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 Industry News

Kathleen Wynne to meet with OPP over byelection corruption allegations
CBC News
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her deputy chief of staff will meet with police investigators, the premier's office said Monday, as the Liberals denied allegations they broke the law in the lead-up to a recent byelection. "We've been clear that the authorities have our full co-operation, and we are confident that after Premier Wynne and Pat Sorbara meet with the investigators, they will reach the same conclusion," Wynne's spokeswoman, Zita Astravas, said in an email.
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Susan Fennell cleared of criminal wrongdoing
Toronto Star
Former Brampton mayor Susan Fennell has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing following a police investigation into her spending while on council. In a document obtained by the Star, Peel Region chief of police Jennifer Evans stated that the Ontario Provincial Police have concluded their probe and that "no further criminal investigation was recommended."
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
New MOECC Monitoring & Screening Checklist Now Required!

Did you know that your annual landfill monitoring report must include the new MOECC monitoring & screening checklist as of January 2015?

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Narconon rehab strikes out in second Ontario town
Our Windsor
When Narconon, a controversial rehab program rooted in Church of Scientology teachings, tried to set up shop in Hockley Village near Orangeville two years ago, it was met with angry residents, petitions and "No Narconon" lawn signs. In Milton, where Narconon is now trying to open a facility, it is staring down Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw 144-2003.
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Ontario shortchanging TDSB $15 million a year for full-day kindergarten
Metro News
The provincial government shortchanges the Toronto public school board by almost $15 million a year for full-day kindergarten, says a report to be released by economist Hugh Mackenzie that argues underfunding in several areas has led to many of the board's recent troubles.
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Susan Fennell wants $450,000 from Brampton, claims she was wrongly punished
Toronto Star
Former Brampton mayor Susan Fennell is seeking $450,000 in damages from the city and wants to quash the punishment of 90 days loss of pay handed down by council for spending violations. She's also fighting a council resolution to claw back $144,150 spent on limousine rides. In a seldom used legal move, Fennell filed an application for a judicial review, which names the City of Brampton and its integrity commissioner Robert Swayze as respondents.
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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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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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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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Thunder Bay OPG Plant now running on biomass
Net News Ledger
Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Thunder Bay Generating Station (TBGS) is now in service and is leading the electricity industry with an exciting new technology. The station has been converted to use advanced biomass, a renewable, clean and dispatchable fuel.
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London will showcase its planned Riverbend community
London Free Press
Once it's finished, London will be home to the largest net-zero energy community in North America. The planned neighbourhood in Riverbend, in the city's northwest, will be just one of the things showcased this week at the Sustainable Cities Conference, hosted this year by London. More than 400 delegates from across the country are expected at the four-day conference, put on by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
Webcast your Council Meetings

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Association Management Portal
iMember is a system that helps manage any type of association or club (for example Trade/Technology Associations, Professional Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Golf Clubs, Non-profit organizations and a range of other membership driven associations).


Shutterbugs, tread lightly in Toronto parks
Toronto Star
If you're thinking of snapping some photographs to capture a slice of winter wonderland in Toronto's parks, be aware that the city has a policy that governs such serious matters. The policy, posted on the city's 311 page, reads: "Patrons wishing to use cameras, video cameras or other photographic devices, including camera phones and PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistants), in any program or facility must receive permission from staff before filming."
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Opportunities to strengthen Southern Ontario's food system
Greenbelt
A groundbreaking study identifies ways Ontario can make changes to its food system to increase the supply of local food, create jobs, and support healthier lifestyles. The report provides an overview of the food surplus or deficit positions of counties and regions across Southern Ontario. The findings point to opportunities for the province's food system to better match domestic consumption, increasing the amount of food grown locally.
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Thunder Bay councillor suggests suing MPAC to send message
CBC News
The decision by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation to reduce the amount of tax Thunder Bay will collect from grain elevators has struck a chord with city council. "Can we sue MPAC?”
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 Management Resources


4 ways to harvest value from 'failure'
The Globe and Mail
From large enterprises to startups, businesses of every size know that missteps have the potential to exact enormous costs. But as the old adage has it — the only real mistakes are the ones from which we don't learn. I firmly believe that a company's ability to extract tuition value from failure is fundamental to its success and that learning from, and even embracing failure is a strength I value in leaders on my team.
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Assessment: What's your personal productivity style?
Harvard Business Review
When it comes to personal productivity advice for knowledge workers, one size doesn't fit all. In fact, an individual's cognitive style — that is, the way he or she prefers to perceive and process information — can have a dramatic impact on the success or failure of time management techniques and performance enhancement strategies.
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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


MTO Seeking Feedback on Proposed Speed Limit Changes

Ontario's Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is looking for feedback from stakeholder's regarding proposed changes to the default speed limit. Currently the default speed limit for local roads is 50km/hour, however, the province is looking at a number of alternatives including a mandatory change from 50 to 40 km/hour. Other options the province is considering include: maintaining the current limit, allowing individual municipalities to choose between 50 and 40km/hour, and giving municipalities the authority to set their own default speed limits within their jurisdiction. Any municipalities that are interested in being involved in the MTO's consultation process on this file are invited to complete a brief questionnaire, which can be found here. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the MTO's head of Traffic Operations, Roger De Gannes (Roger.DeGannes@mto.on.ca or 905-704-2947).
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OGRA Seeking Municipal Act Amendment After Road Salt Decision

Following a controversial decision to award a County of Lambton farmer $100,000 for damages caused to his crops by road salt, the Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) is seeking amendments to the Municipal Act to protect other Ontario municipalities from what it calls similar "nuisance complaints." This decision came after the County and its insurer decided not to appeal the decision made over two weeks ago in Ontario Superior Court. OGRA will also be asking for meetings with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ted McMeekin, and Minster of Transportation Steven Del Duca. For more, you can read the OGRA press release here, or a statement from the County's insurer Frank Cowan Company here.
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Big City Mayors Call for Increased Federal Commitment to Municipal Issues

Toronto, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Big City Mayors' Caucus called on the federal government to increase its commitment to some of Canada's most pressing challenges, many of which exist acutely at the municipal level. Specifically the Mayor's called for an increased focus on cutting commute times, a sustainable level of infrastructure investment from all orders of government, and a long-term plan to improve housing affordability. Click here to learn more.
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Federal Government Raises Disaster-Relief Funding Threshold

Last week the Federal Government changed the eligibility threshold for the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA), the first time that it has done so since 1970. Future increases of the DFAA threshold will now be tied to inflation, and though the current level jumped over three times from $13.5 million to $40 million, this is still less than half the rate level of inflation since 1970. Though Ontario has only accessed DFAA funding three times before, the Premier joined her colleagues at the Council of the Federation meeting in Ottawa to criticize the lack of consultation on the changes and encourage the government to reconsider its decision. Read the release here.
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 AMCTO In-House Training




TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Court quashes deadline for single taxi license in Toronto (Toronto Star)
Deadline to close under-used Toronto schools has trustees reeling (The Globe and Mail)
Construction union leader's beating triggers renewed concerns about industry (Toronto Star)

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 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
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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Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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