The Regional Municipality Of York

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Office of the Chairman and CEO

York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson sitting at his desk

Chairman Wayne Emmerson is currently serving his first term as Chief Executive Officer for The Regional Municipality of York. Head of Regional Council and an ex-officio member of all committees, Chairman Emmerson was elected by members of Regional Council to serve for the 2014-2018 term.

Photo Gallery

The Regional Chair attends events and meetings on behalf of The Regional Municipality of York. The Photo Gallery below contains some images from these meetings and events. View the Submit A Request area for more information on how to invite the Regional Chair to your event. 

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Biography

Photo of Chairman Wayne Emmerson

Chairman Wayne Emmerson is a fifth generation resident of The Regional Municipality of York. He is currently serving his first term as Chairman and CEO following his appointment at the Inaugural meeting of York Regional Council for the 2014-2018 term.

Chairman Emmerson has more than two decades of political experience, most recently as Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor for 17 years. Focused on getting results, his experience and leadership is well-respected across York Region and all levels of government.

During his 17 years on Regional Council (as Town of Whichurch-Stouffville Mayor), he served on various standing committees and numerous task forces that include Fire Services and Solid Waste. Chairman Emmerson was Chair of the Region’s Transportation Services committee for eight years between 2006 and 2014 and is committed to advancing the foundation of work being done across the Region to move people from their key destinations of choice.

In his capacity as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of York Region, he is an ex-officio member of all Regional Committees. Additionally, he is a member of the York Regional Police Services Board, CEO of the York Region Rapid Transit Board and a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Chairman Emmerson has also served as a Board member for a number of organizations including Markham-Stouffville Hospital, GTA Mayors’ Committee and the Greater Toronto Services Board.

Working with York Regional Police, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, various celebrities plus other community agencies and organizations, he was instrumental in the development of York Region’s Community Safety Village, a nationally recognized interactive educational facility where children learn about fire, traffic and personal safety.

In 2012, Chairman Emmerson was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. This commemorative medal serves to honour his significant political contributions.

Prior to becoming Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor in 1994, he was a Town Councillor from 1988 to 1994.

Chairman Emmerson is the sixth Chairman and CEO in the 44-year history of The Regional Municipality of York.

Married for more than 40 years to his wife Debra, Chairman Emmerson is the proud father of two grown sons and a grandfather of one grandson.

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Regional Chair - Roles and Responsibilities


In the Province of Ontario, Regional Chairs are responsible for chairing Council for the province’s Regional municipalities. As head of Council, the Regional Chair acts as Chief Executive Officer of the municipal corporation, as legislated by section 225 of the Municipal Act.

In York Region, the Chair of Regional Council is elected by the 20 members of Regional Council every four years at the inaugural Council meeting.

Regional Council is comprised of 21 members, including the Regional Chair, Mayors from each of the nine local municipalities and eleven Regional Councillors:

  • Markham: Four
  • Vaughan: Three
  • Richmond Hill: Two
  • Newmarket: One
  • Georgina: One

The Regional Chair is responsible for:

  • Putting forth motions and voting on items during Committee of the Whole meetings (as is the case with all members of Regional Council, the Regional Chair has one vote as it relates to Regional issues)
  • Opening and presiding over Regional Council meetings and may vote on issues in the event of a tie
  • As Head of Council, can declare an emergency under section 4 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act
  • Serving as an ex-officio member of all Regional Committees and acting as a member of the York Regional Police Services Board and Chief Executive Officer of the York Region Rapid Transit Board
  • Under section 225 of the Municipal Act, as Head of Council, provide information and recommendations to Council on its roles to:
    • Ensure that administrative policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement Council’s decisions
    • Ensure the accountability and transparency of the municipality’s operations, including the activities of its senior management
  • Acting as the primary spokesperson on public issues and is York Region’s representative both within and outside the municipality
  • Acting as the head of the institution for the purpose of access and privacy under the Municipal Freedom of Information Protection of Privacy Act
  • Upholding and promoting the purposes of the municipality
  • Promoting York Region locally, nationally and internationally
  • Participate in and foster activities that enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of York Region and its residents
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Submit a Request


Invite the Chairman to an Event

If you would like to invite the York Region Chairman and CEO to an event, please submit the formal Event Request Form to the Office of the Chairman.

Please note, due to a busy schedule and other obligations, the Chairman is not able to accept every invitation.

Request a Greeting

To request a greeting, please submit a formal Greeting Request Form to the Office of the Chairman.

A request for a Letter of Greeting should be submitted a minimum of four weeks ahead of the deadline using our online request form. 

Letters of Greeting are issued to institutions, organizations, businesses or individuals for the following events and milestones taking place in York Region:

  • Birthdays, anniversaries, retirements
  • Conventions, trade shows, festivals
  • Region-wide sports tournaments
  • Cultural celebrations
  • Charity fundraising galas/events
  • Significant awards programs

Letters of Greetings from the Chair are issued at the discretion of The Regional Municipality of York.

Letters of greetings cannot be issued for:

  • Matters of political controversy, ideological or religious beliefs, or individual conviction
  • Events or organizations that do not contribute to the economic, social and cultural vitality of York Region 
  • Anything that contravenes Regional policies or bylaws
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