‘Past micromanagement’: Oshawa council members do not help Robust Mayors, Constructing Houses act

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter spoke during the annual Mayor's Luncheon at the Oshawa Golf and Curling Club.  — Metroland File Photo.

Oshawa Council members united against Ontario’s new Stong Mayors, Building Homes Act.

Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act passed its third-reading vote and received Royal Assent in early September. The act gives the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa a broader range of powers, from appointing the chief administrative officer to vetoing council decisions. The changes will come into effect on Tuesday, Nov. 15, the first day of office for new councils after the municipal election.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter brought a motion to a recent Corporate Services Committee Meeting, saying Oshawa City Council does not support the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act. Councilors at the Monday, Sept. 12 meeting supported the move unanimously.

Here’s what Oshawa council members had to say about the increased mayoral powers:

• “I truly believe that we benefit from the full input of full council on all affairs. I think it works well. I’ve stated publicly I don’t support the Strong Mayors Act for Housing 2022,” said Mayor Carter. “I just truly appreciate what all members of council have to say — even if I disagree with them. I just think it’s important to make sure that everybody’s voice is heard.”

• “These powers if given one person, and one person alone, puts that person squarely in confrontation with their own council,” said Regional Coun. Brian Nicholson. “If this were given to more municipalities, you’re basically wiping out democracy.”

• “I just shuddered when I heard this. I didn’t realize the province of Ontario was turning into a dictatorship, because that’s what this is. This is beyond micromanagement. This is taking away democracy,” said count Jane Hurst.

• “We don’t want to see this kind of consolidation of power in our democratic system. Our democratic system works because it distributes power, because it distributes the opportunity for input,” said count Derek Giberson.

• “Giving a Mayor a veto — I’m sorry, I’m at a loss for words here. It was unreal and incomprehensible,” said count Rosemary McConkey.

• “I did find the veto provisions quite problematic,” said count Bradley Marks. “We’ve prided (ourselves) on having robust votes and coming forward with a democratic solution to some of the issues we face here in the City of Oshawa.”

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