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Lecture 1

POLS 3270 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Centre Wellington, Ontario, Regional Municipality, Police Services Act Of Ontario

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3270
Tim Mau

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Setting the Context
-Projected growth for Guelph
-1987 - 80,000 people
-2011 Census - 121, 668
-Places To Grow Act 2005: Government actually paid attention to places that where growing
and are trying to find the most cost effective ways to grow
-Guelph expected to grow to 169,000 by 2031
-Economic well-being tied to local levels
-GTA = 44% of Ontario GDP for example
-Social problems rooted in Urban environment
-drug use, criminal activity, homelessness, employment issues
-Lack of interest in Local government
-Has a direct impact on your life but voting is very low compared to provincial/federal
-30-40% of voting for local governments
-Do they not care or do they feel like they cant change anything?
Setting the Context (2)
-Globalization: People, goods, capital and services move freely across the globe
-Relevance of the nation state is questioned (meaningless?)
-Calls for global governance
-Problems such as crime, terrorism, environment
-If were not working with other countries we cant solve all of the problems
US cultural hegemony
-For example: Can go anywhere and find a McDonalds
-Ironically has contributed to an increased focus on the local governments
-Global City: Cities that are an important node in the economic system (Tokyo, New York, Paris)
-Have to have a variety of financial outlets
-centres of new ideas
-Lots of headquarters for big businesses
-High percentage of services and information sector
-High quality education schools
-Multi-functional providing some of the best medical/entertainment/financial
-City-Region: Transcend national boarders and encompass people from different countries
-Populations of 3-5 million people
-Cross boundaries (Even nation-state)
-Global competition for capital investment
-Ex: Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge (Technology Triangle)
Local government in Ontario
-Municipal government: Mayor, council & administrative structure
-council and mayor have full control
-Municipality - 4 Characteristics
-Corporate entity
-fixed boundaries
-Elected council
-Taxation power

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-Local government: A more comprehensive term (Municipality and Agencies, Boards,
commissions or ABCs)
-Ex: Police service boards, boards of education, health boards
Typical Municipal Service Provision Role
-Protective services
-Ex: Police & Fire
-Transportation services
-Roads & Public transit
-Environmental services
-Sewers, garbage, water & waste water
-Social & Health Services
-Welfare administration, day care, homes for the aged, public health programs
-Recreation & cultural services
-Arenas, arts centres and parks
-Land use planning
-Public education
Roles of Local Government (Take home question on exam)
-Provide services
-think of a government as a business
-council members can be considered as a board of directors
-Representational role
-provides residence to express and debate and resolve local issues and concerns
-Apathy and disinterest would be taken into a more important effect here
-Tool of senior levels of government
-Would be seen as creatures of the province
-Just work for the government and not for the citizens
Importance of Demographics
-Demographic changes will determine important urban policies
-Age structure - young vs. aging
-Baby Boom - 1947-1966
-Baby Busy - 1967-1979
-Baby Echo - 1980-1993
-Boom is the largest demographic and makes up the post war babies
-Dependent Groups: 0-14 & 65+
-Producers: 15-64
-Urban Policy Debates
-Post-secondary education
-Crime and drugs
-Leisure and recreation
-Health care
Key Urban Government Issues
-Importance of economic development
-Ex: Not having enough water unless we build a water tower
-The challenge of financing urban government

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-limited ability to raise revenues (property tax main one)
-Municipal government is asked to do way too much for the money the actually receive
Key Urban Issues
-Fostering and Sustaining Liveable Cities
-Recognizing cities need to grow and in a way that is sustainable
-Needs to meet the needs, demands and values of residence in the future
-2006 Strategic Plan Guelph: Key objective is to be a community that makes a difference
-First goal: Attractive, well functioning desirable city
-Ex: Smart Guelph: Looking forward in the future and asking residents how they would
like to grow guelph in 25 years
-Promoting Democracy
-One issue: Whether or not local governments are democratic compared to other types
of government
-Very small amount of people actually care and want their voices heard
-Need for political & Administrative Reform
Public Choice Theory
-Individuals are “Rational”/self-interested
-Desire to get there preferred goods and services for the price they are willing to pay
-Public goods: Provided by the local government and enjoyed by the community
-Cannot exclude anyone from benefiting from them
-Ex: Roadways, parks, policing/fire services
-Tiebout hypothesis: People have the ability to address dissatisfaction by simply getting up
and moving elsewhere
-Government is inefficient
-Politicians/bureaucrats - “Budget maximizers”
Community Power Theories
-Elite Theory: Power concentrated in hands of prominent local individuals
-Based on property owned or business position
-Ex: Friends of Guelph (lobbied and influenced mayor behind the scenes)
-Pluralist theory: Power is distributed amongst a number of different groups and competing
-Deconcentration is beneficial for getting different views and opinions
-Examine each specific decision and each group has a chance at altering decisions
-Growth Machines: Property industry plays a key role
-They try and promote economic development
-Ex: Relocation of Walmart in the north end of Guelph
Community Power Theories
-Regime Theories
-Business still pre-eminent
-Came up in 1990s
-Purpose: Identify conditions of competing interests to come together to get something
-Focus on the collective accomplishment of goals
-Interdependence - government industry and voluntary sect
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