02/27/2012

Premier McGuinty reaffirmed his Government's commitment to the Upload Agreement under which over $1.5 billion in annual Provincial costs would be uploaded by 2018.

Today at the 2012 ROMA/OGRA Combined Conference, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty reaffirmed his Government's commitment to the upload Agreement.

Under the Agreement signed between Ontario, AMO and the City of Toronto in 2008, over $1.5 billion in annual Provincial costs for social assistance and court security would be uploaded from the municipal property tax base by 2018. The Agreement also says that as the upload occurs, the social programs component of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) would go down. Accordingly, OMPF funding would be reduced to about $500 million by 2016, as agreed to in 2008.

The Premier indicated that next month's Ontario Budget will not include a new permanent fund for roads and bridges. Last August, he committed to providing this funding, without giving a deadline. Today he told delegates that, in light of the $16 billion deficit, education funding would take priority over infrastructure in 2012.

The Premier stated that he was prepared to engage in a conversation with municipalities regarding the Drummond report recommendations about creating efficiencies in the delivery of public services. In response, AMO President Gary McNamara told reporters that municipal leaders welcomed the opportunity to be consulted, and that the municipal community could provide useful advice that would help the Province to reduce costs, improve service delivery and achieve greater efficiency.

The Premier also referenced the Feed In Tariff Program, or FIT Program. AMO made recommendations to the Province last Fall. The Premier said that changes to it were coming and that some of AMO's recommendations would be included. However, no details were given at this time. 

It is helpful to know that the upload agreement will be honoured as we prepare for the release of a pivotal Provincial Budget, about a month from now. AMO will provide members with detailed analysis, on Budget day and following it.