The Niagara Community Observatory produced a policy brief in April 2019 entitled “Under the Knife & Under the Gun: An overview of regional government in Niagara.” The ominous feeling reflected in that title captures the tension that municipalities felt at the time. Twenty years ago the local government system was thrown into turmoil by the actions of a provincial government that wanted major change, but had difficulty articulating exactly what that change should be. Was history about to repeat itself?

A great sense of relief fell over the local governments that had felt themselves ‘under the knife and under the gun’ when the provincial government announced that there would be no forced restructuring, but that municipalities were free to address changes that they would like to consider. Niagara should see this as an opportunity. There are continuing complaints about the system of government in the Niagara region. What should Niagara do to improve its governance system and the quality of service delivery to residents?

Author: David Siegel

Published By: Niagara Community Observatory

Publication Date: November 2019

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