Speaking at Queen’s Park on Monday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford said that a one-time $4 billion COVID-19 relief fund will be given to municipalities across Ontario to help with the economic losses of the ongoing pandemic.
According to the Premier, the funding will also help local municipal governments maintain critical services including public transit over the next six to eight months.
Additional details are expected to come in the next few weeks on how the funding will be specifically allocated across the 444 municipalities across Ontario.
Part of the funding announced today was said to come from the $19 billion commitment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help the provinces and territories after several months of shuttered businesses due to COVID-19.
Following the announcement of the funding, Premier Ford emphasized the importance of cooperation and working together to ensure a strong recovery following the pandemic.
“By working together, we have united the country in the face of the immense challenges brought on by COVID-19 and secured a historic deal with the federal government to ensure a strong recovery for Ontario and Canada,” said Premier Ford.
“I want to thank Ontario’s 444 local leaders who supported us through our negotiations with the federal government and each stage of reopening. We will continue to be a champion for our municipal partners as they safely reopen their communities and ensure people can get back to work.”
From what is currently known about the $4 billion in COVID-19 relief fund announced by the Ontario government, nearly $2 billion will be allocated as economic “support for municipalities” while the remaining $2 billion would be allocated to critical services such as public transit.
According to Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory, the biggest city in Canada is reporting losses of about $65 million a week in revenue due to the pandemic.
Officials predict that Toronto could be seeing losses of up to $1.5 billion by the end of this year.
The Toronto Mayor also noted that without any support from the federal and provincial governments, critical services such as public transportation and libraries would have been cut.
As such, the announcement of the $4 billion COVID-19 relief funding could not come at a better time for municipalities such as Toronto.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Updates: Province Reports 119 New COVID-19 Cases, 64% are from those under 40
Premier Ford’s announcements today came after Ontario reported 119 new cases of COVID-19 as of Monday morning.
To date, the province has more than 38,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and gradually approaching the 40,000 confirmed cases milestone.
According to reports from public health units, Health Minister Christine Elliot said that “30 of the province’s 34 public health units is reporting 5 or fewer cases with 16 of them reporting no new cases”.
Of the regions that are reporting the greatest number of cases, the Windsor-Essex region reports the greatest number of cases with 40 confirmed cases, followed by Ottawa with 28 cases, and 20 cases in Toronto.
Whether it is due to COVID-19 fatigue or simple carelessness, it has been reported that younger people demographic has been amongst the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases each day for the past couple of weeks.
On Monday afternoon, Health Minister Christine Elliot reported that among the 119 new cases confirmed today, 76 cases are among people under 40 years old, continuing a concerning trend amongst younger people.
In other words, more than 64% of the new cases reported today came from people under the age of 40.
With the Toronto, Windsor-Essex, and Peel regions awaiting the decision to move to Stage 3 later this week, the alarming number of younger people getting infected by the virus may be a potential reason to keep these regions in Stage 2 of reopening.
Ontario COVID-19 Cases:
Confirmed Cases: 38,799
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt