Let me be very clear: As the Municipal Act mandates that we are to undergo a governance review in this upcoming term of Council, I will work tirelessly toward us having a directly elected Regional Chair in the 2022 election.
That is my promise to you, as tweeted and posted to Facebook after learning that Doug Ford plans to cancel the elections for regional chairs in Niagara, Peel, York, and Muskoka. I will fight for Niagara Region to have a directly elected Regional Chair.
Niagara has been fighting for a very long time to have a directly elected Chair and if it is left to Council to decide, we won’t have it (as has been proven time and again). During the mandated governance review, I will call for the direct election of the Regional Chair.
Here’s what I posted following learning about this decision:
Doug Ford owes it to Niagara, Peel, York, and Muskoka to:
1) indicate WHY he is taking democracy out of the hands of the citizens;
2) how he plans to make up for all of the work Regional Chair candidates have done to date, i.e., the money they’ve spent;
3) what he’s going to do to ensure that those who have already filed to run for Regional Chair (and no one else) still have an opportunity to file to run for another office, if they choose to do so; and
4) (I know I’m saying this twice) why he is taking democracy out of the hands of the citizens.
Making this kind of announcement less than 24 hours before the nomination deadline and leaving candidates twisting in the wind trying to figure out what to do and how this affects them and their teams is irresponsible.
If he’s not discussing it until Monday, there has to be an announcement right now about what current Regional Chair hopefuls can expect in terms of allowances made to them and their campaign teams.
There’s a suggestion that, after the legislation passes in August (August!!), he’ll extend the nomination deadline to September 14 for people running for Toronto City Council. No word on what he’ll do for Niagara, York, Peel, and Muskoka.
If this ridiculous decision stands, there should be an allowance for ONLY those who have registered to run for Regional Chair to file for something else. Friday’s 2pm deadline stands for everyone else.