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Nov. 9 letters: Niagara region should start process now for direct election of regional chair

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Wed., Nov. 9, 2022

Electing the regional chair

Re: Who will be Niagara’s next regional chair?, Nov. 2

Coun. Laura Ip’s motion to make the Niagara Region councillors vote for the chair in an open session would be welcome.

Electing the regional chair by general vote in 2026 would also be welcomed.

Regional council has two years to do the public consultation, staff reports and council votes to make it possible for 2026.

Waterloo, Halton and Durham regions are all larger by population than Niagara and have managed to elect their regional chairs by general vote, like a mayor. Change comes slowly in Niagara but it can be done.

Durham had a referendum in 2010 and with more than 75 per cent support, then went through all the steps to directly elect the regional chair in 2014 and 2018 and 2022.

It will take time and work, but council can take this step for the 2026 election. It would be helpful if candidates for chair this time would state their position on this issue.

Partisan politics are always present to some degree in municipal politics, but a chair elected by general vote based on a public platform, vision and agenda, debated and discussed across Niagara would have a mandate from the voters.

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Related Articles: Re: Decades-old regional transit dream becomes a reality in Niagara, Jan. 7 Niagara's three big cities to review election lawn sign bylaws Nov. 29 letters: Region vote on chair implies support for provincial directive Niagara elections strangely silent on governance reform Oct. 13 letters: Dual duty councils could reduce duplication. Direct election of regional chair won't happen this year Let Niagara voters choose the regional chair February 1: Time to ask Niagarans if they want direct election of regional chair Niagara letters to the editor Niagara can change itself

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