09/26/2011

AMO’s 2011 Ontario Election Weekly Roundup Party Commitments to AMO’s Top 12 Asks.
Here’s what the parties (in alphabetical order) said last week (September 16-23) that relate to municipal government interests:


Green Party: The Party said they willend subsidies for poor use of energy by cancelling the Clean Energy Benefit. The savings will be redirected to balancing the budget by 2015 (September 16).
 
Liberal Party: Mr. McGuinty reaffirmed his party’s commitment to help seniors who remain in their homes with a Healthy Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth 15 per cent of up to $10,000 in renovations per year (September 21).   A senior’s property tax deferral program is also in the platform.
 
New Democratic Party: The NDP released the party’s affordable housing and anti-poverty plan that includes a new housing benefit for low income individuals, and families, a ten-year commitment to create 50,000 new affordable housing units, and an emergency dental care program (September 16).
 
Progressive Conservative Party:   In a letter to Greg Essensa, Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, Mr. Hudak pledges a commitment not to raise the tax rate, not create new taxes, nore delegate additional tax authorities to municipalities (Globe & Mail, September 21).
 
Upload Implications
 
Update party-by-party analysis of AMO’s Top 12 Asks is available on our election website.  However, members are interested in knowing what the upload looks like and the impact if not continued. 
 
At this time, the Green Party, Liberal Party, and New Democratic Party have indicated that they would continue to honour the upload agreement. Reconciliation of estimated annual costs to actual costs is a feature of the agreement and AMO is seeking clarity on whether this would be honoured, including whether there would be reconciliation of 2010 costs. 
 
The Progressive Conservative Party plan would cap the upload at the current 2011 amount of $947 million annually. The remaining upload at 2018 would be a further $553 million annually.  The estimated impact of this cap from 2012 to 2015 would result in about $713 million in municipal costs (of expenditures that can be estimated). 

Year / Estimated Court Security Upload Value:

2012 / $17.9 million
2013 / $37.1 million
2014 / $55.0 million
2015 / $72.96 million
2012 - 2015 Total / $182.96 million

Year / Estimated Ontario Works Benefits Upload Value:

2012 / $51.9 million
2013 / $107.5 million
2014 / $159.4 million
2015 / $211.3 million
2012 - 2015 Total / $530.2 million
 
This includes $530 million for Ontario Works benefits and $183 million for court security costs over those four years.  In addition, because the amount is to be capped, municipalities would appear to have some responsibility for any new growth of the already fully uploaded Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Drug Benefits.  Estimates of these amounts cannot be projected at this time.  AMO is seeking clarification as to whether or not the reconciliation of estimated annual costs to actual costs (currently part of the upload agreement) would continue or not.
 
The PC platform also calls for extended court hours which will likely bring additional court costs for security and prisoner transportation in certain communities. 
 
AMO has sent letters to the provincial party leaders asking for clarification on the upload as well as several other commitments made regarding AMO’s Top 12 Asks. AMO will continue to keep you informed of significant election issues and announcements in future Breaking News and through the weekly electronic AMO Watch File.