December 6, 2021 – Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) met last week to discuss the pressing issues facing municipalities, including building more affordable housing, COVID-19 recovery, child care and climate change. The meeting was hosted by Mayor of Mississauga, Bonnie Crombie.
At the meeting, OBCM set forward a motion that called on the provincial and federal government to provide continued support to municipalities throughout the 2022 fiscal year to help recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The caucus urged for the continuation of the Safe Restart Agreement. Municipalities have been at the forefront of supporting local communities throughout the pandemic and the Safe Restart Agreement is essential to maintaining municipal services and preventing unnecessary tax hikes.
OBCM was delighted to have Ontario’s Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, join the meeting to discuss the province’s fiscal priorities. Minister Bethlenfalvy discussed Ontario’s plan to implement the initiatives in the Fall Economic Statement, including temporarily removing the unfair PILT formula cap for municipalities with airport lands that, if not changed, would have led to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for these communities. He also committed to working with the Federal government to ensure cities continue to be supported to address COVID-19 related pressures.
“Municipal services are the key to strong and stable economic growth, it is essential that municipalities across Ontario continue to receive federal and provincial funding in 2022,” said Jeff Lehman, Chair of OBCM and Mayor of Barrie. “OBCM is eager to continue to work closely with the province to ensure our local communities remain supported.”
The caucus also discussed preparation for the upcoming housing summits. OBCM looks forward to meetings with Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity & Inclusion, on December 15, and with Premier Doug Ford and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, on December 16, to address housing affordability and identify further opportunities for collaboration.
OBCM continued to encourage the province and federal government to sign an agreement on $10 a day child care to help kickstart economic recovery and reduce financial burdens for Ontario families.
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 Jeff Lehman, Chair
Municipal Fiscal Support – COVID-19 Impacts
MOVED by Mayor McGarry (Cambridge)
Seconded by Mayor Burton (Oakville)
That Ontario’s Big City Mayors call on the provincial and federal governments to provide continued support to municipalities throughout the 2022 fiscal year to help the province recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and stimulate our local economies. The continuation of the Safe Restart Agreement is essential to keep municipalities whole. Municipalities have been at the forefront of supporting local communities throughout the crisis and municipal services are key to economic growth. It is imperative that municipalities across Ontario continue to receive federal and provincial funding to cover the significant additional costs and loss of revenues.
Child Care Issue
MOVED by Mayor Burton (Oakville)
Seconded by Mayor Guthrie (Guelph)
That Ontario’s Big City Mayors supports the creation of accessible, quality and affordable child care spaces for Ontario families;
That Ontario’s Big City Mayors encourages the Federal government and the Ontario government to swiftly reach an equitable childcare agreement that acknowledges the provincial investment in full-day kindergarten and delivers affordable and accessible child care spaces for Ontario families;
That a copy of this resolution be sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Premier Doug Ford, the Minister of Education for Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Big City Mayors Caucus (Canada), the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.