Premier Ford Asks Partners to Find Four Per Cent Savings and Help Protect Front-Line Services
Government of Ontario to provide funding for large urban municipalities and district school boards to conduct line-by-line reviews
AJAX — The Ontario government is offering to help district school boards and large urban municipalities protect core public services for future generations by finding savings of four cents on every dollar spent.
Today, Premier Doug Ford was at a joint luncheon of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade. He announced that the government is providing $7.35 million for large urban municipalities and district school boards interested in conducting line-by-line reviews to identify potential savings, while maintaining vital front-line services, through the Audit and Accountability Fund.
"Our government was elected to fix 15 years of Liberal mismanagement, put the province on a path to balance and protect services like health care and education," said Ford. "But the previous Liberal government was using the credit card to pay the mortgage and, with interest payments costing our province $36 million a day, we can't do it alone. We campaigned on finding four cents for every provincial dollar spent and we are asking our partners to do the same."
In Ontario, over 90 per cent of provincial spending goes towards funding school boards, hospitals, municipalities and other outside organizations. By providing resources through the Audit and Accountability Fund, the government is empowering school boards and municipalities to work towards the shared goal of returning the province to fiscal balance while making sure vital programs and services are maintained.
In the 2019 Ontario Budget, Protecting What Matters Most, the government put forward a plan that sets Ontario on the right path to achieve savings of four cents on the dollar, building on work done to realize four cents on the dollar in cost avoidance. The government's plan also saw an increase in funding for health care and postsecondary education, supporting municipal transformation efforts, while moving forward on reducing the province's debt burden.
"We are willing to work with our partners to find the savings within their budget. This exercise is about putting structures in place that create a culture of efficiency," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. "The interest on debt accumulated by the previous government is the single largest cut to frontline services in Ontario's history. To achieve structural balance and a sustainable government, we will put the People at the centre of every service, every regulation, every program, process and policy. We're ready to help our transfer payment partners and we need their help."
"Municipalities and district school boards now have the tools they need to find real savings and protect what matters most to the people of Ontario," said Ford. "Our government is ready and willing to roll up our sleeves and work with anyone who shares our priority of returning Ontario to fiscal health."
- The Province of Ontario’s debt is currently in excess of $347 billion. Interest on the debt costs the provincial government more than $1 billion a month, or $36 million a day.
- Over 90 per cent of provincial government spending is distributed to partners such as municipalities, hospitals, school boards and post-secondary institutions.
- Through a comprehensive multi-year planning process, the government has found efficiencies and is delivering additional savings beyond the 2018-19 fiscal year while providing relief to Ontario individuals, families and businesses.