UPDATE: Municipalities to Receive $500M in New Provincial Funding

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Cash-strapped municipalities in Ontario will receive an additional $500-million to help address pandemic-related costs.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark says the money can be used to pay for community services and ongoing capital projects.

The province says the new funding comes in addition to nearly $1.4-billion received from the federal government and given to communities earlier in the pandemic. Clark says the new funding will be split between 444 municipalities in the province.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says the city will be receiving a little more than $8-million.

"What we don't know is that the province has already announced $5-million, $5.1-million at the end of 2020 to offset expenses in 2021, we're not sure whether this is an additional $8-million or an additional $3-million over the five," says Dilkens.      

He says the funding as a, "great first step."

"It's a positive step to help fill the hole that we know we're going to have with of course decreased revenues the casino, airport and the tunnel operations, in much different positions today than they were a year ago," he says.  "Certainly no revenues from community centres and all of the rentals that we have.  Those revenue streams have gone away and of course all the increased and expenses that most organizations are experiencing with PPE, extra cleaning and the things that we all have to do to keep our guests and our staff and our citizens and customers safe."

Windsor is projecting a $38 million budget deficit in 2021, but Ontario municipalities are not allowed to run deficits by law.

Dilkens has said if senior levels of government do not address the shortfall it will have an impact on the 2022 budget.

He says the deficit is equivalent to a nine per cent increase on the property tax roll.

The full breakdown for Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent includes:

  • Windsor - $8,136,555
  • Essex County - $2,418,777
  • Chatham-Kent - $1,459,125
  • Lakeshore - $721,172
  • Leamington - $549,262
  • LaSalle - $564,261
  • Amherstburg - $461,468
  • Tecumseh - $449,850
  • Town of Essex - $441,468
  • Kingsville - $440,684
  • Pelee Island - $45,895

— with files from the Canadian Press