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Trudeau to announce more COVID-19 relief and this time it will go to cities

OTTAWA – Canada’s big cities will get a lifeline from the Trudeau government Monday, with an announcement of billions of dollars in help.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce the aid package for municipalities across the country at his morning press event at Rideau Cottage. COVID-19 has been a major hit to cities who are continuing to offer services like transit even while ridership and fare box revenue fall dramatically.

Cities have also lost out on event permits, parking fees and other charges even as costs have risen to provide personal protective equipment to workers.

The City of Toronto has said that it is losing nearly $20 million per week in fare revenue from public transit.

Many cities have also extended deadlines for property tax payments to help struggling small businesses and because cities are not allowed to go into debt, they have been forced to do layoffs.

Trudeau’s support will come in the form of infrastructure grants allowing cities to allocate money they had set aside for transit or road projects into their operating shortfalls, according to a source speaking on background to the National Post.

The sources also indicate this help is only the first step for cities with more funding coming when the economy begins to reopen more broadly.

More to come …

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