‘This is good news’: Cornwall mayor reacts to cancelled retroactive cuts to child care, EMS

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – Cornwall’s mayor says the Ontario government’s move to cancel retroactive cuts to municipalities is good news.

Premier Doug Ford and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark announced this morning (Monday) that retroactive cuts to public health, child care and ambulance services will not happen this year as originally planned.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch during a Cornwall Transit real time tracker launch, Mayor Bernadette Clement said they are still digesting the news.

“We were concerned about those items, particularly child care, from a city perspective because we had no idea how that would impact (us) and what would that mean in terms of services,” Clement told Cornwall Newswatch.

The province had planned to spend $93 million less on child care capital this year. Cornwall runs child care services for the city and the county.

“We’re waiting to hear more. It’s in-year so they have reversed the in-year cuts. For planning purposes it’s good to know what’s going to happen for next year because we’re going into our budget process in a couple of months,” she told CNW.

Municipalities had told Premier Ford they needed more time to find savings on their own in their budgets. Clement was asked whether Cornwall could find savings in the interim.

“It’s really hard to say at this point,” she said.

Clement and CAO Maureen Adams are heading to Peterborough tomorrow (Tuesday) for an Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus meeting.

“I think we need to, as mayors and councils, think about that and plan so I’m sure that’s on the agenda for tomorrow. Discuss what are some areas that other municipalities are looking at…what can we do.”