Peel non-profits decry $868 million Provincial community service funding shortfall

A study commissioned by a group of Peel non-profits has found a nearly $1 billion annual Provincial funding shortfall for community services in the region.

The Metamorphosis Network, which represents over 100 Peel non-profits in the health and community services sectors, shared on May 23 results from a study it commissioned from research firm Blueprint ADE.

According to the study, there’s an $868 million annual shortfall in Provincial funding for Peel non-profits.

“The staggering, ongoing annual funding shortfall… equates to an annual gap of $578

for every person in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon,” reads a Metamorphosis Network news release from Metamorphosis Network coordinator Sean Meagher.

According to the study, the funding shortfall impacts services like housing, child care, schools, seniors’ care, mental health programs and youth programs.

They went on to say Peel municipalities have to charge taxpayers $138 per year on their property taxes to “compensate for inadequate provincial funding of essential services.”

Sharon Mayne, the CEO of Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin and one of the leaders of the Metamorphosis Network, said the Blueprint ADE study underscores a longstanding, severe, and unsustainable funding gap in the Region of Peel.

"Peel is a diverse and growing community with bright prospects, but our community cannot bear the brunt of this financial gap,” said Mayne. “Everyone deserves reliable services no matter where they live. This is an issue that starts in Queen’s Park and we urge the provincial government to take immediate action to ensure fair and adequate funding for our region."

Melissa Harricharan, a Peel resident, is quoted in the Metamorphosis Network’s news release.

“I rely on local community services that support me and my family, but I see how stretched they are, with long waiting lists and limited capacity,” said Harricharan. “I am counting on our

MPPs to speak with the Premier and Cabinet to make sure that these gaps don’t continue.”

Blueprint ADE’s report compares Peel to seven other municipalities in Ontario with populations over 500,000: Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, York, Durham, Waterloo and Halton.

“Funding in Peel is persistently low,” the report reads. “In the most recent year of data available, Peel finishes dead last among comparators for municipal social service funding, non-profit community service funding, and Local Health Integration Network community health funding. In 2023-24, it ranked below average for school board funding.”

The report found that non-profits in Peel grew less financially stable between 2021 and 2023.

“Over the same time period, fewer of them were able to rely on provincial support as their primary source of funding,” the report reads. “...The available data suggest that the gap in provincial support for social services in Peel Region Municipalities is having negative consequences for the organizations that provide those services, and that the burden borne by

municipal taxpayers in the Region is increasing.”

Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen