News Release: July 24, 2019
Peel informing residents that provincial cuts put health services at risk
Municipal property taxpayers could help fund provincial deficit reduction
BRAMPTON, ON (July 22, 2019) – The Region of Peel is informing residents of how $6.1 million in provincial cuts to health services could impact their property tax rates and the delivery of paramedic and public health services.
"Everyone appreciates the province's goal of balancing the Budget, and I believe that in public service it is always worthwhile to look for ways of doing things more efficiently – it's how we operate our regional government," said Regional Chair Nando Iannicca. "However, it is unfair and unproductive to ask municipal ratepayers to carry the burden of provincial deficit reduction and I would question whether public health and paramedic services should be a target for such significant cuts that could impact service."
The provincial government has already cut $4.9 million from Peel Paramedic Services and $1.2 million from Peel Public Health, with more cuts promised in the future. They have also indicated their intention to merge Peel Public Health with three other health units, covering 2.7 million people. Integrating paramedic services in the province has also been discussed.
Peel Paramedics respond to one local health emergency every 4 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Public Health inspects local restaurants for food safety, tests local pools for health risks, tracks immunizations to make sure school-aged kids are protected from dangerous diseases, checks that stores are not selling cigarettes to young people and much more. In addition to the impact of funding cuts on property taxpayers, if provincial plans for mergers go forward, Peel residents could pay more for services that are less responsive to local needs.
"Peel is one of the fastest growing and most diverse regions in Ontario, with almost 10 per cent of the province’s population and rising" said Caledon Councillor Johanna Downey, Chair of the Health Section of Peel Regional Council. "By 2041, there will be 2 million people in Peel. We've been preparing for that future and investing in the quality and efficiency of our local paramedic and public health services so that they are designed to meet the unique needs of our communities. Residents should be concerned with these plans to combine our services with places as far away as St. Jacob’s and Waterloo."
To learn more and to let MPPs know that they say "NO" to cuts and changes that could threaten their health, residents can go to: peelregion.ca/cutshurthealth
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for more than 1.5 million people and 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. Recognized as a leader in management and service delivery, the Region of Peel is the only government organization at any level to receive Excellence Canada's Platinum Award for Excellence, Innovation and Wellness®. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter at @regionofpeel.
Media ContactsScott Fry
Region of Peel