In support of two-tier government

Photo of Mayors Jaworsky (Waterloo) and Vbranovic (Kitchener) at the Boardwalk. Source:  Twitter

Photo of Mayors Jaworsky (Waterloo) and Vbranovic (Kitchener) at the Boardwalk. Source: Twitter

On Monday May 13, 2019 Mayor Jaworsky put forward a motion asking council to support our existing two-tier government. This motion, which passed unanimously, will be sent to the province to let them know City of Waterloo council would like to continue with the existing governance structure (regional and municipal government), rather than amalgamate.

I voted ‘yes’ to this motion and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Amalgamation does not save money and does not decrease property taxes. In fact, during our discussion Councillor Bodaly pointed to an analysis done by the Fraser Institute, a conservative think tank, which demonstrated just that: “our simple analysis suggests amalgamation did not result in cost savings or lower property taxes in the cases we examine.”

  • Smaller governments tend to be more responsive because we are dealing with issues that impact you practically in your day-to-day and because we are smaller we get to know and work often with staff within and across the different departments.

  • Overall, consultations have indicated the public is not asking for amalgamation. For example, during the 2010 referendum Waterloo residents voted they did not want to discuss amalgamation. In addition, 88% who responded to a recent satisfaction survey said they get good value for their taxes. Finally, on the campaign trail only a couple of people told me they’d want amalgamation so their taxpayer dollars were not wasted (see bullet point #1).

  • Voting yes also meant we committed to continuing to find ways to collaborate with other municipalities and with the Region of Waterloo to work even more efficiently and effectively.

For a full discussion and vote on this motion you can watch this video.

Jen Vasic