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Change sought in 'flawed' municipal conflict law
The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the province's inaction on proposed sweeping changes to municipal conflict laws, momentum is building to fix the legislation used to remove Mayor Rob Ford. "It's bad legislation," says Robert Swayze, the integrity commissioner who oversees the conduct of politicians in six Ontario municipalities, including Mississauga and Oakville. He wants the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act fixed. "Look what it's done, it's removed the mayor of the largest city in Canada." Swayze said Ford should not be ousted for voting to excuse himself from repaying $3,150 raised for his football charity using city resources. More than a year ago, 27 changes to the act were recommended after the two-year Mississauga Judicial Inquiry, including lighter penalties that would have allowed Ford to stay in office, Swayze said. More



Province seeks public input for cycling improvements
Ottawa Citizen    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Ontario government wants to hear from you about how to improve cycling in the province. At a news conference in Ottawa, Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation Bob Chiarelli said the province is looking for public input to form the basis of a draft cycling strategy. The public has until Jan. 29, 2013, to offer comments on such things as improvements to cycling infrastructure, public education and legislation. Chiarelli said that starting in January, municipalities can also apply for funds under the new Municipal Infrastructure Program as it pertains to supporting the development of local cycling networks. More

Ford allowed to run in byelection
City TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Ontario Superior Court judge, who ordered Mayor Rob Ford out of office for violating conflict-of-interest rules, clarified that Ford can run in a byelection if one is called before the 2014 municipal election. Justice Charles Hackland ruled that the mayor violated Ontario's Municipal Conflict of Interest Act when he participated in a council vote on Feb. 7 that excused him from repaying $3,150 in questionable donations from lobbyists to his personal football foundation, which solicited money using city letterhead and city staff time. In his decision, the judge gave the mayor 14 days from Nov. 26 to vacate his seat and said that Ford couldn't run again for the 'current term.' More

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PC Leader Hudak says Ontario should privatize casinos and lotteries
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak says it's time the Ontario government got out of the gambling business, and suggests he'll privatize liquor sales as well. Mr. Hudak says it's time to re-evaluate everything government does to concentrate on core services like health care and education and get out of businesses that are better run by the private sector. He says there's an inherent conflict in having the government act both as a promoter of gambling by owing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and by being the regulator. Mr. Hudak won't say how much the province would save by having private operators run casinos and lotteries, but says he's convinced it would mean a bigger return for provincial taxpayers. More



Toronto plastic bag ban nixed by city council
City News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
City council has voted to kill Toronto's controversial plastic bag bylaw after considering confidential advice from its city solicitor. The vote was 38-7. Council also voted in favour of a motion by Coun. Janet Davis asking the deputy city manager to report to the public works committee on June 19, 2013, on the pros and cons of reducing the use of plastic bags. City staffers drafted the bylaw that prohibits retailers from distributing plastic shopping bags. It would have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2013. But Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong introduced a motion eliminating the recommendation to implement the bylaw. The motion also adopted recommendations that were kept confidential and kept a confidential attachment secret as it related to litigation. More



New fence bylaw would send disgruntled Waterloo residents to court
The Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Disagree with a decision from the City of Waterloo's fence variance committee? You may soon have to go to court to fight it. City councillors weighed in on a proposed new fence bylaw recently. No decision has been made. One of the proposed changes says homeowners seeking exceptions who are shut down by the variance committee would have to go to court to appeal it. "I am very concerned about the ability of most citizens to afford (this)," Coun. Diane Freeman said. "Having to go to a court — it seems like a tremendous amount of money." Currently citizens can apply for exceptions to the city's fence variance committee, which makes a recommendation to approve or refuse the request. City council makes the final decision. More

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White Oaks says mega-mall appeal settled
St. Catherines Standard    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The way looks clear for a planned Niagara-on-the-Lake mega-outlet mall after a neighbouring resort said it has settled its appeal of the project. Ivanhoe Cambridge, developers of the proposed Outlet Collection mega-mall, and White Oaks Resort have reached a settlement ahead of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing, said White Oaks development consultant Frank Racioppo. At issue was the trouble of traffic on Taylor Rd., which runs between White Oaks and the planned mall. Racioppo said the deal will see the mega-mall's main entrance located across from White Oaks, but the road will move 16.5 metres west and be expanded to six lanes. "We're pleased that this design is a substantial enhancement to what was originally applied for," Racioppo said. More

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Ontario court overturns Toronto's shark fin ban
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A ban on the sale, possession or consumption of shark fins and shark-fin food products in Toronto has been declared invalid by an Ontario Superior Court judge. Justice James Spence ruled in favour of a challenge to the prohibition brought forward by four members of the Chinese business community and concluded that the bylaw, which went into effect in September, was outside the powers of the city and of 'no force and effect.' The Superior Court judge also cautioned municipalities against passing laws simply because it may be considered to be a good cause. "The power to deal with municipal issues is a broad power since it is not defined in the [City of Toronto] Act. However, that fact does not mean that an issue is a municipal issue merely because a policy decision is taken by city council that an issue is important," wrote Judge Spence, in the ruling. More



Ontario will use legislative 'tools' if teachers strike
CBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ontario Education Minister Laurel Broten reminded the province's teachers that her government has the legislative 'tools' to impose a labour agreement if elementary teachers proceed with plans to strike. "I'm very disappointed to learn that our public elementary school teachers will be moving to strike action," Broten said. "We do not want students in the middle and we will not let their success be threatened in the classroom. We will continue to negotiate until we reach agreements or we will use the tools available to us," she said. "I don't want to speculate on what tools we would use, but we will continue to negotiate until we reach agreements." More

 AMCTO Legislative Updates


Annual statistical reporting — Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC)
AMCTO    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
All institutions (including municipalities) under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) are required to submit to the IPC an annual report — even if they had received no formal written requests — summarizing Freedom of Information requests from the past year. Any municipalities failing to report will be noted in the IPC's Annual Report.

The online submission website opened on Dec. 3, 2012 and municipalities will have until Mar. 1, 2013 as the deadline to complete their submissions. For more information on how to submit your information to IPC, please refer to their information notice by clicking here.


Legislative changes for cemeteries
AMCTO    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
MPAC has provided information surrounding recent legislative changes to the Assessment Act with respect to property tax exemptions for cemeteries. Click here to see MPAC's message that was sent to the attention of municipal clerks, treasurers and tax collectors.



 Municipal Career Opportunities

Town of Ingersoll — Treasurer

City of Burlington — Controller, Manager of Financial Services

City of Guelph — Financial Analyst — Taxation

Municipality of Wawa — Chief Administrative Officer-Clerk-Treasurer

Town of South Bruce Peninsula — Administrator



 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
Dec. 7, 2012 Ontario Regional & Single Tier Treasurers Meetings Toronto, ON
Jan. 23 - 25, 2013 Human Resources Professionals Association Conference Toronto, ON
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2013 Ontario Library Association Super Conference Toronto, ON




 
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