE PARTICIPATED IN THIS
MUNICIPAL GOVERNANCE REVIEW,
THERE ARE REAL ISSUES THAT
REQUIRE REAL FUNDING AND REQUIRE
ATTENTION.
THIS IN NO WAY REALLY DISTRACTS
ME FROM THE AGENDA I HAVE TO
PURSUE, SO WHICH MEANS THAT THEY
HAVE TO GIVE US THE TOOLS... IF
THEY'RE NOT GOING TO INVEST IN
AFFORDABLE HOUSING THEY HAVE
TO...

Steve says LET ME ASK THE MAYOR
OF BURLINGTON.
WHY DO YOU THINK PREMIER FORD
STOOD DOWN?

Marianne says HIS POLLING NUMBERS WERE WORSE THAN KATHLEEN WYNNE
HEADING INTO THE ELECTION... THE
PARTY WAS DECIMATED, YOU KNOW?
SO THERE WAS A POLITICAL
REALITY.
I ALSO THINK THAT, YOU KNOW,
THEY WERE GOING TO UPSET PEOPLE
IF THEY MADE CHANGES, AND WHILE
IT'S VERY WELCOME, VERY, VERY
WELCOME TO HEAR THE MESSAGE FROM
THE PREMIER AND THE MINISTER OF
MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING
SAYING THAT THEY WANT TO WORK
WITH MUNICIPALITIES, WE COULD
HAVE TOLD THEM FROM THE GET-GO
THAT HALTON IS FINE.
HEARING THE TWO OF YOU TALK
ABOUT THE OPPORTUNITIES IN YOUR
REGIONS, MAYBE FOCUS ON THE ONES
THAT WERE LOOKING FOR SOME
CHANGE.
THAT IS A TRUE PARTNERSHIP.
THAT IS WORKING WITH
MUNICIPALITIES.
AND WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK
TO DO ON THAT.
SO PUT US THROUGH THE WRINGER.
SPEND A LOT OF HOURS AND TIME
AND MONEY FOR MUNICIPALITIES AND
CITIZENS GROUPS... THEY HAD LAWN
SIGN CAMPAIGNS, THEY ARE
LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGNS.
YOU THINK OF ALL OF THAT EFFORT
FOCUSED TO NOTHING AT THE END OF
THE DAY?
WE COULD HAVE AVOIDED THAT
CONVERSATION AND STARTED TO HAVE
CONVERSATIONS AROUND PLANNING
ISSUES.
I'D LIKE THE PROVINCE TO GIVE US
TOTAL CONTROL OF PLANNING.
GET RID OF THE LOCAL PLANNING
APPEAL TRIBUNAL.
THAT COST TAXPAYERS MONEY AND
TIME.
IT IS AN OUTDATED AND
INEFFICIENT BODY...

Steve says HAVE YOU MADE THAT
CASE TO THEM?

Marianne says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says AND WHAT WAS THEIR
REACTION?

Marianne says "NO."

Steve says PERIOD, FULL STOP?

Marianne says THAT WAS BEFORE THE REGIONAL REVIEW LANGUAGE AROUND WANTING
TO PARTNER WITH MUNICIPALITIES.
HALTON REGION UNANIMOUSLY PASSED
A MOTION IN JUNE TO ASK THE
PROVINCE TO GET RID OF THIS
BODY.
WE SPENT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS
OF DOLLARS DEFENDING PLANS THAT
HAVE ALREADY BEEN APPROVED BY
THE PROVINCE.
AND SO THAT'S ONE AREA THAT THEY
COULD ACTUALLY GET OUT OF OUR
BUSINESS, SAVE EFFICIENCIES,
SAVE TIME, SAVE MONEY.
THEY ARE DEVELOPMENTS THAT ARE
HELD UP AT THE TRIBUNAL BECAUSE
THEY CAN'T GET A HEARING, AND
COUNCIL HAS ALREADY APPROVED
THEM.
IT'LL BE A YEAR BEFORE THEY GET
A SHOVEL IN THE GROUND.
THAT IS DELAYING HOUSING, THE
VERY THING THIS THING IS
SUPPOSED TO SOLVE.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says LET ME GET HIS
WORSHIP FROM NIAGARA FALLS ON
THIS.
IF WE WERE HAVING THIS
CONVERSATION A YEAR AND A HALF
AGO, THERE WAS NO... NOT QUITE A
YEAR AND A HALF AGO.
THERE WAS NO QUESTION THAT THE
PREMIER WAS GOING TO CUT TORONTO
CITY COUNCIL IN HALF AND HE WAS
PREPARED TO OVERRIDE COURT
DECISIONS USING THE
NOTWITHSTANDING CLAUSE OF THE
CONSTITUTION TO MAKE IT HAPPEN.
HE'S CERTAINLY NOT TAKEN THAT
APPROACH TO THIS.
WHY DO YOU THINK NOT?

The caption changes to "Jim Diodati, @jimdiodati."

Jim says WELL, I'D HAVE TO AGREE WITH
THE MAYOR OF BURLINGTON THAT
HE'S LET HIS FOOT OFF THE GAS.
HE'S HAD A LOT OF CHALLENGES.
YOU DON'T WANT TO HAVE A
CONFLICT ON ALL FRONTS.
YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES
AND FOCUS ON WHERE YOU WANT TO
PUT YOUR EFFORTS.
AND I THINK HE HAD ISSUES WITH
AUTISM GROUPS.
THERE'S TEACHERS NOW AND THERE'S
UNION ISSUES.
SO HE'S DEALING WITH A LOT OF
THINGS.
AND I THINK HE REALIZED, THIS
WASN'T A PRIORITY, AND HOW DID
THE PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT IT?
WE WERE DEFINITELY DIVIDED.
I THINK... SOME PEOPLE SAY
THINGS WERE GOOD, BUT A LOT OF
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CHANGE.
AND SOMETIMES GOOD IS THE ENEMY
OF GREAT.
BECAUSE YOU BECOME COMPLACENT.
YOU NEVER GET TO THAT PLACE OF
GREATNESS AND REAL HONEST
INTERNAL REVIEW.
AND FOR US IT'S NOT A MATTER OF
SAVING MONEY BY ELIMINATING
POLITICIANS.
IT'S A MATTER OF TOO MANY COOKS
IN THE KITCHEN.
YOU KNOW THAT OLD SAYING THAT A
CAMEL IS JUST A HORSE DESIGNED
BY A COMMITTEE, AND WE'RE
DESIGNING A LOT OF HORSES, YOU
KNOW?
AND ON THE OTHER MATTER, YOU
KNOW, AND I SEE TWO SCHOOLS OF
THOUGHT AT HAVING THE LPAT OR
OMB.
ON ONE HAND IT CAN SLOW THINGS
DOWN AND THAT'S VERY
FRUSTRATING.
ON THE OTHER HAND, SOMETIMES AT
THE LOCAL LEVEL WE MAKE
POLITICAL DECISIONS AND
SOMETIMES THESE BOARD MAKE
PLANNING DECISIONS BASED ON GOOD
PLANNING PRINCIPLES, AS THEY
SHOULD.
SOMETIMES IT'S NICE TO HAVE A
LITTLE BIT OF A BACKUP FOR
SOMEONE WHO MAYBE UNJUSTLY WERE
JUDGED POLITICALLY AND THE
FLAVOUR OF THE DAY OR MAYBE AN
ORGANIZED CAMPAIGN FOR OR
AGAINST SOMETHING... SOMETIMES
IT GIVES YOU THAT SOBER SECOND
THOUGHT OPPORTUNITY.
SO I SEE BOTH.
BUT I'D SAY OVERALL, THE PREMIER
STARTED OFF BY CALLING NIAGARA
LAUGHABLE WITH ITS NUMBER OF
POLITICIANS, 126...

Steve says AND YOU DON'T
DISAGREE WITH HIM ON THAT?

Jim says AT ALL.

Steve says WHY DIDN'T HE JUST
DO NIAGARA AND HE WOULD HAVE HAD
YOUR SUPPORT AND GO IN FOR THE
POLITICAL WIN?

Jim says I THINK HE DID AN ALL OR NONE
OPTION AND DECIDED TO LEAVE ALL
THE REGIONS ALONE AND DO
NOTHING.
SO HERE WE ARE, WE'RE ALL KIND
OF STUNNED.
I'VE HAD A LOT OF OTHER MAYORS
AND ELECTED OFFICIALS AND
BUSINESS PEOPLE COME TO ME AND
SAY, NOW WHAT?
I'M HOPING WE CAN STILL GO TO
THIS WITH A PARTIAL VICTORY.
I THINK THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY
STILL.
I DON'T WANT TO THROW THE BABY
OUT WITH THE BATH WATER, AS THEY
SAY.
BUT I THINK THERE'S STILL AN
OPPORTUNITY TO REDUCE OUR
NUMBERS.
BECAUSE WE ARE SO OVERLY
REPRESENTED.
126.
AND WE HAVE LESS PEOPLE THAN
HAMILTON BY 100,000.
THEY DO IT WITH 16.
WE HAVE 126.
TORONTO IS TEN TIMES BIGGER AND
THEY'VE GOT 25.
AND WE HAVE 126.
WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE
REPRESENTING.

Steve says LET ME ASK... I'LL
GET THE MAYOR OF BRACEBRIDGE IN
ON THIS ONE.
I DO REMEMBER THE DAYS WHEN
TORONTO HAD TWO-TIERED
GOVERNANCE, AND ONE LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR
THIS ROAD, BUT NOT THAT ROAD.
AND THE LOWER LEVEL OF
GOVERNMENT WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR
THAT ROAD BUT NOT THAT ROAD.
AND IT WAS COMPLICATED.
I MEAN, YOU COULD FIGURE IT OUT,
BUT IT WAS KIND OF A LITTLE
NONSENSICAL AT A CERTAIN POINT.
IS THERE MUCH OVERLAP OF
SERVICES IN JURISDICTIONS THAT
HAVE TWO-TIER GOVERNANCE?

Graydon says I THINK IT DEPENDS ON THE AREA.
IN OUR AREA, FOR EXAMPLE, TO USE
THE ROADS EXAMPLE, WE DO HAVE
DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA ROADS AND WE
HAVE TOWN ROADS.
TYPICALLY WHAT YOU SEE ARE THE
TOWN CREWS OUT LOOKING AFTER
THOSE ROADS, SO WE'RE TRYING TO
DO THINGS IN A LOGICAL WAY.
SO WHEN IT SNOWS, LIKE IT HAS
RECENTLY, WE'RE NOT SENDING OUT
ONE PLOW DRIVING OVER THE PLOWED
ROAD OF SOMEONE ELSE, YOU KNOW,
TO GET TO THEIR ROAD?

Steve says IT ALL WORKS?
THERE'S NO CONFUSION THERE?

Graydon says GENERALLY SPEAKING.
I ALWAYS HAVE THAT CAVEAT OF
GENERALLY SPEAKING.
THERE ARE ALWAYS THINGS THAT WE
COULD WORK ON.
BUT THERE ARE, YOU KNOW, BROAD
REGIONAL THINGS THAT USED TO BE
AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, SUCH AS
WATER AND SEWER, AND EVEN
HOUSING THAT WE'VE REALLY TRIED
TO MOVE UP TO THE DISTRICT LEVEL
BECAUSE IT NEEDS THAT
OVERARCHING STYLE OF GOVERNANCE.
FOR EXAMPLE, IN MUSKOKA, THERE
ARE 14 WATER AND SEWER PLANTS
BECAUSE OF THE VAST GEOGRAPHY
THAT WE SERVE AND SOME OF THEM
SERVE VERY FEW CUSTOMERS.
ALL OF THOSE PLANTS COST TENS
AND TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BUILD AND THEN OPERATE.
SO WE NEED SOME APPROACH WHERE
WE CAN GET A LITTLE BIT OF
CONSISTENCY AND EFFICIENCY IN
THE SYSTEM FOR THESE... YOU
KNOW, THESE BIG, BROAD PROJECTS
THAT GO ON.
AND THE DISTRICT IS GOOD AT
THAT.
THE TOWNS ARE GOOD AT KEEPING
THEIR LOCAL AREAS, YOU KNOW, IN
THE WAY THAT THEIR RESIDENTS ARE
ASKING FOR.
WE'VE GOT A LOVELY COLLECTION OF
SMALL TOWNS.
WE HAVE SOME TOWNSHIPS THAT
CIRCLE THE LAKES IN MUSKOKA, AND
WE'RE STILL A SMALL PLACE BUT
WE'RE GROWING.
I THINK IT DOES BEHOOVE US TO
LOOK AT HOW THOSE SERVICES ARE
DELIVERED AND HAVE THIS
CONVERSATION FROM TIME TO TIME.
PLANNING IS CERTAINLY AN AREA
WHERE I THINK MOST PEOPLE DO SEE
SOME LEVEL OF DUPLICATION OR
OVERLAP, AND I THINK THAT'S
ANOTHER AREA WE CAN LOOK AT ON
OUR OWN, AND MAYBE THE MONEY
THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS PUT OUT
THERE FOR EFFICIENCIES IS GOING
TO ALLOW US TO DO THAT
INTERNALLY.

Steve says LET'S DO A CASE
STUDY OF BURLINGTON HERE.
YOU HAVE HALTON REGION MAKING
SOME DECISIONS, YOU HAVE THE
CITY OF BURLINGTON MAKING OTHER
DECISIONS.
AGAIN, FROM THE ISSUE OF WHETHER
OR NOT THERE'S AN OVERLAP IN
SERVICES, IS IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR
TO EVERYBODY WHO LIVES IN
BURLINGTON WHAT HALTON IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR AND WHAT
BURLINGTON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR?

Marianne says PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL
GOVERNMENT...

Steve says LET ALONE TWO LEVELS
OF MUNICIPAL.

Marianne says TWO LEVELS OF MUNICIPAL.
I GET THE CALLS ABOUT GARBAGE
PICKUP.
IN OUR REGION, THAT'S HALTON
REGION.
SO WE OCCASIONALLY GET CALLS
ABOUT ROADS.
MOST OF THE ROADS THAT CONNECT A
LARGE AREA, SO OUR HIGHWAYS,
DUNDAS, THOSE KINDS OF ROADS
THAT CONNECT ACROSS
MUNICIPALITIES ARE REGIONAL
ROADS, AND SO WE'VE BEEN HAVING
CONVERSATIONS AROUND PUTTING UP
RED LIGHT CAMERAS OR SPEED
RADAR, AND THEN WE HAVE TO
FIGURE OUT WHOSE ROAD IT IS.
INCREASINGLY BURLINGTON HAS
ASSUMED THOSE ROADS, ESPECIALLY
IF THEY'RE PURELY SERVING LOCAL
TRAFFIC.
THEN WE HAVE THE COSTS FOR THAT.

Steve says GARBAGE IS REGIONAL.

Marianne says GARBAGE IS REGIONAL.

Steve says HOW ABOUT POLICE.

Marianne says REGIONAL.

Steve says FIRE?

Marianne says PARAMEDIC IS REGIONAL.
FIRE IS LOCAL.

Steve says IT'S LOCAL.
WHY IS THAT?

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Marianne says THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT'S BEEN DONE.
YOU KNOW, THE CONVERSATION
THAT'S HAPPENING IS WHETHER FIRE
AND PARAMEDIC SHOULD BE JOINED.
THAT'S A MUCH BIGGER
CONVERSATION THAT I THINK PEOPLE
ARE WANTING TO HAVE.
WE JUST APPROVED PUTTING
EpiPens ON FIRE TRUCKS IN
BURLINGTON.
I THINK THAT'S WHERE THAT
CONVERSATION IS GOING.
BUT THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY I
THINK FOR SHARED SERVICES IS
AROUND TRANSIT.
SO IN BURLINGTON, WE HAVE PEOPLE
WHO, BECAUSE THEY'RE DOCTORS,
MAY HAVE PRIVILEGES AT OAKVILLE
TRAFALGAR.
THEY MIGHT LIVE IN NORTHEAST
BURLINGTON.
IT'S MUCH EASIER FOR THEM TO GET
THERE.
IF THEY'RE A PARATRANSIT OR
TRANSIT RIDER, THEY HAVE TO TAKE
TWO TRIPS.
THERE'S LAG TIME IN BETWEEN.
AND EVERYBODY KNOWS TIME AND
EFFICIENCY IS WHAT DETERMINES
WHETHER PEOPLE WILL USE PUBLIC
TRANSIT.
IT'S NOT SO MUCH THE COST.
SO I'VE BEEN PUSHING WITH MY
HALTON FELLOW MAYORS AND
COUNCILLORS THAT WE NEED TO HAVE
A CONVERSATION AROUND
REGIONALIZING TRANSIT.

The caption changes to "Improving the system."

Steve says ARE THEY OPEN TO THAT?

Marianne says SOME ARE.
MILTON IS VERY MUCH OPEN TO THAT
BECAUSE A LOT OF THEIR... THEY
DON'T HAVE TRAINS UP TO MILTON,
AND SAME WITH HALTON HILLS.
SO THEY TAKE THE BUSES DOWN TO
THE GO TRAIN SYSTEM.
THEY HAVE TO CROSS BOUNDARIES
AND IT BECOMES FOR THEIR RIDERS
IT BECOMES COMPLICATED AND OFTEN
INVOLVES A TRANSFER.
SO WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT
OUR RESIDENTS NEED FIRST.

Maurizio says GOING BACK TO WHAT YOU WERE SAYING ABOUT RESIDENTS.
RESIDENTS ARE REALLY THE LITMUS
TEST OF GOVERNANCE.
IF YOU'RE GETTING 97 percent APPROVAL
RATING FROM CITIZEN SURVEYS, YOU
KNOW YOU'RE DOING WELL.
THEY'RE HAPPY ABOUT THE
UNIVERSITY, THEY'RE HAPPY ABOUT
THE HOSPITAL, THEY'RE HAPPY
ABOUT THE DOWNTOWN CORE BEING
BUILT, THEY'RE HAPPY ABOUT THE
FACT THEY LIVE IN THE SAFEST
COMMUNITY IN CANADA.
THESE ARE SIGNALS THAT THEY GIVE
BACK TO US.
AND SO I THINK THAT, WHILE THE
EFFICIENCY DEBATE IS VERY
IMPORTANT, WHAT IS VERY, VERY
IMPORTANT IS ARE PEOPLE HAPPY
WITH THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU ARE
GOVERNING?
AND SO THIS IS WHERE I TAKE MY CUE.

Steve says SO IF THEY'RE HAPPY,
LEAVE IT ALONE?

Maurizio says WELL, THEY'RE USUALLY HAPPY
ABOUT GOOD THINGS, RIGHT?
AND SO, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE'RE
EXTENDING THE YONGE SUBWAY, WHEN
WE HAD THE SUBWAY NOW IN VAUGHAN
AS WELL, THOSE ARE... THEY TAKE
PRIDE IN THAT TYPE OF
CITIZENSHIP.
AND THEY ALSO VIEW IT AS THE
MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT RESPONDING
TO THEIR NEEDS.
AND THAT TO ME IS FUNDAMENTAL.
I MEAN, WE CAN HAVE A LOT OF
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT GOVERNANCE AND
WHO'S IN CHARGE OF WHAT, BUT AT
THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN YOU'RE
KNOCKING ON DOORS, WHEN YOU'RE
AT A CAFE AND PEOPLE COME UP TO
YOU AND SAY, LOOK, WE'RE REALLY
HAPPY ABOUT THE RAPIDWAY ON
HIGHWAY 7 AND WE'RE REALLY HAPPY
ABOUT THE PARK THAT YOU'RE
OPENING UP AND OUR STANDARD OF
LIVING AND QUALITY OF LIFE, THAT
TO ME IS FUNDAMENTAL.

Steve says LET ME PLAY SMART
ALEC HERE FOR A SECOND, OKAY?
JUST FOR ARGUMENT'S SAKE HERE.
THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM IS NO
LOCAL POLITICIAN IS GOING TO
LEGISLATE HIS OR HER JOB OUT OF
EXISTENCE, AND THAT IF
GOVERNANCE REFORM IS EVER GOING
TO HAPPEN, IT KIND OF HAS TO BE
LEDDY THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE... BECAUSE, FOR THE VERY
THING I JUST SAID.
THAT'S HOW WE GOT REGIONAL
GOVERNMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE,
RIGHT?
BILL DAVIS DIDN'T MAKE ANY
FRIENDS WHEN 45 YEARS AGO HE
CREATED ALL THESE REGIONS, BUT
IN FACT, IT TURNED OUT IT HAS
STOOD THE TEST OF TIME, I WOULD
SAY, FOUR AND A HALF DECADES
LATER, THESE REGIONAL
GOVERNMENTS STILL EXIST.
IS IT REASONABLE TO ASSUME, YOUR
WORSHIP FROM NIAGARA FALLS, IS
IT REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT NO
LOCAL POLITICIAN IS GOING TO
MAKE ANY HEADWAY ON THIS BECAUSE
NO ONE IS GOING TO LEGISLATE
THEMSELVES OUT OF EXISTENCE AND
YOU NEED THE PROVINCE TO MAKE
THIS HAPPEN?

Jim says YES.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT TORONTO,
OTTAWA, HAMILTON, LONDON... IT
WAS ALWAYS TOP-DOWN.
I MEAN, OCCASIONALLY YOU WILL
GET A LITTLE BIT OF THAT
INTROSPECTIVE APPROACH.
IN NIAGARA FALLS ABOUT 20 YEARS
AGO WE WENT FROM 12 COUNCILLORS
DOWN TO EIGHT.
THAT'S RARE.
YOU RARELY SEE THAT.
TYPICALLY A MUNICIPALITY IS
COMING FORWARD WANTING MORE
REPRESENTATION.
NOW, I GET IT WHEN YOU'VE GOT A
VASTLY GROWING AREA AND THE
WORKLOAD INCREASES AND THEN...
BUT THE FOCUS IS I THINK, AND I
THINK THE IDEA IS YOU HAVE TO
HAVE AN IDEA OF HOW MANY
POLITICIANS PER POPULATION, SO
YOU KNOW THERE'S A BIT OF A
FORMULA, THERE'S A BIT OF A
FRAMEWORK TO LOOK AT.
OURS SEEMS... OF THE 12
MUNICIPALITIES HAVE AN
ABSOLUTELY DIFFERENT WARD...
WE'RE ALL OVER.
THE ONLY THING CONSISTENT IS
INCONSISTENCY.
AND IT WOULD BE NICE IF WE HAD A
SYSTEM THAT EVERYBODY COULD
UNDERSTAND AND FOLLOW.
THE OTHER THING, AS I SAY, AND
WE'RE JUST SO OVERREPRESENTED.
WE HAVE SO MANY POLITICIANS.
WE'RE THE OTHER EXTREME.
AS I SAID BEFORE, I'VE NEVER
HEARD ANYBODY COME TO ME AND
SAID IF ONLY WE HAD MORE
POLITICIANS, WE COULD FIX THIS.
IF THERE WAS THAT PERSON, I
WOULD WANT TO MEET THEM.

Marianne says COME TO BURLINGTON.
THAT WAS A HUGE ELECTION ISSUE.
I WILL CHALLENGE YOUR PREMISE.
BURLINGTON DID, AS A COUNCIL,
CUT THEMSELVES IN HALF.
THEY DID THAT IN THE 1990s.
AND THERE WAS A LOT OF GOOD
REASONS FOR IT.
THEY JUST FELT THEY WANTED...
THERE WAS DUPLICATION OF
SERVICES.
THEY HAD TWO WARD COUNCILLORS
PER WARD.
ONE WAS JUST CITY BUSINESS.
THE OTHER WAS CITY AND REGION
BUSINESS.
AND THEY DID AWAY WITH THE
SECOND WARD COUNCILLOR.
THEY JUST FELT THERE WAS A LOT
OF OVERLAP.
THEY DID THAT THEMSELVES.
NOBODY IMPOSED THAT.

Steve says THAT IS RARE, YOU
WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE?

Marianne says IT IS RARE.
BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
THAT WAS ALSO COMING FROM THE
PUBLIC.
THEY WANTED COUNCILLORS WHO WERE
MORE ABLE TO DO IT ON A
FULL-TIME BASIS AND NOT HAVE
OTHER JOBS THAT PRESENTED
POTENTIALLY CONFLICT OF
INTEREST, TOOK UP THEIR TIME.
SO BY CONSOLIDATING POSITIONS,
CUTTING IT IN HALF, NOT ONLY DO
WE SAVE MONEY BUT IT ALLOWS MOST
OF OUR COUNCIL MEMBERS TO DO IT
PRETTY MUCH FULL TIME SO THAT WE
CAN, YOU KNOW, SIT ON, BETWEEN
US, 60 PLUS BOARDS AND
COMMITTEES.
AND THEN AT THE REGION WE WENT
THE OTHER WAY, BUT WE HAD A
FORMULA.
WE ADDED TWO COUNCIL MEMBERS A
YEAR, THOUGH.
WE REVIEWED THE WHOLE SYSTEM.
BURLINGTON DIDN'T GET ANOTHER
ONE... WE SHOULD HAVE.
BUT THERE WERE TWO ADDITIONAL
FOR MILTON BECAUSE IT'S GROWING
SO QUICKLY.
AND I THINK PEOPLE RECOGNIZE
THAT THAT'S THE BASIS ON WHICH
IT HAS TO BE, IS WHAT DO THE
CITIZENS NEED, WHAT ARE THEY
ASKING FOR?
IF YOUR CITIZENS ARE SAYING CUT
DOWN THE SIZE OF COUNCIL, OR
YOUR CITIZENS ARE, THAT'S THE
DIRECTION YOU GO.

Steve says THE PROVINCE CAN
GIVE YOU POLITICAL COVER AS WELL
FOR DOING THAT.
IF YOU WANT ACTUALLY FEWER
POLITICIANS OR IF YOU WANT A
CHANGE IN GOVERNANCE, YOU CAN
JUST BLAME IT ON THE BIG BAD
PROVINCE AND SAY IT'S THEIR
FAULT AND ACTUALLY GET WHAT YOU
WANT AT THE END OF THE DAY,
CAN'T YOU?

Graydon says I THINK YOU CAN.
CERTAINLY IN THIS ENVIRONMENT IN
THE LAST 12 MONTHS OR 18 MONTHS
WHEN WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT'S
CLEARLY LOOKING FOR EFFICIENCIES
AND ASKING MUNICIPALITIES TO BE
MORE EFFICIENT, PROVIDING AUDIT
FUNDS OR NOW MODERNIZATION
FUNDS.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SOME
HORSES THAT WILL LEAD THEMSELVES
TO THE WATER.
I THINK IN MUSKOKA, WE HAD
STARTED TO DO THAT.
WE HAD A COMMITTEE THAT WAS
LOOKING AT REDUCING THE SIZE OF
COUNCIL IN MUSKOKA BECAUSE WE
HAD THIS, YOU KNOW, VERY LARGE
NUMBER OF 22, AND IT'S NOT THE
MONEY BECAUSE THEY'RE, AGAIN,
PART-TIME COUNCILLORS.
THE MONEY INVOLVED IS VERY
SMALL.
BUT IT IS A MATTER OF WHAT
CREATES GOOD DECISION-MAKING,
WHAT IS APPROPRIATE GOVERNANCE,
AND HOW CAN WE BEST OPERATE, YOU
KNOW, THIS FAIRLY LARGE ENTITY.
AND SO WE WERE, I'D SAY, ABOUT
THREE-QUARTERS OF THE WAY THERE
AND THEN THE PROVINCE CAME ALONG
AND SAID WE WANT TO BE A
REGIONAL REVIEW.
WE SAID, OKAY, WE'RE GOING TO
STOP EVERYTHING BECAUSE WE DON'T
WANT TO CHANGE THE SEATING CHART
AND THEN HAVE IT CHANGED AGAIN
FOR US.
SO, YOU KNOW, TO ANSWER YOUR
QUESTION AGAIN, YES, I THINK THE
GOVERNMENT CAN PROVIDE COVER,
BUT I THINK THERE ARE SOME
GROUPS OUT THERE THAT WANT TO
FIND SOME CHANGE ON THEIR OWN.
I THINK WE SHOULD PICK UP THAT
PROCESS AND IS RESUME IT.
THE STRUGGLE WE HAVE IN MUSKOKA
IS, BECAUSE EVERYBODY DESERVES
REPRESENTATION, AS WE ALL KNOW,
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT SEASONAL
RESIDENTS?

Steve says I WAS JUST GOING TO
SAY.
IT'S EVEN TOUGHER FOR YOU.
WHAT'S YOUR POPULATION MOST OF
THE YEAR?

Graydon says 60,000 THROUGHOUT MUSKOKA.

Steve says AND HOW ABOUT IN THE
SUMMER?

Graydon says WE DON'T KNOW.
AND THAT IS ONE OF THE
FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS THAT WE
NEED TO ANSWER.
BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO DECIDE
WHAT A SEASONAL RESIDENT IS.
IS IT THE OWNER AND THE SPOUSE
OF THE PROPERTY?
IS IT THEIR KIDS?
IS IT THEIR GRANDMOTHER?
IS IT THE FAMILY DOG?
PROBABLY NOT THAT FAR.
BUT THERE IS QUITE A BIT OF
CONVERSATION AROUND, WHAT
CONSTITUTES A SEASONAL RESIDENT?
WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE GET THAT
DEFINITION RIGHT AND WE WANT TO
MAKE SURE THEY HAVE
REPRESENTATION AND A VOICE
AROUND OUR TABLE, BUT WHAT WE DO
NEED TO DO IS AN ACCURATE
CENSUS-TYPE ENUMERATION OF JUST
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN OUR AREA,
WHERE THEY'RE LOCATED, AND MAYBE
LOOK AT SOME SEAT DISTRIBUTION
BASED ON THAT.

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Steve says I MEAN, IT'S
POSSIBLE YOUR POPULATION COULD
GO UP TEN-FOLD OVER THE SUMMER,
ISN'T IT?

Graydon says SO WE'VE DONE WHAT'S CALLED A
SECOND HOME STUDY IN MUSKOKA,
WHICH IS MORE OF AN ANECDOTAL
QUESTIONNAIRE.
SOME PEOPLE WOULD CALL IT A
SURVEY.
I DON'T THINK I WOULD TAKE IT
THAT FAR.
AND IT LOOKS LIKE OUR SEASONAL
POPULATION IS ABOUT 80,000 TO
90,000 PEOPLE BASED ON THAT.
SO THERE COULD BE SOME ACCURACY
TO THAT, OR IT COULD BE WILDLY
INACCURATE.
WE DON'T KNOW.
BUT YOU TAKE OUR REGULAR
POPULATION, SEASONAL POPULATION,
AND THE AMOUNT OF VISITORS THAT
ARE IN MUSKOKA AT ANY GIVEN TIME
STAYING IN HOTELS, MOTELS, YOU
KNOW, FRIENDS' COTTAGE, AND IT'S
QUITE A DIFFERENT PLACE FOR JULY
AND AUGUST THAN IT IS FOR THE
REST OF THE TIME.

Steve says I WANT TO ASK YOU,
IF I HANDED YOU THE MAGIC WAND
AND SAID, OKAY, TODAY YOU'RE THE
MAYOR OF VAUGHAN.
YOU FIND YOURSELF AS PART OF
YORK REGION.
IF YOU WERE GOING TO CHANGE IT
TO THE WAY YOU THOUGHT MADE THE
MOST SENSE FOR THE MOST PEOPLE,
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Maurizio says WELL, PEOPLE RESPOND TO RESULTS.
SO I WOULDN'T BE CHANGING VERY
MUCH, BUT LIKE I SAID EARLIER,
CHANGE IS CONSTANT.
YOU'RE ALWAYS ADAPTING.
SO IT WOULD BE STATUS QUO.
WE HAVE NINE COUNCILLORS AND WE
HAVE A POPULATION OVER 335,000.
SO I THINK THAT'S PROBABLY THE
SWEET SPOT...

Steve says THE RATIO WORKS WELL.

Maurizio says THAT'S RIGHT.
BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING.
WE ENTERED THIS DISCUSSION ABOUT
EFFICIENCIES.
EFFICIENCIES IS NOTHING NEW.
AS MAYORS WE DO A LOT WITH VERY
LITTLE.

Marianne says EVERY YEAR.

Maurizio says SO WE HAVE TO BE EFFICIENT.
THERE ISN'T MUCH ROOM FOR WASTE.
IT REMINDS ME BACK IN THE DAY
WHEN I WAS CHAIR OF THE FINANCE
COMMITTEE IN OTTAWA AND WE HAD A
BALLOONING DEBT...

Steve says FOR THOSE WHO DON'T
KNOW, YOU'RE A FORMER LIBERAL
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.

Maurizio says THAT'S RIGHT.
WE HAD HIGH DEBT, ESCALATING
DEBT, HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, WE
HAD... YOU KNOW, THE WALL STREET
JOURNAL CALLED US THE RURAL
ECONOMY.
THIS IS A MESSAGE TO THE
PREMIER.
WITH DISCIPLINE, YOU CAN BRING
ABOUT AN ECONOMIC RENAISSANCE,
LIKE WE DID DURING THE MARTIN
AND CHRETIEN ERA.
YOU'VE GOT TO BE FOCUSED.
AND I KNOW WHILE THESE STUDIES
ON EFFICIENCIES AND MUNICIPAL
GOVERNANCE ARE IMPORTANT, I
THINK THE CONTEXT ABOUT THIS,
THE BACKDROP, IS IN FACT THE
GOVERNMENT THAT IS FACING A
FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THEY NEED
TO ADAPT TO IT.

Steve says LET ME TAKE THE
MAGIC WAND AWAY FROM YOU.
I'M GOING TO GIVE IT TO MAYOR
JIM.
IF YOU COULD WAVE THAT WAND, HOW
WOULD YOU CHANGE THINGS IN
NIAGARA REGION?

Jim says I'D LIKE THE RESULTS OF THE
TWO PROVINCIAL FACILITATORS.
THEY WENT TO ALL THE REGIONS AND
IT WAS NEVER MADE PUBLIC.
AND I'D LIKE TO SEE BEST
PRACTICES SHARED WITH ALL OF US
SO AT LEAST WE HAVE SOMETHING TO
SHOOT TO.
AND EACH COUNCIL COULD KNOW,
OKAY, LET'S WORK TOWARD THIS
KIND OF REPRESENTATION.
THIS IS BEST PRACTICES.
THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO SEE.
THERE'S BEEN DISCUSSION OF
DOUBLE DIRECT.
MUNICIPAL AND A REGIONAL
COUNCIL, RATHER THAN... THERE'S
A DELINEATION RIGHT NOW.
IF YOU SIT ON CITY, SIT ON
REGION, THEY DON'T REALLY
CONNECT EXCEPT FOR THE MAYORS.
THE 12 MAYORS DO BOTH JOBS SO
THEY UNDERSTAND BOTH AND IT'S
MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WHEN YOU
KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN YOUR
BACK YARD AND YOUR NEIGHBOUR'S
BACK YARD.

Steve says 400,000 PEOPLE?

Jim says 430.

Steve says 430 COULD BE A
DECENT-SIZED CITY.
LET'S GET RID OF LOWER TIERED
GOVERNMENTS AND CREATE ONE LARGE
CITY OF NIAGARA OF 430,000 AND
PULL A NUMBER OUT OF A HAT, 40
COUNCILLORS FOR THAT ONE AREA.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jim says THAT WAS ONE MODEL AND THE
OTHER WAS A FOUR-CITY MODEL.
BOTH WERE PRESENTED TO THE
PROVINCE AND OF COURSE WE WENT
WITH STATUS QUO.
THERE WAS DEFINITELY A PUSH FOR
US TO HAVE SOME FORM OF
AMALGAMATION AND EFFICIENCIES.
DON'T GET ME WRONG.
OUR POLICE ARE REGIONALIZED.
RIGHT NOW WE'RE REGIONALIZING
OUR TRANSIT.
WE BROUGHT THE GO DOWN.
WE ARE DOING A LOT OF THINGS
REGIONALLY.
I DON'T WANT TO LOOK LIKE WE'RE
DYSFUNCTIONAL.
THAT'S NOT THE CASE AT ALL.
THERE IS OPPORTUNITY.
GOOD IS THE ENEMY OF GREAT.
WE HAVE THE CHANCE TO DO SO MUCH
MORE.
I AGREE WITH MY FRIEND HERE,
MAURIZIO, THERE ARE SO MANY
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES.
I MEAN, WE'VE GOT RYERSON IS IN
OUR COMMUNITY, WE'VE GOT THE
HOSPITAL.
WE'VE GOT A LOT OF GOOD THINGS
GOING ON.
THIS IS ABOUT GOVERNANCE.
SO WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE...
I'D LIKE TO SEE THE MODEL THE
PROVINCE MADE AND COME TO US
JUST TO KEEP THE DISCUSSION
ALIVE.

Steve says LET ME SAVE THE LAST
MINUTE HERE FOR MARIANNE MEED
WARD.
IF YOU HAD THAT MAGIC WAND.
YOU'RE THE CITY OF BURLINGTON
WITHIN HALTON.
WOULD YOU CHANGE THE GOVERNANCE
IN ANY WAY?

Marianne says WE WOULD STAY THAT WAY BUT WE
NEED A CHARTER WITH THE
PROVINCE.
WE NEED TO BE A CHARTER CITY
JUST LIKE TORONTO IS TRYING TO
BE.
YOU DELINEATE WHAT POWERS ARE
EXCLUSIVELY YOURS.
PLANNING WOULD BE THE FIRST THAT
I WOULD START WITH.
I THINK WE CAN REGIONALIZE
TRANSIT.
WE HAVE BIGGER ISSUES BESIDE
GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE TO DEAL
WITH.
WE HAVE JOBS.
WE HAVE ECONOMY.
WE HAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
KEEPING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
EMPLOYED, NOT IN PRECARIOUS
WORK.
THESE ARE ISSUES THAT THE
PROVINCE COULD HAVE BEEN
STUDYING FOR EIGHT OR NINE
MONTHS AND I HOPE THEY WILL GET
BACK TO THOSE.
IN THE MEANTIME, GIVE US THE
POWERS THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE
DECISIONS WE ALREADY KNOW.
AND THEY AGREE WITH US NOW,
ACTUALLY.
THEY AGREE THAT WE KNOW THE
PEOPLE AND WE SHOULD BE TRUSTED
WITH DECISION-MAKING.
SO THAT'S OUR NEXT MISSION, IS
TO BE A CHARTER CITY WITH THE
PROVINCE AND THEY CAN DO IT BY
SIMPLE MAJORITY VOTE WITHOUT
UPENDING THE CONSTITUTION.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern; Student Intern: Justin Bellmore."

Steve says MY LAST MISSION
TODAY IS TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR
COMING NEAR AND FAR TO DO THIS
PROGRAM.
MARIANNE MEED WARD THE MAYOR OF
BURLINGTON.
AND GRAYDON SMITH WHO IS THE
MAYOR OF BRACEBRIDGE AND
ALSO THANKS TO MAURIZIO
BEVILACQUA THE MAYOR OF VAUGHN
AND JIM DIODATI THE MAYOR OF
NIAGARA FALLS.
GOOD OF ALL OF YOU TO COME
IN TO TVO TONIGHT.
THANKS SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

All the guests say THANK YOU.

Watch: How To Govern Ontario's Regions