September 22, 2017
Policing Grants
AMO has just been provided details regarding the government’s plan for policing grants in 2018-19. Earlier in September, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) wrote to Police Chiefs and Police Service Board Chairs to advise that for next year, police services will again have the option to apply for funding under the old or new model.

The Ministry has also advised that 2018-19 will be the last year in which the Provincial Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (PAVIS), Community Policing Partnership (CPP), and the 1,000 Officers grants will be offered. For the past twelve years, these three grants have funded the provincial cost share of over 2,000 front-line officers. New granting criteria for 2019-20 will not necessarily be directed to front-line officers in the future.

Questions related to this potential financial risk should be discussed locally with Boards and Chiefs. Specific questions related to policing grants should be directed to the MCSCS. If you have any questions, please contact Steffie.Anastasopoulos@ontario.ca or James.Y.Lee@ontario.ca.

New Policing Bill Anticipated This Fall
After five years of consultation through the Future of Policing Advisory Committee, a new Police Services Act is expected to be introduced this fall. Municipal governments are looking for three key changes to improve and modernize policing and public safety services:
  • Reforms that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police spending, especially in smaller communities. Increased police spending does not mean increased public safety and security. New legislation must consider sustainability.
  • The civilianization of specific functions that do not require a police officer, to manage costs and effective use of resources. Efforts to modernize policing must clearly allow civilians to perform some non-core policing functions that do not necessitate an armed, sworn officer.
  • Governance reforms that clarify the mandate of police services boards and provide resources to support effective civilian oversight. Designing a successful civilian oversight system through police services boards is a critical part of the future. This must include Ministry resources for board training and support.
Ontarians pay the highest policing costs in the country. This includes both provincial and municipal spending. In 2014-2015, Ontarians spent $347 per capita on policing, which is at least $20 more than Albertans, $38 more than Quebecers, and $58 more than British Columbians. AMO is seeking to modernize policing, so that all Ontario communities can afford police services, along with all the other public programs and services that keep people safe and healthy. An updated report on emergency service costs in Ontario was provided at the 2017 AMO Conference. A copy of that presentation is available under DOWNLOADS to the left.

Bill 68, Modernizing Ontario's Municipal Legislation Act, 2017 (MOMLA) Timing
  • The changes made through MOMLA will come into force in phases. While some sections of MOMLA came into force on Royal Assent, many of the sections will come into force on dates to be proclaimed. A phased approach to proclamation has been confirmed, which would bring certain amendments into force on January 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019, respectively.
  • The changes made through MOMLA that will come into force on January 1, 2018, include provisions respecting small business programs, open meetings, and other provisions.
  • The second proclamation date is March 1, 2019, and will bring into force changes to municipal accountability and transparency framework that include provisions respecting codes of conduct, integrity commissioner, conflict of interest, mandatory policies and other provisions. This includes the requirement for a policy regarding the relationship between members of council and the officers and employees of the municipality.
  • For more information about the proclamation of certain MOMLA provisions, please refer to the legislation on E-laws where in force timing will be embedded.

Timeline

Phase 1: January 1, 2018
  • Changes to council composition (including temporary replacement of a member of upper tier council)
  • New definition of a meeting
  • New closed meeting exceptions
  • Electronic participation in council meetings
  • Small business programs
Phase 2: March 1, 2019
  • Codes of Conduct
  • Integrity Commissioner provisions
  • Policy on Staff-Council relations
  • Policy for pregnancy/ parental leave
  • Policy for protection of a tree canopy
TBD
  • Amendments related to property taxes, tax collection and tax sales Prudent Investor Status
AMO will continue to monitor progress and keep members informed.