01/26/2006

Toronto, Ontario, January 26, 2006 – AMO President Roger Anderson joined the diverse chorus of stakeholders who are warning the Province against passage of Bill 206: An Act to revise the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act, 2005.
“Ontario municipalities are profoundly concerned about the impact of Bill 206,” said Anderson in a submission to the Standing Committee on General Government.  “The Province is rushing to reform one of Canada’s most important pension funds without a reasonable understanding of the potential repercussions and without sufficient regard to the best interests of employees, retirees, employers and taxpayers.”  

AMO’s analysis, using actuarial data supplied by OMERS, estimates that supplemental pension benefits the Bill would impose for select employees could cost as much as $380 million in new labour costs on municipal property taxpayers.  This would represent an average municipal property tax increase of 3% province-wide, with no increase in services.

“The Province is ignoring the concerns and best interests of communities, seniors and property taxpayers in general,” said Anderson.

“The OMERS pension plan is already one of the most generous pension plans in Canada.  Municipal taxpayers, particularly pensioners on fixed incomes, should not have to pay higher property taxes to fund even greater benefits for a select few.”

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  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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