The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council Highlights / Board of Health Highlights - Thursday, June 20, 2019



Funding reductions and legislative changes affecting York Region budget

York Regional Council received an update on recent provincial funding reductions and legislative changes affecting York Region. The overall estimated funding reductions to be addressed by York Region is $10.86 million in 2019.

The 2019 change in provincial funding includes:

  • Decrease of $2.74 million for Public Health
  • Decrease of 1.38 million for Paramedic Services
  • Decrease of $1.15 million for Homelessness Prevention

Other areas affected by provincial changes include a consolidation of five grants into one York Regional Police Community Safety and Policing grant. This new model could result in a reduction of up to $1.88 million in funding.

Implementation ofp Bill 108 – More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 alters when development charges are determined, when the charges are payable and what services are eligible for development charge recovery. These changes will limit the Region’s ability to recover growth-related infrastructure costs through development charges.

Provincial changes to the Gas Tax, elimination of the cap and trade program and amendments to the Provincial Offences Act have all been accommodated in the Region’s 2019 budget


Position and Mandate for a Restructured York Region Public Health

York Region Board of Health is advocating maintaining its current public health unit within the geographical boundaries of The Regional Municipality of York, and the governance of the health unit remain under the responsibility of York Regional Council, which has served as the Board of Health since 1978.

In April, the provincial government announced plans to implement 10 health entities with autonomous boards as of April 1, 2020. If passed, York Region Public Health would be combined with the southern part of the Simcoe Muskoka Health unit as one public health entity, adding a geographic area close to four times the size of York Region.

Municipalities have also been asked to identify a 10% reduction in their overall public health budgets by April 2020. Municipalities will also be required to contribute funding for 40% of all public health services delivered through the new health entity by April 2021. Historically, the Province has cost-shared public health service delivery at a rate of 75% provincial and 25% municipal for most programs. York Regional Council has consistently approved additional funding beyond the minimum cost-sharing requirements, allowing for the delivery of additional support, when needed. [The proposed changes to the geographic boundaries and cost share model for public health would have a financial impact in the range of $12.7 million, beginning in 2020.]

Delivery of public health services at the municipal level saves money and improves the health of residents. The same level of quality services will not be available under the new proposed model and budget reductions. The Board of Health stressed if provincial legislation is passed to change the existing structure of York Region Public Health, it must not result in reduced care or York Region residents, increased taxes to maintain current service levels, or a combination of both.


Public Health achieves Canada Awards for Excellence Gold Certification

York Region Public Health achieved Canada Awards for Excellence (CAE) Gold Level Certification in the Excellence, Innovation and Wellness (EIW) Standardthrough Excellence Canada.

Gold level certification is provided to organizations who can demonstrate positive achievements in meeting and exceeding strategic goals, a focus on excellence, innovation and wellness issues and measureable improvements as a result of moving from reactive to proactive approaches and practices.

Excellence Canada specializes in the training, implementation and certification of organizational excellence in Canada. Certification consists of four levels and is designed for organizations that want to establish a culture of continual improvement, build improvement plans and measure how they are progressing at each stage of their journey.


Funding for new dental program for low income seniors

York Region will receive $3.96 million in funding in 2019 to support the creation and administration of a new dental program geared to low income seniors.

The provincial government announced funding for the dental program earlier this year. Individual seniors with annual incomes of $19,300 or less, or senior couples with combined annual incomes of less than $32,300, will be able to access dental services at no cost. The program aims to prevent diseases and infections associated with poor dental hygiene and to improve quality of life.


Council approves additional $200 million fund to accelerate roads projects

York Regional Council reaffirmed its commitment to improving the traveller experience by adding an additional $200 million to the creation of a Roads Capital Acceleration Reserve Fund. This fund will be used to accelerate priority road growth projects across the Region.

Approved as part of the 2019 budget, the additional 1% tax levy will provide better travel options during peak periods, such as connections to the provincial highway network and improved connections to transit.

In addition to the 1% tax levy, accessing funding from a number of other sources, including a debt reduction reserve and the previous year’s operating surplus, will allow the Region to fund over $200 million of costs associated with roads projects.

The Roads Capital Acceleration Reserve Fund is separate from $2.8 billion of capital investments planned for the next 10 years to build and maintain the Regional transportation network. There is $339 million is committed to 2019. This year alone, York Region is working on more than 100 road construction projects.


Fiscal Sustainability 2019 update

York Regional Council received an update on the Region’s path to fiscal sustainability; the ability to manage community service levels and infrastructure needs – now and in the future.

To achieve fiscal sustainability, the Region uses prudent and long-term financial planning such as multi-year budgeting, 10-year capital plans and an annual fiscal strategy. Multi-year budgets allow the Region to provide residents with an outlook on spending and taxes, while the 10-year capital plan and fiscal strategy describe how the Region intends to manage service levels and infrastructure investment.

In the coming years, York Region will face a number of significant financial pressures. These include the:

  • Need to build infrastructure faster to support growth
  • Region’s potential share of the Yonge North Subway Extension
  • Implementation of Bill 108, which locks in development charges at earlier stages of approval, and delays and phases-in payments for certain classes of development

To help mitigate these pressures, York Region is continuing to:

  • Align infrastructure investments with the pace and location of growth
  • Save for important infrastructure needed to support growing communities as well as save for infrastructure repair and replacement
  • Align the capital plan with the debt and reserve strategy to manage debt downwards
  • Work with other levels of government to help fund and deliver infrastructure projects

Last year, Regional Council advocated for revenue-raising powers similar to those within the City of Toronto Act, however the province declined to provide these additional tools. Regional Council will continue to advocate for sources of funding that will help achieve fiscal sustainability without unfairly burdening the property tax payer.


National Indigenous Peoples Day

York Regional Council acknowledged June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day to bring awareness to and recognize the heritage and achievements of our First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities in Canada.

York Region is proud to have the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and other Indigenous peoples living and working across our Region. Regional Council acknowledges the rich culture and vibrant traditions our First Nation and Indigenous peoples bring to York Region.


York Region welcomes 40 new Canadians

On Tuesday, June 18 York Region and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada hosted an Oath of Citizenship Ceremony. Forty recipients representing 16 different countries took the final step in their journey to become Canadian citizens.

The Oath of Citizenship is a solemn declaration that citizenship recipients who have been granted citizenship must take, promising to obey Canadian laws while fulfilling their duties as Canadian citizens. The Oath of Citizenship is recited at a citizenship ceremony and the ceremony is the final legal step to becoming a Canadian citizen. Over the last 10 years, Canada has welcomed nearly 1.7 million new Canadians.

York Region is recognized as a diverse and growing community that welcomes newcomers. With one of the largest diverse immigrant populations in Canada, York Region residents speak over 120 different languages and come from more than 230 distinct ethnic backgrounds.


Inclusion Charter of York Region achieves important milestone

The Inclusion Charter for York Region, originally endorsed by York Regional Council in June 2018, has been endorsed by all 20 community partners, including every municipality represented on Regional Council.

The Charter was born from the work of York Region’s Community Partnership Council, which works to welcome and include newcomers from around the world. It was further developed by York Region’s Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group.

York Region and the many participating organizations who have endorsed the Charter commit to creating and sustaining inclusive communities and to taking actions to achieve the vision of the Charter, both within individual organizations and throughout Region.


Next regular meeting of York Regional Council

York Regional Council will meet on Thursday, September 26 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 local cities and towns and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 52,000 businesses with over 636,600 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices

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Compiled by:

Barbara Schnier, Communications Advisor, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone: 1-877-464-9675, ext. 71237, Cell: 905-505-5775
Email: barbara.schnier@york.ca


York Regional Council Highlights; Board of Health; York Region; Council The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release