York Region is one of the fastest growing Canadian suburbs. It is made up of a confederation of nine municipalities, with a two-tier government structure. Services to its residents and businesses are provided by the Region and local area municipal governments. York Region has a vision to create strong, caring, safe communities; and a mission to provide cost effective and quality services that respond to the needs of rapidly growing communities.
In October 2000, the York Regional Council approved a Human Services Strategy. As recommended by the Strategy, in February 2001, the Human Services Planning Coalition (HSPC), consisting of representatives of government, service provider agencies and corporations, the non-profit sector and consumers of human services, was established to address concerns of long-term, sustainable integrated planning and funding of human services. HSPC is a partner in this project.
One of the main issues facing York Region (as well as other suburban municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area) is the disparity in human services funding between the Regional Municipalities and the rest of Ontario. As an example, between 2000/2001 and 2003/2004, the total annual operating funding gap for all social services increased by almost 34% (or $139 million), and on a per capita basis, the gap increased by $46 (from $151 to $181 over the three-year period).