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Ontario’s Big City Mayors call for Relief, Recovery as they Respond to Second Wave of COVID-19

Ontario's Big City Mayors

*Please see below a media release issued by Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM – formerly the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario).

October 15, 2020 –  Mayors of Ontario’s 29 largest cities met with provincial and federal ministers via videoconference today to press the need for investment in infrastructure and municipal operating funding for 2021, as communities continue to respond and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) welcomed Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Catherine McKenna, and Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, Laurie Scott, to the meeting, urging both levels of government to fund municipal infrastructure as an immediate measure to stimulate cities’ economic recovery.

OBCM later passed a motion stating that funding programs should address critical needs to build growth-related infrastructure and replace aging assets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen economic competitiveness.

A second motion called on the Governments of Canada and Ontario to provide additional emergency operating support for municipalities in 2021.

“Cities are well into 2021 budget planning. We are forecasting continued steep revenue losses, especially for services like transit and recreation, as well as property tax revenue impacts due to rising vacancy rates for commercial buildings and office towers. Safe Restart funding was vital to enable municipalities to respond to the pandemic, maintain critical services, and meet our responsibility to balance our budgets. Further funding will be just as important in 2021, when the full impact of the pandemic will be felt.” — Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph, and OBCM Chair

Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark and Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy also joined the meeting to discuss the Province’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the growth of online government services during the pandemic.

OBCM also welcomed the Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, MP Jagmeet Singh, to discuss cities’ economic and social recovery from COVID-19.

“As we respond to a second wave of COVID-19, Ontario’s Big City Mayors continue to press for financial relief, a plan for economic recovery, and longer-term reform of funding and service delivery,” said Mayor Guthrie. “We appreciate the willingness of the federal and provincial governments to listen to cities and work together to meet the extraordinary challenges we face.” — Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph, and OBCM Chair

About Ontario’s Big City Mayors

Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), formerly known as the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario, includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, who collectively represent nearly 70 per cent of Ontario’s population. OBCM 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:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600