KEVIN MARRIOTT, mayor, Township of Enniskillen
Re: Government is committed to building a stronger Ontario, by Charles Sousa, Dec. 16.
In response to Charles Sousa, it would seem that he does not care that the net decrease for Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund funding for rural municipalities will range from 12 per cent to 23 per cent and that local taxes will either have to rise an equal amount or councils will have to endure major cuts to infrastructure since we have no control over some costs, such as policing.
For Sousa to say he is, “working closely with municipalities” is very subjective, if not dishonest. While attending the Rural Ontario Municipal Association convention in Toronto in February, as well as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario in Ottawa in August, there was some consultation with municipal leaders that changes were coming.
The ministry did not go into specific detail of the forthcoming change to the formula that would be used in calculating OMPF funding for rural municipalities in Ontario for 2014. The devil would ultimately be in the details! The reference to $550 million across 388 municipalities in Ontario stops short of explaining why almost all rural municipalities received cuts (like ours and most in Lambton), while some urban municipalities would receive an increase. The net result for Ontario is a decrease of $25 million in the OMPF compared to 2013. Read article