10/03/2000

Toronto, ON., October 3, 2000. In responding to Minister Clement's announcement, mandating municipal report cards, AMO President Ann Mulvale said, "Municipal governments have been on a service improvement route for many years."

"Municipal governments are the level of government most accountable to the public and most trusted."

Municipal governments are not overly concerned with today's announcement.  Public reporting systems are simply a part of open local government.

What does concern municipalities is the ability to compare one municipality against another since circumstances can vary significantly.  For example, one municipality may have received provincial dollars for sewer and water, but its neighbour did not.  The cost structure and the burden on the property taxpayer is therefore different, difficult to measure and not readily apparent when costs are compared.

Another example is the difficulty of comparing the cost of fire services between volunteer-based services and full-time firefighters.  And some costs are decided by others, such as arbitrated wage settlements.

"AMO takes some comfort that the Minister indicated that this performance information would not be used as a weapon,' said President Mulvale.  "Today's announcement again reinforces the need to open the dialogue on service responsibilities and how provincial rules can limit performance.  It is also clear that a provincial-municipal government framework embodied in a new Municipal Act is needed.  If we do not move on these issues, the goal of clear government accountability will not be met."

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization with member municipalities representing 98 per cent of Ontario's population. The mandate of AMO is to promote, support and enhance strong and effective municipal government in Ontario.

- 30 -