Toronto – “We are grateful for the earlier support of our partners in the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario during the pandemic, and that support must continue. I am urging the Government of Canada to come to the table with additional support for Toronto and its residents. City Council joined me in reaffirming that message today. This continued pandemic funding is absolutely critical to the economic recovery of Toronto, the region and the country – it is an investment in Canada’s economic engine,” states Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Toronto City Council supports a motion by Mayor John Tory urging the Government of Canada to honour its election campaign commitment and join the Province of Ontario in supporting the City of Toronto’s 2022 COVID-19 budget shortfall.
In the event that the Government of Canada fails to honour its election commitment, Council directed City staff to include the impact of the Government of Canada’s lack of promised funding in all 2023 property tax notices.
If the Government of Canada honours its commitment, the impact of all three governments COVID-19 2022 emergency funding will be included in all 2023 property tax notices to inform residents of the continuing cooperation between the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Council also directed City staff to include the capital impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic funding shortfall in the 2023 budget.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has prioritized the health and safety of Toronto residents. This unprecedented response added significant costs to the City’s budget, including costs for the protection of vulnerable residents in long-term care homes and emergency shelters, while the City lost transit ridership and other revenues as people stayed home to protect their communities.
Funding support from the City’s partners in the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario continues to be critical to offset the extraordinary COVID-19 pandemic effects on the City’s operating budget.
Toronto is facing a $703 million COVID-19 2022 budget shortfall. In the last federal election, the Liberal government committed in writing to coming to the table to support Toronto with the impacts of COVID-19, which are larger in scale than anywhere else given the size of the city. Two weeks ago, the province stepped up and said they would cover one third of this shortfall and discussions are continuing with the Government of Canada.