Regional Government Review - Joint Letter to Provincial Facilitators

Posted on Wednesday June 05, 2019

Joint Letter to Provincial Facilitators on behalf of the
Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and Township of Tiny

June 5, 2019

Dear Mr. Fenn and Mr. Seiling,

On behalf of the Councils of the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny, we are writing to convey our collective view on the future of North Simcoe as it relates to the Regional Government Review. This letter has been prepared, in part, to respond to the document submitted to your office from the Town of Midland “Strategic Considerations on the Future of North Simcoe” but more importantly to share our joint vision. Our Councils agree that all efforts must be made to ensure that municipal services are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, as a united group representing the majority of residents in North Simcoe, we believe that municipal amalgamation is not the vehicle to achieve this aim.

The four municipalities of North Simcoe have a long and productive history of collaboration and shared services. Inter-municipal partnerships in the areas of environmental stewardship, economic development, tourism and culture, building services, transit, emergency services, human resources, recreation, library services and healthcare have been long standing and successful. This relationship has served our residents across North Simcoe very well and delivered excellent value. As Mayors of North Simcoe we firmly believe that we have, over many years, developed a highly effective municipal model of shared services that should be encouraged, maintained and expanded.

As representatives of our respective communities, we thank you for the earlier opportunity to meet with you and provide our individual Councils’ view on the Regional Government Review. As leaders of three thriving municipalities in North Simcoe, we have now also had an opportunity to discuss our collective vision for our community.

As a group, the Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny would like to share the following thoughts with you as they relate to your ongoing review. Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny Councils agree that:

  • The existing two-tiered structure has served North Simcoe well over the years. However, we are open to a service delivery review to ensure the most effective delivery of services (i.e. Water, Wastewater and Storm Water, Emergency Services, Transit, Procurement, Information Technology, Library services, Land use Planning and Transportation);

  • We strongly believe that local representation, decision making and autonomy must be a key consideration in your deliberations;

  • We fully support expanded shared services with our municipal partners;

  • We do not support the proposition that a specific critical mass or population is a key determinate of a municipality’s ability to deliver effective and efficient services;

  • We are convinced that forced amalgamation will be counterproductive to our joint efforts to deliver cost effective services through voluntary shared services arrangements;

  • We are concerned that forced amalgamation will add additional costs as services and programs are harmonized across municipal boundaries;

  • We recognize that minor boundary adjustments may be appropriate to ensure the best utilization of existing resources;

  • No matter what decision(s) of the Provincial Government may be made in regard to the future of North Simcoe, additional and extensive public consultation needs to be conducted prior to implementation of those decisions;

  • A review of local and upper tier council representation, structure and size is required;

  • All decisions and findings should be evidence based to clearly demonstrate efficiencies in service delivery and cost savings either in the short or long term;

  • Your report to the Minister should be made available to the public to ensure accountability and transparency.

The Town of Penetanguishene, Township of Tay and the Township of Tiny Councils remain fully committed to working with their municipal partners and the Province to find cost savings and improved service delivery for the benefit of our residents.

Thank you for your kind consideration of our collective thoughts on the future of North Simcoe.

Mayor Doug Leroux                  Mayor Ted Walker                    Mayor George Cornell
Town of Penetanguishene         Township of Tay                       Township of Tiny

c.c. The Honourable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The Honourable Caroline Mulroney, MPP York - Simcoe
Ms. Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North
Mr. Doug Downey, MPP Barrie – Springwater – Oro-Medonte
Ms. Andrea Khanjin, MPP Barrie – Innisfil
Mr. Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe – Grey
Town of Midland Council