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Province gives $1 million more to city to help it avoid deficit

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New funding to help local governments avoid operating deficits in 2021 was announced today by MPP Laurie Scott’s office, including about $1 million for Kawartha Lakes.

The money was announced as part of Phase 2 of the Safe Restart Agreement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This new funding will help municipalities in HKLB develop a 2021 budget that reflects the challenges of COVID-19,” said Scott.

MPP Laurie Scott.

“As we continue on the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery, our government is supporting municipalities so they are able to provide the critical services community members rely on,” she said in a media release.

The Ontario government is allocating an additional $695 million across the province to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021. This investment builds upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement announced this summer.

“This joint funding will help Ontario’s municipalities recover from the impacts of COVID-19 faster, by helping them to enter into 2021 without operating deficits from this year,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“By ensuring our municipal partners are in a sound financial position to begin the new year, they can better focus on keeping their capital projects on track while continuing to provide the critical services their residents rely on.”

Of the $695 million announced today, $299 million is being allocated across all 444 municipalities to help provide more financial relief, as 2021 operating budgets are finalized. An additional $396 million is also being allocated to 48 municipalities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and who have demonstrated a need for additional assistance in covering their 2020 operating deficits.

QUICK FACTS

-The federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery.

-In August, an initial investment of $1.6 billion was provided so every Ontario municipality could address their operating pressures, support transit systems and help vulnerable people.

-The Ontario government has provided $510 million to municipalities and Indigenous community partners through the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect the health and safety of vulnerable people during COVID-19.

-The province has made an additional three-year, $45-billion commitment to help communities recover as part of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover. This includes critical investments in health and other initiatives, to ensure Ontario is more resilient in the future.

-Ontario is also supporting municipalities in finding budget savings and efficiencies through the Audit and Accountability Fund and Municipal Modernization Program — supporting municipalities with third-party audits and service reviews. Municipalities have already received $215 million through these programs.

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