03/31/2006

Toronto, Ontario, March 31, 2006 – AMO President Roger Anderson today thanked Premier McGuinty for delivering on his commitment to ensure the Province fully pays its 50:50 share of land ambulance costs by 2008.
The Province today announced details regarding the allocation of $50 million in new funding that municipalities will receive in the 2005-06 fiscal year.  The Province has committed a funding increase totalling $300 million over the next three years.

“The Premier’s commitment to a true partnership with municipalities and service boards in delivering Ontario’s land ambulance services will benefit every property tax payer in the province,” said Anderson. 
 
Today’s announcement follows the 2006 Ontario Budget commitment to provide municipalities $1.2 billion in one-time funding for roads, bridges and transit infrastructure.   
 
“Funding for ambulance, municipal roads, bridges and public transit continues to be welcome news,” says Anderson.  “Ontario municipalities need this Provincial investment because the previous government’s decision to download unsustainable health and social service costs onto the property tax base made it impossible for municipalities to fund these infrastructure investments on their own.”
 
AMO’s number one priority is lifting the costly burden of health and social service costs that the previous provincial government downloaded onto municipalities almost a decade ago. One of the most important commitments that the Premier made in recent weeks is a promise to pursue a tri-level commission on Federal / Provincial / Municipal fiscal issues.  This commitment would include working towards relieving municipalities of downloaded costs that make up the current Provincial / Municipal fiscal gap.  The unsustainable burden of downloaded Provincial health and social service programs are the greatest single barrier to achieving strong communities in Ontario.
 
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 445 municipal governments.  AMO supports and enhances strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.  

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