May 25th, 2020

NDP to force vote on emergency funding for municipalities

Municipalities in dire financial straits as a result of COVID-19

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP Municipal Affairs critic Jeff Burch will table a motion this week that would give emergency financial support to municipalities that have been deeply impacted by COVID-19.

“Cities and towns throughout the province are on the verge of devastating cuts if the Ford Government does not step up and provide funding,” said Burch.

Municipalities are not able to run deficits, by law. So without emergency provincial funding, the financial burden of COVID-19 will force them to make deep cuts to the services people count on — like public health, transit, child care, policing, social service agencies, and city infrastructure. People shouldn’t have to suffer those cuts, nor hikes to fees like day care or transit prices, said Burch.

“Whether it’s the working parent who relies on childcare, or workers who use transit to get to work, people desperately need the services municipal government provides. Municipalities have been clear that they need support, and it’s time for the provincial government to step up and create some relief and certainty for everyone.”

Burch’s motion mirrors the proposal put forward by a coalition of Ontario’s municipal leaders and frontline municipal workers that would ensure vital services are funded, and municipalities keep their heads above water.