January 3, 2018

On December 13, 2017, the Province approved the regulation that took effect January 1, 2018. Although no provisions take immediate effect.

O. Reg 588/2017 sets out new requirements for undertaking asset management planning. The proposed phase-in timelines for the preparation of new asset management plans that were part of a previous consultation process has increased from four to six years. Please note the dates below.

a)  July 1, 2019 – all municipal governments to have a finalized initial strategic asset management policy. Section 3 of the regulation sets out 12 matters that this policy must include and the policy must be reviewed every 5 years.

b)  July 1, 2021: all municipal governments to have an adopted asset management plan for core assets (roads, bridges and culverts, water, wastewater and stormwater management) that discusses current levels of service and the cost of maintaining those services. The regulation sets out both qualitative descriptions and technical metrics for each of the core assets.

c)  July 1, 2023: Municipal governments to an adopted asset management plan for all of its other municipal infrastructure assets, which also discusses current levels of service and the cost of maintaining those services. The municipality is to set the technical metrics and qualitative descriptions for its other assets (e.g., culture and recreation facilities).

For both b) and c) above, there are some different requirements for municipal governments above and below 25,000 population as well as those within the Greater Golden Horseshoe growth plan area.

d)  July 1, 2024: The asset management plans shall include a discussion of proposed levels of service, the assumptions related to the proposed levels of service, what activities will be required to meet proposed levels of service, and a strategy to fund the activities. (AMO believes that this funding strategy will further identify the gap between municipal own source revenues and the need. AMO’s current fiscal analysis for 2016 – 2025 shows a $4.9 billion gap in municipal operating costs and capital needs).

The proposed requirement for a licensed engineering practitioner to endorse completed asset management plans was dropped and the level of detail reduced under the financial planning aspects of the regulation.

In addition, O. Reg. 82/98 to the Development Charges Act, 1997 has been amended to provide that on July 1, 2024, its transit asset management plan requirements will be repealed and included in this new regulation. The requirements in O. Reg 82/98 will continue to apply until July 1, 2024 to municipalities that are preparing asset management plans to support a development charge by-law in respect of transit services.

The Ministry of Infrastructure is proposing, beginning in 2025 to collect information from municipal asset management plans, such as levels of service and financial planning information through the Financial Information Return. After the initial FIR submission in 2025, municipalities would submit asset management planning information every time their plan is updated (at least every 5 years).

To help address capacity concerns related to implementing the regulation, the Ministry is providing up to $25 million over the next five years for asset management planning tools and supports. This funding will be targeted to build municipal capacity through coaching and communities of practice, as well as support to get planning activities done (e.g. condition assessments) in small communities.

More details on both the collection and funding activities will be provided in early 2018. A concurrent session is being organized for the ROMA Conference taking place January 21-23, 2018.