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约克区主席必须普选
York Region Chair must be directly elected

 
 
 
一些人的政治野心永远不会泯灭,这些人只是暂时退出历史舞台,然后借尸还魂,以新的面貌出现。本文所要说的是约克行政区主席位置的“小圈子选举”。关心这一话题的读者可以查看Bob Mok2015年写的一篇文章:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/620501
Some political ambitions never die, they just simply fade away to be returned and reincarnated using another new dead body. I am referring to the “small circle election” of the York Region Chair. For my earlier (2015) article on this subject, please click here:http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/620501
 
 
 
2015年,安大略省42号法案出笼。该法案是为了让约克区的行政主席由选区的所有选民直接选出,这一法案正在按安省议会程序,并将决定是否成为法律。日前,约克区主席向区议会提出一项议案,要求延长主席职位的内部选举周期。此外,该议案还规定,区主席还可以兼任行政区内的市长或区议员。这项动议将在2017年10月19日的约克区议会上进行投票。

Since then, Bill#42 in the Ontario legislation aimed directly at putting this issue to rest and have the Region Chair elected by all voters is running its course through Ontario Parliament. Now, the York Region Chair is advancing a motion at the Council to perpetuate the cycle of internal elections for that position. In addition, the motion further stipulates that the Region Chair can also hold onto his/her current municipal position of Mayor or Regional Councillor. This motion is up for voting by York Region Council members on October 19, 2017.

 
在此,我简单介绍一下约克区的历史。位于大都会多伦多北部的约克行政区于1971年设置。此区位于Simcoe湖和多伦多之间,人口超过一百万,由九个城市、乡镇组成。约克地区的许多居民都是来自中国大陆的移民。

A quick refresher for our readers - North of Metropolitan Toronto, the Regional Municipality of York was created in 1971. York Region is located between Lake Simcoe and Toronto with a population of over one million represented by nine cities, towns, and township under its control. Many of the residents in York Region are immigrants with the majority coming from Mainland China.

 
约克区为其属下市政府成员提供统一的市政服务,并协调该地区的区域规划。约克地区的居民要向两级政府交税。税的一部分交给约克区政府,另一部份交给各自的市,乡镇政府。在万锦市,市民的51%的市政服务税去了约克区政府。

York Region provides collective services to its municipality members and co-ordinates over-all planning for the region. Residents and ratepayers in the York Region pay two level of municipal taxes. One portion of it goes to the York Region and the other to their own city, town, or township. In Markham, 51% of our taxes go to the Region of York.

 
许多人和组织对让20个约克区的议员们来决定谁当约克区主席的选举制度感到愤慨。他们的意见可以归纳如下:

Many people and organizations are angry with this latest attempt to hang onto this election system of voting by 20 Regional Council members only. Their opinions can be summarized below:

 
1)这一做法一点都不民主。凭什么20个约克区的议会成员就可以代表120万人的基本民主权利?
1) It is totally undemocratic. How can 20 York Council members deny the basic democratic rights of 1.2 million people?

 
2)一个人如何做两个全职工作?该议案没有提到区主席的薪水问题。是否区主席打算干两份兼职工作,但却拿两份全职薪水?如果是那样,那就太贪了。
2) How can one person do two full-time jobs? There is no mention of salary. Is the intention to earn 2 full-time salaries for what will be 2 part-time jobs? That would be diabolical.

 
3)这个议案的另一个问题是发生利益冲突的可能性,能否做事时保持公正。
3) Another problem with this scheme is the likelihood of conflict of interest and remaining impartial.

 
4)目前区主席的选举过程本身就有很大漏洞。选举过程不向公众公布,也没有努力通过宣传来增加竞选此职位的候选人人数和候选人质量。没有关于候选人的资格,经验,诚信,政纲等问题的讨论,取而代之的是候选人与各个市长和区议员们黑箱操作,讨价还价,直到各自的利益得到满足。
4) The Chair selection process itself is totally flawed. There is no information put out to the public and no effort to increase the number and quality of candidates by advertising the position. There's no discussion of qualifications, experience, integrity, issues etc., instead there's a good deal of backroom wheeling, dealing and bargaining until the mayors and regional councillors are promised the plum positions they desire.

 
5)区主席现在负责30亿元的年度预算的支配工作。虽然主席有决定税率,整个行政区的支出和债务的权力,但他/她却不要对自己的决定付出任何代价。如果我认为区主席不称职,我不能通过投票罢免他或她,并将自己的一票投给别人。约克区目前的政府债务为29亿元(2015年),预计到2020年将达到37亿元。
5) The Regional Chair is now responsible for overseeing an annual budget of $3 billion. The Chair has oversight of determining taxes, deciding on spending and incurring debt, yet he or she remains unaccountable. If I think he or she is doing a lousy job, I cannot vote him or her out and vote for someone else. The regional debt is $2.9 billion (2015), expected to rise to $3.7 billion in 2020.
 
 
2017年10月2日,万锦市政府总务委员会通过了一项议案,要求区主席应该采用普选选出。该议案投票时市长Frank Scarpitti和区议员李国贤缺席,区议员吉姆•琼斯(Jim Jones)因病不能投票。虽然市议会以10-0票通过议案。但是,此项要求区主席普选的议案需要在10月16日的市议会上再次投票,才能正式通过。

On Oct 2nd , 2017, Markham General Committee passed a motion to confirm their support that the Chair being an elected position.  Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Regional Councillor Joe Li were absent while Regional Councillor Jim Jones was away for medical treatments. The Council members voted 10-0 to pass their opposing motion. However, the motion needs to be passed again at Council meeting on Oct 16th to make it official.

 
必须指出的是,2015年区议会通过了普选区主席的议案,但万锦市长和来自万锦市的部分区议员没有就当时的议案投赞成票,他们完全违背了万锦市市议会的集体意愿。预计这次区议会就是否区主席应从普选中选出的议案投票时,他们会继续投反对票。

It must be noted that last time when a similar opposing motion was passed in Regional Council in 2015, the Mayor and some Regional Councillors did not vote to represent the collective will of the Markham City Council motion at Regional Council. It is expected that this will be repeated this time.

 
如果普选区主席议案投票通过,区政府将向省政府提出更改区主席的选举方式。是否更改最终将由省政府说得算。不仅42号法案即将成为法律,70号法案的某些部分也涵盖了区主席选举问题。这两项法案均倡导区主席要由普选选出。省政府应该不会拒绝区主席普选的请求。

The province will have the last say on this issue if the York Region motion is passed and a request is presented. Bill#42 is about to be made into law and parts of Bill#70 also covers this item. Both of these bills advocate general election by all voters for the York Region Chair position. It is unlikely that the request will be granted.

 
让我们再看一下这项要求延长主席职位的内部选举周期议案的实质,那就是那些贪图权力和自私自利的政客们企图把自己的意愿强加在选民和省府之上。这种想法注定是要失败的,因为它不道德,违背了透明社会的民主原则。

Let us recognize this motion for what it is - a desperate and self-serving attempt to thwart the will of the people and the directive from the province. This attempt is doomed to failure as it is immoral and running against the democratic principles of an open society.
 
 
 

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