As the Province of Ontario prepares its 2021-2022 budget, I sent a letter on behalf the City of Burlington to the Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance, outlining some considerations that would support our City as we continue working through the pandemic.
To read a digital copy of the full letter, click here: 2021 Provincial Pre-Budget Letter from Mayor Meed Ward City of Burlington.
Below is a summary of the City of Burlington’s asks:
- Safe Restart Funding 2.0 to address the ongoing and unprecedented financial impacts of COVID-19 on the City of Burlington.
- The accelerated delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines to support the needs and expectations of Canadians.
- Clear and consistent communication with public health units and municipalities on the distribution of vaccine including: the receipt of COVID-19 vaccinations, the timing of delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations for each priority population, and the timing of delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations for the general population.
- The provision of longer, better funded sick leave to help address the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
- Small Business Supports:
- Renewal and expansion of funding to the Digital Main Street program as soon as possible to help our businesses to survive the provincial lockdown and reopening of the economy in the future;
- Renewal of the $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant and Digital Service Squad support; and
- Expansion of the Digital Main Street Transformation Grant to be available to main street businesses that are located outside of BIAs as the initial program restricted applicants to BIA member businesses only
- A minimum 2-year funding extension to the Digital Main Street program
- Additional funding to support entrepreneurship and the start-up and scale up of new businesses including the renewal of funding for the Regional Innovation Centre Network (RIC).
- Release of the regulations regarding the adoption of a new optional small business property subclass regulations.
- The Road to Recovery:
- Provincial gas tax is maintained at the pre-pandemic levels.
- Funding of municipal “shovel ready” projects such as the new Skyway Community Centre.
- Broadband funding to support rural Burlington residents and businesses.
- Predictable, stable, long-term infrastructure funding, using a fair allocation-based formula.
- Partners in Public Service:
- Funding for digital service provision at the municipal level
- Cutting municipal reporting red tape
- Expedite the legislative changes required for municipalities to implement administrative monetary penalties for the enforcement of certain motor vehicle offences.
- Supporting Sustainable Infrastructure and a Resilient Environment:
- Support active transportation infrastructure in particular crossing links over Provincial Highways.
- Provide community tax incentives/grants for deep home energy retrofit programs.
- Provide funding to support alternative fueling infrastructure for municipal fleets (EV/Hydrogen)
- Community tax incentives/grants to support EV vehicle purchase and charging infrastructure.