Tell us what cut comes next says Lambton Warden

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If the province is going to continue cutting back funding to municipalities, Lambton County Warden Todd Case wants to know about it.

That was the message the warden and two other Lambton County officials took to Queen’s Park last week. They were there to speak to senior Finance Ministry officials on behalf of the rural municipalities in Lambton. The province has reduced all of their Ontario Municipal Partners Fund grant by between seven and 20 percent.

It’s main source of funding from the province meant to help municipalities bear the cost of a municipal farm tax reduction and policing. Case says without it, municipalities will have to make drastic cuts into their roads and recreation budgets.

Case says the provincial officials told the delegation the cuts were part of the province’s deficit reduction plan and that Lambton County had received money from the province to help play for social services. Case says they are aware of that, but “the county has its core responsibilities and as municipalities, we have ours.

“You can’t compare the two and when you cut funding to a municipality the way they’re doing it, it does have a crippling effect …You’re hampering our ability to plan for the future.

“There is probably be a reduction again next year…I told them ‘we need to know how many dollars less…you must know roughly what they are…as much as I don’t like it, I need to know.”