More than 1,500 municipal leaders meet in London, react to infrastructure funding announcement

LONDON, ON, Aug. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario's 2014 AMO Conference kicked off in London today amid an infrastructure funding announcement from Premier Kathleen Wynne.

More than 1,500 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 444 municipalities.

"When municipalities thrive, communities thrive," said AMO President Russ Powers. "AMO continues to fight for practical changes that would protect Ontario's property tax payers. Legislation to reign in policing costs, protect double hatter firefighters and reform Ontario's liability system are top priorities at the 2014 AMO Conference."

In the midst of conference activities, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced $100 million in annual, permanent infrastructure funding for municipalities under the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF). The $100 million OCIF was announced in the 2014 Ontario Budget. Half of this funding will be distributed on a formula basis and half of it is application based. In 2013, AMO recommended a formula based approach. More details are available at www.amo.on.ca.   

In addition, Premier Wynne announced that applications for the Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Fund (BCF-SCF) are now being accepted. Both the federal and provincial governments previously committed $272 million each through the BCF-SCF.

"Municipalities own more infrastructure than any other order of government, and much of it needs to be repaired or replaced," said AMO President Russ Powers. "Municipalities can't do it alone. Funding should be permanent, predictable and stable. The new Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund appears to meet those needs."

Conference highlights for Tuesday, August 19 will include:

  • 1:25 p.m. – History Lessons with Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion
  • 1:45 p.m.Amanda Lang, senior business correspondent for CBC News
  • 2:45 p.m. – Presentation of the AMO Gas Tax Awards
  • 3:10 p.m. – The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
  • 3:30 p.m. – Ontario Government Ministers and Parliamentary Assistants attend an open session to answer questions from municipal delegates

Reporters and delegates can build a personalized conference itinerary and access key conference information through AMOmobile – the Association's free mobile app.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances 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.

SOURCE: Association of Municipalities of Ontario

For further information: Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, 416-729-5425, lambie@redbrick.ca; Follow AMO on Twitter: @AMOPolicy, #AMO2014

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