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City gets $3.7 million from province for COVID recovery, plus potential transit funding

The Ontario government will also provide up to $4.9 million towards expenses and lost revenues incurred by Guelph Transit between April 1 and December 31, 2021
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Guelph Transit buses in Guelph's downtown. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday file photo

NEWS RELEASE
CITY OF GUELPH
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On March 4, 2021 the Ontario government announced a third phase of Safe Restart Funding to support municipalities recovering from COVID-19. The Safe Restart Agreement is a historic agreement between the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario that provides COVID-19 related emergency funding for municipal governments.

“This funding for operating costs and transit means Guelph can cover COVID-related expenses without digging into our reserve funds,” says Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie. “It’s very good news for our finances.”

In addition to $8.3 million provided last year, Guelph will receive another $3.7 million to address operating costs associated with COVID-19. If the amount exceeds the City’s needs this year, funds could be placed in a reserve fund to help offset COVID-19 related costs and pressures in future years.

The province also updated funding for Guelph Transit. In addition to the $5.1 million announced in August 2020, Guelph could be eligible for up to $6.4 million to cover expenses between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

The Ontario government will also provide up to $4.9 million towards expenses and lost revenues incurred by Guelph Transit between April 1 and December 31, 2021. This funding can also be used to cover up to 50% of costs related to future transit service modernization and transformation.

“COVID-19 has completely changed how often people use transit. Municipal transit providers need to review and renew our approach to transit service in the years ahead,” says Robin Gerus, general manager, Guelph Transit. “Guelph is grateful to have provincial support to explore ways to improve public transit in our community and throughout Ontario.”

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