The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) and its eight municipalities are receiving a combined total of $2,494,991 in additional assistance from the Ontario government to address ongoing COVID-19-related operating costs. The funding is part of an announcement made on March 4 of $500 million in further COVID-19 expense related funding for all 444 municipalities in Ontario. According to the provincial government, the new financial relief will help ensure the delivery of critical services and keep capital projects on track.
The UCPR is receiving $997,053. Among the eight municipalities, the City of Clarence-Rockland is receiving the greatest amount at $388,594. Russell Township follows with the second greatest amount at $258,329. At $204,592, the Town of Hawkesbury is receiving the third-greatest amount of pandemic expense funding among UCPR municipalities.
The Nation Municipality is receiving $197,291 and $169,670 is going to the Township of Alfred and Plantagenet. Champlain Township will receive $158,466. The Municipality of Casselman is receiving $60,951, and $60,045 will be contributed to the Township of East Hawkesbury.
The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry is receiving $751,692 in additional assistance for COVID-19-related expenses and the Township of North Glengarry is receiving $188,869.
“Our government continues to adapt and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic as it evolves, and we know our municipal partners are on the front lines of this effort — providing the critical services people depend on every day,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Funding is being prioritized to help municipalities hardest hit by the pandemic and can be used to address the unique needs of each community based on COVID-19 related operating pressures. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) household data and an amount based on the proportion of provincial COVID-19 cases (from January 1, 2021 to February 18, 2021) in the municipality’s respective public health unit were used to calculate the funding amounts.
This provincial investment builds on the $1.39 billion in operating funding that was provided to municipal partners through the joint federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement. The second phase of the Safe Restart Agreement was allocated to all Ontario municipalities in December, to ensure that no community entered 2021 facing an operating deficit from 2020.
The Ontario government wants the federal government to again provide financial assistance to the province’s municipalities facing extra costs due to COVID-19.
“Our municipalities have been clear that they need ongoing operating funding in 2021, and it’s important that we step up and provide more financial relief. At the same time, we need the federal government to join us and provide our municipal partners with the additional support they deserve,” said Clark.
“We know the global pandemic has created significant financial challenges for communities across the province. That’s why we have been there with support from the very beginning. I encourage our federal partners to step forward with additional investments as all three governments work together to protect people’s health and jobs,” said Ontario Minister of Finance and President of the Treasury Board, Peter Bethlenfalvy.