GOODBYE OAKVILLE. GOODBYE BURLINGTON. HELLO CITY OF HALTON? SAY NO TO AMALGAMATION
GOODBYE OAKVILLE. GOODBYE BURLINGTON. HELLO CITY OF HALTON? SAY NO TO AMALGAMATION.
In January the province announced they will be reviewing the governance, decision-making and service delivery functions of 8 regional municipalities (including Halton Region). A probable outcome is that Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills will be merged to form the City of Halton. BUT, Halton and its municipalities are already models of efficiency and amongst the best places to live in Canada.
Forced amalgamation is trying to fix a system that is not broken. Our two-tier (local and regional) government in Halton effectively and efficiently serves the residents of Oakville and its other municipalities at the local level, while providing coordinated planning and shared services across the region as evidenced by these indicators:
- Oakville and Regional property tax increases have been kept at or below the rate of inflation
- Halton has an AAA credit rating and consistent job growth
- All four municipalities in Halton Region are ranked amongst the best places to live in Canada according to MoneySense 2018
- Halton is considered to be one of the safest regions in Canada
- Throughout Halton, 98% of residents rated the quality of life very high and 97% are satisfied with the quality of all services
Each of our municipalities has developed and evolved differently based on its own needs, vision, character, culture, and priorities. Forced amalgamation will be extremely costly in financial, social and human terms and will mean a loss of our voice. A 2015 study on amalgamation in Ontario by the Fraser Institute, Municipal Amalgamation in Ontario, May 2015 found that “the promised benefits of amalgamation – namely cost savings and a reduction in the size of government – never materialized.”
Oakville Mayor Rob Burton and Council are committed to initiatives that maintain and protect our community’s sustainability:
- Controlling growth to only what fits our environment and our economics;
- Protecting our cultural and natural heritage resources and greenspaces;
- Providing high-quality facilities and services our residents need and want;
- Keeping our finances strong and healthy; and
- Merging the Town of Oakville with any municipality will significantly impact Oakville’s sustainability.
Oakville can only lose by amalgamation. Oakville would lose its local identity, local decision-making power and would no longer be in charge of its future. Oakville’s 200,000 people would be outweighed by the 400,000 people in the rest of Halton.
Stephen Crawford, MPP for Oakville, has prepared a petition to the Ontario Legislative Assembly requesting that the Town of Oakville remain a distinct municipality within a two-tier Region of Halton municipal governance structure. Oakville residents are encouraged to consider signing this petition which is available in Mr. Crawford’s constituency office located at 74 Rebecca Street, Unit A, Oakville until Easter. Mr. Crawford will present the petition directly to the legislature thereafter.
Taxpayers must have the ability to accept or reject any proposed structural changes to municipal councils or amalgamation proposed by the Province. Voice your opinion by
the April 23rd, 2019 deadline the extended deadline of May 21st, 2019 at www.ontario.ca/form/survey-regional-government-review. Additional information can be found at www.weloveoakville.org.