City of Toronto Caucus Looks For Good News at AMO Conference |
| || ||
Toronto's seven-member caucus on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
(AMO) Board of Directors is looking for good news from the federal and
provincial governments at this week's annual Association of Municipalities of
"The AMO conference is an important forum for dialogue between Ottawa, Queen's
Park and Ontario's municipal sector" says caucus chair Howard Moscoe. "We
would like to see positive developments from Ministers attending the conference
on the Municipal Act, Bill 46, use of federal child care dollars and public
The caucus responded today to the provincial announcement on the Community
Reinvestment Fund (CRF). The City of Toronto is ineligible for any of the more
than half billion in community reinvestment dollars set aside to address the
shortfalls in funding caused by downloading. "The whole CRF is an admission by
the province that downloading was unfair", said caucus chair Councillor Howard
Moscoe. "We'll continue to ask the province to address the additional burden
placed on Toronto taxpayers because of downloading.
During the next few days, the Toronto Caucus is specifically looking for:
· Removal of the municipal sector from the provisions of the proposed Public
Sector Accountability Act (Bill 46). Introduced with the spring budget, this
bill would unnecessarily duplicate the existing accountability provisions of
several existing Acts. It would create unnecessary bureaucracy and waste
taxpayer dollars. "We are already accountable to our citizens on a daily
basis", said Councillor Bas Balkissoon. "Let's not make it more complicated."
· A new partnership for public transit in Toronto. "We couldn't live without
the province in the past and we can't live without them in the future" said
Councillor and TTC chair Brian Ashton.
· A commitment to use more than $114 million in federal childcare money for its
intended purpose. According to Councillor Olivia Chow, "While all children's
services such as child care and family resource centres have been downloaded to
municipalities, the province has not downloaded federal money intended to serve
· A commitment from Municipal Affairs Minister Chris Hodgson to move forward on
a new Municipal Act that gives local governments in Ontario the tools and
flexibility to manage the wide range of programs and services now delivered by
municipalities. "The current Municipal Act is a nineteenth century invention"
said Councillor Suzan Hall. "We're counting on the Minister to listen to local
government leaders and bring us into the 21st century."
The caucus is also anticipating that federal Industry Minister Brian Tobin may
announce progress on the Canada-Ontario infrastructure program in Ontario.
Caucus members are interested in hearing from Tobin, the Minister responsible
for the Infrastructure program in Ontario, how Toronto can access federal funds
under the agreement. At its July meeting, City Council expressed its concern
that there has been no opportunity for the City to access federal and
provincial funds. City Council directed staff to prepare a list of projects for
submission directly to Ottawa and Queen's Park for consideration at its October
The City of Toronto is represented on the AMO board by a seven member caucus:
Councillors Howard Moscoe, Suzan Hall, Olivia Chow, Bas Balkissoon, Sandra
Bussin, Brian Ashton, and Norm Kelly. Councillor Betty Disero will join the
caucus on the incoming board when it meets following AMO elections on Tuesday.
Also attending conference is Toronto Councillor and Federation of Canadian
Municipalities President Jack Layton.
For more information:
Councillor Howard Moscoe - 416 392-4027 or 416 368-2511
Councillor Bas Balkissoon - 416-217-1785
Councillor Olivia Chow - 416-567-4036
Councillor Suzan Hall - 416 577-2912
Councillor Jack Layton - 416 721-6151