September 20, 2002

York Region endorses Canada's urban strategy


NEWMARKET Ė York Regional Council endorsed the general direction of the Prime Minister's Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues Interim Report, Canada's Urban Strategy - A Vision for the 21st Century. Chaired by Judy Sgro, MP Ė York West, the Task Force was directed to consider issues of importance to Canada's urban municipalities.

"Many of the Task Force's recommendations complement York Region's current growth management work and other strategic initiatives such as compact community development, transit and affordable housing," said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.

Regional staff conducted a full review of the Task Force's report and its 52 recommendations, and identified the six key policy areas below. These are crucial to York Region's ability to continue providing effective public transit, affordable housing, environmental protection, safe drinking water, solid waste disposal and human services.

  1. Invest in Canada's future by investing in our urban regions.
  2. Promoting a high quality of life in our urban regions.
  3. Municipalities face significant growth-related costs.
  4. Immediate and reliable long-term investment strategies
  5. York Region as a partner in any future pilot programs
  6. Take action immediately.

In addition, York Region will be forwarding to the Task Force 12 recommendations (see attached) with supporting documentation regarding its recent growth management initiatives and strategies. These include the Transportation Master Plan, Housing Supply Strategy, Greening Strategy, Human Services Strategy and York Rapid Transit Plan.

"York Region is ideally placed to provide input and support to the Task Force," said Aurora Mayor Tim Jones, Chair of the Region's Finance and Administration Committee. "The Region can assist the federal and provincial governments to develop new urban investment initiatives and act as a willing partner in potential pilot programs."

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, the services we offer and links to our nine area municipalities, please visit our Web site at


Contact: Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

York Region's recommendations to the Prime Minister's Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues

  1. Continue to recognize the important and growing role of Canada's urban regions as essential elements for the country's future prosperity.
  2. Work in partnership with municipalities and other levels of government to ensure Canada's urban regions remain globally competitive.
  3. Recognize the current costs of protecting and enhancing the quality of life in Canada's urban areas will be significantly less than the future costs of reversing a cycle of social and economic decline.
  4. Recognize that Canada's urban areas require additional financial resources beyond the property tax base to address significant servicing and infrastructure costs.
  5. Add Green Infrastructure and Healthy Communities as important quality of life elements that require significant investment.
  6. In consultation with municipal and provincial authorities ensure service delivery responsibilities are:
  1. Placed under the level of government most capable of generating the required supporting revenue within the limits of its geographic and economic boundaries, or
  2. Placed under the most appropriate level with the required financial resources provided.
  1. Begin the process to redefine the tax structure to give municipalities a greater degree of fiscal and financial independence. Include a time frame for completion.
  2. Receive for information copies of York Region's growth management strategies including the Transportation Master Plan, Housing Supply Strategy, Greening Strategy, Highway 7 Transitway Terms of Reference, Yonge Street Transitway Terms of Reference, Human Services Strategy, and York Rapid Transit Plan.
  3. Actively consult with municipalities regarding potential pilot programs.
  4. Acknowledge the need to make immediate investments into Canada's urban areas to maintain our economic and social global competitiveness.
  5. Acknowledge that these investments are interlinked with a healthy economy and a growing GDP.
  6. Begin the process to redefine the Federal Government's financial role in urban areas with a time frame for implementation.


The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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