• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Supports Modernization of Small and Rural Communities

January 26, 2021

The Ontario government is investing over $40 million during COVID-19 to help small and rural municipalities improve the delivery of critical programs and services. The funding, under the Municipal Modernization Program, is part of the government's $125 million investment through 2022-23 to help small and rural municipalities become more efficient and save taxpayers' dollars. "Our government recognizes that COVID-19 has created challenges for everyone, including small and rural municipalities," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "By working hand in hand with our local partners, we have ensured that vital services continue to be delivered to individuals, families and businesses. The funding we are announcing today will build on the progress we have made together and allow for further review and modernization of local services so we can get the best return on taxpayers' dollars." The Municipal Modernization Program helps Ontario's 405 small and rural municipalities find better, more efficient ways to operate and serve their residents. Municipalities can use the funding to conduct reviews of service delivery and administrative expenditures to find efficiencies or implement a range of projects, including developing an online system to improve the local process for approving residential and industrial developments or setting up new shared services with neighbouring municipalities. Last year, Ontario funded 184 modernization projects led by small and rural municipalities, including service delivery reviews which found $3 million in potential annual savings for Elgin County and up to $5 million in savings over 10 years in the Township of Douro-Dummer. Today's announcement was made during the 2021 Rural Municipalities of Ontario Association (ROMA) conference, where Premier Doug Ford, ministers, associate ministers and parliamentary assistants joined hundreds of municipal officials for the first-ever vir