01/30/2013


(A quick summary of sound bites this week and during the convention)

  • Will stay the course on the economic plan to eliminate the deficit by 2017-18 and as part of her leadership campaign committed to restricting overall spending increases to 1% below GDP growth after 2017-18 until Ontario's debt-to-GDP ratio returns to 27% (the pre-recession, 2007 level). (As provincial budget constraint responses continue to be identified, AMO remains firm that it will help government find efficiencies, but the upload Agreement we have with the government must not be delayed)
  • Wants to move forward to implement the Report of the Commission on Social Assistance Review which identified a large number of recommendations and she is asking for an implementation plan.  (Improving how those in need receive services is a shared interest but from AMO’s perspective, if service functions such as ODSP are to be transferred to and integrated with OW, then the upload Agreement and full mitigation of any impacts on property taxpayers  need to be part of any transfer agreement.)
  • Solving gridlock in GTAH and other urban areas is about how best to do this in terms of revenue tools, not if;  calls on federal government to work on a dedicated national transit fund. (AMO recognizes the need for transit funding mechanisms to get the most of the lifecycle of the current system while at the same time expanding systems to deal with current capacity and growth needs) 
  • Will continue to build on other infrastructure investments (AMO has called for a dedicated roads and bridge fund and jointly with the province a framework for going forward was produced in 2012.)
AMO will track any future commentary on priorities during the transition and the days going into the Throne Speech.  (The Throne Speech can be expected shortly after the resumption of the Ontario Legislature which is likely to occur on February 19th).  Our work on profiling key priorities, some of which include changes to make arbitrators more accountable and transparent, looking ahead at municipal fiscal sustainability, changes to the Municipal Election Act before 2014, advocacy on infrastructure program design, impacts of source water protection and how we can build more predictability into the land use planning and decision-making process. 

In congratulating her, AMO President said that the Association acknowledges her strong belief in the role municipal government plays in making Ontario successful.

From our experiences with her as former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and in Transportation, and as a Co-Chair of the AMO-Province Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) meetings, we know she want ideas and will explore options and that this comes about from open and frank discussions.  The MOU Table is a valuable pre-consultation tool and joint problem solving forum that we are confident members of her Cabinet will want to use more extensively.   

Yesterday, Wynne rounded out her Transition Team.  It is led by Monique Smith, former MPP and Cabinet member and includes: 

 
  • Tom Allison: Kathleen Wynne Campaign Manager.
  • Arnold Chan: Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs and General Counsel, Xeneca Power Development Inc. and former political staff advisor
  • Bernadette Clement: Lawyer at the S.D.G Legal Clinic and current Cornwall city councillor
  • David Crombie: Former Member of Parliament and Mayor of Toronto 
  • Tony Dean: Former Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council
  • Don Drummond: Chair of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services (Drummond Report)
  • Jan Innes: Vice President of Public Affairs of Rogers Media and former Executive Assistant to Premier David Peterson
  • Frances Lankin: Co-chair of the Social Assistance Review Commission, former Ontario MPP (NDP)and former Cabinet Minister 
  • Dr. Ben Levin: Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
  • Lyn McLeod: Former Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and former Cabinet Minister 
  • Glen Murray: Former Minister of Research and Innovation and was Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities until resigning to run as a candidate
  • Elaine Todres: Former Deputy  Minister and was involved in previous provincial public service ‘transformation’
  • Angus Toulouse:  Regional Chief of Ontario and from the Sagamok Anishinawbek First Nation and an elected member of the AFN Executive Committee
  • Greg Sorbara:  former Minister of Finance and former Ontario Liberal Party Campaign Co-Chair
  • Hari Suthan Subramaniam: Former Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
  • Maria Van Bommel: Former Member of Provincial Parliament, Lambton—Kent—Middlesex 
The swearing of Premier-Designate is to be sometime next week.  We will keep members informed on a number of the Cabinet postings since municipal government is directly affected by so many Ministries as well as the broader community interests.
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