AMO Calls on Province to Pay its Bills

TORONTO, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) is calling on the Province of Ontario to follow through on its promise to fund rising social welfare costs in the current recession. At a municipal conference today, Premier McGuinty was notably silent on the future of the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) and reconciliation of actual costs for 2008 and 2009, as they have done in previous years.

"The principle is well established - and municipalities are putting shovels in the ground on the basis that they can count on the Province to pay its bills," said Peter Hume, AMO President. "That is why OMPF funding, and the reconciliation of actual costs, are so important to municipalities and property taxpayers."

Both Premier Dalton McGuinty and Peter Hume addressed delegates at the combined Ontario Good Roads Association (OGRA) and Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Annual Conference in Toronto today.

The OMPF is the Province's main transfer payment to municipalities. Funds are allocated annually based on provincial estimates to cover the municipal costs of delivering programs such as social services and policing. Reconciliation adjusts for actual costs incurred in a given year, not estimates. The difference is significant. In 2007, reconciliation amounted to more than $20 million to approximate twenty municipalities.

"This reconciliation feature of OMPF is vital to our partnership - it is a matter of principle," said Hume. "Leaving property tax payers to pick up the tab is poor public policy."

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada's political system.

SOURCE Association of Municipalities of Ontario

For further information: For further information: Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, Phone: (416) 729-5425, Email: lambie@redbrick.ca


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