IG news Update,
Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie says he will not bring up the idea of introducing a tax levy to help the city tackle homelessness, addiction and mental health when council meets Wednesday to discuss the budget.
Guthrie proposed the levy idea earlier this month, saying the province is not doing enough to financially support municipalities to deal with these growing concerns. The levy, called the “provincial impact local levy,” would amount to $3 to $5 per month for Guelph residents, he said.
Levy’s idea was supported by Helen Fishburne, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo-Wellington, who called it a “bold and courageous step”.
“We really can’t afford to do nothing,” Fishburne said.
But in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Guthrie said it was not the right time to bring up the idea to Levy.
He said he had asked for feedback from the public and that “there was a mixed bag” with roughly equal numbers of people who supported the measure and those who told him they could not afford it.
A change of plans for tomorrow’s confirmation budget for the city. I am no longer putting forward the additional levy proposal as issued by me a few weeks ago. I hear, there is more information coming from the provincial government and; There are still possibilities that we can help without the levy. pic.twitter.com/Ld4czQbNVD
“Based on some of your feedback, and based on some of the changes I’m hearing from the province a little bit with respect to helping municipalities, particularly on the part of housing, the fact is that I know the premier wants to “A meeting soon with the mayors about this issue, the housing issue, but also the homelessness stuff, I just figured … on Levy’s view, we’re a little early on this,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. Can.”
Guthrie says he believes the city can still help homelessness, addictions and mental health issues without the levy.
Guelph councilors will meet on Wednesday to discuss the budget.