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Historic Agreement Will Ease Cost Pressures Over Time

October 31, 2008 – The announcement today that the Ontario government is moving to upload all social assistance benefits and court security costs from municipalities is welcome news and will ease cost pressures on municipalities – and property taxpayers – across Ontario, said Mayor Lynn Peterson.

The consensus report by the Province, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the City of Toronto will help reduce cost pressures for municipalities and property taxpayers. The Report completes the work of the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review, which has created new and better ways to fund and deliver services to the people of Ontario.

“For more than 10 years we have been working to have social assistance costs moved off the municipal property tax base,” said Mayor Peterson, Chair of the Large Urban Caucus for AMO. “This has been a priority for AMO and all municipalities. The Province has listened and today’s plan will move us forward over the next 10 years to restore fiscally sustainable municipalities in Ontario.”

“I would like to acknowledge the work of our former CAO Bob Petrie who represented the City of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario as part of the review.”

TBDSSAB announced today that by 2018 approximately $7.3 million in Ontario Works costs will be shifted to the Province and will no longer be paid for the by the property taxpayer in the Thunder Bay District. The impact on the City of Thunder Bay and its property taxpayers is not immediately known as the City's share of the Ontario Works costs incurred by the DSSAB is partially offset by the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund grant.

As well, court security costs, including prisoner transfer costs, will be uploaded starting in 2012 and continuing to 2018. City of Thunder Bay taxpayers, through Thunder Bay Police, pay $1 million a year for court security. It is hoped that this full amount will be uploaded, though the fund for this service is capped to a maximum of $125 million a year for all municipalities.

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Contact:    Mayor Lynn Peterson, 625-3601
                 Tim Commisso, City Manager, 625-2224

For more information on the report of the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Service Delivery Review, visit