In May, 2018, the Ontario Municipal Water Association sent emails to all four main political parties in the upcoming provincial election. We asked them to answer several questions related to their party’s policies regarding water and infrastructure, in order to better educate our members for the election.
Of the four parties, the Green Party, the Liberals and the NDP acknowledged our request. The Progressive Conservatives did not. However, only the Green Party and NDP responded with answers. Their replies are linked to PDF files, below.
Here is what the OMWA asked:
- Does your party have a policy for water management in Ontario, and if so can you please provide a copy of your statement to share with our members.
- Does your party policy include provisions for:
• Stormwater management?
• Backflow prevention?
• Managing Lead levels in drinking water?
• Microplastics in water and the environment?
• Climate change mitigation?
• Controlling Inflow & Infiltration to reduce wastewater spills & bypassing?
• First Nations’ water issues?
- Does your party have plans for helping Ontario municipal water suppliers sustainably maintain and improve their water infrastructure? If so, please provide your policy statements to share with our members.
Answers as provided follow.
Continue reading “Political parties respond on water issues”
The Ontario Municipal Water Association (OMWA) is looking for articles for our next installment of (Water)3, coming this spring.
The topic is Water 101: What Every Municipal Politician Should Know.
Whether they are an incumbent member of municipal council running again, or a candidate seeking election for the first time, we want to be the source for education about municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems that politicians can easily access and refer to. We want to help politicians to be fully and accurately informed about municipal water issues even before they file their papers. And not just about drinking water systems: we want to know how you teach them about your wastewater and stormwater facilities and management, too.
Continue reading “Call for submissions”
By Andrew Henry
Past President, OMWA
I’m going to make a shocking statement. Many of you might get offended, downright shocked, or possibly even think I’ve gone completely insane. Nonetheless, I’m going to risk it because it needs to be said…
The fact that you have an Asset Management Plan will not solve your infrastructure problems.
There it is. I’ve said it. But before you call to have me committed to a psychiatric institution, please let me explain.
Whether you’re operating a water or wastewater utility, or a municipality with a mesh of services and responsibilities, an asset management plan is a ‘road map’ of sorts. It should distill your policies to fundamental principles with regard to how you intend to manage your assets; how you maintain them, how you reinvest in them, and how you will eventually replace them. It should set out a planned and systemic approach to effective and efficient asset utilization, ensuring their entire lifecycle is maximized to the extent that is reasonably practical.
But here’s the rub: this is only one element of the solution, and if this is the only piece that you’re focused on then it will never be the be-all and end-all that you were made to believe it is. It is not The Saviour of our communities. It cannot slay that dragon… at least not alone.
Continue reading “Asset Management – Is It Really Your Saviour?”
Ontarians depend on their municipal governments to provide clean, safe drinking water and effective stormwater and wastewater services. While municipal governments face a host of infrastructure challenges, continued investments in our water systems remain a priority to Councils across Ontario. These essential services are critical to our health and well-being, environment and economic development.
The Ontario Municipal Water Association has been an important leader and resource in ensuring that our water systems are safe, reliable and sustainable – from source to tap.
I’d like to congratulate the OMWA for this new online publication, encompassing all aspects of municipal water services. From stormwater and wastewater management, to source protection and drinking water, the issues are complex and many. A new resource to keep informed on issues, events, policies and technologies is most welcome.
Lynn Dollin is Deputy Mayor Mayor of the Town of Innisfil. She was first elected councillor in 1994 and as Deputy Mayor in 2014. She is also chair of the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Committee and a member of the board of directors for OMWA. She has held a seat on AMO’s Board of Directors since 2011 and in 2014 was elected to the position of Chair of the Ontario Small Urban Municipalities (OSUM). She was elected president of AMO in 2016.
By Patrick Merlihan
Running for elected office for the very first time in 2014 was not a decision made lightly. Aside from my potential conflicts and optics of a newspaper owner running for office, the personal toll of the job on me and my family were given the highest priority. Before making my final decision to put my name forward I did some due diligence to find out if my skills could complement the role of a Councillor in my municipality.
My research started with the job descriptions posted by the municipality. I ventured further afield reading the Municipal Act and other provincial documents posted that seemed relevant. I even signed up and have the certificate to prove it for the “So you want to run for Council” e-learning module hosted by the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO). When I was comfortable enough with myself and the idea of running for office I had a discussion with my family, colleagues and friends in the community. I had a lot of personal support that led me to make the next step; filing the paperwork.
Just days after filing, an interview with Township staff took place to unload more information about the expectations and rules of running in an election, tracking and filing expenses, and tax roll data to assist with door-to-door canvassing. That was my only contact with the municipality I had until election night when I found out I was successfully elected.
Continue reading “Sometimes best efforts to be informed isn’t always enough”