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It’s Not Checkmate Yet
Ontario municipalities are keen on ranked-choice voting but the province has banned this important electoral change. Read in the Q4-2020 edition of Municipal Monitor about the fight to restore ranked-choice ballots and what your community must do if they’re back on for 2022. The Q4 Municipal Monitor also has the information you need about Ontario’s imminent Data Strategy. While you’re at it, learn how your municipality can grow its money with the Prudent Investor Standard — and why George Orwell would have approved of job ads that read a whole lot differently.
Municipal Monitor magazine is published on a quarterly bases for the members of AMCTO – the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.
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Since 1967, the AMCTO Municipal Monitor has built a strong reputation as Ontario’s most-trusted municipal management & leadership publication.
Isn’t the world we live in a curious place? It’s a world of utter and ongoing amazement, full of change and wonder, often driven by the latest and newest technological advancements. From the phone you cradle in the palm of your hand to the high-definition, big-screen television in front of you and your family, to the latest safety features in your car or truck, we have it all, don’t we? And yet as much as we have evolved in some ways, when it comes to how we interact and treat each other, things haven’t changed much at all.
This past January, the provincial government announced it would conduct a review of regional governments in nine parts of southern Ontario: Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, Oxford County and the County of Simcoe. It is the most comprehensive review to be undertaken since Ontario’s regional municipalities were established 50 years ago, and it offers a unique opportunity for AMCTO members to provide input into the future of local government in this province.
It’s a modern-day business nightmare – the equivalent of a break-in with company files stolen, filing cabinet and all. In this digital age, the criminals take your files and hold them hostage without ever having set foot in your building. This targeted attack on your computer systems compromises all your data – information, identity and more.
The attackers can come from anywhere in the world, steal your data, encrypt it and demand a ransom to restore your system. This ransom is typically payable in bitcoin, which is virtually untraceable.
Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada in October. But for Ontario, that’s only half the story. The other shoe drops on April 1, when the provincial government will allow retail cannabis stores to open. That delay of 5-1/2 months from the day recreational cannabis was legalized by federal regulation on Oct. 17 made Ontario and Nunavut the only jurisdictions in Canada with no retail cannabis shops. In Ontario, cannabis can only be legally purchased online through the Ontario Cannabis Store.
Asset management has been woven into the fabric of municipal activity for the past 20 years. Our physical assets have been catalogued, assessed for condition, financially evaluated, and then added to the asset management program and comprehensive life-cycle costing. Thus, municipalities have become better equipped to financially plan for their future needs in a sustainable way. A thorough asset management plan ensures that municipal councils can make informed, proactive decisions according to their visions, goals and values. It is equally important that a municipal corporation manage its human assets through a similar process.
Anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel during rush hour traffic can surely feel the frustration of town and city planners who are looking for better ways to move people along our streets and highways.
Whether it’s small towns or larger urban centres, the people whose responsibility it is to provide transport for the masses are veering more and more towards technology. Planted 45 minutes north of Toronto, the town of Innisfil has realized a huge success in its gutsy gamble to partner with the biggest ride-sharing company on the planet.
The eyes of electoral reform advocates will all be on London, Ont. this fall, as that city implements the first Ontario rated-ballot voting system. However, despite what the results might show, it won’t indicate a one-system-take-all-is-the-way-to-go end effect, a trained political observer insisted.
“London’s going to be our first chance to get a sense of what a ranked-ballot system looks like and how the public reacts to it,” said urban politics and public policy expert Aaron Moore. . .
Being held for ransom isn’t something that happens only to big corporations. Municipal governments are also at high risk for ransomware attacks, and cyber-safety is crucial with more municipalities storing their data in the cloud. Read all about these key issues in the Q4-2017 edition of Municipal Monitor, where you’ll find out how to keep long-time employees from being held hostage also – by their comfort zones.
Does your municipal government feel like it’s running faster and faster to keep up with the technological advances your citizens expect? The Q3-2017 issue of Municipal Monitor is a guide on how to catch up to all the cyber-demands being made on you. You’ll read about how to make smart connections with your citizens, where to draw the line on monetizing data – and even whether autonomous cars might soon be cruising through your community.
Provincial legislation isn’t moving fast enough to give Ontario municipalities the guidance they need to deal with legal cannabis. But that doesn’t mean municipalities are without resources to establish their own guidelines. Don’t get stuck in the weeds. Read the Q2-20917 edition of Municipal Monitor, which is full of timely information on everything from cannabis to turning your community into a smart city, to the latest on how big-box retailers have boxed in municipal governments on the property tax issue.
Ontario municipalities have been singing the red-tape blues for a long time, but a new report by AMCTO reveals just why the regulatory reporting burden is so heavy and what can be done about it. All the details are in the Q1-2017 issue of Municipal Monitor, along with so much more to read. Find out how Markham and Brampton are capitalizing on the diversity of their vibrant communities, how the principles of military leadership transfer into municipal governance, and why the integrity commissioner’s expanded role doesn’t mean there’s a lot less integrity out there.
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AMCTO Municipal Monitor delivers on our mandate to promote excellence in municipal management and administration through thought-provoking articles featuring innovative ideas and practical solutions that advance the knowledge and management capacity of our 2,200 members who fill professional roles in Ontario’s municipal sector.
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