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Province halts Regional facilitator project to review the decision

DAN CEARNS The Standard

DURHAM: The Ontario provincial government is reconsidering its decision to appoint facilitators to review Regional governments like the Region of Durham.

On Monday, September 11th, new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra posted a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, about this government initiative.

“Our government is working hard to ensure municipalities are properly equipped to meet their housing targets and get shovels in the ground. As such, I will be reviewing the previously stated intention to appoint facilitators to assess regional governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe County, Waterloo and York to ensure the province’s approach supports our goal of getting more homes built in these fast-growing regions. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will provide an update on [the] next steps by the end of September.”

In August, previous Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark announced the facilitators would be named by September 11th.

He also explained what duties these facilitators would undertake as part of this role. “These facilitators will be tasked with reviewing the structures, [which] are in place in these fast-growing areas, to ensure they are up for the job in delivering efficient, effective and accountable government that residents both expect and deserve.”

On Friday, September 8th, the Region of Durham put out a statement welcoming any review of their services. “Similar to our position in 2019, when the Regional Government Review was announced, we welcome opportunities to review our processes, find efficiencies and look forward to learning about innovative approaches and how we can work better together. We understand that creating affordable housing units is essential. Growth must be managed effectively. Our core reason to stand together? Our residents. We work together to keep our communities safe, healthy and growing.”

The statement also stressed with the current size of the Region of Durham “the current two-tier [government] model is the best choice.”

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