Ontario Putting People First by Supporting Smart, Efficient Municipal Service Delivery
In 2019, Ontario partnered with municipalities to help them become more efficient and effective through the Audit and Accountability Fund and the Municipal Modernization Program. These funds were designed to support municipal transformation efforts and lower costs in the longer term.
Today, all 444 Ontario municipalities are benefitting from this funding, which helps them do their part to build smarter government, while making sure vital programs and services will be there when local people need them.
To support this ongoing, vital work, our government will provide up to $143 million through two application-based funding streams.
Audit and Accountability Fund
Ontario is extending funding for 39 large urban municipalities, first announced last May, by giving them access to up to $6 million annually through 2022-23. Funding will allow municipalities to take action in time for the 2021 municipal budget cycle and will help municipalities increase effectiveness and reduce costs by supporting line-by-line reviews, audits and other service reviews.
Municipal Modernization Program
Building on Ontario's previous investment to modernize municipal service delivery, the province's 405 small and rural municipalities will have access to an additional $125 million through 2022-23. The extension of this program is application-based and will help municipalities conduct new service delivery reviews, implement recommendations from previous reviews and undertake a range of projects - such as IT solutions or process improvements. All applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Municipal Fiscal Year
Ontario also wants to explore strengthening budget coordination and collaboration with its municipal partners. The province will begin consultations on whether to align the municipal fiscal year with the province's, which could enhance public transparency and improve program and service delivery. Currently, the municipal fiscal year in Ontario begins on January 1, while the provincial fiscal year begins on April 1.
Combined Voter List
Ontario is proposing to amend the Election Act, Municipal Elections Act, and several other pieces of legislation to combine the municipal and provincial voters lists. A single list is expected to be more accurate, could mean fewer corrections for voters at polling stations and fewer delays for people lined up to vote on election day. If passed, the single list would be managed by Elections Ontario. Currently, the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation provides municipalities with a list of people eligible to vote for every municipal election. Municipal clerks then correct and revise this list to develop the voters list.
Ontario is working hard to build a foundation for long-term prosperity for people all across the province. We are working cooperatively with our municipal partners and giving them the tools to find efficiencies, save taxpayer dollars and improve the delivery of programs and services. Working together, we will help the people and businesses across Ontario thrive.