News from Niagara, Ontario’s regional government
Posted August 11th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Regional Chair Alan Caslin and Regional Councillors will join more than 1,900 participants at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s (AMO) 2017 Conference in Ottawa from August 13th to 16th.
Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Ontario’s Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs, and both opposition leaders are featured speakers and several additional provincial ministers will participate in the conference.
The annual conference is a chance for municipal officials to discuss and move forward on shared challenges, to learn, and to create new opportunities that can benefit their communities. In addition to the conference program, municipal staff and officials will take part in municipal delegation meetings with provincial and federal ministries.
Regional Chair Caslin has confirmed meetings on the following topics that have been a priority for Regional Council and in many cases are part of Council’s Strategic Plan:
- Requesting that the province maintain the allocation of federal Gas Tax funds for the cities of Niagara Falls, St. Catharines and Welland, as Niagara’s Inter-Municipal Transit system is consolidated under one oversight body and seeking capital funding for implementation infrastructure
- Seeking arbitration reform at the provincial level in order to ensure that municipal costs of provincial arbitration decisions are public and consider the ability to pay as part of the process
- Promote the province’s only Gateway Economic Zone while seeking resolution of policy conflicts that hinder investment and job creation in Niagara within the gateway zone
- Seeking assistance from the Province to promote and grow the Gateway Economic Zone as a strategic economic region in Ontario by allowing the expansion of settlement area boundaries for the purpose of employment lands and prime employment areas
Further meetings will occur with the Leader of the Official Opposition, Ontario PC Party Leader Patrick Brown and Municipal Affairs Critic Ernie Hardeman, and Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party Andrea Horwath and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates.
Key session topics include the need for new and modern approaches to funding municipal government, changes to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), infrastructure and transit, climate change, new waste legislation and changes to the Blue Box program, marijuana legalization, the digital and sharing economy, affordable housing, police modernization, and much more. These province-wide matters have local implications for our community.
Niagara Region will be well represented at this year’s AMO conference. During the conference AMO Board Member and Niagara Regional Councillor Paul Grenier will participate in a panel titled: Ageing in Ontario’s Municipalities: Facilitating a Response.
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.
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