Guelph, Ontario, July 16, 2020 – Ontario’s big city mayors are encouraged by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge of $19 billion for the provinces and territories to support a “safe restart” of the Canadian economy, which includes the provision of funds for municipalities to assist in mitigating the unprecedented financial impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 encouraged to hear that help is on the way and that Premier Ford has agreed to match funding in priority spending areas such as transit.
“On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, we appreciate that Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Ford have responded to our calls for support and applaud their leadership in addressing this vital issue,” said LUMCO Chair and Mayor of Guelph Cam Guthrie. “In providing this emergency funding, which includes operating support for municipalities, the provincial and federal governments have demonstrated that they understand the fiscal realities we face as a result of this extraordinarily challenging public health crisis. While we recognize that there is still work to be done, we are optimistic as we await further details about the terms of the safe restart agreement.”
Between April 28 and July 6, 2020, LUMCO joined the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO) and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Mayors and Chairs in issuing repeated requests for emergency funding for municipalities from the federal and provincial governments. In a statement released on July 6, Mayors and Chairs from across Ontario warned that, in the absence of fiscal relief from other levels of government, municipalities would be forced to make difficult decisions to balance their budgets, including considering cost-saving service reductions and raising property taxes and user fees.
“LUMCO thanks Premier Ford and the Province of Ontario for advocating so strongly on behalf of municipalities,” said Mayor Guthrie. “We are grateful for this government’s allyship in negotiating for flexibility in the agreement, which will allow the province to support municipalities in order to maintain critical services for Ontarians.”
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