09/17/2006

AMO's 2006 Pre-Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance.
AMO has been representing the interests of Ontario’s municipal governments for more than a century and continues to work diligently to ensure that the perspective and priorities at the local level be clearly understood. We believe that all three orders of government – Federal, Provincial and Municipal – must work together to ensure that we have effective governance and accountability structures in place, to collaborate on issues of shared interest, and to maximize the effectiveness of our mutual investments in human and physical capital.

Few would argue against progress toward making Canada’s local communities the best places to live in the world, while ensuring that they contribute to our national prosperity.Yet, no one level of government can solve all the problems. Now is the time to act – and,it is essential that all governments be present and accounted for as we move ahead to address key issues that face our collective leadership today.

As the front-line providers of service, local municipalities are where many issues of national importance intersect – services such as public transit, immigration settlement, environmental protection, public health, affordable housing, income supports, child care,and public safety. In many cases, it is the municipal government that provides other orders of government with local service delivery capacity.Municipalities recognize that tremendous progress that has been made on a number of fronts, including: 100% municipal rebate of GST; investments in affordable housing and in support of safer streets; investment in municipal public transit and other local infrastructure priorities (i.e., Federal gas tax transfer); investments in Brownfields redevelopment; and, other Federal funds to support smaller-scale municipal infrastructure.