AMCTO Municipal Minute
Sep. 9, 2015

Harper holds to party line on admitting Syrian, Iraqi refugees
Toronto Star
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says his political rivals are "simply not up to" making the tough national-security decisions required of a prime minister. The jabs at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair came just hours after Harper deflected growing calls by premiers, mayors and his political rivals for swifter action on the admission of Syrian refugees.More

Provincial arbitration system must change, argues mayor of Kapuskasing
IF Press
The uniquely structured London police labour deal isn't enough to break the pattern of soaring Ontario law-enforcement costs, a leading critic says. Al Spacek, who led the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's report on modernizing policing, says only changes to the provincial contract arbitration system, which his group is demanding, can guarantee relief for municipal taxpayers.More

Time running out for Brampton to make decision on new transit line
Globe and Mail
With the province warning that Brampton has to make up its mind "urgently" about whether to accept a new transit line, the city's council is moving one step closer to a decision on the politically contentious project. More

Why hi-tech voting has low priority for Canadian elections
CBC News
Estonians can vote over the internet in their national elections. Brazilians vote using electronic terminals that have Braille on the keypads and that have cut the tabulation time from a month to six hours. Some local British elections have let people vote by text message. So why do Canadian elections still happen the centuries-old way — by marking paper ballots and depositing them in a box? More

City cancels $20 million worth of unpaid parking tickets
CTV News
The City of Toronto has withdrawn approximately 880,000 disputed parking tickets because it would cost too much time and money to put them through the court system. In a statement released recently, the city said "the number represents less than three per cent of all parking tickets issued between 2002 and 2014, and includes tickets for which a trial request had been submitted or a retrial ordered but no trial was yet scheduled."More

Toronto city council raises financial concerns over Olympics
CBC News
If Toronto Mayor John Tory plans to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, he'll have to quell concerns in his own council about the financial risks involved. The head of the city's budget committee said Tuesday that now that the excitement over the Pan Am Games has faded, he is feeling more uncertain about supporting a possible Olympic bid.More

Schools get creative to deal with a wave of sex-ed opt-outs
Toronto Star
What do you do if 200 kids in a school want to opt-out of sex ed on religious grounds? This fall, for the first time in Ontario, that's a real possibility facing some principals. As political firestorms continue over the province's new health curriculum, boards are bracing for an unprecedented wave of requests for children to be excused because of their faith. More

Court rejects truckers' bid to go faster on Ontario highways
CBC News
In a landmark case for Ontario's highways, the provincial court of appeal has upheld provincial legislation that prevents big rigs from going faster than 105 kilometres per hour. Justice Peter Lauwers ruled on Monday in the case of St. Catharines trucker Gene Michaud. Michaud argued that the law dictating that he keep a speed limiter at 105 on his truck was unsafe and violated his charter rights. The Justice called it a test case for the industry.More

The 5 fundamentals of effective learning
Leading with Trust
Think of the best boss you've ever had. What was it about that person that made him or her your best boss? Did you trust them? Probably. Did they care about you? Very likely. Was he or she a great listener? Almost certainly.More

When did multitasking become 'multifaking' in the corporate world?
Globe and Mail
I have wasted a lot of time in my professional life sitting in conference rooms with people who appear to be doing many activities but are focusing on none. They claim to be multitasking, but I call it multifaking. I used to pride myself on my ability to multitask, but the word has become such a mockery of itself that it's impossible to use seriously any more. More