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Ontario’s Big City Mayors Statement on Upcoming Ontario Budget 2024

Mar 20, 2024Housing, Infrastructure, Mental Health and Addictions, Top Stories

March 20, 2024

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) are looking forward to the release of the 2024 Ontario Budget by Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy. On behalf of the residents of Ontario’s largest cities, we are hoping that the provincial budget will address our community’s shared priorities: housing and infrastructure, a review of provincial-municipal funding and addressing the urgent homelessness crisis facing our province.

“Ontario’s municipalities are increasingly delivering, and paying for, services that are the responsibilities of the province. And municipal taxpayers are collectively subsidizing the province to the tune of $4 billion a year for things like public health, social services and child care. Our cities and taxpayers deserve a change in how tax dollars are allocated between governments to make things more efficient and fairer for everyone,” said Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington and Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors.

In this year’s budget, OBCM would like to see the province provide additional funding to municipalities to address these critical priorities and pay their fair share.

Housing and Housing-Enabling Infrastructure Budget Recommendations

  • Deliver on the province’s commitment to keep municipalities whole due to the impacts of Bill 23 and the loss of development charges funding that is equivalent to billions of dollars of lost revenue for municipalities 
  • In order to support the province’s goal to build 1.5 million homes over 10 years, the province must commit long-term infrastructure funding so municipalities can build roads, bridges, and sewers to get more homes built
  • Ensure that the province measures progress on municipal housing targets by the number of units approved, or other more accurate data that represents the role municipalities play in this process — not on housing starts that we cannot control.
  • Give OBCM and other municipal organizations a seat at the table when new policies, legislation and programs impacting municipalities are being created or changed.

Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review Budget Recommendations

  • The last significant review of the provincial-municipal fiscal framework was more than 15 years ago – it’s time that the province sat down with municipalities to work on a new deal to address rising municipal costs 
  • To keep property taxes stable, municipalities need sustainable funding from the provincial and federal governments for things like infrastructure, housing and health care

Mental Health, Addictions and Homelessness Crisis Recommendations

  • Work with municipalities to help address the urgent homelessness and mental health crisis. Municipalities continue to feel the impacts of this growing crisis and need to be at the table to help create and implement solutions
  • Invest in a new, innovative, and coordinated system response to address the physical, mental health, addictions and housing supports people need to survive and begin to recover.
  • Commit to adopting some of the proposed actions included in our Health and Homelessness Strategy, especially funding for an innovative pilot program that will see low-barrier, 24/7, community hubs built to meet the needs of each individual municipality.  

OBCM remains hopeful that the upcoming 2024 provincial budget will address these key priorities and provide sustainable funding to municipalities to address our shared priorities such as housing, infrastructure, health care and homelessness.

To read the OBCM’s full pre-budget submission to the provincial government visit our website –

Media Contacts 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, Chair               Michelle Baker, Executive Director                                        

905-335-7777                                                     647-308-6602


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