VIDEO: Budget Cuts a Hot Topic at 2019 AMO Conference


Sweeping cuts to budgets and services across the province will be a hot topic in Ottawa this week.

Warden Gary McNamara is there representing Essex County for the 2019 Association of Municipalities Ontario Conference. He says it's a chance for some facetime with Premier Doug Ford and ministers in his Progressive Conservative government.

McNamara understands the province's mandate to reduce the deficit, but he hopes to start a dialog on doing it without cutting services.

"A lot of it in terms of trying to find efficiencies throughout the municipal sector, there's some concerns on what those impacts are going to be," he says.

McNamara plans to come back with the big picture when it comes to provincial funding moving forward.

"The local impacts to municipalities, what's going to happen to the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund next year? Many municipalities are receiving a lot of those dollars if that's reduced dramatically, what impact is that boing to have on our property tax base," says McNamara.

McNamara hopes conversations will motivate ministers to find alternatives to curb spending, because municipalities are trying to hold the line on property taxes.

"For us to continue to provide the level of service that are residents deserve and expect without raising property taxes above and beyond what they are now," he added.

The Conference kicked-off Sunday and will wrap Wednesday.