Last Friday (May 8), I had a very productive call with my fellow Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) mayors, sharing information on how our municipalities are dealing with COVID-19.
We also had federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, and provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Hon. Steve Clark and Minister of Transportation, and Francophone Affairs, the Hon. Caroline Mulroney join us. They too gave us updates on the federal and provincial governments’ responses to COVID-19.
After our meeting, LUMCO put out a media release that laid out our urging to the upper levels of government to continue working in partnership with municipalities to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, and to plan for post-pandemic recovery and reform.
I’ve copy-and-pasted the release below — you can also view it at LUMCO’s website by clicking the link above.
Ontario’s Big City Mayors discuss post-COVID recovery with federal and provincial ministers
Guelph, Ontario, May 8, 2020 – Ontario’s big city mayors are urging the governments of Ontario and Canada to continue to work in partnership with municipalities to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, and to plan for post-pandemic recovery and reform.
In a meeting held this morning via teleconference, members of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) welcomed Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen, as well as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, and Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, to discuss how to move beyond emergency response measures and establish a consistent municipal approach to reopening the economy.
“Municipalities are working tirelessly to help Ontarians through this crisis, but in the face of drastically reduced revenue streams, especially as it relates to transit, we are struggling to keep critical services running while meeting our legislative and regulatory requirements. On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, we are grateful to Ministers Hussen, Clark, Phillips and Mulroney for joining us to discuss these critical issues, and we look forward to continuing to work together to address these unprecedented financial shortfalls as we move towards economic recovery.” — LUMCO Chair and Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie
To meet this goal, LUMCO mayors have proposed a three-phased approach to enable cities to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, which includes:
- Relief: Immediate financial relief for municipalities facing fiscal pressure as a result of reduced revenues, with a focus on addressing the projected $415 million revenue loss from April to June in transit systems that serve LUMCO municipalities
- Recovery: A comprehensive recovery plan to address COVID-related impacts for municipalities as they work to reopen the economy, and
- Reform: A longer-term partnership agreement between municipalities and the federal and provincial governments to re-align capital and service delivery responsibilities with sustainable revenue streams for the future.
On April 28, LUMCO mayors, who represent the almost 70 per cent of Ontarians living in the province’s 29 largest cities, joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in its request for emergency funding for municipalities from the Government of Canada.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
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:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 903-335-7777, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.