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Association of Municipalities of Ontario Executive Director Brian Rosborough speaks virtually to a pre-budget hearing, January 9, 2024.

AMO seeks new deal with province

By Randy Thoms Jan 13, 2024 | 7:46 PM

Ontario’s municipalities are looking for a better agreement with the province.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario says cities and towns are providing $4 billion each year on provincial responsibilities such as social housing, public health and social services.

Speaking at a pre-budget hearing, AMO’s executive director Brian Rosborough says they can not afford to be doing it anymore.

“That’s why Ontario Amo is calling on the provincial government to commit to a social and economic prosperity review as part of the upcoming budget, including a joint review of revenues, costs and financial risks and a detailed analysis of Ontario’s infrastructure investment and service delivery needs,” says Rosborough.

The last review of the funding agreement was done in 2008.

Director of Policy and Government Relations Lindsay Jones says municipalities are concerned about high tax and user fee increases, and are limited to where the revenue sources available.

“Municipalities, unlike the provincial and federal governments, have revenue sources that do not grow with either the economy or with inflation. So in the context of historic inflation, we find ourselves needing to find ways to pay for increasing costs without increasing revenues,” says Jones.

AMO says in some cases, service levels are going unmet.