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Ontario Minister looking to put a committee in charge of Durham's Regional review


DAN CEARNS The Standard DURHAM: The Ontario government is changing how it plans to evaluate and possibly review several regional governments, including the Durham Region.

The Ontario government had originally planned to appoint facilitators to review Regional government structures in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe County, Waterloo and York. Then, on September 11th, the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Paul Calandra, stated he would review that decision.

On Wednesday, September 13th, Paul Calandra announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, he had asked Ontario's Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy to do this assessment instead.

"The committee can carry out this work in a manner which is transparent, accountable and open to the public, and I hope it will seriously consider this request when it meets later this month," he wrote. In the post, he included the letter he sent to the Chair of the committee, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott.

"I am mindful of the need to provide stability, transparency and continuity for local governments, as they work to meet their housing targets even as we ensure existing structures are not standing in the way of getting homes built. As such, I am writing to you today, in your role as Chair of the Legislature's Standing Committee on Heritage, Infrastructure and Cultural Policy, to request the committee take over the work originally proposed for facilitators in the following areas: Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe County, Waterloo and York," the letter stated.

Minister Calandra added, in the letter, he's looking for the committee to start a study, "to review and evaluate local governance structures and service delivery in these areas, to ensure they are providing effective and accountable government, particularly when it comes to getting more homes built."

"Ultimately, our goal is to ensure redundant and unnecessary obstacles to new home construction are removed, and local governance structures are providing fair, effective and accountable government," the letter explained.

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