: 2015 Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund - Qs & As

Q1. What is the OMPF?

A.

The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) is the Province’s main unconditional transfer payment to municipalities.

In 2012, we announced the review of the OMPF and the phase-down of the program to $500 million by 2016. The OMPF phase-down was part of the Province’s agreement with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and municipalities in 2008 to upload social assistance benefit programs as well as court security and prisoner transportation costs off the property tax base.

Consistent with this commitment, we are announcing $515 million in unconditional funding through the 2015 OMPF.

It is important to note that despite the phase-down to the OMPF, the government’s commitment to the provincial uploads means that overall support to municipalities will continue to increase, with the provincial uploads more than offsetting the reduction of the program.

Q2. How much funding will municipalities receive through the OMPF in 2015?

A.

The Province will provide over $2.2 billion to municipalities through the combined benefit of both the OMPF and provincial uploads.

  • $515 million through the OMPF, and
  • Over $1.7 billion in provincial uploads.

This combined benefit is more than three and a half times the level of funding provided in 2004, and is the equivalent of over 13 per cent of municipal property tax revenue in the province.

Q3. How is the 2015 OMPF different from 2014 program?

A.

The 2015 OMPF builds on the redesigned program that was announced for 2014. In the Province's discussions with municipalities, two key recommendations emerged that have informed the design of the program:

  1. Funding should be further targeted to municipalities with the greatest needs; and
  2. The design of the program should ensure a manageable pace of change.

As a result, the 2015 OMPF has been designed to balance these recommendations by increasing targeted support to those municipalities with the more challenging fiscal circumstances, while continuing to provide a significant amount of transitional assistance.

Funding provided through the Northern and Rural Fiscal Circumstances Grant will begin to increase in order to further target support to those municipalities with the most challenging fiscal circumstances.  Compared to 2014, these municipalities will receive an increase of more than 30 per cent in per household funding allocated through this grant.

In addition, the significant amount of Transitional Assistance will provide municipalities with stability as they adjust to the redesigned program. This funding will ensure that northern municipalities receive at least 90 per cent of their 2014 OMPF allocation, while municipalities in other regions of the province will receive at least 80 per cent of their 2014 allocation.

Municipalities with the most challenging fiscal circumstances will continue to have their funding maintained at 100% of the prior year’s allocation.

Q4. What is Transitional Assistance?

A.

In addition to the OMPF's four core grant components, the 2015 program continues to include a significant amount of transitional assistance in order to provide municipalities with stability as they adjust to the redesigned program.

This funding will ensure that northern municipalities receive at least 90 per cent of their 2014 OMPF allocation, while municipalities in other regions of the province will receive at least 80 per cent of their 2014 allocation. Municipalities with the most challenging fiscal circumstances will continue to have their funding maintained at 100% of the prior year’s allocation.

Q5. What will the program look like beyond 2015?

A.

The four grant components announced in 2014 and Transitional Assistance will remain the core elements of the redesigned OMPF in future years. As you know, the Province has always been open to discussing how the program can further support the needs of municipalities.

A key recommendation that has emerged from our consultations with municipalities is that the OMPF should continue to move toward a program that further targets funding to northern and rural municipalities with more challenging fiscal circumstances. 

In 2015, we are beginning to increase targeted support to those municipalities with more challenging fiscal circumstances, while also recognizing the importance of ensuring a manageable pace of change for municipalities.

We will continue to work with municipal representatives to ensure the design of the OMPF reflects the long-term priorities of municipalities.

Q6. What is the government doing to help municipalities?

A.

Our government has a very strong record of supporting and working with municipalities.

In 2015 alone, municipalities will benefit from approximately $3.7 billion in ongoing support through the OMPF, provincial uploads and other provincial initiatives – an increase of $2.6 billion from the level provided in 2003. 

The government has also made significant investments in municipal infrastructure, totalling $13 billion since 2003.

Most recently, we announced the new permanent $100 million per year Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to support the revitalization and repair of roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities.