Ottawa speeding rollout of billions in funding for cash-strapped cities amid coronavirus

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By Staff The Canadian Press

Posted June 1, 2020 11:51 am

Updated June 1, 2020 11:56 am

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Community Interviews with Moose FM


2:10Canada’s municipalities face tough economic choices

The pandemic may force Canadian municipalities, which have lost billions of dollars, to make some tough decisions. As Abigail Bimman explains, city services and recreational facilities could be on the chopping block.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is rushing out $2.2 billion in expected infrastructure funding to Canada’s cities struggling with the financial hit of the coronavirus pandemic.

He says sending gas-tax funds months sooner than planned should ease municipalities’ cash flow concerns.

READ MORE: Provinces continue to loosen COVID-19 restrictions

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Municipalities have seen steep losses in revenues through the COVID-19 pandemic as fewer people pay for transit or parking, and recreation centres stay closed without programs to fill local coffers.

The $2.2 billion is much less than municipalities say they need.

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Toronto alone says it’s facing a $1.5-billion shortfall this fiscal year and will need to slash services.

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