The Ontario New Democratic Party has responded to AMO President Russ Powers regarding municipal priorities and the NDP’s platform.

A similar letter has been sent to Liberal and Progressive Conservative Party Leaders and members will be updated when these are received and clarification provided.

NDP Municipal Commitments:
The NDP has committed to action on many of the priorities that AMO sought clarification on. The party has provided a detailed response to each of the items raised by AMO. Major commitments included in the response are summarized below.  To read the full document, please go to AMO’s Provincial Election 2014 web page and select the AMO NDP Response.

NDP municipal commitments
Provincial-Municipal Relationship
  • Will support and maintain the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process and work with municipalities to consider fairer representation for their interests.

Municipal Finance:          
  • Upload: maintain the agreed upload schedule of social services and court security costs and additional $2 million per year funding to municipalities to protect tenants and enforce building maintenance rules

  • OMPF: the NDP will work with municipalities to ensure the right level of funding is provided

  • OPP Billing: The NDP would consult widely with municipalities and examine all funding options to come up with an effective solution to help municipalities with policing costs

  • POA – the NDP supported Bill 34 and will take steps to implement changes to assist municipalities in collecting unpaid fines

  • Joint and several liability – the NDP supports changes to the joint and several liability framework that can place an undue burden on municipalities

  • Development Charges – the NDP is committed to a review of the Development Charges Act  working with stakeholders and would start by removing the discounts related to recreation, libraries, old age homes, child care, health departments and ambulance stations

Municipal Infrastructure
  • Transit and Transportation – the NDP will reinstate the Ontario Bus Replacement Program; maintain a dedicated $29 billion fund over 10 years for transit and transportation investment across the province and prioritize high impact transit projects with an additional $250 million investment annually. Will also make investments in bike lanes, expand cycling infrastructure networks and support complete street design with an additional $5 million annually.

  • Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund – the NDP will proceed with this funding for critical road, bridge, water and wastewater projects and projects identified as priorities in municipal asset management plans

Municipal Labour Matters
  • Interest Arbitration – they recognize emerging difficulties for municipalities and are  open to working with stakeholders to consider options to reform the arbitration system

Municipal Administration Matters
  • The NDP is open to considering new, streamlined processes for municipal reporting

  • Ombudsman – the NDP will consult and work with municipalities if they make any changes involving municipalities in the Ontario Ombudsman’s oversight

Human Service Matters
  • Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) – the NDP would implement an increase of $190 to ODSP and work to have OW and ODSP reflect the actual cost of living

  • Child and Elderly Care – the NDP is committed to dental benefits for children of low income households, creating new childcare spaces and implementing a tax credit for families caring for ill or elderly relatives

  • Minimum Wage – the NDP will increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour phased over two years and use targeted tax credits to help small businesses manage the impact

  • Homelessness – the NDP will increase the Community Homeless Prevention Initiative by $42 million annually to $294 million over seven years

  • Building Standards Enforcement – the NDP will protect tenants by providing additional funding to municipalities to enforce building and maintenance standards

Environment Matters
  • Waste – the NDP supports extended producer responsibility and is committed to working to ensure that Bill 91, the Waste Reduction Act works for producers, service providers, municipalities and all Ontarians

AMO will continue to update members on major announcements and commitments relating to municipal governments, particularly responses of the parties to AMO’s priorities and communications.