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York Regional Council Highlights - December 14, 2017



Association of Municipalities of Ontario Local Share project

York Regional Council received a presentation from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario related to a proposal titled the Local Share which suggests a 1 per cent sales tax dedicated to help fund critical local services like roads, bridges and transit. The goal is to reduce the pressure on property tax increases and provide municipal governments with a more diverse source of revenues to help build stronger communities.


Approved 2018 budget is final year of current multi-year budget cycle

York Regional Council approved a $3 billion 2018 Regional budget, the final budget of a four-year cycle coinciding with the current term of Council.   The budget aligns with the 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan.

The 2018 budget includes a tax levy increase of 2.77 per cent, or approximately an additional $65 on the average residential tax bill.

Highlights include:

  • Continued building of modern, integrated transportation and transit systems to support travel throughout the Region
  • Planning and design of the Yonge Subway Extension – a critical link in a comprehensive transit system
  • 14 new York Regional Police officers and eight civilian staff
  • 12 new paramedics and four Paramedic Services supervisory and support staff
  • Launching YTN Telecom Network Inc., a corporation designed to leverage the potential of the Region’s public sector fibre network and extend coverage into the Region’s under-served communities

The 2018 Operating Budget includes:

  • $580 million for Environmental Services for delivering clean drinking water, treating wastewater, managing more than 387,000 tonnes of solid waste and recycling and continuing actions outlined in the Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by Regional operations
  • $570 million for Community and Health Services for providing support to vulnerable persons including subsidizing 5,406 child care spaces and providing financial assistance to more than 6,120 households each month and implementing pilot programs using paramedics with expanded roles to help reduce emergency department visits by residents, including those living in long-term care
  • $358 million for York Regional Police to ensure York Region continues to remain among the safest places to live in Canada and providing enhanced police presence, increased patrol supervision, improved response times and more balanced workload
  • $348 million for Transportation Services for maintaining the Regional road network and delivering safe, reliable, accessible and convenient transit, including:
    • Approximately 1.2 million hours of transit service
    • Carrying 22.9 million riders and serving 13,220 Mobility Plus clients

The 2018 Capital Budget includes:

  • $222 million for Roads for projects to expand, maintain and improve the Regional road network
  • $109 million for Property Services for projects such as the York Region Administrative Centre Annex building in the Town of Newmarket to provide consolidated access to Regional services
  • $96 million for York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, for projects such as working with Metrolinx, the TTC and City of Toronto to advance the extension of the TTC's Line 1 to the Town of Richmond Hill
  • $107 million for York Region Transit for projects such as connecting YRT/Viva services to the TTC’s Line 1 subway with the completion of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and three subway stations in York Region
  • $81 million for wastewater infrastructure, for projects such as the Upper York Sewage Solutions to meet anticipated growth needs in the Town of East Gwillimbury, the Town of Newmarket and the Town of Aurora
  • $65 million for water infrastructure for projects such as rehabilitation and replacement of watermain infrastructure in the Regional water system to ensure on-going delivery of high quality drinking water
  • $72 million for Community and Health Services for projects such as the redevelopment of community housing sites in the City of Markham and City of Vaughan, as well as three new paramedic response stations in 2018

The 2018 budget includes an updated 10-year capital plan, providing spending of $5.9 billion to 2027, including $810 million in 2018. The 2018 budget reflects the directions and strategies set out in Vision 2051 and the 2015 to 2019 Strategic Plan. Information on York Region’s 2018 budget is available at york.ca/budget including operating and capital budget backgrounders and a budget infographic.


York Regional Police

York Regional Council approved a 2018 Operating Budget of $357.5 million for York Regional Police. The funds will help York Regional Police meet the challenge of keeping up with growing demand for essential services in York Region’s nine cities and towns.

The funding sources as outlined in the 2018 Budget - York Regional Police report are as follows:

  • $323.5 million (90.5 per cent) from the tax levy – equal to approved net operating expenditures
  • $14.5 million (4 per cent) from grants and subsidies
  • $13 million (3.6 per cent) from fees and charges
  • $6.5 million (1.8 per cent) contribution from development charge reserves ($4.678 million) and third party recoveries ($1.788 million), which includes paid secondments and recoveries from the York Regional Police Association

Additionally, approved 2018 Capital Spending Authority reflects a multi-year commitment of $46.9 million.   The budget is below the approved 2017 to 2018 outlook by $725,695 due to lower than forecasted spending on salaries and benefits and grant funding not initially accounted for.


York Region Rapid Transit Corporation

York Regional Council approved York Region Rapid Transit Corporation’s 2018 Budget. Building on the construction and completion of current transit initiatives, including the opening of the Line 1 Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension, the budget includes money for initiatives crucial to the future of rapid transit in York Region. This includes funds for preliminary work on the Yonge Street north subway extension into the Town of Richmond Hill, the building of the Cornell Terminal in the City of Markham and continuing to implement and expand the viva bus rapid transit network across York Region.


York Region approves 2018 Conservation Authorities budget

York Regional Council approved the 2018 Conservation Authorities budget as well as authority to renew a service agreement with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA). In 2018, the Region will contribute a total of $13.8 million to the LSRCA and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, including $6.2 million funded through tax levy and $7.6 million funded through water and wastewater rates.

This funding will support the Conservation Authorities to carry out their mandate, through powers granted under the Conservation Authorities Act to establish and undertake programs furthering conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. The Conservation Authorities work alongside federal, provincial, municipal and community partners to protect, restore and manage the natural environment.


Housing York Inc. projecting $1.1 million contribution to reserves in 2018

The Board of Directors for Housing York Inc. approved the 2018 budget which projects a $1.1 million operating surplus before contribution to reserves. Total revenues for Housing York Inc. are projected to be $38.4 million, representing an increase of 3.9 per cent over 2017. The 2018 budget enables Housing York to implement strategic directions, manage increasing service demands and maintain existing service levels.

In 2018, Housing York will focus on implementing the second year action items of the 2017 to 2020 plan, Achieving New Heights through Innovation and Sustainability. Housing York will invest $8.4 million in capital repairs and upgrades, including elevator modernization and kitchen and bathroom updates.   Housing York Inc. is The Regional Municipality of York’s housing corporation, operating 37 buildings in all nine cities and towns and housing over 4,000 residents. Housing York is the seventh largest housing provider in Ontario.


YTN Telecom Network Inc.

York Regional Council approved a 2018 budget of $1.6 million for the YTN Telecom Network Inc., a new wholly-owned corporation.

The funding sources as outlined in the 2018 Budget – YTN Telecom Network Inc. report are as follows:

Operating budget of $1.6 million:

  • The operating budget includes the cost of providing base services, impact of capital and service enhancements
  • Just over half of the operating budget is expected to be offset by projected revenue from subscribers, leaving a tax levy impact of $800,000 or 49.5 per cent

Capital Spending Authority:

  • $20.5 million Capital Spending Authority is approved under a multi-year commitment and subject to securing funding

Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs

York Regional Council endorsed a submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs related to Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures) 2017, Schedule 35 – Provincial Offences Act. Bill 177 (Schedule 35) set out legislative reforms to the Provincial Offences Act. The amendments to the Act include provisions to:

  • give the Province the authority to transfer Part III prosecutions from the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) to municipal partners
  • give the clerk of the court additional powers and duties currently performed by justices of the peace

The Region’s submission to the Standing Committee also highlights gaps in the proposed legislation that will impact the cost of operating the Provincial Offences Act courts in York Region. Key areas of concerns are:

  • Download of Part III prosecutions
  • Download of judicial functions
  • Examination of certificate of offence by clerk
  • Early resolution provisions

These will result in significant cost and associated duties for York Region. The financial impact of Bill 177 will be reflected in future Court Services budgets.


Submission to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly

York Regional Council endorsed comments to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly in respect of Bill 142, the Construction Lien Amendment Act, 2017. York Region’s submission to the Standing Committee aligns with and supports the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s position on the potential impacts and implications of Bill 142.   The Region significantly participated in the consultation process undertaken to develop this Bill. Recommendations formed the basis of the amendments to the Act reflected in Bill 142. Key issues include:

  • Prompt payment
  • Adjudication
  • Transition provisions
  • Development of regulations

The Standing Committee’s amended version of Bill 142, which passed Third Reading, addressed some of the concerns raised by municipal stakeholders including York Region. The Standing Committee’s amended version of Bill 142 addressed some of York Region’s concerns but did not address those related to payment and adjudication.


Submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy

York Regional Council endorsed a written submission to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. The submission was in response to Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statue Law Amendment Act, 2017. The Bill sets out the Province of Ontario’s framework for the sale and consumption of recreational cannabis once it is legalized by the federal government in July 2018.  

The Region’s submission highlights gaps in the proposed legislation that will impact municipalities and police services who will be required to enforce the Bill. The submission was informed by resolutions made by York Regional Council and the York Regional Police Services Board, as well as a consultation meeting with stakeholders from York Region’s nine local cities and town. Key areas of concern are:

  • Clarification and broadening of enforcement powers
  • Prohibition of public consumption
  • Broad regulatory powers in the Cannabis Act, 2017
  • Lack of regulation of home cultivation
  • Inconsistency between the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and the Cannabis Act, 2017
  • Fine revenue and funding

Bill 174 will establish prohibitions respecting cannabis in order to protect youth, public health and safety and to deter illicit activities in relation to cannabis.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 9 a.m. in the York Region Administrative Centre Council Chambers, located at 17250 Yonge Street in the Town of Newmarket.


The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 51,000 businesses and 600,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

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Compiled by:

Andrea Griepsma, Communications Advisor,
The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71233
Cell: 905-251-6413
Email: andrea.griepsma@york.ca


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