NOTE: PM Trudeau begins speaking at approximately 19 minutes. There are some technical difficulties with audio / captions, however ASL interpreter is available throughout.
Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opened his daily remarks by commenting on the ongoing civil unrest unfolding in the U.S against anti-black racism and encouraged Canadians to denounce acts of violence and discrimination. “The status quo is unacceptable,” he said. “As leaders and allies, we must ensure that everyone is safe. We must, as Canadians, work together to build a fairer, better and more equitable country for all.”
The Prime Minister also announced that the federal government will offer additional funding support for municipalities struggling to cover budget shortfalls related to the pandemic.
$2 Billion COVID-19 Aid for Municipalities
In response to COVID-19, the federal government will make available $2.2 billion in accelerated funding through the federal Gas Tax Fund. Normally paid in two installments a year, the funding will be made available in one payment this month.
Trudeau said early delivery of the full funding allotment for 2020-21 will help communities quickly move forward with infrastructure projects that will improve quality of life and help restart local economies.
Municipalities can use the money for projects under 18 different categories, including public transit, wastewater infrastructure, roads and bridges, disaster mitigation, broadband and connectivity, and culture, tourism and recreation.
The goal is to support essential municipal services as well as public transit systems, which have been hard hit by low ridership amid the pandemic.
“We know that the cities and municipalities need these funds right away. And that is why the federal government is making the full 2020-21 funds available immediately,” Trudeau said.
This funding comes after the Federation of Canadian Municipalities appealed for at least $10 billion in emergency funding.