Ontario’s Big City Mayors and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario Convene at the Association of Municipalities Conference to Advance Key Municipal Priorities
OTTAWA – Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) joined together with key municipal leaders at the Association of Municipalities Conference (AMO) to renew our call for an emergency meeting with the province to advance solutions for the chronic homelessness, housing affordability, and the mental health and addictions crises facing our communities. We also discussed matters including ambulance offloading and the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act.
“The province should immediately convene the leaders that can help address the homelessness, addictions and mental health pressures in Ontario cities.” Said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of Ontario Big City Mayors. “Our municipalities have been forced to step up to address the urgent needs for housing and healthcare when we are not financially or structurally set up to do so. This is the responsibility of the provincial government.”
OBCM has had a successful meeting with the Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo. We appreciate Minister Tibollo’s support and look forward to working together to advance solutions for those suffering with mental health and addictions in our communities. Over the course of the conference OBCM will be meeting with other key ministers including the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks David Piccini, Minister Infrastructure Kinga Surma, Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy and Attorney General Doug Downey.
“The Ontario Government has heard us loud and clear. The missing services for our most vulnerable residents won’t magically appear,” said Waterloo Regional Chair, Karen Redmen, who is the Chair of MARCO. “We need the province to join us at the table to make a plan that will give our front-line service providers the capacity to help.”
OBCM and MARCO passed two unanimous motions which echo our call for an emergency meeting and request that the provincial government engage with Municipalities on health care planning matters that directly impact Ontario’s municipalities. Since OBCM has called for the emergency meeting, key stakeholders have signed on to attend, these groups include the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Association of Business Improvement Areas, Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, AMO, Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario and the Ontario Tourism Industry Association.
We believe that the province must come together with the municipalities, sector experts, and other key stakeholders to put in place the supports and resources urgently needed for our chronically unhoused and those suffering with mental health and addictions. We look forward to working collaboratively with our provincial counterparts to provide for our communities most vulnerable.
Motion on Urgent Meeting with the Province: Continuing the call for an urgent and emergency meeting to discuss solutions to chronic homelessness, mental health, safety, and addictions issues in our communities.
That Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) once again call on the provincial government for an emergency meeting that will immediately address our shared goals to accelerate solutions for the root causes and impacts by residents, businesses and municipalities of homelessness, addictions, and mental health issues in our communities.
That the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) support OBCM’s position and request for an emergency meeting.
Key stakeholders from across Ontario, including the Canadian Mental Health Association, AMO, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association, have joined us to call for a solutions-based meeting and both MARCO and OBCM are asking that they also be included in this discussion.
Motion on More Support for Health Care Services and Infrastructure: Requesting the Provincial Government engage with Municipalities on health care planning matters that directly impact Ontario’s municipalities.
That Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) and the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) are joining the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) in calling for municipal input to be a mandatory part of health care service planning.
That Ontario’s Mayors and Chairs support the Provincial Government’s call for expanded health transfers from the Federal Government.
That Ontario’s Mayors and Chairs request the government work with health system partners to address offload delays that are preventing Ontarians from receiving emergency care and furthering the crisis of hallway medicine.
That Ontario’s Mayors and Chairs support government investments in healthcare and improved healthcare infrastructure, including hospital expansion and refurbishments. However, OBCM and MARCO are calling for health care partners to be fully funded to meet health care costs, which were never intended to be funded by the municipal property tax base.
About Ontario’s Big City Mayors
Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), formerly known as the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 per cent of Ontario’s population. OBCM advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities
About the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario
The Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) brings Ontario regional chairs and large, single-tier city mayors together to discuss common issues of concern, including provincial and federal matters. They work together to advocate for policy action and change on behalf of MARCO members. MARCO represents more than 9.7 million residents of Ontario.
Karen Redman, MARCO Chair
Chair, Region of Waterloo
Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair
Michelle Baker, Executive Director