Article Critique: Canadian Approach to Municipal Consolidation in Major

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¶ … Canadian Approach to Municipal Consolidation in Major City-Regions," Jim Lightbody (2009) discusses the general model of municipal restructuring for several Canadian provinces. In particular, the article discusses the resistance to any type of municipal mergers or restructuring within the Canadian, namely Toronto and Montreal. Lightbody's argument is that restructuring makes sense, but only happens after other attempts to solutions regarding municipal government have failed. The main argument that he is presenting in this paper is that "a more conventional policy source in the respective communities provided the decisive element in setting the stage for significant change." (p. 10).

To validate his argument, Lightbody there were first conditions that we necessary for the change. He says that the citizens of urban cities as well and businesses with economic interests are the ones that were behind the drive for the restructuring of municipal government in the two cities. Because of the economic interest that businesses have in a community, they are therefore considered a part of that community. This makes sense because any decisions and policies made by the local government will have a direct affect on the citizens, the business owners and the community overall.

According to the author, the three policy issues that frustrate the city-region with multiple autonomous jurisdictions and they are the coordination of public policies between and with multiple local governments, to create open lines of accountability for choices and to be equitable to citizens both in service and in generating revenues (p. 14). These three issues are of importance and if not addressed properly will be further evidence that restructuring is needed.

Restructuring is needed in order to deviate from the two-tier form of government that was prevalent in many city-regions in Canada. This form of government is not preferred because of the inequities among the citizens of the communities it creates. Income disparities are great with this form of government. It does nothing but promote the idea of separate and unequal. This is the type of government that was run in Toronto and Montreal and Lightbody argues that is had not only become ineffective and inefficient, but also redundant (p. 15).

To combat the issues such as inequity, a change was needed in the form of restructuring. Toronto and Montreal had many other issues besides inequities among its citizens and this is the reason the government needed to be restructured. There were too many internal conflicts within the government between the two tiers which caused problems. The need for a change was near and more were in favor of it than against it. Lightbody states that a survey by the Board of Trades' 502 members revealed that 65% were in favor of a change while only 17% of the members preferred things stay the same (p. 19).

The decision to make the change to restructure was not met without opposition. The restructuring and merging of the two municipalities meant that the number of elected officials was decreases. With change, there will always be casualties but what is considered to be the best option for most is what should be considered. Change usually brings about doubt and fear for some. There was fear with the restructuring because it brought together people from opposite sides of the fence with opposing views. Neither side wanted their opinions to be lost or forgotten during the restructuring process. Many citizens argued that their issues would get lost in the shuffle in they were to merge with another municipality to create one large governing body. These types of concerns are legitimate and not unfounded and can typically be voice during a restructuring process.

Those opposed to the integration were vocal about their disproval of it and Lightbody says that they made use of the media to voice their concerns. And he insinuates that the opposition's plight is futile because the decision has already been made to restructure and integrate and their… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Article Critique:

APA Format

Canadian Approach to Municipal Consolidation in Major.  (2010, October 30).  Retrieved December 11, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Canadian Approach to Municipal Consolidation in Major."  30 October 2010.  Web.  11 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Canadian Approach to Municipal Consolidation in Major."  October 30, 2010.  Accessed December 11, 2019.