Ontario’s Big City Mayors urge province, feds to provide relief for municipalities
Posted in: News Item
Date Posted: 2020-05-15
Organization Name: Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario
Ontario’s big city mayors are calling on the federal and provincial governments to provide immediate financial support to municipalities as they face unprecedented economic challenges due to COVID-19.
The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) is grateful for the leadership and collaboration demonstrated by the provincial and federal governments to support residents and businesses during the pandemic.
Now is the time to do the same for municipalities, who are working tirelessly to deliver the critical services that residents rely on in the face of plummeting revenues and increasing costs.
“Municipalities are working diligently to maintain the critical services that our constituents rely on. However, this is becoming increasingly challenging due to the growing financial shortfall, and our legislative and regulatory requirements still need to be met,” said LUMCO Chair and Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. “We are urging Premier Ford and Prime Minister Trudeau to come to the table quickly and provide much-needed support for the vital services that keep our communities functioning.”
Ontario’s big city mayors support the approach proposed by the Ontario government to provide immediate financial relief to municipalities for COVID-19 – related expenses and lost revenues, in a manner similar to other programs already fully funded by the federal Canada and Ontario to support individuals and businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
On May 8, LUMCO mayors proposed the following three-phased approach to enable cities to recover from the COVID-19 crisis:
- 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.
LUMCO – which advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities – includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, amounting to 69 percent of the province’s population.