SMITHERS – Today, NDP critic for Infrastructure and Communities Taylor Bachrach (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) wrote to the federal minister, urging the government to provide help to municipalities struggling to maintain services due to COVID-19. Mayors and municipal leaders across the country are concerned that lost revenues combined with a growing number of people who will be unable to pay their property taxes, could force deep cuts to vital services if help isn’t provided soon.
“Now more than ever, Canadians are relying on their local governments to deliver the services we all need, from providing water and sewage to collecting waste and supporting the first responders that keep us safe,” said Bachrach, pointing out the need for the federal government to ensure services like these as well public transit are not lost during the pandemic. “For many essential workers, transit is an essential service. Maintaining transit is a way we can support first responders, health care professionals, grocery workers, and others in the essential work they are doing for us every day.”
From emergency funding for transit to making local governments eligible for the federal government’s wage subsidy program, Bachrach suggested a number of options for federal support to ensure that Canadians can continue to receive vital local services through the duration of this pandemic
“Given the unprecedented financial challenges, the federal government must step in to help,” said Bachrach. “Without assistance, municipalities across Canada will have little choice but to begin cutting vital services that communities depend on.”