January 2020
Paper Calls for a Review on Provincial-Municipal Responsibilities in Ontario

2020-01-27 10:36:54 AM

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The IMFG, Urban Policy Lab, and Ontario 360 have released a paper, In It Together: Clarifying Provincial-Municipal Responsibilities in Ontario, on the relationship between the provincial and local levels of government. The paper argues that it is now the time to reassess and review the current division of responsibilities.  

The paper contains 6 recommendations that focus on “safeguarding accountability, sharing costs fairly, enhancing quality of service, and ensuring effective and efficient service delivery”:
 

  1. Take a collaborative approach: The provincial government should engage municipalities, Indigenous communities, the business community, and service providers to promote innovation and ensure greater buy-in.

  2. Follow the pay-for-say principle and avoid unfunded mandates: In areas where shared funding or responsibility is the best option, it is recommended that there be agreements with clear responsibilities, as well as procedures for resolving conflicts.

  3. Consider local revenue capacity: A review should analyze a municipalities’ ability to pay for any new proposed responsiblities and if there are sufficient sources of revenue to pay for it.

  4. Respect local and regional differences: Analyze the costs of delivering services on a per-capita basis and consider the differences between regions.

  5. Look forward, not backward: Analyze responsibilities in a way that looks at future challenges.

  6. Start with health and social services: Public health, ambulance services, long-term care, social housing, social assistance, and child care should be reviewed first as cost-sharing models are common for these services and transparency about local input and autonomy must be explicit.


To read this paper, please click here.


 


 


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