Provincial Budget Provides Some Assistance to Municipalities

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) today greeted the 2010 Provincial Budget with some optimism for provincial commitments to child care funding, infrastructure stimulus maintenance and enhancing the capacity of Northern Ontario communities. The Budget also included some limited cost increases for municipalities for social assistance that could prove challenging for the municipal sector.

"The government's plan for fighting its deficit by and large maintains municipal government and our cost sharing arrangements with the Province" said Peter Hume, President of AMO.

President Hume welcomed the Province's willingness to help municipalities maintain child care spaces that working families depend on today and in the future. This is welcome relief in light of fading federal funding for this program.

In the Budget, the government also proposed to increase the adult basic needs and shelter allowances for all Ontarians on Ontario Disability Support and Ontario Works assistance by one per cent. The increase will have an impact beginning in January 2011 on the municipal portion of the $57 million increase to the Ontario Works benefit. While this is an impact, the upload of Ontario Works benefits will continue. Changes to the Special Diet Allowance announced in the Budget for program beneficiaries may also reduce costs for social assistance recipients.

"The Budget's overall emphasis on job creation and economic development will also have spin off benefits for municipal governments," said President Hume. "Investments in post-secondary education, water technologies and job retraining will benefit Ontario communities."

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: Pat Vanini, AMO Executive Director, (416) 971-9856, ext. 316 or (416) 729-4394; Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, (416) 729-5425

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