Sep 1 - 2020

Episode 6: Who runs our cities? Burlington’s Official Plan and struggle to control local government.

The 905er

About the Episode

After 4 years, is Burlington’s Official Plan almost complete? The marathon process of developing a new Official Plan for Burlington has in many ways typified the challenges being faced in every city in the 905 region – both in creating coherent visions for our future, and in implementing local democracy.

This week we discuss the provincial background to how our cities are run with Zac Spicer, Director of Research at the Institute of Public Administration in Canada. Zac provides a wealth of insight, based on his years as a researcher into Ontario’s municipalities, about the background context which shaped how Burlington’s controversial OP was written and then rewritten, and how debates in other 905 cities are taking shape.

If we’re to demand the best for the cities where we live, we need to understand the processes at work. How much power does a council have? Who runs our cities? Is local democracy in Ontario being undermined by the province and appeals by developers to the LPAT? Do local governments really know how to ‘engage’ the public, or are they better at superficial tokenism when it comes to public consultations?

Make sure you also check out the Quadrafonics who have generously allowed us to use some of their music in our episodes. Visit to hear their music and, if you like, name your price to buy their albums – it’s a great moment to support local musicians.

As always, send your comments, corrections and more to [email protected], visit our for opinion and commentary, and find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn







More episodes

Subscribe Now!

Which newsletters would you like to receive?

Yes! By providing my email address, I agree to receive communications from Crier Media (this can be changed at any time). Please take a look at the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more details.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.