The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021. This investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer and will help municipal partners deliver critical services during COVID-19.
“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them to enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”
Of the $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396 million is also being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering their 2020 operating deficits. This is in addition to funding being provided to municipalities to help with local transit pressures.
Ontario issued letters to municipalities today about the next stages of transit funding for the Safe Restart Agreement. The province is notionally allocating $1.3 billion for municipal transit systems. This is in addition to the $700 million allocation under Phase 1 of the Safe Restart Agreement, which included needs-based top-ups. Further details about this funding will be available in January.
York Region MPPs announced discretionary funding will be used to offset operating costs for critical services and help ensure that York Region and municipalities located within it do not carry operating deficits into 2021.
Funding announced is as following: York Region $9.9 million; Markham $2.8 million and Stouffville $423,000.
“The Ontario government remains committed to working with all levels of government to support our municipalities during this unprecedented time,” said Billy Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville.
“Municipalities need our support and that is why our government is allocating an additional $695 million in financial relief to help them on a road to safe recovery,” said MPP Logan Kanapathi, Markham-Thornhill. “Today’s investment of over $2.8 million for the City of Markham comes at a crucial time, when municipalities need it most to continue providing key services we rely on every day.”