06/24/2014


Today Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed her new Cabinet following the June 12th provincial election.

The majority of the new Ministers have served in Cabinet previously but there is some portfolio movement between Ministries.  The full list of Cabinet Ministers are listed at the end of this update as all of them have responsibilities that touch municipal governments in either a policy, regulatory or program manner.

AMO is pleased that a former municipal elected official has been given the Municipal Affairs and Housing portfolio.  The Honourable Ted McMeekin is a long standing MPP and former Councillor, City of Hamilton.

We look forward to working with Minister McMeekin and his staff under the Memorandum of Understanding Agreement between AMO and the Province.  There are numerous municipal priorities that arise from other Ministries and we will look for his leadership at Cabinet to bring them forward.

July 2nd  will be the Throne Speech followed by the introduction of the Budget Bill. Legislative rules provide for specific minimum debate times for both. The Premier has confirmed that the Budget Bill (Bill 194) which was introduced in May and which precipitated the election will be reintroduced as originally tabled.  We will be monitoring and evaluating this initial short session.  We will also be reaching out to Cabinet Ministers that hold priority portfolio matters for municipal governments.

Of particular interest is the implementation of provincial infrastructure program dollars within the $29 billion over four years for its transportation and transit commitment. This includes the $100 million for the Critical Municipal Infrastructure Fund (previously referred to as the Small Urban, Rural and Northern Fund). It also provides for Ontario and Canada to work on the mechanics for the Build Canada Fund and its Small Communities Component.  With the provincial election over, there is a short window available for infrastructure project submissions and the requisite government evaluation but first the details of the various programs’ design must be confirmed and conveyed to municipalities.  AMO is anxious that we find a way to make all of this work administratively so that municipal projects can proceed. With pending municipal elections in the fall, there is some urgency. AMO will keep members posted on what the new Cabinet construct (Ministry of Economic, Development and Infrastructure and Ministry of Transportation) may mean for this.

In addition, AMO’s Board is looking for the introduction of the Highway Traffic Act amendment that provided for improved collection tools for unpaid traffic fines. While all Parties supported it in principle, it did not proceed to Standing Committee.  AMO believes that this could be an early Bill for re-introduction. The Board is also looking to the new Minister of Environment and Climate Change for an early discussion on waste reduction legislation (formerly Bill 91) that could benefit from some tweaks that would better define the municipal role before it is reintroduced.
 
AMO's Board is also expecting that the Premier will, as she said in correspondence during the election, commit to discussions on the accountability and transparency legislation that missed the pre-consultation phase when it was introduced in March.  

The Budget Bill also made commitments for $42 million enhancement for Community Homelessness Prevention and $25 million for cycling and we will want to have discussions with the lead Ministers about implementation.  

In addition, AMO is looking for priority discussions on legislative change to joint and several and the completion of the Provincial Land tax reform project.  Other important matters relate to the OMPF, cost of emergency services, OPP Billing, Development Charges, cost of energy, social assistance reform, Power Dam Special Payment, interest arbitration, land use planning, among others.   
 


 
The Provincial Cabinet Sworn in Today   
 
  • Kathleen Wynne, Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Jim Bradley, Chair of Cabinet and Deputy Government House Leader
  • Michael Chan, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
  • Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy
  • Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
  • Dipika Damerla, Associate Minister of Health and Long Term Care (Long Term Care + Wellness)
  • Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
  • Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure
  • Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour
  • Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
  • Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Mitzie Hunter, Associate Minister of Finance (Ontario Retirement Pension Plan)
  • Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services
  • Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services/Responsible for Women’s Issues
  • Deb Matthews, Deputy Premier, Treasury Board President, Minister Responsible for the    Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Ted McMeekin, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Madeleine Meilleur, Attorney General, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
  • Reza Moridi, Minister of Research + Innovation, Minister of Training, Colleges + Universities
  • Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety + Correctional Services, Government House Leader
  • David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services
  • Liz Sandals, Minister of Education
  • Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs
  • Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
  • David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs