Whatever happened to electing a York Region Chair?

chair

Too many politicians these days pretend to care about issues when all they really care about is the photo op or the write up in the local paper.

Take for example the advocacy of local politicians towards electing a Region of York Council Chair.

The push has been on for more than a year by many local politicians to support Bill 42. Four of the nine lower tier councils endorsed the private members Bill that would have allowed York Region residents to vote for the Regional Chair, just as Durham and Halton Region voters do already. (Currently, only Mayors and Regional Councillors have a say in electing what is undoubtedly one of the more politically influential positions in Ontario).

Even five members of York Region Council supported direct election – although the majority did not, for obvious reasons.

The York Region Taxpayers Coalition provided feedback to the legislative committee studying Bill 42 earlier this year. We spoke in favour of electing the Chair, but asked for changes to align the rights of York Region residents with those of the City of Toronto.

We were also the first to publicly raise the alarm that Bill 42 was doomed to failure.

And we were proved to be right about that fact.

The York Region Taxpayers Coalition has spoken to some members of the lower tier municipal councils and demanded to know why those who endorsed Bill 42 are now silent on the issue of electing the York Region Chair. We did not receive any response from these lower tier council members; only backlash from those who refused to support the bill.

The York Region Taxpayers Coalition acknowledges that the York Region Liberal MPPs – Helena Jaczek, Reza Moridi, and Chris Ballard – have failed on three attempts to pass a private members bill on electing a York Region Chair.

We are now calling upon the two Progressive Conservative MPPs – Gila Martow and Julia Munroe – to pick up where their Liberal counterparts have fallen short.

The York Region Taxpayers Coalition would like one of these PC MPPs to table an improved private members bill, not only allowing the public to elect a Regional Chair, but also requiring the Region of York to adopt the following accountability measures:

1. An Ombudsman.
2. An Auditor General.
3. An Integrity Commissioner (including a Lobbyist Registry and a Council Code of Conduct).

About Maddie Di Muccio