Landmark deal provides up to $ 4 billion to support municipalities and public transit
Secure restart agreement represents new funding for many priority programs in Ontario
TORONTO – The Government of Ontario, in partnership with the federal government, is providing up to $ 4 billion in urgent one-time assistance to 444 municipalities in Ontario. This funding will help local governments maintain the essential services that people rely on every day, including public transit, for the next six to eight months. Details on specific allocations will be provided in the coming weeks. This funding is part of Ontario’s plan designed by the province for economic renewal, growth and recovery.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Caroline Mulroney , Minister of Transport.
“By working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges posed by COVID-19 and reached a historic agreement with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery for Ontario and for Canada,” said the Premier Ford. “I want to thank the 444 local leaders in Ontario who supported us throughout our negotiations with the federal government and every step of the way to reopen. We will continue to be a champion for our municipal partners as they safely reopen their communities and ensure people can get back to work. ”
Premier Ford worked with municipal partners, fellow Premiers, Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Freeland to secure this landmark deal, which includes $ 777 million from the federal government and $ 1.22 billion in the province in support of the municipalities. Ontario will continue to work closely with its municipal partners to ensure this funding provides the support they need to close the budget shortfalls associated with COVID-19.
“Ontario’s municipalities are the backbone of our great province,” said Minister Clark. “Our government is committed to working hand in hand with our municipal partners to help them come out stronger and enable them to lead the economic recovery in every community. And the funding we are announcing today will play a critical role in that regard.
“Municipalities in Ontario have told us that they are facing a $ 4 billion shortfall due to COVID-19,” said Minister Phillips. “Failure to act could result in service cuts and higher taxes. That’s why, under Premier Ford’s leadership, Ontario has been a strong advocate at the negotiating table to ensure that municipalities and transit systems are supported under the Accord de safe restart. This is an historic level of support that is being provided at unprecedented times. ”
Thanks to Ontario’s leadership, an agreement for public transit funding was also reached as part of the federal-provincial agreement. Up to $ 2 billion will be shared equally between Ontario and the federal government. Transit operators who have experienced a sharp drop in their income will receive the support they need to deal with the financial impacts of COVID-19 and continue their operations safely.
“Transit operators across Ontario have done an incredible job ensuring that people who need to travel, including our frontline workers, have safe and reliable transit service during the epidemic, Minister Mulroney said. “This funding will help ensure that transit services continue to be available so people can get to where they need to go when our province reopens and people return to work.”
The Safe Restart Agreement will help ensure a strong and secure recovery for Ontario through investments in testing, contact tracing and data management; health care capacity and mental health; protect vulnerable populations, including homeless people and the elderly in long-term care facilities; secure personal protective equipment (PPE); child care for returning workers; and support for municipalities and public transport networks.
- Ontario has invested approximately $ 350 million to support municipalities and social service providers such as shelters and food banks, as well as people on social assistance and those who do not qualify for it. federal aid.
- Ontario has invested $ 100 million to support extraordinary public health costs incurred in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and to protect Ontarians.
- Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has worked with municipalities to provide them with the tools and support they need, including allowing them to hold virtual council and local council meetings. in an emergency and by temporarily extending the expiring development charge regulations to ensure they can continue to collect this vital source of revenue.