Toronto, Ont., November 21, 2003 – The AMO Board of Directors applauded John Gerretsen, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, for his proposal to change the planning legislation so that urban boundaries can only be expanded by municipal councils.

AMO President Ken Boshcoff said, “Giving Councils the due credit to make decisions for their communities is an important step in recognizing municipalities as a responsible and accountable order of government, elected by their constituents to look after their municipality.”

Municipalities have been struggling with the current 90-day time limit for making a planning decision, which does not reflect the actual work involved in evaluating proposals and consulting the public.  Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director noted, “I think municipalities will be relieved to hear that the current 90-day limit will be doubled to 180-days.

Municipal governments need adequate time to make quality decisions on all planning proposals to ensure that they will contribute to their community vision.” In order for Council to make informed decisions on the growth and development of their community, all the facts must be made available.  Today’s proposal by the government will go a long way in involving the public in decision-making and hopefully avoiding unnecessary and costly Ontario Municipal Board hearings.

“Given this new direction, municipalities are keenly interested in joining the Minister in the review and update of the Provincial Policy Statement and other changes to the planning process, including the Ontario Municipal Board,” says Ken Boshcoff.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is a non-profit organization with member municipalities representing 95 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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