I hope everyone is enjoying our wonderful summer weather. By the time you read this the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conference in Ottawa has completed at the end of August. For those that don’t know the conference is an opportunity to request to be a delegation to the Ministers. The process is very similar to being a delegate to Puslinch Council, we are afforded 15 minutes to discuss our delegation.
This year we have delegations with the following Ministries:
- Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Ministry of Transportation.
During the delegation with the minister of MECP I will bring up concerns with Permits to Take Water and below water table aggregate extraction of aggregate. Both of these issues have significant affects socially and environmentally on our community.
My discussions with the Minister of Finance will revolve around the importance of maintaining the current funding level for OCIF/OMPF (Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund/Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund), of which the OCIF accounts for 10% of our budget.
I will be requesting from the Minister a new source of funding for Puslinch. Water bottling companies pay $500 dollars per million litres to the Province. I believe that money should be distributed to the host Municipality.
The delegation with the MoMAH boils down to Puslinch needing growth on individual services. The Province is making growth in rural communities very difficult. Urban growth difficulties are completely different than Rural growth difficulties. New legislation is removing our Parkland Dedication Fee as of January 2021. The Parkland dedication fee will be replaced by a CBC (Community Benefit Charge). The formula of this new charge is still being developed. Staff is working on our comments to ensure the formula maintains our current funding levels.
Last however but not least is the delegation with the MTO. Highway 6 regional improvement is at the top of the list. Our region desperately requires the commitment to Economic Development along the 401 and Hanlon corridors.
I will also be advocating for the MTO to find an alternative location for the Halton Truck Inspection Station. The current primary choice sits on prime agricultural lands. The cost to our food supply should trump the needs of sight lines. I expressed my opinion that there are lands west of Guelph Line not currently being farmed that would be more suitable for inspection stations or within the Morriston Industrial area (under the hydro towers).
The Honourable Ted Arnott has continued to advocate for our community and has provided guidance to myself on these issues. I truly appreciate his support and advice. We are fortunate to have an MPP that cares as much for Puslinch as we do. Enjoy the rest of your summer!