01/31/2014

To keep members informed, AMO provides updates on important issues considered at regular AMO Board of Directors’ meetings. Highlights of the January 2014 Board meeting include:
OPP Policing
The AMO Board of Directors established an OPP Billing Steering Committee.  Its work will be focused on OPP billing and the common theme of unsustainable policing costs which unites all municipalities.  The diversity of all OPP communities will be represented on the committee.  It will guide municipal advocacy to provincial decisions on OPP billing.  A separate e-mail from the AMO President on behalf of the Board will be sent to all municipalities which pay for the services of the OPP on this matter.

AMO Communications Plan
The Board considered AMO's 2014 Communications Plan.  Highlights include:

  • A more prominent role for Board members, who serve as AMO's ears to municipal concerns and as key communicators;
  • A greater emphasis for faster and consistent communication across Ontario; and
  • Dedicated communications plans of designated priorities.
Ice Storm Impact Relief
While the existing provincial (Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program - ODRAP) and federal (Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements - DFAA) programs have proved indispensable, there are program gaps which hinder municipalities from recuperating costs related to response and recovery.  The AMO Board has called for revised programs from the provincial and federal ministers responsible.

Members can bolster this ask by corresponding with the responsible Ministers:
  • The Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and
  • The Honourable Steven Blaney, Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
In reviewing emergency preparedness plans, members may want to consider specifically what might not fall within the ODRAP or DFAA programs and provide these examples.

Blue Box Update
AMO and the City of Toronto are now jointly in arbitration with Stewardship Ontario on the Blue Box funding quantum for 2012 Blue Box operations to be paid out in 2014.  The actual arbitration process starts in April and we are currently in preparation mode.  The AMO Board was also advised that the Honourable Jim Bradley, Minister of the Environment, has convened a municipal-producer table to find common ground on Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act.  Key AMO executive and board members involved in the waste diversion file are the municipal representatives.  Further information on both of these items will be provided to members as it becomes available.

AMO’s Support for FCM’s “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch” Campaign
The Board formally supported the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch” campaign.  The aim is to urge the federal government to provide leadership on housing and to work with provinces and municipalities to develop a long-term, coordinated plan for housing.

Supporting the FCM national housing campaign signals to both the federal and provincial governments the importance placed by AMO and Ontario’s municipalities on finding solutions to Canada’s and Ontario’s housing affordability issues.  AMO’s President will write to both federal and provincial ministers indicating support for the campaign in the lead-up to the federal and provincial budgets.  Visit the FCM website for more information about the “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch” campaign.  For information on how your municipality can adopt a resolution of support, visit the AMO website.

LAS Update
2013 was a good year for the One Investment Program, with three-year annualized returns for the bond portfolio at 2.29%, universe corporate bond portfolio 3.49%, and equity portfolio 9.37%.

On March 26, 2014, LAS will hold an Asset Management Symposium that will provide guidance in developing Asset Management Plans (AMPs) and also help demonstrate how AMPs form the backbone of Council’s long-term strategic decisions.  New changes to the Gas Tax Fund (GTF) Agreement will make it easier for municipalities who have GTF monies that will not be spent immediately, to invest them for up to five years in the One Investment Program.

2014 AMO Urban Symposium
AMO presents the 2014 AMO Urban Symposium "Connected Community" April 3 & 4, 2014 at the Waterloo Inn.  Now in its seventh year of programming, this year's 1.5 day event will covers topics such as youth development, high-rise waste management, transit, child care, urban food and more. Register today.