NewsOntario budget has local implications, says AMO SHARE ON: Phil McCabe, contributor, Tuesday, Apr. 30th, 2019Libraries aren’t the only thing to feel the sting of budget reductions.That is what the Association of Municipalities of Ontario is trying to get across in their latest blog post. AMO which represents 100s of municipalities, including Haliburton County and the four lower tiers, has put together a high-level overview of what the 2019 budget could mean for communities across the province.Last week, MyHaliburtonNow.com reported on cuts to the SOLS program hurting county libraries, and this week AMO says it goes beyond the libraries.According to AMO, the budget will have an impact on the public health units, the association points out the cost-sharing arrangement went to 70:30 for all public health units outside of Toronto. Which will stay like that through 2022 for the 10 regional entities with a population base of less than a million. With Ontario expected to restructure public health units from 35 down to 10 agencies, AMO thinks that could present a challenge for local health agencies.According to the association, the province has encouraged the health units to look for administrative efficiencies rather than front-line cuts but therein lays the problem says AMO. It suggests that will be challenging because the majority of public health units’ budget is linked to staff.Another health-related item in the budget is the restructuring of paramedic services, which AMO says it doesn’t have any new info on but the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has agreed to work with AMO on that.In terms of policing, AMO details the changes made to policing grants by the Ministry of the Solicitor General. AMO says that all grants will be combined into the new Community Safety and Policing Grant. The other change to the grants is the fact that O.P.P. will now be eligible for them, which there are a number of rural areas that get policed by.AMO had this to say about child-care “starting in April 2019, all service managers will be required to cost-share the operating portion of Expansion Plan funding for new child care spaces by contributing 20% municipal funding in order to access the provincial funds. The Expansion Plan funding envelope is $216 million. A 20% potential share of this is $43.2 million. Separate from the Expansion Plan, the province has directed a new administrative cost-sharing arrangement, which reduces the amount that can be spent on administration from 10% to 5%. This will have some immediate municipal financial impacts if efficiencies are not found.”The biggest immediate impact was the library cuts, but the restructuring of several things might lead to further impact locally.