The Deputy Leader of Ford’s Progressive Conservatives, Christine Elliott, yesterday voted in favour of the Better Local Government Act which will cut the size of Toronto City Council and axe the upcoming elections for the Chairs of four Regional Councils.
But how did she vote in 2010 when voters in Durham Region were asked if they wanted a directly elected Chair of the Regional Council?
At that time Elliott was MPP for Whitby-Oshawa in the Region of Durham and lived there.
Voters in the eight municipalities that make up Durham Region were asked:
“Are you in favour of the Council of the Regional Municipality of Durham passing the necessary resolutions and by-laws to change the method of selecting its Chair from appointment by the members of Regional Council to election by general vote of all electors in the Region?”
79.7% of those voting in the election voted in favour. 20.3% voted against.
A report to Durham’s Finance and Administration Committee on 8 May 2012 sets out the history of the campaign to get the chair of Durham Region elected by the voters at large.
”In 2010, the total number of eligible electors Region-wide was 432,256. The total number of votes cast was 119,666, representing a voter turnout of 27.68%. Since less than 50 per cent of all eligible electors voted on the question, the results of the vote were not binding and there was no legislative requirement for Council to implement the results.”
A clear majority of voters in each of the eight Durham Region lower tier municipalities were in favour of direct election.
The Region went on to secure the backing of the Minister for Municipal Affairs for a change from indirect election of the Regional Chair to direct election by the voters at large. The first direct election took place in 2014.
I have today written to Christine who is my MPP asking if she was in favour of the direct election of the Chair of Durham Region and if she voted in the 2010 Referendum.
I shall post her reply as soon as I get it.