Nov 16, 2022

By Christine Ross

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The Ford government has announced it’ll review six regional governments while further expanding ‘strong mayor’ power.

Housing minister Steve Clark says the legislation also gives the government the power to appoint regional chairs for York, Peel and Niagara, a move that comes just days after municipal councils in Ontario began a new four year term.

“I’m not making any changes to any elected chair, I feel very strongly that we need to have consistency with the three municipalities because of their size and the opportunity to be able to hit our housing targets,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark when introducing the Better Municipal Governance Act at Queen’s Park.

The NDP’s Jessica Bell says the government is ramming through Bill 23 too quickly.

“It is a sweeping bill over 130 pages long, it affects municipal budgets, farmland, the greenbelt, housing affordability and the government has severely curtailed how many people can speak to the bill,” Bell told reporters.

Additional powers are included in the so called “strong mayor” legislation. The mayors of Toronto and Ottawa will be able to propose and pass bills with only 1/3 +1 vote at council.

The legislation is part of the government’s goal to build 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years.

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