Guelph, Ontario, March 24, 2020 – The mayors of Ontario’s 29 largest cities met via teleconference today to discuss the response to COVID-19, as measures continue to be implemented to protect Ontarians’ health and wellbeing. The members of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) welcomed Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark and Minister of Finance, Rod Phillips to the meeting to explore options to mitigate economic and social impacts of the novel coronavirus on municipalities.
LUMCO members identified the need for a shared and multifaceted fiscal response to support the provinces’ and individual municipalities’ efforts to prevent further spread of the coronavirus and alleviate financial impacts for affected businesses and institutions.
“We are grateful to the provincial and federal governments for the actions they have taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario, and appreciate their diligent efforts to protect all Canadians from the potentially devastating impact of this unprecedented health crisis,” said Cam Guthrie, Chair of LUMCO and Mayor of Guelph. “We remain committed to working in collaboration with our provincial and federal partners to reduce public circulation of the novel coronavirus, and look forward to receiving additional guidance as to how municipalities can continue to meet both fiscal and legislative obligations during this time of extraordinary uncertainty.”
During the meeting, the mayors who represent almost 70 per cent of Ontario’s population explored recommendations to diminish community spread of COVID-19 in the province’s large cities, including further implementation of protective health measures. The group also shared their concerns about the business and staffing implications of managing municipal budgets and cash flow in the coming weeks and months.
“Ontario’s large cities are doing their part to limit the rate of infection from COVID-19 among our citizens, and we look forward to continuing to work with the province and the Government of Canada to swiftly and decisively establish financial frameworks that will allow municipalities to continue to meet Ontarians’ needs” said Guthrie.
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