February 2, 2017

Infrastructure Incrementality
Almost 80 councils have passed the AMO requested resolutions on federal incrementality requirements.  This strong municipal support assisted AMO in a recent meeting between Minister Sohi, Deputy Minister Tremblay, the AMO President, and the heads of AMO caucuses to discuss alternative approaches to the federal requirements.  Minister Sohi committed to continue to work with AMO to try to find a solution to this issue that works for all.  AMO will update members on future developments.

Policing Grants
The Board received a briefing on the provincial repurposing of key existing policing grants into a single transitional grant.  This could leave property taxpayers on the hook for $400 million in payroll costs in 2018 without dedicated provincial support for those front line officers.  In AMO’s view, the Ministry’s proposal of a transitional, short-term grant with different funding criteria at this time is ill considered.  The first priority must be to wind up old grants in a way that ensures no residual or legacy fiscal burdens for police services or municipal government.  The second priority should be to design future grants and direct Ministry spending in ways that support good civilian governance and policing modernization.

Summary of Key Provincial Proposals on Bill 68 – Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, 2016
A synopsis of the key changes that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has proposed in Bill 68 that primarily affect the Municipal Act, the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, the City of Toronto Act, and the Municipal Elections Act was provided to the Board.  An AMO Technical Working Group, including municipal lawyers, will review the Bill and a final report with proposed amendments will be ready for the Board’s consideration at the March meeting.

LAS Update
The 2017 LAS Strategic Objectives were presented to the AMO Board. The strategic objectives focus on growing existing programs and services offered by LAS as well as the launch of two new services focused on fleet and asset management. LAS will also be renewing its strategic plan in 2017. Information on the programs offered by LAS can be found at www.las.on.ca.  

Response on ‘Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario Building the Circular Economy’ and Setting the Annual Blue Box Steward Obligation
The AMO response to the MOECC “Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario Building the Circular Economy” Environmental Bill of Rights Posting was reviewed.  Direction was given to continue work with our municipal waste partners.  The Board was provided with information on the 2017 Steward Obligation and the proposed approach for the Blue Box program in light of the recent change in oversight of the existing waste diversion programs from Waste Diversion Ontario to the new Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority.

Provincial Consultation on New Climate Change Organization
A provincial consultation response on a new climate change organization to support the implementation of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan was approved.  The Board asked that the response include a suggestion that a municipal representative be considered for the organization’s Board of Directors, an expanded scope of focus for the organization to also consider district energy, energy storage and microgrids, and that the organization offer a Local Improvement Charges program for building retrofits, including bulk purchasing of the retrofit technology via LAS.

Overview of Energy in Ontario
An AMO-produced Energy Overview informational resource for AMO members was received.  It was developed with input from members of the Energy Task Force and LAS staff. The overview covers roles and responsibilities of various actors in the field, key issues and municipal advocacy, and a timeline of events.  

Response to Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot Consultation
The Board approved a response to the provincial consultations on a Basic Income pilot, based on proposed comments from AMO staff, working jointly with Ontario Municipal Social Services Association (OMSSA) and the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA).  The submission will not endorse or reject the use of a Basic Income, but rather indicate that the government should evaluate the benefits and limitations of a Basic Income model in the context of broader social assistance reform.  The Board asked that a number of recommendations regarding eligibility, site selection, design and benefits, educational elements, outcomes, and evaluation be included.
Provincial Consultation on a Child Care and Early Years Regulatory Framework
A response to the provincial government’s consultation concerning the development of a Renewed Policy Framework for Child Care and the Early Years, including the expansion of 100,000 new childcare spaces over the next five years, was approved.  AMO’s response will emphasize the need for sufficient provincial funding for childcare and the early years to support the expansion of the 100,000 new spaces and to ensure a dispersion of the new spaces across all geographic areas of the province including urban, rural, and northern Ontario.

Overview of Housing in Ontario
The Board received an AMO-produced Housing Overview document for members as an informational resource.  It includes an overview of provincial and federal policies and programs relating to housing, municipal legislative requirements, a timeline of events relating to housing policy, housing definitions, and key issues relating to the municipal interest in housing.

Program Updates
A video, Tracking Our Progress: Reporting on the Federal Gas Tax Outcomes, was presented at the Board that highlights the importance of sharing our successes from federal Gas Tax investments.  A new outcome reporting tool will be launched on January 31st.