The provincial government announced on Friday, Oct. 25, as part of the provincial regional government review, that it would not be imposing any changes on municipal governments, including no forced amalgamations. This news was a welcome announcement, and was a topic of discussion at the Northern Six (N6) municipalities of York Region Mayors and Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) meeting also held on Friday. Each year, the N6 Mayors and CAOs meet to discuss cost-saving initiatives and programs that could be of benefit to all six municipalities in the coming year.

Throughout the province’s review, the special advisors conducting the feedback interviews expressed great interest in the N6 partnerships. By working together, the N6 exemplifies the benefits that a cohesive approach to shared service delivery can create for residents. It is these cross-municipal initiatives that make amalgamation unwarranted.

“As a member of the N6 partnership, Aurora is able to partner with similar municipalities to achieve significant fiscal benefits, while maintaining the unique identity of our Town. Our residents and our Council were vocal in letting the province know that we are the ones that know our community best and are the ones best equipped to identify cost-savings and efficiencies.

Delivering value for taxpayer dollars has – and will continue to be – our number one priority. I look forward to continuing the work we have already been doing in terms of fostering and promoting innovation and improving municipal service delivery,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas.

The N6 partnership, which has been successfully operating since 2005, has worked on a number of award-winning, and cost-effective programs such as a shared waste collection program, which is now in its second 10-year term and has helped the N6 save more than $11 million. In addition, the N6 partnered on the Fire Master Plan and Collaboration and Innovation Report, which identified collaborative cost-sharing and innovative partnership ideas. In 2011, the N6 conducted joint procurement of an insurance provider and retainer of an insurance adjuster resulting in approximately $750,000 in premium savings, during the first year of the project.

Not only do the N6 municipalities create cost-saving measures for residents, they also work together to leverage best practices, and share ideas and information across the municipalities. Moving forward, the N6 is looking at future opportunities to further the partnership and prioritize savings for taxpayers and find municipal efficiencies.