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  Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit January 28, 2015

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 Industry News

Kathleen Wynne to meet Elections Ontario about Sudbury byelection allegations
Toronto Star
Premier Kathleen Wynne and her deputy chief of staff will meet with Elections Ontario officials investigating what opposition parties have dubbed the Sudbury byelection bribery scandal. Simon Tunstall, executive director of the Ontario Liberal Party, said Monday that Wynne and Pat Sorbara will sit down with elections brass to clear the air.
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Ajax family ordered to dismantle tiny front yard ice rink or face fine of up to $25,000
Toronto Star
In Ajax, neighbourliness seems to be on thin ice. A local family is being ordered to dismantle their tiny front yard skating rink or face a fine of up to $25,000 after a neighbour filed a complaint with the town's bylaw office. "Someone complained that my skating rink doesn't meet the appearance standard of the neighbourhood," Karen Callery, who built the rink for her two young children, said.
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Ontario municipalities worry about ruling on road salt
CBC News
A recent court ruling that awarded an Ontario farmer more than $100,000 for damages he claimed were caused by the local government's use of road salt has raised the ire of municipalities across the province. Joseph and Evelyn Steadman had sued the County of Lambton claiming road salt had damaged their crops and lowered the value of their farmland.
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Pickering passes zoning bylaw paving way for casino
Toronto Star
Pickering is one tiny step closer to getting a casino, after city council passed a zoning bylaw allowing for an "integrated major tourist destination" at Church and Bayly Sts. The motion passed 6-1, said Tom Melymuk, director of city development. He said public notification will take place in the next few days, and interested parties will have 20 days to decide if they want to appeal council's decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.
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Ontario to overhaul rules for marine mammals, ban killer whales
Inside Halton
The Ontario government is announcing a massive overhaul of conditions for captive marine mammals that include an outright ban on the acquisition and sale of killer whales. The overhaul, to be announced by Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, is based on a 125-page report by a team of scientists led by David Rosen, a marine mammal expert from the University of British Columbia. Naqvi called Rosen's report the "driver" for upcoming changes.
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City gathering info after Ontario removes some smart meters
Medicine Hat News
In the wake of Ontario removing 5,400 remote disconnect smart meters, Medicine Hat’s electric utility is investigating whether it needs to take action as well. There are 8,500 Sensus smart meters installed in Medicine Hat — iConA Generation 3.2,equipped with a "remote disconnect" feature. "We had a conference call with the electrical safety authority. We're in the information gathering stage trying to figure out why they applied that in Ontario," said Wilbur McLean, city communications.
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Ontario ombudsman sees jump in complaints over municipal matters
Toronto Star
Ontario ombudsman André Marin says he's seeing a sharp increase in complaints about municipal matters since the introduction of the Accountability and Transparency Act. Bill 8 gives the watchdog expanded oversight over municipalities, universities and school boards. "We are already seeing a spike in complaints about municipal issues since Bill 8 passed," Marin said after releasing his annual report on investigations of closed-door municipal meetings.
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School boards behaving badly: TDSB is not alone
Toronto Star
For the fourth time in eight years, Nova Scotia has seized control of a local school board — this time the auditor-general said trustees didn't understand their role — and given an outsider six months to put things right. Recently, a San Jose, CA, trustee avoided a restraining order that was being sought by a school superintendent, on whom he had said it would be "fun to inflict pain."
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Mayor Linda Jeffrey to Brampton residents: Expect bad news in auditor's report
Brampton Guardian
Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey is urging residents to brace themselves for a special in-depth review of the city's books. Former provincial auditor Jim McCarter was hired by council at Jeffrey's urging. It was one of several accountability measures the new mayor listed during her inaugural address last month after taking over the reins from scandal-plagued former mayor Susan Fennell.
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Ontario installing 50 high-tech highway signs
Toronto Star
A new generation of electronic highway signs using symbols instead of words will help get motorists to their destinations more efficiently, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca says. The province is replacing about 50 overhead signs with the new, full-colour versions in the next few years with some to be in place in time for the Pan Am Games this summer, he told reporters.
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 Management Resources


Why managers need to be leaders
Huffington Post
Anyone within an organization has the potential to become a leader, but managers MUST be leaders. In schools and in our organizations we have been taught and conditioned to believe that managers and leaders are two separate people which is quite a harmful assumption. As a result we have managers who cannot lead and leaders who cannot manage.
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This essential leadership trait can push employees to do their best
Entrepreneur
There's a misconception that great leaders are born, or that talented professionals can decide to be leaders and, overnight, step into the role with grace and excellence. Of course, the tenets of great leadership can occasionally be stumbled upon, but for the rest of us, leadership demands hard work and constant refinement.
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Hamilton bike share rolls out first bikes
CBC News
After months of delays, SoBi Hamilton is rolling out bicycles for its hotly anticipated new bike share program — in the dead of winter. About 200 bikes will be installed for a "winter season test" throughout the day, while the full fleet of 750 bikes will hit the streets in March for the program's official launch.

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Auditor says so far, so good, as deadline looms on city hall expansion report
Brampton Guardian
The report isn't due until the end of the month, but the auditor hired by Brampton to investigate a controversial city hall expansion deal has suggested there is no clear evidence of corruption or underhandedness in awarding the winning bid. "I'm going through the documents one by one... and so far everything looks pretty good," said George Rust-D’Eye, a municipal law expert hired last September to look at the secretive tendering process used to award the city hall expansion, and related contracts, to Dominus Construction Group in 2011.

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Nemak to add 80 jobs, boost production with $1.5 million from province
The Windsor Star
Nemak of Canada Corp. will spend $15.7 million retooling its Windsor plant — an investment that will create 80 new jobs and position the facility as one of the few North American plants to export parts to the fast-growing Chinese auto market, the company announced. The Windsor plant will upgrade its production line for the assembly of two-litre, four-cylinder aluminum engine blocks for export to Shanghai General Motors in China, the globe's largest auto market.

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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


AMO Releases Its Pre-budget Submission

As the province continues to prepare for its upcoming budget, the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) has released its pre-budget submission. In its submission, AMO identifies 7 priority issues for the municipal sector in Ontario, including simplifying regulatory and reporting requirements, and passing legislation to make collecting unpaid POA fines easier. You can read AMO's pre-budget submission here, or learn more about the budget process in Ontario here. Anyone interested in participating in the budget process can submit comments to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs by January 30, 2015 or to the Ministry of Finance by February 13, 2015.
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MMAH Conducting a Review of ODRAP

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has announced that is conducting a review of the Ontario Disaster Relief and Assistance Program (ODRAP). As part of this review, AMCTO is preparing a submission of suggested reforms to the program. Anyone interested in participating in AMCTO’s submission is welcome to contact Eric Muller (emuller@amcto.com). Municipalities interested in submitting comments as part of the ODRAP review process have until March 4, 2015 to do so. You can learn more about the review here, or read a copy of the ODRAP review guide, prepared by MMAH here.
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Premier Calls for New Canadian Infrastructure Partnership

Last week, speaking before a Canada 2020 luncheon in Ottawa, Premier Wynne renewed her call for the federal government to provide more money for infrastructure spending. According to the Premier, the province invests three times as much as the federal government on Ontario’s infrastructure, and will need approximately $130 billion over the next ten years to renew, repair, and expand the provinces’ fledgling infrastructure.
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Superior Court Rules Municipality Liable for Road Salt Damage

Last week the Superior Court of Ontario rendered a controversial decision by ruling that the County of Lambton is liable for damage, purportedly caused by road salt, to a farmer's crops. The decision, which will cost the Country $100,000 for crop losses from 1998 to 2013, could set an expensive precedent for municipalities across the province, who have a statutory responsibility to keep roads clear and safe during the winter months. The Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) has already registered its concerns about this decision, and is in the early stages of a "multi-pronged" advocacy campaign. You can read the court decision here.
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Province Seeking Feedback on New Requirements to Insure Long-term Disability Benefits

The Ministry of Finance is currently seeking feedback on newly proposed requirements to insure long-term disability benefits. Anyone interested in participating in this process, which would amend the Insurance Act, has until March 6, 2015 to submit comments. You can find out more about the process here.
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 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
January 28-31 Ontario Library Association Super conference Toronto ON
February 4-5 Publc Sector HR Conference Ottawa ON
Februrary 10-12 FCM Sustainable Communities Conference London ON
Februrary 10-12 Economic Developers Council of Ontario Conference Hamilton ON
February 22-25 ROMA/OGRA Conference Toronto ON

 


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