02/23/2006

Toronto, ON., February 23, 2006 - AMO expresses its disappointment over the passage of Bill 206, An Act to Revise the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Act, 2005, and the inevitable costs the Province has chosen to impose on municipal property taxpayers.
“Municipal property tax payers will be on the hook for the cost of the supplemental pension benefits that Bill 206 makes available,” said AMO President Roger Anderson.  “Pension benefits aren’t free and the public knows that.  The Province has created a ticking download that will cost Ontario property taxayers hundreds of millions of dollars over time.”

AMO estimates that the Bill’s 2.33 percent accrual rate benefit alone will cost property taxpayers $50 million a year by the time it has worked its way into collective agreements across the Province – either by negotiation, or more likely, at the whim of unaccountable arbitrators.

“The suggestion that fire, police and paramedics would put existing salaries or other benefits on the bargaining table to make Bill 206 ‘revenue neutral’ is ridiculous,” added Anderson.  “The Province will accept the political credit for providing supplemental benefits, but municipalities will endure their costs and administrative headaches.” 

AMO welcomes the Government’s decision to review the Act by 2012.  Legislative review clauses are typical in legislation of this kind.  AMO will track the impact of this legislation and the frequency of arbitrated cost increases to ensure the public understands the legacy of Bill 206.
 
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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