Given the combination of her knowledge and personality, it perhaps should not come as a surprise that former Mayor Charlotte Whitton had a whole lot to say on the topic of regional governance. Perhaps more so than any other participant in the process, Whitton considered the issue more fully and on a systemic basis.
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DR. CHARLOTTE WHITTON
This submission comprised an oral presentation at two public hearings, the first on March 29, the second on April 9, 1965. For convenience, both are summarized together here. No written brief was received.
Dr. Whitton began by noting that the Capital is designated as Ottawa, and this in her view means the incorporated City of Ottawa as it exists at any time. Location of any of the essential facilities of the Federal government - such as Parliament, the Queen's Printer, the Mint, or the Judiciary - outside Ottawa, would consequently require a Royal Proclamation or amendment of the British North America Act to make it legal.
The growing power of Federal agencies like the National Capital Commission and the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation to affect municipal functions which are under Provincial jurisdiction is also of concern, and requires more direct responsibility of such agencies. It was accordingly suggested that a clear distinction should be made between Federal works per se, which include office and other buildings built and occupied by the Government or its agencies; and Federal improvements to the National Capital, such as driveways, works of beautification, etc. The former should properly remain under the present Federal Department of Public Works, which with its limited expropriation powers does not impinge unduly on municipalities. The latter however, now the responsibility of the National Capital Commission, should be made the responsibility of a permanent Capital Development Board reporting to a Standing Committee of both Houses of Parliament (representative of all parties).
This Board would have five full time, paid, voting members, appointed for four or five year overlapping terms. In addition, there would be four unpaid, co-opted, voting members, two from
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Ontario (the Mayor of Ottawa and one representative of the other Ontario municipalities in the National Capital region) and two from Quebec (the Mayor of Hull and one representative of the other Quebec municipalities in the region). The Ontario members would sit with the five full-time members when matters in the Ontario part of the National Capital region were under consideration, and similarly for the Quebec members. Matters affecting both parts of the region would be considered by the five full-time plus the four co-opted members, and Ontario and Quebec Members of Legislative Assembly from ridings in the region would also sit without voting, when such inter-provincial matters were under discussion. This Board would also be responsible for developing a common and equitable formula for the assessment, calculation and payment of grants-in-lieu of taxes on all Federal and Crown Corporation properties in the region, including grants in lieu of business taxes, grants for Federal operations in space rented from private owners, and the proper allocation of the "school levy" component of such grants. All municipal services used by Federal agencies should also be paid for on the same basis as any other users.
Another permanent Board of three full time paid, appointed members, and called the Capital District Lands Corporation should also be established as a standing body on all Federal land matters in the region, including expropriations, arbitrations, negotiations, etc. It would also report to the Standing Committee of Parliament.
The Federal government, including both these new Boards and Department of Public Works, should be subject to municipal by-laws.
Against the above background of suggested changes in Federal organization affecting municipalities, Dr. Whitton went on to outline a suggested regional government for the area in Ontario to link the Provincial and local governments and take over greater responsibility from the Province. This should be instituted over a
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period of time by establishing initially a regional assembly or conference (organized on the same principles as the permanent regional council which it would evolve into at the end of the implementation period), and giving it the responsibility of setting up a working regional administration. Incentive grants could be used by the Province to encourage implementation in a reasonable length of time, and the process should be carried out under the guidance of a provincially appointed consultant. Existing local governments could continue their present functions until the regional government was ready.
The present local municipalities would remain but certain boundary adjustments would be made during the transition period, and ultimately some of the local municipalities might gradually disappear through regroupings as their status is reconsidered. The boundary adjustments should extend the City of Ottawa to the line originally proposed for the 1950 annexation (based on water and sewer engineering considerations), but omitting Eastview and Rockcliffe Park. The outer boundary of the region should contain all the area in Ontario which could best be served by regional services, and would probably include part of Russell County. It was suggested that the new region might be called CARLETONBY from the names Carleton and Bytown.
The proposed regional council should have a four year term and would have the following composition:
1) from 3 to 6 Members of Legislative Assembly co-opted from Provincial ridings in the vicinity, appointed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs;
2) from 6 to 12 technical staff, ex officio administrative heads of the regional government departments, who would participate in discussions by would not vote;
(the ratio between the number of Members of Legislative Assembly and staff administrators should be 1:2, and these two groups combined should not exceed a quarter of the total council members)
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3) the elected head of each local municipality in the region - if all municipalities in the review area are included, these would total 17;
4) directly elected members from new electoral districts or wards, set up to give representation according to the population, assessment and special interests of districts within the region - the number equal or exceed the number of mayors and reeves representing local municipalities in the regional council.
The total membership could range from 43 to 72, depending on the number of administrative heads (group 2) included; between the first and second hearings, Miss Whitton became increasingly convinced that a larger representation for this group would be essential, which would tend toward the larger council. The Chairman of the Council should be an additional member appointed by the Province, the Vice-Chairman would be elected by Council from among its members.
The large number of separate boards and commissions, both elected and appointed, which constitute a major portion of the existing local government machinery, should be abolished and their functions brought under council control.
Departments of the regional government and their functions could be as follows:
1) Finance, assessment, revenue and tax collection.
2) Education, including all schools, libraries, arts and cultural institutions, museums, archives, etc. This department would report to standing committees of the regional council on these matters.
3) Welfare, including allowances for shelter but not the provision of nay housing.
4) Health, hospitals and related services. The regional Medical Officer of Health should have the status of a deputy under a Provincial Board of Health. A regional Board of Health might also be required to exercise statutory powers of health control but hospitals supported by local taxation should be responsible
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to council (through a council committee, possibly assisted by a management committee of appointed citizens), and not to a separate board of trustees. Perhaps in future the Ontario Hospital Services Commission might lease of buy hospitals and operate them, must as the Ontario Water Resources Commission operates sewer plants. The County of Carleton might also share in the new Riverside Hospital by building a county wing on it, and excess capacity in the Federal Tri-Service Hospital could perhaps be transferred to the University of Ottawa as teaching-hospital space. All school health and nursing services should be provided by the regional health department as opposed to the present system in Ottawa where the public and secondary school boards provide their own services.
5) Recreation programs and related services, including non-formal education, but excluding the provision or maintenance of facilities like parks, swimming pools, etc.
6) Public works, including the installation, operation and maintenance of roads, sewers, waterworks, hydro, street lights, traffic signals, any other utilities and parks and recreation facilities. Building inspection and sanitation would also be under this department.
7) Transport in all its phases. Since public transportation to be efficient should probably be provided by one agency for the entire National Capital region on both sides of the Ottawa River, it is suggested that the proposed Federal Capital Development Board might perform this service, buying or renting Ottawa Transportation Commission and private facilities in the area. If the Board desired, it could contract for operation of the entire system by the regional transport department.
8) Planning, including traffic planning, and development control.
9) Housing, including provision of sites and buildings, their maintenance and administration, for families of low income and elderly persons.
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10) Protection to persons and property, including police, fire, ambulance and related emergency services. One hospital might be used for all emergencies.
11) Justice, including all local responsibilities for the administration of courts, jails and detention homes.
12) Secretary-General's department. The Secretary-General would serve as a city manager over the whole regional government administration to coordinate the other 11 departments. His department would also be responsible for providing a clerk or recorder of council, solicitors and legal services, personnel management, printing and publications, electoral records, license issuing, publicity, tourist promotion, special hospitals and protocol, and for relations with the Federal and other governments.