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Bailout for municipalities getting closer?

For cities like Hamilton facing a $60 Million COVID shortfall, that could go as high as $120 Million, the wait for help may be ending.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters today that a deal with the federal government to assist municipalities is getting closer. On the City of Toronto’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall and the need for federal help and funding asap, Premier Ford said “We are very very close to getting a deal, (with the feds) probably by the end of the week.

Last week he said he is fighting for municipalities to get a fair economic recovery deal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Wednesday, “I’m fighting for you. I will not short-change any of the mayors, and Toronto is only 18 % of the population; I have other municipalities to look after,” Ford said, adding that he’s calling for the province to be given the federal money in accordance with the population size.

The premier noted that Ontario is 38% of the population and should therefore receive that percentage cut of the funding from the federal government.

“We’re in negotiations with the federal government and will put money forward. I’m leading the charge for municipalities when I’m on the calls with the premiers. I’m pushing for a fair deal. I’m not happy with where we’re going at this point,” he said. “We’re 38% of the population and I want to make sure we get 38% of the money. We’re not there yet and I don’t want to make a bad deal. We have the money and I want the federal government to put it up.”

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