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Public can comment on regional government review

The province is seeking public consultation as it moves forward with reviewing the role of regional governments.

The Ford government has appointed two special advisers, Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling, to review two-tier municipalities such as Durham Region.

The review was originally announced last summer.

Regional chair John Henry and the mayors of Durham’s eight local municipalities recently met with Fenn and Seiling.

After the meeting, Henry told The Oshawa Express the region will be well prepared.

“So we’ve already started ahead of this conversation [with special advisors] to look at the best ways to rationalize regional government,” he stated. “They collected information and met with each of the mayors of the communities to talk about this, they met with [myself], and we’ve had a really good conversation about what we see and where the region is going.”

Henry believes Durham’s success as a regional government speaks for itself.

“One of the things that makes Durham very unique is that our largest employer is agriculture, and we keep the lights on for 40 per cent of the Province of Ontario,” he explains. “We literally feed Toronto, we’re home to advanced education in Durham College, UOIT, Trent and Queen’s, and we’re leaders in health care.”

Feedback can be shared at www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-regional-government-review

The deadline to submit comments is April 23.

“We promised the people of Ontario that all levels of government would work harder, smarter and more efficiently,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing stated in a media release. “Our government is putting people first by seeking local input on how to improve governance, decision-making and service delivery for regional governments and their member municipalities.”