Over the past few years municipal budgets have been strained. In addition to the regular costs, the pandemic has created new and unpredictable expenses, climate-related disasters are increasing in number and scale, and municipalities are on the front lines as first responders supporting their citizens.
That’s where provincial-municipal equalization payments come in. Similar in concept to federal equalization payments, they are administered by the province. But the design of the provincial-municipal equalization process needs to be revamped.
Improving this system will not be easy, and when finances are on the line transparency is key.
This week Enid Slack joins the podcast. She and the late Richard M. Bird have outlined a way for provincial governments to work toward a better system of municipal equalization payments. Enid is director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.