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AMCTO's Annual Conference
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 Industry News


Uber, Airbnb highlight need for regulation
Toronto Star
Companies such as Airbnb, Uber and TaskRabbit, which epitomize what's known as the sharing economy, are not going away, so governments must figure out ways to regulate them. And that must happen quickly, before such firms become entrenched in their ways. That's the message in a new report from the Mowat Centre that urges policymakers to recognize that they must step up to protect the public interest, while also ensuring that they don't destroy innovation.
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Ontario grocery stores won't sell booze any time soon
Toronto Star
The LCBO has indefinitely shelved plans to put express kiosks in Ontario grocery stores, a spokesperson has told the Star. The Liberal government told the liquor agency to halt the long-awaited addition of booze outlets in supermarkets as the province overhauls the way beer and liquor is sold across Ontario, the government-run liquor agency said.
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Mayor John Tory to pitch SmartTrack in Ottawa
Toronto Sun
Mayor John Tory is heading to Ottawa to pitch his SmartTrack plan. Tory will be meeting with opposition leaders and at least one Conservative cabinet minister to sell his transit plan. According to the mayor's office, Tory will be meeting with both NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
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Durham York Energy Centre fires up operation
Durham Region
The Regional Municipalities of Durham and York are pleased to announce the Durham York Energy Centre began processing solid waste on Feb. 13. This state-of-the-art facility can process up to 140,000 tonnes of waste each year, which will generate 17.5 gross megawatts of renewable energy — enough to power between 10,000 and 12,000 homes.
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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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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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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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Second Guelph Hackathon and ask.guelph.ca announced
City of Guelph
The City of Guelph, as part of its ongoing commitment to community participation in local government, is launching two initiatives to enhance City services: An Open Guelph Online Hackathon and ask.guelph.ca. These initiatives coincide with International Open Data Day. The Online Hackathon is designed for students, local application developers and interested community members to use City data to create innovative mobile and web-based applications and tools for Guelph residents. The tools will help to improve the delivery of transit and solid waste services.
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Ontario may collect race-based data on kids in care
Toronto Star
Ontario's children's minister, Tracy MacCharles, will look at having all children's aid societies in the province collect race-based data on the kids in their care. MacCharles is also considering several changes in keeping with the goal of keeping families intact and, when those efforts fail, to improve the experience of children in care.
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Ontario helping communities with ice storm assistance
Ontario.ca
Ontario is delivering on its commitment to help communities severely impacted by the December 2013 ice storm. The province has initiated final payments to the following municipalities: Township of Centre Wellington - $297,543; Township of Mapleton - $23,009; Township of Puslinch - $44,923. In addition, the province has offered to provide municipalities and conservation authorities who have made claims for support with an interim payment to assist them with their budget planning while the rest of their claim is finalized.
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 Management Resources


How to trick yourself into meeting deadlines
Fast Company
Research by Chicago Booth PhD candidate Yanping Tu and Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows the key to motivating yourself to start working on a task may be picking the right due date. It turns out meeting our deadlines requires changing the way we think about time.
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Everything you need to know about becoming a better listener
Harvard Business Review
"It can be stated, with practically no qualification," Ralph G. Nichols and Leonard A. Stevens write in a 1957 HBR article, "That people in general do not know how to listen. They have ears that hear very well, but seldom have they acquired the necessary aural skills which would allow those ears to be used effectively for what is called listening." In a study of thousands of students and hundreds of businesspeople, they found that most retained only half of what they heard — and this immediately after they'd heard it. Six months later, most people only retained 25 per cent.
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3 ways to avoid the leadership mistakes that undermine your team
Entrepreneur
We all make mistakes. Some are little and only result in inconvenience. Sometimes they are big mistakes with greater impact. Leaders make mistakes, too. When they make big mistakes, their employees see them and feel the impact of them. The four most damaging mistakes leaders when managing their team are: Inconsistent communication, lack of clarity of strategy and goals, poor accountability, rewarding competition instead of cooperation.
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The 4 keys to managing a happy, productive team
The Week
Harvard's Teresa Amabile gave office workers something very simple: Diaries. Then she reviewed their ups and downs and drew connections. What she learned was extraordinary. She described the study in her book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Here are four of the biggest things I learned.
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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


Legislature Back in Session

The legislature is back this week for a spring session that is likely to be dominated by the government's 2015 budget (including the final report from the Premier's Advisory Council on Government Assets), carbon pricing, the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), and several pieces of outstanding legislation. Amongst the outstanding legislation to be considering by the legislature, this week MPPs will be debating the motion for Second Reading of Bill 31, Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act (Making Ontario's Roads Safer), which will give municipalities new tools to collect unpaid Provincial Offenses Act fines.
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What to Expect When Bill 8 is Implemented

AMCTO has prepared a new Q&A on Bill 8, the Public Sector Accountability and Transparency Act, to give municipalities and municipal staff a better sense of what to expect when the Bill is proclaimed and implemented. You can read a copy of the Q&A here.
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Environment Ministry Releases New Drinking Water Guide for Municipalities

The Ministry of the Environment and Climate change has released an updated "Taking Care of Your Drinking Water: A Guide for Members of Municipal Councils." This re-released guide was revised over the past year, and is designed for new and returning councillors elected during the 2014 municipal elections. Review a copy of the guide here.
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How to Comply with the AODA

The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is hosting a series of webinars that are structured to help organizations prepare their 2015 accessibility reports. The webinars, which are aimed at organizations in the broader public sector, will include information on current requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), required steps to complete a report, and an opportunity to ask directorate staff questions. You can learn more, or register for one of these events here.
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Details of Provincial Program Review Released

Last week provincial Treasury Board President, Deb Matthews, outlined the governments Program Review strategy, major plank of the provinces deficit-reduction plan. According to Matthews, the province will avoid government-wide, across-the-board cuts to spending and focus instead on efficiency and effectiveness, employing a public interest test. Read more about the program review here.
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 AMCTO In-House Training




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

    Susan Fennell cleared of criminal wrongdoing (Toronto Star)
Thunder Bay councillor suggests suing MPAC to send message (CBC News)
Narconon rehab strikes out in second Ontario town (Our Windsor)

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 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
February 22-25 ROMA/OGRA Conference Toronto ON
March 26 AMCTO Municipal Leaders Forum Mississauga ON
April 12-14 2015 OMTRA Spring Seminar London ON
April 16 AMCTO Clerks Forum Mississauga ON

 


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Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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