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Ontario open to big changes in municipal elections
Toronto Star
Big changes are on the horizon for how Torontonians and residents of other Ontario municipalities elect their mayors and councils. Ted McMeekin, Ontario's municipal affairs and housing minister, told the Star he plans this fall to consult towns and cities and hopes to oversee passage next spring of reforms including allowing them to use ranked ballots in the 2018 civic elections.
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To spur affordable housing, Toronto looks to loosen red tape for developers
The Globe and Mail
Mayor John Tory is looking to address the city's affordable housing problem by cutting red tape for developers. Mr. Tory met with developers in February, challenging them to help solve the affordable housing shortage and asking for ways the city can encourage more developments. On Monday, the mayor announced a series of proposed incentives — including fast-tracking approvals and reducing construction costs.
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Ontario government defends paying millions to consultants for report urging Hydro One sell-off
Toronto Star
he Ontario government is defending paying almost $7 million to consulting firms — some with Liberal ties — for working on a recent report advocating supermarket beer sales and privatizing 60 per cent of Hydro One.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


Disaster relief assistance committee formed
Inside Beleville
An Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) committee has finally been formed for the Tweed area after the first attempt at creating committee failed. The group’s initial meeting was addressed by Jon King, the Municipal Advisor for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing who represented the ministry at a public meeting in Tweed last spring following severe flooding.
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City fourth-quarter gambling revenue: $538,000
Northern Life
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has issued a fourth-quarter revenue payment of $538,343 to Greater Sudbury for hosting OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs. To date, Sudbury has received more than $33.9 million in gaming revenue from a revenue-sharing agreement dating back to the 1990s. In a news release, Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault said revenue from OLG gaming sites allow municipalities to invest in infrastructure and support community initiatives.
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Auditor-General absolves Brampton city staff of misconduct in development deal
The Globe and Mail
Brampton city staffers were absolved of any wrongdoing Monday after an investigation looked into potential misconduct during the selection process for a major downtown development contract. In a long-awaited report, interim Auditor-General George Rust-D’Eye found the Southwest Quadrant Renewal Plan was handled properly by senior and experienced city staff who provided sufficient information to council while protecting confidentiality within the bidding process.
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York St. GO Transit concourse opens to the public
CBC News
The 62,000-square-foot York Street GO concourse at Union station officially opened to the public this morning. Part of GO's effort to accommodate rising ridership, the new concourse is nearly double the size of its predecessor, the Bay Street concourse. It features automated ticket machines, PRESTO vendors and a new customer service counter, as as well as a covered walkway that connects to the PATH network and additional GO platforms.
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  PRODUCT SHOWCASES
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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).


Online dispute system could compromise Ontario justice: critics
Toronto Star
Critics of a government proposal to streamline the courts system by introducing an online dispute system for provincial offences warn Ontarians would be being denied their constitutional right to justice. Opposition is lining up against what is known as the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS), which is designed to simplify the process for offences under the Provincial Offences Act, including the Highway Traffic Act.
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Work to begin in 2016 on Finch West LRT
National Post
Construction of the long-awaited Finch West light rail transit line will begin in 2016, but would-be riders will have to wait until it is completed before the similarly stalled Sheppard LRT gets under way, the Ontario minister of transportation said.
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Ontario open to big changes in municipal elections
Toronto Star
Big changes are on the horizon for how Torontonians and residents of other Ontario municipalities elect their mayors and councils. Ted McMeekin, Ontario's municipal affairs and housing minister, told the Star he plans this fall to consult towns and cities and hopes to oversee passage next spring of reforms including allowing them to use ranked ballots in the 2018 civic elections.

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Ontario electricity prices going up this summer
CBC News
Electricity rates are going up in Ontario starting May 1, as it will cost more than twice as much for electricity during peak demand periods than off-peak times. The price for peak periods will be 16.1 cents per kilowatt hour, compared with 8 cents for off-peak hours on weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and all day on weekends and holidays.

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No, that meeting could not have been an email
HBR
There's a lot that happens in a meeting that can't be replaced with a digital memo. A long-standing maxim on communication has it that only 7 per cent of information communicated in person is verbal — the actual words that could be conveyed in an email. The remaining 93 per cent are contextual elements like non-verbal cues, tone of voice, context, and feedback.

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 Management Resources


What your boss is really saying to you: Decoded
Fast Company
Sometimes, navigating office politics can feel a bit like trying to decipher the meaning behind smoke rings. Case in point: While in the interview seat, you're told that you are a "competitive candidate" — but that doesn't necessarily mean you've got the job. Rather, you could just be one in a sea of overqualified people vying for the position. Or maybe earning a "title promotion" may sound like you’ve scored a career coup … or have you?
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  FEATURED COMPANIES
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Time management training doesn't work
HBR
Today, knowledge workers use devices and platforms we wouldn’t have dreamed of 15 years ago, in workspaces we probably didn't see coming, either (goodbye, private offices; hello, telecommuting). But while work has changed, the training we get about how to manage our time looks pretty much the same as it always has.
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There's a difference between cooperation and collaboration
HBR
Everyone seems to agree that collaboration across functions is critical for major projects and initiatives. The reality, however, is that meshing the skills and resources of different departments, each focused on its own distinct targets, to achieve a larger organizational goal is much easier said than done.
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 AMCTO Legislative Updates


Provincial and Federal Budgets Released
AMCTO
Last week saw the release of both the federal and provincial budgets, both characterized by substantial investments in infrastructure and transit. You can find more information about the Ontario budget in AMCTO's post-budget update here, or the federal budget in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) budget analysis here.
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Gender Wage Gap:
AMCTO
The province has appointed a committee to develop a strategy for closing the gap in wages between women and men. You can find out more about his committee here.
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Update on the Tax Sale Process for Corporate Forfeited Properties:
AMCTO
In the provincial budget released last week, the government announced that it intends to move forward with new legislation to support the efficient and effective management of forfeited corporate property. AMCTO along with partnered municipal associations OMTRA and MFOA, met with provincial staff at the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) at the end of 2014 to discuss this matter and its relationship to municipal tax sales. It became evident that the government, through this legislation, will be amending the municipal tax sale process. While our associations outlined a series of concerns to the Ministry we were not provided additional details about this legislation. Moving forward, AMCTO will work with our partners to ensure any changes are communicated to Ontario’s municipal professionals once the government provides greater clarity.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Queen's Park Bill 53 could put the brakes on Uber in Ontario (Metro News)
Ontario to ban menthol cigarettes. Why not Ottawa? (The Globe and Mail)
Beer to be sold in up to 450 supermarkets (Toronto Star)
No, that meeting could not have been an email (HBR)
Ontario electricity prices going up this summer (CBC News)
Saunders pledges more community input on carding (Toronto Star)

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