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Statement by Mayor Fred Eisenberger on Premier Doug Ford’s maintained budget announcement

HAMILTON, ON - Last week, I issued a statement asking Premier Doug Ford for the opportunity to work together after his call for municipalities to cut their budgets in-year by four per cent. I asked the Premier to stop the surprises, stop cutting public health and stop cutting ambulance services.

I am pleased with Premier Ford’s announcement today that funding for public health, ambulance services, and child care will be maintained this year. This announcement gives municipalities more time to work with the Province on next steps.

The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), met Friday to share our concerns with Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark regarding the in-year cuts, the limited tools municipalities have to absorb the planned budget changes and also our concerns regarding the proposed Bill 108, which would change how municipalities can impose development charges.

Premier Ford listened by maintaining municipalities current in-year funding and pausing Bill 108 in order to have more substantive discussions.

While Premier Ford’s request for further cuts to municipal budgets remains, we look forward to working together with the Province in a collaborative and coordinated way that better serves the people of Ontario and its municipalities.

We also look forward to working with LUMCO and other mayors to have a wholesome conversation with the Province and consider a reasonable plan for the years ahead.