Municipalities confer about waste management, energy issues

The 2003 Annual Conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario was held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto from August 17 to 20, 2003. The 104th gathering of municipal representatives featured workshops about Smart Growth, crisis management, aggregate resources, tax incentives, and environmental issues such as water contamination and pesticides bans, and super-charging waste diversion. The recent blackout was top of mind as the hotel heeded the Premier’s request to conserve energy by shutting off the downward escalators, decreasing air conditioning, and limiting light usage in the exhibit hall.

On August 19, Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Howard Hampton spoke about the blackout and the province’s current energy crisis. Hampton criticized the Conservative government’s residential rate cap "designed to hide the true cost of deregulation without fixing fundamental problems."

"Instead of a responsible, accountable public utility providing power-at-cost," said Hampton, "we have corporations padding their profits on the backs of Ontario consumers and public debt from the rate cap growing every month."

Hampton calls for greener sources of power such as wind, solar and water, instead of "dirty coal" or "more nuclear mistakes" (pointing to the high costs to maintain and troubleshoot nuclear power plants).

Solid Waste & Recycling magazine and its affiliates in the EcoLog Resources Group joined several other private and public organizations in the exhibit hall, including Communities in Bloom, Gowlings Henderson, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ministry of Environment.

See the October/November edition for further coverage and photographs.

The 2004 AMO Annual Conference will take place at the Westin Hotel, Ottawa Congress Centre on August 22 to 25. For further information, call 416-971-9856