Council Continues to Seek Solutions to the Appeal Process

March 13th, 2013

Since learning of the Assessment Review Boards decision on the Domtar assessment appeal in early February, Town of Espanola Council and Staff remain focused on seeking solutions to a flawed assessment process.

During this past month, Council and the Clerk Treasurer/Administrator have met with representatives from the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and MPP Mike Mantha.  Provincial attention to the crisis has been raised through the creation of a coalition with other municipalities also affected by the assessment, interviews with regional and national media and ongoing lobbying.

“We continue to get our story out, and draw attention to our current situation” said Mayor Lehoux. “Deputy Mayor, Jill Beer has contacted AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) to ensure that they are lobbying the government on our behalf.  We have met with MPAC representatives, taken the opportunity to learn more about the assessment process, and we’re diligently researching and planning for our next steps.  We will continue to apply pressure on the appropriate Ministers and contacts until our concerns are addressed and the process has been fixed.” 

MPP Mike Mantha, addressed the issue in the legislature, asking the Minister of Finance what actions will be taken to fix the MPAC reassessment process and called for a commitment to conduct a review of the assessment formula.  The Minister of Finance has replied with the following, “The province does understand some of the implications that you speak of. It’s critical that we do review these things going forward. We understand the impact it has, and we understand also the necessity for those municipalities to be well served. There’s only one taxpayer in this system. We know that the assessment has been put forward, and we have made a commitment to have it reviewed. We have sat down with some of the stakeholders on some of the initiatives already, and we’ll continue to do so. I do appreciate you bringing it forward, and we’ll make every effort to move forward on that issue.”

“It is gratifying to know that the Minister of Finance recognizes the importance of reviewing this process,” says Mayor Lehoux, “I thank staff for reviewing our service delivery options and finding efficiencies and I thank the residents of Espanola for their support in helping us to be heard.  This is a community problem and only by working together will we leverage our opportunities for a more favourable outcome.”  

Council will continue to hold Public Information Sessions as new information becomes available.  Check the Town website and facebook for accurate information updates.

For more information contact:

Cynthia Townsend,
Clerk Treasurer/Administrator
100 Tudhope St. Suite 2
Espanola ON P5E 1S6
(P) 705-869-1540 ext. 2102
(F) 705-869-0083