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 Industry News

Court quashes deadline for single taxi license in Toronto
Toronto Star
A Superior Court decision quashed the Toronto's deadline to have all taxi drivers operating under one standard license by 2024. The decision was a result of a Toronto Taxi Alliance challenge to the City's efforts to overhaul the industry last year.
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City of Welland transfers wetland to NPCA
Welland Tribune
The City of Welland is handing over ownership of a large section of wetland to the region's conservation authority. Both Welland city council and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority board approved the transfer of 19 hectares (about 47 acres) that includes provincially-significant wetlands located near the Welland River north of Broadway and east of Riverside Dr.
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Deadline to close under-used Toronto schools has trustees reeling
The Globe and Mail
School boards across Ontario are spending $1 billion a year — 5 per cent of their provincial operating budgets — on buildings with an excess of empty space, money that should be used for student programs, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals says.
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Conservative MP says wireless industry is misleading Canadians about cell phone safety
CNW
Conservative MP Terence Young says the Canadian wireless industry is misleading Canadians about the potential health effects of their cell phones and WiFi routers. Young, the MP from Oakville, ON, has introduced a Private Member's Bill in Parliament that will require safety warnings on all wireless products sold in Canada, because the World Health Organization has declared that they might cause cancer.
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Brampton surveys residents to create a roadmap for budget priorities
Brampton.ca
The City of Brampton is conducting a Community Service Satisfaction Survey until February 6. The survey is designed to engage the Brampton community and identify priorities for the City's 2015 Budget. It is the first in a series of public engagement opportunities that will be available for Brampton residents throughout the Budget 2015 process.
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Construction union leader's beating triggers renewed concerns about industry
Toronto Star
The brazen daylight beating of a construction union leader while he shovelled snow in his driveway has raised concerns of renewed violence in Toronto's construction industry, a Star investigation has found. Durval Terceira, a union representative and an elected trustee with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, suffered serious injuries in the attack by two men brandishing aluminum baseball bats in his driveway in Vaughan on Dec. 11.
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Is Canada too dependent on the U.S. for trade? 'Not necessarily'
Yahoo! News
There are things about Canada's economy that Canadians take for granted: We are unusually reliant on exports; and we are exceptionally reliant, even precariously so, on trade with one particular market, the United States . But despite the fact that we are accustomed to believing such things, a closer examination reveals a different picture.
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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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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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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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Police union apologizes to Crown attorney as part of settlement in defamation suit
Toronto Star
The Toronto Police Association has issued a rare public apology to Crown attorney Roger Shallow seven years after officers arrested him in the Entertainment District for causing a disturbance and assault resist arrest. The apology, posted on the TPA's website, fulfills one of the terms of a confidential settlement and resolves a lawsuit filed by Shallow, who alleged he was defamed by former members of the TPA's executive board.
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Tool shows snow clearing aims for your street
City of Kingston
When you enter your address in the City of Kingston's snow plow route map lookup tool (www.CityofKingston.ca/snow), you can see: the snow plow route your street is on, how your street is designated for plowing, how other streets in your neighbourhood are designated for plowing. "We want people to understand how we approach clearing snow. If there is a lot of blowing snow or ongoing snow, we have to concentrate on keeping arterial, collector and transit routes clear before we can move on to residential routes," says Troy Stubinski, operations manager, public works.
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Naheed Nenshi crowned World Mayor 2014
Calgary Herald
The Calgary mayor with soaring rhetoric and 217,000 Twitter followers can now boast global dominance. On his 43rd birthday no less, Naheed Nenshi was named as the winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize, a somewhat obscure award but the loftiest accolade yet for a politician with much popularity and acclaim.
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Sarnia and London ink formal agreement to explore overseas export opportunities
The Observer
Forget the Highway 402 romance: Sarnia and London are looking to take their relationship overseas in an effort to change the regional economy. Officials with the Sarnia and London chambers of commerce announced Wednesday they have inked a formal agreement to work together to find new global export markets for local businesses.
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Toronto rejects province's line of credit offer to shore up budget
Toronto Sun
Toronto will reject Premier Kathleen Wynne's offer of a line of credit to plug a large hole in the budget left by the provincial government's withdrawal of financial support for social housing. Instead, the city intends to borrow money on its own and postpone or cancel unspecified capital projects rather than boost taxes beyond the rate of inflation.
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London looking at beefed up tree protection bylaw
London Free Press
Eco terrorists beware — planting a tree on city property could soon result in a hefty new fine. A tough new bylaw that will be reviewed by city council's planning and environment committee packs new fines and increased charges for messing with trees in the Forest City.
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 Management Resources


Managers can avoid wasting time
Harvard Business Review
The news lately has been filled with reports of the need to improve workers' productivity if the United States is going to compete successfully with the Japanese and the West Germans. Seldom, however, is managers' productivity mentioned, although the problem of managerial time wasting was recognized as enormous long before anyone thought of quality circles.
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Being experienced doesn't automatically make you a great mentor
Harvard Business Review
Coaching and mentoring is more popular than ever — and for good reason. As individuals progress in their jobs and careers, they're constantly challenged to build their skills and act outside their comfort zones. Timid executives are called upon to learn to deliver motivational speeches; conflict-avoidant managers need to learn to deliver bad news; and mild-mannered job seekers need to pitch and promote themselves at networking events.
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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


Province considering lower speed limits

As AMCTO first noted in December the province is considering changes to the default minimum speed limit in municipalities across the province. Currently, the Highway Traffic Act empowers local communities to set the speed limits within their jurisdictions; however, the government is considering a number of options that would force municipalities to curb speed limits. Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca has committed to consulting widely with municipalities and other relevant stakeholders throughout the spring, prior to making a decision.
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Summit on work-related traumatic mental stress

The Ontario government is convening a summit of experts and interested stakeholders from a variety of sectors in March, to discuss work-related mental stress. The summit, which was recommended by the Roundtable on Traumatic Mental Stress, is designed to allow participants to share best-practices, and learn from industry leaders. Traumatic workplace-related mental stress has increasingly become an issue for municipalities and municipal managers. For more information, you can read the report from the Roundtable on Traumatic Mental Stress here.
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Municipal groups make PLT submission

Over the past several weeks AMCTO has been working with representatives of MFOA, FONOM, NOMA, AMO and a number of municipal representatives on a submission to encourage the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to recognize the inherent challenges posed by Ontario's Provincial Land Tax (PLT) system. Reforming the PLT system is a priority for many Northern municipalities, who are forced to deal with the fiscal inequity between municipalities and neighbouring unincorporated areas. For more information, you can view the PLT consultation paper prepared by the MoF here, or a previous PLT submission made by MFOA here.
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Marriage licence reminder

Service Ontario (SO) is warning that marriages in Ontario continue to be officiated by unauthorized persons. In an effort to stem the tide of this unfortunate trend, SO is asking all authorized licence issuers to make sure that they provide couples with the one page "Before You Get Married" notice, and encourage them to check online to make sure the person performing their marriage is registered. Anyone who has questions is encouraged to call the registrar helpline at (807) 343-7437.
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 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
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
March 26 AMCTO Municipal Leaders Forum Mississauga ON

 


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