Our Meeting with the Association of Municipalities Ontario
During one of our OLIP Fridays, we met with former OLIP Intern and the Director of Policy at the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO), Monika Turner, and AMO Policy Advisors, Daniela Spagnuolo and Lianne Sauter. AMO is focused on making Ontario’s 444 municipal governments stronger by achieving shared goals to meet everyday challenges. AMO conducts policy development, conferences, and training opportunities.
In our conversation, we explored the organization's role as liaison between the provincial and municipal governments. AMO explained that their policy development focuses on governmental relations and advocacy. They share a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the provincial government that is 20 years old. Due to this MOU, the provincial government must consult with AMO through a confidential process anytime a decision will result in a municipal fiscal impact.
One of the most pressing issues facing municipal governments is healthcare. While the province is responsible for delivering healthcare services, municipalities are healthcare partners. Municipalities often spend up to 90% of operating expenditures on the social determinants of health, including long-term care homes, housing provision, and emergency services. The AMO Health Taskforce looks at health issues to support municipalities through this challenge.
It was a pleasure meeting with AMO and learning more about their small team. The depth of their work, coupled with their extensive institutional knowledge about the history of policies and practices across the province is impressive. A big thank you to the team at AMO for meeting with us and sharing their work!