Remember the last time the Progressive Conservatives were in charge at Queen's park? The Common Sense Revolution was first fostered by Mike Harris and then briefly by Ernie Eves.
Harris vowed to save taxpayers a quarter of a billion dollars through municipal amalgamation. Here in Toronto it meant the end of Metro government and turning the five boroughs into one city with one mayor, one council etc.
Some new research by political science professor, Timothy Cobban, and his team at Western University shows that overall amalgamation did not reduce the size of municipal government.
It meant fewer municipalities yes and fewer elected politicians, but since 1995 when Mike Harris began his pitch, the number of municipal workers in Ontario grew from 160,000 to about 270,000 today and of course the cost has gone up too.
The team out of Western University looked at Statistics Canada numbers for the 15 years prior to amalgamation and after in order to determine the impact the Harris government’s plan made.