To keep members informed, AMO provides updates on important issues considered at regular AMO Board of Directors’ meetings. Highlights of the August 2013 Board meeting follow:

Municipal Waste Diversion Issues
The Board approved AMO’s proposed submission to Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act.  Key points that will be emphasized in the response include:  the importance of municipal roles and responsibilities in waste diversion, that reasonable costs be established through mediated negotiation and continuous improvement, that accessibility and convenience service standards for residents are supported as well as other key points.  AMO will also be preparing messaging for members on the municipal role, efforts and investments in provincial diversion programs so councils can provide their support to the Bill.

Energy Matters:  Long-Term Energy Plan, Conservation Consultations and Regional Energy (Electricity) Planning
The Board approved a response to the Minister of Energy who is seeking municipal feedback to a Long Term Energy Plan, energy conservation and regional energy planning consultations. A Long Term Energy Plan that addresses crucial energy, economic and environmental issues is needed. AMO’s Energy Task Force indicated that municipalities are supportive of regional energy generation with the understanding that regional plans will integrate local and provincial energy goals.

Response to the Ministry of Infrastructure on New Rural, Small Urban, Northern Fund
Discussion ensued on AMO’s proposed approach to the distribution formula of the $100 million Rural, Small Urban and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund.  The Board endorsed AMO’s Caucus Committee recommendation of a base plus per capita funding model as the most equitable means to deliver immediate funding that supports road and bridge infrastructure including those communities affected by this year’s particularly violent storms which have impacted roads and roadways.  The Board did not support a grant application approach but felt a modified per capita model would help more municipalities with work that could improve the life cycle of assets.

Bill 73, Fair and Open Tendering Act (Labour Relations for Certain Public Sector Employees in the Construction Industry)
The Board supported the proposed Bill 73, Fair and Open Tendering Act. This Private Members Bill addresses closed tendering by amending the Labour Relations Act to clarify that municipalities and school boards are not construction employers and should have the ability to openly tender construction work to gain the best value for construction expenditures.  There is an exemption process that involves the Ontario Labour Relations Board, one that is time consuming with attendant costs.

Update on Renewed Federal-Provincial Housing Program Agreements
The 2013 federal budget announced five-year extensions and funding for housing and homelessness programs, three of which are of importance to municipalities:  Investment in Affordable Housing; Social Housing Agreement; and the National Homelessness Partnering Strategy.  The federal government and the Province are about to negotiate the extension to the agreement to determine program design.  The Board received an update on these renewed federal-provincial housing program agreements.  As per the MOU protocol (renewed at the 2013 AMO Conference), the Province is involving AMO in this work.

DON’T FORGET TO REGISTEROn the Horizon. AMO’s 2013 Counties, Regions & Single-Tier Symposium occurs October 24 and 25 at the Quality Hotel & Conference Centre in Oshawa.
Program Highlights (subject to change) include:
  • Innovative Housing Options that Adapt to Changing Demographics
  • Municipal Leadership, Public Opinion and Social Services in the Age of Austerity
  • Capital and Social Legacies from Major Sporting Events in Ontario’s Municipalities
  • And so much more!
Attend the Stark Realities of OMERS Sustainability session, a free 90-minute session which occurs in advance of the start of the Symposium on October 24.  All municipalities are urged to send representatives to this special session.  Separate registration is required.  Learn more about this session on the MEPCO website.