Northern Municipalities Encouraged in Ottawa at AMO
OTTAWA – “We are working as a team,” stated Dave Canfield, the President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA). Representatives from NOMA are in Ottawa for the past two days attending the annual Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) Conference.
Better Intergovernmental Relations
“On issues like energy, Ring of Fire, and transportation,” Canfield states, “The relationship between the three levels of government have improved drastically”.
There have been meetings today with six Ministers. Canfield says NOMA is excited over changes to the gas tax revenue sharing. The share for NOMA municipalities is slated to rise by 2% in 2014.
Canfield states that with those funds, municipalities have done some innovative things, and won awards from some of the projects here in the Northwest.
Canfield in an interview with NNL says that the issues surrounding key concerns in the North are getting a far better hearing and far more understanding at this year’s conference.
The NOMA team had just come out of a meeting with Minister Greg Rickford on the Gas Tax funding.
AMO Conference in Ottawa Presents Opportunity
“The AMO Conference provides an excellent opportunity for municipalities to share ideas and solutions in the municipal sector,” added Canfield. “As community leaders, we are always looking at ways of working together to make our communities stronger. This Conference attracts the people with experience and ideas and is attentive to the needs of our municipalities.”
More than 1,600 conference delegates from across Ontario are participating in close to 50 plenary sessions and workshops with more than 60 speakers. The broad scope of the conference reflects the wide range of programs and services delivered by Ontario’s municipalities.
“AMO unites Ontario municipalities,” said Russ Powers, AMO President. “Our communities face real challenges. We need Ontario’s Legislature to work together and provide municipalities with the tools to control costs, grow our local economies, deliver vital services and invest in infrastructure.”
The NOMA delegates also conducted meetings with various provincial Ministers to bring issues effecting Northwestern Ontario to the forefront. Meetings were held with Ministers and staff from:
- Ministry of Energy
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
- Ministry of Natural Resources
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Infrastructure
“We conducted successful meetings with a variety of Ministers and addressed some very serious issues that are effecting communities in Northwestern Ontario,” continued Canfield. “We really focused our discussions on the MPAC assessment issue in Dryden, Fort Frances and Thunder Bay. The reduced assessments are detrimental to these communities in terms of supporting the tax base. We also discussed the rising costs of OPP policing and expressed grave concerns with plans to close the Thunder Bay Generating Station especially when we know that regional energy needs will increase with growth in the mining sector.”
The AMO Conference wraps up on Wednesday.