Ottawa receives $124 million to address COVID-19 budget pressures
OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa is receiving a $124.3 million financial lifeline from the Ontario and federal governments to address budget pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the first round of emergency funding of the Safe Restart Agreement with the Ontario and federal governments, Ottawa will receive $49,348,500 for municipal funding and $74,980,842 million for transit.
The municipal funding is designed to help municipalities address operating pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The transit funding will help support transit systems.
In a statement, Mayor Jim Watson said, "These two amounts, totaling $124 million, represent a very significant down payment on the City of Ottawa’s 2020 projected fiscal shortfall of $192 million, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."
"The Province has laid out a process for accessing additional funding for the remainder of the City’s 2020 COVID-19 fiscal shortfall, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, all Members of Council and the city’s senior leadership team to secure the funding required to make the City whole on its COVID-19 fiscal deficit."
In June, city staff estimated the City of Ottawa was facing a $192 million budget deficit this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $192 million budget deficit, OC Transpo is facing a $120 million deficit due to reduced ridership since March.
Revenues are projected to be $241 million below budget this year, while the city has faced an additional $77 million in costs due to the pandemic. Council was told that $89 million in savings had been found to help cover some of the projected deficit.
City Treasurer Wendy Stephanson and City Manager Steve Kanellakos warned there could be layoffs and service cuts in 2021 without help from the upper levels of government.
Ontario announced the first round of emergency funding for all Ontario municipalities under the Safe Restart Agreement with the federal government on Monday, including $695 million to help municipalities address operating pressures and over $660 million to support transit systems.
Toronto is receiving a total of $549,771,332, including $404,088,232 for transit.
Funding for eastern Ontario municipalities
Here is a look at the Ontario and federal funding for eastern Ontario municipalities under the Safe Restart Agreement:
Town of Arnprior: $256,300
Brockville: $1,416,547 (including $102,647 for transit)
Carleton Place: $284,900
Cornwall: $3,373,652 (including $687,352 for transit)
Deep River: $120,900
Kingston: $12,557,098 (Including $5,316,298 for transit)
County of Lanark: $1,872,512 (Including $29,512 for transit)
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville: $2,164,800
Leeds and the Thousand Islands: $361,300
County of Lennox & Addington: $1,254,300
Township of McNab-Braeside: $195,600
Mississippi Mills: $361,000
North Dundas: $292,200
North Frontenac: $215,900
North Glengarry: $295,200
North Grenville: $447,920 (Including $19,813 for transit)
United Counties of Prescott and Russell: $2,337,600
County of Renfrew: $2,780,100
Town of Renfrew: $288,792 (Including $46,392 for transit)
Smiths Falls: $530,500
United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry: $1,762,300