VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) says the federal government’s announcement of $14.9 billion for public transit projects over the next eight years is a step in the right direction.
According the alliance, the funding provides a sustainable investment pathway for municipalities that will help them address transit expansion and transit needs, especially those caused by COVID-19.
However, there is still a critical need for a Safe Restart Agreement 2.0 or other funding to help municipalities deal with deficits for 2021. Funding or the assurance of it needs to flow early this year or municipalities may have to delay or cancel state-of-good-repair projects to balance their 2021 budgets, a release indicates.
“This is certainly a step in the right direction as municipalities need permanent and long-term funding to support the expansion of the public transit systems that Ontarians rely on,” said RCCAO interim executive director Nadia Todorova in a statement. “We are looking forward to learning more about the mechanics of the funding and how it would impact municipalities that are facing immediate fiscal challenges.”
“Municipalities are still in desperate need of funding to deal with significant deficits in 2021,” said RCCAO board chair Peter Smith. “It is essential that the federal government once again work in partnership with the province and come up with a Safe Restart Agreement 2.0 to further help municipalities. The research shows that failure to act will have devastating consequences. Time is of the essence.”