Local News

MPP Bill Walker questioning Liberals on cost downloading

QUEENS PARK – During question period at Queens Park yesterday, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker pushed the liberal government to answer questions about how it’s downloading bigger long-term care costs to municipalities has flown under the radar.
Walker warned the liberals about their actions to no avail.
“You’re forcing them to fill bigger funding gaps every year. This means property taxpayers are footing more of the operating costs – about $300 million a year and growing” he added “This egregious downloading game has to stop.”
The MPP believes the refusal to guarantee the investment in long term care homes keeping with inflation will make the cost-sharing agreement unfair.
“It’s clear the government’s mismanagement has created a perfect storm of growing need and shrinking capacity in long-term care.”
Additionally, Walker insists that this has also resulted in less than 30 per cent of the beds promised being redeveloped while wait lists continue to grow.
Long term care consumes about 11 percent of the budget in Grey County.  The cost to fund each bed is projected to rise to about $32,000 by 2027 when considering the rate of increasing costs.  The results could undermine the County’s ability to continue operating as is currently, without significant increases on local property taxpayers.
Walker was less than optimistic about the outcome.
“Regrettably, this government did not say today it was prepared to stop forcing municipalities to fill gaps left by their 14 years of under funding of long-term care.”