Letter to Premier Doug Ford by Elizabeth Marshall, OLA Director of Research

Elizabeth Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall

Firstly, please accept my sincerest congratulations on your resounding win.  Your government speaking of positive initiatives was, obviously, well accepted by the people of Ontario.

On a not so uplifting note, though, we are headed into Municipal Elections and having attended a “Candidates Workshop” at the Collingwood Legion on June 9, 2022, to say myself and other attendees were disappointed, is being polite.

When the speaker referenced the Municipal Act he did explain that it is long, boring and, to some, confusing.  He then added that this piece of legislation would make a good doorstop.  When one considers it is the rules which extend to how municipalities, their Council(s) and staff are to function, it was very disappointing to have someone of his stature make such a derogatory statement about provincial legislation.

The next issue was when the Municipal Councillor’s Guide.  This document, which is produced by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was asked about the speaker informed attendees not to bother that they should merely speak to the Clerk.

Not to take anything away from the work of the many Clerks, throughout Ontario, but the Clerks are only human and on occasion they may miss something, so, would it not be in the best interest of the residents, in Ontario, for their elected, and wanting to be elected, officials to read a document that is produced specifically for them?

Perhaps, in light of what had been brought to my attention by attendees after the meeting, etc., a memo might be sent to the Clerks (to disseminate to the registered Attendees via email) and the Speaker that the Municipal Act is not a doorstop and should be read by those who would be and are Municipal Councillors.

And perhaps, a recommendation should be made that the Councillor’s Guide be read, by potential and sitting Councillors, to have a better understanding of the operation, authority, limitations, etc., of the Municipality’s and their Council – including the role of the Clerk and staff.  This may lead to less angst between the electorate and Councils (their staff) and may also lead to less LPATs, and/or Court challenges, wouldn’t one agree? Again, congratulations on your success and we can only hope the next four years are less stressful and more productive for Ontario.

Regards, Elizabeth Marshall