Trudeau describes $ 19 billion in COVID-19 relief spending for provinces and municipalities

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Spending will be spent on public transport infrastructure, “immediate assistance” for seniors at risk of transmitting COVID-19, personal protective equipment for employees upon their return to the workforce, and additional child care, among others.

Ontario will receive $ 1.7 billion for transit projects and an additional $ 1.1 billion for funds for contact tracing for COVID-19. British Columbia will receive $ 809 million for public and municipal infrastructure projects, while Alberta will receive $ 303 million.

Wednesday’s announcement came after the program initially received some rejection from provincial and territorial leaders.

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Ottawa originally planned $ 14 billion in spending for provinces and territories in June, which it increased to $ 19 billion in July after provinces complained the pool of funds was too small to close their gaps. respective budgets.

“The reality is we have a $ 23 billion problem in Ontario,” Premier Doug Ford said shortly after the program was announced in June. “And $ 14 billion for all of Canada will not solve the problem; $ 14 billion for all of Canada will simply not reduce that amount.

Others said the proposed funding included too many conditions that unnecessarily tie the hands of provincial leaders. Still others had opposed provisions in the secure restart agreement that provide for 10 sick days for employees, which could hurt productivity as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

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