MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Young, Robert

Geographical Areas



This paper examines whether municipalities of different sizes behave in municipal associations in different ways and, more specifically, it investigates how municipalities in Ontario value and interact with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). The data and conclusions presented are based on a series of qualitative interviews with elected officials and city staff of a small municipality and a large municipality that both hold membership in the AMO. The findings reveal that the size of a municipality does in fact affect what it will value in a municipal association. The limited budget and capacity of small municipal governments leads them to use cost-saving services through AMO and allows them to be connected with an organization that will lobby on their behalf, while a large municipality will use the association to support their own advocacy efforts and will use networks of member municipalities to develop internal policy.