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  #1  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 3:15 PM
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Is it time for Ontario to be split up into new Provinces?

This discussion has creeped up again, most notably in the Ottawa subsection and the Ontario Election thread.

People from Northern Ontario (rightly) complain that they are almost entirely ignored by the government of Ontario, and there is an inordinate amount of focus on Toronto and the GTA.

Case in point, Hudak just promised to upload Toronto's subway, with no mention of the transit needs of other cities in the province. Ottawa's mayor Jim Watson even went on TV and said that they (party leaders) "need to understand there's more to Ontario than Toronto".

It does seem that Queen's Park focuses most of its efforts and appeasement on Toronto and the GTA. Now, granted, that's a significant chunk of Ontario's population, economy, and money, but this leaves the rest of the province "out in the cold". In such a large and diverse province, this should be addressed.

So, let's discuss. Should Ontario be split up into several smaller provinces? How many splits should there be? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?
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  #2  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 5:57 PM
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I'd like to see the GTHA, Golden Horseshoe or Greater Golden Horseshoe become a single city like Shanghai.

It could still be part of Ontario but operate independently.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 7:11 PM
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I'd like to see the GTHA, Golden Horseshoe or Greater Golden Horseshoe become a single city like Shanghai.

It could still be part of Ontario but operate independently.
No, see, I don't want it to be a part of Ontario any more because it's become the overwhelming focus of Ontarian politics.

I lived in North Bay for a few years, and I quickly learned that the northern areas of our province are almost completely ignored. On top of that, it just felt different up there. Like I was in a different province and not the Ontario I knew. The geography, culture, and economy were all different, as was the ethnic composition and climate. Not only is the north being ignored, but it's been constrained by popular politics of southern and eastern Ontario, which have next to no idea of the realities of northern Ontario.

In southern Ontario, unless you're close to Toronto or home to a major factory or two, you are ignored by the provincial government. Hell, I think the Feds pay more attention to Windsor than Ontario does.

Toronto/GTA/Golden Horseshoe needs to be split off into its own province. God knows that area has the population, industry, and economy to go its own way as a province.

Northern Ontario should also be split off as its own province in order to more effectively deal with the issues it faces and how it wishes to develop its economy.

The rest should form the "rump" Ontario that, while taking a hit due to the GTA/Golden Horseshoe leaving, would arguably be more egalitarian in how it develops itself.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 7:18 PM
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I could see Northern Ontario becoming it's own province, but not Toronto.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 7:36 PM
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Just draw a line from Georgian Bay along the French River through Lake Nipissing and along the Mattawa River to the Quebec Border. Manitoulin also belongs to the NW.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 10:19 PM
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Here's a quote I read in the Ontario Election's thread. no source though:

Quote:
In the May 1 budget, the defeat of which triggered an election, the Liberal government allocated $15 billion to transit projects in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, including Hamilton “rapid transit.” The Liberals say that if reelected, they will fully fund the capital costs of a Hamilton rapid transit system.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath, also MPP for Hamilton Centre, supports 100 per cent capital funding for LRT.

“New Democrats are the party that will get shovels in the ground, and build a transit solution for Hamilton that makes sense.”

The Ontario PC party didn’t respond to requests for its position on Hamilton transit funding, but leader Tim Hudak has told media that he is against LRT in Hamilton.
Both the Liberals and the NDP support 100% funding for Hamilton LRT, while the PCs say they don't support LRT at all. Now does this mean they would support a full fledged subway since they seem to have some sort of vendetta against LRT, which isn't good enough for the GTA, or do they just want more money to invest in TO? Lets wait and see.

Point is, Ottawa ALWAYS has to split the bill 3 ways. Sometimes, we even have to pick up more than 1/3.

This is just another reason for everyone outside the Golden horseshoe to do like a banana and split.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Split Northern Ontario off from the rest, or give it to Manitoba. Otherwise, no.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 11:24 PM
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no.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 14, 2014, 11:58 PM
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Split Northern Ontario off from the rest, or give it to Manitoba. Otherwise, no.
Give it to Manitoba. Now there's an idea. I'm not so sure that Northern Ontario could support themselves, but Manitoba...
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  #10  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 12:54 AM
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Splitting Ontario would be a drastic reform and a PITA to implement. A more pragmatic solution would be to give Ontario's regions more autonomy. Ontario could be divided into the following 'sub-provinces':

-Ottawa/NCR - capital Ottawa
-Eastern Ontario excluding Ottawa - capital Kingston
-GTHA - capital Toronto
-SW Ontario - capital London
-NE Ontario - capital Sudbury
-NW Ontario - capital Thunder Bay

Each subprovince would have its own elected legislature, its own cabinet, and significant autonomy from Queen's Park. Municipal government would be scaled back and some of their powers handed off to the subprovinces to varying degrees.

The federal constitution should be amended to clearly delineate the responsibilities of the province vs. subprovinces. Health would remain provincial, but I'd like to see social services, transportation, municipal regulation, and policing become subprovincial powers.

The role of municipalities in this new Ontario would vary by subprovince. The Ottawa & GTHA subprovinces should have weak municipalities (or possibly none at all), while the rest of the subprovinces should have stronger ones.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 1:06 AM
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The resource wealth of Northern Ontario is why Southern Ontario fought so hard to keep us.
The resource wealth of Northern Ontario paid for the provincial legislature.
The resource wealth of Northern Ontario is going to be what saves Ontario from fiscal ruin, but only if the northern part of Ontario remains a part of Ontario.

Northern Ontario would be able to support itself if we can get away from the Southern Ontario mentalities toward the Ring of Fire and other mining projects up here. Southern Ontario might not survive without the billions in revenue from that project, though. The Liberals have been to hesitant to develop it, the PCs wouldn't know how to manage it if they were given an instruction book on how to manage it, and the NDP would start to manage it but manage to create so much red tape that it becomes unmanageable and destroys itself.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 1:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
Splitting Ontario would be a drastic reform and a PITA to implement. A more pragmatic solution would be to give Ontario's regions more autonomy. Ontario could be divided into the following 'sub-provinces':

-Ottawa/NCR - capital Ottawa
-Eastern Ontario excluding Ottawa - capital Kingston
-GTHA - capital Toronto
-SW Ontario - capital London
-NE Ontario - capital Sudbury
-NW Ontario - capital Thunder Bay

Each subprovince would have its own elected legislature, its own cabinet, and significant autonomy from Queen's Park. Municipal government would be scaled back and some of their powers handed off to the subprovinces to varying degrees.

The federal constitution should be amended to clearly delineate the responsibilities of the province vs. subprovinces. Health would remain provincial, but I'd like to see social services, transportation, municipal regulation, and policing become subprovincial powers.

The role of municipalities in this new Ontario would vary by subprovince. The Ottawa & GTHA subprovinces should have weak municipalities (or possibly none at all), while the rest of the subprovinces should have stronger ones.
I'm sure if there was enough vocal support, it could happen. We've already entertained the thought of giving Quebec independence twice. Northern Ontario would still be apart of Canada in this case, I would think that's a lot easier to do than redraw national borders and all the rewritings that would go along with that.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 4:33 AM
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If those were chosen, where to draw the lines though?

Best line for NW to NE is 85.33W longitude. 85W would make more sense, but would jump in and out of Lake Superior, while 85.33 only reaches land once.

NE and GTHA would have a southern boundary at the Severn River (Muskoka-Simcoe), extending eastward.

East would extend westward to the line between Hastings and Northumberland/Peterborough, and the western edge of Renfrew County.

The SW/GTHA boundary is the toughest to define. If based on development and ties to Toronto, the counties west of the line would be Grey, Bruce, Huron, Perth, Oxford and Norfolk, and everything west of that.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 5:15 AM
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There are several countries out there with cities as provinces/states like Germany (Berlin, Hamburg) and Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), or countries with their capital as a federal territory/district (Australia, India, Mexico, USA). Could be models for GTA/Ottawa. I think that is part of a larger conversation about the roles of cities in Canada and would be part of a new constitution rather trying to do something under the current one.

For the present I think creating a written Ontario constitution that included devolution to large autonomous regions would be the way to go, similar to what 1overcosc said. Canada is one of the few federal nations with few written provincial/state constitutions (BC has one, not sure if there are others). The constitution could give certain taxing powers and legislative powers to the region and remove the provincial role in that area. I think it should be part of a constitution so it can't just be changed from government to government, you'd need some kind of amending formula like a referendum.

The province would keep powers over many regulatory areas and have harmonization of certain areas, so that it's easy to move from London to Toronto without needing a new drivers licence, or for a business to open up in Ottawa and North Bay... but the regions would have legislative, taxing, and spending powers in many new areas. For example, the province would be in charge of the rules of the road, but the highways would be owned, funded and operated by the regions. Employment law would be province-wide but each region could set their own minimum wage, etc
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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 5:24 AM
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Slice and dice, and then watch the mess unfold.

Ontario as a country is one of the few provinces/territories that actually could be successful.

Cut it up, and each would be heavily reliant on imports. Some have raw materials, but not much in the way of manufacturing or agricultural. While others have lots of businesses, but no resources.

So, here are my suggestions on chopping up the province.

1) Northwest Ontario, capital: Thunder Bay. Draw a line along the time zone. Everything west of that, is the new province.

2) Northeast Ontario, Capital: (This is tricky) Either Sudbury or Sault St Marie. East of the time zone. North, including the Districts of Parry Sound and Nipissing.

3) Province of Toronto (we have a city and province named the same.) Capital: Toronto. City of Toronto, Durham, York, Peel, Halton and Hamilton would all make up this province.

4) Southwest Ontario, Capital, London. West of Toronto, including Niagara. Grey and Dufferin would both be included, and be the eastern boundary.

5) Capital Province. Capital: Ottawa. Basically a 100km radius from the Parliament Buildings.

6) Central Ontario, Capital: Barrie. South of NE, East of SW, east to, and including Kawartha Lakes and Halliburton.

7) East Ontario, Capital: Kingston. Everything else.

As you may notice, some new capitals were former capitals of Upper Canada.

This would keep regionalism down, and have each province be better run and represented.
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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 5:30 AM
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I think there will be a growing call for this kind of thing due to how some of the provinces are growing.

As I stated in the pop-stats thread, it is unhealthy for provinces to have nearly all of it's growth to be centered in basically just one dominant city which is the case in Ontario as well as BC, NS, and NFLD.

The dominant fast growing city begins to absorb a disproportionate amount of infrastructure funding and while the provinces try to keep building schools and other civil infrastructure in the dominant city, they at the same time are closing them down in the declining areas. It can also result in a warping of the political and economic landscape where the parties become completely focused on the dominant city and and ignore the other areas because that is where the elections will be won or lost.

Economically, it can lead to a lot of alienation as the political powers start acting like, for instance in Ontario, that "what's good for Toronto is naturally good for Ontario" which is not always the case. As an example, it was the more liberal and urban Toronto vote that led to the decision of no coal and more renewables. While this looks good in theory and has benefits, it was Torontonians who reaped the benefits of cleaner air but it was rural Ontario that has had to put up with the noise and visual pollution of all the damn windmills that have ruined the rural landscape.

The more this distorted growth continues, the louder the cry will become as piol;iticians and policy wonks begin to view Toronto and Ontario {or BC/Vancouver, NS/Halifax, NF/St.John's} as one in the same.

There is only one thing people and cities hate more than being talked about and that is NOT being talked about.
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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 5:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterloowarrior View Post
There are several countries out there with cities as provinces/states like Germany (Berlin, Hamburg) and Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), or countries with their capital as a federal territory/district (Australia, India, Mexico, USA). Could be models for GTA/Ottawa. I think that is part of a larger conversation about the roles of cities in Canada and would be part of a new constitution rather trying to do something under the current one.

For the present I think creating a written Ontario constitution that included devolution to large autonomous regions would be the way to go, similar to what 1overcosc said. Canada is one of the few federal nations with few written provincial/state constitutions (BC has one, not sure if there are others). The constitution could give certain taxing powers and legislative powers to the region and remove the provincial role in that area. I think it should be part of a constitution so it can't just be changed from government to government, you'd need some kind of amending formula like a referendum.

The province would keep powers over many regulatory areas and have harmonization of certain areas, so that it's easy to move from London to Toronto without needing a new drivers licence, or for a business to open up in Ottawa and North Bay... but the regions would have legislative, taxing, and spending powers in many new areas. For example, the province would be in charge of the rules of the road, but the highways would be owned, funded and operated by the regions. Employment law would be province-wide but each region could set their own minimum wage, etc
Yes, but Toronto has never existed without being in Ontario. And it's not like it isn't apart of the Southern Ontario identity. I can see the argument for Eastern Ontario and I fully agree with Northern Ontario splitting, but a Province of Toronto? Really?

I do agree that the National Capital Region could work as its own province a la DC and the ACT, but that's because it's the capital and there shouldn't be a bias towards which province it's in and so that it isn't constantly ignored by Ontario. Ottawa is in a different, albeit similar, Ontario from Toronto or London or Barrie, anyways.
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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 7:20 AM
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I actually read northern Ontario newspapers. They are interesting. In the articles and comments I constantly hear residents wishing northern (or northwestern) Ontario was its own province.

The reason for this gripe has been well documented in this thread - the complete out-of-touch nature of Toronto-centric politics when it comes to realizing the assets for the whole province (and stagnant economy) contained in the north. And the ignoring that comes with it.

The ring of fire was an idea and buzzword trotted out at campaign time again and again, only to be shelved until next time - that is, until people in the shining city on the lake - the brilliant geniuses of our provincial government - realized that you could only promise the development of that revenue-generating resource so many times. Also, a project not off the ground doesn't generate cash for the coffers, which is what's desperately needed now.

Thus the mad scramble of the past few months on this file.

But if you take the north as a whole and contrast it with the GTA-transit focus of the provincial government, it isn't hard to realize that goods might not just have a hard time moving in and around Toronto.

There's this thing called the Trans Canada Highway. It connects the west and the prairies to the east and the maritimes - and Toronto!, and it runs through northern Ontario. And, except for a short stretch near Sudbury and the Sault, it's terrible! Hundreds of miles of a two-lane road with no shoulder in the middle of the woods. Frequent delays from road accidents and maintenance. Few amenities.

You'd think the bright bulbs in Toronto would think outside the GTA and realize that the efficient flow of goods into Ontario (and not just into Toronto) benefits the province as a whole.

So yes, Northern Ontario would like to separate on its own accord, and I would love for Toronto to do the same.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 15, 2014, 1:07 PM
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Split Northern Ontario off from the rest, or give it to Manitoba. Otherwise, no.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
no.
Do either of you care to elaborate on why not?
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Old Posted May 15, 2014, 4:35 PM
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Maybe we could just have the GTA and Ottawa (amalgamated with Gatineau, QC) become their own City States and keep the rest of Ontario intact. That puts every other city on level ground instead of having to constantly compete for attention against cities on a whole different playing field.
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