The District of Mission will receive close to $5 million from the federal and provincial governments in a plan to restart the economy.
The stimulus is being injected into all municipalities across B.C. as part of the federal government’s “Safe Restart Agreement.” The federal investment will distribute $19 billion throughout Canada, aiming to “make our country more resilient to possible future surges in cases of COVID-19.”
“I am very pleased to see the speed at which the federal and provincial governments have delivered this funding to local governments in B.C.,” Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) president Brian Frenkel said in a news release.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, local governments have taken steps to manage costs and rethink budgets, but communities are contending with significant revenue shortfalls. These funds will be available for immediate use and provide greater clarity as budgets are developed for the coming year.”
The province is contributing $425 million to municipalities and regional districts for its part of the recovery plan, which was announced in September. Abbotsford will receive $8.3 million, Maple Ridge $6.4 million, Chilliwack 6.5 million and the Fraser Valley Regional District will get $1.36 million.
The funding aims to help facilities reopen and subsidize the operational costs of local emergency-response workers.
The federal government has been lobbied for economic relief since April by UBCM and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
UBCM’s lobbying efforts to the provincial government, detailing the local impacts of the pandemic, resulted in the decision to provide liquidity to municipalities through a series of amendments to the property-tax framework.
The details around the additional funding through the Safe Restart Agreement are still being worked out, according to the UBCM news release. Some of this includes $100 million for municipalities as they address the needs of their most vulnerable populations, and $15 million to improve development-approval processes.