To keep members informed, AMO provides updates on important issues considered at regular AMO Board of Directors’ meetings. Highlights of the June 21, 2013 Board meeting follow:

The following are highlights of the Board of Directors meeting. Don’t forget to register for AMO’s Annual Conference August 18-21 is in Ottawa. Watch for a special announcement July 8th. Register using the registration form provided in the Links section to the right.

Municipal Waste Diversion – Proposed New Act
The proposed new Waste Reduction Act, 2013 would hold producers responsible for the end of life management of the products and packaging that they generate. It addresses our major concerns. AMO will be preparing a response to the EBR posting of the legislation before the September 4, 2013 deadline and will send members information to use to support the Bill.

Renewable Energy Changes Aimed at Municipalities
The Ministry of Energy’s announced changes to the large Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program provides a sense of how it intends to approach new large renewable energy projects, with greater local input and a focus on more willing communities. AMO will continue to press for mechanisms that provide appropriate local input for communities willing to host these projects while respecting the wishes of those that do not. Our Energy Task Force will be preparing a submission to the Ministry for its summer consultation.

Provincial and Federal Infrastructure Initiatives Update
  • The provincial government is consulting on its 2013 $100 million Rural, Small Urban and Northern Municipalities Fund and its future permanency. The Board set up a sub-committee to develop ideas on design matters as well as looking at Metrolinx’s investment recommendations that could mean ongoing revenue tools for all Ontario municipalities.
  • The Board also talked about the design of the new Building Canada Fund. AMO’s interest is to gain as much flexibility as possible and ensure its component programs meet members’ needs. This includes negotiations of the permanent Federal Gas Tax which AMO administers on behalf of the Government of Canada. AMO has identified improvements to the agreement and wishes to see this agreement’s negation as a priority in Ontario so that municipalities can continue to receive Gas Tax funding without interruption.
2012 Federal Gas Tax Fund Report
The Board approved the submission of the 2012 Gas Tax Fund Interim Annual Expenditure Report to Infrastructure Canada.
  • In 2012 municipalities spent $553 million from Canada’s Gas Tax Fund on 1,508 active projects worth over $4.5 billion.
  • The report highlights the current municipal infrastructure situation in Ontario and the accomplishments of municipalities.
OMPF Review Update
The provincial budget plans to scale back the total funding envelope from 2012 through to 2016. While the Ministry of Finance looks at how this could be done, AMO’s messaging to the Province has been that with rising OPP policing costs and assessment changes, the OMPF review needs to be fully informed so that there are no unintended consequences and that the government defer the 2014 OMPF cut of $25 million so that this can be properly done.

Aggregates Update
The Board received several updates on aggregate-related activities that include impacts of assessment changes on pits and cost of appeals to the OMB on proposed aggregate operations and the yet to be released Standing Committee on General Government Report on its review of the Aggregate Resources Act.

Soil Management Pilot Project and BMP Implementation
The Board has given general support to the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario for a pilot project to establish a web-based registry and soil matching process for managing excess soils.

Watershed Management Futures for Ontario
Conservation Ontario has released a call for action for more efficient and effective governance respecting the roles and responsibilities of agencies engaged in managing the natural environment. The Board supported the creation of a Future of Watershed Management Committee and that AMO participate on this committee.