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Ontario privacy commissioner wants councillors included in freedom of information laws
Toronto Star
Ontario's information and privacy commissioner has asked the province to change legislation so the public can gain access to city councillors' records. If the province agrees, it would mark a milestone for government transparency in Canada. With the exception of some provincial ministers, elected officials in this country are typically not covered by access to information laws.
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Timeline: the Elliot Lake mall collapse
Global News
The public inquiry into the deadly collapse at the Algo Centre mall in Elliot Lake, Ontario is set to begin. Last summer, a section of the mall's rooftop garage unexpectedly gave in, sending concrete and debris raining down through two stories of the shopping centre. Lucie Aylwin, 37, and Doloris Perizzolo, 74, both lost their lives as a result of the collapse. Twenty-two others suffered serious and minor injuries.
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Ford a lightning rod for litigation
Law Times
The City of Toronto's audit committee may not be launching a lawsuit against Mayor Rob Ford for contravening municipal election rules, but Law Times has learned the city's legal counsel has already spent nearly 200 hours dealing with the case. According to documents obtained through freedom of information laws, the city's legal office spent a total of 171 hours, as of the end of December, on the case brought to the committee's attention by Toronto residents Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler and Max Reed.
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  Scytl Canada Modernizes Elections

Scytl Canada, renowned for pioneering internet voting nationally, is evolving to better serve the needs of elections officials. Scytl expands its suite of election modernization tools, providing voters with greater access to information about elections, polling places, and so much more. These solutions have been deployed worldwide in over 1400 jurisdictions.

County practices for disaster
Sherwood Park News
Disasters come in different shapes and sizes. Whether it's man-made or an act of Mother Nature, Strathcona County emergency response teams ensured they were prepared for hell and high water by conducting a test scenario disaster response exercise recently. Credited as the largest and most complex exercise since 2008 by the province, the Emergency Operations Centre exercise simulated municipal and provincial governments' response to a tornado ripping through the region on a July summer day.
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Commuting and transit: 66 per cent would pay more to cut their trip to work or school, new poll finds
Toronto Star
Six out of ten Toronto area residents believe that building more public transit is the route to reducing regional traffic congestion. But their preferences on how to pay and how much they're willing to contribute vary dramatically, according to a new poll from Forum Research. The survey of 1,750 residents, believed to be among the largest studies of transit issues in the Toronto region, shows that many residents are persuaded they will have to pay something toward transit expansion.
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Fund now for patient safety, paramedics are overworked
The Intelligencer
Governments must boost funding for ambulance service before patients suffer, a local union president says. Area paramedic Jenn Mizerovsky, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Unit 142, said she and her co-workers of Hastings-Quinte Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are overworked and a lack of proper staffing puts patients at risk. "Something's got to give," said Mizerovsky, an executive member of the union's provincial arm and a member of its Ontario ambulance committee.
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  Foster the New Economy in Your Community

The event, hosted in Toronto on March 26th and 27th, 2013, is designed for municipalities, including Councillors, Economic Development Officers, and other stakeholders involved in cultivating the creative economy. Attract entrepreneurs and investments; Improve quality of life; Strengthen economic competitiveness. Enter VIP Code AMC15 and save 15% when registering online.

Did Twitter rebels kill London's tax freeze?
London Free Press
Eight months ago, before city council voted on this year's budget, a group of young professional Londoners took to social media to launch a protest against a tax freeze. One participant, Western nursing professor Abe Oudshoorn, got an earful of opposing viewpoints when The Free Press ran a story about the campaign in July. "I did feel like I was kind of pushing upstream," Oudshoorn said. At the time, the tax freeze "definitely seemed like a done deal," said another participant, lawyer Susan Toth.
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Report urges Ontario ban on marketing junk food to kids
CBC News via The Canadian Press
A new report is urging the Ontario government to ban the marketing of junk food to kids under the age of 12. It's also urging a ban on promotions and displays of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods at the cash in stores, starting with sugary drinks. It wants restaurants, including fast-food and grocery stores, to list the calories of each item on their menu.
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Know your legislation, know your property
Pembroke Daily Observer
For Liz Marshall, head researcher with the Ontario Landowners Association, information is king, and once you have it, as a private landowner, all that's left is for you to pick your battles. That was the basic message of her address at an event in Cobden hosted by the Renfrew Landowners Association, as she consistently reiterated her encyclopedic knowledge of Canadian and Ontario statutes that affect, directly or indirectly, the rights and freedoms of private property holders in the province.
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DNE allows ATVs on municipal roads with new bylaw
You are now free to hop on your ATV in DNE. Drummond/North Elmsley Township recently passed a bylaw to allow ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) on township roads, with certain restrictions and exceptions. "We're following the provincial government stipulations," said DNE Reeve Aubrey Churchill after the Lanark County council session. "County roads are different. They still haven't been covered yet" by county legislation.
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  Improve efficiency and transparency and benefit the environment!
Still doing paper-based meetings? eSCRIBE’s award winning Municipal Meeting Automation Software can save an organization $169k or more over 5 years. You need productivity gains not more paper. Easy agenda management, online minute taking, real-time voting, customized participant portals, and fully iPad enabled. Evolve your meetings with eSCRIBE. Start Saving Now

 AMCTO Legislative Updates

FCM Antenna System Protocol Template
In response to a pressing municipal issue, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has partnered with the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) around the development of protocol template that seeks to better guide municipal consultations with wireless providers on the location of antenna systems. This template represents significant progress for a long‐standing area of municipal concern to AMCTO members.
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 Municipal Career Opportunities

Township of McNab-Braeside - Deputy Clerk

Northumberland County - Chief Administrative Officer

Town of Milton - Senior Economic Development Officer

City of Toronto - Manager Financial Planning

Township of Algonquin Highlands - Airport Manager

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

    Information commissioner may ask province to open access to councillors' records (Toronto Star)
OMERS posts 10 per cent return for 2012 (Toronto Star)
City of Niagara Falls fuming over casino tax cuts (Niagara Falls Review)
Trustee accused of conflict of interest in school closure (Raise The Hammer)
London's methadone policy could challenge before Ontario Municipal Board (Metro News)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
March 20 AMCTO Accessibility Forum Vaughan
April 14-16 Ontario Municipal Taxation and Revenue Association (OMTRA) Spring Training Workshop Collingwood
April 14-17 Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) National Conference Toronto
April 16-19 Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO) Forum Collingwood
April 17-19 Ontario Municipal Human Resources Association (OMHRA) Spring Workshop Kingston
April 19 AMCTO Clerks Forum Vaughan
April 24-26 NOMA Conference Thunder Bay
May 10 AMCTO Municipal Leaders Forum Mississauga
May 15 AMCTO Licensing & Law Enforcement Forum Brampton
June 9 - June 12 AMCTO 75th Annual Conference (Registration now OPEN) Blue Mountain Resort, The Town of The Blue Mountains, ON

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To find out how to feature your company in the AMCTO eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact Joseph Gonzales at 289-695-5420.

Shark fin ban not in cards at Richmond City Hall
Richmond Review
Senior staff at Richmond City Hall are telling council that regulating shark fins should be left to the federal government—not municipal officials. "There has been much media attention around the issue of prohibiting the sale and distribution of shark fins and shark fin food products. Matters relating to shark finning and shark fin food products, however, are within federal rather than municipal jurisdiction," said Glenn McLaughlin and May Leung.
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Municipalities to be notified ever time cell tower antenna goes up
CTV News
More smartphones and tablet traffic on wireless networks means an increase in antennas and cellphone towers, and now municipalities will be consulted on where this digital infrastructure will go. Under a national protocol released today, wireless carriers will be required to notify and consult with municipalities about every antenna system, including towers, that go up as they expand their networks.

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Sudbury council blasts Ont. Ombudsman
CBC News
"It's not the office I'm concerned with, it's you," said Coun. Terry Kett, who said he was troubled by what he called Marin's sarcastic attitude — both in his reports and on social media website Twitter. Other councillors zeroed in on the Ombudsman's accusation that they refused to co-operate with his investigation into closed door meetings earlier this year.

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TTC could face legal action if it reneges on newsstand deal
Toronto Star
The operator of the TTC's Gateway newsstands is threatening to take legal action if the TTC board tries to reopen the $48 million lease extension that it has twice approved at public meetings. Tobmar Investments International, which operates 65 Gateway stores, some lottery booths and bakeries in the subway, sent TTC chair Karen Stintz a lawyer's letter.

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AMCTO represents excellence in local government management and administration. AMCTO has provided education, legislative advocacy, accreditation, and implementation expertise for Ontario's municipal professionals for the past seventy five years. With 2,200 members working in municipalities across Ontario, AMCTO is Canada's largest voluntary association of local government professionals.
The Municipal Minute
Frank Humada, Director of Publishing, 289.695.5422
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