The Upload Agreement (Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review)
The upload agreement continues to be critical for municipal governments, especially as Ontario moves towards economic recovery from COVID-19. Municipal governments own more than 60% of the infrastructure in the province that is in need of repair, expansion or replacement, and maintaining the upload into the future means the work on closing that gap can continue at a local level. Over many years, a substantial infrastructure investment gap has developed. Closing the investment gap between the provincial government and municipalities would ensure that communities across Ontario receive the services and infrastructure they need.
From 2009 to 2017, gradual uploading of social assistance benefits and court security costs generated savings for municipalities amounting to $2.1 billion a year by 2018 at full implementation. Over that period, municipal infrastructure investment increased by about $4 billion per year – a factor of 2:1. The upload savings have allowed municipalities to reinvest their own resources into the building blocks of local communities – roads, bridges, and municipal facilities. This has helped municipalities to close the long-standing infrastructure gap. This critical agreement should be maintained moving forward.