This week we are profiling the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAH) in Premier Wynne’s cabinet, the Honourable Ted McMeekin.
Mr. McMeekin was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2000 as the MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Aldershot. He was re-elected in 2003 and again in 2007, 2011, and 2014 in the new riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough. Before his appointment as Minister of Municipal Affairs and housing, Mr. McMeekin served as Minister of Government and Consumer Services, Minister of Government Services, Minister of Consumer Services, and Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He has also held parliamentary assistantships in the Ministry Responsible for Seniors, Consumer and Business Services, Government Services, Education, and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Before his career in provincial politics, the Minister served as the Executive Director of the Burlington Social Planning Council, a City Councillor in Hamilton, and Mayor of Flamborough from 1994-2000.
Minister McMeekin has also proven himself to be a committed and distinguished community advocate. He has long been a champion for seniors, children with special needs, farm risk-management programs, strategic infrastructure investment and the environment.
As the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister McMeekin is tasked with the important role of creating strong communities in Ontario, promoting a strong housing market with a range of housing options, and helping municipal governments plan, manage, and invest in their communities’ futures.
As you may know, municipalities are often referred to as “creatures of the province”. This is because the provincial government determines the powers of the municipal level of government. Currently, most municipalities in Ontario, with exception of Toronto under the City of Toronto Act, are limited to raising revenue for these services through property taxes, user fees, and non-tax revenue (such as parking fines). As our economy continues to recover and grow, many municipalities are struggling to meet their financial needs. In the 2014 Ontario Budget, the government reaffirmed their commitment to continue uploading social assistance benefit programs as well as court security and prisoner transportation costs off the property tax base. This is good news for Ontario home owners.
Moving ahead, OREA looks forward to fostering a strong working relationship with Minister McMeekin and working with his ministry to strengthen Ontario’s housing sector.