Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) would like to thank Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy for the 2023 Ontario Budget: Building a Strong Ontario. Through the budget consultation process, OBCM urged the province to support the municipal sector through investments into housing, infrastructure and mental health and addictions.
OBCM has been dedicated to tackling the homelessness, mental health, and addictions crisis. We are extremely pleased that the province is investing $425 million over three years into mental health and addictions and $202 million each year for 3 years into homelessness prevention and Indigenous supportive housing. These investments will help us provide our residents with the support and resources they need.
“OBCM’s efforts with community and sector partners on the homelessness, mental health and addictions crisis have resulted in critical new funds for Ontarians who need it the most,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga and Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors. “We look forward to continuing our conversations with the province as we work to develop innovative and coordinated responses to the deep health, homelessness and housing challenges in our communities.”
OBCM has adopted a Health and Homelessness Strategy, led by the cities of London and Kingston, with five recommendations for the province and will be meeting with the Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions shortly to discuss in more detail.
OBCM will continue to push the province to keep its commitment to ‘making municipalities whole’ after the cuts to development charges impact our ability to build the infrastructure needed for new homes. To help meet the provincial housing targets, Ontario municipalities need a new long-term permanent municipal funding strategy so we can maintain services and fund critical infrastructure projects. We have requested to discuss this further with both the federal and provincial government.
OBCM is pleased to see the province address real barriers to housing development by investing in building a larger construction labour force and look forward to working in partnership with the province to reach 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Chair
Michelle Baker, Executive Director