Restructuring Government: The Abandonment of Metropolitan Government
Metropolitan or tiered government that was championed by many academics and practitioners as the answer to governance problems besetting metropolitan areas has been discredited and abandoned by most of the countries that instituted this form of regional government. The general movement to abandon tiered government commenced in the 1980s. The countries that instituted tiered or metropolitan governments, some for not much more than 10 years, found them not to be the answer to their regional problems. Great Britain was one of the leaders in the movement to eliminate the tiered structure. Britain had followed the Toronto model and had established a metropolitan tier over its major metropolitan areas, with the Greater London Council established in 1965 and tiers over six other metropolitan areas established in 1974. In 1986 these upper tiers were abolished by the Thatcher government. These changes were made without a vote of affirmation by the residents. There were political considerations in the abolition of these tiers of government as none of the governments were controlled by the Thatcher government, but there was also a desire to reduce the scope and autonomy of local government and to further centralize power. There was little support for these metropolitan tiers and their passing was not contested by the constituent governments (Norris, 2001).
KeywordsProvincial Government Public Transit Great Toronto Area Direct Election Tier System
- Aubin, H. (2006). A failure on almost all counts: The municipal mergers mean more spending and more bureaucrats, but diminished services (p. A21). Montreal: Gazette.Google Scholar
- Boudreau, J. A. (2000). Mega-city Saga; democracy and citizenship in this global age. Montreal: Black Rose Books.Google Scholar
- City of Toronto. (2000). Building the new City of Toronto: Status report on amalgamation, January 1998-December 2000. Toronto: Author.Google Scholar
- Collin, J. P., & Tomas, M. (2004). Metropolitan governance in Canada or the persistence of institutional reform. Urban Public Economic Review, 2, 13–39.Google Scholar
- Hamilton, D. K. (1999). Governing metropolitan areas: Response to growth and change. New York: Garland Publishing.Google Scholar
- Horak, M. (1998). The power of local identity: C4LD and the anti-amalgamation mobilization in Toronto. Toronto: Centre for Urban and Community Studies, University of Toronto.Google Scholar
- Lightbody, J. (2006). City politics: Canada. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
- Local Government Bulletin (2004, May). No. 47. http://www.localgovernment.ca/show_libary.cfm?id=125.
- Local Government Bulletin (2004, June). No. 48. http://www.localgovernment.ca/show_libary.cfm?id=125.
- McAllister, M. L. (2004). Governing ourselves: The politics of Canadian communities. Vancouver: UBC Press.Google Scholar
- Rosenfeld, R. A., & Reese, L. A. (2004). Local government amalgamation from the top down. In J. B. Carr & R. C. Feiock (Eds.), City-county consolidation and its alternatives; reshaping the local government landscape (pp. 219–246). Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe.Google Scholar
- Sancton, A. (2000). Merger mania. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
- Sancton, A. (2003, May). Why Municipal Amalgamations? Halifax, Toronto, Montreal. Paper presented at Municipal-Provincial-Federal Relations in Canada conference. Queen’s University: Toronto.Google Scholar
- Sewell, J. (2000, Dec.). Local Self Government – Bulletin No. 11. http://www.localgovernment.ca/show_libary.cfm?id=29.
- Slack, E. (2000). A preliminary assessment of the new city of Toronto. Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 23(1).Google Scholar
- Tindal, R. C., & Tindal, S. N. (2004). Local government in Canada (6th ed.). Toronto: Nelson.Google Scholar
- Tomas, M. (2006). Thinking metropolitan? The strategies of Montreal’s elected officials in the context of municipal reforms. Montreal: Urban Affairs Association meeting.Google Scholar
- Wichern, P. H. (2004). Metropolitan governance in Canada: The 1990s. In D. Phares (Ed.), Metropolitan governance without metropolitan government? (pp. 34–55). Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar