Social Services Committee to consider ‘assisted funeral services update’ report

BRANTFORD, ON – Based on a directive from the City of Brantford and County of Brant Social Services Committee, Homelessness and Social Assistance staff have recently completed a comprehensive review and comparative analysis related to providing assisted funeral services to families in need. While municipalities are not legally obligated to assist low income residents with the cost of burial or cremation, it is felt strongly that this compassionate service for grieving loved ones to honour their deceased family member is important to continue as it prevents funeral costs from burdening the surviving family members.

Prior to the recent review that was sensitively conducted with all Funeral Directors across the city and county over the last eight months, the City was paying costs for assisted funeral services that were 65% higher than the average maximums paid by other municipalities.

Given taxpayer dollars fund discretionary programs of this nature, as stewards of public funds, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are balancing community needs with value for the services being provided by taxpayer funded budgets. Additionally, the review also became a necessary analysis in response to financial pressures on municipal budgets, made more acute now by loss of expected municipal revenue as a result of impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Consistent with the City’s purchasing process, any vendor who can demonstrate their qualifications / capacity to perform the services is eligible, in effect enabling any funeral service provider in Brantford-Brant to be eligible to perform services for the City provided they did so at a cost that was determined through an open and competitive procurement process. 

The analysis conducted by City staff also found that since the last review of funeral costs was conducted in 2009, community norms and funeral trends have changed significantly. Many families now elect simpler alternatives such as memorials/celebrations of life in alternate locations or graveside services over larger scale traditional funerals.

Social Services Committee will be considering the ‘Assisted Funerals and Burial Services Update’ Report at their next meeting on Wednesday December 2nd, 2020. The public is encouraged to visit for more information.


Media Contact:
Maria Visocchi, Director, Communications and Community Engagement
City of Brantford | Office: 519.759.4150 Ext. 5754 |


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