June 1, 2020
Federal and Provincial Governments need to seriously address financial impact to municipalities.
Statement from Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement today is a positive signal that the federal government is
listening to the concerns of municipalities. The $2.2 billion gas tax funding for municipalities for infrastructure
improvements, which is usually received in two installments, will now be delivered in one payment in June.
At the City of Markham, that money has already been accounted for this year in our budget; it is restricted for
capital projects and cannot be utilized for operating budgets. Although we appreciate the advancement of this
gas tax funding to one payment, it does not address the serious financial crisis and shortfalls we currently face
with permanent revenue loss and increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciated when the Provincial Government provided municipalities some quick relief by allowing us to
defer the transfer of the education property tax, which gave municipalities some flexibility in developing a local
short-term financial response; but that too is far from the necessary support that is needed.
The Federal and Provincial Governments recognize the value municipalities add to driving economic activity
and we need assistance immediately to continue to deliver essential and front line services and drive recovery.
I am encouraged by the federal government’s commitment to do more to support municipalities. Premier Doug
Ford has also voiced his willingness to provide urgent financial assistance to municipalities. We continue to call
on both the federal and provincial governments to collaborate and expedite emergency funding for
municipalities to assist with the costs of confronting COVID-19 in our communities and the need to properly
restart our local economies. We need all governments working together on this right now.
June 1, 2020