Councillor petitions province for fair and balanced funding model

Anil Jhalli
Councillor petitions province for fair and balanced funding model
Le conseiller municipal de Clarence-Rockland Trevor Stewart. (Photo : d'Archives)

A Clarence-Rockland city councillor is asking for support from his council colleagues as he petitions the province of Ontario for a social and economic prosperity review.  

Ward 7 councillor Trevor Stewart presented a motion at the Feb. 14 council meeting asking the province for a more balanced funding model to give municipalities a “fair shake.” 

The motion was seconded by Mayor Mario Zanth.  

“There are projects and money that municipalities are spending on, but they should be provincial responsibilities,” said the councillor. “What I am simply asking for is a fair funding model for municipalities so the responsibilities don’t just fall on us.” 

According to Stewart’s motion, nearly a third of municipal spending in Ontario is for services in areas of provincial responsibility. Municipal expenditures in these areas exceed provincial contributions by nearly $4 billion a year, while municipal revenues are unable to keep up with inflation and the rapid economic and population growth experienced by many municipalities. 

Stewart said he has spoken with councillors and municipal representatives from other communities, and these individuals share his sentiment.  

“We can’t keep taking projects on, and we don’t need to offload to our taxpayers,” he added. “All we are asking is for the province to provide a fair and balanced funding model.” 

The motion calls for the provincial government to “commit to undertaking with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario a comprehensive social and economic prosperity review to promote the stability and sustainability of municipal finances across Ontario.” 

Stewart’s motion was deferred to the next council meeting in March. 

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