Thunder Bay To Receive Funds for Social Program Costs
THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – In 2015, Ontario is providing municipalities with $515 million in unconditional funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF). The OMPF assists municipalities with their social program costs, supports areas with limited property assessment, addresses challenges faced by rural and northern communities, and responds to policing costs in rural communities. The fund is Ontario’s main transfer payment to municipalities.
“Today’s announcement continues to build on the strong relationship we have enjoyed with the municipalities in Northwestern Ontario. The support we provide helps communities control property tax rates and deliver vital public services for their residents. We are fulfilling our commitment to upload the costs of services downloaded by previous governments, and provide financial assistance to help our cities deliver quality public services,” states Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
Ontario is providing $59,695,400 to municipalities in Northwestern Ontario this year to help them focus on local priorities, including investments in infrastructure and economic development that support a stronger economy. Provincial uploading of programs like Ontario Works, Ontario Drug Benefits (ODB) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) ensure that more property tax dollars are available for important municipal priorities, including investments in infrastructure and economic development.
“I’m proud of our government’s strong record of supporting and working with municipalities here in Northwestern Ontario. Continuing to upload municipal costs is part of our government’s commitment to build stronger communities, while creating jobs and strengthening the economy,” added Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.
The OMPF, combined with the municipal benefit resulting from the provincial uploads, will total over $ 2.2 billion in 2015 – more than three and a half times the level of funding provided in 2004. This is the equivalent of 13 per cent of municipal property tax revenue in the province comments the Ontario Government in a media release.
The 2015 OMPF reflects the government’s commitment to move toward a program that better targets funding to northern and rural municipalities with more challenging fiscal circumstances, as municipalities have requested.
“Our government is committed to supporting northern and rural municipalities – that’s why the 2015 OMPF program reflects the needs of communities, such as those in Northwestern Ontario that may have greater fiscal challenges. We look forward to continuing to work with our municipal partners to ensure that OMPF continues to reflect the long-term priorities of all communities,” concluded Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance.