Today AMCTO submitted its comments on Bill 68, the Modernizing Ontario’s Municipal Legislation Act, to the Standing Committee on Social Policy. AMCTO believes that a number of the changes proposed in Bill 68 are positive for municipalities—including many that we advocated for in our submission on the Municipal Act in 2015. However, while there is much in this bill that is good for the municipal sector and AMCTO members, there are also several areas of concern, and sections of the legislation where we think that changes need to be made.
Our submission includes five recommendations as well as the Associations’ concerns about what we think is the legislation’s overemphasis on accountability and transparency and failure to address the fiscal sustainability of Ontario’s municipalities. Our specific recommendations are for the government to amend the legislation to:
- Include principles for how integrity commissioners conduct their duties (and investigations) either in the legislation or in a separate regulation
- Remove the provision from Bill 68 that would allow an integrity commissioner to launch an investigation on their “own initiative”
- Remove closed meeting exception “K” from the list of added circumstances in section 239 where councils can move into closed session
- Keep the current date for starting a new session of council as December 1st
- Establish a lengthen transition period before Bill 68 is proclaimed
Read the full submission here.