A motion from Countryside Councillor Jeff Scott and Pittsburgh Councillor Brian Reitzel that could see a ballot question in the next municipal election asking residents if they want to negotiate a municipal arrangement outside the City has been ruled out-of-order today by the Mayor.
“As we saw at our budget meeting last night, this issue is very divisive and as Mayor this is not how I want to see our City move forward,” said Mayor Gerretsen. “After consulting City staff and the Ontario Municipal Act, I am ruling this motion out-of-order for the following reasons:
- Section 1 (1) 4 of Ontario Regulation 425/00 indicates that municipal restructuring, including the consideration, investigation, discussion and negotiation of municipal restructuring are matters of provincial interest to which the municipality cannot ask a question.
- Section 172 of the Municipal Act contains a definition of “restructuring” that is identical to the definition of “municipal restructuring” in Ontario Regulation 425/00 which provides that the municipality cannot ask a question on the ballot regarding municipal restructuring. This suggests the Province has determined that for the types of restructuring a municipality has the authority to propose to the Province, there cannot be a question or referendum.
“The fact that this motion was brought forward in the first place brings to light a potential disconnect with services in the City and residents in these areas,” said Mayor Gerretsen. “To better understand the positions of all residents throughout the community, I intend to call three public town hall meetings in the New Year for Council to have an opportunity to hear from residents who wish to voice their concerns on this and all matters of the municipality. As we heard several Councillors comment last night, this is our City and if there are feelings of discontent from residents, then all of Council has an obligation to hear those concerns.”