Ontario's 2023 Budget, Building a Strong Ontario
Through its pre-budget submission and ongoing advocacy, AMO wanted to see progress on three priorities for the 2023 Provincial Budget:
- Homelessness: Acknowledge the homelessness crisis across Ontario and commit to working across government and with key sector partners to end homelessness;
- Housing: Identify clear path forward for municipalities in addressing the $1 billion annual lost revenues caused by recent Housing Supply Action Plan initiatives; and
- Property Assessment: Authorize the property reassessment without further delay and in time for the 2024 tax year.
This afternoon, Ontario’s Minister of Finance introduced Ontario’s 2023 Budget, Building a Strong Ontario, a plan to build a strong future for the people of Ontario during uncertain economic times.
AMO applauds the Government of Ontario for responding to our call for provincial leadership on homelessness with two notable commitments:
- $202 million each year for three years to the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) and Indigenous Supportive Housing Program
- $425 million over 3 years to support mental health and addictions
The $202 million investment is intended to help those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, those escaping intimate partner violence, and support the community organizations delivering supportive housing.
The $425 million investment is intended to support mental health and addictions, which includes a five per cent increase in the base funding of community‐based mental health and addiction service providers that are funded by the Ministry of Health.
These important investments respond directly to advocacy from the municipal sector and its partners and signals an opportunity for real collaboration in addressing homelessness. AMO will continue to advocate for provincial leadership in addressing Ontario’s homelessness crisis and will assist the province in its efforts to address the root causes of homelessness in Ontario.
AMO appreciates last year’s commitment to “keeping municipalities whole” to maintain the ability to fund housing enabling infrastructure but is disappointed to continue to see no marked progress on what that commitment will be. AMO will continue to work closely with members and other municipal associations to move forward on this key area of interest, as increasing housing supply is a top priority for municipalities in every part of Ontario.
AMO was disappointed not to see a commitment from the Government of Ontario on property reassessment. A well-functioning, up-to-date assessment system is the foundation of a municipal tax system that supports strong, vibrant, and growing communities. AMO will continue to call on the government for urgent action and a commitment to move forward with reassessment. The return to the assessment cycle will help to regain stability and predictability for municipalities and taxpayers.
Other Notable Highlights
Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care
AMO was pleased to see a commitment of $174 million over two years to continue the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care Program. This pilot program has played a critical role in providing care at home for seniors.
Dedicated Offload Nurses Program
AMO is also pleased to see an additional $51 million over three years to support the Dedicated Offload Nurses Program. The program makes 800,000 dedicated hours available to support offloading ambulance patients to the emergency department to help free up paramedics to respond to emergencies in their communities.