The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Durham Regional Council passes by-law to change its composition

WHITBY, ON September 15, 2016

Durham Regional Council has passed a by-law to change its composition, a decision that could come into effect for the 2018 municipal election. While the number of seats would remain the same (28 members plus the Regional Chair), there may be changes to representation within three area municipalities.

“This process allows us to ensure our urban and rural communities are treated equally; a direct reflection of Regional Council’s mandate to be fair, effective and responsive,” said Roger Anderson, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Durham Region is growing and evolving. This electoral process reflects our progressive community and demonstrates our desire for transparency.”

Now that the by-law has been passed by Regional Council, it will be sent to the area municipalities. This by-law must be consented to by a majority of lower-tier municipalities—representing a majority of electors in Durham Region—before it comes into effect. If the triple majority is met, the by-law would come into effect for the 2018 municipal elections.

In May 2015, a Regional Council Composition Review Committee was developed to determine the most fair and effective way to represent residents of the eight area municipalities. Between July 2015 and February 2016, the committee held eight public meetings and hosted three public information sessions (to allow residents to provide input about the size and composition of Durham Regional Council).

Committee representation included the Regional Chair; one Regional Councillor from each area municipality (eight in total); and individuals from local chambers of commerce, boards of trade and post-secondary institutions. 

The committee’s final recommendations were accepted by Regional Council in March, marking only the third time that changes have been made to the composition of council. Among these recommendations were changes to the number of seats allocated within three area municipalities: four elected officials from the Town of Ajax; five from the Town of Whitby; and six from the City of Oshawa. There were no changes to representation within the five other area municipalities.

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