Understanding Provincial Government financial and legislative decisions

A look at how provincial decisions impact Guelph

On April 11, 2019, the Ontario Government released its annual provincial budget. Over the next several weeks, budget announcements were made related to new service reforms and in-year cuts. Each came as a surprise to municipalities across the province as there was no consultation and municipal budgets had already been passed.

We have since worked alongside Guelph City Council and organizations such as The Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) to advocate for increased consultation with cities and citizens, and a reversal of those in-year budget cuts.

The Province has put a hold on some of those in-year cuts, giving us a bit more time to plan for those cuts next year. But they are coming and there are still impacts facing us this year.

Below you will find information on the impacts and what we are doing to mitigate the effect on Guelph. We caution that there still a great number of unknowns and uncertainty around this provincial budget, the More Homes, More Choice Act and related Bill 108.

As we continue to work through the changes, we are committed to working collaboratively with the province to serve in your best interest and to keeping you informed.

Audit and Accountability Fund (AAF)

On May 21, 2019, the Province of Ontario announced an Audit and Accountability Fund in the amount of $7.5 million to support municipalities in finding efficiencies within their organization.The funding is an incentive for municipalities to conduct line-by-line reviews of their service delivery. The concept behind the funding is to have an independent third-party review completed to find internal efficiencies that would mitigate an increase in tax rate/user fees.

To be in compliance with the Audit and Accountability Fund requirements, a final third-party independent consultant’s report must be completed and published on the City of Guelph website by November 30, 2019.

The City of Guelph has submitted an Expression of Interest with the Province of Ontario to leverage the available funding for completing a review of the City’s Time, Attendance and Scheduling (TAS) processes and system use.

Once a review is completed, it is expected to provide the City with a road map for implementing key deliverables that will result in organizational improvement(s) to the City’s TAS service delivery and realize both cost savings and enhanced capacity to deliver municipal service.

The review will also serve as an input into a broader review that the Human Resources department is initiating which is specific to the business processes and technology of our people systems, e.g., payroll and benefits with an objective to identify an appropriate service delivery model that can both enhance and modernize the City’s current system which has remained relatively unchanged for the past 19 years.

Review of Time, Attendance and Scheduling

Timeline of events

Date Event
April 11, 2019 Provincial Budget released
Weekly Provincial budget announcements related to new service reforms and cuts
May 2, 2019 More Homes, More Choice: Ontario Housing Supply Action Plan and Bill 108 revealed
May 21, 2019
  • Audit and Accountability Fund
  • Incentive for municipalities to conduct line-by-line reviews
May 27, 2019 Province postpones implementation of changes to cost-sharing arrangements for Public Health, Paramedic Services and Childcare to 2020
June 6, 2019
  • Bill 108 passed into law
  • Regulations and corresponding policy under development