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Jan. 19, 2021 | Tuesday
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Amalgamation question won't be answered till late fall, Disero says
Lord Mayor Betty Disero, the Honourable Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure, Coun. Erwin Wiens. (Supplied)

The details of the province’s review of regional government are expected to come out in November, after the federal election, says Lord Mayor Betty Disero, who attended the 2019 Association of Municipalities Ontario conference last week.

The conference, which took place in Ottawa from Aug. 18-21, gathered municipal leaders and provincial ministers from all across Ontario.

Disero said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clarke indicated the results of the review are expected later this fall.

During a speech at the conference, Clark said the government had received more than 8,500 submissions and about 100 in-person presentations on the regional review.

As Ontario is in the midst of reviewing all eight regional municipalities and Simcoe County, many experts think the review will result in amalgamations.

Disero, who has previously stated she prefers the current two-tier model, with some revisions at the regional level, as opposed to a one-city or four-city model, said she passed her message along to “anyone who would listen” including ministers, regional colleagues, town councillors and media.

“We’re trying to be as transparent as possible and let people know what we are up to. As things happen, everybody will find out,” Disero said.

Coun. Erwin Wiens, interim CAO Sheldon Randall, director of community and development Craig Larmour and manager of environmental services Brett Ruck also attended the delegation meetings.

The town officials met with a number of ministers to discuss the issues of shoreline erosion, phragmites’ invasion, the importance of heritage and the need for funding for the irrigation and drainage system.

The ministers listened and were “very receptive,” Disero said. In particular, regulations in regard to Bill 108 and heritage will be beneficial to NOTL, she added.

“We have many significant historical areas and as long as they’re helping us protect them, that’s great,” she told The Lake Report.

“We do have issues with phragmites that other farming communities may or may not have, so anything they can do to help us along with that, would be beneficial for Niagara-on-the-Lake.”

Town staff are in contact with the authorities and discussions are ongoing in regard to the issues, Disero said.