VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario has written letter to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) urging federal and provincial governments to commit more funding to cover operating deficits for municipalities across the country.
Funding is needed immediately for state-of-good repair infrastructure projects, the letter asserts.
“Municipalities across Canada are facing a maintenance and repair work crisis that will compromise the quality and safety of vital infrastructure and put at risk good-paying construction jobs,” states the letter. “Targeted government funding is needed immediately to remedy this problem. Governments, both federal and provincial, need to rapidly commit to covering operating deficits for Canadian municipalities for 2020 and 2021 so that capital budgets can be kept intact.”
The City of Toronto is projecting a deficit of $1.3 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the city is being forced to reduce spending and reallocate money from the capital budget to its operations budget to fill the deficit gap.
“Removing $370 million from the capital budget has drastically reduced the number of projects being tendered in late summer and fall 2020,” the letter states, adding something needs to be done before it’s too late.
“The Safe Restart Agreement over-allocated funding for small municipalities and under-allocated for large ones. The next round must correct this by accelerating the timing of funding releases and having the federal and provincial governments take the same approach with bigger cities that they took with smaller municipalities including providing funding assurances up front.”