This month’s meeting featured a presentation by Dave Siegel, the Director of the Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University on the topic of “Problems of Governance in the Niagara Region”. Dave noted that the classic model of local government focused on its role in the democratization of government (providing local access to government for citizens) and in the provision of local services to citizens. He felt that there was a third mission as well – acting as an “anchor for globalization” which expedited the ability of the local economy to participate in global markets.
He remind us that Niagara Region consists of 12 municipal governments and has a total of 125 mayors and councillors overseeing it. Dave noted that the current regional form of governance in Niagara id now 40 years old. He noted that this was not an unusually high percentage of councillors as a percent of our population. It was about average across Ontario.
Dave presented a number of alternate forms of governance for Niagara Region but also warned that most reorganizations were driven by attempts to save costs but rarely did that happen.
Our featured speaker at next month’s meeting in February will be Bob Cooper, Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s official photographer.