April 29, 2022, GUELPH – Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) would like to thank Premier Doug Ford and Minister Bethlenfalvy for the 2022 Ontario Budget: Ontario’s Plan to Build.
During the budget consultation process, OBCM urged the government of Ontario to support the municipal sector in critical areas such as housing, covid-19 pandemic related operating pressures, climate change, and mental health and addictions.
“OBCM is pleased to see Ontario’s commitment to matching, dollar-for-dollar, $316.2 million in funding recently announced by the federal government” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors. “These are much needed dollars to address growing pandemic-related operational pressures in critical municipal services such as transit and shelters. We would like to thank both governments for this support, another step towards recovery for our cities. Ontario’s Mayors look forward to continuing to partner with the province and federal government to manage remaining pressures.”
In his speech, Minister Bethlenfalvy spoke to the importance of Ontario’s recently announced Housing strategy that includes the release of the Housing Supply Action Plans. OBCM appreciates the opportunity to be part of the process as these plans are created, as the only way to solve the housing affordability crisis is through a collaborative approach with all partners at the table.
The announcement of $114.4 million over three years towards the Skilled Trades Strategy, along with measures to strengthen sills and training programs through Employment Ontario and a focus on attracting more skilled workers to Ontario through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program will also help with housing affordability. As municipalities see firsthand the impact of a labour shortage is impacting the building of new housing.
Affordability affects Ontarians in many ways, and we know that the proposed changes to enhance the Lowâincome Individuals and Families Tax (LIFT) Credit will make a real difference to our residents, providing an estimated $320 million in additional Personal Income Tax relief per year to over 1 million Ontarians.
“Affordability is top of mine for Ontario residents” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors. “Initiatives such as changing the threshold of the LIFT credit to $50,000 for an individual and $82,500 for a family and increasing the minimum wage will make a positive difference for families in this province.”
OBCM’s Working Group on Climate Change recently discussed the importance of electric vehicles and electrifying our fleets. We applaud the government for prioritizing the build of transportation electrification infrastructure with $91 million to help make electric vehicle (EV) chargers more accessible to the public across the province. Many of these chargers will be hosted by municipalities in community hubs like hockey arenas and municipal parks, helping to encourage our residents to transition to electric vehicles.
Finally, OBCM would like to thank the government for their interest in looking for ways to review Ontario’s Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). We look forward to carefully exploring what changes could mean.
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.
Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair
Michelle Baker, Executive Director