04/30/2003

Toronto, ON., April 30, 2003. The Throne Speech again reiterated the government's acknowledgement of the local challenges faced by some municipalities and commitment to "… work with them and the federal government to help municipalities meet their funding needs, guided by the principle of accountability and responsibility to taxpayers."

We will be seeking a meeting with Ministers Ecker and Young to immediately begin discussions on a financing framework.  "There is an urgency to get on with this work," said AMO President Ken Boshcoff.  "AMO wants to find solutions to these challenges by the fall so that in 2004 we will have a sustainable and predictable financing framework for municipal government."

AMO and the Province have a formal pre-consultation framework established through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  The MOU process will be extremely useful in looking at how today's announcements from multi-year funding, to social services, to policing, to rural strategy, to Smart Growth, transit and transportation and the delivery of water among other matters can best work.   

Municipal governments have been leaders and have done much over the last two years in terms of effectiveness and efficiency improvements.  We will want to use the MOU process to reconcile these achievements with the government's perspective of "quality audits".   Boshcoff said, "Municipal governments have been doing performance reports, sharing best practices and implementing additional reports under the new Municipal Act.  We would not want to see duplication or confusion or unnecessary costs and we know the Province would support these sentiments."

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization with member municipalities representing 98 per cent of Ontario’s population.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

 
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