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Financial Relief Comes to Municipalities with Ontario Getting $7B of Federal Government’s $19B “Safe Restart” Fund

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Cities and towns will finally be getting some financial relief thanks to Ontario’s $7-billion portion of the Federal Government’s $19-billion “safe restart” funding plan, announced yesterday (July 16).

Details on how the funding will be distributed provincially are still being finalized, but this is welcomed news for sure.

The mayors’ calls for relief were heard and we thank Premier Ford for advocating for Ontario, as well as Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau for bringing both levels of government together to provide essential relief to municipalities.

Municipal governments are on the front-lines of providing essential services, and key to the Province’s and Canada’s economy recovery.

Without relief, municipalities were facing the untenable choices of cutting services, raising taxes or depleting reserves — leaving us vulnerable to the next emergency.

Also yesterday, I joined my fellow mayors of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) in thanking our upper levels of government for providing support to municipalities through these trying times.

Click this link to read the full media release: July 16 2020 LUMCO Statement COVID-19 Financial Relief.

I’m looking forward to learning more on how Ontario’s portion of the funding will help mitigate the financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic locally and allow us to continue the vital services our community depend on — particularly now when they need it the most.

Stay tuned for more details.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

MORE INFORMATION:

  • Here is a breakdown of the seven priority areas the new federal funding will address:
    1. enhanced capacity for testing, contact tracing, and data management and information sharing to mitigate future outbreaks;
    2. investments in health care to respond to the pandemic, including support for Canadians experiencing challenges with substance use, mental health, or homelessness;
    3. support for vulnerable Canadians – including those in long-term care, home care, and palliative care – who are at risk of more severe cases of COVID-19;
    4. funding to secure a reliable source of personal protective equipment, and to recover some of the costs from previous investments made by provincial and territorial governments;
    5. support to ensure that safe and sufficient child care spaces are available to support parents’ gradual return to work;
    6. joint funding with the provinces and territories to support municipalities on the front lines of restarting the economy, including by putting in place precautions for public spaces and essential services to reduce the spread of the virus, as well as a dedicated stream of funding for public transit;
    7. a temporary income support program that will provide workers who do not have paid sick leave with access to 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19.
  • To access the funding, each province and territory will need to outline how they will invest these funds.

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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