AMCTO Municipal Minute
Apr. 1, 2015

AMCTO's Annual Conference


Toronto, Peel trustees out of office after failing to file campaign expenses
Toronto Star
Two public school board trustees — one in Toronto and another in Peel — failed to file their election expenses in time and will be forced out of office. David Smith, who represents Ward 19, Scarborough Centre, and Harkirat Singh, who represents two Brampton wards, both failed to meet the firm deadline under the Municipal Elections Act.More

Report: Public-private partnerships key for big projects like Spadina subway
Toronto Star
A new economic report supports Premier Kathleen Wynne and others who suggest Toronto could benefit from more public-private partnerships (P3s) on big construction projects like the Spadina subway extension and Union Station. Both are running late and over-budget.More

Ontario puts $587 million toward goal of 'ending homelessness'
Toronto Star
The Liberal government is committing $587 million over the next two years to deal with the growing problem of homelessness. And of that Toronto will receive $223 million from the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI), Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin announced.More

City officials told they can't use gas-tax money for an event centre
TB News Watch
The city's controversial $114.7 million event centre project may be dead in the water. High-ranking municipal officials, including Mayor Keith Hobbs and city manager Tim Commisso, announced at a hastily called news conference that earlier in the day they had received official notice from the federal infrastructure minister that their request to use $23 million in gas-tax allocation money over the next 10 years would be denied. More

Rough Ride: Injuries to Transit Windsor riders declining as compensation becomes harder to get
The Windsor Star
One passenger smashed his teeth on the transit bus fare box and another split his lip when he fell on the back stairs. These are just a couple of the injuries reported by riders of Windsor's public transit system in the past six years. Since 2009, more than 170 passengers have reported being hurt while using public transit, according to a database of complaints filed to Windsor's 311 service centre.More

Crash leaves Toronto UberX driver confused about insurance
Toronto Star
Looking to make extra cash for a house down payment last fall, Waita Sindi became an UberX driver, using his own car to pick up and deliver strangers to their destinations around Toronto. For several months, things went well. In his spare time, Sindi used Uber's app to pair him with passengers and watched a portion of the fare flow into his bank account.More

Why Canada's 'bloated' public sector is a good thing
The Globe and Mail
Canada's small and medium-sized businesses complain that the public sector is "bloated." All I can say is, thank goodness for that. The public sector is the only one creating jobs in this harsh environment. And with unemployment spiking to 6.8 per cent, that's something Canada desperately needs.More

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne promises to drop lawsuit against PC members... all they have to do is apologize
National Post
Premier Kathleen Wynne says if the Progressive Conservatives want her to drop a lawsuit against two of their members, all they have to do is apologize. Wynne launched a suit last April against then PC leader Tim Hudak and MPP Lisa MacLeod for saying she oversaw and possibly ordered the destruction of documents on cancelled gas plants.More

Peel council supports Trillium hospital expansion plan
Peel Regional councillors recently endorsed Trillium Health Partners’ plan to expand its Mississauga hospital sites. At the recent meeting of Council, politicians unanimously approved a motion of support asking the province for a $5 million injection towards the organization’s capital Master Plan. More

Mayor John Tory backs ranked ballots for next election
Metro News
Mayor John Tory has opened the door to big change in the way Torontonians choose their city representatives, throwing his support behind ranked ballots in the next civic election. Tory said, for the first time, that he backs ranked ballots, assuming the Ontario government delivers on Premier Kathleen Wynne's directive to make that option available. A new system has the potential to significantly shake up who gets elected in the city.More

How to separate the personal and professional on social media
Let's face it: social media is risky. A single unfortunate post can throw a career off track. And yet in an era in which younger workers are connected with an average of 16 co-workers online and where 40 per cent to 60 per cent of hiring managers use social media to screen potential hires, it is simply not reasonable to stay off social media entirely. So how can we balance the personal and professional online?More

How to deliver bad news to your employees
Delivering bad news is tough. It's even harder when you don't agree with the message or decision you're communicating. Maybe you have to tell your star performer that HR turned down her request for a raise or to inform your team that the company doesn't want them working from home any longer. Should you toe the line and act like you agree with the decision or new policy? Or should you break ranks and explain how upset you are too?More

Canadian Municipalities Calling for Federal Infrastructure Spending

On behalf of cities and towns across the country, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is calling on the federal government to include an increased commitment to infrastructure in its 2015 budget. Specifically, FCM is calling for $1 billion a year in devoted spending for transit improvements, $300 million a year towards municipal wastewater upgrades, and a pledge not to phase out the $2 billion a year of current spending on housing. Find out more here. More

New Education Guidelines Affect Municipalities

The Ministry of Education has released a number of revised guidelines that affect municipalities, including a modified Community Planning and Partnerships Guideline, which directs schools boards should to work with community groups and municipalities when filling underutilized school space. Find out more here. More

AMCTO Backgrounder: Bill 73

If you missed it earlier, AMCTO is pleased to share its new backgrounder on Bill 73, the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act. You can find the backgrounder here.More

New Health and Safety Resources

AMCTO is pleased to be hosting a new section on its website full of health and safety training resources. These resources, which cover a range of topics, including workplace violence and the implications of Bill 18, will be of particular interest to Joint Health and Safety Committees, and those who work in human resources and public safety. Find out more here.More