On Tuesday, April 28, the mayors of the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) held a virtual meeting to discuss issues our municipalities are facing during COVID-19.
One of those items was endorsing the call of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to the federal government for immediate fiscal relief for our cities and towns, as well as our committed refusal to run local deficits.
The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, also called in to discuss with us our request for fiscal support for municipalities from the Province to help us mitigate the shortfalls we’re facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We still will be looking at local cost reductions where we can at the City level, but that won’t be enough — we’ll need help from our upper levels of government partners.
Click the link (or head further down this post) to read a copy of the resolution we all approved at LUMCO: Ontario’s Big City Mayors join the Federation of Canadians Municipalities in calling for emergency funding for municipalities — April 28 2020 LUMCO Resolution.
— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
Ontario’s Big-City Mayors
Ontario’s Big City Mayors join the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in calling for emergency funding for municipalities
Guelph, Ontario – April 28, 2020 – The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), which is comprised of the province’s 29 largest cities and represents almost 70 per cent of Ontario’s population, has joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in its request for emergency funding for municipalities from the Government of Canada.
In a meeting held this morning via teleconference, LUMCO mayors and chief administrative officers identified the financial pressures associated with providing critical services while suffering unprecedented revenue losses as an emerging crisis for municipalities, which are unable to run budgetary deficits and have limited revenue generating tools. Just one example is the more than $70 million in lost revenue to date for Transit services that serve LUMCO municipalities. Without fiscal relief from other levels of government, municipalities will be forced to reduce services.
“Ontarians rely on municipalities to continue to provide essential services like police, emergency services, and the delivery of clean drinking water,” said LUMCO Chair and Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie. “On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors and in solidarity with municipalities across Canada, I implore the federal government to take significant and immediate action to assist municipalities facing unparalleled financial hardship during this period of great uncertainty.”
LUMCO members also welcomed Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, to this morning’s meeting to thank him for what Ontario has already done, further evaluate the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact to municipal budgets and discuss the need for provincial support for municipalities.
“Minister Clark demonstrated that he understands the fiscal challenges municipalities are facing,” said Mayor Guthrie. “He affirmed that all three levels of government need to work hand-in-hand to navigate this crisis together, and LUMCO mayors couldn’t agree more.”
LUMCO passed a resolution stating that Ontario’s big-city mayors are united in their position that running deficits as a way to manage municipal financial challenges as a result of the pandemic is not in the public interest.
“Deficits are not the answer,” Mayor Guthrie said. “The solution is to deal with these financial problems today and not push fiscal challenges to future years. That’s why we need better tools in the toolbox, such as emergency operating funding, to keep critical services running.”
About LUMCO The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, amounting to 69% of Ontario’s population. LUMCO advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 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
- 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.