A new paper, written by Zachary Spicer and Adam Found explores shared service delivery models in city-regions facing expanding demand. The paper argues that while amalgamations have produced little if any savings (some studies suggest costs actually increase) and undermined local autonomy, inter-municipal cooperation arrangements offer municipalities an effective means to make services more efficient, while maintaining autonomy.
The antiquated solutions of forced amalgamation and provincial mandates on service sharing have produced few economies of scale and and have greatly undermined local autonomy. Provinces need to shift their focus from imposing centralized local government to creating frameworks that promote cooperative and flexible local governance.
Read the paper here.