Guelph, Ontario, March 26, 2020 – The members of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO), who represent the almost 70 per cent of Ontarians living in the province’s 29 largest cities, are applauding the Province’s economic and fiscal response to COVID-19 as outlined in Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).
The Action Plan, which includes $3.3 billion in additional resources for the health care system, $3.7 billion in direct support for people and jobs, and $10 billion in tax and other deferrals, represents a positive first step toward alleviating financial impacts for municipalities and businesses affected by the novel coronavirus.
“On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, I would like to thank the Province for their leadership and support in addressing the financial challenges people living and working in Ontario face as a result of COVID-19,” said LUMCO Chair and Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie. “The measures announced through the Action Plan will allow municipalities to provide much-needed relief to residents and local businesses, who are struggling under the weight of an unexpected fiscal burden as a result of this public health crisis.”
LUMCO mayors, having met with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark and Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips on March 24, are especially appreciative of the government’s decision to allow for a 90-day deferral of the June 30 quarterly remittance of education property tax to school boards. Additionally, the government’s decision to postpone the planned MPAC property tax reassessment for 2021 will also provide stability to property taxpayers.
The previously-announced $148 million in funding for charitable and non-profit social service organizations will also allow Consolidated Municipal Service Managers to evaluate unique local needs in their communities related to COVID-19 and respond accordingly, including providing funding to homeless shelters and food banks.
“Ontario’s large cities are taking decisive action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and support the people and organizations most severely impacted by it,” said Mayor Guthrie. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the provincial government to meet Ontarians’ needs during this time of tremendous uncertainty.”
The Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) includes mayors of 29 single and lower-tier cities with a population of 100,000 or more, amounting to 69% of Ontario’s population. LUMCO advocates for issues and policies important to Ontario’s largest cities.
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Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of LUMCO