On October 22, 2018, communities across Ontario will be electing their new municipal governments and school boards.
Municipal governments deal with a vast array of issues that affect ETFO members and the students with whom they work. While the Municipal Elections Act prohibits union donations, by working with district labour councils, social justice organizations and other community partners, ETFO locals can have a considerable impact on the outcome of municipal as well as trustee elections and increase the likelihood of electing progressive candidates.
ETFO encourages members to get involved with municipal election campaigns in their communities and to vote on October 22.
These are some of the resources available to promote participation in the October 22 municipal election:
Click on thumbnails to view full-size images:
Portrait: 470 x 470 px
Landscape: 1200 x 628 px
Over the past number of years, the Ontario government has downloaded additional responsibilities to municipal governments, particularly when the Conservatives were in power between 1995 and 2003. The result is that local governments have an increasingly significant impact on our everyday lives. They are dealing with roads and sewers but also with key social services.
The downloading of specific services was done as part of a “realignment” of provincial and local responsibilities. In return for fully funding education, for example, the provincial government transferred other funding responsibilities to local governments, ostensibly to streamline the delivery of public services and reduce duplication. While the previous provincial Liberal government reversed some of the downloading initiated by the previous Conservative government, municipalities continue to hold responsibility for a significant number of social services that property tax was never designed to support.
The promise by Premier Doug Ford to find $6 billion in “efficiencies” could lead to further provincial downloading to municipalities.
Municipalities are fully responsible for the cost of local policing services, including those provided to them by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). Although the province provides funding for about 50 % of the costs, municipalities now have full responsibility for administering land ambulance services.
Municipal governments are responsible for delivering welfare services (the Ontario Works Program) and overseeing the provision of social housing. Under the previous Tory provincial government, municipalities were given increased responsibility to pay for child care and public health.
Municipal governments now have full responsibility for municipal and regional transit systems and for local airports.
Services provided by municipal governments include:*
Although the provincial government provides some funding for a few of these basic services, most of the money to pay for community services comes from resident and business property taxes. Tenants pay a portion of their landlord’s property tax through their rent. Additional funding comes from user fees or non-tax revenue such as parking fines.
* Source: Association of Municipalities of Ontario website: www.amo.on.ca