May 26 2020
HAMILTON, ON – “The Greater Toronto and Hamilton area Mayors and Chairs remain united in confronting this virus in our communities and making sure we do everything we can to help residents and businesses get through this emergency.
This group is also united in its advocacy to the federal and provincial governments for municipalities to be supported when it comes to the costs of confronting COVID-19 in our communities and the need to properly restart our economies.
We are encouraged that the provincial and federal governments have begun discussions about supporting municipalities, but we need them to follow through with a financial commitment to municipalities as soon as possible. In all municipalities and regions, major service reductions will result if we do not receive support from the federal and provincial governments very soon.
While we all want the reopening and restart of our provincial economy to happen as quickly as it is safe to do so, the Mayors and Chairs agreed that we all must proceed cautiously towards the next phase.
We are committed to working with the Province and public health units across Ontario to help shape Phase 2, and ensure it works for local communities, based on local public health conditions, and to ensure to the greatest extent possible that rules and regulations are consistent across the region.
We welcome the Province’s commitment to increasing COVID-19 testing including a much more comprehensive approach. We all want to see much more testing in the coming weeks so it can help guide our public health officials as we continue to both keep people healthy and recover the economy of our region.
While we support encouraging our residents to get tested, it is crucial that prior to the planned implementation of the strategy, local input is sought and received from hospitals, laboratories and local public health with respect to available capacity, including proper funding, to ensure the success of a provincial campaign to increase testing.”
“Local governments are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working around the clock to help keep residents safe. That means we have at the same time increased costs and decreased revenue. It is critical that local governments have the ability to maintain the essential public services that people count on while at the same time helping to lead the recovery of our economy as we emerge from the pandemic. That’s why we need assurances now from our federal and provincial partners that help for municipalities is on the way.” - Mayor Fred Eisenberger