TORONTO ― Ontario is providing up to $143 million to municipalities to help them lower costs and improve services for local residents over the long term. Funding will be available to all 444 municipalities so they can find smarter, more efficient ways to operate and focus spending on vital programs and services for Ontarians.
Municipalities deliver a wide range of services that people rely on every day, like transit, water and wastewater, and parks and recreation.
"Municipalities are the level of government closest to the people, but every community is different - one size doesn't fit all," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "This investment in communities will support municipal transformation efforts to make sure they are delivering efficient, effective and modern services that best meet the unique needs of their residents."
Our government is working in partnership with municipalities to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are respected. Earlier this year, the government conducted a review of Ontario's eight regional governments and Simcoe County. Over 8,500 submissions were received and the Special Advisors, Michael Fenn and Ken Seiling, attended nine in-person sessions and listened to ideas from individuals and organizations on how to improve their local governments.
Throughout this extensive review, the government heard that local communities should decide what is best for them in terms of governance, decision-making and service delivery. After careful consideration of the feedback we heard through the course of the review, our government stands firm in its commitment to partnering with municipalities without pursuing a top-down approach. We will provide municipalities with the resources to support local decision-making.
"We are committed to helping and empowering municipalities to become more efficient and effective, so they can make every dollar count," said Clark. "This investment supports the province's commitment to reduce the cost of government, while maintaining quality services the people of Ontario expect from all levels of government."
- Our government is extending two application-based funding streams: one for small and rural municipalities, and one for large urban governments.
- The 2020 Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund will have the same structure as this year and provide a total of $500 million to 389 municipalities across the province.
- Ontario will also launch a consultation with municipalities about whether to align the municipal and provincial fiscal year.
- Our government is proposing to eliminate duplication by combining the provincial and municipal voters lists, giving Elections Ontario the responsibility of managing the updated list and taking the burden off of municipalities.