New funding to keep Markham ‘safe, green, ready’

Markham will receive nearly $7.3 million from the federal and provincial governments to keep it “safe, green and ready” as pandemic restrictions ease.

The City will use the funding to install touchless systems and improve air filtration and indoor air quality at its facilities. “As a municipal leader in sustainability, funding will also be allocated to planting more trees and pruning trees to improve storm damage resistance,” says Mayor Frank Scarpitti.

The funding comes from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP): COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure stream. Under the terms of the bilateral agreement, the federal government will provide 80 per cent of the funding and the provincial government will cover the remaining 20 per cent.

Markham also plans to upgrade its Emergency Operations Centre so it will be fully functional whether staff are working on-site or remotely. It will put funds towards its Trees for Tomorrow program and will continue to prune street trees through the Neighbourhood Tree Maintenance program. Properly pruned trees sustain less damage from storms and won’t block roads and sidewalks, the City notes. Finally, the City will replace 595 street trees that have died.

“We know that this funding will continue to support the City of Markham to work through the challenges that we have all faced over a year while building to making our city more green and more friendly, a place to live, to work and play and certainly to help it be more friendly,” says Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and Markham-Thornhill MP Mary Ng.

The federal government adapted the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects submitted for approval under the COVID-19 Resilience stream are first prioritized by the province or territory and then submitted to Infrastructure Canada. Up to $10 million per project in federal and provincial funding is being offered for retrofits, repairs and upgrades to municipal buildings, for health infrastructure and schools; COVID-19 response infrastructure; active transportation infrastructure; disaster mitigation and adaptation; and ventilation improvements.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade MP Mary Ng and Markham–Thornhill MPP Logan Kanapathi join members of Markham City Council for the infrastructure announcement. Photo courtesy of the City of Markham.

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