Burlington advocacy group to delegate at the Region on Friday - asking public to sign their petition opposing amalgamation of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They are the We Love Burlington Advocacy Group. The describe themselves as a distinctly ‘grass roots’ and non partisan group. They advocate on a broad range of issues that affect the City of Burlington and its citizens.

We love Burlington Prov Review signThey have mobilized as a very small action group around the regional government review with a primary mission of raising public awareness that the review is taking place and what its implications could be. They claim hey have been extremely successful within the very limited time frame available to them.

They recognize that the regional government review has been initiated to find efficiencies amongst the subject municipalities, to improve services and to address governance issues where they are found to exist. The “We Loves” are very supportive of these objectives generally.

They are however against any suggestion of amalgamation of the City of Burlington into a broader Halton Region organizational structure because we believe, as reported in the Fraser Institute Report of 2015, that such actions are seldom fiscally prudent or operationally effective.

The “We Loves” along with the Oakville “We Loves” will be delegating at a Regional meeting on Friday the 17th.

The Gazette will publish their delegation on Friday and report on how the meeting progresses.

We love B Prov Rev

Deborah Ruse, Lynn Crosby, Blair Smith and Josie Wagstaffe outside Queen’s Park after an unsuccessful meeting with MPP Jan McKenna

The Burlington “We Loves” have not had an easy go of it when it comes to support from their MPP. They were able to arrange a meeting with her at Queen’s Park but made little progress in getting her to speak for the people of Burlington and read their petition into the record.

They were at first unable to get the Minister to make a copy of the petition available for signing at her Burlington office.

When the MPP for Oakville Burlington North offered to make the Burlington petition available in her office, along with the one from citizens of Oakville, McKenna apparently saw the light and said she would post a copy in her office where people could sign it.

Gary Scobie, a frequent Gazette commenter urges people to get down to MPP McKenna’s office this week and sign this petition. “There is strength in numbers and I believe the vast majority of Burlingtonians support our local and regional governments, so let’s add our signatures to something we believe in.”

The Petition reads as follows:

To the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Whereas, the Government of Ontario has announced a review of Ontario’s eight regional municipalities, the County of Simcoe, and their lower-tier municipalities, including Halton Region and the City of Burlington; and

Whereas, Municipal governments are responsible for funding and delivering crucial local services on which residents depend; and

Whereas, 97 per cent of residents are satisfied with the quality of services delivered by the Region; and

Whereas, 95 per cent of the City of Burlington residents rate their quality of life as excellent or good; and

Whereas, Halton Region has maintained an AAA credit rating for 30 consecutive years due to effective governance and prudent fiscal policies; and

Whereas, Burlington has a proud heritage that goes back to 1798 and its founding father, Six Nations Captain Joseph Brant; and

Therefore, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as follows: That the City of Burlington remain a distinct municipality within a two-tier Region of Halton municipal governance structure.

McKenna office hours are: 9:00am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Her office is located at 472 Brock Ave., Unit 104

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5 comments to Burlington advocacy group to delegate at the Region on Friday – asking public to sign their petition opposing amalgamation of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills.

  • WeLoveBurlington

    Sorry – don’t mean to overload the comments with our group posts. However, we understand that when people come in to Ms. McKenna’s constituency office to sign WeLoveBurlington’s petition that staff attempt to “re-educate” them on the regional review and go so far as to promise that amalgamation is not going to happen in Halton. First of all, we believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion – no matter how well or misinformed. It’s what makes for a dynamic conversation that advances the agenda, any agenda. However, in this particular case, we stand in danger of missing the forest because we are focusing on one particularly ugly tree. WeLoveBurlington agrees that amalgamation is unlikely in Halton – but this was not always the case. The petition, as all petitions do, reflects a point in time and that time may now be less relevant. This is not to say that there are not many serious issues attached to the regional government review and we have been careful to identify them accurately and often. The most serious are a potential loss of local voice in decision-making, a lack of meaningful and true consultation with citizens concerning possible impacts, the potential to overload municipal governments with the affects of provincial downloading, the possibility that change will stress an already stressed municipal framework to the point of failure and the lack of transparency around the review’s recommendations. Add to this the fact that citizens will not get to decide whether any changes recommended by the review are what they want or can accept. So, amalgamation may not be ‘the issue’ now but it certainly is a suitable proxy for the range of serious issues that present themselves. Please go to Ms. McKenna’s office and sign the petition. When her staff try to re-educate you, perhaps you can re-educate them.

  • WeLoveBurlington

    Thank you Gary. The petition is important but our group’s response to the regional government review has evolved as the issues around the review have become more complicated. As we stated in our earlier comment, although amalgamation cannot be taken off the table, it is no longer the main issue with which WeLoveBurlington is concerned. We have concerns with the haste with which the review has been conducted, the capacity of municipalities to accept changes given the downloading of programs from the province, the cumulative cost of these changes, the possible lack of transparency around the review’s recommendations once they are made and, perhaps most importantly, the lack of any deciding voice on the part of the taxpayers who will live with the results.

    We urge folks to follow our fb page https://www.facebook.com/weloveburlingtonstopamalgamation/ or sign up by emailing us at weloveburlingtonasis@gmail.com to receive e-mail updates so that you can keep up to date on our progress as things continue to move forward.

    We are grateful for everyone who has done so already, who has displayed a lawn sign and especially written letters to our MPPs and the Premier and the regional reviewers. We are about to initiate another letter writing campaign – please stay tuned.

    It’s amazing how our small group has managed to spread our message to so many in such a short period of time – our core group is pictured above with the absence of shy Dave Myers.

    Thanks Burlington!

  • M Anderson

    Because the LIBS destroyed the provinces finances and efficiencies must be found.

    • Stan Staainton

      Sorry . The Financial Watchdog & Moody say that we are increasing our debt with Ford’s cuts.
      The problems created by the cuts & shortages will result in greater social costs all thru the CONS short reign. He also budgeted 30 BILLION over Ms. Wynne’s last budget while spending approx $150,000.oo for a luxurious chauffeur driven Van with a beer fridge- he’s really concerned about lowering the debt; the CONS haven’t lowered their own “golden List” pay while cutting jobs right & left by their actions.

  • Stan Staainton

    Why would any gov. want to amalgamate three highly effective, efficient communities ??
    Why would the CONS Mr. Ford want to alienate this group of people??

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