With the province facing billions of dollars in debt, municipalities are starting to feel the consequences.
According to Ford government’s 2019 budget, Ontario had an estimated deficit of $15 billion in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The region’s committee of the whole was recently updated by staff on the implications of the cuts to funding from the provincial government.
The report, penned by commissioner of finance Nancy Taylor, states the decision from the province to reduce funding levels and to revise current cost-sharing arrangements with municipalities for select programs and services places additional pressure on the property tax-supported 2019 regional budget.
The most significant impact, Taylor notes, will be seen in the 2020 regional budget and business plans.
However, Taylor writes regional staff are encouraged by the government’s decision to continue with current cost-sharing requirements for programs such as public health, paramedic and child care services for the current year.
“This delay will allow the region the opportunity to attempt to clarify with the province any provincial funding changes that may be implemented in the future,” writes Taylor.
Regional staff will continue to provide council with regular updates regarding the implications of provincial funding changes.