July 6, 2020

Municipal call for emergency financial support

Standing together municipal leaders today have called for immediate provincial and federal support to cover lost revenue and additional costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect municipal services that people depend on for their daily lives.

AMO, LUMCO, MARCO and the City of Toronto, representing all municipal governments in the province, are calling for at least $10 billion dollars in emergency relief for Canadian municipalities to be funded 100% by the federal and provincial governments. This call supports the national funding call led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

The FCM proposal would provide approximately $4 billion to Ontario municipalities to offset lost transit revenues and added service costs, but there has been no clear signal on the timing and level of a joint federal-provincial financial assistance program yet. Municipal leaders have been patient so far for this expected funding relief but the time for a commitment from the senior orders of government is running out.

Without these federal-provincial emergency funds now, municipal governments may have to significantly increase property taxes and/or make harmful cuts to frontline municipal services. Such cuts or property tax increases will unfairly hurt the very same people that the federal and provincial governments have spent billions helping during the pandemic.

Municipal services are key to safely re-opening the economy. Investing in municipalities now is necessary so they can continue to provide services needed to help restart their local economies.

New provincial growth, renewal and economic recovery plan

The province has announced the development of a made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery. This plan includes measures to make it easier and faster to build provincial highways, major transit infrastructure projects and quality, affordable housing, while making sure that there are meaningful public consultation opportunities.

As part of this plan, the government would also enter into new commercial agreements with partners to build transit-oriented communities. This would allow for the development of more housing around transit in an integrated manner with more job opportunities. We look forward to learning more details shortly.

AMO’s COVID-19 Resources page is being updated continually so you can find critical information in one place. Please send any of your municipally related pandemic questions to covid19@amo.on.ca.