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

AMO’s 2012 Federal Gas Tax Fund Annual Expenditure Report
The Board approved the submission of AMO’s 2012 Gas Tax Fund Annual Expenditure Report and Compliance Audit to Infrastructure Canada.  In 2012 municipalities invested $555 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund on 1,500 projects worth over $4.5 billion.  Full details will be contained in the report, which will be posted online and sent to all municipalities in the coming weeks.  To learn about all of the projects benefitting from the Gas Tax Fund in Ontario, visit the Gas Tax at Work website.

OPP Commissioner
The OPP Commissioner, Chris Lewis, made a presentation to the AMO Board on the work undertaken to date in response to the Auditor General’s recommendations of December 2012. The Board asked questions about changes that could make policing less costly generally and about the proposed changes to the OPP billing model.  AMO Board members strongly noted that any potential shifts in costs must be fair and equitable and be supported with new mitigation funding for those with cost impacts.

Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel
Metrolinx’s recent transportation financing study resulted in the recommendation of four financial tools for the Province to consider supporting transit development in the GTHA which the Province has now put to a Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel to consider.  While the Panel is to look at GTHA, some of the financial tools could have broader application and broader impacts.  The AMO Board directed that the AMO President offer some of these broader questions to this Panel.

AMO Railway Safety Task Force
The AMO Board was updated on the AMO Railway Safety Task Force objectives and how it is welcomed by FCM and also addresses provincial matters.  The Task Force is to advise the AMO Board on strategic issues, preferred policy outcomes and advocacy possibilities related to safety and preventative measures with regards to railways that operate within municipalities.

Provincial Education – Consultations on Vision
Municipal governments are being asked to participate in consultations on the development of a new vision for education in the Province.  The Ministry wants to hear from broader groups.  The consultation will focus on:  higher levels of student achievement, reduced gaps in student achievement, and increased public confidence in publicly funded education.  Although the consultation is primarily focused on the school system, there appear to be questions that could generate a broader perspective on the role of schools for vibrant and prosperous communities.

DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER:  On the Horizon.  AMO’s 2013 Counties, Regions & Single-Tier Symposium occurs October 24 and 25 at the Quality Hotel & Conference Centre in Oshawa, Registration is available online.

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.  A separate registration form is required.