Nicholas Hillier on City-Province relations

Happy City: The province sets the rules on what powers cities and other communities have. St John’s is governed by the St John’s Act which is 34 years old. Towns and municipalities recently got their own revised laws and new legislation for cities, including the City of St. John’s, is still in development.  

This is an opportunity for you as a Councillor to have a say in how responsibilities and powers are shared between the City of St. John’s and the provincial government. What powers and responsibilities would you like the City to gain or relinquish as part of this process? How might the City be better able to address the needs of residents as a result of this change?

Nicholas Hillier:

A strong relationship between all levels of government is beneficial for all. I hope to continue working with the province on a number of joint initiatives. For me, I think that we need to do a better job providing the services that we already provide rather than taking on additional responsibilities from the provincial government. I would want to see more clarity on the role of our governments when it comes to housing, one of the most pressing issues we are faced with. I think we need to consider further partnerships on snow clearing. It is clear to me that the city is not able to do the snow clearing in the best way possible, some support from the province may be needed. 

Additional responsibilities equal more money spent. In a time where we need to find our efficiencies and watch spending, piling on additional responsibilities are not the way to go. Focus on what we do now and do it better.

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