Ontario Provides Additional Support for Niagara During COVID-19Published on March 04, 2021
Beamsville - The Ontario government is providing $16,486,587 in new provincial funding to help upper and lower tier municipalities in Niagara with ongoing COVID-19-related operating costs. The new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services during the pandemic and keep capital projects on track.
"This additional provincial investment provides stable and secure support for upper and lower tier municipalities in Niagara," said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West.
"Local municipalities have experienced serious financial challenges in the wake of COVID-19 and our government recognizes the need to support the delivery of critical local services and ongoing projects across Ontario and in Niagara."
"On behalf of the entire Niagara region, I am pleased to see the announcement of additional financial support coming from our partners at the provincial government," said Jim Bradley, Chair of the Regional Municipality of Niagara.
"COVID-19 has easily been the most disruptive event to impact municipal operations in the last half century and without the ongoing support of the province we would be in dire straits. I appreciate the Province of Ontario continuing to recognize the important role municipalities play in the lives of residents and providing the financial relief necessary to ensure our critical programs and services can continue to be offered."
Today's announcement is part of the province's $500 million investment to help ensure the stability of Ontario's 444 municipalities as they plan for the year ahead. The funding is being prioritized to help municipalities hardest hit by the pandemic and can be used for things like personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies and by-law enforcement.
"Our government continues to adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolves, and we know our municipal partners are on the front lines of this effort – providing the critical services people depend on every day," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
"Our municipalities have been clear that they need ongoing operating funding in 2021, and it is important that we step up and provide that support so our municipal partners can continue to deliver the services Ontarians rely on each and every day."
This provincial investment builds on the $1.39 billion in operating funding that was provided to municipal partners through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. The second phase of the Safe Restart Agreement was allocated to all Ontario municipalities in December, to ensure that no community entered 2021 facing an operating deficit from 2020.
"Municipalities are important partners in the fight against COVID-19," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board.
"We know the global pandemic has created significant financial challenges for communities across the province. That's why we have been there with support from the very beginning. I encourage our federal partners to step forward with additional investments as all three governments work together to protect people’s health and jobs."