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Long-term care funding remains one-time boost

The province isn’t willing to help Orillia recoup tax money lost due to a change in provincial policy just yet.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa wrote Mayor Steve Clarke in January to say the funding provided to offset the loss of property-tax income from not-for-profit long-term-care homes remained a one-time boost.

He said he understood the city’s concerns with being on the hook for an extra $500,000 annually, and would take the suggestion of a multi-year phase-in “under consideration.”

That’s not good enough for Coun. Ted Emond.

“The province has not recognized our petition, with respect to a private, profit-making organization manipulating the provincial regulations so that a division of their operation qualifies as non-profit,” Emond said. “As a result, the citizens of Orillia have to pay $500,000 more each year for absolutely zero return to our community.”

Alongside the phase-in proposal, Clarke requested the city be able to reapply for further funding assistance for the $15-million wastewater project and an opportunity to meet with the minister or senior staff from ministries on issues relevant to the community.

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