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 Industry News

Ontario teacher strikes: One-day walkouts 'small price to pay'
The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One-day teacher strikes rolling out across the province are a small price to pay for the labour peace Ontario has enjoyed for nine years, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says. The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario are stepping up their protests against Bill 115 — legislation that imposes a two-year wage freeze on teachers and removes and limits bargaining rights — with one-day walkouts, including York Region. "While inconvenient, these one-day legal strike actions do not warrant the intervention of the government and are a small price to pay to protect full-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes and 10,000 teaching jobs," McGuinty said in a statement. More

Sewage deficit decision deferred
Niagara this Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Niagara township is holding off deciding who will pay for a $96,000 deficit in the sewage department. Council decided to defer a decision on how to pay off the deficit, choosing to wait for more information on how the new department operated in its first year before deciding whether the deficit will be covered by the entire township or just those in the lakeshore, boil water advisory area. The sewage department was created to oversee the Part 8 sewage inspections, which are required by the Ontario Building Code, as well as the township's find, repair, replace program that seeks to uncover faulty residential sewage systems in the lakeshore area. But after public outcry about the creation of a new department, council instead decided to go to a third party contractor to do the inspections. More

Communities across Ontario have benefitted from gaming facility revenue
National Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a decade of decline, Brantford's once-vibrant downtown core hit rock bottom in 1999. "The urban blight was a shock to see," Leo Groarke, then dean of Wilfrid Laurier University's small satellite campus in Brantford, told a local newspaper. "I had walked through slums in Toronto and Montreal but they were not as hopeless as the blocks of boarded-up buildings I saw [here]." That same year, however, the Brantford casino opened its doors. Buoyed by the millions of dollars they began to receive annually from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which pays communities that host gaming centres a portion on slot and table revenues, municipal leaders invested heavily in post-secondary education and infrastructure projects designed to pump new life into their downtown core. More

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Ontario backing away from climate change commitments
Financial Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ontario's Liberal government is backing away from its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and will miss its own targets, Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller said. The government is scaling back plans to fight greenhouse gas emissions, cutting funding for programs to buy electric vehicles and develop charging stations, and delaying construction of 31 kilometres of HOV lanes because of shrinking revenues. The need to cut spending to help eliminate a $14.4 billion deficit is no reason to cut good programs that help reduce the impact of climate change, said Miller. More

Markham councillor still hopeful for shark fin ban    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shark fins are back in the news — and for one Markham city councillor, that means there is still momentum to the banning shark fin movements. An Ontario Supreme Court judge recently overturned Toronto's shark fin ban bylaw, citing the ban is out of a municipality's control. A ban should come from the federal government. While disappointed, Ward 1 Councillor Valerie Burke asks residents not to give up the fight. "Sure, I was upset," she said. "But there is always a positive. Change doesn't happen immediately." Last year, Ms Burke, as a member of the city's animal care advisory committee, brought the issue before council. Council opted to send a letter to the federal government calling for stricter rules for inhumane animal harvesting practices. More

Doctors' regulatory body to reveal names of Ontario clinics that fail inspections
The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The names of private clinics that fail inspections by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario will be revealed publicly, the college said. "We identified the need for greater transparency and expressed our commitment to facilitating information sharing with the public regarding the results of premises inspections. We are actively pursuing a change to the college bylaw to permit us to do this," the college said in an email. Health Minister Deb Matthews confirmed that the bylaw would allow the college to reveal clinics that failed inspections on its public register. More

Durham and Ontario reach compromise on Region's official plan
Durham Region    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ontario and Durham have reached a compromise on the Region's official plan that protects northeast Pickering from urban expansion, to the delight of Ajax. Durham agreed to protect prime agricultural land at the headwaters of Carruthers Creek, following a lengthy battle between Ajax, Ontario, Pickering and the Region. The settlement, which also included other concessions by Durham, staved off what could have been a pricey, taxpayer-funded court battle over the plan. More

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Conflicting reactions to law that hangs over Rob Ford
The Lawyers Weekly    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been granted a reprieve from a judge's ruling that kicked him out of office over conflict of interest allegations. But the debate continues about the law that slapped him with that penalty in the first place. Some say it's time to overhaul Ontario's Municipal Conflict of Interest Act (MCIA) in the wake of the controversy that saw Ford potentially removed over a conflict involving $3,150. Others stop short of that, but call for better education of municipal officials about conflicts and their consequences. Stephen D'Agostino, for one, believes the act is far too restrictive in punishing contraventions, and places too high of a financial burden on both applicants and respondents. More

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 AMCTO Legislative Updates

Statutory Standard of Care — S. 19, Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) reminder
AMCTO    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Section19 of the Safe Drinking Water Act — Statutory Standard of Care, will come into force on Dec. 31, 2012. As a reminder, this section expressly extends legal responsibility to people with decision-making authority over municipal drinking water systems, potentially including but not limited to members of municipal councils.

To assist municipalities, the government has provided access to the following guide entitled Taking Care of Your Drinking Water: A Guide for Members of Municipal Council, available in English and French on the Drinking Water Ontario website at

In addition, a 'Standard of Care — Safe Drinking Water Act' training course is also available through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC). This course intends to assist mayors, councillors and municipal officials with oversight responsibility for drinking water systems to better understand the SDWA standard of care requirements.

For any additional information, AMCTO members can visit the Centre's website at or call 1-866-515-0550. The Centre will assist in the process of arranging a Standard of Care training session for your respective municipality.

An update of Ontario's compost guideline and regulatory framework
AMCTO    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The proposed revisions to the compost framework would: support increased waste diversion from landfill; establish three new categories for finished compost (AA, A and B), which would allow the composting of a broader range of materials (such as septage, sewage biosolids and pulp and paper biosolids) in a manner that is protective of the environment and human health; align Ontario's compost standards more closely with other provinces; and provide updated best management practices and guidance. The potential impact for certain municipalities can be best explored by clicking here.

 Municipal Career Opportunities

Township of Stirling-Rawdon — Clerk-Administrator

Ontario Public Service — Senior Municipal Financial Advisor

City of Oshawa — Manager, Records Information Systems

City of Barrie — Systems Analyst

City of Guelph — Financial Analyst — Taxation

 Upcoming Municipal Events

Date Event Location
Jan. 23 - 25, 2013 Human Resources Professionals Association Conference Toronto, ON
Jan. 30 - Feb. 2, 2013 Ontario Library Association Super Conference Toronto, ON

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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