FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2020
BAY OF QUINTE – Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that four local municipalities will receive an additional $1,678,000 in Safe Restart Agreement Funding. This discretionary funding will be used to offset operating costs for critical services and help ensure the municipalities do not carry operating deficits into 2021.
Within the Bay of Quinte riding, the City of Belleville will receive $575,000, the City of Quinte West, $469,000, Prince Edward County, $336,000, and Hastings County, $298,000.
“This funding will provide our community with the support it needs to continue delivering critical services that we all rely on every day,” said Smith. “Today’s announcement will help these municipalities develop budgets for 2021 that reflect the reality of COVID-19 and give them the confidence they need to proceed with capital projects that will drive economic growth.”
The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million across the province to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021. This investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer.
“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can better focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”
The funding allocations are based on the number of households in a community and the number of COVID-19 cases in an area. Of the $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396 million is being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and who have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering 2020 operating deficits.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been a priority for our staff and Belleville City Council to ensure that services our residents rely on continue without interruption. To do so, we have had to pivot the way our City operates which has certainly come at a cost. These funds will help bring us back to a more balanced financial situation going into the new year so that we can focus on moving our City forward. We are grateful to our Provincial partners for all of their assistance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville
“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic we have appreciated the Province’s ongoing financial supports to Hastings County. Today’s announcement will certainly help us as we move forward into our new 2021 budget year. It will be critically important for us to continue to support our clients including those that are homeless or precariously housed as well as our residents in Hastings and Centennial Manors who continue to be at significant risk due to COVID-19. This additional funding helps us do just that.”
Warden Rick Phillips, Hastings County
“Prince Edward County welcomes the continued support of the provincial and federal governments through the Safe Restart Agreement. Throughout 2020, our municipality strived to remain fiscally responsible while delivering core services that residents and businesses needed.The support announced today will go a long way to offsetting the additional costs and unexpected loss of revenue the County faced in 2020.”
Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County
"We are grateful for the Safe Restart funding from the Ontario government. COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for people and we look forward to the additional support we will provide our residents with this funding. This will allow us to complete capital projects throughout 2021 that will boost our economic growth and keep our City moving forward on the right track."
Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West
- The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement is a historic partnership that secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery.
- In August, an initial investment of $1.6 billion was provided so every Ontario municipality could address their operating pressures, support transit systems and help vulnerable people.
- The Ontario government has provided $510 million to municipalities and Indigenous community partners through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19.
- The province has made an additional three-year, $45-billion commitment to help communities recover as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. This includes critical investments in health and other initiatives, to ensure Ontario is more resilient in the future.
- Ontario is also supporting municipalities in finding budget savings and efficiencies through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal Modernization Program -- supporting municipalities with third-party audits and service reviews. Municipalities have already received $215 million through these programs.
Learn how Ontario is fighting COVID-19 - https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-ontario-is-responding-covid-19.