ONTARIO AND QUEBEC EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON LOCAL DE-AMALGAMATION DEBATE
Evidence Shows Mergers Are Wrong Way To Go
A former Quebec politician and an Ontario political science professor have thrown their support behind the efforts of the Victoria County Yes! Campaign.
Peter Trent, the former Mayor of Westmount, Quebec told the group in an e-mail "I salute your efforts to assert your right to choose your municipality - and not to have it chosen for you."
He said the Quebec Liberal Party at least partially owes its recent electoral victory to their policy on de-amalgamation.
"The Liberals have promised to allow any city that was amalgamated by force to regain its former status, if that is what their citizens want."
Trent also said the recent spate of amalgamations in Canada goes against a worldwide trend in the opposite direction.
"All studies point to the diseconomies of scale following mergers. In fact all economic and political arguments in favour of amalgamation date to the period when big government was equated with good government. "
Andrew Sancton of the University of Western Ontario and author of Merger Mania, The Assault on Local Government heralded the November 10th referendum as a "very significant event."
He said the referendum marks the first time citizens of Ontario will be able to take an authoritative and democratic decision about the fate of any of the recent forced municipal mergers.
In an e-mail to the Yes! Campaign’s organizers, Sancton offered advice to voters in the November referendum.
"Those who conclude that bigger works better, should vote NO; those who look at the evidence and conclude the opposite should not be afraid to vote YES."