03/31/2011

To keep members informed, AMO provides updates on important policy issues considered at regular AMO Board of Directors’ meetings. Highlights of the March 2011 Board meeting follow:
Ontario Municipal Fiscal Health Update

AMO staff provided a summary of research on the fiscal health of municipalities in Ontario. Data on municipal expenditures was used in AMO’s pre-budget submission to the Province’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. The pre-budget submission is available on AMO’s website. 

Modernization of Alcohol Regulation
The Board received information on proposed changes to the Liquor License Act which would modernize the alcohol regulation system. Changes include extending Special Occasion Permit hours, allowing the use of tiered seating for festivals serving alcohol, and allowing serving staff to carry drinks across an unlicensed area. The Board endorsed a response to the Attorney General which emphasises the impacts on municipal policing services, the fairness of the regulatory system, and the issue of joint and several liability.

AMO Discussion Paper on Municipalities and Long Term Care
The Board provided final direction on the AMO long term care paper. The paper provides an overview of the current and emerging issues that will impact aspects of the delivery and funding of long term care. This includes considerations of the municipal role in the current and future provision of this important service and provides examples of municipalities who have explored alternate service provision and funding options. AMO will be releasing the paper within the next few weeks.

Consultation on Fire Safety for Vulnerable Ontarians
The Board received information on a consultation on fire safety for vulnerable Ontarians in occupancies such as long term care homes. AMO’s submission will include information on the escalating nature of fire costs and the possible budgetary and administrative impacts on long term care homes.

Waste Management Update
AMO staff provided the Board with an update on waste management issues. Specifically, the WDO Board will be reformed to move from an interest based board to one that has the knowledge and expertise required to oversee waste diversion programs. Also, the Board was informed of a workshop to be put on by the Recycling Council of Ontario to discuss extended producer responsibility (EPR) and municipal by-laws.