10/11/2007

Toronto, Ontario, October 11, 2007. Ontario municipalities can expect a seamless transition as it continues to work with Ontario’s re-elected Liberal government says AMO President Doug Reycraft.
During the government’s first term, it built a productive relationship of collaboration and mutual respect with AMO that will enable both orders of government to immediately continue their shared desire to serve Ontarians effectively.

“AMO congratulates both the government on its election to a second term and all those who put their name forward to run in this election,” said AMO President Doug Reycraft.  “AMO’s members recognize the commitment required to serve in public life and Ontario is fortunate to have so many qualified people answer that call in this election.”  

AMO’s focus is now the completion of the Joint Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review.  The broad-based review is looking at the financing and funding of provincial health and social services programs, as well as their service delivery, to identify an equitable and sustainable partnership for the 21st century.  Recommendations from the Review are scheduled to be released in a public report in February 2008.   

AMO will build on its past successes with the McGuinty Government which resulted in advances such as enshrining a Memorandum of Understanding in legislation, securing more permissive authority for municipalities, increasing infrastructure funding, and uploading some Provincial costs from the property tax base.  The most significant of these uploads relate to the Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSP) and Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB).  Together, these two uploads will save municipalities approximately $935 million annually by 2011.  

“Ontarians expect their governments to work well together and we have built structures such as the Memorandum of Understanding and Fiscal Review processes which allow us to continue where we left off,” said Reycraft.  ”For all of Ontario’s 445 municipalities, our top priority will continue to be focused on the upload of the Province’s health and social services costs from the property tax base, to close the $3 billion fiscal gap, and to enable municipalities to focus property taxes on core municipal responsibilities that are vital to Ontario’s prosperity.”

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