Ontario municipalities to receive $4 billion in COVID-19 relief from provincial and federal governments

Half of the funding will address municipal operating pressures, the other half will address transit shortfalls

Ontario premier Doug Ford announces $4 billion in funding for municipalities to address operating and transit shortfalls at Queen's Park on July 27, 2020. Also pictured are transportation minister Caroline Mulroney, municipal affairs and housing minister Steve Clark, finance minister Rod Phillips, and deputy premier and health minister Christine Elliott. (CPAC screenshot)
Ontario premier Doug Ford announces $4 billion in funding for municipalities to address operating and transit shortfalls at Queen's Park on July 27, 2020. Also pictured are transportation minister Caroline Mulroney, municipal affairs and housing minister Steve Clark, finance minister Rod Phillips, and deputy premier and health minister Christine Elliott. (CPAC screenshot)

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, will be providing up to $4 billion in one-time assistance to Ontario’s 444 municipalities to address budgetary shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made on Monday afternoon (July 27) at Queen’s Park by Premier Doug Ford, deputy premier and health minister Christine Elliott, finance minister Rod Phillips, municipal affairs and housing minister Steve Clark, and transportation minister Caroline Mulroney.

“By working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges brought on by COVID-19 and secured a historic deal with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery for Ontario and for Canada,” said Premier Ford.

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“I want to thank Ontario’s 444 local leaders who supported us through our negotiations with the federal government and through each stage of reopening. We will continue to be a champion for our municipal partners as they safely reopen their communities and ensure people can get back to work,” Ford said.

Up to $2 billion will be available to relieve municipal operating pressures, with $777 million coming from the federal government and $1.2 billion from the Ontario government. Another $2 billion will be available to address shortfalls in transit, with $1 billion coming from each of the federal and provincial governments.

The funding will help local governments maintain critical services, including public transit, over the next six to eight months. The province says it will provide details on specific allocations in the coming weeks.

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