AMO works to make municipal governments stronger and more effective. Through AMO, Ontario’s 444 municipalities work together to achieve shared goals and meet common challenges.
Through our policy development, cost-saving programs, conferences and training opportunities, AMO provides municipal officials with tools to succeed, and programs to help maximize taxpayer dollars.
AMO’s Vision Statement
In Ontario’s municipalities, people and families can live, thrive and prosper in the communities they call home, and children will have the choice and opportunity to live and work in the communities where they were raised.”
The mandate of the organization is to support and enhance strong and effective municipal government in Ontario. It promotes the value of the municipal level of government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.
The Mandate is delivered in a variety of ways. Of particular importance is the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between AMO and the Province. The MOU provides the opportunity for municipal input and reaction to provincial policy ideas (pre-consultation) so that they are fully informed as part of any provincial policy making process. The MOU also includes a Protocol that obligates the Province to consult with AMO and municipalities on matters that are of a federal-provincial nature that could affect municipal services and finances. The Protocol also sets out the Province’s commitment to pursue a federal-provincial-municipal framework where municipalities have a ‘seat at the federal-provincial table.’
The activities of AMO support both its Mandate and Vision Statement. AMO develops policy positions and reports on issues of general interest to municipal governments; conducts ongoing liaison with provincial government elected and non-elected representatives; informs and educates governments, the media and the public on municipal issues; markets innovative and beneficial services to the municipal sector; and maintains a resource centre on issues of municipal interest. The Association's Annual Meeting is held in August and is combined with a comprehensive conference program.
The governing body of the Association is the Board of Directors, elected every two years at the Association's Annual Meeting. The Board comprise 43 elected and non-elected municipal representatives which meets five times per year. An Executive Committee of the Board, responsible for the business of the Association between Board of Director meetings, meets monthly.
AMO hosts many foreign delegates who wish to learn about starting a similar local government organization and our business and information services.
A team of policy advisors conducts policy research and analysis for the Association on a wide range of issues – from governance, financial structure, environment, labour, emergency services and human services. Policy staff works with Task Forces to develop and recommend policy positions to the Board of Directors and to review and monitor issues of municipal interest. Task Forces are established on an as-required basis to work on specific short-term tasks. For example, in the past the Association has struck special task forces to deal with land use planning, public health, affordable housing, water regulations and water taking, and the Municipal Act among many others.
AMO also represents the sector on a variety of provincial and federal committees, such as policing standards, source water protection, immigration, municipal rural infrastructure fund program, and emergency management, among many others.
Finance and Operations Centre
The Finance and Operations Centre manages association accounting and financial systems; information technology; human resources and information and data systems.
The Centre administers a web based tool, Municipal Information & Data Analysis System (MIDAS), which allows municipalities to generate reports using Financial Information Return (FIR) data. Recently, an open data portal was launched cataloguing municipal government data.
Information is disseminated to AMO membership and the public at large through several AMO administered websites: AMO.on.ca, GasTaxAtWork.ca, LAS.on.ca, MEPCO.ca, ONEInvestment.ca, OSUM.ca and ROMA.on.ca as well as a weekly electronic newsletter - the WatchFile.
AMO Enterprise Centre is focused on two main activities – the design and delivery of programs and services through LAS that position LAS as a preferred provider of competitively priced and sustainable business services for Ontario municipalities and the broader public sector.
LAS help municipalities save money, make money, and build capacity. LAS was created in 1992 by AMO to deliver programs and services that help municipalities reduce the cost of common expenditures and increase revenues through economies of scale. The Centre will also pursue an AMO business partnerships program that complements AMO’s objectives and other municipal service activities of the organization.
The Membership Centre delivers key services directly to AMO members in every part of Ontario. The Membership Centre administers the Federal Gas Tax Fund program on behalf of Infrastructure Canada (IC), providing approximately $620 million annually in infrastructure funding to 442 municipalities. The gas tax program model streamlines reporting, maximizes local decision making, and supports the development and use of sounds asset management practices.
On behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Center is delivering the 2-year, $26 million Main Street Revitalization program to 413 eligible municipalities. The Centre also organizes AMO’s responsibilities as an OMERS Pension Plan sponsor through AMO’s Municipal Employer Pension Centre of Ontario (MEPCO).
Along with a key role in organizing AMO’s Conference and AGM, and other events, the Centre develops and delivers a comprehensive program of education and training for Heads of Council, Councillors, municipal staff and prospective candidates for municipal election.