Guelph, Ontario, May 8, 2020 – Ontario’s big city mayors are urging the governments of Ontario and Canada to continue to work in partnership with municipalities to address the economic impacts of COVID-19, and to plan for post-pandemic recovery and reform.
In a meeting held this morning via teleconference, members of the Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) welcomed Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen, as well as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, and Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney, to discuss how to move beyond emergency response measures and establish a consistent municipal approach to reopening the economy.
To meet this goal, LUMCO mayors have proposed a three-phased approach to enable cities to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, which includes:
- Relief: Immediate financial relief for municipalities facing fiscal pressure as a result of reduced revenues, with a focus on addressing the projected $415 million revenue loss from April to June in transit systems that serve LUMCO municipalities
- Recovery: A comprehensive recovery plan to address COVID-related impacts for municipalities as they work to reopen the economy, and
- Reform: A longer-term partnership agreement between municipalities and the federal and provincial governments to re-align capital and service delivery responsibilities with sustainable revenue streams for the future.
On April 28, LUMCO mayors, who represent the almost 70 per cent of Ontarians living in the province’s 29 largest cities, joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in its request for emergency funding for municipalities from the Government of Canada.
“Municipalities are working tirelessly to help Ontarians through this crisis, but in the face of drastically reduced revenue streams, especially as it relates to transit, we are struggling to keep critical services running while meeting our legislative and regulatory requirements,” said LUMCO Chair and Mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie. “On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, we are grateful to Ministers Hussen, Clark, Phillips and Mulroney for joining us to discuss these critical issues, and we look forward to continuing to work together to address these unprecedented financial shortfalls as we move towards economic recovery.”
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.
For more information:
Mayor Cam Guthrie, Chair of LUMCO