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With 2013 coming to a close, AMCTO would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.

As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide Municipal Minute subscribers with a look at the most-read news stories. That means, over the next two weeks, we'll count down the Top 20 articles for the year!

Your regular news publication will resume on Wednesday January 8, 2014.





10. Didn't pay that speeding ticket? Soon the fine will be added to your property tax bill
MSN News
July 3, 2013: Even the most artful dodger will find it tough to avoid paying traffic tickets with a new pilot project in place that allows municipalities to collect unpaid Provincial Offences Act fines through property tax bills in other cities. Mississauga will soon join Toronto, Ottawa and three smaller municipalities in the reciprocal 18-month project aimed at recouping some of their combined $1 billion in outstanding POA fines.
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9. Brampton monster homeowner files appeal
The Toronto Star
Mar. 20, 2013: The owner of a "monster" home being built in Brampton has filed an appeal with the Ontario Superior Court after the city revoked his building permit due to an "error." "I'm preparing all the evidence to show whose mistake it is," Ahmed Elbasiouni said.
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8. Privacy commission: Sudbury city's disciplinary action not protected
Northern Life
May 22, 2013: There is nothing in provincial privacy legislation that prevents the city from saying publicly what disciplinary action has been taken in connection with the Sudbury Transit ticket scandal, Northern Life has learned. In a recent email, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, said the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply to information about employment related matters, "which would include disciplinary measures that have been taken against individual employees."
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7. Rob Ford awaits his fate
Now Magazine
Jan. 9, 2013: Rob Ford's controversial tenure as Toronto mayor is hanging in the balance. An Ontario Divisional Court heard final arguments in his appeal of the ruling that kicked him out of office last November. As expected, attorneys for both sides of the case finished their presentations in a single day, meaning the immediate future of Canada's largest municipal government now rests with a panel of three judges.
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6. London academic questions rationale for Andre Marin's investigation of 7 city council members' luncheon
London Free Press
Sept. 25, 2013: A noted local expert is questioning the very ground Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin is using to investigate the so-called Burgergate luncheon shared by seven London politicians. The provincial watchdog, in turn, calls Western University political scientist Andrew Sancton's perspective the kind of "old-world" reading of open-meeting laws better suited to the 1950s than 2013.
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5. Rob Ford's office reportedly tipped to location of video
CBC News
May 29, 2013: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's staff was recently told about the potential location of an alleged drug video that has threatened his administration, according to a pair of reports. Ford, who recently turned 44, has been under fire following reports about an alleged video shown to reporters at the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip website Gawker. The alleged video reportedly shows the mayor of Toronto smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
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4. Mayor, 2 councillors of eastern Ontario city charged with breach of conduct
CTV News
Sept. 25, 2013: The mayor of the eastern Ontario city of Clarence-Rockland says he won't step aside after being charged with breach of trust in a police probe of politicians' emails. Marcel Guibord says the charge has "has nothing to do" with his management of the small bilingual municipality, adding he is "totally innocent."
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3. 7 provincial parks closed due to Ontario MNR budget cuts
CBC News
May 22, 2013: Budget cuts have forced seven Ontario provincial parks to remain closed as the 2013 camping season begins. For example, near Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, campers looking for a site at Caliper Lake Provincial Park were out of luck. The park is one the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources chose to close. Bill Thompson, the town's mayor, said his community depends on tourism.
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2. Former Aurora mayor sues town for a quarter million
Toronto Star
June 19, 2013: The Town of Aurora has voted to meet former mayor Phyllis Morris in court. Morris is suing the town for $250,000 in damages plus legal costs, alleging officials didn't tell her when they terminated funding for a $6 million defamation suit that began before she lost the 2010 election.
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1. 29 front-line public employees fired, corruption probe grows
The Hamilton Spectator
Jan. 30, 2013: The city's decision to fire 29 front-line public works employees and suspend two more is only the first stage of an ongoing probe into widespread wrongdoing in the department. The city is now in the second round of its investigation, which will focus on supervisors and superintendents, as well as allegations that the employees were selling city asphalt.
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The Municipal Minute

Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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Joanne Lam, Content Editor, 289.695.5474   
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