March 25, 2021
Yesterday, the Ontario Government tabled its 2021 budget at Queen’s Park in Toronto with two key pillars – protecting people’s health and protecting the economy. The budget outlined several measures that will be important to Kingston businesses, regional social service agencies and residents, as part of the recovery from the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has significantly impacted our community, our country, and the world,” says Mayor Bryan Paterson. “As we begin the hard road of recovery, I am encouraged to see the Provincial Government making investments in some key priority areas that we identified in our 2021
pre-budget submission, including:
- A second round of small business support grants – providing direct financial support to hard-hit local businesses.
- The creation of a new Ontario Tourism and Hospitality small business support grant to help local hotels, motels, and other attractions.
- An additional investment in broadband in both urban and rural areas with the Province promising to “blanket Ontario with high speed internet.”
- Extending the Safe Restart Agreement to support the delivery of essential municipal services and address the impacts of COVID-19 including investments in transit, affordable housing, and childcare.
- Discussions on how the Province intends to fund the new four-hour minimum standard of care in our long-term care settings.
The Ontario budget also includes $175M in spending under the Roadmap to Wellness, a framework to address challenges related to mental health and addictions. The framework still lacks important details the City needs to access this funding and get needed support to residents. The City looks forward to further productive discussions with the Province on stable investments for the Integrated Care Hub and supportive housing.
“This budget had a lot of elements that will help support our path to recovery, post COVID. As we move forward in the weeks and months to come, I look forward to working alongside our government partners to ensure everyone has access to safe and supportive housing and mental health support,” says Paterson. “For Ontario to fully recover from the lasting impacts of this pandemic, we need solutions driven by collaboration between different levels of governments, the private sector and our community agencies and advocates. With the challenges facing us, working together has never been more critical.”
Visit the Mayor's website for more information on the City’s 2021 pre-budget submission.