Haida Gwaii and North Coast communities will benefit from more than $4,370,000 in COVID -19 funding under the Safe Restart Agreement, announced the Union of BC Municipalities in Nov. 5 statement.
The federal monies were promised to municipalities as part of a $425 million provincial commitment in the Economic Recovery Plan.
Information provided to UMBC indicates funding allocations for Masset of $429,000; Queen Charlotte 435,000; North Coast Regional District $39,000; Prince Rupert $2,799,000; and Port Edward $317,000. Federal/provincial funding is aimed to support the reopening of facilities and operational costs along with local emergency response.
“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.,” Brian Frenkel, UBCM president said. “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,” Frenkel said.
According to the statement UBCM, worked in partnership with Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and voiced support for federal funding from Canada and an allocation delivery approach in April of this year.
“This followed upon UBCM’s outreach to the provincial government on the financial impacts on local governments due to COVID-19, and the decision by the province to provide liquidity to local government through a package of amendments to the property tax framework, the statement said. “UBCM engaged in continuing discussions with the Province over the summer with regard to revenue streams impacted by COVID-19 as well as new expenditures that local government face as a result the pandemic.”
Funding details are still being developed for additional funding through the Safe Restart Agreement.
“This includes additional funding for BC local governments, including $100 million to support local governments as they address the needs of vulnerable populations and $15 million to improve development approval processes,” the press release said.
UBCM will be communicating details on these programs as they become available.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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