Oakville Mayor welcomes proposed changes to Municipal Elections Act

Thu, 07 Apr 2016

Proposed changes promote transparency and equal treatment amongst municipalities

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton made the following statement, following the provincial government’s announcement of its proposed changes to the Municipal Elections Act:

“I am pleased to see the Ontario government taking bold steps to strengthen local democracy and empower voters at the municipal level,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “These measures promote fairer, more transparent local elections, and encourage equal treatment amongst all municipalities.”

The province has proposed a number of sweeping measures to regulate campaign financing, promote voter engagement and ensure local elections are open and fair.

As well as creating a stronger framework to regulate third-party spending and promote transparency in campaign finances, these proposed changes would extend the option of introducing a ranked ballot to all municipalities.

Previously, the option of introducing ranked ballots was granted only to the City of Toronto. However, the new changes recognize the need for a system in which all Ontarians are treated equally by the Ontario government, regardless of where they live.

Municipalities have also been given considerable time to independently examine how a ranked ballot might affect their local elections.

“We intend to take as much time as necessary to consult with Council, staff, and residents regarding implementation and the possible impact a new ballot would have on voter engagement,” said Mayor Burton. “I applaud Premier Wynne and the Ontario government for granting municipalities this level of flexibility and self-determination.”