Toronto, Ontario, August 20, 2014 – The Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Pat Vanini, Executive Director of AMO, presented a P.J. Marshall Certificate of Merit to the Town of Deseronto for demonstrating excellence in small transit systems, with its focused, solutions-oriented and transferable approach.
The Award was presented August 18, on the main stage of the 2014 AMO Conference in London. The Certificate was accepted by Transit Manager Susan Stolarchuk and Mayor Norman Clark of the Town of Deseronto. A Certificate of Merit recognizes projects that exhibit some but not necessarily all of the P.J. Marshall Award’s criteria: innovation, tangible benefits, improved efficiency, innovative financing and transferability.

“We have worked hard to fund and develop a transit system that can meet the needs of our small but diverse community, and we are proud to be recognized for our efforts,” said Norman Clark, Mayor of the Town of Deseronto. “Deseronto Transit is a small but mighty network that connects rural, urban and native territories, and is a key part of our poverty reduction strategy.”

With a mission to support job growth and retention in the region, Deseronto Transit’s routes were designed to sync with residents’ work destinations and shift schedules, with access to employers, education and service centres being a key priority.

To develop the transit system, the Town overcame funding challenges by partnering with neighbouring municipalities, opening up additional funding opportunities through the Provincial Gas Tax.
Deseronto Transit also partnered with local social services agencies to ensure that the system could provide services effectively, where they were needed the most.

“This impressive project demonstrates what municipalities can achieve through innovative, focused planning and local cooperation,” said Pat Vanini, AMO’s Executive Director. “Working with its partners, Deseronto Transit overcame significant barriers to develop a system that is providing real benefits to multiple communities.”

The P.J. Marshall Award is an annual competitive process organized by AMO that involves the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Centre for Public Private Partnerships. Awards acknowledge municipalities who have demonstrated leadership and innovation and in public-private partnerships. Submissions by Ontario municipalities are judged by a panel on their creativity and success in implementing new, innovative ways of serving the public.

This year, one Certificate of Merit was awarded alongside three Plaque Awards. The Town of Goderich received a P.J. Marshall Plaque Award for its Harbour Acquisition and Wharf Expansion project. Simcoe County received the same award for its Georgian Village Redevelopment project. A Plaque Award was also presented jointly to the Town of Georgian Bluffs and the Township of Chatsworth for its Biodigester project.  

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 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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