Education & Events

2019 Municipal Finance Forum

Four Points by Sheraton -Toronto Airport Hotel
Windsor Hall Ballroom
6257 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON L4V 1E4

Municipal Finance Professionals are operating in complex and challenging times. With changing local economies, many municipal leaders are facing unrealistic expectations from councils, citizens and other stakeholders to deliver more and improved municipal services with limited and decreasing revenue streams. To help better understand the range of these challenges and the opportunities that exist, AMCTO is pleased to collaborate with MFOA on delivering the annual Municipal Finance Forum. 

If you are keen to explore key strategic issues and emerging trends in the area of municipal financial management, you will not want to miss this year’s event.

Opening Keynote Speaker: Glen Hodgson, Economist and Financial Consultant

Glen Hodgson has 37 years of experience in Canadian and global macro-economics, fiscal and tax policy, international trade analysis and finance, and other “big picture” topics.
Glen’s career has spanned the Conference Board of Canada, where he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist for twelve years; the Canadian Department of Finance; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C.; and Export Development Canada (EDC). His affiliations include: Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute; Chief Economist with International Financial Consulting Ltd (IFCL); member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; Fellow with the Public Policy Forum; and represented by Speakers Spotlight.    
Glen has travelled Canada and the world as an economic policy analyst, financial negotiator, public speaker, and advisor to governments, businesses and international organizations.
Topics of expertise and interest include: Canadian, provincial, municipal, U.S. and global economic performance; fiscal and tax policy; disruption and technology; managing catastrophic risk; the emerging low-carbon economy; globalization and trade; international finance; and the business economics of sports. Recent major assignments include a CD Howe Institute study on the competitive challenges facing a new federal government, numerous briefings on green finance, and the federal legislative review of EDC.
Glen has co-authored two books and written over 400 reports, briefings and articles, with regular commentary in the Globe and Mail. He has delivered many presentations to audiences of all types and sizes, and done numerous media interviews via print, TV, radio and social media. 
He is a graduate of McGill University and the University of Manitoba; is married to economist Christina Caron, with two adult sons; and is an active volunteer in kids’ sports and other areas.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker - Laura Zizzo, Lawyer and Strategic Advisor

As a lawyer and strategic advisor with over a decade of experience leading organizations towards a low-carbon and climate adapted future through the application of law and policy. Laura started her legal career with a prominent Bay Street law firm before founding the first law firm in Canada focused on climate change in 2009. In 2015 she founded a strategic consultancy to advise clients on identification, management and disclosure of climate risks and opportunities, Mantle314 (formerly Zizzo Strategy) works with some of Canada’s largest companies, including financial institutions, real estate firms and utilities on climate-related issues.

She is a frequent writer and speaker on the move to the low-carbon economy and has become a leading voice on the legal imperative to adapt to climate change. Laura has contributed to numerous research and policy papers on legal liability related to climate change adaptation, the use of existing legal mechanisms to address climate change, and the role of markets and flexibility mechanisms in driving emissions reductions.

Laura has worked in the strategic research division of the Ontario Ministry of Finance and as co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Law and International Relations. She is co-founder of the Climate Change Lawyers Network, a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) committee on Environmental Law, a member of the University of Toronto’s Environmental Finance Advisory Committee and sits on the board of the Clean Air Partnership. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a law degree from the University of Toronto. Laura is called to the Bar of Ontario.



Glen Hodgson, Opening Keynote Address:

Ontario’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook: What it Means for Municipalities

Today’s economic and fiscal environment is filled with turbulence. It stems from things like Trump trade policy, but also from aging demographics and other structural forces, adding to the challenges being faced by Ontario and its municipalities. Glen Hodgson, former Chief Economist at the Conference Board of Canada and now a Senior Fellow at the CD Howe Institute (amongst other things), will discuss the forces and factors at play and the implications for Ontario’s municipal leaders and managers.

Municipal Implications of the More Homes, More Choice Act (Bill 108)

Municipalities provide the infrastructure necessary to support vibrant communities. The More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 (Bill 108), which received Royal Assent in June, fundamentally changes existing growth-related cost recovery regimes. Learn how several municipalities are working through uncertainty and preparing for these changes.

Shira Babins, Manager of Policy, Municipal Finance Officers' Association (MFOA)
Tara Baker, General Manager of Finance and Treasurer, City of Guelph
Yi Luo, Manager, Growth Economics and Finance, Regional Municipality of York
Murray Beckel, M.C.I.P., R.P.P., Chief Planner, Special Projects, Loyalist Township 

Anatomy of a Cyber Attack - From Breach to Resolution (Case Studies)

Cyber Attacks/Breaches have increasingly become a mainstream topic resulting from some high-profile attacks. In fact, across Canada a number of municipal governments have recently faced varied attacks from phishing scams, malware that encrypts data on systems to disable them, social engineering tactics and a range of ransomware attacks. It is clear, cyber attacks are now a municipal reality.

During this session, you will learn about cyberattacks and first-hand accounts from those who have experienced a breach/attack. Expert panelists will share their experiences and insights on the steps municipalities can take to protect themselves against breaches and the lessons learned based on their experiences. This session may also illustrate how many municipalities can be overwhelmed by the sophistication of cybercriminals and prompt greater understanding of the resource allocation necessary for implementing effective cybersecurity measures.

Josée Brizard, Chief Administrative Officer, The Nation Municipality
Vern Crowley, Detective Sergeant, OPP Cybercrime Investigation Team
Christine Swenor, Chief Information Officer, City of Burlington

The Changing Property Tax and Assessment Landscape

The property tax and assessment landscape continues to evolve. Changes have been made to the Assessment Review Board’s rules of practice and procedure. MPAC is updating property assessments in 2020 and the most recent provincial budget spoke to potential consultations. This session will help you learn more about what these changes may mean for your municipality going forward.

Casey Brendon, Director, Revenue Services, City of Toronto & OMTRA President
Peter Frise, Vice President, Municipal Tax Equity Consultants Inc.
Chris Rickett, Director, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

Laura Zizzo – Afternoon Keynote Address:
Planning for the New Normal - Climate Change and What it Means for the Future of Ontario Municipalities

Municipalities, and the infrastructure they manage, will be at the forefront of the financial impacts of climate change. For instance, the financial credit rating agency, Moody’s, has been vocal about how it is now integrating climate risk into its municipal credit ratings. Moody’s acknowledges that whether or not municipalities have mitigation and resiliency plans in place will impact their credit ratings. Those with robust plans may have more access to capital than those that do not. This access to capital is critical to ensuring the ability to invest in both preparing for and responding to the climate-related emergencies increasingly facing municipalities. Laura Zizzo, Founder and CEO of Mantle314 will speak to the financial and legal imperatives to address climate change at the highest levels of municipal management and the best practices that are being driven by the financial community.

The Talent Pipeline - Attracting and Retaining Future Municipal Finance Leaders

This session will examine the varied perspectives on what makes for meaningful attraction, retention, and acclimation strategies for municipal finance staff. During this session, you will be guided through a candid series of real-life perspectives and the associated leadership implications that are driving a changing professional landscape for municipal financial professionals across the Province.

Facilitator: Stephen VanOfwegen, CPA, CMA, Commissioner of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Region of Peel

Heidi Wong, MPP, Revenue Policy Advisor, Regional Municipality of York
Lachlan McDonald, General Manager, Corporate Services/Treasurer, Township of South Glengarry
Erin Gignac-Robinson, Treasurer, Municipality of McDougall
Craig Davidson, Treasurer/Administrator, Municipality of Temagami
Elizabeth McGee, MBA, Manager, Financial Strategies, City of Mississauga

Finding Savings – Collaborative Purchasing for Municipalities

Whether it be paper, propane, or parking lot lighting; local governments can now benefit from the buying power of the sector at large.  In this session, you will learn about the power of collaborative purchasing and the mechanics around which opportunities are currently available to municipalities in Ontario.  In this era of finding savings, our presenters will highlight tangible examples whereby that you can begin to explore within your own respective organization.

Karen Owen, Vice President, Supply Management and Customer Relations, OECM
Sean Crossan, Director, Federal, Provincial, Territorial and International Relations, Acquisitions Program, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Jeff Barten, Energy & Asset Services Manager, LAS

 ** Please note that the agenda is subject to change/modification after consultation with speakers and contributors. Every effort to remain true to the scoping of the preliminary agenda is assured.**



Registration Form

Time: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm (Breakfast and Registration begins at 8:00 am)

Fee: $468.95 (includes $53.95 HST)
(Includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments and materials)

Hotel Reservations

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Refund Policy: All Cancellations must be confirmed in writing. A cancellation charge of $113.00 (includes HST) will be applied to every cancellation received up to seven (7) business days prior to the holding of the session. No refunds will be made for cancellations of less than seven (7) business days prior to the holding of the session.