Municipal governments in Ontario were waiting to hear about OMPF allocations for 2010 and whether OMPF Mitigation Funding would be provided again in 2010.

As the end of 2009 approaches, AMO and municipalities are seeking timely information of about 2010 OMPF allocations, which should reflect the 2010 planned uploads and any pressures related to Ontario Works caseload growth.  In addition, is the question of OMPF Mitigation Funding for next year.

The issue of 2010 OMPF Mitigation Funding is of particular concern.  As Treasurers and Councils are aware, OMPF Mitigation Funding (also known as the stable funding guarantee) was introduced in 2005 when the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund replaced the Community Reinvestment Fund. 

Each year since 2005, OMPF Mitigation Funding has been provided – on a “one-time” basis - to municipalities that would otherwise have received reduced financial assistance under the OMPF. While the OMPF Mitigation Funding has always been characterised by the province as “one-time only”, it has been provided in each year since 2005.  While there was a significant risk that OMPF Mitigation would not be provided in 2009, AMO was successful in securing it again for 2009 as part of the Provincial Municipal Fiscal and Services Delivery Review.  AMO advised members then that it would require a new effort to secure it again for 2010.  

AMO and member municipalities affected by OMPF Mitigation Funding have been advocating strongly for OMPF Mitigation Funding to be provided again in 2010.  AMO estimates that if it is not provided next year, more than 160 municipalities will see funding reductions – some, as much as hundreds of dollars per household.  

During late summer and fall, AMO staff has contacted CAOs or Treasurers in every potentially affected municipality to ensure they understand that OMPF funding is at risk for 2010 and to ensure that municipal CAOs and treasurers have the information they need to support Council advocacy with local MPPs.

The local efforts of AMO members are an important part of advocacy to secure the 2010 OMPF Mitigation Funding. The potential loss of $60M to $70M in provincial support for municipalities across Ontario would dramatically undermine the financial stability of Ontario communities, result directly in significant property tax increases in 2010, and further undermine efforts to restore competitiveness and prosperity to Ontario.

AMO will continue to advocate strongly with the Province to preserve OMPF Mitigation Funding for 2010.