By Ryan McGreal
Published February 11, 2009
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has ruled out the possibility that the Ontario Government would consider accelerating its plans to upload social service costs from municipalities.
"The short answer is no, I don't believe so," he said yesterday in response to the question.
Noting that the Province currently pays 80 percent of welfare costs, he added, "Just as [municipalities] have financial challenges, so do we, and wer're going to have to find a way to manage our way through these."
Unlike provincial governments, municipal governments are not allowed to run deficits, and analysts are warning of significant property tax hikes for homeowners to cover the squeeze on municipal budgets.
Municipalities cover the other 20 percent of welfare costs and administer the programs. With welfare rolls expected to surge as a result of the recession, this will increase municipal social services budgets even as businesses close and business property tax revenue declines.