Ontario’s Financial Accountability Office Identifies Municipal Financial Impacts of COVID-19 for 2021
Toronto, Ontario, December 10, 2020 - The Association of Municipalities of Ontario appreciates a review by the Financial Accountability Office (FAO) confirming that COVID-19 is costing Ontario municipalities billions of dollars, requiring additional federal and provincial support into 2021.
“This is consistent with what municipalities are feeling on the ground, and with AMO’s own understanding,” said Graydon Smith, AMO President. “Working with our national partners at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, AMO will continue to advocate for extended funding to help cover the impact of the pandemic into 2021.”
The independent analysis concludes that COVID-19 will ultimately cost municipalities $6.8 billion in lost revenues and added expenses. In July, the federal and provincial governments announced $4 billion in Safe Restart funding for municipalities to help address financial impacts in 2020. It was understood at the time that it would not offset all losses for 2021.
The FAO report also notes that municipalities have found $1 billion in savings to help close the gap. Municipalities face lost revenue from transit and the closure of recreation, culture and other services, combined with increased costs for housing, public health, social services and long-term care. This impact will continue well into 2021.
“Municipalities continue to be on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting Ontario’s communities, and maintaining key services,” Smith said. “We’re also building the foundation for a timely and more inclusive recovery. Investing in municipal services will be key to Canada’s economic renewal.”