Ontario provides additional support for Bay of Quinte municipalities during COVID-19

BAY OF QUINTE – Today, Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced the Ontario government is providing $567,676 to help local municipalities address 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.

The City of Belleville will receive $201,754, the City of Quinte West will receive $164,549, Prince Edward County will receive $117,846, and Hastings County will receive $83,527.

“Our municipalities provide vital frontline services and we know COVID-19 has significantly impacted their operating budgets. This investment will help them deliver those services safely, while respecting the bottom line for their taxpayers,” said Smith.

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, Ontario’s 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.”

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“COVID-19 has put extraordinary financial pressure on the City of Belleville. This funding will greatly assist us as we deal with another challenging budget later this month.”

Mayor Mitch Panciuk, City of Belleville

“Quinte West is very pleased to receive this additional support from the provincial government. We have worked hard to provide the same level of service to our residents throughout the ongoing pandemic, and this funding will allow us to continue doing so throughout 2021.”

Mayor Jim Harrison, City of Quinte West

“The County of Prince Edward faces significant budgetary pressures in 2021 due to COVID-19. The municipality has continued to suspend penalties and interest on unpaid property taxes and water and wastewater bills through the first quarter of 2021 to assist people financially impacted by the pandemic. The County is also dealing with lost revenue with our recreation facilities and town halls either closed or operating at a reduced capacity. The additional support provided today by the Province of Ontario along with the Safe Restart Agreement funding is helping the County address its financial challenges while continuing to deliver the services that residents and businesses rely on every day.”

Mayor Steve Ferguson, Prince Edward County

“COVID-19 has deeply affected all of us and as a government focused on supporting people and our communities, this funding will ensure that our critical services are available to all who need them. I want to thank the Ontario government for their continued investment and support of local municipalities.”

Warden Rick Phillips, Hastings County

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