Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Amalgamation- Yes or No?

Posted by auroracitizen on April 16, 2009

Back when Mike Harris was Premier amalgamation was a hot topic here in York Region. A number of amalgamations took place and the “benefits” should now be well-known.

The issue was recently raised in the Aurora with a letter by Barry Hall and an Editorial by Ron Wallace. Both can be seen on The Auroran website www.auroran.com.

What do you think — good idea or bad? Undecided? What advantages do you see versus the disadvantages?

We are interested in your point of view. The comments in The Auroran should provide some food for thought.

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7 Responses to “Amalgamation- Yes or No?”

  1. Anonymous said

    In response to Nigel Kean’s comment of April 17, unfortunately Aurora already does look like Newmarket (or anywhere else, for that matter) with the recent development of the strip malls and big box plazas along Bayview and to the east. There are also plenty of unattractive strip plazas on Yonge St.

  2. Nigel Kean said

    Most communities have unions in place and in some cases they also have an inside workers union. I didn’t mean to mention just unions as most almalgamated towns also have different wage levels for non union workers and after the amalgamation the higher scale is used.

  3. Barry said

    Glad to see there a few comments regarding this issue but I notice that for some folks
    “amalgamation” is defined as Aurora/Newmarket. Just to clarify, the proposal is for SIX municipalities to join
    and create a community that would stretch from Richmond Hill to Lake Simcoe. (I have no clever names for the “new city” but an essay contest might work)
    Amalgamation has it’s opponents, especially in places like Ottawa and Hamilton where large urban centres swallowed up much smaller rural communities which in turn felt put upon and powerless. Even towns like Keswick and Sutton aren’t so small anymore and to assume that Aurora and Newmarket wards would run the show is a mistake in my view. This would be more “merger” and less “hostile takeover” because there are so many issues in common like the Oak Ridges Moraine, Lake Simcoe watershed, possible 404 extension to the 400, urban sprawl etc etc. Is it possible that perhaps 250,000 people don’t need over 40 mayors and councillors and could benefit by a more unified government and direction? We’re talking about something way beyond the old “Aurora is better than Newmarket” slagging match. I am in no way suggesting we turn our backs on Aurora’s proud history but maybe it’s time to take the next step. I’m sure many will disagree but let’s think BIG PICTURE. Now that the snowbanks are gone and you can see your neighbours why not ask them what they think? We can’t talk hockey ALL the time.

  4. Heather said

    In reference to Nigel Kean’s comment – I can see where higher pay scales for the unions would come into play.

    Are all municipal employees unionized? I don’t know the answer to that question.

    I’m still undecided on whether amalgamation is a good thing or not. With proper planning, perhaps it could work, but I am not sure. LOTS of planning = lots of money, though.

    I’m Newmarket born and raised, with deep roots in Aurora, and they’re very different places in my head – remember when there used to be what seemed like MILES between Mulock Drive in Nmkt and St-John’s Sideroad in Aurora? Now they’re so close? I don’t know that erasing the line altogether is a good idea.

  5. Nigel Kean said

    I agree with Ron Wallace and anyone else who believes that Aurora is Aurora and not a new city.The fire department and police department do work as one but I believe that Aurora should stay as Aurora.
    I look at other amalgamated communities like Kitchener/Waterloo and Toronto and have seen the costs go up after amalgamation due to the fact that Towns combined always go to the higher pay scales of the various unions. I look at the Toronto council that has a hard time working within budgets due to the combined costs. There are other cases in Ontario and across Canada where amalgamation has increased costs. I am sure there are certain amalgamations that have worked and perhaps someone else can let me know of those that did.
    I still like Aurora as Aurora and do not want to look like Newmarket with all the strip malls.
    I guess I am biased as I feel that Aurora is OK as it is.
    With the combined towns Aurora would only have a small say in what happens here as the split normally is based on population. At this time Newmarket would get 60% vs Aurora at 40%.

  6. Anonymous said

    Why go to the past to dig up some old issue?

  7. Anonymous said

    If I can receive the same or better services for less cost, it’s a no brianer. I think Newmarket and Aurora have already demonstrated cost savings and better service thru the amalganation of fire services. I cannot believe having two councils and administrations can be cost effective. At least, with the leadership we have in this Town. Amalgamation…bring it on!

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