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City of Kitchener releases results of survey on regional government representation

The City of Kitchener flag outside of city hall.
The City of Kitchener flag outside of city hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

CORRECTION: The story originally erred in stating that a slim majority of residents had said they were in favour of amalgamation when they were actually in favour of having the same councilors at regional and city council.

The City of Kitchener released results from a survey of local residents on some potential questions surrounding amalgamation.

The survey, which was presented to council on Monday morning and will be shared with the province as well, saw 49 per cent of respondents say they would prefer one set of councillors with 43 per cent saying they were opposed to the idea.

A similar number of those who were asked (51 per cent) also believed that amalgamation would result in better service for residents of Kitchener.

An overwhelming number of people also said their interests are effectively represented in the current system.

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Eighty-one per cent said they get good value for their tax dollars from the city and 77 per cent were also happy with the level of service for the region.

Respondents were also asked to decide if the current form of government would perform better than a partially amalgamated or fully amalgamated one. In this case, the partial amalgamation would see Kitchener and Waterloo combined.

There was a series of five questions which focused on which form would be best suited to attend to residents’ needs and in each case, the current structure was the top choice followed by partial amalgamation.

Doug Ford’s government launched a provincial review of the regional system of government in January. It has been widely rumoured that it will lead to some form of amalgamation of the area whether it be all of Waterloo region or just the urban areas.

Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, billed the review as a search for ways to cut red tape and inefficiencies. He tasked former Waterloo chair Ken Seiling and former deputy minister Michael Fenn to help with the review which is expected to be prepared by early this summer.

The City of Kitchener held a special council meeting on Monday morning to receive the results of the survey.

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City council in Waterloo are also scheduled to meet on Monday night to debate the provincial review of the current system of government.

The survey of 600 people, which was conducted for the city by Environics Research, has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.