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WATCH: Province providing municipalities with $1.6 billion in first round of emergency funding

The announcement comes as Windsor-Essex enters Stage 3


The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has committed to spend up to $4 billion on one-time assistance to the province's 444 municipalities.

Municipalities will be provided with up to $1.6 billion as part of the first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement. 

The funding is meant to help municipalities protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario, while continuing to deliver critical public services, such as public transit and shelters, as the province continues down the path of renewal, growth and economic recovery.

Through the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government, $695 million will help municipalities address operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic through the first round of emergency funding, and over $660 million will support transit systems.

The province is also providing an additional $212 million through the Social Services Relief Fund to help vulnerable people find shelter.

In addition to the support for municipalities, the government is providing over $660 million in the first phase of transit funding to the 110 municipalities with transit systems. 

The funding can be used to provide immediate relief from transit pressures, such as lower ridership, as well as for new costs due to COVID-19, such as enhanced cleaning and masks for staff. In the second phase, additional allocations will be provided based on expenses incurred to ensure the funding meets the needs of municipalities. 

As part of the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government, up to $2 billion is being provided to support public transit in Ontario.

Ontario is also providing municipal service managers and Indigenous housing partners with an additional $212 million under the Social Services Relief Fund to help protect vulnerable people from COVID-19. 

This investment can help them protect homeless shelter staff and residents, expand rent support programming and create longer-term housing solutions. 

This brings the government's total Social Services Relief Fund investment provided to service managers and Indigenous program administrators to $510 million, and builds on the government's COVID-19 Action Plan to Protect Vulnerable Ontarians.

Original story:

Premier Doug Ford is slated to make an announcement in Toronto at 1 p.m. today.

He will be joined by Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), and Jim McDonnell, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to make an announcement.

The announcement comes as Windsor-Essex joins the rest of Ontario in Stage 3 of the province's reopening plan.

Village Media will carry the livestream, so stay tuned.