Premier Launches Review To Strengthen Communities
Province And Municipalities Working Together To Continue To Improve Services For Ontario Families
Premier Dalton McGuinty today announced the province is building on its partnership with municipalities by launching a joint review aimed at improving the delivery and funding of municipal services for Ontario families.
"We're working on the side of municipalities to strengthen our communities and help Ontario families prosper," said Premier McGuinty. "Through this provincial-municipal review, we can build on the tremendous progress we've made and plan for Ontario's future together."
The Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review will be conducted by both orders of government over the next 18 months. A public report will be released in the spring of 2008.
Some of the areas that may be examined include:
- Delivery and funding of housing, health and social services
- Municipal financing tools, such as user fees and the use of municipal debt
- Infrastructure funding
- The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund.
Taxing powers, such as income tax and sales tax, will not be included in the review.
"We look forward to working with the McGuinty government to find a sustainable fiscal relationship with the province," said Roger Anderson, President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and Chair of the Region of Durham. "AMO supports these efforts to create a viable plan to restore fiscal sustainability for Ontario municipalities over a manageable period of time."
"This joint review is an excellent example of our government's commitment to strengthening communities and the partnership approach we've developed with Ontario's municipalities," said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Gerretsen. "Working in partnership will allow us to come up with affordable and sustainable ways to fund and deliver services for Ontario families that are workable for both levels of government."
"We've developed a very productive relationship with Ontario municipalities," said Minister of Finance Greg Sorbara. "Together, we'll develop a plan to make sure communities across the province continue to prosper in the years to come."
Conducting a joint review of municipal services is the latest example of how the McGuinty government is working on the side of municipalities to strengthen communities.
Other initiatives include:
- Delivering more than $1.4 billion in provincial gas tax revenues to municipalities over five years
- Investing $1.2 billion in public transit, roads and bridges through Move Ontario, which includes $400 million in 2006 for municipal roads and bridges, with an emphasis on rural and northern communities
- Partnering with industry through ReNew Ontario to invest more than $30 billion in public infrastructure such as schools and hospitals
- Increasing the provincial share of public health funding to 75 per cent by 2007.
"Our government has achieved a level of cooperation with Ontario's municipalities that has never been seen before," said Premier McGuinty. "We will continue to work with our municipal partners to build strong, vibrant communities so every Ontario family can find success."