The Regional Municipality Of York

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Regional Governance Review

On January 15, 2019, the Provincial Government announced a review of Regional governments to ensure they are working efficiently and effectively to provide vital services to our communities.

The review included consultations with elected council members, municipal and business stakeholders and members of the public who live and work in York Region.

Over the past several months, York Regional Council provided significant feedback to the Ontario Government; this included passing a resolution in support of the Region’s two-tier government structure as the most effective means to deliver programs and services to York Region communities and residents.

On October 25, 2019, the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs announced that the province had listened to the feedback of Ontario municipalities and committed to having governance, service delivery and decision making of municipalities left in our hands.

Included in the Provincial announcement was a commitment to make Ontario municipalities stronger, by providing funding to help municipal governments identify efficiencies and cost-savings. Strengthening Regional government has always been a priority for York Region, and Regional Council remains committed to working with our provincial partners to further explore ways to optimize service deliver and reduce costs, while at the same time ensure we continue to build thriving communities for our residents, businesses and visitors.

Regional Representation Review

Over the past 48 years, York Regional Council has considered the issue of regional representation on a number of occasions, mostly with respect to council composition and representation by population. Demonstrating a commitment to responsible government, Council currently consists of 21 members, increasing by just four members since 1971. At the same time, the Region’s population has increased by more than one million residents while the scope of services delivered by York Region has expanded to include Regional transit, housing, paramedics, court services and waste processing and disposal.

As required under the Municipal Act, York Region is required to complete a review of the composition of Council by the end of 2020.

This review, which will begin in March 2020, will result in either a by-law to change the composition of Regional Council or a resolution affirming the number of representatives on Regional Council.

More information regarding York Region’s review of Council composition will be provided on this page as it becomes available.

Public Health Mandate

When the 2019 Ontario budget was released in April, the provincial government announced a number of initiatives, including its intention to modernize the way public health units are organized.

The Ontario budget included the province’s direction to implement 10 new health entities with autonomous boards as of April 1, 2020. The 10 entities would replace 35 current provincial public health units.

If legislation is passed, York Region Public Health would be combined with the southern part of the Simcoe Muskoka Health unit as one public health entity, adding a geographic area close to four times the size of York Region.

In June, the York Region Board of Health, which is comprised of members of York Regional Council, asked the Ontario government to leave the public health unit within the geographical boundaries of The Regional Municipality of York. York Regional Council also requested that governance of the health unit remain a responsibility of Regional Council, which has served as the Board of Health since 1978.

The Board of Health stressed if provincial legislation is enacted to change the existing structure of York Region Public Health, it must not result in reduced care of York Region residents, increased taxes to maintain current service levels or a combination of both.

Yok Region’s dedicated public health staff work every day to make a positive difference in our communities. Investment in public health saves money and improves the health of York Region residents.

At the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) August 2019 Conference, Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Heath Christine Elliott provided additional details on the province’s future plans.

While many of the specific details are not yet available, the province has listened to the concerns of Ontario municipalities and public health units from across the province. As a result of our collective voice, they are launching renewed consultation on this topic beginning this fall. This phase of engagement will be supported by an expert advisor and the release of a discussion paper outlining the proposed boundaries for the new regional health entities.

As these consultations get underway, we will continue to advocate in support of the status quo while also working with the province to identify additional efficiencies in the delivery of this critical service.

In addition to renewed consultation, the August announcements also included these additional funding changes, effective January 1, 2020:

  • Municipalities will now be responsible for 30% of public health costs; under the current model, York Region is responsible for 25% of public health costs
  • Municipalities will now be responsible for 20% of the cost of creating new child care spaces; previously these costs have been fully funded by the Ontario government
  • Provincial land ambulance funding is increasing by 4%

The August announcements did not include any information on the Regional Review, but more information is expected later this fall. Information on the Regional review and public health restructuring will continue to be shared on this page as it becomes available. In the meantime, York Region staff remains committed to working together to support community health and well-being.

Related Resources

Audit of Public Health Administrative Efficiencies Report
Report - November 29, 2019

Statement on Regional Governance Review
Chairman Statement - October 25, 2019

York Region Position and Mandate for a Restructured York Region Public Health
Report - June 20, 2019

York Regional Council Responds to Provincial Regional Governance Review
Media Release - May 23, 2019

York Regional Council Resolution Regional Governance Review
Resolution - May 16, 2019

Formal Response to Province on Regional Government Review
Memorandum - May 9, 2019

Regional Government Review
Consultation - March 13, 2019

Statement on Provincial Announcement of Regional Governments Review
Chairman Statement - January 15, 2019

Regional,Governance,Review,Ontario The Regional Municipality of York en-US Image of the Regional Crest inscribed into the top of chair within council chambers Regional Governance Review The Provincial Government announced a review of Regional governments to ensure they are working efficiently and effectively.

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