Safe Restart Agreement helps Canadian communities get back on their feet
Toronto, Ontario, July 23, 2020 — Helping communities build back up from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is a key part of the Safe Restart Agreement between the federal government and the Provinces and Territories.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced that up to $2 billion in federal funding will be made available to cities and towns across Canada. The funding will support front line workers and critical municipal services as we keep people safe during the economic restart. Provincial and territorial governments will continue to support municipalities, and will cost-match federal supports with investments made this fiscal year.
And to help cities keep their transit systems running so that Canadians can get to work and home to their families safely, the Government of Canada will be providing $1 billion in federal transit funding, Minister McKenna announced today.
Essential, front-line workers need good public transit, parents need child care, public health must be able to track and contain disease outbreaks, everyone requires personal protective equipment, and vulnerable communities – including seniors – need enhanced support as Canada gradually reopens while containing the spread of COVID-19.
These practical and essential services delivered by cities and towns across the country are among the seven priority areas in the $19-billion Safe Restart Agreement announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 16.
Canada is also committed to a safe municipal build up through our infrastructure plan, which is resulting in thousands of projects, creating jobs across the country and building stronger communities.
“People need critical frontline services, including public transit, to get safely back to work and build back up our economy. Canada’s cities and towns provide those services. There’s no recovery without a municipal recovery. If our cities aren’t running, our economy isn’t running. The Safe Restart Agreement will help Canada get back on track.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
The Safe Restart Agreement will also support measures to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus to protect Canadians from a future outbreak, and support the capacity of our health care systems, including services for people facing mental health challenges. It will assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment to help our essential workers, and in protecting the most vulnerable, including our seniors.
Additionally, a new temporary income support program will provide workers who do not have paid sick leave with access to 10 days of paid sick leave related to COVID-19.
Through the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
$28.7 billion of this funding is supporting public transit projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
The federal Gas Tax Fund is a long-term indexed source of funding for over 3,600 communities across the country. In recent years it has supported thousands of projects annually and has 18 project eligibility categories, including capacity building, sport infrastructure and roads.
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