July 16, 2020

Federal-Provincial funding agreement reached for municipal relief

This afternoon the Federal Government has announced at a news conference that it will deliver more than $19B for COVID-19 support through an agreement been reached with the Provinces and Territories. This news builds on the previously announced Safe Restart Agreement by increasing the amount of federal support up from the original $14B. Official details of the agreement have not yet been released.

Premier Ford announced that Ontario will receive its share of $7 billion as part of this agreement. The Premier believes this is a “great deal” and personally thanked Ontario’s 444 Mayors for their unwavering support throughout these F/P/T negotiations.

This financial support is set for a 6-8 month period with an indication that additional support will be forthcoming if the current emergency situation persists. According to news reports, the funding will be distributed over seven priority areas that include:

  • testing, contact tracing and data management
  • health-care capacity and mental health services and addictions
  • vulnerable populations, including long-term care facilities
  • personal protective equipment
  • early learning and child care
  • municipal operations, with a proposed public transit element
  • sick leave

Details of the amount allocated for municipalities and a required provincial contribution to the relief package are not yet known.

AMO is pleased that our strong call for financial relief was heard and that cooperation between the Federal and Provincial governments has resulted in today’s relief funding announcement.

This funding is intended to provide fiscal stabilization to enable Ontario's municipal government to focus efforts on economic recovery and providing needed services to their communities. It is also interned to avoid the necessity of unmanageable tax increases, service costs and the deferral or cancellation of the capital projects that will promote economic recovery.

As more details become available, AMO will provide updates to our members.

Emergency Orders extended

The Ontario government has extended most emergency orders currently in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA) until July 29, 2020.

In addition to extending orders, we understand that the government is making technical amendments as needed to certain orders. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the EMCPA and at Ontario.ca/alert.

Marriage Licenses Expiry Period Extended Proposed

Under Bill 197, COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 the province is proposing to extend the expiry date for most marriage licences issued between December 1, 2019, and the end of the province-wide Declaration of Emergency due to COVID-19. These licences would still be valid and could be used for up to 24 months from the end of the Declaration of Emergency. Couples with a qualifying unused marriage licence issued during this timeframe are being encouraged to hold onto it. They would have up to 24 months to use it and would not need to replace their marriage licence.

Bill 197 is currently going through 2nd Reading Debate and the Ontario Legislature is expected to rise for summer recess next Wednesday, July 22nd.

Licenced Boats to sell and serve alcohol

The province has amended Regulation 719 under the Liquor Licence Act (LLA) to allow boat operators with a liquor sales licence to sell and serve alcohol while their vessel is docked in support the Ontario tourism industry until December 31, 2020. Additionally, they are also permitted to temporarily extend their licensed premises, provided they have municipal approval and meet all applicable eligibility criteria.

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.