COVID-19: Ontario to provide $ 1.6 billion to municipalities for COVID-19 relief; the provincial deficit is expected to reach $ 38.5 billion; 13 new cases in Ottawa

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Under the $ 19 billion Safe Restart Accord, Ontario is receiving more than $ 7 billion in “funding and in-kind support,” according to the province. Four billion has been set aside for municipalities and transit agencies in Ontario.

The prime minister also teased an upcoming announcement from Education Minister Stephen Lecce “in the next few days or so”, noting that he had consulted health experts and “finding ways to always improve.”

It comes after a barrage of criticism around his government’s back-to-school plan.

When asked if the minister would announce any changes to this plan, Ford said no.

“There won’t be any change – we’re always looking for improvements, and just the quality of the room the kids go to. ”

“It will be a positive announcement, it will be great for teachers and students.

Meanwhile, the provincial government is now forecasting a deficit of $ 38.5 billion for 2020-21 – compared to a deficit of $ 20.5 billion expected at the end of March, largely due to the increase costs of COVID-19 relief, Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips said on Wednesday. in a quarterly budget update.

The initial $ 17 billion COVID-19 response plan announced on March 25 has risen to more than $ 30 billion, the minister said.

“Since we announced this initial $ 17 billion response, a lot has changed,” Phillips said Wednesday.

The additional investments include $ 4.4 billion more than the original budget to improve the capacity of hospitals, tackle COVID-19 in long-term care homes, increase testing and purchase PPE and other supplies medical. Ontario is also spending an additional $ 7.3 billion in support and assistance programs, including pandemic pay for frontline workers, funding for hard-hit municipalities and transit agencies. by the pandemic and reducing Ontario’s electricity bills.

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