How It Works
The powers of municipal governments are determined by the provincial government. Municipal governments in Ontario are responsible for providing many of the services within their local boundaries
Regional governments are a federation of all of the municipalities that are within their boundaries.
During municipal elections we elect a mayor and local councillors who represent people in their area on the local city, town or township council. At the same time, representatives are elected from each municipal area to also sit on a Regional Council.
Durham Regional Council is currently made up of the eight Mayors of the local municipalities and 20 Councillors representing those municipalities, according to regional population. During the past 20 years, the size and distribution of Durham Region's population has changed dramatically. As a result, Durham Regional Council has established a 15-member special committee to review council composition.
The Regional Council Composition Review Committee (RCCRC) will meet monthly, provide an update to Regional Council in November 2015, and report final recommendations by March 2016.
Regional Council and the Region of Durham are headed by Regional Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Roger Anderson. This is an elected position. A list of the Mayors and the Regional Councillors can be found at "Region of Durham Regional Council 2014 - 2018"
Municipal elections are held every 4 years and the next election will be held in October 2018.
All residents and taxpayers in each municipality within the Region of Durham can vote in municipal elections if they are over the age of 18 and are Canadian citizens. Canadian citizenship is still a requirement as it is in Provincial and Federal elections.
Municipal Governments in Durham region are working towards creating welcoming communities for all their residents. A few municipalities have explicit committees working on issues around diversity and newcomer integration
The Town of Ajax was the first municipality to approve a municipal Diversity and Community Engagement Plan in 2010. For more on the Town's diversity initiatives, see the "Our Diverse Community" section of the Town's webpage..
In January 2012, Whitby Town Council approved the creation of the Ethno-Cultural and Diversity Advisory Committee of Council (EDAC). For more on EDAC's initiatives, visit the Town of Whitby's website.
An overview of Durham Region and its corporate priorities, mission and vision can be found at "Overview of Durham Region".
How Schools are Governed
As mentioned earlier, public education is funded and governed by the Province of Ontario through the Ontario Ministry of Education but it is administered locally. Local schools are administered by regional school boards that report to publically elected School Trustees. The West part of Durham is administered by the local School Boards. Learn more about the role of local school boards at "How Schools are Governed in Ontario". If you need to enrol your children in school you can find information at "Enrolling Your Child in School".