Mayor responds to 2016 Ontario budget - Mayor responds to 2016 Ontario budget
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null Mayor responds to 2016 Ontario budget
February 26, 2016 -
Yesterday, the Ontario government tabled its 2016 budget at Queen's Park in Toronto. The budget outlined a series of measures important to Kingston, including investment in affordable housing and a new basic income pilot project. Unfortunately, the budget did not include details on infrastructure spending for medium-sized cities
"We appreciate the government's commitment to infrastructure investment, however this budget does not provide any detail on when medium-sized cities, like Kingston, can start accessing critically needed infrastructure dollars," said Mayor Bryan Paterson. "As a municipality we're doing our part to renew infrastructure with asset-management planning and investing City tax dollars, but we can't do it alone."
In 2015 the government announced a new $16 billion fund for cities outside the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. Large urban municipalities, as well as small rural and northern communities, now have application-based programs in place with money already being allocated. However, there is no program designed for medium-sized cities.
"We understand different communities have different needs and a one-size-fits-all-approach doesn't work for everyone," said Paterson. "But we're getting squeezed out of potential funding opportunities by not having a program to apply to."
Other provincial budget highlights include:
- $178 million over three years to support Ontario's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy. This includes the construction of up to 1,500 new housing units and a new provincial funding for the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) by $45 million over three years ($15 million per year).
- The province will work with communities to design and implement a Basic Income pilot project.
"I look forward to hearing more about the province's new affordable housing strategy and how this funding will be allocated in the weeks to come," said Paterson. "Municipalities need long- term predictable investment from all levels of government that recognizes the important role municipalities play in delivering this service."
Media contact: For more information contact Christina Thomson, assistant to the mayor,
613-546-4291 ext. 1405 (cell 613-650-7231)