The Ontario government says municipalities will receive up to $4 billion in funding to help cover the costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to half earmarked for public transit.
Premier Doug Ford says money, provided in partnership with the federal government, will be doled out in the coming months.
He did not give details on how it would be allocated to Ontario’s 444 municipalities, saying those details will be released in the next few weeks.
The province says it is contributing $1.22 billion, with Ottawa providing $777 million.
It says up to $2 billion in transit funding will be split equally between the provincial and federal governments.
Municipalities across Ontario have warned they would face significant budget shortfalls without financial assistance as a result of the pandemic, which would force them to cut services.
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario, which has been vocal in calling for support, said the funding represents an “important investment in communities in every part of our province, and in Ontario’s economic recovery.”
The association’s president, Jamie McGarvey, said in a statement there should be a formula-based model to allocate the money.
“Today’s announcement reflects support for a broad array of costs, and it may call for multiple approaches to allocating the funding,” he said.
© 2020 The Canadian Press