For the first time, voters in the York Region will be electing a Regional Chair in the municipal election to be held on Oct 22, 2018. In the past, the York Regional Chair position was elected by a small circle of 20 Regional councillors and Mayors from cities and towns within the Region.
As this is the first time for voters to select a York Region Chair from the list of candidates, they must first understand what the Regional Government is all about and the Chair's responsibilities before they cast their ballots. Region Governments provide consolidated services for the townships and cities under its domain and take their expenses from a portion of the taxes collected by the municipalities. In Markham, 51% of the collected property taxes go to the Region.
The province of Ontario governs the extent of powers and duties, internal organization and structure of municipalities through a consolidated statute – The Municipal Act. The current total number of municipalities in Ontario is 444. Direct election of a Region Chair by electors is already practised in Halton, Waterloo, and Durham – Three of the six Regional Municipalities in Ontario. It started with Waterloo in 1997, Halton in 2000, and Durham in 2014.
North of Metropolitan Toronto, the Regional Municipality of York was created in 1971. York Region is located between Lake Simcoe and Toronto with a population of over one million represented by nine cities, towns, and township under its control. Many of the residents in York Region are Chinese immigrants or new citizens. This ethnicity group is the largest within the population of York region at 23.3%.
约克区有三个主要城市：万锦市，旺市和列治文山镇，它们占约克区人口的75％。其余城镇包括 纽马克特镇，奥罗拉镇，乔治拿镇，惠特彻斯托维尔镇，East Gwillimbury东贵林伯里镇和国王镇。约克区的许多居民都是移民，他们大部分来自中国大陆。
The three major members on the York Regional Council – City of Markham, City of Vaughan, and the town of Richmond Hill make up a majority (75%) of York Region's population. The rest of the members are – the towns of Newmarket , Aurora , Georgina, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury, and the King township. Many of the residents in York Region are immigrants with the majority coming from Mainland China.
What does the York Region do for us? Below is a list of their services covering all of the Region's cities, towns, and township:
• Court Services
• Paramedic Services
• Family and Children’s Services
• Long-term Care
• Planning and Economic Development
• Police Services
• Public Health
• Regional Roads and Street Trees
• Social Assistance
• Solid Waste Management
• Transit/Viva (buses)
• York Regional Forest
The York Regional Chair is now responsible for overseeing an annual budget of $3 billion. The Chair has oversight of determining taxes, deciding on spending and incurring debt. York Region is starting to feel the burden of carrying the highest per capita debt load in the GTA, and is pulling back on infrastructure projects to rein in borrowing costs. York's debt has climbed $2.9 billion (2015), and potentially $3.7 billion in 2020.
目前的约克区主席是四年前由区内市镇组成的20名成员圈定的Wayne Emmerson（前Stouffville市长）。今年的市政选举参选登记截止日期为2018年7月27日。目前有三人登记竞选约克区主席：现任Wayne Emmerson，十年前为安省自由党省议员的Mario Racco和刚在安省大选中落选的，前安省自由党政府的经济发展厅长Del Duca。Del Duca从2012年开始就是Vaughan选区的自由党省议员。
The current York Regional Chair is Wayne Emmerson (formerly Mayor of Stouffville), elected by 20 members of the Regional Council four years ago. The deadline for nomination for this year's municipal election will be July 27, 2018. As of now, there are three official candidates: Incumbent Wayne Emmerson, Mario Racco, a former Liberal MPP from a decade ago, and Del Duca, a Liberal economic development Minister who represented Vaughan at Queen’s Park from 2012 until his defeat in the June 7 provincial election.
其他人过去也表现对区主席一职感兴趣，他们包括代表万锦的区议员琼斯。 有传闻说万锦市长Frank Scarpitti也有意加入竞争行列。想要竞争区主席的候选人必须在2018年7月27日下午2点前登记。
Others have shown interests in the past including Markham Regional Councillor Jim Jones. Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti is also rumoured to be a potential candidate. The field may be crowded along the way but they all have to make up their minds before July 27, 2018 at 2pm when nomination closes.
Next time, we will look into the historical voting patterns for Regional Chairs in Ontario. We shall also examine the administrative inefficiencies of the current York Region over the last 4 years.
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