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安省的区政府有必要保留吗?
Should we keep Ontario Reginal Governments?



 
上周,我们谈到了安省保守党政府即将对安省区政府的效率和责任进行全面审核。想阅读那篇文章,请访问: http://www.chinesenewsgroup.com/news/665980

Last week, we talked about the Ontario PC government's impending review of the efficiency and accountability of Regional governments. To read the article, please visit:http://www.chinesenewsgroup.com/news/665980
 
当福特省长将区主席一职改回由约克区和皮尔区的市政议员们投票决定时,许多人认为他是为了防止彭建邦成为皮尔区主席。这种猜测也许对,也许不对。但现在看来,福特此举是为了一举两得。

When Premier Ford reverted the election of Regional Chair back to the hands of the Regional Councillors for York and Peel regions, many thought that he was just trying to stop Patrick Brown from becoming Peel Region Chair. That may or may not be true but now it looks more like Ford was trying to kill two birds with one stone.

 
福特此举的目的显然是要解决约克区行政臃肿的问题!因为要把约克区里的市政通管起来,他只要与一个"被任命的"区主席打交道,而不必与一个由百万选民选出的区主席打交道。与前者打交道要容易得多。

Ford's secondary target is actually the bloated York Region! It is far easier to amalgamate cities within the York region and having to deal with an “appointed” Region Chair than one elected by the population of over one million people.
 
2016年11月,早在福特成为安省保守党党魁之前,万锦的区议员琼斯就提出了合并约克区下面城市的想法。他建议把万锦,列治文山,旺市甚至部分Whitchurch-Stouffville镇和国王镇的一部分合并为一个城市。琼斯希望就合并进行公开讨论,并着手将消防等服务合并,最终导致这几个城市的合并。

Long before Ford became Ontario PC leader and as early as in November, 2016 the amalgamation of cities within York region was put forward by Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones. He suggested that Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan and even parts of Whitchurch-Stouffville and King should be amalgamated into one city. Jones wanted to open the discussion and kick off with merging services such as fire protection before leading ultimately to a political merger. 

 
约克区四分之三的人口居住在万锦,列治文山和旺市。随着城市的发展壮大,这些城市之间的关系越来越密切。到2041年,约克地区将再增加70万人口。现在回头来看当年的建议,琼斯显然有先见之明,只是当年没人把他的提议当回事。琼斯当年是否在保守党内听到了城市合并的风声,还是他自己心血来潮?

Three quarters of York Region’s population live in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. These cities are growing closer together and the population in York region will increase by another 700,000 residents by 2041. In hind sight, this almost look like a prophecy today even though no one was paying attention to it back then. Was Jones hearing whispers within the PC party back then or was it just his own idea?
 
当年,琼斯大谈通过城市合并可以提高市政服务的效率。如果约克区与多伦多有利益冲突时,一个合并后拥有超过一百万人口的城市完全有实力与多伦多平起平坐。当时的副市长兼区议员的希思并不赞同琼斯的想法。他认为约克区还有其他更重要的事要先做,比如努力改善公交问题等。对杰克希思来说,城市合并远不如当时手中的事那么重要。

Jones was talking about efficiencies that could be achieved back then with amalgamation. The strength of that one mega city with a population of over one million people will be able to stand up to Toronto when it comes to conflicts between them. His idea was not shared by then Deputy Mayor and Regional Councillor Jack Heath who thought that there were other priorities such as working on better transportation and all sorts of other major issues. To Jack Heath, organization of a mega city was far less important than getting on with the tasks at hand.

 
在城市合并方面,我跟琼斯有类似的想法。政界有关人士告诉我,万锦绣将兼并Whitchurch-Stouffville,列治文山将兼并Aurora和Newmarket,而旺市将兼并国王镇。剩下的那些约克北区到Simcoe湖城镇(East Gwillimbury和Georgina)将新组一个新的城市。约克区将继续存在,但只需管理四个新合并的城市。新区政府的公务员人数和政府税收将比合并前小得多。当然,Newmarket成为第四个城市并兼并其北部的两个小城镇可能会有一些头疼的问题。
 
I have a similar idea to Jones'. Based on discussions with others in the political circle, Markham will absorb Whitchurch-Stouffville, Richmond Hill will absorb Aurora and Newmarket, and Vaughan will get King City. The rest of that area up north to Lake Simcoe (East Gwillimbury and Georgina) will form a new city. York region will remain but only dealing with four amalgamated cities. It will have a much smaller employee count and income. Of course, there can be a small variation where Newmarket becomes the fourth City and absorbs the two other small towns north of it.
 
虽然我只关注约克区政府的运行模式,但我最近有机会与另一个区主席探讨合并的问题。该主席所管理的区政府也是安省地区政府审核的一部分。我们的讨论围绕着如何提高区政府的运作效率而进行。显然,直有当城市人口增长到一定规模,区政府才会考虑将资源集中,为下属的城市提供必须的服务。当人口增加到一定程度,区内的各个市政部门的运作将出现重复,这使得政府从居民身上抽取的税的使用效率降低。



While I am focusing on possible model of the York Regional Government, I had an opportunity recently to talk to another Regional Chair whose Region is also part of the Ontario Regional Governments review. Our conversation centred around the validity of the Regional Government model. It would seem that until municipalities grow to a certain population level, the Regional Government is a means to pool resources together for the municipalities within itself and provide adequate services to everyone. Beyond that certain population break point, functions and departments will be duplicated within
the overgrown municipalities and redundancies set in, making it a case of diminishing return for tax dollars collected from residents.  
 
区政府的审核报告会提出什么样的改革建议目前无法预测。许多居民主张彻底解散区政府。我个人认为,区政府还需要保留,但它将缩小规模,负责管理其下属的市镇。

What the Region Governments review would recommend is anyone's guess. Many residents advocate the total elimination of Regional Governments. My personal view is that they are here to stay but will take on a different capacity and responsibility appropriate to the size of municipalities under them.
 
 
在下一届市政选举之前,已经当选的市议员和市长不能被撤职或另换头衔。原因很简单,他们是选民选出来的,政府无权任免。任何区政府的改革都必须在2022年的市政选举之后才能实行。
 
Elected municipal councillors and mayors cannot be eliminated or reassigned until the next municipal election. The electorate and those elected officials empowered by them will not allow this to happen. The implementation of any new Regional Government models will have to wait after the next municipal election in 2022.

 

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