AMO’s Response to the Province’s Housing Affordability Task Force Report
AMO has provided the province with our response to the Province’s Housing Affordability Task Force Report. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the urgency of addressing the housing affordability and supply crisis in Ontario. AMO has been actively involved in housing and homelessness work for years, including our Housing Blueprint. We are well-positioned to provide advice on what is necessary to address the housing crisis affecting our communities.
A new collective mindset and transformative change around housing is required, as tinkering around the edges will not be successful. AMO encourages the provincial government to find ways to address the housing crisis in Ontario in a way that requires all three orders of government and private, non-profit, and co-operative housing sectors (collectively referred to as “development sector”) to work collectively to improve affordability, diversify the housing mix, and increase supply. AMO urges the provincial government to carefully consider the recommendations put forward in our Blueprint as opposed to relying heavily on the Housing Affordability Task Force Report.
Work is ongoing with AMO’s Affordable Housing and Planning Task Forces, and we will continue to work with the province in the coming weeks on this matter.
Ontario Health Team (OHT) Funding Requests to Municipal Governments
Today, AMO President Jamie McGarvey sent a letter to Minister Elliott, Minister of Health, stating that Ontario Health Teams’ (OHT) requests for funding to municipalities and their services are inappropriate and unacceptable. It had come to AMO’s attention over the last month that several municipal governments, public health units, and municipal services (e.g., paramedic services, long-term care homes) have been asked by OHTs to provide funding for their 2022/23 operating budgets. These requests seem to be linked to having a seat at the OHTs’ health care service planning and decision-making table(s) as currently permitted by the Ministry of Health’s 2020 Guidance to the OHTs.
To date, AMO is not aware of any municipality, public health unit, municipal long-term care home, or paramedic service providing such funding to an OHT and would strongly urge members not to contribute to OHT operating funds. Funding of Ontario Health, OHTs, and the health care system is a provincial responsibility.
The AMO President’s letter also directly asks the Minister of Health not to flow cost-shared public health and paramedic services, and the provincial funding for municipal long-term care, through Ontario Health in the future as this funding and the relationship need to remain on a government-to-government basis.