09/04/2008

The Government of Ontario announced an additional $1.1 Billion in infrastructure funding for municipalities; and, the signing by Canada and Ontario of the Communities Component agreement of the Building Canada Plan.
Investing In Ontario Announcement:

On Monday, August 25th, Premier McGuinty announced that all municipalities will receive the largest portion of the 2007-08 provincial budget surplus of $1.7 billion. Under the Investing in Ontario Act, the first $600 million of the 2007-08 provincial operating surplus is used to pay down provincial debt and the remainder, $1.1 billion, is being distributed to all municipalities in Ontario on a per capita basis. The funding can be used for any municipal capital expenditure. The funding is expected to flow in the coming weeks. Allocation information is linked to this alert: http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/english/budget/paccts/2008/ioa.html
 
AMO has been working closely with the Government of Ontario to better understand Ontario's municipal infrastructure deficit as part of the on-going Provincial Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review. Additional provincial investment in municipal infrastructure is an important outcome of this work. The Review’s work continues and is expected to conclude with a consensus report this fall.

Building Canada Communities Component Announcement:

On August 26th, Canada and Ontario signed the Communities Component Agreement of the Building Canada Fund, which will flow more than $724 million in infrastructure funding for 7 years to rural and small urban municipalities across Ontario. The first intake will be open for applications on September 12, 2008 with $200 million in combined federal and provincial funding available. Receiving municipalities will also contribute one third of the project costs.

Eligible project categories include drinking and wastewater systems, public transit, green energy, disaster mitigation, solid waste management, culture, sport, connectivity, local roads and core national highways, short-sea shipping and shortline rail, local and regional airports, tourism or brownfield redevelopment.

Action: AMO welcomed these announcements as helpful to the overall infrastructure deficit. AMO, however, continues to advocate for stable, long-term, predictable infrastructure funding for Ontario’s municipalities.