For Immediate Release

June 3, 2020

Statement from the GTHA Mayors and Chairs

“Today, the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area Mayors and Chairs met again to discuss the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We know that we are still seeing people testing positive for COVID-19 in our region and that we must stop the spread of this virus in our communities. To that end the Mayors and Chairs endorsed the increased community testing being done by the Province and strongly encourage increased and more widespread use of mobile testing as soon as possible.

The Mayors and Chairs also discussed the matter of reopening and maintained their position that regional differences in the state of the pandemic itself require regional flexibility on reopening. In this regard they were encouraged by the Province’s ongoing consideration of this position.

The continuing efforts to engage the federal and provincial governments on the state of municipal finances was also discussed. We appreciate the ongoing advocacy of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Premier Doug Ford, and a number of local MPs. Now, we need the federal and provincial governments to move quickly to address the urgent financial situations cities face. Time is of the essence.

The Government of Canada announcement earlier this week represented a first step, but it is not new money and a comprehensive response is still needed.

Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledged more funding would be coming to help municipalities. We appreciate that acknowledgement but that help must come soon.

The GTHA municipalities will play a critical role in ensuring a safe restart and a strong recovery. Our region is the economic engine of Ontario and Canada. Without healthy, stable cities a complete recovery will not be possible.

A strong restart of the entire economy will only happen with strong municipalities right across the GTHA, across the province, and across Canada.

The GTHA Mayors and Chairs are ready to do everything they can to get our economy back on track but we can only do that with the support of the federal and provincial governments.”