Ottawa to contribute $19 billion to provinces and municipalities to help cover pandemic shortfalls

Some funding could be earmarked for a second wave of COVID-19

The Federal Government says it will contribute $19 billion dollars to provinces and municipalities to cover shortfalls due to the COVID pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today his government has come to an agreement with provinces and territories on a fund designed to help lower-tier governments cover costs such as increased contact-tracing, personal protective equipment, as well as that of funding childcare or assisting with those cities whose revenues have plummetted while expenses have soared.

It is expected some of the funding will cover off some costs associated with preparing for a potential second wave. “It will cover a large part of the next six to eight months,” said Trudeau. “We recognize that, perhaps, the pandemic will extend longer than that.”

This announcement of funding for the municipal level comes following an effort led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to secure at least $10 billion in emergency relief for Canadian municipalities. That call was echoed by a number of mayors’ groups and organizations across Ontario, including the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario, with hopes up to $4 billion would be allocated to Ontario’s municipalities.