The Province is consulting the public on possible far reaching changes to the law that governs the way municipalities go about their business. The review, announced this month, will look at the Municipal Act, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and the City of Toronto Act.
I hope Newmarket Council will roll up its sleeves and get involved and not sit back and allow others to make the weather. It is time to sweep the stables clean.
Many of the issues that have roiled the municipality in recent years are up for review; codes of conduct, integrity officers, conflicts of interest and how the Region elects and selects its members. Should the Chair of York Region be directly elected? It’s all there, up for discussion.
The review is happening against a backdrop of huge disquiet about the way in which municipalities are managed and organised.
Councillors are accused of inappropriate behaviour. Some, like Vaughan’s Michael Di Biase, are found to have interfered in the City’s tendering processes. In Brampton, the Mayor wants an inquiry into alleged staff corruption linked to development deals.
Closer to home, former Newmarket councillor, the acidic Maddie Di Muccio, shamelessly spends taxpayers’ money on tendentious, partisan press advertisements and then, ludicrously, sues a regional councillor for libel for drawing attention to that fact and to her jaw-dropping double standards.
I shall be responding to the review as a private citizen but I hope Newmarket stirs itself and puts in a formal submission. There is an opportunity for councillors to raise the issue tomorrow night (Monday 22 June 2015) when Newmarket Council meets.
The consultation period - which is clearly too short - runs through to 7 August 2015.