The Ontario government is working with its municipal partners to build strong, thriving communities and making significant, additional investments to enhance and protect the critical public services Ontarians rely on everyday.
At the 2022 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa, the Ontario government announced nearly $764 million in funding to assist municipalities with the cost of land ambulance operations. This represents an average increase of five per cent provincially compared to 2021-22 funding levels.
“The people of Ontario are counting on all levels of government to come together and get it done for them,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We will work shoulder to shoulder with our municipal partners to deliver a stronger health system, world class transportation infrastructure and attainable housing for all Ontarians. Because there is only one way to build a prosperous Ontario for everyone, and that is by building together.”
Ontario is supporting efficient local decision-making to help cut through red tape and speed up development timelines. The government introduced the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act that, if passed, would put trust in local leadership by giving the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa more responsibility to deliver on our shared provincial-municipal priorities, including the government’s commitment to build 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years to address the housing supply crisis.
“The past three years have underscored the important role local governments play in our communities,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That’s why we’re working closely with our municipal partners and working to ensure they have the tools and flexibility they need to address local priorities. We will continue to keep the lines of communication open and encourage municipalities to take action as we work together to strengthen our communities and promote economic growth.”
The government is also expanding patient care models for eligible 9-1-1 patients to provide them timely access to appropriate treatment in the community and help reduce unnecessary emergency department visits. Currently, these patient care models enable paramedics to treat and refer mental health and addictions and palliative care patients to appropriate services in the community. The government is working with key partners to expand these models to different patient groups, such as people with diabetes and epilepsy, and implement a new treat and release model with recommendations to patients for appropriate follow-up care.
Additionally, Ontario is providing approximately $47 million through to the end of 2023 to public health units and municipalities to ensure they have the financial stability to deliver key services across the province during this critical time. This is in addition to continuing the increased investments to support the public health sector’s response to COVID-19.
“Ontario’s public health system and frontline health care workers have demonstrated remarkable dedication in responding to COVID-19 while continuing to provide exceptional care to Ontarians,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As we head into the fall, our government is providing funding to support public health units in their critical work and is also expanding patient models of care to enable our world-class paramedics to provide more timely and appropriate care for even more patients at the right place at the right time.”
Ontario has invested nearly $4.4 billion over the past three years to grow and enhance community and supportive housing for vulnerable Ontarians and Indigenous people, address homelessness, and respond to COVID-19. This includes over $1.2 billion through the Social Services Relief Fund to help municipal service managers and Indigenous program administrators create longer-term housing solutions and help vulnerable Ontarians – one of the biggest investments made in affordable housing and homelessness supports in the province’s history.
“AMO appreciates the Government of Ontario’s commitment to making our conference successful. Ontario’s 444 municipal governments work with the province to serve the same people. We often work in partnership, through shared funding and service relationships,” said Jamie McGarvey, outgoing AMO President and Mayor of Parry Sound. “Good government depends on our ability to work well together. AMO is pleased to provide a meeting place where governments come together and achieve more through collaboration. We provide that role every day. AMO’s Annual conference is the most important expression of our role.”