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Gerretsen's Letter

The letter below is Minister Gerretsen's response to Mr. DeClute's restucturing proposal, which was forwarded to him by Council. The letter was received December 21, 2004.

December 16, 2004

Her Worship
Mayor Barbara Kelly
City of Kawartha Lakes
P.O. Box 9000
26 Francis Street
Lindsay ON K9V 5R8

Minister of Municipal Affairs
and Housing
Minister Responsible for Seniors
777 Bay Street
Toronto ON M5G 2E5

Tel. (416) 585-7000
Fax (416) 585-6470

Dear Mayor Kelly:

Thank you for your letter of November 4, 2004 regarding your council's resolution and inquiry about the authority and process for municipal restructuring. I note that you have provided two citizens' submissions offering differing views on restructuring in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The government's top priorities continue to remain focused on reducing the deficit and improving health care and student achievement. Municipal restructuring is not one of our priorities. As a result, there are no provincial initiatives underway to change the legislative provisions that govern the municipal restructuring process. I wish to reiterate my previous comments that there is currently no funding budgeted for municipal restructuring.

As I have stated previously, I remain willing to give consideration to proposals submitted by municipal councils that would improve local governance and service delivery systems and that meet the reasonable criteria of property tax fairness for all residents and assured fiscal sustainability of all resulting communities.

In my February 18, 2004 letter to council, I also expressed concern about the creation of any new municipal structures that would be unable to meet the fiscal and service delivery challenges that face our municipalities, given their present-day roles and responsibilities. I would expect any restructuring proposal from your council to address those concerns. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns with me.

(signed: John Gerretsen, Minister)

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