The Ontario government is providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic.
Details were provided on Wednesday, October 28 by Premier Doug Ford, Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care.
“Getting shovels in the ground on new infrastructure projects across the province will be a critical component of our path to long-term economic recovery,” said Ford. “Not only will this investment help communities build the necessary infrastructure to keep Ontarians safe and healthy, but these projects will create hundreds of local construction jobs and support local businesses and suppliers. It’s a win-win for the home team.”
Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:
- Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
- COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
- Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
- Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).
“Ontario recognizes the flexibility the new COVID-19 Resilience stream will provide to communities and organizations,” said Scott. “We’re making it possible for communities to get shovel-ready projects underway sooner so they can kick-start their local economies.”
The COVID-19 Resilience stream will deliver:
- Up to $700 million for education-related projects to be nominated and administered by the Ministry of Education;
- An allocation-based program that will deliver $250 million to municipalities to address critical local infrastructure needs, including $6.5 million that will be directed toward Indigenous and on-reserve education, through the Ministry of Infrastructure in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Indigenous Affairs; and
- Up to $100 million for long-term care projects to be identified and administered by the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021. Additional details about the COVID-19 Resilience stream and intake opening dates will be available in the days and weeks ahead.