County Motion Calls on Province to Maintain 70% Funding Ratio for Public Health Programs  

Written by Communications, May 16, 2019

Proposed Changes to Public Health Reducing Provincial Share to 60% Would Burden Tax Payers

Today Deputy Warden and Board of Health member Andy Mitchell tabled a motion calling on the Ontario government to maintain the 70/30 funding ratio shared by the province and municipalities.

“The provincial government wants to create a large regional public health unit serving 1.2 million people including Peterborough County residents that is funded at a 60/40 cost-shared ratio,” explained Deputy Warden Mitchell. “Shifting public health funding from a 70/30 provincial/municipal split to 60/40 may increase the tax burden on local rate payers and jeopardize the sustainability of public health services and programs.”

Mitchell’s motion also included key principles to guide future consultations with the province around the regional governance model and funding of public health as the amalgamation process forges ahead.  County Council passed the motion, which called on the County to work with local MPPs to:

  1. Work together to establish new boundaries of the regional public health agency that make sense for the residents of Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations and the County and City of Peterborough. This new jurisdiction should take into account the unique rural/urban mix of this area as well as the importance of serving First Nations populations.
  2. Ensure the new board of health includes representation and a governance model that reflects our community’s interests and diversity including the unique public health needs of rural and First Nations residents.
  3. Work together to effectively mitigate the financial burden on local municipalities, including maintaining a 30/70 municipal/provincial funding ratio.
  4. Conduct a thorough consultation with local stakeholders, Municipalities and First Nations prior to moving forward with the implementation in the new approach to public health.

The County’s motion parallels a similar motion tabled by Peterborough City Council on May 6 that will come forward for approval on May 27. The motion clearly states City Councils concerns about the proposed funding cuts and amalgamation and “calls upon the provincial government to delay and proposed disruption of our local public health system until a more comprehensive evaluation and consultation can be conducted.”

“Cutting back on fundamental services and programs that actually save the health system 14 times more than is spent is very worrying,” said Councillor Henry Clarke, who also serves on the Board of Health.  “We hope to share this evidence when consulting with the province and ensure the new regional public health entity maximizes local representation and accountability as this is the cornerstone to public health’s success.”

Kathryn Wilson, Chair of the Board of Health, welcomed the support from the City and the County.  “These motions reflect the issues and concerns raised by the Board of Health and emphasize the importance of co-designing the new regional public health boundaries in a collaborative process that will ensure the unique rural/First Nations/small urban centres are well-served.”

The Board of Health learned last Friday that the boundaries of the proposed regional public health entity serving area residents would include Durham Region, Northumberland County, the Cities of Kawartha Lake and Peterborough, Peterborough County, Haliburton County, Prince Edward County and Hastings County.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391