May 17, 2019

Members:

We promised to keep you updated on the Ontario Budget impacts. This will update you on: i) changes and impacts; ii) policing grants and iii) public health.

i) Changes and Impacts: AMO has developed a deck summarizing the changes as we know them as of today (May 17). They are captured under four categories:

  • new and changing pressures
  • unknown impacts
  • foregone funding
  • new funding

The ability to achieve a province-wide cumulative impact is difficult, partly because the 2019/20 Estimates (tabled last week) are not specific and different ministries have not released information. Some has been released to affected parties (e.g., Boards of Health and ambulance service managers). We are working to gather information from them.

We know upper tier and separated cities, where many of the cuts occur, are doing their local analysis, and sometimes using best guess assumptions. The slow release of financial information from the province and working from an assumption base in some cases will hamper municipal work on looking for efficiencies in the last six months of the 2019 municipal fiscal year. Possible pressure from other local boards, such as conservation authorities and library boards to help with their cuts will add to the challenge.

ii) Policing:

The Solicitor General is releasing the 2019 policing grant information to own forces policing boards. It has consolidated several policing grants into one, advising that the envelope is the same. However, the OPP and First Nations are now eligible under this revised funding envelope. Own force services are seeing a reduction. How much and how the OPP will reflect this new funding is unclear generally, or in relation to funding the recent arbitration settlement with the OPPA. More to learn.

iii) Public Health:

We understand that the MOHLTC has completed its one-on-one confidential discussions with each health board. It has committed to consulting on the specific boundaries of the ten (10) proposed new regional health entities. How this will occur is not clear to us. We do know that the MOHLTC has committed to AMO that is will involve us in discussion on the province would like to restructure public health. Certainly, our desire is to protect the interests of municipal government. More is expected on this in the coming weeks. It makes sense to tackle this matter first before any service structure review of ambulance.

There will no doubt be more information in the coming weeks. Please watch for our communications. Previous communications at: Previous Budget Communications.