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One tier or two? Local councillor speaks out against amalgamation

A former municipal mayor turned regional councillor suggests even having the amalgamation debate again is a 'monumental waste of time'
Region of Waterloo
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One tier or two? 

It's not a question about cake, but our regional government structure.

Debate continues as to which would work best locally after the province recently signalled it may look to amalgamation as a way to spur more new home building.

Here at home though, it has become an almost cyclical topic of conversation. Most recently, the single city idea was essentially shouted down in 2019.

Despite that, it does seem to be back on the table again and a number of big local names have already come out in favour citing, in particular, potential efficiency and economic benefits.

Those though do also seem to make up much of the main arguments against a municipal merger.

"Political scientists across this country, the C.D. Howe Institute, the Fraser Institute, have all said there's no gains in terms of reducing costs from amalgamations," said Doug Craig, a regional councillor from Cambridge and former Cambridge mayor.

Craig made a point to note the region is doing quite well for itself as is.

"We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, we are rivalling Silicon Valley in terms of tech and that has come out just recently; we are doing very, very well in many respects," Craig said. "This is not a hindrance or an encumbrance, it is, in fact, demonstrating we are doing very well under this particular system."

Craig went on to suggest the current debate shouldn't be about potential amalgamation but about how to achieve more regional cooperation.

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