2022 AMO Conference Highlights

The 2022 AMO conference was back in-person this year and we were pleased to participate in the three-day-long conference hosted by the City of Ottawa. Between taking part in the tradeshow, advancing our advocacy priorities at delegations meetings, and attending sessions and political speeches, it was a busy few days.

The in-person conference brought back the infamous 'Bear Pit' with provincial ministers taking questions directly from municipal elected officials. Delegates raised important issues such as rising municipal insurance rates, recouping fees under the Drainage Act, increasing infrastructure costs, reviewing the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and preventing harassment for members of council (PDF).

The 2022 AMO conference also brought speeches from several members of the provincial legislature. Premier Ford began his speech by referencing his famous bee incident from last week. He spoke about the importance of municipal-provincial partnerships and said that everyone needs to do their part to support the construction of 1.5 million homes over five years.

Minister Clark briefly mentioned the strong mayors legislation as a tool to empower municipalities to increase housing supply. He reiterated his commitment to establish a Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team and said that $350 million has been allocated through 2022-2023 to the Audit and Accountability Fund, Municipal Modernization Program and Streamline Development Approval Fund.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones announced expanding patient care models for eligible 9-1-1 patients, as well as additional funding to support public health units.

Interim Leader of the Opposition, Peter Tabuns, reiterated the NDP’s commitment to fight for Ontario Municipal Partnership Funding (OMPF) to be increased to $590 million and indexed to inflation. On the strong mayors legislation, he stated that while some delegates may be opposed and some in favour, the legislation will not be effective in doing the government’s stated purpose – increasing housing supply.

Liberal municipal affairs critic, Stephen Blais, spoke about his party’s commitment to working with municipal leaders to make their communities better. While he did not reference the strong mayor’s legislation, he did remind delegations of his re-introduced private members bill: Bill 5, Stopping Harassment and Abuse by Local Leaders Act, 2022.

Finally, Green Leader, Mike Schreiner, spoke about more collaboration and less confrontation, the importance of supporting municipalities in ensuring their infrastructure is climate resilient, and the need for provincial leadership in increasing housing supply.

Provincial News Release: Working with Municipalities to Move Ontario Forward