WHITEHORSE—An Act to Amend the Municipal Finance and Community Grants Act was tabled in the Yukon Legislative Assembly today by Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor. The proposed amendments carry out the Yukon government’s commitment to a new five-year Comprehensive Municipal Grant program in 2013-14 that includes additional funding for structural fire protection.
“The proposed changes come with broad support from Yukon’s municipal governments and will go a long way to helping with local priorities while improving the quality of life for all Yukon citizens in our communities,” Taylor said. “This is an important step toward long-term municipal sustainability in Yukon and clearly demonstrates the Yukon government’s commitment and ongoing support for our municipal governments.”
In 2013-14, municipal grant funding will increase by $1.5 million from $16.5 million to almost $18.1 million. Future funding will be allocated by a simplified formula that will account for tax base, number of dwellings or properties, assets and other factors based on principles of fairness, transparency and predictability. The new program also comes with a built-in review period of five years and indexes annual funding to the Consumer Price Index.
An additional $2 million over five years is also included to supplement municipal fire department budgets. This complements a recent investment of $1.9 million in the Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office to bolster training and programs, increase oversight and inspections, and improve facilities and equipment for Yukon fire services.
“The proposed amendments improve our funding base, supplement fire department budgets and provide for a single annual payment, which is what we asked for in the funding review,” Association of Yukon Communities President Elaine Wyatt said. “The new Comprehensive Municipal Grant program is a key outcome of Our Towns, Our Future and represents a joint effort by the Government of Yukon and the Association of Yukon Communities to improve the formula and enhance fairness and predictability.”
Subject to approval by the Yukon Legislative Assembly, the new Comprehensive Municipal Grant program will come into effect on April 1, 2013 once the revised formula is established by regulation.
For more information, visit www.community.gov.yk.ca.
Community Services, Communications