The Kenora District Services Board (KDSB) Board of Directors approved KDSB’s 2024 Operating and Capital budgets of $92,107,672 during its regular Board meeting held on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

The 2024 Operating and Capital Budgets continue to build on the KDSB’s foundational strategies and values of KDSB’s Strategic Plan and will support the priorities of the Board. The budget will provide the structure upon which the Board will work to address the current needs of communities across the District.

Ongoing global economic challenges continue to substantially impact the KDSB and its operations with rising interest rates, increases in material costs, and labor shortages continuing to impact the development of affordable housing. The KDSB, in partnership with Non-Profit Housing Providers, Indigenous Service Providers, Health Sector Partners, and other key stakeholders, continues to explore collaborative options available to advocate for and address our communities’ complex housing and health needs.

Early Learning and Child Care in Ontario continues to undergo substantial transformation. Changing provincial plans for child care, including a new funding formula and federal commitments to develop a pan-Canadian child care strategy, have created the opportunity to continue reducing parent fees and create more child care spaces through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

Through Employment and Financial Support Services, the KDSB will continue to focus on community outreach and working with local industry and educational institutions to support individuals in achieving their employment goals.

“The KDSB Board maintained its principles through the KDSB budget process. The Board pushed administration to present clear, compelling explanations for requests that move us toward our goals while considering the impact on local costs. The budget passed will enable the high-quality services, programming, and supports that our District expects. The entire Board is convinced that this year’s budget puts KDSB in a good position to thrive in 2024,” says Barry Baltessen, KDSB Board Chair.

“The budget allocates resources to improve access to services in the more rural communities, to support poverty reduction strategies, and increase the availability of more affordable and accessible housing options for seniors and families across the District. I want to thank KDSB’s administrative team for their tireless work on this task. The 2024 Operation and Capital budgets are a strong balance between KDSB’s strategic goals and the economic realities in our District and allow the improvement of well-being for individuals, families and staff in the region,” says Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer of the KDSB.

Highlights of KDSB’s 2024 budget include:

  • Early Learning and Care:
    • Continue Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care fee reduction
    • Stabilize current spaces to meet community needs
    • Working towards the increased allocation of 1,004 new spaces for the period 2022-2026 in the Kenora District
  • Emergency Medical Services:
    • Investing in new ambulances with Stryker Power Load Lifting Systems, onboard tablet upgrades, Community Paramedicine Case Management vehicles (program funded), and general land ambulance building repairs
    • Continue recruitment efforts increase the KDSB’s paramedic complement
    • Continue building KDSB’s Northwest EMS Community Paramedic Program
  • Housing and Homelessness:
    • Maintain and improve current housing stock
    • Enhance emergency shelter operations throughout the District
    • Continue to work with communities to create housing options across the housing continuum
    • Implement the By-Name List (BNL) and Coordinated Access between service providers to better support those who experience homelessness
  • Infrastructure:
    • Complete construction on:
      • 40-unit Mixed Market Supported Seniors Housing Development in Dryden
      • 56-unit Mixed Market Supported Seniors Building in Kenora
      • Complete Second Stage Housing in partnership with Sioux Lookout and Kenora
      • $6.5 million investment towards improving existing housing stock
  • Truth and Reconciliation Projects:
    • Continue to work in partnership with the communities of Wabaseemoong Independent Nations, and Asubpeeschoseewagong First Nations to improve paramedic services
    • Support Urban Indigenous-Led Child Care Programs and EarlyON Centres
    • Continue work under MOU’s with Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Grand Council Treaty #3

The overall budget reflects a 9.65% increase over the 2023 budget and a 4.24% increase in the local cost share.

The KDSB publishes its annual budget report to help increase a local understanding of proposed initiatives for the outlined year and residents’ knowledge of where Municipal tax dollars are utilized. The KDSB’s detailed 2024 budget is available at https://kdsb.on.ca/about-us/finance/.

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