Provincial cuts could mean $60 million dollar short fall for Region
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:51AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 22, 2019 8:53AM EDT
A reduction in funding from the Provincial government has municipalities concerned about how they will make up for the shortfall.
Premier Doug Ford has told municipalities and school boards they will received around four per cent less funding moving forward.
For the Region of Waterloo that could mean a loss of $60 million; in Guelph the number is around $20 million.
“Does that mean no snow plowing? Less cutting of the grass at our sports field? How about less police or less fire?” said Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie, adding the province is forcing them to make decisions that will directly impact residents.
“These are real world cuts, effecting real people every day, that would have to take place to actually make up the $19 million sucked out of our budget every year,” Guthrie says.
Premier Doug Ford says the province is willing to offer up to $7.35 million for large municipalities and school boards to review their budgets in an effort to find savings.
Several municipalities, including Toronto and the Region of Waterloo, say they already preform this type of review regularly.
“The reality is we have done that, over the past five years our base operating budget has been reduced by $12.5 million, so we've done our line by line analysis,” said Karen Redman, Region of Waterloo Chair.
Ford says the reviews are needed as the province tackles an $11.7-billion deficit and a debt that sits at approximately $347 billion.
Other large municipalities have said they may have to raise taxes or reduce services due to the cuts that will likely equal well over half a billion dollars in lost annual funding.