COUNTY OF SIMCOE by 2xuH469

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									                                    COUNTY OF SIMCOE
ITEM FOR:                 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
SECTION:                  Matters for Consideration
ITEM NO.                  PM 10-133
MEETING DATE:             September 16, 2010
SUBJECT:                  Association of Municipalities (AMO) Conference - August, 2010


RECOMMENDATION:

THAT Item PM 10-133, regarding the Association of Municipalities (AMO) August 2010
Conference, be received for information.

BACKGROUND:

The annual Association of Municipalities (AMO) conference was held in Windsor, Ontario from
August 15 to 18, 2010. The conference is well attended by municipal officials across the Province
of Ontario and provides significant opportunities for education, sharing of common issues and
solutions, networking, and opportunities for municipalities to collectively and individually talk to
the Province about their undertakings and issues.

The County of Simcoe had representation at the conference from County Councillors and staff as
well as many local municipal officials. A summary of the conference program is attached to this
item as Schedule 1. Each attendee can likely speak to the direct benefit realized through their
individual attendance at seminars, workshops and plenary sessions, as well as discussions with
vendors and peers from across the province. If any Councillor is interested in any information from
the noted sessions, staff can forward this and also provide contacts for County officials that attended
the session(s) of interest. The conference also included a large exhibit area with vendors and other
agencies, as well as receptions, hospitality and networking opportunities for attendees. The purpose
of this report however is to provide Council with an update on some of the discussions that occurred
between County officials and the Province with respect to some of our initiatives and undertakings:

SUNDAY:

Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus (WOWC) Meeting

The Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus welcomed Jim Bradley, Minister of Municipal Affairs and
Housing to the Sunday meeting. The Minister addressed the group generally about provincial
initiatives, received some information about the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus issues,
including the priority projects of Economic Development, Sustainable Municipal Funding, and the
Local Health Integrated Network’s. He then fielded some questions from the Wardens, and wished
everyone in attendance a prosperous and educational conference.
September 16, 2010            Performance Management Committee PM 10-133                    Page 2


The meeting then proceeded with updates from the lead municipalities; Local Health Integration
Networks presented by the County of Lambton; Sustainable Municipal Funding / Ontario Municipal
Partnership Fund presented by Middlesex County and Economic Development presented by the
County of Simcoe. Warden Patterson presented a draft position paper on Economic Development in
South Western Ontario which was created from input from all the member Counties.

Other topics on the agenda included the Rural Issues Strategy put forth by Rural Ontario Municipal
Association, the Census long form issue, Joint and Several Liability, the Green Energy Act, as well
as the priority issues and other matters of correspondence. There was an update from Association
of Municipalities of Ontario representatives as well as County and Region caucus committee
representatives. The floor was then opened for questions.

Joint Eastern and Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus (EOWC / WOWC) Meeting

This meeting of Counties from across the Province included updates from Peter Hume, President of
the Association of Municipalities of Ontario on issues such as the task force on economic
prosperity, climate change, the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, the Municipal Services Fiscal
Review, infrastructure funding, and the Green Energy Act.

Joint issues and initiatives of the Counties across all of Ontario were discussed including
presentations on both the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus and the Joint Eastern and Western
Ontario Warden’s Caucus 2010 Priorities with recommendations and support being endorsed for
areas of common interest.

MONDAY:

Western Ontario Wardens Caucus – Meeting with Andrea Horwath – NDP

The Wardens met with Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Provincial New Democratic Party (NDP). It
was an opportunity for the Wardens in an informal and personal meeting to share with this party
leader the issues and priorities for the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus, including matters
important to the Counties and Local Municipalities that the Caucus represents. The meeting also
provided an opportunity for the leader to understand these issues more clearly, and also present their
party’s positions on these and other matters currently in front of the Provincial Government.

Ministry of Tourism

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Vice Chair Ferguson, the Chief Administrative Officer
and the General Manager’s of Health and Cultural Services and Corporate Services. Minister
Michael Chan and Ministry Staff welcomed the group.

Discussions included the successful launch of the new brand and new mandate of the County’s
Tourism entity, Simcoe County Trails, the County as major Provincial Tourism region, continued
support for the RTO framework and regional Tourism coordination, and recent promotional items.
The Minister was quite enthusiastic about Simcoe County and our regional coordination efforts and
indicated partnerships and support from the Province.
September 16, 2010            Performance Management Committee PM 10-133                   Page 3


Ministry of Education

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Chair Dubeau, Vice Chair Savage, the Chief
Administrative Officer, and the General Manager’s of Social Services and Health and Culture.
Minister Leona Dombrowsky and Ministry staff welcomed the group.

Discussions were held on the benefits and challenges of the Early Learning Program, partnerships
with the Province and the School Boards, maximization of resources and funding levels for schools
and programs in our growing region. The Minister was very impressed with the County’s
information flyers on our programs and services and indicated a desire to utilize them as examples
for other service delivery agents. The Minister was also receptive to our concerns about flexibility
for the delivery agents to utilize resources between funding envelopes to better enhance services.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Chair Little, Vice Chair Ferguson, the Chief
Administrative Officer and the General Manager’s of Social Services and Corporate Services.
Minister Carol Mitchell (past Warden of Huron County) and Ministry staff welcomed the group.

Discussions included the Simcoe County Food Partners Alliance and our steps towards developing a
Food Charter, Farm Fresh / local food to table opportunities, and an opportunity of partnering with
the Province and other partners from the United States and Canada on an international detailed
watershed based land use study with an agricultural component. The Minister was very pleased
with our efforts to engage locally on food related matters and indicated an interest in further
meetings on the watershed study opportunities.

TUESDAY:

Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Chair Dubeau, Vice Chair Savage, the Chief
Administrative Officer and the General Manager of Health and Social Services. Minister Deb
Matthews and Ministry Staff welcomed the group.

Discussions included the Georgian Manor re-development project, on-going Long Term Care
funding and compliance process issues, the new Long Term Care Act, Paramedic Services level of
care, communications and dispatch. The Minister was extremely engaged in the conversations and
was responsive to the presentations, encouraging on our initiatives, and our issue positions.

Ministry of Community and Social Services

This delegation was attended by Chair Dubeau, Vice Chair Savage, the Chief Administrative
Officer, and the General Manager’s of Social Services and Health and Culture. Minister Madeleine
Meilleur and Ministry staff welcomed the group.
September 16, 2010            Performance Management Committee PM 10-133                    Page 4


Discussions were held on our success stories, partnerships and initiatives in Simcoe County in
Social Services, maximization of resources and funding levels, and the Accessibility for Ontarions
with Disabilities Act implications on existing Social Housing facilities. The Minister was very
impressed with the County’s programs and service delivery and held us out as an example for others
to follow. This Minister was also receptive to our concerns about flexibility for the delivery agents
to utilize resources between funding envelopes to better enhance services. The Minister was
understanding of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act implications and costs for
existing Social Housing stock, and noted that there would be exemptions for existing facilities
where reasonable.

Ministry of Natural Resources

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Chair Little, Vice Chair Ferguson, Councillor
MacEachern, the Chief Administrative Officer and the General Manager of Corporate Services.
Parliamentary Assistant David Orazietti (on behalf of Minister Jeffrey) and Ministry staff welcomed
the group.

Discussions included the recent Simcoe County Forest accreditation, forest management and
recreational activities and trail systems, and County management of certain Crown Lands to ensure
proper and consistent forestry management in our region. The Parliamentary Assistant was
impressed with the history and continued stewardship and development of our forests, and was
interested in furthering our discussions on best forestry management practices for certain crown
lands in our region.

Western Ontario Wardens Caucus – Meeting with Tim Hudak - PC

The Wardens met with Tim Hudak, Leader of the Provincial Progressive Conservatives (PC). It
was an opportunity for the Wardens in an informal and personal meeting to share with this party
leader the issues and priorities for the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus, including matters
important to the Counties and Local Municipalities that the Caucus represents. The meeting also
provided an opportunity for the leader to understand these issues more clearly, and also present their
party’s positions on these and other matters currently in front of the Provincial Government.

Urban Nodes Meeting – Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

The County Warden and Chief Administrative Officer were invited to attend a meeting with
Minister Brad Duguid and Ministry staff with the local Urban Nodes group. The discussions were
led by Urban Node Chair Mike MacEachern and each of the Urban Nodes in attendance were
provided an opportunity to speak (Barrie, Orillia, Collingwood, Midland and Penetanguishene).
Other representatives of these municipalities were also in attendance as well as a representative
from Member of Provincial Parliament Aileen Caroll’s office. The Urban Node Chair described the
common efforts of the group which was formed post the release of the Draft Simcoe Vision, and
presented their Statement of Common Principles. The key message to the Minister from the group
was a need to move forward with a Provincial decision on the Simcoe Vision and the County
Official Plan so that our region can move forward with growth, development and infrastructure
plans.
September 16, 2010             Performance Management Committee PM 10-133                 Page 5


Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

This delegation was attended by the Warden, Chair Little, Vice Chair Ferguson, Past Warden
Guergis, Councillor Wauchope the Chief Administrative Officer and the General Manager of
Corporate Services. A representative from Member of Provincial Parliament Aileen Caroll’s office
was also in attendance. Minister Brad Duguid and Ministry staff welcomed the group.

Discussions included the County’s Growth Plan, Transportation Plan, the Simcoe Vision, the
County’s Official Plan review and the continued desire for the inclusion of the Provincial
Development Facilitator in the process to try and expedite a fair and reasonable conclusion.
Infrastructure planning and funding were also discussed. The Minister indicated that he had an
appreciation of various perspectives on these matters, and that he was working towards a fair and
reasonable conclusion so that the region and its municipalities can move on with local planning and
infrastructure investment.

Other Matters of Interest at AMO

As a result of some concerns expressed at the Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus meeting and by
various local member municipalities regarding the Green Energy Act, specifically the siting issues
of windmills on and off shore in various municipalities, Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus Chair
Kevin Eccles arranged for a discussion of interested parties on Monday August 16, 2010. The
meeting was called to determine if there is common ground among the various Counties and
municipalities for developing a strategy to oppose the provincial government’s current legislated
direction that enables the establishment of industrial wind turbines in locations not supported by
elected local councils. The Warden and Chief Administrative Officer were unable to attend due to a
scheduling conflict, but Councillor Lawrence did attend from Simcoe County. Outcomes of the
meeting included a question to be asked at the Bear Pit Session by Chair Eccles, and the future
development of a Western Ontario Warden’s Caucus working group on the issue, with two
representatives from each County.

Collingwood Councillor Norm Sandberg was elected as the incoming President of Association of
Municipalities of Ontario.

On Wednesday August 18th, the McGuinty government announced some changes in Provincial
Ministry structure and some shuffling of Cabinet, which included some of the Ministers that we had
held discussions with the previous days at County delegations.

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS:

There are no direct financial implications to this informational item.

SCHEDULES:

The following schedule is attached and forms part of this Item.

Schedule 1 - AMO 2010 Preliminary Conference Program.
September 16, 2010           Performance Management Committee PM 10-133              Page 6




 Schedule 1 - AMO
 Program 2010.pdf


PREPARED BY:         Mark Aitken, Chief Administrative Officer

APPROVALS:                                                       Date:
Mark Aitken, Chief Administrative Officer                        September 9, 2010

								
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