THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro released the following statement today, after participating in the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa:
“Ontario’s towns and cities are wonderful places to live, work and raise a family. That’s a testament to the work municipal leaders do each and every day. The AMO annual conference is an opportunity to discuss ways to further strengthen our partnership – one that has yielded tremendous results for communities across the province.
Our government has worked hard to reduce the financial burden on municipalities and on those who pay property tax. In 2017, support to municipalities totals over $4 billion. That represents an average 264 per cent increase since 2003. As part of the largest infrastructure investment in the province’s history, we’re also investing $190 billion over 13 years. We also launched the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, which helps build and repair critical roads, bridges, water and waste water systems in small, rural and northern municipalities.
During AMO, my colleagues and I met with 373 municipal delegations, including the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, the Northern Ontario Large Urbans Mayors and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus.
Over the past few days, we have had productive conversations with municipalities on the province’s latest initiatives. During her keynote address to AMO delegates, Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke about the pressing concerns of municipalities and the importance of our municipal partnerships. I was pleased to join Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Chris Ballard, to announce that Ontario is investing in local projects that will help to reduce greenhouse gas pollution through the new Municipal GHG Challenge Fund.
Twenty-two provincial ministers took part in a question and answer session with delegates, and I was privileged to join Attorney General Yasir Naqvi on stage to outline how our proposed changes to the Ontario Municipal Board give greater respect to municipal planning decisions.
Our government is committed to partnering with municipalities, to listen and to respond to their needs. We want to help build a bright future for communities all across Ontario.”