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Youth
 
Munter to Lose Governance Power in Proposed Transition to Mega City
GLBT Program Funding Unaffected
 
UPDATED:  SUNDAY DECEMBER 5, 7:37 PM
The Ontario government announced Friday December 3rd that it has approved the Shortliffe proposal without modifying or removing the provision discussed below.
 
ONLINE:  WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1, 1999 9:16 AM

REGIONAL Councilor Alex Munter will lose his position's ability to participate in governance and critical decision-making on January 1st 2000, as will every other Regional and municipal official, in the proposal to merge Ottawa-Carleton area governments.  It includes having the transition, if not the region itself during that time, managed by a provincial caucus-appointed team.

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"The report ... creates a new Transition Board with sweeping powers, essentially suspending democracy in our area for over a year.  This is dangerous, unecessary and wrong," Mr. Munter told gayottawanow.com.

The proposal, written by federal government restructuring guru Glen Shortliffe, who was commissioned by provincial Tories for the matter, was presented Friday November 26.  It timelines the transition as occurring during 2000 with the new structure commencing on the first day of 2001.  The proposal, however, remains to be approved by the provincial government.

This report does not really affect [health and social service programs].
- Alex Munter
 
Mr. Shortcliffe's report describes the new governing structure for "Ottawa" as being almost identical to the existing Regional one for current Ottawa-Carleton, including the number of wards and their defining lines.  Services currently delivered by the municipalities will be included.  City Hall will be at Regional Headquarters.  Libraries, hydro utilities and fire departments (with some exceptions) will similarly be aggregated.  as well.

The proposal did not describe when elections for the new council are to occur.

Not all officials are happy with the MegaCity idea, however.  Plans are underway by some to fight it as a whole and by others to fight some of its provisions, such as the transition team.

Details describing possible changes to the extent of services delivered were not provided in the proposal.  "This report does not really affect [health and social service programs]," Mr. Munter, who is also Chair of the Region's Community Services Committee, added.  "That's because for those kinds of services, we already have a de facto single city -- the regional government.  I am hopeful that, over time, a new city will allow us to respond to the needs of all communities -- including the LGBT communities -- in a better and more progressive way than the other options that were being proposed in this debate."