09/18/2008

To keep members informed, AMO continues to provide updates on important issues considered at regular AMO Board of Directors’ meetings. Highlights of the August 2008 Board meeting follow:
Accomplishments on Waste File

The Board received a summary of accomplishments on the waste management file over the past four years. Many of these accomplishments are attributable to AMO advocacy efforts set out in AMO’s 2005 paper calling on the Province for an integrated waste management strategy for Ontario.

MHSW Program Plans

The Board received an update on the status of the Municipal Household and Special Waste (MHSW) agreements with municipalities, which delineate industry and municipal responsibilities for the costs associated with managing household hazardous waste. In light of recent amendments to the Phase 1 MHSW Plan that shift full program costs to stewards, the Board endorsed a recommendation that municipalities enter into agreements with Stewardship Ontario to recover processing costs. Municipalities have until December 15, 2008 to enter into such agreements.

 
Blue Box Funding
 
The Board approved the AMO and AMRC Position Paper for an Alternative Approach to Ontario’s Blue Box Funding Model. Staff was directed to submit the report to the Minister of the Environment. The Board also received a report on the results of Blue Box funding negotiations for 2009.
 
New Tire Recycling Program
 
The Board was informed of the revival of Ontario’s New Tire Recycling Plan. The Board was advised that program plans need to be submitted to the Minister by December 2008.
 
Canada Post Strategic Review
 
The Board reviewed AMO’s proposed submission to the Canada Post Strategic Review Advisory Panel. Providing direction on additional concerns that should also be included in AMO’s letter of submission, the Board provided approval and directed staff to submit the letter to the Advisory Panel.
 
AMO Municipal Immigration Paper
 
The Board received AMO’s draft paper on the attraction, retention and settlement of immigrants in Ontario municipalities. Reviewing the recommendations contained in the paper, the Board directed staff to circulate it to members for further comment. The finalized paper will be re-presented to the Board for approval in the fall of 2008.
 
Ontario-Quebec Trade Negotiations
 
The Board received an update on Ontario-Quebec Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations, including an analysis on the potential impacts for municipalities.
 
Investing in Ontario Act
 
The Board received information regarding the anticipated announcement of Investing in Ontario Act funding for municipal infrastructure investments.
 
National Do-Not-Call List
 
The Board received information regarding the impact of the new Do-Not-Call List and telemarketing restrictions on municipal political activity. The Board was advised that exemptions from the restrictions do not apply for elections at the municipal level unless calls are made on behalf of a registered political party. The CRTC will launch the national Do-Not-Call List September 30, 2008. The Board directed staff to work with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on this issue.
 
Federal Gas Tax Update
 
The Board received an update on the upcoming evaluation of the gas tax program. A full Outcomes Report will be published by September 30, 2009, which will outline the results achieved over the first three years of the agreement.
 
OMERS Update
 
The Board received an update on OMERS-related issues, including an overview of recent OMERS Plan benefit proposals reviewed by the Sponsors Corporation, and information regarding OMERS contribution rates for 2009.