LUMCO Calling on Province To Postpone Funding Cuts

Big-City Mayors Caucus Concerned over "Downloading By Stealth"

A faction of Ontario mayors is airing concerns over recent Ontario government cuts to public services.

LUMCO, The Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario, released a statement today, detailing concerns in what it says is the Government of Ontario engaging in “downloading by stealth.” The statement says cuts and governance changes are being down without any consultation at a time when cities have already approved budgets.

“This amounts to millions of dollars per year in funding reductions to vital, front-line services including public health, policing, library services, child care, tourism, and flood management” reads the statement. “This is on top of a cap on Ontario gas tax funding and ongoing uncertainty with major changes to ambulance services. The Goverment of Ontario is effectively forcing municipalities to consider tax increases or service cuts to absorb the download in services it has proposed.”

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman is the co-chair of LUMCO, and in a tweet today, he echoed the statement in saying “there is only one taxpayer.”

The 28-mayor organization is calling on the province to postpone implimenting these funding cuts until at least 2020, to allow for more discussion among municipalities and residents.

The full statement is available below: