Ontario Delivers COVID-19 Resilience Stream Funding for Waterloo Region Municipalities

Published on November 09, 2020

Almost $8 million available to support long-term care, education, and municipal projects
NEWS November 4, 2020


WATERLOO REGION – The Ontario government is providing up to $1.05 billion in combined federal-provincial funding through the new COVID-19 Resilience infrastructure stream to build or renovate health and safety related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities. The funding is part of the federal government's Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and reinforces the commitment of both the federal and provincial governments to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families during the pandemic.

In total, $7,948,041 is being allocated across Waterloo Region’s municipalities:

“Building and repairing infrastructure is going to play a crucial role in our local economic recovery,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “This funding will support important municipal projects here in Waterloo Region and I look forward to seeing construction begin soon”.

“This $7.9 million investment will be of great benefit to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and each of our seven cities and townships during this challenging time for budgetary planning,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler. “This funding will be invested in important infrastructure projects and I look forward to seeing these projects completed. With this funding, our government is making it possible for communities to get shovel-ready projects underway sooner.”

Eligible projects under the COVID-19 Resilience stream will fall under four main categories:

• Community, recreation, health and education renovations (e.g. retrofits, repairs or upgrades to long-term care homes, publicly funded schools and co-located childcare centre facilities, recreation centres or shelters);
• COVID-19 response infrastructure (e.g. heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, new builds or renovations to enable physical distancing);
• Active transportation (e.g. parks, trails); and
• Disaster mitigation, adaptation, or remediation (e.g. flood mitigation).

"Getting shovels in the ground on new infrastructure projects across the province will be a critical component of our path to long-term economic recovery," said Premier Ford. "Not only will this investment help communities build the necessary infrastructure to keep Ontarians safe and healthy, but these projects will create hundreds of local construction jobs and support local businesses and suppliers. It's a win-win for the home team."

The COVID-19 Resilience stream will deliver:

Up to $700 million for education-related projects to be nominated and administered by the Ministry of Education;

An allocation-based program that will deliver $250 million to municipalities to address critical local infrastructure needs, including $6.5 million that will be directed toward Indigenous and on-reserve education, through the Ministry of Infrastructure in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Indigenous Affairs; and

Up to $100 million for long-term care projects to be identified and administered by the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Eligible projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be completed by December 31, 2021. Additional details about the COVID-19 Resilience stream and intake opening dates will be available in the days and weeks ahead.

"Ontario recognizes the flexibility the new COVID-19 Resilience stream will provide to communities and organizations," said Minister Scott. "We're making it possible for communities to get shovel-ready projects underway sooner so they can kick-start their local economies."

In accordance with Federal government guidelines all applications must be submitted no later than March 31, 2021. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2021. However, remote communities of 5, 000 people have until December 31, 2022.

Additional Quotes

“Wilmot has experienced significant financial and economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 service disruptions. The allocation of this dedicated funding support under the COVID Resilience Stream will allow us to move forward with critical COVID-19 response infrastructure projects. These projects will ensure Wilmot can safely and effectively meet service delivery expectations for our community moving forward.” - Wilmot Mayor Les Armstrong

“The COVID ICIP Stream Grant Program represents an important initiative that will assist Municipalities in the delivery and funding of capital projects that will assist not only with economic recovery coming out of the COVID pandemic, but to address and respond to infrastructure related projects that support our community’s needs,” - North Dumfries Mayor Sue Foxton

“This ICIP funding announcement couldn’t be more timely, as our City continues to reinvest in our infrastructure assets to build a community that is even more inclusive and resilient for current and future generations. Together the Province of Ontario, the Federal Government and the City of Waterloo are collaborating to make a difference in our community.” - Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky

"I am very pleased to hear that the City will be receiving funding under the new COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure funding stream. This will certainly help provide much needed relief in difficult times and support pandemic resilient infrastructure. The City is planning to use this funding to assist with improvements to recreation facilities, storm water management and active transportation infrastructure." - Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry

Wellesley Township has advocated for many years for allocation based funding. By eliminating hurdles and the barriers that comes with an application based program, the money will flow to the municipalities quicker. The COVID 19 Resilience stream will assist municipalities like Wellesley Township to move forward while making our community stronger.” - Wellesley Mayor Joe Nowak

“These new investments by the Province will allow us to move a number of shovel-ready projects forward across Waterloo Region that will help stimulate our local economy.” - Regional Chair Karen Redman

"COVID 19 has changed how many of us do business and some of those changes will be long term, requiring upgrades and retrofits that we can't fund on our own. We appreciate the Province providing the funding for these important infrastructure projects."- Woolwich Mayor Sandy Shantz

“I applaud MPP Mike Harris, Minister Scott and Premier Ford for hearing the call by cities like Kitchener to participate in the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure funding collaboration,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “I’m especially pleased that this money will be distributed on an allocation model basis, ensuring we can put these capital dollars to work as quickly as possible, creating jobs from COVID-related infrastructure including community and recreation facilities, COVID-19 safety enhancements and active transportation such as parks and trails.”

Quick Facts

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) is a 10-year, $30-billion federal, provincial and municipal program that provides funding to improve public transit; community, culture and recreation; green; and rural and northern community infrastructure. Ontario is investing $10.2 billion in this program.

To date, Ontario has nominated 760 projects to the federal government under ICIP, of which more than 390 have been approved.

The federal COVID-19 Resilience stream has been adapted from ICIP to respond to the impacts of COVID-19. This ICIP stream, delivered through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories, has been designed to help add flexibilities, expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals.

The COVID-19 Resilience stream will be 80% cost-shared by the federal government and 20% cost-shared by the Province for public infrastructure ― further reinforcing the support being provided to build and renovate health and safety-related projects in long-term care, education and municipalities.

The Ministry of Education is also investing $1.4 billion in renewal funding, which continues to meet the funding level recommended by the Auditor General of Ontario to preserve the condition of Ontario’s school facilities.