Ontario supporting local communities with emergency funding

Assistance will help ensure the delivery of critical public services during COVID-19   


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12, 2020

BAY OF QUINTE — The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, is delivering on its commitment to provide urgently needed emergency assistance to Ontario's 444 municipalities.  Municipalities within Bay of Quinte will see $9,492,162 in funding will receive funding to address municipal operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement. 

Ontario secured up to $4 billion in emergency assistance for municipalities through the Safe Restart Agreement, which gives them the support and flexibility they need to protect the health and well-being of their communities, while continuing to deliver critical public services as the province continues on the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.  


Municipalities receiving funding include [list in alphabetical order]: 

  • City of Belleville, $2,870,200 and an additional $903,985 to support transit operations.
  • County of Hastings, $1,485,400.
  • County of Prince Edward, $1,676,500 and an additional $22,315 to support transit operations.
  • City of Quinte West, $2,341,000 and an additional $102,762 to support transit operations.

"Our government is pleased to work with the federal government to provide this much-needed support to our municipal partners," said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. "This funding will ease additional pressures muncipalities in our region and across Ontario are facing to deliver vital public services and encourage recovery, while protecting the health and well-being of their residents.  This is great news for the people of Bay of Quinte.

 In September, Ontario’s 444 municipalities will receive $695 million in Phase 1 funding for municipal operating pressures. This funding will be allocated on a per household basis and would be shared 50/50 between upper- and lower-tier municipalities. Up to $695 million in additional funding will be available through Phase 2 for municipalities that have COVID-related financial impacts that exceed the initial per household allocation provided under Phase 1. 

In addition to the support for municipalities, the government is providing over $660 million in the first phase of transit funding to the 110 municipalities with transit systems. The funding can be used to provide immediate relief from transit pressures, such as lower ridership, as well as for new costs due to COVID-19, such as enhanced cleaning and masks for staff. In the second phase, additional allocations will be provided based on expenses incurred to ensure the funding meets the needs of municipalities. As part of the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government, up to $2 billion is being provided to support public transit in Ontario.  

The government is committed to working in partnership with municipalities to ensure they can emerge stronger than ever and help lead Ontario’s economic recovery. 


  • The federal Safe Restart Agreement provides $19 billion to Canadian provinces and territories to help ensure a strong recovery and support frontline health care, families, and communities. Across all streams of federal investment, the Safe Restart Agreement provides over $7 billion in funding and in-kind supports to Ontario. 


  • The agreement provides up to a total of $4 billion in funding to the province’s 444 municipalities. 


  • The province is making a contribution of 50 per cent to the municipal supports and transit funding available through the Safe Restart Agreement, with the federal government contributing the other 50 per cent.  


  • Ontario is also providing municipal service managers and Indigenous housing partners an additional $212 million under the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect vulnerable people from COVID-19. This investment can help them protect homeless shelter staff and residents, expand rent support programming and create longer-term housing solutions. This brings the government’s total Social Services Relief Fund investment provided to service managers and Indigenous program administrators to $510 million, and builds on our COVID-19 Action Plan to Protect Vulnerable Ontarians 


  • Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government has worked with municipalities to provide them with the tools and supports they need, including enabling them to hold virtual council and local board meetings, and temporarily extending expiring development charge bylaws to ensure they could continue to collect this vital source of revenue. 




Ontario provides $53,572 to support economic development in Bay of Quinte municipalities


TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020

BELLEVILLE– Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced this morning the Province of Ontario will contribute $53,572 toward three municipal economic development projects.

Appearing on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman, Smith noted that the City of Belleville, the City of Quinte West and Prince Edward County each had a project approved through the updated Rural Economic Development Program (RED), which helps rural and Indigenous communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers, invest in local infrastructure, and create jobs.

“Through the RED program, our Province is assisting municipalities in gathering knowledge that will help their businesses grow and thrive as they enhance visitor experiences,” said MPP Smith. “These projects will put Bay of Quinte in a better position for recovery as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As part of the Province’s recent $3.3-million commitment in cost sharing for 58 successful projects in the program’s first intake, the Bay of Quinte riding will see the following projects supported:

  • The City of Belleville will receive $30,372 to invest in a WiFi communications system for its downtown area. The system will enhance visitor experiences and support local businesses. It will also allow the City to track residential data to contribute to strategic planning. The project will include installation and one year of data analytics. Completion is expected in June 2021.
  • The City of Quinte West will receive $13,000 to conduct a Business Retention and Expansion study with a focus on its commercial and retail sector. The project is ongoing.
  • Prince Edward County will receive $10,200 to conduct a training series for local agricultural producers who sell directly to their consumers or have interest in doing so. Eight workshops will be held with topics ranging from pricing to regulation, marketing and social media.

Each of the municipalities submitted its proposal as part of a streamlined application process, which was started last year in an effort to reduce the burden on applications.

“Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever,” said Minister Hardeman. “As the economy reopens, our investments in the RED program will have a very real impact for communities across rural Ontario.”


“We are very pleased to receive this Red funding for the downtown Wi-Fi project. The ability to provide free Wi-Fi to shoppers and dining guests is a service which will definitely enhance our visitors’ experience but its more than that.  We are excited about the analytics software component because it will provide the City and its partners with visitor data that will enable us to build upon our strong points and target our business communications in a more focused strategic way.”

Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville

"This funding announcement will allow the City of Quinte West to move forward with our Business Retention and Expansion survey of the commercial, retail and technology sectors in the city. The information gathered through the survey process will outline current strengths, challenges and opportunities for the City and community partners to implement strategies and actions that will further develop the local business economy."

Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West

“Value-added agriculture has grown in popularity in recent years, offering outstanding economic development potential for our rural community. The workshops we have offered - in part, thanks to Rural Economic Development (RED) funding - have helped hundreds of people to tap into that demand and make invaluable connections with others working in this area.”

Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County


Municipalities, not-for-profit entities, Ontario Indigenous communities / organizations or local services boards are eligible for the Rural Economic Development program and costs are shared according to which of the two streams under which the project may fall.

  • The RED program offers two project streams:
  1. Economic Diversification and Competitiveness: Projects that remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce, strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies.
  2. Strategic Economic Infrastructure: Minor capital projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities.
  • For the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream, the province will contribute up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000 while for the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream, the province invests up to 30 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000.



Rural Economic Development Program: https://www.ontario.ca/page/rural-economic-development-program


Ontario supports arts and tourism sectors in Bay of Quinte



BELLEVILLE– Today, Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, met Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, at the Glanmore National Historic Site to announce more than $630,000 in funding to help propel the local arts and tourism sectors.

"Our sectors were hit first, the hardest and will take the longest to recover,” said Minister MacLeod. “As our government moves forward with reopening the province, we are proud to support numerous organizations that build up our unique communities and put our tourism industry on a path to recovery.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the government has continued to invest in Ontario’s tourism and creative sectors. Through Community Museum Operating Grants, the Celebrate Ontario program, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the government has invested more than $280,000 to enrich local and visitor experiences. Local examples include:

  • $34,293 to support the Glanmore National Historic Site
  • $25,664 to the Festival Players' of Prince Edward County to support their 2020 theatre season
  • $27,550 to the Empire Theatre to support their Rockfest event
  • $11,965 to support the Mariners Park Museum
  • $29,183 to support the Macaulay Heritage Park

“Arts and culture are vital to the wellness of our Bay of Quinte community and they provide a demonstrable economic benefit as tourism drivers,” said MPP Smith. “I’m pleased that our government recognizes this and continues to prioritize support for these industries as we collectively work to overcome the uncertainty of this pandemic.”

Additional funding to deliver locally driven tourism marketing programs was also made possible through a partnership between Destination Ontario and Destination Canada designed to incentivize Ontarians to explore their local communities. The local Regional Tourism Organization has received $350,000 to deliver a much-needed boost to businesses.

Our government is committed to continuing its work with our province’s tourism and arts sectors to ensure that as the economy gradually reopens, Ontario will be in the best position to welcome the world back to our province.