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Time to ask Niagarans if they want direct election of regional chair

Posted Feb 1st, 2022

road to governance

Letter to the Editor - St. Catharines Standard

Siscoe appointment to regional council one more signal that double-direct election system could work, writes reader.

Put regional reform on the fall ballot

Re: Regional council gives Siscoe the nod to fill seat left vacant by death of Sandie Bellows, Jan. 7

The appointment of city councillor Mat Siscoe to Niagara Region council has reinforced the position of Siscoe and Mayor Wayor Sendzik, as well as Mike Britton for that matter, that “someone who has experience with current issues the city is facing and not issues from four years ago” is of great value to the people of St. Catharines.

That is the whole basis of supporting the double-direct city/regional councillor election concept. St. Catharines requested that model last term, and Niagara Falls council requested it this term.

Regions that compete with Niagara like Halton and Durham have had the double-direct model for many years. They both elect their regional chair at large.

It is time for Niagara to modernize our governance model. We still have time to at least ask the people what they want in a referendum this fall. Put a referendum question on the municipal ballot.

The politicians are very reluctant to change but they may listen to the people in a referendum. Let’s start with “Chair at large, yes or no” and see what the people say about change.

Bruce Timms

St. Catharines

Have Your Say

Are you in favour of the Council of the Regional Municipality of Niagara passing the necessary resolutions and bylaws to change the method of selecting its Chair from appointment by members of Regional Council to election by general vote of all electors in the Region? 

Yes or No?

Talk to your councillors and Mayor about the up coming commission report to the Province on modernizing Niagara under bill 39. 

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