04/13/2000

Toronto, Ont., April 13, 2000 – In response to Minister Clement’s introduction of municipal referendum legislation, AMO President Michael Power said, “Credibility, accountability and consistency and the wise use of taxpayer’s dollars cannot be achieved by this legislation if we cannot clarify for the public and ourselves what is within the municipal jurisdiction.
If this is to be done on a case-by-case basis as the Minister has stated, then there will be greater confusion and frustration for the public and the two orders of government.

There is an overwhelming need to complete the job of setting out what is a provincial versus a municipal government responsibility.  "We have been trying to convince the province that this work is critical," said Michael Power, "Today's announcement makes this even more urgent.  Otherwise, the province has created another piece of legislation that appears to bring with it a number of unintended impacts."  In the absence of clarity and where overlap of responsibility exists, then the province must be similarly bound by a municipal referendum outcome, and must do everything within its powers to implement the results of the question.

AMO had asked the province to not proceed with this legislation until the credibility and value of the province-wide referendum legislation is proven.  Municipal government leads all orders of government in terms of direct access, openness and accountability.  At the municipal level, public consultation is carried out as good practice.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization with member municipalities representing 95 per cent of Ontario's population. The mandate of AMO is to promote, support and enhance strong and effective municipal government in Ontario.

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