Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hamilton. Ontario's Amalgamation

In 2001, the new City of Hamilton was formed including
The Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth...Ancaster, 
Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook and Stoney Creek...
effective January 1 of that year.

Since then, much dissatisfaction has arisen among Hamilton's 5 surrounding towns: many promises made not delivered..additional taxes imposed...lack of recognition to these specialized towns of individual culture. Many residents today, realize they are no-better-off with this amalgamation and thus desiring to return to their former individuality. They regret, also that a 'new city name' was not given to Hamilton's metropolis of now over 500,000. To show greater inclusiveness, a flashy new title name would create more interest.

Temiskaming Shores included New Liskeard, Haileybury, Dymont and North Cobalt.
Cambridge, incorporated in 1973 included Galt, Preston, Hespeler and Blair.
Even Windsor's diverse population ranges from rural farmland to densely built-up areas.

Amalgamation is the Root of all Evil
In a recent submission to READERS WRITE of The Hamilton Spectator,
an Ancaster resident writes:
In 2016 alone, Hamilton officials spent $40 million on consultants for reports...that frequently they ignore. I think this money would more than cover any costs of de-amalgamation in all of these towns. Hamilton is now on track to spend even more on consultants in 2017.

This dysfunctional city is just too big to govern properly with its current council. In every case, where amalgamation has occurred, there are no savings at all for the taxpayer...there are just no economies of scale, from getting fact, there seems to be no financial accountability now...and city staff has adopted excessive spendthrift ways.

De-amalgamation has already occurred successfully in some jurisdictions
where local communities got their identity back...and continue to thrive.
The sky did not fall.

Ancaster does pay a lower rate of taxes based on area rating. We get less service, and therefore pay a lower rate...but we still pay more than our fair share to the city, which is now really on 'life support' and only propped up by suburban tax revenue.

I would like the smug supporters of amalgamation to consider this scenario:
In the near future, Hamilton gets amalgamated with Burlington and Oakville
to form a 'super city'...ostensibly for savings,which will never ever materialize.
Hamilton loses its independence...and has a couple of reps on a super board
located in Oakville.
How are you liking amalgamation now?

Les, from Hamilton submitted the following to Readers Write titled
It's time Hamilton had a new name”
The author of the foregoing is quite right in the erection of name signs...and in changing the name of Hamilton to something new. Since the amalgamated city took over the previous county...and since the two local school boards still use the word in their names, let us call our city WENTWORTH.
It is a historic name...and when it was wiped out by the Harris Progressive Conservative government in the forced amalgamation, many were upset! There doesn't appear to be anywhere else in the province with the it would be a good fit.

It would also get us away from some American comments
that we named our city after Alexander Hamilton, one of their famous fathers,
instead of one of our original landowners from a previous century.
The one downside of losing the Hamilton name
is that we would no longer be the largest city, town, borough or whatever,
on this planet thusly named.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...written May 16, 2017
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