Today the Province of Ontario introduced the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, 2020 and the Federal Government tabled a fiscal snapshot for the nation.
Neither Government took the opportunity to put money forward to support municipal governments coping with local budget pressures that the pandemic has caused for cities and towns across Ontario.
In a teleconference with Mayors from across the Province, Premier Ford explicitly asked for the support from Mayors and Councils to advocate with the Federal government to provide the funding that Ontario municipalities deserve.
Over the past few weeks, the City of Windsor has been highlighting the need for funding support from higher orders of government to support local government budgets as we recover from this public health crisis.
It is true that over the course of the past few months, the federal and provincial governments have each put forward billions in new spending to support workers, businesses, farmers and charities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaving municipalities high and dry just as the economy starts to recover will have a dramatic impact on local economic recovery. Our Fiscal Update Report to Windsor City Council next Monday outlines how we have already managed to find $17-million in savings within our internal budgets, but this still leaves $30-million that we expect the higher orders of government to cover.
While the Premier and Prime Minister are unable to reach a fair deal for municipalities, it will be the taxpayers of our cities and towns who will suffer as a result. In the next few days, I will be reaching out to our local Members of Parliament to understand their position and ensure they are standing up for Windsor. On behalf of all residents, I expect Ottawa and Queen’s Park to resolve their differences as quickly as possible.
Ontarians expect nothing less.