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Kawartha Lakes among municipalities calling for funding from federal, provincial governments

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is one of a number of municipalities requesting funding assistance from the federal and provincial governments to help with financial recovery from COVID-19. On Monday, July 6th, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario released a statement appealing for immediate financial assistance from the two higher levels of government. “Ontario municipalities are speaking with one voice to deliver one important message: Our residents cannot wait any longer. To protect municipal services, we need immediate provincial and federal support, to cover lost revenue and additional costs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. This call for action by Ontario municipalities is part of a national effort, led by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to secure at least $10 billion dollars in emergency relief for Canadian municipalities, to be funded 100 percent by the federal and provincial governments,” read the statement. The City of Kawartha Lakes supports this request. “We need immediate provincial and federal support to cover lost revenue and additional costs caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Residents are counting on us to keep taxes affordable while providing the services they need and expect. Municipal services are also key to safely re-opening the economy,” read a statement from Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham. But he later assured residents the municipality is currently in good financial shape. “As of right now, we’re still projecting a balanced budget at the end of the year. But it’s just a projection, anything can happen,” Mayor Letham said, during a telephone press conference on Wednesday, July 8th. “We’re on track to balance our budget with a reduced level of service across the municipality.” The goal of receiving funding, according to Mayor Letham, is “to get [the municipality] back to [offering] those full services as quickly as we can.” Ontario Premier Doug Ford explained the funding delay, during a press conference on Wednesday, July 8th, “We’re in negotiations with the federal government. We’re going to put money forward to the municipalities,” he said. “I’m leading the charge for municipalities, pushing them like crazy [the federal government] to come up with a fair deal, and right now we’re in negotiations.”

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